Advice on Creating a Social Group
Positive, not pushy
No one wants to be pressured, guilt-tripped, or even talked into a new belief. Just because vegans may be the majority in your group, don’t use that as an excuse to try to talk non-vegan members of the group into going vegan. Keeping things positive, constructive, and low-pressure is key. Let people who are currently not vegan enjoy the delicious food. Answer any questions they have about what ingredients you used, what other vegan foods you eat, how you stay healthy on a vegan diet, etc. And leave it at that! They’ll respect you and veganism more, and will be more likely to make the switch.
Help them out
Whether they are a long-time vegan or a veg-curious carnivore, your guests will appreciate anything that makes vegan eating easier and more fun. Refer your guests to great websites like V-lish.com if they want more information.
Everyone wants to be part of something cool. Take lots of pictures at your events and post them to your group’s Facebook page. Be sure to tag everyone who was there so that the pictures show up on their walls. It will keep people engaged with your group and will also help attract new guests. It will also help attendees get to know one another, which will make staying vegetarian or vegan easier.
Restaurants can change, too
If you regularly visit or host your outing at a non-vegetarian restaurant that has a few good vegan options, consider urging them to carry more. If they see they are drawing in customers (like you and your group) due to the vegan options they already have, friendly words of encouragement from your group may be all that’s needed to get them to expand their vegan menu.
Recruit new advocates
Most of your guests will be interested only in the social elements of vegan community, but a few of them might be interested in helping with animal advocacy work like leafleting and distributing vegetarian eating guides. Promote these activities (and easy ways to get involved with them) at your event. If even one or two guests get active, that can make a big difference for animals!
Some extra support
Consider making every other event a support event where non-vegetarians are specifically invited to attend (they could be friends of group members or just members of the general public). At the support event, your group can give them information and advice on moving toward vegan eating and can provide delicious vegan food for them so they don’t have to cook or buy it.