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Old 12-18-2012, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Missouri
392 posts, read 1,044,209 times
Reputation: 489

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Out of all of my family and friends, I'm the only one that is vegetarian or vegan. When I first switched to being a vegetarian several years back this fact didn't bother me at all. Now after a few years and becoming vegan it really bothers me. I can't take it anymore because there's just too much friction over it around the holidays and parties etc. Nobody else ever wants to "go out of their way" to make any vegan food and when I make something nobody else ever eats it and they're always so demeaning toward me over the fact that I'm vegan. I've come to the conclusion that I stand behind being vegan and that I need to break away from these people that are disrespectful toward me. My question is how do I go about meeting new vegan friends and if I were to relocate to a new area, what are some good cities for vegans to live in that don't have outrageous cost of living like NYC or San Francisco? I want to live somewhere where I feel welcome as a vegan and that maybe has some vegan specific eateries so that if I wanted to go out to eat with friends I would have more options. Thanks.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:49 PM
 
Location: California
30,701 posts, read 33,484,787 times
Reputation: 26124
Why is there friction? Bring your own food, eat what you can of what others make, don't talk about being vegan. Everyone has food preferences but it doesn't usually divide friends and family and force people to move. There must be more to the story. Are you overbearing and obnoxious about it? I only ask because some people can be...sorry.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Missouri
392 posts, read 1,044,209 times
Reputation: 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
Why is there friction? Bring your own food, eat what you can of what others make, don't talk about being vegan. Everyone has food preferences but it doesn't usually divide friends and family and force people to move. There must be more to the story. Are you overbearing and obnoxious about it? I only ask because some people can be...sorry.
There's nothing more to it and I'm not overbearing at all, in fact it's the exact opposite. I never bring it up but some of them always do and it usually culminates in them making some kind of negative comment about it and then arguments because I take exception to their disrespectful and ignorant comments. I think it has something to do with the way some of them make a living. I have an uncle that is a cattle farmer of all things, a few people from military backgrounds in my family and friends that work at places like Monsanto and food production companies. For whatever reason, these are the folks that like to get rude with me. Some of my family and friends are cool about it but not enough to offset the idiots. I'm not going to my family Christmas party this year because of this. I wasn't actually planning on moving due to this either that would be extreme, I just want to know what the most vegan friendly cities are for future reference.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,628,346 times
Reputation: 10580
Keep in mind that only about 3.5% of the US population is vegetarian, and 0.5% is vegan, according to Vegetarian Times Magazine, so that leaves about 96% that is not. What I learned many years ago is that with a few tiny exceptions, almost anywhere you go you will be in the minority overall. So I say the sooner you make peace with being a vegan in a predominantly non-vegan world the happier you will be in the long run.

As Ceece suggested, bring your own food and see if there is anything else you can eat. Give no offense and take none either. Be at peace with your own choices and it will eventually turn away criticism.

Hook up with some other vegans where you are for potlucks, conversation, support. Check MeetUp groups, check the bulletin boards at Health Food stores, etc. Check around, you'll find some others They many not be in large numbers, but they are everywhere. But don't fall into the trap of thinking you have to isolate yourself from your friends and family just because they don't make the same choices as you. Wherever you go you'll face the same situation to some extent, so you might as well resolve the issue right where you are.

Good luck!
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Ouch yonder
113 posts, read 130,345 times
Reputation: 166
I dont never worry about it.If I go to sombodys house who is serving vittles thats not vegan I just dont eat.Ill tell them why if asked.But I try hard not making a big deal about it.I have a close friend who is a hunter,eats lots of meat.I go to his house somtimes but I dont eat nothing.He knows why,his family is usally confused.But I dont make a fuss.I live in the mountains.Theres not alot of vegans or vegetarians around here but I dont have any problems.My kinfolk are meat eaters.My girl friend is vegan and I do the holidays with her.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:24 AM
 
16,019 posts, read 19,693,299 times
Reputation: 26200
Here are the results of a quick search...Using "vegan friendly cities" I know folks in Portland, and many places in Calif. You''l just want to do your homework, you may have many in your city. Maybe look for a group in your area. Your family is not being supportive, you'll have to distance yourself some. Don't let them bully you.
vegan friendly cities - Yahoo! Search Results
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:42 AM
 
915 posts, read 1,841,883 times
Reputation: 509
I live in a very conservative little city where liking President Obama, being vegan, atheist, animal rights advocate, artistic, free thinking, gay, etc. are all very isolating. My family..forget it: they are all pretty sure I'm going to hell. You have to cultivate people who love you. Try Denver, and study yoga. You'll find a different culture altogether.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:48 AM
 
1,882 posts, read 4,117,460 times
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Went through a very similar experience with my cousin, but he was the one who was the one who was demeaning and very disrespecful. He wanted his mom and my grandma to cook more vegan food and got mad that they didn't. They tried, but there was always something in it that he couldn't eat. Some of us, and especially the older generation, just don't know how to make the food.

Sometimes when people are ignorant about something they tend to get defensive, they don't want to show that they are ignorant.

I've also found that ya just gotta make your own happiness. Not being mean, but you can't depend on others to make you happy.

Also, its about being with family, not the food. They want you there, they like to be around you, and they may even like to give ya heck for being different. Laugh it off, smile, and that will bug the crap out of them. its what I do.

Just somthing things I've learned and just my opinion. Wish I could help out more.
Smile, be happy, and don't let them bring ya down.

Take care and Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,571,595 times
Reputation: 8908
If I were looking for a vegan friendly place to live I would look for a community with a large Hindu population. Many Hindu people are vegan and so their food stores and restuarants reflect that. One of my daughters went through a vegan phase and she lived right in Little India in Toronto. She had no problems at all with her choice in that community.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:06 PM
 
3,764 posts, read 7,475,726 times
Reputation: 4028
Hang out at your local vegan cafe to meet like-minded folks. Join a vegan cooking class.

Lots of vegan-friendly towns like Boulder, Austin, Santa Fe, Asheville NC, Eugene OR, etc....

There is a reason (ahhem) nobody wants to eat the food you bring.

Learn to bring delicious food that others will love:
a huge tossed salad with lots of variety of greens, vegetables, great dressing
a mixed vegetable tray with a delicious dip

Here are some recipes that have always wowed my friends (meat-eaters & veggies alike):

Pinon Stuffed Acorn Squashes

Saute chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup celery with tops chopped, 1 cup pinon (pine) nuts, 3/4 t. sage, 1/2 t thyme, 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs in olive oil. Stuff into 3 raw acorn squashes halved & cleaned. Bake 350 degrees in baking dish with 1 inch hot water, covered with foil. Bake 1 hour or until the squash is fork-tender.

Nutted Wild Rice

1 cup raw wild rice
5 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup shelled pecan halves
1 cup yellow raisins
grated rind of 1 large organic orange
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
4 scallions thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
salt & pepper to taste

Rinse rice. Bring rice in stock or water to boil. Simmer uncovered 30- 45 minutes, not too soft. Place a thin towel in colander & drain rice. Transfer rice to bowl. Add remaining ingredients & toss gently. Let mixture stand 2 hours to develop flavors. Serve at room temperature.

Candied Yams
Slice yams. Drizzle with maple syrup. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 until yams are tender.

Wild Rice Butternut Squash Pilaf
Recipes, Menus & Cooking Ideas from Epicurious.com
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