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#1 Old 05-03-2017, 02:02 PM
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Exclamation New friend

Hello
I am Stephanie. I have been a vegetarian for 12 years. I transitioned to veganism at the start of the new year. I was born and raised in New York, where being a vegetarian isn't usually treated as quite a foreign concept. There are always naysayers and people who make jokes, but I could always deal with it so as long as I knew who my real friends were.
A little less than 5 years ago my husband and I had to move to the Prairie farm land of Eastern Montana for work. I am rather shy so it's already difficult for me to make friends and moving out here away from everything and everyone I've ever known, I found it especially hard. I have nothing in common with anyone out here. I have been working at the local school for 4 years and have yet to establish any deep friendships. I try to get to know people, force myself to make small talk. But I almost never get invited to do things outside of work. Could it be because I am awkward and shy? or is it because I am vegetarian and they don't think I will be able to eat at their house or find something on a menu?
I recently got into food photography. and I love it! One of the biggest reason I started taking pictures of my food is because I really want to shed a different light on veganism. I want people to see how beautiful, creative and healthy vegan food really is! Because it is way more than going home and tossing together a damn salad every night. While the response to my pictures has been very positive, it has done nothing for my social life. A coworker actually laughed at my lunch today! I was hoping after my coworkers saw my pictures, maybe they'd take me more seriously. I have never preached to any of them, it's just an automatic defense that happens when they see my food. I am sure all of you reading this know exactly what I am talking about.
While I was hoping my photography would help people's understanding of veganism, what it's done for me is made me realize even more how alone I am out here. I would love nothing more than to pack up my home and move to a large city where I could find a vegan community of friends, but that's just not possible at this time. So I began searching online for a community of friends and that's when I found veggieboards.
I am hoping to make likeminded, compassionate friends; I can share my love of good food, animals, and ideas with. Will you join me?
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#2 Old 05-03-2017, 04:31 PM
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Welcome! There are many like-minded people here!

Vegan: because I'm being the change I wish to see in the world
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#3 Old 05-03-2017, 06:43 PM
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Welcome! I feel your pain, living in the midwest as a vegan. I am also very shy and introverted, and i understand how hard it is to make friends.

Have you ever made any food to share at work? Is there an opportunity to do that? The department I have been in for 2.5 years is nothing like where I came from. The department i used to work in were very adventurous and loved trying new foods I would bring in to share. This department, they are very conservative and like the standard SAD stuff. So it took some patience and effort, but I have gotten them to love my hummus, fermented cashew cream cheese spread, raw waldorf salad with vegan mayo (knock on wood huh?), vegan donuts. Food wins people over. But you need to figure out what they like and work from that. My department doesn't like "weird stuff" aka tofu or nutritional yeast, so I try to make things with ingredients they are familiar with, and make rich salty sweet types of foods, nothing over the top healthy for them. This is one strategy.

Sometimes I don't talk about my veganism at all with coworkers. I just try to be myself and keep politics etc at bay. I still have rarely done anything outside of work with anyone in this department save one person I took the CPC exam with on a Sunday outside of work. we had coffee beforehand and drove to the exam site together. I don't think it's that unnatural to not do anything with coworkers outside of work. However, I lived in a very small town called Crookston MN for four years, and I always had this feeling of being an "outsider" there. It's sad that people can't embrace those who have had a different experience or background, but it is what it is. It's great that we have the internet and forums like this now isn't it? I've learned so much from people here over the years.
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#4 Old 05-03-2017, 10:52 PM
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Hi, nice to meet you. I hope that the like minded people here can make up for your lack of understanding from your co-workers.
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#5 Old 05-04-2017, 07:11 AM
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Hello & Welcome. I would love to see some of your food photographs and recipe ideas!
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#6 Old 05-04-2017, 07:41 AM
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Hi, I'm Heather. I'm newly following a vegan diet, but have been vegetarian in the past and participated in several vegan challenges. I am feeling so good after just a week on this way of eating that I want to continue. Would love to see some of your photography. I enjoy cooking and seeing beautiful pictures of food I'm from a small town in South Carolina so very few vegetarians or vegans here.
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#7 Old 05-04-2017, 10:13 AM
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Wink Thank you!

Wow thank you for all your warm welcomes! I am so excited to get some good conversations rolling! Some of you asked to see some of my food photography. I am on Instagram, _feelgood_foodie_ . Veggieboards won't let me post pictures at this time, but feel free to visit my Instagram. Yesterday I posted a picture of lentil lasagna soup, It was so delicious! I am really looking forward to leftovers at lunch time ;
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#8 Old 05-04-2017, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naturebound View Post
Welcome! I feel your pain, living in the midwest as a vegan. I am also very shy and introverted, and i understand how hard it is to make friends.

Have you ever made any food to share at work? Is there an opportunity to do that? The department I have been in for 2.5 years is nothing like where I came from. The department i used to work in were very adventurous and loved trying new foods I would bring in to share. This department, they are very conservative and like the standard SAD stuff. So it took some patience and effort, but I have gotten them to love my hummus, fermented cashew cream cheese spread, raw waldorf salad with vegan mayo (knock on wood huh?), vegan donuts. Food wins people over. But you need to figure out what they like and work from that. My department doesn't like "weird stuff" aka tofu or nutritional yeast, so I try to make things with ingredients they are familiar with, and make rich salty sweet types of foods, nothing over the top healthy for them. This is one strategy.

Sometimes I don't talk about my veganism at all with coworkers. I just try to be myself and keep politics etc at bay. I still have rarely done anything outside of work with anyone in this department save one person I took the CPC exam with on a Sunday outside of work. we had coffee beforehand and drove to the exam site together. I don't think it's that unnatural to not do anything with coworkers outside of work. However, I lived in a very small town called Crookston MN for four years, and I always had this feeling of being an "outsider" there. It's sad that people can't embrace those who have had a different experience or background, but it is what it is. It's great that we have the internet and forums like this now isn't it? I've learned so much from people here over the years.
Thank you for the ideas! The most I've ever made for my coworkers were cookies during the Christmas season. One coworker seemed genuinely interested in knowing if my cookies were vegan. At the time I wasn't vegan so unfortunately I can't say that they were. But she seemed curious in a positive way. She's never asked for a recipe but she has responded well to my pictures, she even offered to help me build my own food blog. But we have a staff bonfire coming up, maybe I can think of something to make that I can share with my coworkers but won't frighten them, lol. The strangest thing I hear at work in response to my pictures is, "you're food looks so beautiful. Of course I am not a vegan but it sure looks good!" - like they can't try a new recipe because they're not vegan? So strange the "logic" people use sometimes.
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