Better Together

After speaking to a few people recently on social media, it became clear to me that the large majority of vegans know hardly any others, if any at all. In fact, in a poll I took, 80% of people said that they knew five or less other vegans, 20% said that they didn’t know any.

I found this a little surprising, although the more I thought about it I wondered why I was surprised, also I found it a little sad. There’s nothing better than spending time with others who share the same values, people who get you without you having to explain yourself. These are times when you can really let your guard down and I have found I have an automatic bond and empathy with every new vegan I meet, it’s like they are family.

I grew up alone with my veganism, but I was a kid with much more exciting things on my mind other than the food I ate, so it wasn’t a problem. There were times when I was alone with my thoughts and I wondered why I was so different from everyone else, but it was never an issue.

People find veganism at different times in their lives and for many varied reasons. All of us have the same goals though and the same big heart.

I am lucky enough to know dozens of other vegans now. To be honest I spend more time with them than I do with non-vegans. I’m more comfortable around them and have never met one who wasn’t excited to meet, chat, to share stories, to find out more.

We are the pioneers of what will be remembered as a great social justice movement. Social shifts are rare occurrences and it’s very exciting to be on the front line of an historic change.

We are stronger together. Alone you can still do good things, but together we can make a real difference. Wherever you are there will be groups and events happening within your reach. Every single one of you is crucially important to taking this movement forward, never doubt that.

There are now dozens of Save Groups around the UK and indeed the world. I understand that people have fears and anxiety about attending a save, but you really don’t need to worry. I’m no veteran but I have done a few and I can honestly say that they are one of the best things about being a vegan activist. Not only do you get to see the reality for yourself but you will get to meet 20 or 30 huge hearted vegans in one morning!! You will be welcomed with open arms, you can connect on Facebook or Twitter or whatever and you will never look back.

http://thesavemovement.org/list-of-save-groups/

There are numerous other events happening all the time and all around the country. Be it Outreach when you interact with the public, Earthlings Experiences, Marches, Protests, Leaflet Drops etc. A quick search on Facebook for “vegan events” is a great resource and will bring up lots of information. Find what suits you, what you are comfortable with and start there.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=vegan%20events

There are some amazing educational vegan events happening ever more regularly such as Vevolution (http://www.vevolution.co/) and festivals and fairs such as Vegfest, Veggie World and Vegan Life Live. It’s not so easy to meet people at these events (certainly not impossible), but what you will find are some inspirational speakers and talks that will help you to integrate further into the community.

Once you’ve connected with a few people you will want to do more, you will want to spend more time with these people because of how you feel when you’re around them. Of course you won’t become best friends with every vegan you meet, there may even be the odd one you don’t particularly like (that’s life), but you will be more open to making that friendship, you already have so much in common.

I’m not sure how much this piece will help, I hope it does in some small way, but if there’s any other help that I can offer please get in touch. If you live within 100 miles of London we can definitely meet at an event and I would love to meet every single one of you.

Nick Bean

Environmentalist, activist, writer and public speaker. Decided to "Go Vegan" at the age of four.

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