Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meeting the Veg*n Community

Last night was the very first meet-up of the vegan/vegetarian (or veg*n) support group here in Bryan-College Station, TX. I counted 23 people in attendance which is VERY cool for the meat capitol of the world (or so it feels like most of the time).

The Village Cafe (my favorite restaurant for local and organic foods) hosted the event and prepared a special menu of vegan and vegetarian dishes especially for our group. Although I didn't splurge, this special menu also included dessert. Mmmm!

As you can tell from the photo, the atmosphere was incredibly festive. But why not? We were there to celebrate lifestyle choices that have made amazing changes in each of our lives. A few members even testified that a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle saved their lives because of dire health conditions. Now THAT's a reason to celebrate.

We started out with a talk from Slyck Pecena, founder of the group and one of the members who shared with us the health crisis that brought her to a vegan lifestyle (for more on Slyck's journey, check out her blog: Humble Vegan).

Next, each person had an opportunity to share their story and what they hope to gain from the group ranging from recipe exchanges to animal rights activities and everything in between.

The plan for now is to:
  1. Start up a blog where locals can go for more information (meeting info, recipes, tips on eating out at local restaurants, etc), and
  2. Have routine meetings to share advice/support, learn from others, and enjoy a meal with people sharing the same values of mindful living.
Everything else will stem from there.

Some of the attendees I knew, others I enjoyed meeting for the very first time (including an SGF reader)! I was especially encouraged to learn that not everyone there was a vegan or vegetarian. So if you're interested in attending meetings, know that it is a very welcoming crowd. Feel free to join us!

I'll be sure to post upcoming meeting announcements as they come as well as the blog address as soon as it is launched. The Village Cafe has generously offered to continue hosting meetings, so be prepared to eat well too!

One last thing before I close... Of course, I have to share a photo of my very own vegan meal from the meeting: the Cold Cuke Sandwich (cucumbers and hummus on homemade whole wheat bread) with a side of Asian Slaw (carrots and cabbage in a asian sesame sauce. Mmmm!

A great big thanks to Slyck for putting everything together. The evening was a wonderful success. Hope to see everyone again at the next meeting!


Chile said...

That sounds great! Several years ago, I went to the local veg meet-up here. It seemed to be purely a social gathering at a restaurant. I like that yours seems like it will be more pro-active.

I need to go to the local one again and see if it's changed. It's now at the vegan restaurant near me so it's convenient.

Heather @ SGF said...

There were quite a few people raring to go and get working in the community. I'm excited to watch things progress. They're hosting the second meeting at my house for a potluck and lessons on starting your own garden and compost. I love eating other people's food :)