One of the most helpful things when transitioning into veganism is being around and talking to like-minded people. People from my age group or similar are really good because they are relatable, going through the same things and we can become friends and base our friendship off more than one thing that we have in common.
I have met many wonderful people who are also vegan or vegetarian through school, an enviro group and Facebook support groups. Starting a friendship with common ground and bonding over vegan food is a great way to start a friendship, and the subject of food, choices, challenges and how to overcome them is a great talking point when you all follow the same lifestyle.
How to Find Support and Community as a Vegan
Support groups can be one of the most helpful things to assist your transition into veganism; I joined 10+ vegan groups on Facebook to gain an understanding of the lifestyle, access advice and connect with fellow vegans. Without this, I would have surely found my change to be a lot more difficult.
Connecting with people in your country, city, school, workplace, family, friend network etc can be easy and available as an option for almost anyone. Asking for help and seeking advice is NOT a weakness, it is a strength as you are expanding your knowledge, compassion and awareness of the world.
Be proud to ask for tips, seek advice from other people, trust me, it is really helpful and so much harder to do everything on your own or make mistakes and learn the hard way.
I come from Wellington, New Zealand and I joined some local vegan Facebook groups; I use them frequently to connect with likeminded people in the city and learn about what’s available to me or find out about the best vegan friendly places to eat. I also joined some NZ groups and international groups too for a wider insights into the vegan movement. If you don’t know any other vegans already, these types of groups are a great place to start.
No existing groups in your area? Start one!
Whether this is through social media, work, school, community centre – get creative as you never know what you may gain.
Some schools and workplaces even have things like vegetarian/vegan clubs where you can become friends and confidantes with people who really get you!
In my city, there is a monthly 100% vegan market called ‘The Vegan Vault’ and it’s so popular – I go every month and am never afraid to strike up a conversation with the vendors or the people around me in queues. Even if you don’t see them regularly, the more friendly vegan faces you see around or the more vegan names you see online in local vegan support groups, the better!
Whilst the saying may go that ‘opposites attract’ but I know from experience that it is also really lovely to feel the support and friendship of people who share similar values and ethics to you.