If you are vegan and move to a small town in the ‘middle of nowhere’, or you go vegan and already live there, or if you are simply considering veganism but feel absolutely lost about how to start – you’re in dire need of these 7 helpful tips.

7 Tips For Being Vegan When You Live in the ‘Middle of Nowhere’

1. Use the Internet’s Resources

From Facebook groups with like-minded people and those in your situation – to online forums and Reddit threads – if you’re looking for inspiration, support, and advice which can’t be found in the middle of Nowhere-town – you’re bound to find something online. Try the LIVEKINDLY Community!

In addition, if the vegan stuff you want isn’t available anywhere nearby – you could place an order online and get it delivered. The interweb is your oyster!

2. Make as Much as Possible From Scratch

If ready-made vegan meals and specialty foods aren’t available at your local store or village, look for the ingredients which are likely to be in the dishes and meals you want to make – then either look for a recipe to make or simply experiment with flavors and ingredients until you find what you love. It may take extra work and time to make the foods you desire, rather than getting everything from a packet – but on the plus side, you’ll save single use plastic packaging and you home-cooked food will be as fresh as you can get.

3. Grow Food/Source Local Produce

If you have land space or indoor areas for container gardening (yep, even apartments can be sufficient or you can rent small land patches) – you can grow your own fresh, healthy vegetables and fruit. This will save money, food transport expenditure and – you won’t even have to leave the house for fresh produce. If you’re lacking in time or motivation to maintain a garden/plants, however, talk to someone who does have land space nearby (or a farmer) – you could explain your situation and potentially negotiate a special deal or get produce set aside for you on a regular basis.

4. Get Creative

If you’ve only got access to a limited range of ingredients and find yourself stuck eating the same, monotonous bowls of pasta and rice day after day – get your creative hat on and think outside of the box. Pinterest is a literal haven of inspiration, you could also ask around and browse Instagram/other platforms on the internet – see what you can find, recreate or make a variation of. You may be quite surprised at the sheer amount of different dishes and meals that can be made from a small selection of ingredients.

5. Stock Up When Available

If your favorite ingredient/food/product comes into your local store or village as a monthly shipment or takes a while to be restocked – grab what you can when you can and make the most of it! Even if what you’re buying seems like far too many at the time, or you can feel the judging eyes around you – would you rather be safe and stocked up, or waiting tirelessly, uncertain if or when something will come back?

Also, you could talk to your local store or the person/people that manage the inflow and outflow of goods to your town – it’s worth a shot to see if you could order some things for you with the next shipment.

6. Practicality over Pragmatics

Ultimately, if you’re really struggling, there is a great deficiency of vegan food/product availability and it would be at a detriment to your health to be perfect all the time – you may want to consider being a practical over pragmatic vegan. Do what works for you, when it works – the important thing is that you are trying and your intentions are of a good nature. Beating yourself up over small matters and mistakes isn’t worth it in the long run – if you learn from it, you will grow. Just be safe in the knowledge that in most cases you’ll be able to access veggies, fruits, grains, beans etc as they are among the cheapest foods on the planet.

7. Educate and Inspire Others

Living exactly the way you want to, being proud of it and embracing kindness in its entirety is an inspiring effort in itself. While veganism has taken off immensely and is growing with every passing day – smaller towns and rural farming communities can be slower to catch onto the hype that encompasses the rest of the world. If you’re the only vegan, or one of few – being a positive example and living kindly will make people notice you for good reason. With your guidance and gentle, respectful education – others are more likely to also try veganism. The more people who go vegan, the demand for animal products will lessen; in turn increasing the demand for vegan-friendly products/food – you’ll start seeing more vegan products stock up the shelves.

Why not start a campaign for everyone in your neighborhood, village or town to try Veganuary?