The Art of Being Social While Staying Vegan

June 3, 2013

The Art of Being Social While VeganSometimes going veg can be the easiest part of the journey. You’ve finally taken that leap and cut meat, dairy, or processed foods out of your diet. You feel great, but you start to realize your old environments and old friends don’t mesh with your new lifestyle, or that it’s just more difficult to hang out with your favorite partners in crime. In the worst case scenarios you may even receive resistance from friends and family who don’t get while you’re so veg crazy and energetic all of the time. A lot of times people we love can’t adjust or make the extra effort to take into consideration our new passion for all things green and organic, and so we may get invites to a local steak or fast food joint. When this happens we may as well have vegan tattooed on our foreheads because we find ourselves the only one at the table nibbling on a scary looking bed of lettuce or a plate of steamed veggies that still has butter on it because the waitress didn’t realize that vegan means, no butter. Although it can be tough, getting through these social growing pains can be the final test that determines whether or not you will have the stamina to go the distance. Below are a few tips I brainstormed from my personal arsenal, that may assist you in still finding social balance. Sometimes you may have to compromise, but the goal should be to never completely forego your dietary requirements just for the sake of pleasing others. When you take a stand for your choices longterm, and keep bringing those yummy veg dishes to gatherings potluck style, you’ll be surprised, everyone may eventually start eating off of your plate. -XoXo Raw Girl

  • BYOV: Bring Your Own Veggies.  This is a golden rule, especially at family gatherings, and even to parties or potlucks. If you are going to someone’s home and there will be food, BYOV. It can be a dessert, a salad, whatever, as long as its something you enjoy and can have on your plate if there are no other vegan options available. It’s always essential to over prepare, because you don’t want to be stranded with no vegan rations in sight, and have to hungrily watch everyone else eat full plates of food. It may disrupt your joie de vivre and leave you cranky.
  • Go Ethnic. The hardest places to find veg options are all American restaurants, fast food joints, or restaurants that are clearly dedicated for meat lovers. If the place has a giant smiling pig on the sign out front, beware. When and if you have to brave eating out at places like that, I would recommend going with veggie plates that are cooked, because you never know how their greens are handled or if they are cross contaminated with meat products. I avoid places like these altogether or eat beforehand and just enjoy the company. Most of the salad options will also include meat and cheese, so you may be able to piece together a salad but you’ll probably have to be that chick that asks the waitress to hold everything but the romaine. Ethnic is always the way to go for more veg options unless you are going to a restaurant that has vegan options. I usually go for Thai, Japanese, or Mexican because in restaurants like these I know I may be able to piece together a salad or get some seaweed.
  • Take Charge of the Venue. This is the most fun because you can take your friends or fam to a veg certified spot where you know you can stuff your face with yummy organic raw or vegan goodness. It will also give your skeptical friends a chance to try some gourmet veg dishes that may leave them so satisfied they stop making fun of you, permanently.
  • Prepare Your Protein Speech. If you’re a hardcore vegan, I know you already got this covered. For the newbies, get ready to answer this question. Some days you may want to roll your eyes when you get asked where you get your protein yet again, but hopefully you’ll be so blissed out from your morning green juice you’ll just smile and recite your speech. It’s essential to be able to defend your choices in group social situations so you don’t feel pressured to cave in, and it also gives others the opportunity to learn that it is possible to get adequate protein on a vegan diet and thrive.
  • Eat Before You Leave Home. Cyber stalk or call whatever restaurant you are going to and find out what options or substitutions are available. If you know they have absolutely nothing plan ahead, eat at home before you leave so your stomach isn’t growling later.


  1. Great Advice! Even though, I’m a 1+ year vegan. I still have trouble going out with friends and family. 🙂

  2. [ Chuckles ] Another option would be to socialize with our fellow vegans; by doing that, we have nothing to worry about.

    For the record, the pointers in your article are most valid!

    • True 🙂 Most of my close friends are NOT vegan, but there is always the option to find vegan buddies! Thanks for reading and commenting. -XoXo

  3. Thank you for the advice! Preparation is key. I think I’ll make a giant kale and asparagus salad for a BBQ this weekend.

    • Good idea Alyssa, yes please take your fab salad to the bbq 🙂 Thanks for reading! -XoXo

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