Where can one find positive vegetarian-themed networking websites?

Posted by
Need more happiness with your veggie lifestyle? We get it. By: gameneCC BY 2.0
I recently joined (and subsequently deleted my account from) a vegetarian networking website. I wanted a place to share recipes, sing Kumbayah, and dance in the moonlight with other vegetarians. What I got was more of an anti-meat-eater coalition. Now, don’t get me wrong: there were some very kind people there, but the general attitude was aggressive.

I may be spoiled from my time on the Offbeat Bride Tribe, but I really just want a supportive network for vegetarians, with little-to-no negativity. Has anyone heard of something like that?

-Bethany

You can always wait until we unleash the Offbeat Home & Life forum (launching February 2013)! But until then… Do any of our Homies know of a place to get your vegetarianism on whilst singing Kumbayah and NOT encountering any dramaz?

Comments on Where can one find positive vegetarian-themed networking websites?

  1. Definitely can’t say i’ve found a place with less hostility. haha vegan and veggie parents on facebook is about the only interactive group i’m in. and even then, by god, don’t mention soy! (excited for the offbeat forum! :D)

  2. Oooh I’d love this too!! Fellow veggie here and I’ve found the same problem. We had a really awesome & open minded veggie club in college and I miss it!

    Also excited about the offbeat forum! I really enjoyed connecting with like minded people on OBB Tribe!

    • What if we did a Facebook group or WordPress blog until the forum is up? I’m willing to run it πŸ™‚

      • I’d get involved with whatever…FB, WordPress, or waiting for the Offbeat forums. I’m due in March with my first baby so my focus is a bit all over the place right now though! πŸ™‚

  3. I would be receptive to something like this. I am not technically a vegetarian but by default I almost never eat meat and I am very vegetarian curious.

    However, the few times I have approached the subject online I definitely felt hostility.

    • Do you feel that same sort of “hostility” when you discuss human rights with human rights activists? I suspect not, because you already more or less agree with them. However, with vegans and vegetarians, you’re encountering an injustice that you still participate in and a privilege you’ve never had to examine before. Labeling vegans “hostile” is just an easy way to dismiss out of discomfort or defensiveness. Veganism is about justice and moral inclusivity, some people are passionate about that…and some people are just on the internet, and the internet brings out the worst in eeeeverybody.

      • Way to embody the exact hostility that the original poster was trying to avoid. Bonus points for getting the word privilege in there.

      • Don’t speak for entire categories of people if you can help it! Some vegans, myself included, came into it from a nutrition standpoint. I’m stoked about the compassion side of it and the ecological benefits too, but my focus is not the same as someone who’s veganism is entirely animal rights based so I can see the difficulty some people have with the tendency towards aggressive moral arguments on the topic.

      • Saying someone out right is participating in “injustice” by not being of a vegan or veggie variety does not help to make friends. Remember the old saying of you get more flies with honey than vinegar? It holds so very very true in persuasion. Start out saying someone is wrong will make them more defensive of their stance and much less willing to take the other view under real consideration.

        And for your question actually yes I have encountered hostility in human rights groups. I will use gay marriage as an example. I have seen some people originally against gay marriage or any variation of it as completely wrong. Somehow they shift their opinion to at least thinking civil unions are ok yet still get attacked. It was a baby step of progress and generally people need these baby steps to change.

        It is very hard to change someone’s opinion on a passionate subject in a single swoop. Every small step counts. Just like with diets they do not work long term. In order to change a lifestyle it needs to be done slowly and the change in lifestyle that even vegetarianism requires is a ginormous step to do all at once.

      • What if I *have* encountered the injustice, and that’s why I’ve switched to veganism? That still doesn’t mean that I want to take my very personal decision and jump on the “tell the whole world how wrong they are” bandwagon! Being passionate is fine. But using that passion to try and shame people into a different lifestyle is ineffective.

      • I love animals dearly, was a vegetarian for awhile. Partly because I couldn’t stand the thought of eating something I care for, partly because I don’t like the texture of meat. However, I am one of those people that need to eat meat. I need the protien. I can get protien in other places, and still do, but it is not the same due to my medical conditions. I try to get ethically sourced meat when I can afford it, and I always give silent thanks to the animal that gave their life for my nutrition. It isn’t always about the injustice of animals, even if you are passionate, you need to keep an open mind. You don’t know a persons situation, you don’t know what is going on in their head. When trying to preach “justice and moral inclusivity”, do so with compassion. You never know who you hurt. What you see as passion, another sees as hostility. It is all about perception.

      • please don’t speak for all vegans. i’ve been vegan well over a decade now & not all of us became vegan for those reasons. & i didn’t come in into it for health reasons either.
        this is EXACTLY why people can’t stand us. & EXACTLY why when someone finds out i’m vegan, they get nervous that they are offending me.

    • In my experience online & IRL there seems to be a lot of unnecessary hostility on both sides of the “what do you eat” coin. I for one am happy to swap recipes & tips with anyone regardless of if they are vegan, veggie, or otherwise. There’s a lot of reasons someone might want or need to reduce meat consumption and I give props to anyone who is at least open to trying veg*n options. Life’s too short to waste energy on such hostility! πŸ™‚

      • Vegan here, and one of my least favorite parts of the community is the meat-shamers. Like Paranoid Libra, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar and all these people are doing is shutting down potentially life-changing conversations with people. I try to be very polite and respectful, I will never comment on what someone else chooses to eat because it’s really none of my business. That said, if asked what brought me to veganism, I will tell them all about my experiences in my undergrad animal science classes and watching Earthlings.
        My dad refers to veganism as “the militant wing of the vegetarian party”. This is how the general public perceives vegans and it needs to stop. First thing to do is stop crucifying the carnivores and instead approach those who are curious with meaningful logical discussion.

  4. ALL internet communities are vulnerable to hostility and meanness…because it’s the internet, and people are depersonalized. Reinforcing the harmful stereotype that vegans and vegetarians are harpy, judgmental, negative hippies is really unhelpful and alienating.

        • Anyway, this is clearly an anti-vegan pit of snakes, so I will vacate. But studies have been done about the normalized anti-vegan sentiment in the media, and I feel it’s important to speak out against veg prejudice wherever I see it. Posting a search for that rare and elusive “non-negative” veg community …an entire post is necessary to see if anyone has even “heard of it” existing. Then the comment below it is “Do any of our Homies know of a place to get your vegetarianism on whilst singing Kumbayah and NOT encountering any dramaz?” I mean really. How offensive.

        • Pit of snakes, eh? As a vegan who loves it here in the OBE, I’d like to congratulate you on backsliding into speciesist cliche. πŸ˜‰

    • As someone who plays harp, I’d like to say that I am deeply offended by the characterization of harpies as negative. πŸ˜€

      • πŸ˜€ And the commenters here totally made my day, AGAIN! Thanks Matilda!

        By the way, I do know ONE internet community that isn’t vulnerable to hostility and meanness…

  5. I’m not veggie in any way, but I tend towards green/organic/cruelty-free whenever I can afford it, so I like to read Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life blog. She’s vegan and suuuper earth/animal friendly, but I’ve never encountered any hate there. I know they do have a forum, though I’m not a member, and you could probably get a lot of happy veggie goodness there. I love it for the kindness and friendliness and the awesome green-living ideas.

  6. It’s not exactly a support network, but Poor Girl Eats Well has a lot of recipes that happen to be vegetarian or vegan. She doesn’t go out of her way to write veg recipes, but she does go out of her way to save money–and not eating meat saves a lot of money!

    http://www.poorgirleatswell.com/

    • Thanks for sharing this. I’d never heard of her site before and I just spent 25 min reading recipes (when I should have been working, whoops). πŸ™‚

  7. I like cooking. I like vegetables. I like my vegetarian friends. My husband and I are meat-eaters but we often (like a couple of times a week) make a vegetarian meal. I would love to share recipes and talk about vegetarian food in a positive and friendly Offbeat environment!

  8. I don’t have a good answer but as a pescetarian I will be watching this closely. Also, I found this blog post about how while vegetarians do judge meat eaters(somewhat), meat eaters feel MUCH more judged by vegetarians than the reality. Though, of course, there are judge-y vegetarians like there are judge-y versions of all groups. I am not trying to invalidate the original poster.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/11/26/165736028/its-time-to-end-the-turkey-tofurky-thanksgiving-food-fight

    • SUPER interesting link. Thanks for that.

      As someone who spent 12 years partnered with a vegan, I can say that I never ever felt judged. He got peeved sometimes (like when I grated cheese on the pasta he’d just made), but I just never felt judged.

    • This was a really interesting article. It reminds me of my pre-gan (pre-vegan) days on campus where I met a vegan who smoked and I was surprised. I had kind of assumed all vegans were health nuts in addition to having moral concerns, and a friend called me out on that. There are a lot of different reasons to be vegan and a lot of different reasons to smoke, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive. And now look – I’m a vegan who occasionally smokes in bars. People are funny.

      • My friend made some vegan cookies for her family Thanksgiving.

        Her family members started eating them and asked “These are healthy right?”

        And she said, “Well, no, they’re cookies.”

        And they said, “So they’re not vegan?”

        And she said, “No they’re vegan, but they’re just as sugary and fatty as regular cookies.”

        Vegan food and health food can be mutually exclusive concepts. Just ask the beer-battered buffalo seitan sandwich I had the other day.

        • AMEN TO THIS! Some vegan recipes use fats/sweets to compensate for the lack of animal fat (vegans need umami too!), and so LORD ALMIGHTY, there is some delicious fatty bad-for-you vegan food!

          • I’ve always heard the Oreo filling is made with lard? Is this untrue, or just an old ingredient that they’ve since changed?

          • I had never heard that before; it must be an old ingredient that they changed (I went to double check the nutritional information on Oreo’s website and I confirmed they are vegan). Interesting tidbit: marshmallows used to be vegan. Now they contain gelatin, but back in the 50’s when my dad was growing up in Maine, he lived next to a plant that made agar from seaweed, which is what they used to use in marshmallows.

          • Well now I can eat them without feeling totally grossed out about eating lard. Because face it, it doesn’t matter what lard is actually made of, the word still sounds gross. lol
            I wonder if you could find vegan marshmallows on Amazon or something

    • ugh, 100 times this. i’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years, and i really don’t care what other people eat. it’s none of my business. however, people that don’t know me well act like they’re terrified of offending me, need to justify why they eat meat, or gleefully chow down on a hunk of cow in the hopes of skeeving me out. i don’t get it.

    • As an omnivore, I’ve seen both sides of this, actually.

      I went to a really, really hippy-dippy university and there were DEFINITELY some of the “YOU EVIL MEAT-EATER YOU ARE RUINING EVERYTHING!!!” people there. I did feel judged by them.

      My vegan and vegetarian friends, on the other hand, respect me and my choices so long as I respect them and theirs (which, of course, I do).

      There’s a reason the latter group is amongst my friends and the former group is not. πŸ™‚

  9. I will be looking forward to this on the forum too! I’ve not delved much into vegetarian communities on the internet, but I have been vegetarian for about 3 years, so I’m very interested.

    Funny thing about being vegetarian is that people tend to automatically assume I’m going to be judgey about their food choices. That’s not really my style though! As long as everyone’s happy and healthy they can eat what they like, as far as I’m concerned. So a non-judgey veg place would be great.

    Lolz at the “pit of snakes” comment above though.

  10. Not vegetarian or vegan (and what I’m linking to is a blog not a forum), so I’m really missing on all counts BUT. I really like http://thestonesoup.com. The writer, Jules, posts simple 5-ingredient meals and then offers variations on them for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free, and paleo.

  11. Bethany, check out this series of videos:
    http://www.theperennialplate.com/episodes-all/
    In the very first episode when a turkey is killed, the cameraman (who is the girlfriend of the chef) decides to turn vegetarian! The idea of respecting other people’s choices is sort of an on-going dialog throughout the series.

    Although not “vegetarian”, a great many of the episodes/recipes are focused on the harvesting of vegetables.

  12. This post is SO timely for me. Last night I had an awful dream in which I was chowing down on a Slim Jim and trying to get my husband to try it. I’ve been vegetarian for five years and I had these eating meat dreams all the time at first, but haven’t had one in a long time. Even in the dream I was upset about it, but kept eating anyway.

    This is the kind of thing I’d like to talk about (“What does it mean? How sick would I get if I actually ate a slim jim?”) but I’m not comfortable posting about it on Facebook because of how any talk of vegetarianism seems to turn into vegetarianism vs meat-eating.

    So obviously I don’t have an answer, but if you find a place I’ll be right behind you!

    • Totally veering off topic here, but you’re supposed to look at the main thing in your dream (slim jim) and try to describe it to someone who doesn’t know what it is in order to figure out what it means to you and what it symbolizes beyond the obvious.
      I’m curious to know what your dream means and I don’t even know you!

        • It’s a slim tube of meat product, somewhere in between sausage and beef jerky, often sold at gas stations and in convenience sections of grocery stores. That’s the best I could do.

          • Like tooth paste, but meaty? I’m confused :). I’ll google it, it has peaked my interest ;).

            EDIT: nope, not at all, my bet, I totally misunderstood you there :).

    • I’ve tried going vegetarian twice and both times was plagued with dreams about chowing down on bacon, and then feeling really really guilty when I woke up; glad to know it’s not just me!

      I ended up not sticking with it (a combination of thoughts triggered over still buying meat for my cat since evolution had carved him into a carnivore, and the fact that I’m terrible at planning and getting everything I need by being vegetarian, becoming an anemic, emotional wreck) but I was so glad for the experience that both broadened my food range and broke the midwest idea that meat needed to be part of every single meal, isolating it to one meal once a week, often.

      So, not exactly helpful XD but one thing I’ve found with dreams for me, if I’m dreaming about something I know I’m not supposed to have, it’s a sort of stress relief (that backfires, since I spend the next day stressing about it). If I’m all anxiety-ed out, especially if it’s been a bit since the boyfriend and I have gotten frisky, I chain smoke in my dreams like there’s no tomorrow, and I’ve never smoked in real life ever. The next day I have to stop looking longingly at the smokers outside, and plan a nice long bath followed by jumping the boy πŸ˜‰

  13. As far as Vegetarian cooking, I love Heidi Swanson’s 101Cookbooks.com Recipe journal. The comments are great and there is a sort of community with long-term readers who comment on the regular. I picked her book up by accident (thought it was another vegetarian cookbook) and loved it so much that I became a fan of her site.

  14. ok so i’m a vegan & although i have not found any good forums & have come across the same issues, i have found a really good vegan blog/recipe index.

    another issue i find w/ most vegan blogs is that the recipes either call for some really obscure, often hard to find foods (unless you can get to whole foods or live in a pretty decent city & don’t live on another continent like i do). & then if you actually find the ingredients, the meal wasn’t so amazing.

    however … EVERY SINGLE RECIPE i’ve followed on this blog has not only been simple & clean, but insanely yummy. she’s also really good about giving alternative ingredients. like maybe you don’t like soy or coconut, but all still while being vegan. very cool.

    NOTE: her smoothies are great. my fav is this one. http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2012/06/my-secret-ingredient-matcha-shake.html

    http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/

    she’s pretty active on pinterest also.

  15. It does seem to be hard to find non-negative sites for more ‘offbeat’ things like vegetarianism and veganism that doesn’t ‘bash’ meat eaters on a regular basis. I had similar issues trying to find a attachement parenting forum that wasnt so anti-vaccination it wasn’t funny.

    I’m a meat eater and try to source local ethical meat and even grown my own. I have plenty of vegetarian/vegan friends and we manage to get along and even discuss the ethicalness of both lifestyles without getting into much fighting. It’s about respect for the individual and their life choice [which with the anonymity of the internet doesn’t exist a lot on forums].

    I found a great article recently I thought I might share about the ethicalness of vegetable production [commercial production]. It was very thought provoking and I think you guys might appreciate it. There is a lot of pressure put on how eating meat is unethical and environmentally bad, but it turns out the same can be said about many vegetable crops too.
    http://fieldquestions.com/2012/11/26/the-animal-lovers-dilemma/

  16. I was vegan for a time. I found that I had the greatest luck starting with the communities of individual blogs. Carrie On Vegan http://carrieonvegan.com/ writes a blog that tends to have pretty friendly folks in the comments. I had really good luck with twitter, and the nice thing about twitter is that if someone is a bit over the top for you, you just stop following them. I struggled with some of the vegan themed forums because, in my experience, while there was a lot of really friendly awesome people there, the forums also drew people who were a big dogmatic, because that’s the nature of a forum devoted to an interest. In the same way that a Star Trek forum is going to have some run of the mill trekkies, and it will also draw the folks who speak exclusively Klingon at home, which could be more intense than you’re seeking. The vegan forums can be that way to, and depending on your comfort with that, your mileage can very. With that said, my experiences with them were largely positive.

    I totally recommend trying the twitter route though. Carrie has a feed. A lot of times friendly people seem to follow other friendly people and you can find networks that way. Good luck!

Comments are closed.