Veganism can get lonely. I’m in New York City and I still have trouble connecting with vegans offline. Here are a few ways I’ve been able to meet other vegans and make vegan friends. I hope it helps!
Meetup: Search “vegan” in your city and see if there are any regular meetups in your area. People in major cities shouldn’t have a problem, but vegans in small towns can try searching in the nearest big city, searching “vegetarian” instead, or even creating a Meetup of their own.
Eventbrite: This one will have more one-time events. Do the same “vegan” search and see what events are scheduled in your area.
Juice Crawl: It’s a Saturday morning event that starts with yoga and turns into a bar crawl for juice. Almost everyone comes on their own and you have plenty of time to chat with other (mostly vegan) people. This one is only in NYC for now but they hope to expand soon.
Cooking classes: Try signing up for a vegan cooking class. It’s a popular date idea so you may be in a room full of couples, but don’t feel weird about going stag. Single vegans have to eat too! If you’re in NY, LA, or Chicago, browse Course Horse. They have tons of cooking classes and a points system that gives discounts on future classes.
On vacation: If vegans aren’t coming to you, consider going to them. Check out Happy Cow’s international directory of vegan events and revolve your next vacation around attending one. It will make your trip more meaningful and can be a great way to visit a city with a larger vegan population.
Online Forums: Forum friends aren’t real-life friends, but if you really are the only vegan in your town you might have to settle for the internet. Veggie Boards and Vegan Forum are two popular online forums. The users are pretty active and it can be a great place to go for advice and guidance. I don’t think it’s common for members to meet in person, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.
Facebook: There are dozens of Facebook groups for vegan and plant-based eaters. National and international groups are typically larger and conduct most of their activities online, but there are local vegan groups that host regular gatherings. Search “vegan” with the name of your city and see what comes up.
Blogging: Have a blog? Why not use it to reach out to local vegans and interview them for a blog post. You’ll provide exposure for the interviewee and may make a friend in the process. Phone interviews are generally easier, but propose meeting up at a local vegan restaurant you’ve both been meaning to try.
Dating Sites: Set up a profile making your veganism clear and search for potential partners by diet. It ensures you only attract people who support (and hopefully practice) your lifestyle. Let people know whether you’re looking for friendship or romance, and even if you’re only in it for a dining buddy, don’t try this one if you’re in a relationship.
Turn your current friend vegan: Sometimes asking your friends to compromise can earn you a part-time vegan buddy. They already love and accept you for who you are, so asking them to join you for a vegan dinner a couple times a month won’t be much to ask. And who knows? Maybe they’ll become vegan in the process.
How do you connect with other vegans? Head to comments section and let us know.