Homeless veg*ns, what do they do? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-26-2007, 10:17 AM
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There must be homeless veg*ns, and I wondered what they are supposed to do.



If people offered them non-veg*n food, what are they supposed to do?



Do soup kitchens etc. offer veg*n foods?



It must be hard keep healthy if you haven't got vitamins etc..

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#2 Old 05-26-2007, 10:39 AM
 
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The shelters I'm familiar with in Michigan, most always had something that vegetarians could eat. Now, it might be peanut butter and jelly, or a cheese sandwich, though. If you were a vegan, I can only imagine how hard it would be.



A veg. soup kitchen would be a great idea. Food Not Bombs is a sort of mobile kitchen, I suppose.

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#3 Old 05-26-2007, 11:19 AM
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i used to work in one and we had nothing course we never had anyone even ask... i would have made something special, but i dont think the other staff would i guess it depends on where you go...
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#4 Old 05-26-2007, 11:50 AM
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I presume someone acomodates sp? you or you become omni ( I suspect this is the most likely scenario) ...People become omni under less dire circumstances. Having food allegries as a homeless person( or any special medical needs) must suck too..Course being homeless generally sucks for many reasons and these are just added on complications.



I've wondered about things like dental care and how you protect yourself from being raped and assaulted while sleeping in the great outdoors.

Or where you go to keep warm in northern climates.



If I had the income issue solved,..(It would be stupid of me not to ensure I don't become homeless myself in the future before helping others) I wouldn't mind volunteering for the homeless shelter again. It's a good cause and it's too bad rent often exceeds income so people become homeless in the first place. Stupid greedy homeowners are like modern "lords" forcing people to become modern landless peasent's.
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#5 Old 05-26-2007, 02:17 PM
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In the years that I've worked at homeless shelters I've only met a few homeless vegetarians, and most of them resorted to eating meat.



The shelter I work at is not vegetarian friendly, despite a high percentage of vegetarian staff members. Staff meals always have vegetarian options. Meals for the residence have meat in everything from the ham in the veggies to bacon in the salads.



Currently I travel to lots of different shelters across the state of Indiana as part of my job and I usually eat there for lunch, and generally (not always) I can find enough to eat. However I'm not eating vegan right now.



When I toured shelters in New York City I was pleased to see many of them offered special vegetarian options.



We don't have a Food Not Bombs in our city, but that'd certainly be a good connection for a homeless vegetarian.
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#6 Old 05-26-2007, 07:08 PM
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Many larger cities have food banks run by the Seventh Day Church (or they call them "Community Service Centers").



They offer food, clothing and other necessities (though they're not actual "soup kitchens" or shelters usually). If you're homeless or need food, you can look for them in the phone book or call the area Seventh Day Adventist church and they'll direct you.



All Seventh Day Adventist-operated food banks offer almost completely vegetarian options to the people who receive service there; trying to concentrate on fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. (I know when they get large donations of boxed or canned soups, etc, they aren't so picky AND they don't have time or manpower to scrutinize every label, but if a client requests only vegetarian items, they will still make sure their alotment only has vegetarian products in it).

Don't ask me how I know this.
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#7 Old 05-26-2007, 07:12 PM
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Hey Kpickell, that's that's awesome that you work with homeless people. Wouldn't mind hearing more about that.
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#8 Old 05-26-2007, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

There must be homeless veg*ns

There are, they are called freegan.



Freegans don't have to be homeles, but it relates to what you're talking about.
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#9 Old 05-26-2007, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

There must be homeless veg*ns

There are, their called freegan.



Freegans don't have to be homeless, but it relates to what you're talking about.
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#10 Old 05-26-2007, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

There must be homeless veg*ns

There are, they're called freegan.



Freegans don't have to be homeless, but it relates to what you're talking about.
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#11 Old 05-26-2007, 09:11 PM
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Eh, I'm not sure I'd say homeless vegans are freegans. Freeganism is a distinct lifestyle choice, that most homeless vegetarians and vegans have not choose to make. For example, if you get a homeless vegetarian $5 they might be inclined to go and purchase some food or alcohol, a freegan would not. Homeless people may happen to share some of the same practices as freegans, such as occasional dumpster diving, but not as a rule. I also don't think a real freegan would accept food from a food pantry or soup kitchen since all of that has a direct impact on supply and demand.
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#12 Old 05-26-2007, 09:27 PM
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Good point.



As far as food goes, the freegan website shows alternatives for homeless veg*ns to find food.
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#13 Old 05-26-2007, 09:31 PM
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That's true.
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#14 Old 05-26-2007, 09:44 PM
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I think the homeless have bigger fish to fry - no pun intended.
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#15 Old 05-27-2007, 08:22 AM
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while not homeless (as my address was a license plate and I had a camp stove..yes, working poor has a face) I did have to do the food pantry mambo in Dallas once or twice.

pasta, rice (with white gas, i had to be grateful for minute rice: please consider donating brown boil in bag rice!!!) canned veggies and the occasional tinned beans (had to read labels carefully).

I dumpster dove (still do occasionally), sweet talked produce managers, loitered outside the bakery at end of the day, hauled stuff for farmers at the farmers market for some trade. kept myself in p-b and apples or oranges. jelly wasn't worth it.



edited to add:

This was in the height of Reganism, '86.
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#16 Old 05-27-2007, 09:32 AM
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oooo good tips!
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#17 Old 11-05-2012, 10:58 AM
 
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when temp homeless i had horrid exp at shelters,,,not only refused to accomodate me, but degraded me....desparate for vegetarian friendly people, places, ...after complaining i contacted bill gates and they sent one over to cook me vegetarian meal....also exp backwards people running shelters,,unsanitary conditions...actually was group of people on and off years who kept trying make homelss force to bad places...when i once had stability,,nice home,,and circle of people who we always helped one another out when in temp inbetween moves sit..and lot of people into healthy healing ways...where now???what happened...also was old friend who vegan 29 years,,took gifts, and money if to ate meat...turn against veganism...well she made out good materially but has had bad healthy probelms with organs, appendix , colon, stomach and other ailments..when she used to be so pro health........back to shelter sit....where ones who to have provided good..over some who have taken over shelter networks.......who mentally oppressive..cruel.......toxic..

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#18 Old 11-05-2012, 01:40 PM
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I was legally homeless for a few years, some of that time I had a roof in the form of a friends couch for a few weeks or a squat if I was in a good city, other times I camped in the woods or under bridges. I tended to stay on the move, either hitching or riding freight trains.

About half the time I had food stamps which helps majorly, and between food stamps and dumpstering I actually didn't find it too hard to eat OK vegan meals in most major cities or college towns I visited, it did require will power and going without at points for hours or a day. On desperate days I could spange (something I didn't do much since I have some social anxiety issues) up a couple dollars and get a can of chili beans (if ur hungry eating cold is... ok), a piece of fruit, and a bagel to tide me over. On good days I would find good stuff in the Trader Joes of Whole Foods dumpster, or the felafel factory dumpster would be full of fresh wraps. On REALLY good days one of my rides might give me a $20 bill as they dropped me off or a local punk would befriend me and give me a meal. On REALLY REALLY good days the Whole Foods freezer breaks and you and friends raid the dumpster, taking multiple trips just to carry all the veggie burgers!

I have to admit that I also supplemented my food by shoplifting, after getting caught a couple times I knocked it off though...but when u have a bag of dumpster bagels sometimes you really want some tofutti cream cheese.

I personally found Austin TX to be one of the best places. The drop-in center on the main street would always set aside things like peanut butter and Amys lentil soup for me. Austin also has a restaurant named Veggie Heaven that feeds homeless kids sometimes. A few times I was given very large portions of yummy tofu & veggie dishes, it was obviously leftovers from the day but it was huge portions and very yummy. Once when they didnt have any leftovers they gave me a just a big to-go box of steamed rice, which at the time was much needed. Just as the local street kids what the trick is for getting a free meal there.
Oakland/Berkeley CA is also a great town to be homeless in if you have to be. I actually ended up hitching here and eventually got a job and my own apartment, but until I was able to do that I lived in open squat ( 2 blocks from my current apt, haha) and dumpstered mostly for food.

In most major cities (and even some smaller ones) you can often get a meal on certain days from Food Not Bombs (FNB). Most cities serve vegan meals, though some do just vegetarian ones (though most will also put out boxes of vegan and non-vegan bread, so just avoid the obvious asiago cheese bread). Some cities serve FNB weekly, some with less capacity serve monthly or twice monthly, and Berkeley serves daily (love those folks).

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#19 Old 11-05-2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylily007 View Post

when temp homeless i had horrid exp at shelters,,,not only refused to accomodate me, but degraded me....desparate for vegetarian friendly people, places, ...after complaining i contacted bill gates and they sent one over to cook me vegetarian meal....also exp backwards people running shelters,,unsanitary conditions...actually was group of people on and off years who kept trying make homelss force to bad places...when i once had stability,,nice home,,and circle of people who we always helped one another out when in temp inbetween moves sit..and lot of people into healthy healing ways...where now???what happened...also was old friend who vegan 29 years,,took gifts, and money if to ate meat...turn against veganism...well she made out good materially but has had bad healthy probelms with organs, appendix , colon, stomach and other ailments..when she used to be so pro health........back to shelter sit....where ones who to have provided good..over some who have taken over shelter networks.......who mentally oppressive..cruel.......toxic..


Are you being serious...this sounds like a jab at homeless vegans
As someone who was vegan and homeless, I never demanded special treatment and I dont think many do.


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#20 Old 11-05-2012, 03:22 PM
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My husband and I talked about this a bit after the March 2nd tornadoes destroyed a town just 9 miles to our north. We were donating food and supplies to their residents, and wondering what we would do if we were in the same position -- what would we be eating. I made vegetarian, mostly vegan choices when we purchased $100 worth of food to take and donate. We kept seeing news stories of the churches that were preparing hot meals to serve to residents and people helping clear away debris, and it was obvious that it wasn't vegan friendly at all, and not very vegetarian friendly.

 

I would try to stick with being vegan as long as possible, and I don't think I would ever go back to being omni, but if it came down to going hungry one night or eating some mac and cheese at a place that's serving hot meals for free, I would eat the mac and cheese. (And I would pay for it later, because dairy makes me very sick now.)

 

It seems like it would be much more feasible to keep up a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet eating at soup kitchens and food banks.

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#21 Old 11-30-2015, 04:52 PM
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I've been homeless in a car and a shelter vegan and pregnant. It's not that hard. A car and food stamps help but some food banks are good. We made tacos and oatmeal in the car with a rocket stove. Also the Hare Krishnas had free vegetarian meals every night but Sunday and Monday, this was great. At regular free meals I coul usually find something, although I have picked meat out of soup. I avoided desserts mostly. At the shelter was bread and some other things. I picked tater tots off near stuff. I did my best and being homeless was no reason to give up being vegan. Being in and near Seattle helps.
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#22 Old 11-30-2015, 05:06 PM
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This is a good reminder for all of us who are able to to donate vegan food to the local food shelves and shelters!

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#23 Old 11-30-2015, 07:30 PM
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Veganism is extremely difficult for the homeless, though vegan pantry drives exist in places like Los Angeles.

As for lacto-ovo, or lacto vegetarians, most food pantries have a vegetarian, as well as a low sugar box, they have to for health and religious reasons.

I have met vegan panhandlers, in Los Angeles. I have offered homeless people vegetarian food.

Lacto-ovo is definitely the easiest in our culture, because of food pantries and even fast food, which tends to have options like the bean and cheese burrito, grilled cheese sandwich, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, salads with cheese, veggie pizza, french fries, etc.

I feel veganism is the ultimate goal, especially for the first world middle and upper classes, but for the poor and homeless, I think lacto-ovo is a more reasonable goal.

Until the **** hits the fan and those who didn't go quietly or morally will be coerced to a new necessary food culture. I sincerely believe this will happen by 2050, because of what I have read in scientific journals, unless more people willingly change within the next few years.
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#24 Old 11-30-2015, 07:53 PM
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I once knew a guy who ran a Popeye's restaurant. Every night, they would provide food to homeless people who came by. I've also worked with 2 different people who worked at Denny's - both of them gave food to homeless people that came by. I imagine that, if a homeless vegetarian wanted oatmeal, corn, potatoes, etc., they would be given that.

In addition to the Seventh Day Adventists, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (the Hare Krishnas) also provide free vegetarian / vegan meals to homeless people (and to anyone who shows up, really). I think they only do so once per week, though.

There is a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant near me that gives free food to homeless people that frequent the shopping center there.

The United Nations supplies free multi-vitamin powder to people around the world. Is this service provided to people in industrialized nations? I imagine that it is, since the wholesale cost of multi-vitamins is so incredibly cheap, and it prevents so many costly problems.

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
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#25 Old 11-30-2015, 10:47 PM
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When I see homeless people around me (kind of hard to avoid, greedy people) I tend to buy vegan stuff (salads and things like that in the summer, when it's warmer, and soup when it's colder...That's just me, though.

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#26 Old 12-01-2015, 04:03 PM
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There isn't one kind of homeless person. Homeless just means you don't have a place to live. You might be couch-surfing at friend's places or you might be at homeless shelters or sleeping on the street or traveling and sleeping in a car. Point is, there is probably just as much variety in the complicated ethical decisions of a homeless vegan as there are in the complicated ethical decisions of a vegan who has a home. Some will accept nonvegan food and eat it themselves, others will trade it for vegan food, some will not accept it, some will accept it but only if they haven't eaten for a day or so, some will pick out the meaty parts and eat the rest, some will negotiate for money instead of food, etc etc etc.

There are all kinds of options. I remember once offering a guy who appeared homeless a cliff bar that I had in my purse as I was heading into the super market. He asked for money instead, saying that he could buy more food and feed his family better with what that cliff bar cost than with the cliff bar. When I didn't want to give him cash he asked for something that wasn't vegan (I can't remember what it was). We settled on a sack of potatoes. I was happy to buy them for him and he was happy to receive them. Anyway, the moral to my story is that nothing is totally black and white.
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#27 Old 12-03-2015, 10:32 AM
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There isn't one kind of homeless person. Homeless just means you don't have a place to live. You might be couch-surfing at friend's places or you might be at homeless shelters or sleeping on the street or traveling and sleeping in a car. Point is, there is probably just as much variety in the complicated ethical decisions of a homeless vegan as there are in the complicated ethical decisions of a vegan who has a home. Some will accept nonvegan food and eat it themselves, others will trade it for vegan food, some will not accept it, some will accept it but only if they haven't eaten for a day or so, some will pick out the meaty parts and eat the rest, some will negotiate for money instead of food, etc etc etc.

There are all kinds of options. I remember once offering a guy who appeared homeless a cliff bar that I had in my purse as I was heading into the super market. He asked for money instead, saying that he could buy more food and feed his family better with what that cliff bar cost than with the cliff bar. When I didn't want to give him cash he asked for something that wasn't vegan (I can't remember what it was). We settled on a sack of potatoes. I was happy to buy them for him and he was happy to receive them. Anyway, the moral to my story is that nothing is totally black and white.
Indeed, my local supermarket has 5-pound bags of potatoes available for $3.98, sometimes on sale at $1.98. A cliff bar is about $1.75 in the same market. You can definitely get more nutrition out of 5 pounds of potatoes than you can out of a Cliff bar. Although there is the cost of fuel to cook the potatoes. However if you slice them thinly before cooking, it takes only about 5 minutes to steam them, and you can consume the steaming water, which has many of the nutrients. You have about 5 filling meals there, instead of one snack.

I would definitely prefer the potatoes, too. Not to mention that the sugar load of one Cliff bar will send me on a sickening roller coaster ride and the potato starch will stabilize me
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Last edited by mobilehome; 12-03-2015 at 10:37 AM.
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#28 Old 12-03-2015, 12:53 PM
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For a while I got my groceries at a food bank. When I told them that I was vegan, they let me have extra bread and vegetables to make up for the meat and dairy I wasn't taking. It was more difficult when I lived in a Salvation Army centre. They served hot meals but wouldn't cater to dietary requests, and we weren't allowed to buy our own food to keep in our dorms. I had to eat vegetables cooked in butter then.
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#29 Old 12-03-2015, 09:18 PM
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This reminds me of a Jeopardy Q&A years ago, where the contestant had stopped at a 7-11 on Christmas Day, and bought a chicken sandwich for a homeless man, and the guy looked at it and said, "Oh. I'm vegan."

Anytime I think I'm perfect, I remember that my cousin lives on an island, and I've never walked over to visit her.
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#30 Old 12-08-2015, 03:54 PM
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What vegan foods should I donate to food pantries? Also, if you're in NYC, have you heard of the Brown Paper Bag Movement? It's a collective led by vegans to donate food to the homeless.
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