In last week’s newsletter, we talked about how making veganism look easy was actually a lot of hard work, and the importance of taking breaks to recover and recharge. If you missed it or aren’t a subscriber yet, you can read about the topic here.
One of the ideas that came up was having a vegan friend or colleague to connect with, possibly to vent a little, but also to have someone nearby who understands and who you can talk to without needing to defend or promote veganism. Someone you can just be yourself with. It’s possible to rely on a sympathetic non-vegan, but no matter how understanding they might be, it’s not really the same.
One of the things that I try to watch for is a bias towards this idea that everyone knows 40 awesome vegans, because that’s obviously not the case for all of you. You might not have dozens of vegan restaurants where you live, and you might not even know any other vegetarians, let alone vegans.
That said, I want to make it clear that finding new aquiantances of any kind is hard work. Making connections outside of your immediate social circle, especially if it’s just one or two people, can be tricky. As a society, we like to have our friends know each other, if only to make parties easier, but with veganism there are these underlying issues (real or imagined) about integrating meat-eating and vegan friends. It’s possible, for some of you, that there really aren’t any vegans you’d want to meet in your area. For the rest of you, and I’d put that as the majority, you can do it, but it’s going to take some effort, even if it’s just finding or starting a Meetup group.
Speaking of the internet though, it’s done some amazing things for our community, just like it has for countless others. Many of us have made connections to people we’d consider to be friends, even though we’ve never met them in person, and this works for finding other vegans too, through things like Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs, and other stuff.
Are you connecting with other vegans on a regular basis? Is it in person or online, or through some other method I haven’t thought of? How did you meet them?
This is one of those future-thinking posts that I’m throwing out there for some feedback, so I’d really love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Who’s got your back?