Meeting vegans in smaller towns

December 1, 2010

In part one of Matt’s question about “adapting veganism to the deepest darkest burbs” we talked about dealing with a lack of product selection, and today we’re going into the lack of vegan people selection: how do you meet more vegans when there aren’t any?

And yes, most of these ideas will work just as well in large towns.  The problem often isn’t a lack of options; it’s that you don’t know where the options are.  Or there aren’t any after all, but you’re not going to know until you take a good look.

Did you think I’d forget about the Spawn Better article on starting a vegan group?  Well, yes, I almost did, but here it is, so hurray for me!  Reading it through again, I’m not sure how much it applies, but while reading it you might get hit with an idea or two of your own – that happens to me all the time.

I’m kind of excited about the Facebook idea I talk about in this video – if anyone wants to try it, please get in touch and I can offer some tips or, you know, just explain more than I can in a quick video. There’s something deeper there that I need to explore…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason December 2, 2010 at 7:22 am

Here’s a comment from the YouTube channel by Joshie that you might have missed: “It’s true! You may not realise that there are other vegans in your area! I put a vegan sticker in my kitchen window and the guy next door asked me if I vegetarian. When I told him I was vegan, he said, ‘Me too!’.”

Abby December 4, 2010 at 11:56 am

I’ve actually started utilizing the OKCupid website in order to meet vegans friends in my general area – amazingly enough it’s worked! Taking road trips to veggie restaurants in the big city is a fun idea, gives you something to look forward to when you don’t have the luxury of places like that down the street. However, there’s nothing like having vegan friends in your immediate area … maybe I’ll have to “make some”.

Matt December 6, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Some good tips on acquiring vegan products–like most of you I also rely on mostly whole foods, and anything else is available via mail order everywhere outside of Easter Island. The social aspect was more of my interest (I should have elaborated but didn’t think you would address it so quickly–kudos). The social networking is an interesting take, and something we may think of in the future..BUT my main focus for “adapting” veganism is to make it more palatable for my children’s peer group. The burbs are notoriously a “monoculture”, and where understanding is absent, judgement can follow. I know the burbs don’t have a monopoly on judgemental people, but my experience is that the pool is not quite as deep out here due to the lower density of people and the prevailing demographics. I did my best to increase the number of vegans (by 2), but don’t want them to have to encounter any difficulties due to that–because veganism is not hard, being a kid is.
I guess the question really is, has anyone had any experience dealing with “child on child” intolerance because of their veganism?
PS–Sunday vegan potlucks? I am moving to Missouri.

Jason December 6, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Thanks Matt! Has something come up or are you just getting prepared? In my experience (watching, not raising,) kids either get along or they don’t, but they don’t have good reasons – things like veganism are excuses added after the fact…

This might be getting more into SpawnBetter territory (hey, if it turns into a column, it’s all good,) and I’m not sure how old your kids are, so this might not fit, but do you have the ability to host any of the get-togethers? If the food’s the secondary issue (versus whatever the reason for the gathering) then it’s “cool thing plus food” and the fact that the food’s vegan is a yeah whatever issue, and the association is your kids = fun times, not your kids = they can’t eat pizza like everyone else.

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