Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

Jo will make every attempt to answer each question personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also possible that your question will be answered directly in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual response.

If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.

Meeting Other Vegans

question.gif - 1.4 K Where can vegans meet other vegans?

answer.gif - 1.3 K Vegans can be found in almost all areas of North America and, surprisingly, in many parts of the world, even remote or oppressive places where it might seem impossible to be vegan. But, because the only attribute that differentiates vegans from anyone else is the application of their ethic, vegans are often anonymous, even to each other.

As with any cultural minority, it is easier to sustain one's beliefs and lifestyle when supported by others who share the same convictions. National vegan, vegetarian, and animal rights organizations do an excellent job of creating a sense of unity and camaraderie despite their affiliates being scattered in many directions. Some groups produce periodicals, such as newsletters or magazines, and include a free subscription with each membership. This can provide not only enjoyable reading matter and insightful articles but access to information about local and national conferences, events, and other gatherings where vegans come together. Some publications contain a listing of regional contacts -- people who have volunteered to be resource points for local or visiting vegans. Two magazines which incorporate such listings are "The Vegetarian Voice," published quarterly by the North American Vegetarian Society, P.O. Box 72, Dolgeville, New York 13329, 518-568-7970, and "Ahimsa," published quarterly by the America Vegan Society, P.O. Box 369, Malaga, New Jersey 08328-0908, 856-694-2887. Both organizations also host annual conferences that are fun, educational, and inspiring, and feature national and international experts on vegan living.

In large and mid-size cities there are usually one or two -- and sometimes several -- natural food stores and food co-operatives. Occasionally, these establishments sponsor workshops, lectures, or social events that can range from informative to all-out festive. Generally, a large proportion of vegetarians and vegans comprise the audience. Many of these stores also have bulletin boards and newsletters that provide listings of local activist groups, vegan/vegetarian get-togethers and potlucks, meetings of the local chapters of national vegetarian and animal rights organizations, vegetarian societies, and so forth. These notices can alert you to what is happening in your area and put you in touch with like-minded people.

For those who live in small towns and rural areas, it is much harder to find other vegans. Frequently, hamlets and villages are situated in or near "food animal" farms and hunting areas where the prospect of veganism is typically met with anger and hostility. In this case, it may be necessary to occasionally travel to the nearest large town or city that has a natural food store in order to find out what groups and activities, if any, are available there for vegans. Of course, people can always try to start their own group or establish a local chapter of a national organization, but in outlying areas it is usually significantly more of a challenge.

The Internet can be a terrific way to connect with other vegans, and you could potentially meet others who live fairly close to you. Even if you don't develop real-time friendships through this medium, cyber-pals can commiserate with your situation and offer a great deal of support and understanding. Vegan discussion boards and mailing lists are helpful for maintaining awareness of other perspectives. They can also involve vegans in stimulating on-line dialogues. Web sites provide access to endless information and can help notify vegans about upcoming events and activities.

Part of seeking out other vegans means taking the initiative. Use every opportunity you have to investigate who and what is available to you, and be a willing and active participant. If you make the effort to reach out to other vegans, you'll find many wonderful people just waiting to reach back.




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Vegan Vittles:
Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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Review by Dan Balogh

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The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

The Food Allergy Survival Guide

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