Meeting Fellow Vegans in the City

Not THAT kind of vegan club!

Being in such a small minority, vegans must face others that disagree with our principles every day, and not everyone understands. Even if someone isn’t belligerent or overly defensive, mere good-natured joking can hurt if it feels like a friend is belittling our beliefs. Of course, there is no escaping people who don’t have the same moral systems, whether it has to do with food or not. However, a good way to reinforce one’s confidence with his/her choices is to seek out others who feel the same way, and college is a great place to meet with like-minded people. Here are some ways that you can start connecting.

Start by looking for your college campus’ vegan club. If the school website doesn’t have an up-to-date list of clubs, check with the student resources department. While you’re there, look for any bulletin boards maintained by student services, which can have notices for many different clubs. Any areas where students gather, like near cafeterias or student lounges, are also popular places to post flyers. Besides “vegan,” other keywords to look for are “vegetarian,” “animal rights/equality/liberation,” “anti-vivisection/cruelty,” and “humane.”

If the school doesn’t yet have a vegan club, you can opt to start your own. Each college’s process for creating a student-run organization will differ, but it usually starts by submitting a request to student services with a name and mission statement. You may or may not be required to collect signatures as proof of student interest, but that would be a perfect opportunity to start publicizing your budding club around campus. Once approved, gain members by posting flyers, informing your classmates, and playing up opportunities to run for council positions. Remember to advertise free refreshments in the flyers!

For students who would rather socialize outside of school or are graduating soon, the city is a  platform for vegan organizations of all kinds. Take advantage of search engines and social networking sites to find groups whose events are in line with your interests, whether they be social meals or activism. For example, the LGBT and friends group VegOut NYC hosts potluck dinners on every third Sunday of the month. Also, try searching “vegan” on to see upcoming gatherings that you can join to meet new people in safe, public environments like restaurants. The New York City Vegetarian Meetup Group even offers the opportunity to organize meetups by contacting restaurants for reservations and creating an event on the group page.

When I first became vegan and suddenly found myself surrounded by people who were attempting to understand my new lifestyle choice, I got tired of having to explain myself all the time while trying to avoid offending people and still convey my important message. Just like it’s nice to find a person who likes the same music and movies as I do, sometimes I relish being able to talk about my personal food and ethical preferences with people who just understand. Reaching out to connect with other vegans can be a cathartic experience, and I highly recommend it to any budding or weathered herbivore.


-Avia Dell’Oste
@Hunter College

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