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Helen Bennett Harvey promises that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog. Vegging Out is a recipe for a new way of life. Or at least a new way of eating. Pull up a chair. Contact me at:

Monday, March 8, 2010

It is possible to be vegan and social!

First things first: Happy Birthday, Helen!

This weekend, I encountered my first real social gathering as a vegan. My mom and I planned a surprise dinner party for my dad's birthday, to be held at the home of a family friend. As much as I was looking forward to celebrating my dad's big birthday in a big way, I had serious concerns about what I would eat. I didn't want to put any extra burden on our generous hosts, and didn't want to answer endless questions about why I wasn't indulging in the cheesecake.

We informed the hostess of my dietary restrictions a few weeks in advance, and it turned out she had planned to make a veggie side dish that would fit my needs. I decided to bring a peanut butter noodle side dish (in keeping with the meal's Asian theme) that would provide me with some protein. It turned out to be a big hit with all the omnivores in attendance as well. Someone else brought a fruit salad for dessert, so I had something to snack on while everyone else enjoyed the cake. I will admit that fruit doesn't really satisfy my serious sweet tooth, though, and I treated myself to a vegan-friendly dessert later at home.

As for the questions I was dreading, most people didn't much care what I was eating. I had only a few discussions about my vegan trial, and everyone I spoke to was respectful.

One major perk I hadn't anticipated was that not being able to eat everything that was served made it much easier to avoid overeating, a common peril at parties where everyone stands around delicious spreads of chips, dips, cheese and crackers. I ate only two baby carrots dipped in hummus before the meal, and never felt overfull.

One of my biggest concerns when I started out a few weeks ago was that I would be severely limited in my ability to enjoy a good meal with others. This weekend's festivities proved that it is possible to socialize as a vegan, but it does take some planning ahead.

In the coming months, I will be attending a bridal shower, a wedding, a week-long family trip to Maine, and several other birthday celebrations, including my own. I still don't feel confident about being able to enjoy all these while remaining vegan, and have no idea what I will do on the vacation. I guess I'll just take it one day at a time.



Blogger Helen Bennett Harvey said...

Thank you Lauren!

March 08, 2010 11:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your blog. Keep talking about VEGANISM. It's very easy to be VEGAN and has tons of perks. Main minimize your impact on the suffering of living creatures and your impact on the degredation of our earth. What could be better!!!

Check out before traveling and you will eat well!

March 09, 2010 12:51 PM 

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