Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Do all vegans need to be friends? June 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 2:10 pm

(This was originally posted by Alicia, but it ended up in the wrong place on its own page, so I’m re-posting it here — hope that’s okay, Alicia!)

I am a very lucky vegan. I live in the incredibly vegan friendly city of Atlanta that has vegan potlucks, vegan lunch groups, and several Vegan and Vegetarian Societies that meet up monthly. There is no end to the amount of support that vegans in Atlanta have.  But the other day I ran across an interesting blog topic by one of the organizers for a vegetarian meet up group in Atlanta. She said that a fellow vegan was complaining to her because vegans in Atlanta aren’t friendly enough and that we should all be friends.

This idea that we should all be friends just struck be as the most ridiculous notion ever.  It made me think back to several occasions where I have been introduced to other vegans of color by my omni friends and they just expected that we would all become bosom buddies, exchange numbers and ride off into the sunset together just because we were both vegans and of color. Yes we have veganism in common but that doesn’t mean that we have enough in common to be friends. It also seems like a ridiculous notion that you have to be friends with everyone who is in the same sub-category as you. Maybe if I lived in a smaller, less vegan friendly city/town I would feel differently. But the  fact is I interact more with vegans from all around the country via online forums and blogs more than I do vegans in Atlanta. I think I do this because I find that I learn more about new vegan products, foods, recipes that way. Whereas I learn a lot about local vegan happenings at vegan potlucks and meetups.

As has been discussed on this blog time and time again, vegans are such a diverse group of people with such a variety of different beliefs. Just as people in general are diverse in so many ways. I’m interested to hear your views on this topic. Especially from a small town vs. big city and vegan friendly town vs. non vegan friendly town perspective.


6 Responses to “Do all vegans need to be friends?”

  1. Royce Says:

    I often come across the problem of people assuming that because of some commonalities that people will be good friends. Race and veg*nism seem to be especially so.

    I grew up in a small town in Georgia, and the vegans that I knew (none of them of color) and I often butted heads and didn’t get along very well at all.

    When I left for college I didn’t really get along with most of the vegans I ran into due to the fact that often besides veganism the only things we had in common was that we went to Vassar.

    As it is my town is decently vegan friendly (I can eat something besides salad at most of the restaurants nearby), and my school is not (I ate salad everyday for the last two months of the semester). As is I know a number of vegans through the animal rights group on campus, but I didn’t get along with most of them, and I don’t hang out with any of them.

  2. EJ Anderson Says:

    Being vegan does not automatically make you anything. Whether it be a good friend, a good partner or well, a good anything. Just because you’re compassionate about one thing, does not make you everything and more in other aspects of life.

    Frankly, I can’t be around vegans much. Because in my experience, nobody polices vegans more than other vegans and that can get annoying real fast.

    If I’m eating a Boca burger, please don’t yell at me about it being owned by Altria. I know and truthfully. I don’t care. I don’t need anyone to help me qualify my veganism.

  3. supernovadiva Says:

    it reminds me of how zoos put a male and female of the same species together and get all baffled “WHY AREN’T THEY MATING??!!” or like CNN “let’s get the african american community’s opinion. call jesse jackson!” or how gay people are introduced to eachother at parties hosted by straight people.

  4. Alicia Says:

    Supernovadiva I think you examples are spot on!

  5. Truly Scrumptious Says:

    “Do all vegans need to be friends?” GAWD I hope not. I know a lot of vegans. Most are great, but more than a few are intolerant jerks, embedded in their own subculture, and judgmental. A few have personalities that I find insufferable. I’m always glad to meet vegans, and I’m happy to work with them towards a common vegan goal, but I sure don’t want to hang out with all of them.

  6. Alyssa Says:

    I often find it easy to be friendly with other vegans because we can more easily bond over cooking, eating and talking about food. It’s something that plays an important part in bringing people and communities together, and also something that I must often excuse myself from as a vegan. Sometimes, it’s just nice to cook and eat dinner with someone who won’t be asking me if I eat butter or making a grossed-out face at my tofu. (As a college student who cooks in a communal kitchen, I often have my dinner preparation interrupted by people who are judgmental of my veganism, and who feel as if it is their duty to interrogate me about my “extremist” eating habits.) However, most of my very close friends are not vegans or vegetarians.

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