THERE are many reasons to go vegan and more animal-free alternatives than ever for those wavering on making the leap.

This Saturday, August 3, Taunton’s Vegan Fair comes to town, inviting residents to sample what a vegan lifestyle has to offer free of charge.

Organising the event is the town’s vegan society, a group determined to banish any stereotype of vegans as “angry crusaders”.

Coordinator Chris Rose went vegan in a split with his past.

He said: “I’m the son of a butcher and worked for a pharmaceuticals company as a small cog in animal testing, and I decided I was never going to hurt anything ever again if I could help it.”

For new vegans Phil and Darrelle Bower it wasn’t just about dealing with dairy intolerance – veganism has shaped their dairy-free ice cream business, Razzle Dazzle Ices.

“So many people don’t buy products from an ethical standpoint, and one of the things I saw in the vegan market is people making ethical decisions, whether from a human, environmental or animal welfare perspective,” said Phil.

Taunton Vegans will also launch their vegan-friendly guide – a who’s who of businesses and eateries in the area with vegan options.

“Taunton is a conservative town with a small ‘c’,” says Chris, “but we’ve made a real effort by getting restaurants to put vegan options on their menu.”

Why should folk drop into the fair?

“Just come along to see, taste and try, and see that we’re normal,” says retired teacher Kay Hoskins, who will be serving falafel on the day.

Aside from all the free cake, the first 50 visitors to the event will go away with a vegan goodie bag worth £30.

Taunton’s Vegan Fair 2013 runs from 11am to 3pm at North Street Church Hall.