veganism as a gesture

no pictures today, just a story and some happy squishy feelings.

awhile back i was invited to give a presentation to a women’s group at a bank across town. my stepmom helps run said bank, which is how they got my name. they do an event several times per year called “for women, by women” and the topic varies (pretty widely). sometimes it’s about finance, sometimes it’s about other general-interest stuff. they usually host about 50 women and serve them dinner (they always call it “a light meal,” but it’s at 6pm so it’s basically dinner) before the presentation starts. so anyhow, they asked me to do a presentation on interpersonal communication stuff, and i said sure thing.

in the interim, i found out that they were planning to make the meal they served that night totally vegan. i was blown away; such a sweet gesture! as it turns out, they did a lot of work behind-the-scenes to make it happen, and i was so touched by their thoughtfulness. my stepmom has always been extremely supportive of my veganism, and i’m sure she had a hand in this, but the woman who was actually in charge of the event did all the legwork and really went above and beyond (including driving 40 minutes to one of my favorite restaurant/cafes to pick up ‘vegan groceries’ and get chocolate peanut butter cake!).

so, the presentation was last night, there was a great turnout, and the meal went over extremely well. they didn’t make a big deal over its vegan-ness; they just said “we’re having chili, eat up!” and let everyone dig in. they ordered an enormous pot of chili from a local restaurant (who just happens to use a vegan recipe), and then they had avocado, red onion, and sour supreme for garnish. there was elbow macaroni on the side in case anyone wanted to add that in, and then they had a bunch of delicious bread with earth balance, a fruit salad that was gone before i even got a chance to check it out, and the aforementioned chocolate peanut butter cake for dessert. people loved everything, came back for seconds, and eventually the word just spread quietly that it was a vegan meal. it was so awesome; a non-issue in the best way.

i’m not sure if anyone’s ever made a sort of grand gesture like that on your behalf before, but i have to say, it was pretty amazing, and i appreciated it more than they’ll ever know. i thanked them about 19 times, though, just to try and get it across.



  1. That is really, really lovely of her. It’s nice when people go out of their way to accommodate you instead of trying to make a vegan feel left out. I’m so glad they all loved the meal as well!

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