The population number in a town where I currently live in is a few thousand humans. It’s hard to find an exact number because we are so small that no one cares how many of us are here.
The point is, I know how it feels being a small town vegan. I know how it feels being the only weirdo who doesn’t slaughter pigs every autumn. I know how it feels to carry three huge bags of plant-based meats and cheeses in your bag because the only place where you can get vegan junk food is in a city that is 45 minutes away.
Next month I will celebrate my 3rd anniversary of being vegan. Three years! It’s incredible to think that I haven’t eaten animals in such a long time – well, it’s a trust game when you go out and eat in a restaurant. Three years of me being a complete asshole to non-vegans. Three years of being broken hearted.
I am getting way too sad right now. Let’s move on, shall we?
Here are 4 tips for you, in case you are a small town vegan, or if you want to go vegan but you live in a small town and you think it would be impossible for you to not exploit animals. You can do it, trust me.
- Eat healthy.
I know, shocking. Who wants to eat healthy right? Let me tell you something. Potatoes and rice are available everywhere and they are cheap. They have a lot of good nutrients and once you learn how to cook with them, you will be good. But seriously, I am forced against my will to eat healthy, simply because of the limited access to vegan junk food I have in my super small town. Do I want a burger? Well, fuck right off Tanja because you ain’t eating one. So get your ass in the kitchen and start cooking proper meals. Chop the fruit, steam the veggies, and whenever you happen to be in a store with vegan cheeses, binge buy them all!
- The Internet is your best friend.
If you would rather throw yourself under a bus than go out and make friends, then the internet can be a pretty useful thing. Truth is, I am still not a part of a sexy vegan group of friends who watches Blackfish together and buys each other vegan pies. All my friends are either non-vegans, materialists, God loving people, or all three. How fun! On the internet, I have my peeps. We don’t have deep conversations and truth be told, they have no idea who I am, but I feel like I belong somewhere. Humans just want to belong, isn’t it? Well, if you are a small town vegan who happens to also be awful at making friends, go on the internet and modernize your life.
- Vote with your money… and your email.
I’m that person who spends a small fortune on supporting the vegan brands in my local stores. New vegan milk? You bet your ass I will buy it. A new brand of vegan cookies? I surely do want to invest in them, yes. I email the stores and thank them for what they already have and encourage them to get more. I support the vegan brands because I know that if they are selling well, they will stay there. I am not the only one who buys vegan stuff in our small town of course; there is also my vegan dad. So vote with your money and write an email or two.
- Invest in education. Invest in yourself.
Instead of buying shit that won’t make you happy, how about you get your ass on that train and attend a vegan picnic in the park? No, you won’t make any friends because you are way too country for them, but you will be able to feel less sad about your life. Seriously though, do buy books and watch documentaries and attend vegan picnics and vegan dinners. Go out and try that new restaurant that offers vegan pizza. And get excited about it! Yes, you may be living among small-minded people who wear ugly boots and are way too fat to be healthy (sweetie, obesity is not healthy, let’s get this over with), but you can invest in yourself.
If you follow me on Instagram – which you totally should do by clicking here – then you know that I post tons of photos of nature. I am lucky to live where I live but I am also cursed, not only as a vegan but because the town is literally slowly killing me. My unhappiness about living here aside, I don’t wear fancy clothes and strut around the city and I don’t hang out with my super joyful vegan friends who all look photo-shopped.
I live in a small town. It wasn’t my decision and I am certainly leaving the place as soon as I can, but while I am here, I can do my best.
- Take the opportunity to start local. Inspire those around you. Speak up for the animals there. Support and encourage stores who sell a lot of super processed vegan foods (let’s face it, we do eat veggies but we want our pizza, too).
- Take your time while living in a small town, as an opportunity to calm down. If you would be living in a huge city, you might not have the luxury of quietness.
- Focus on your health. Focus on your happiness. Focus on less. Living on whole foods is better than living on junk food. Focus on your mind and your heart. Go out and explore. Take the days when you visit a big city as a great trip. Get excited about those times! And then come home and be grateful that you have a home.
You can be a small town vegan and you can be happy.
Now let’s look at you – are you a small town vegan? How do you do it? Do you have any tips? Let us know in the comments.
p.s. – Just in case you want to know my best essential tips for vegans, you can read them here.