I go to the Renaissance Fair every year. Usually around September or October. And it’s always been an absolute joy…
There’s always this smell of food in the air, artisan shops filled with goodies you can’t find in regular stores, and most importantly, people in jaw-dropping costumes.
We’re talking people who should be working in costume design for movies and shows, people. Costumes that are much, much more than anything you’d find at Spirit Halloween (*no dig at Spirit, they have the best Halloween store known to man*).
Because I went for Celtic weekend, there were plenty of corsets, kilts, combat boots, swords and, well…
Now, because I always go to Ren Fair, I have to admit, this has always been a major part of the event. There has always been fried, meaty food and tons of people wearing real fur. The shops sell a lot of it, along with genuine leather.
But because this was my first time going since I transitioned to a super healthy lifestyle, more so than before even, I really noticed it for the first time.
Of course, the fair has a special place in my heart, and I was determined to enjoy it just as much as any other year. So, I did what any good-hearted animal lover would do: go into every shop selling leather or fur, and ask if all their product is real.
Turns out, it really was. All of it. There was absolutely no faux fur or leather anywhere, for miles.
The final straw was when I approached a store selling furry tales out front. Looking at the top end of the tail, where a silver chain was attached for ease of wearing, it was clear that it had once belonged to a cute, furry animal. The leather strip was attached still – a clear sign of where it had been cut.
But you know what? Something happened right in that moment. Right as I was feeling upset about the fair, a woman next to me who was also looking at the tails grabbed her daughter’s hand and said: “Someone died for this. They died! For these ‘cute’ tails.”
Her daughter had been looking through the tails in awe, muttering how beautiful they were. Clearly, her mother didn’t feel the same way.
And see, that moment changed everything. I had been walking around feeling as though the fair wasn’t vegan or veggie friendly. As if everyone around me was supporting this horrible “socially acceptable” action. But the truth was…
Some people honestly just don’t know, or don’t realize.
Back when I ate meat, I always felt bad about fur, but I didn’t mind leather. I had genuine leather bags and thought nothing of it. I had chicken or steak, and thought nothing of it. The only thing that pulled at my heart strings was the fur, because that resembles the animal itself. It was just too real.
And in those days, I very much loved animals. I hated the meat industry, but I supported it, because I was raised to eat meat. I was taught that protein needed to come from animal products, or else, you’d be deficient in all sorts of nutrients.
In other words, I was fed the story that everyone else is fed.
So, the Renaissance Fair isn’t terrible for it’s support of animal products. It simply seeks to provide genuine products, because that’s what most people go there for. Anyone can get a fake tail from a store, but to get a real one, intricately dyed, you go to Ren Fair. It’s simply supply and demand.
The only “evil” here is the lack of education. The idea we tell younger generations, the notion that we need to eat other animals in order to be healthy.
That girl looking at the tails in awe wasn’t looking to support a terrible action – the killing of at least what looked like 100 animals. It’s safe to say she loves animals as much as anyone can. Maybe she even has pets!
That girl was just looking at something beautiful without registering what had to happen in order to put those tails on display.
So, what can you do to enjoy the fair? Surely, there’s a Ren Fair near you every autumn as well.
How to Enjoy Ren Fair As A Veggie/Vegan:
- Eat before you go. The idea is to not be hungry, so you won’t be miserable the whole time you’re there (about 4-5 hours).
- Go into it knowing you won’t be eating most food available. It’s all meat and dairy. However, consider yourself lucky! It’s super unhealthy food like funnel cake, deep fried pork pockets, and apple dumplings coated in sugar and topped with three heaping servings of ice cream. Trust me, it’s the kind of food that makes you feel very depressed and unhealthy afterward.
- Look for the short food lines: everyone at Ren Fair is looking for the one-of-a-kind experiences. They want the real beer, the real fatty food, etc. So that shop that sells water and fruit smoothies? Shortest line around!
- Go to the shops with cotton clothing hanging outside. Anything displaying fabric will only be selling fabric. No leather or fur in sight.
- Dress up in a vegan-friendly costume, if you want! Costumes are a huge part of the fair, and as such, people tend to comment a lot on the costumes they like. If someone approaches you about yours, you can tell them the name of vegan stores that sell your kitty ears, or your tail. Maybe your pretty dress is made by a vegan Etsy store seller?
- Even when you’re almost at the end of the fair, depressed over the animal products you’ve seen on display, know that there are people at that same fair that are explaining to their children that animals had to die for these items.
There is hope for the fair, and there is hope for anyone interested in learning more about what goes into animal poaching, hunting, and retailing.