One of the four tips I usually gave to people when asked about how to go vegan and handle all the changes was to have vegan friends.
Actually, it was to go out there and find a vegan community.
I don’t think that that’s true anymore, though. As I was walking yesterday and thinking about how I am always surrounded by non-vegan friends, it hit me that I am doing just fine that way.
I’m not saying that a vegan community wouldn’t be beneficial, but you don’t need vegan friends to successfully transition.
You just need friends.
You need people who will treat you in the same way they always have. People who will look at your new lifestyle and love you as much as they have loved you before.
Sure, there are individuals who truly cannot handle being the only person who thinks and lives differently, but the majority of us can.
There is a difference between being bullied for being vegan and having friends who just don’t care that you eat plants now.
In my case, my friend of 20+ years was triggered every time I sat beside her at a cafe while she was eating a cake and I wasn’t because there were no vegan options. She suddenly saw me as a different person and didn’t like it.
My sisters, on the other hand, couldn’t care less.
They treat me the same and never make any remarks about what I eat or don’t eat.
As I said many times, the only vegan close to me is my father. All other humans are happily eating their fellow animals and paying for their exploitation. But I am okay that.
Not okay with them doing what they are doing, but okay with being surrounded by people who have different lifestyles yet don’t treat me differently for standing out.
I know the majority of you can be like that too.
Having vegan friends would be lovely, but they are still individuals with whom you have to have more in common with to hang out than just not eating pigs.
I met vegans and we clicked when talking about activism, but we are too different when it comes to other things, like politics and philosophical views.
In an ideal world, all vegans would hang out and be friends, but we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where we have to adapt and choose our battles. And honestly, I am not in the mood to fight for having vegan friends.
I want to co-exist and live with the awareness that I can either be alone, or understanding of those who are still asleep.
Sometimes having vegan friends is not the best option. My sister is not vegan but I have more in common with her than with most vegans I met during my plant-based journey.
I don’t know what the future will bring, but right now, at this moment, I live among people who are different from me but accept me for who I am.
What do you think?
If you’d like more vegan tips and advice, please find me on Instagram.