Vegan friends come together in the dxe community - join us!
By Ryder Meehan - DxE SF Bay, Tech Team
Even living in San Francisco, California, one of the most progressive and vegan-friendly cities on the planet, I was feeling like a lonely vegan. I had no vegan friends and none of my other friends wanted to listen to my lectures about it. I tried going to a few other local vegan community Meetup events but it felt more like a one-time get-together than long-lasting vegan friends or a real vegan community.
Finally, I stumbled into the right community and knew I had found my new vegan friends network. Direct Action Everywhere said all the right things - they were doing it for the animals but when the protest was over there would be potlucks, parties and jam sessions. I was welcomed and immediately made my way into the DxE Tech working group where I felt like I could contribute the most.
In the Bay Area Chapter alone there were hundreds of members and they were all welcoming, awesome and shared a passion for a vegan lifestyle and animal activism. There were events happening multiple times a week offering something for every type of person. Then every Saturday morning there would be a regular Meetup at the Berkeley Animal Rights Center (ARC) to learn new and interesting things as well as meet even more cool people and get a glorious all vegan lunch out together - it finally feels normal to not eat animals!
so Why is it important to have vegan friends?
After finding veganism and the importance of animal rights, you may feel uncomfortable being around others who are eating animals or you may just want to talk with friends who understand. There are many reasons if you think about:
- Shared values in the belief that animals deserve to be happy, safe and free
- Amazing, harm-free meals with friends
- Never be made to feel weird for being vegan
- Build a community with a shared passion for animal rights
- Learn and share ways to spread the good word of veganism
Why Direct action everywhere?
One of the Organizing Principles that sets DxE apart is to create a community for vegans and animal activists. One of the most common obstacles to going vegan or staying vegan is that most of society still normalizes eating and mistreating animals. Unfortunately most other animal rights organizations do not have a true community that meets regularly or socially. DxE is creating a community where it's normal to NOT mistreat animals. We help one another out, share our challenges, and come together frequently for merriment and good times! Think of it like a college fraternity or sorority - only less exclusive and without the hazing. Oh plus the whole animal rights mission thing ;)
In one year being in DxE, I've been to a karaoke night, potluck, house party, Halloween party, Thanksgiving vegan feast, vegan ice cream social, cookie decorating contest and too many other events to count. I went from zero vegan friends to having an entire community around me.
And if you're not in the San Francisco-Berkeley Bay Area, not to worry; there are dozens of DxE chapters across the county and the world organizing regularly and building vegan communities (veg-munities?) around the same principles.
So what are you waiting for?! Come meet your new vegan friends within your own city! Does your city not have a DxE Chapter yet? Consider starting one. And once a year all chapters come together at our global Forum where we meet, learn, share and empower our movement!