We’re Never Alone: Vegan Community

Check out the end of today’s post for an update & some exciting news!

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You are never alone.

There are days I wander around and I feel like I am the loneliest person on the planet. There are days where no one seems to understand the way I live my life, and every time I turn a corner there is someone else pointing and smirking. These days can be hard. They can wear me down, but they are never enough to make me give up. This is because I always remind myself that I am not alone. In the UK there are half a million other people who will most likely feel the same somedays, misunderstood, angry, sad. Around the world there are so many more who also live with the compassion that we do, which means that we are never alone if we don’t want to be.

Starting out with veganism I didn’t talk about it a lot with other people, I avoided telling my family for a while, but that was also down to trying to figure it all out myself first. When I did tell them I experienced what most other new and old vegans alike experience. The first family gathering I attended as a vegan was my mum’s 50th birthday. She had cupcakes made by a friend, regular animal product filled and covered cupcakes. There was also a meal booked. Whilst being offered a cupcake I was told that they wouldn’t tell anyone if I had one, and when I asked if I could speak to the chef so that I could have a plate made up at the meal, I was asked if I could just eat ‘normal food’ for the night. I have a feeling that for some, very similar things have been heard. The first, regarding the cupcakes just confused me. Why would it matter if they told anyone? Did they not understand that I was vegan because wanted to be, that I wasn’t on some kind of Weight Watchers diet and that it wasn’t an ‘ooh shh don’t tell my friends about this teehee’? Of course they didn’t. This is something that I’ve found only other vegans will understand. Now I’m not shaming my family, or judging them, but they still made me feel insignificant and stupid, I hope without meaning to. They made me feel like I was alone, a freak, and somehow inconveniencing them with my lifestyle choices. When you think that all you have is family, becoming even more of an outsider to them can drastically isolate you in your own mind. The ‘normal’ comment fits in here too, and is something that over time you learn more about and discover that you are normal, and there are options out there for you, even if they take a little more effort.

People will make you angry, as a vegan. You’ll want to shake them for not understanding. But unless you’ve been vegan all of your conscious life, it pays to remind yourself that however long ago, you too didn’t understand. It took learning about animal welfare, your health, the environment, or human suffering to change your mindset allowing you to understand veganism and the compassion it carries with it. It is this anger that causes outsiders to see us as people who put ourselves above others, when the reality is we are only separated from them by them. I will happily socialise with my family, I can make myself comfortable around them, but it is their inner defensiveness and fight to stay in the dark that pushes me away from them. Honestly, I haven’t found a way to convince them that I am still their Beth, just a nicer and more open minded version. So if anyone has a brainwashing device I could borrow to show them that I’m not a big scary vegan, and I’m just a girl trying to do right by the world, please do throw it over.

When I started to scour through the online vegan communities I suddenly realised just how many other people felt the way I did. Of course in all groups you have your ‘bad’ people, and that stands for vegans, some people who call themselves vegans are just downright awful, but that’s life for you. For the most part, there are some truly wonderful and beautiful people in the vegan community. All it takes is reaching out, and I have found so many people willing to chat and simply to be there. We are a rich and diverse community, with people from all backgrounds, countries, and heritages. I can pretty much guarantee that you will find someone who will fit just right. Even for myself, I have found so many brilliant people, and they just keep coming.

If you ever wake up and feel alone, take a second to close your eyes and picture yourself looking up into the sky on a clear night, see the stars and know that each one is someone else out there doing the same thing, someone who understands you and is right there for you. It goes without saying that I will always be here too, even if my posting is a little erratic, I’m never too far from my computer.

You are never alone.

We are here.

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Update!

Hello! I hope you enjoyed today’s post if you read it. So, down to business. I have been doing a lot of thinking since I finished university, and during my graduation I had an epiphany – let’s turn my passion into my career. It’s no secret, as much as some people like to ignore, that I am not the kind of person who suits working for other people, like so many people out there I was born to be my own boss. I am going to be attending business classes at my university, and completing a range of other projects to get this show on the road. I will be creating a new website, I won’t be revealing too much at this time, but it will be brilliant! Well, that’s the plan anyway. 

What does this mean for this blog? This blog, BFFV will still be up and running, along with my creative writing site. I will be changing my initial post-graduation plans slightly to accommodate the workload that will come with setting up and running my business. My plan is to use this blog as an inspirational stop for new and old vegans alike. With frequent food shares, short reviews as and when I receive products I love, and fortnightly vegan love posts. I will be active on my BFFV social media pages, the links to which are dotted around the blog, so you will always find me there even if I’ve been quiet on here for a while. 

I look forward to sharing this journey with you, and can’t wait to see you on the other side!

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