I saw that some people feel like the want to meet vegan friends, but find it difficult. I decided to try and find some ideas on how to make a network of friends to spend time with, to go to restaurants with, and just to talk with and feel normal with.
1- Write your own blog. Send it to friends. Then ask your friends to send it to whoever they think will be interested. You may be surprised by the response.
2- Use Twitter and Facebook, or any other social network you can find. There are even networks especially for vegans and there may be a few in those networks that live near you. Do a search of vegan or vegetarian and your city.
3- Join Meetup.com. They have a tendency of having groups of all sorts. I admit that their groups are not always serious, but quite a few are fine and you should be able to find some people to talk to.
4- Speak to the employees and owners of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Maybe they want to meet new people, too! They will also know about others that want to meet new people. Also, you can give them the idea of catering their own meetup of vegans, or hosting an evening for music and dance, for example.
5- Advertise your own vegan pot-lucks. Use anything out there: newspaper classifieds, Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, vegan websites, your neighbours, the workplace.... anything! Try to get as many people as you can to come to your meeting. If you don't want to do it at home, find a place where you can have it - such as a church basement (rent is often very affordable) or meet at a restaurant and order each your own thing.
6- Join activist groups. Animal rights activism is a good place to start, but where else are there a lot of vegetarians and vegans? Almost any other form of activism includes a much higher percentage of vegetarians and vegans than in the mainstream population, especially environment campaigners (the more serious and rebellious ones, not the small environmental charities). Your chances of meeting like-minded people there are greater than in any other form of activity.
7- Join Happy Cow. Jon vegan forums. Even if you speak mostly with people outside of your city, it will be good for you, but remember that you may come across some people that live near you and / or you will move - or these people will move - closer.
8- Sign up for Veggiedate.com. OK, this is for dates, so if you're single, you may find dates... and friends. If it doesn't work out as a date, he/she may still want to be your friend.
9- Join Worldpeacemastery.com. Apparently, it's fantastic for meeting others like us that want to change the world.
10- Accept as friends that are not vegan or vegetarian yet, but are interested and ask a lot of questions. You may just be the one to help them make that last big step needed to reach their goal.
11- Find yogis. Very often, yoga-attendees are vegetarians and vegans. Or, seek out tribal belly dance. This is the fringe form of belly dance where there are more veggies than meat-eaters as well. It's a little on the goth/neo-hippie side, too.
12- Vegetarian festivals and vegan societies are always good. Check them out.
13- Volunteer at the local animal shelter. There are often other vegans volunteering there, too.
14- Go leafletting or ask people to sign petitions that are related to veganism and ARs. This may work well for you.
15- Offer free samples of vegan food. If you have the time and money, gather a few friends and do a small offering to strangers in the park, for example. Make sure you advertise the veganism, and explain why you chose vegan food.
16- Look for vegetarian and vegan cooking classes near you. Restaurants often offer them. Or, alternately, if you can't find them, offer them yourself. Welcome anyone, though, as you may be able to convince some people to go vegan if omnivores are impressed with your skills.
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