One of the most important factors needed for people to stay vegan is to have a supportive community around them. This includes having other like-minded vegan friends. If you’re the only one, it can feel like you’re the odd one out, the weird one. So it’s important that you go out of your way to meet plant eaters around you and to help other vegans do the same.
Thanks to social media, you can make vegan friends instantly, wherever you are in the world. The best way to do this is on Instagram, by following other vegans you find when searching for popular hashtags (#whatveganseat, #vegansofig, #vegan). If you want to actually meet friends in your city, town or village, try Facebook. Search for “Vegans in [your area here]” and try to find Facebook groups to join. For example, I joined “Vegan UK” when I first arrived in England, and “Veganos en Lima” when I was living in Perú. I’ve met a lot of my vegan friends like this.
Of course, depending on where you live, the above advice will vary in difficulty. London is full of vegans everywhere, and almost every non-vegan restaurant has vegan options. If you’re in, say, Perú (like I was), it might be harder but still possible. As a last resort, you always have online friends!
Now, if you want to be a hardcore vegan friend generator, you can attend or organise vegan meet-ups. I used to go to so many vegan meet-ups when I first moved to London. I stopped going as often because I now hang out in smaller groups with the friends I met. What if you don’t have a vegan meet-up near you? Make one! That’s what I did. I hosted a Lima Vegan Meetup in June and December 2017, and both were so much fun. I promoted the event on local Facebook groups and using my social media channels, and we had an overwhelming turnout. So many people went (including non-vegans) and most of them had questions about veganism. This reinforced my belief that vegans want other people to talk to about their tofu problems. It motivated me to keep creating vegan communities everywhere, and it should motivate you too.
So don’t be shy: every vegan I know wants to meet new vegans, you’re not alone!