Making New Vegan/Vegetarian Friends

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Making new friends is not a rocket science, and anyone can say the thousand way one can make friend with ease. From walking down the park to find them through social networking sites, there is always an opportunity to make a friend nearly everywhere.

However when it comes to shifting to either vegetarianism or veganism, opportunities to make new friends narrow down... unless you know where to find them, or how to prove they are really the kind of new friends you are looking for.

I mean, you can befriend a vegan on Facebook, just to find he's not, just a person playing along with you with a second purpose in mind so to say.

Have you found trouble making new vegan/vegetarian friends?
If not, where you look at to meet new people sharing the same lifestyle concept?
 

kim1984

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Making new friends is not a rocket science, and anyone can say the thousand way one can make friend with ease. From walking down the park to find them through social networking sites, there is always an opportunity to make a friend nearly everywhere.

However when it comes to shifting to either vegetarianism or veganism, opportunities to make new friends narrow down... unless you know where to find them, or how to prove they are really the kind of new friends you are looking for.

I mean, you can befriend a vegan on Facebook, just to find he's not, just a person playing along with you with a second purpose in mind so to say.

Have you found trouble making new vegan/vegetarian friends?
If not, where you look at to meet new people sharing the same lifestyle concept?

I've found a few of my vegan friends simply by being seated near each other at a vegan restaurant that's nearby. I guess it's like anything - if you go to places that revolve around your interests, then there are usually like-minded people there too. I feel like the vegan community is pretty friendly and welcoming and I think that helps a lot. Also, online is great too - forums and message boards, and Facebook groups. You do run the risk like you said of people not necessarily being true to themselves - but you run that risk online with anyone, I think.
 
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Alexia

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I don't base my friendships on diet, but when I do find people with similar interests then it's great. Some people I meet are not vegetarian and it can put them off when they hear I am, but as I don't preach most are okay with it.

You may say that's small minded, but the stereotype activists do exist and that's what people remember. I think how you approach it when you first meet someone or a group can make a difference. I had a friend who was so fussy and wouldn't go to this place or that, others decided not to invite her next time around.
 
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Also, online is great too - forums and message boards, and Facebook groups. You do run the risk like you said of people not necessarily being true to themselves - but you run that risk online with anyone, I think.
Yeah, you hit the nail on the head about this!

It way too much easier if people would go through life with a billboard above their heads to let us guess our chances to start a friendship or any other relationship with them, but this would make life kind of boring too as there is always something of excitement getting now how other people are and how much empathy may exist among one another.

On the other hand @Alexia, I'm aware that starting a relationship based on our diet is not necessarily the way to go making friends, but as times goes by, different diets may involve being excluded from certain activities unless one is willing to concede a chance for a change on eating habits, what is also a courtesy manner, not turning down food served while visiting or going with friends.

And this brings more questions, how much you would like to eat a juicy, half-done steak or something else not compatible with your vegan/vegetarian lifestyle just to keep a friendship up?

Would you discuss then with friends what your eating choice is, to get them serving accordingly or conceding to give your own foods choice a try?
 

kim1984

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And this brings more questions, how much you would like to eat a juicy, half-done steak or something else not compatible with your vegan/vegetarian lifestyle just to keep a friendship up?

Would you discuss then with friends what your eating choice is, to get them serving accordingly or conceding to give your own foods choice a try?

This is an interesting topic, I think! For me, I've made vegan dishes for friends that are carnivores, and even vegan desserts -- the response has always been along the lines of "this is delicious...really, it's vegan? no way! why does it taste so good?!"

I feel like this is a common misconception, that all we do is eat mung beans and nothing else, and that vegan food can't be tasty. I don't get where the misconception comes from...but I think slowly it's lifting!

In a way...I see veganism almost like religion when it comes to talking about it. If you're all up in people's faces that don't believe in what you believe, then they're gonna go running for the hills - it's human nature, in a way I think. But if you just let people ask genuine questions if they have a curiosity, or do little things to each them about your way of life, it seems to open the lines of communication more effectively. Just my two cents!
 

Alexia

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how much you would like to eat a juicy, half-done steak or something else not compatible with your vegan/vegetarian lifestyle just to keep a friendship up

I have never been like that as you get to a level of maturity where it doesn't matter. I have a wonderful friend who when I visit her makes a dish vegetarian for me and non-vegetarian for her and her husband. My friends always ask if there is something for me to eat when we go out or ask me to okay somewhere.

Being vegan would be a little more difficult, but when you have been vegetarian for nearly 30 years your principles mean something and I don't need to fit in anywhere. I have friends that are not vegetarian but like organic food and some who are meat eaters and love smoothies which I loathe. Each respects each others choices and that is a sign of a good friendship.
 

Andy_T

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Fellow vegans are unfortunately few and far between in most places.
So I am always especially happy when I meet a fellow vegan (or even just vegetarian) close to where I live.

When I moved from Europe to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I started a facebook group to meet people with similar interests, as there were no existing groups there. Checking meetup in your area for vegan/vegetarian meetings is also a good try.

Best regards,
Andy
 

Connie

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I also don't base my friends on their diet. Friendship to me is more about shared interests, but that does not mean all interests or a 100% compatibility. For me, it is more that we gel. Right now I am starting a new friendship with someone I met by chance. She was on her bike and had a problem when we encountered her. Now I am on crutches so there is nothing to suggest that either of us are keen cyclists (I was out walking with my husband). We offered her assistance and chatted whilst we dealt with the issue and soon found out that it was the first time she had been out on her bike in years and was out because she had signed up to a sponsored bike ride of 88 miles to the local highest mountain.... I am now helping her train. I haven't judged her on her diet, her lifestyle or anything like that. We have a shared interest in cycling and she was needing someone who didn't work during the day to train with, nothing more.
 

Josie

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I have plenty of friends. We all have different interests and different beliefs and different goals in life... I don't have any vegan friends and at this point I want some. No matter what, you can't escape the stigma that comes with being vegan. Especially if you're vegan for ethical reasons. We're "crazy" lol.. if the person even knows what veganism is. Those who go around flouring people and scaring the pants off everyone trying to get the message out are really making a name for us all. We can't be compassionate without being over the top because eating animals is "the one true way".. we're nuts.

My friends respect that I'm vegan and I'm sure they appreciate that I don't talk about it lol. It gets hard when they eat their "free range" "happy" eggs etc and all I want to do is show them videos haha, but yes.. I need like minded people in my life as well. It's not a diet for me.. I barely ate meat before I was vegan. I would never choose friends based on what they eat. But I want friends that don't eat meat in front of me or wear animal skins and can share awesome recipes with me or go to events around the cause. It's the one part of my life that I'm all alone in.

I'm moving soon, so I haven't gone out of my way yet... but once I get to my new city, I'll be going online to find everyone. Youtube has a huge vegan community and if you happen to be in any of their areas or are willing to travel a bit, they always put on events to get to know everyone. Twitter and facebook will list events and also meetup.com is a great place to look for upcoming events in your area or nearby. Good luck :)
 
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nytegeek

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Making friends solely by dietary choices seems like a great way to isolate yourself. That is just how I see it though. It isn't usually the first thing I think about when meeting new people and I certainly wouldn't seek to exclude people over it.
 

Andy_T

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I am definitely happy about the few vegan friends I have in real life.

Yes, most of my friends are non-vegan, but I have met online on a local forum a few dedicated vegans and vegetarians, and try to meet with them now and then. What a relief to meet them, to discuss about veganism or vegetarianism and have a common basis.....
 
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I attended a cooking course for vegans for 2 months. That way, I made many friends who are vegans or vegetarians. We have also made a vegan/vegetarian group on Facebook, and I sometimes get to know some people this way, too.
 
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VesperLynd

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I guess making vegan friends isn't as hard as making "regular" friends in fact you may just have found another person to share your interests. Hanging out in vegan restaurants is a great place to start. You can also find a lot of vegans at the farmer's market or in fair trade coffee shops I hope this doesn't sound stereotypical because it's true LOL. I have one vegetarian friend and she's not really picky because she sometimes brings her own food to places so as not to seem self-important about her diet. Simply put she's very cool and serious about the environment.
 

Mickella18

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Vegan friends are hide to find, I'll admit.

Lifestyle choices such as these are barely shared. Still, friends make the journey easier so if you are able to find some, kudos.
 
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winter.frost

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Haven't read all the thread but I would try a potluck. Also your local community might well have an online vegan presence, so google for it. There are usually sporting events where lots of people get together. I live in London, so www.veganlondon.co.uk works for me. Also watch out for vegetarian expos. The Vegan Lifestyle Assoc also posts a list of events online for the UK as a whole http://veganlifestyleassoc.com/events/
 

Lauren

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I live in a small village in the East Midlands, and having frequented a number of FB vegan groups and made couple of new online acquaintances, I think it's fair to say I'm not finding this very easy.....and the longer I ruminate on things, the harder it is to interact comfortably with people who continue to eat/drink animal products. Please advise.
 
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winter.frost

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MeetUp is another good website to try.

Everyone is on their journey. Sure I find it hard to share the same table when there's a dead bird in the middle of it or something but if every vegan was to segregate themselves then what examples would the omnivores have? Who could they ask questions of?

In short, try to be around if you can. Maybe you can convince your friends to meet at vegetarian cafes? I'm sure you'll find a way. :)
 

Lauren

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You're right. I could make more effort to introduce people. Just frustrated that I even have to put in so much ground work in the hope that others will be receptive to it.
 

Sally

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Making friends is something that just happens, and less often the older you get, it would be nice if they were vegan, but they probably won't be, good friends are usually tolerant and supportive of each other. I have met a new friend who is not vegan, but is very nice and is interested and supportive without feeling the need to convert herself. If she does decide to, then I will help her, but it is not a prerequisite of our friendship. I have not met any other vegans since becoming one myself. The only vegan I have known was many years ago, we were sort of friends but not close, nothing to do with her veganism simply personality.
 

fzjohnson

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https://socialbelly.com/american/di...urse-breakfast-for-dinner/01-04-2016-19-00-00

I'm finding it difficult where I am too. I don't have a single face-to-face vegan friend. Sad, eh? As I have non-vegan friends around the world this buffers the lack of company where I don't need to explain. Life goes in ebbs and flow though, doesn't it. You never know who you will meet around the corner. If you can make it down to London for one of Jhenn's pop up vegan dinners this might change things for you. They sound wonderful, as does she, and create a lovely space to meet likeminded souls with time to get to know each other. Her meals are listed on Social Belly and the London Vegans facebook page. I have been meaning to attend but the dates clash with things I've organised well in advance, sadly. It is a priority though as they sound fab. Have a look. I've posted the social belly link above. Might see you there :)
 
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