posted August 16, 2022

Whether you’re new to veganism or have been vegan for years, like-minded friends make the journey easier and even more rewarding. A reliable vegan community is a strong support system and excellent resource when seeking guidance and information, asking questions, or just sharing opinions and feeling connected. Here are eight ways to find vegan community:

1. Volunteer at a Farmed Animal Sanctuary

Photo credit: SASHA Farm

Farmed animal sanctuaries care for the animals exploited through farming who we protect by being vegan. Volunteering at a sanctuary, you’re not only up close and personal with adorable animals and do truly meaningful work, but your colleagues are kindred spirits with shared values. Simply contact a sanctuary or organization and ask where they need help. If you’re not ready to dive into volunteering, attend a farm tour, classes, or other sanctuary events.

2. Join a Local, State, or National Vegan Organization

Vegan membership organizations exist worldwide—simply search online. Local animal sanctuaries can also help you find other active organizations nearby.

3. Attend a Vegan Event

Vegan events are more common now as veganism’s popularity grows. Every state has at least one veg fest with a slate of interesting speakers and vendors. There are even vegan trips and travel agencies for exploring the world with a compassion-focused group.

4. Attend a Vegan Potluck

Who doesn’t love a vegan potluck? They combine delicious food with good company. Socializing over a shared meal is something vegans may miss out on. Connecting in this simple but powerful way make us feel fully accepted. Of course, vegan food is delicious, and so much fun to share.

Cookbook author and founder of BitterSweet Blog, Hannah Kaminsky says, “I’ve always loved potlucks as a way to not only make friends but to share with others. My favorite thing is sharing what I love, and food is my primary focus these days, so I can’t think of a better way to express myself, to show people what I’m about than a plateful of my latest, greatest recipe creation.”

5. Join Animal Activist Groups

Photo credit: envato

Animal activism can be incredibly rewarding. Connecting with an animal activist organization, you’ll work with others to lessen suffering and know you’re doing good work.

6. Join an Online Vegan Community

Numerous online vegan communities offer support and camaraderie. Facebook has hundreds of groups, some with thousands of members. There are online forums as well. You’ll find a group for whatever resonates with you. Recipes and cooking, activism, the general philosophy of veganism, and even vegan humor groups help you find your tribe with a simple online search.

Hannah Kaminsky finds blogs to be helpful, “Most of my support came from online communities. Blogs were really how I was able to connect with others near and far, bringing in a diverse range of opinions and perspectives.”

The Main Street Vegan Academy (MSVA) is a strong community and wonderful in-person and online resource. This in depth course develops vegan lifestyle coaches and educators, and students bond over shared values and goals. Vicki Brett-Gach, MSVA alum and creator at Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen says, “Being part of a supportive community is such an amazingly reinforcing experience, especially compared to what we might experience when surrounded by people who challenge our choices.”

7. Start Your Own Vegan Community

Photo credit: envato

Can’t find just the right fit? Start your own vegan community. Marla Rose, vegan for 27 years and co-founder of Vegan Street and the Humane Halloween Facebook Group, started the Chicago Vegan Family Network (CVFN) with a friend and fellow mom. CVFN met monthly for ten years and held potlucks and Halloween parties, went camping, and visited animal sanctuaries together.

Start a meet-up group of area vegans interested in potlucks, getting together to chat or visit plant-based restaurants, plan educational events, or even family and kids’ activities. If you’re more comfortable with engaging online, start a Facebook group or interactive website.

8. Reach Out for Support

Photo credit: envato

If you’re feeling alone or discouraged, many resources exist to connect you to others who understand and share your values.

“I think especially if you are living in a way that bucks against the norm of accepted attitudes and practices, it is even more important to have a community that makes you feel safe, understood, connected, and heard,” shares Marla Rose.

 

Photo credit: Lisa V. Gotte

Lisa V. Gotte is vegan artist, photographer, cookbook author, gardener, recipe developer, RYT100 yoga teacher, and Main Street Vegan Academy Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator. She loves this planet and all of her inhabitants and creates delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes at Planted365. Lisa also shares raw food recipes at Raw on $10 a Day, and supports and explores veganism at Veganosphere.

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