For the last 14 years, I’ve been living in a super small town. I don’t know the exact number of people who live here but it’s around 6000 I believe.
Since some of you are probably in the same boat as I am, I want to share with you some tips on how to live a healthy and thriving vegan lifestyle without feeling like an outsider.
If you follow me on Instagram then you have probably seen this video where I share with you what I have to listen to every day. Spoiler alert before you watch it: You will hear a lot of suffering and pain.
Life in the countryside is different. People are different.
At one point I just have to accept that other animals are treated quite badly here. Their lives are not important and humans use them for entertainment, food, clothing and as accessories. It feels like we are 70 years behind the modern world.
So here are some small town vegan tips that can help you out a bit:
- Make sure you are cooking for yourself.
Let’s face it, family gatherings and restaurants probably aren’t going to be very vegan-friendly so knowing how to prepare delicious food by yourself is a must. Follow my Pinterest board with delicious plant-based recipes here.
- Assume that people don’t know what a plant-based diet is.
People don’t even know what vegetarians eat, which means you shouldn’t expect them to know what vegans eat. Always ask questions and read the ingredients five times – I had to learn the hard way, sadly.
- Support vegan products at your local store.
I buy milk and cookies and frozen croissants just because they have the vegan label on them. Yes, there are others who buy them but I want more options in the future which means I need to show them that vegans exist. Do remember to not fall into the trap of consumerism, though, and only buy when you have the need for it – or you deserve a treat.
- Take responsibility to help your fellow animals.
Dogs and cats walking alone around town are as normal here as drinking beer at 9 am is – very normal as Slovenia is a very alcoholic nation. Basically, you need to have shelters on speed dial in case you spot a stray pup that needs a home, and you need to make sure they have water and food available whenever possible.
- Go out in the world and see the possibilities.
There won’t be any marches, protests or picnics in your town where you could meet your fellow vegans, but they do exist out there. You know, in the wilderness. Put on your best clothes, brush your hair and take a bus or a train (or your electric car) and visit the jungle.
I also think there are benefits of living in a small town. For example, you get to eat local food straight from the ground, have your own garden, be surrounded by nature, have peace and quiet instead of chaos and noise, and most importantly, you get to be healthier.
I don’t think I would walk that much or eat as many healthy foods if I lived in the city where there is no beautiful scenery to go for a walk and junk food screams your name in every corner.
There are pros and cons of living anywhere in the world, and for now, I am glad I get to experience life in the countryside. But being born and raised on the coast near the sea, nothing can compare to the Mediterranean lifestyle.
I wrote a similar post with even more helpful tips if you are a super small town vegan so definitely check it out here.