A Vegan Food Fair in Oxford aims to show that a diet free of meat, fish and animal produce is the height of good taste.

Rachel Foster, the organiser of the event, is offering a free feast to dispel perceptions that a vegan diet is dull.

The fair is taking place at the Wesley Memorial Church, in New Inn Hall Street, on Saturday, August 16, from noon to 3.30pm.

Ms Foster said: "There have been similar events held in London, Birmingham and Manchester but there has never been anything like this in Oxford before.

"With all the publicity there has been recently about farming methods and the conditions that animals are kept in, I thought this would be a good time to do this.

"You can have organic meat and free-range eggs, but the only way that you will ever eat completely humanely is if you're a vegan."

Ms Foster said that becoming a vegan need not be based entirely on a love of animals and a desire to eat more humanely.

She said: "The health benefits of becoming a vegan are fantastic.

"It's a low-fat diet and you can find all the vitamins and minerals you need without eating meat, dairy and eggs.

"There have been so many studies carried out that show the negative effects to your health of eating things like red meat - it just makes sense to stop."

Ms Foster admitted there was a stereotypical view of vegans that needed to be changed if more people were going to change their eating habits.

She said: "I think it's fair to say that people think of polyester-wearing hippies that like to eat lentils, when they think of vegans, but that just isn't the case any more.

"There will be things like curry and rice, Mexican wraps, savoury flans, nut roasts, pizzas, soya-meat pastries and sausage rolls, cakes and vegan trifles.

"And prepared on the morning at the venue will be garlic bread and 'cheating' meat sandwiches.

"There's just so much choice these days and I hope people come and give it a try."

As well as a host of free food, there will also be a range of stalls for people to buy what they try, a cookery demonstration and activities and games for children.

For more details, call Ms Foster on 01865 717839.