Vegan critics will always find something to moan about but lately, I keep hearing that for a Vegan it is almost impossible to have a social life, following a vegan diet is simply so anti-social. Hopefully most of you already hear the contradiction within. Vegans who first and foremost prioritize respect, kindness, compassion and justice for all living-beings are called to be anti-social due to their diet. So in this article, I wish to shed some light upon the question if a vegan diet could possibly allow you to have a social life.
What is completely misunderstood
I have already touched upon the first and most important thing that is bothering me: a vegan diet is said to be anti-social. I don’t quite know yet if I shall be offended or simply laugh about it. Personally, I made the decision to go vegan out of compassion, kindness and the pursuit of justice for all animals. Since I was I can remember, I have always been an animal lover. We have always had a Goldie as part of our family and every time I see a dog I smile.
At some point I just asked myself how I could call myself an absolute animal lover while differentiating between my Goldie and a pig, cow, chicken,…? Seeing one animal as a family member who (yes, who!) I love dearly and slaughtering the other. How could an animal lover like me contribute to such cruelty? Having watched some of the most popular vegan advocating movies, such as Cowspriacy or Earthlings, eating meat or diary was simply no option for me anymore. Long story short, my motivation behind my vegan diet is compassion and justice for all animals. Anything but anti-social if you ask me.
Secondly, when I hear those sayings of vegans not being able to have a proper social life, go out to restaurants with friends, or live life to its fullest, I wonder why it is solely the vegan diet that is being questioned and assumed to be the wrong decision when wishing for an outrageous social life, instead of taking a critical look at society.
I am 100% convinced that if you truly believe that what you are doing is right (and this may be everything and is clearly not restricted to going vegan), you don’t mind a little extra effort. For some people this might be exercising five times a week, for others it might be working extra hours in order to book that 4 weeks vacation in Southeast Asia, for others it might be getting up an hour early to meditate and practice yoga, or a vegan diet. But whatever it might be, if you believe it to be the right thing to do, keep doing it!
Not just a diet, but a way of life
Part of my lifestyle is to create a higher level of awareness and consciousness and integrate it into my daily life. This resulted in a vegan diet and a dedicated yoga and meditation practice. Clearly, this led to change: old patterns, habbits, routines, and many other things that were part of my daily life had to be adjusted (no, not necessarily been given up!) Other things might require a little extra effort.
One of the most beautiful sayings I know is “The only thing that is constant is change.“. And even though it is difficult to always fully live by these words, I keep reminding myself that change is anything but bad. In fact, due to one simple food choice I have made, I found myself in a much better place and I can now honestly call myself an animal lover. A love that is not restricted to cute puppies or kittens. And I can consider myself an active part of something big, a great movement of change towards a more kind and loving society.
If this requires me to give up on the comfort of running into every pop-up food store, fast-food restaurant or whatever and order a burger, salami pizza or filet steak, so be it! I just hope that people will begin to realize that there is no need for alcohol in order to have a great party, just like there is no need to contribute to cruelty, slaughtering, and killing of living beings in order to have a social life. What matters, is the people you are surrounded by.
How to be vegan and have a social life
Since the question of how to have a social life and follow a vegan diet seems to be very concerning (especially for vegan critics), I have my top 3 How-To guidelines listed below:
♥ make it a hobby to explore new things
Even before my vegan diet, I loved to go to new restaurants and bars. I just keep doing that and pay a little extra attention to the menus and see if they offer something suitable. You will be surprised, it is not that difficult to go vegan and most restaurants are open to some adjustments.
♥ make your food choice an act of love, compassion, and kindness
Yes, it might be true that you will only have two or three dishes to choose from, while others have ten or fifteen. Do not complain about it, instead, remember that it is a choice, and just that. You choose respect, kindness, and compassion. Be proud of yourself for that and enjoy your cruelty-free food!
♥ learn and love to cook
One of the best things about a vegan diet is clearly the cooking part. You take an active part in your nutrition, think about what you put into your body and prepare super healthy and delicious meals yourself. You will be loving it, trust me!
At this point I have to come back to the claim of vegans being anti-social. Isn’t cooking with friends one of the best things ever? So, just invite friends over for dinner, prepare and enjoy your vegan meal together and be social! Maybe it is only then, that they will realize that one simple choice does not require you to give up the best things in life: spending time with your family and friends.