Have you noticed the Plant Life sticker on the back of cars as you drive around the area? Have you wondered what that’s about? They look like the Salt Life stickers we see so many of locally.

Just as the Salt Life sticker announces a lifestyle that centers around the beach and the fun of living or vacationing in a coastal area, the Plant Life sticker exemplifies a lifestyle around eating whole plant-based foods.

But the Plant Life sticker doesn’t just say who we are. It is also an early announcement for the coming VegFest to be held at Shelter Cove on Hilton Head Island on Oct. 21. This will be the second year for VegFest, which was a big success in 2016.

Just like last year, there will be plenty of vendors selling real whole plant-based foods for attendees to try. There will also be lots of opportunities to learn about other products that make living a whole food, plant-based lifestyle easier, healthier and more fun.

The keynote speaker this year is Gene Baur. I recently met Gene while on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise this past March. He is a committed vegan author, lobbyist, and owner and operator of Farm Sanctuary in New York.

Gene and I talked at length while on the ship, and I found what he had to say to be so insightful and practical for our daily lives.

Gene told me that to him being a vegan is about being committed to kindness. It’s not just kindness to the animals, as he explained, but it’s also about kindness to ourselves and to others.

His philosophy is very refreshing, and it’s one that I strongly believe in as well. For that reason, I’m really happy that he will be this year’s VegFest keynote speaker.

Now is the time to put this event on your calendars so that we don’t schedule something over it. It’s also the time for vendors interested in participating or sponsoring at VegFest to make their interests known.

As time gets closer to the VegFest, I’m betting that some people will have both a Plant Life and a Salt Life sticker on their cars.

The two are not mutually exclusive. Living the plant life can be fun and fancy free, just like living the salt life is.

And living the plant life makes us healthier and more fit for enjoying the beach and coastal areas. It’s a win-win, worthy of two stickers I would say.

For more information about VegFest, visit www.lowcountryvegfest.com.

J Lanning Smith is a local freelance writer focused on the whole food, plant-based way of eating.