In some parts of the world, it can be a struggle to be a vegan.
If you are located a long distance from a major city, plant-based foods and cruelty-free supplies can be difficult to track down let alone finding a vegan social event in your neighbourhood. London spoils me for choice, but I never forget what it was like to live in smaller, less vegan-friendly locations. Heck… I was even situated (for a short period) in Rockhampton, Australia. If you care to investigate, I believe you will discover Rockhampton is considered the beef capital of Australia.
For isolated vegans, the light at the end of the lonesome tunnel often takes the form of a local vegan/veggie support group. Likeminded individuals get together to share advice, recipes, food, friendship and interests. Your local support group can often be the only time your choice to be cruelty-free is taken seriously.
There are a huge number of veggie/vegan support groups all over the UK but as Leeds is close to my heart, I would like to focus on the Northern city for a moment… specifically the Leeds Vegetarians and Vegans group.
Leeds Vegetarians and Vegans provide much appreciated support and opportunities for compassionate people to network and make connections. Members of the group organise all manner of social events such us vegan lunches and boat rides on the canal as well as actions in the name of animal protection.
A short while back I attended one of their lunches during a short stay in the city. I was a bit worried about turning up and announcing that I was from London, but every single person made me feel incredibly welcome and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the group.
Conversation around the table covered every imaginable topic and I got a true sense of what local vegan/veggie support groups do for their members. I felt like a part of something. Leeds isn’t the most barren place of vegan food, but with zero 100% vegan restaurants in the city it is a fabulous experience to be sitting around a table with other people who steer clear of cruelty.
If you are interested in keeping up to date with Leeds Vegans and Vegetarians, request a membership to their Facebook page or join the email subscription list by sending your details to leedsveg [at] gmail.com… tell them FGV sent you! If you are quick, you can make it in time for their September meeting taking place at the wonderful Hansa’s.
In addition, I would love to hear about more local vegan groups throughout the UK. Please comment below and if I’m in the area, I would immensely enjoy dropping in on a meeting or get-together.