pop culture, food, politics, life.
*In order to be inclusive, I am going to use the term veg*n. It encompasses vegetarians, vegans, and those who float between the two.
The humidity is in the air and the Fresh Prince’s eternally classic “Summertime” is blasting from the speakers. People are gathering for graduation affairs, small backyard parties, or family reunions. Someone lights up the grill and asks you if you want cheese on your burger. You tell them that you’re a veg*n. The questions start coming, your stomach starts rumbling, and you feel as if you have been through this one too many times.
1. Bring your own food
Don’t be that person who sits at the table hungry looking at people while they eat every hot dog, hamburger, and piece of chicken known to man. Bring your own veggie hot dogs to throw on the grill. Cook a dish or two and bring it to the cookout. Closed mouths don’t get fed and neither do veg*ns who come empty handed to a carnivore’s BBQ.
2. Encourage dialogue
Human curiosity is a powerful thing. People will ask you about why you’re a veg*n. The beauty of cookouts is that it brings people together. Take a break from dancing to Earth, Wind, and Fire and answer your cousin’s questions about what you do and do not eat.
3 . Understand the idea of “time and place”
While tempting, cookouts are not a place where you stand next to the grill and lecture people on what they eat. You are not there to convert people to veg*nism. You are there to mix and mingle and have a good time with people you love (or like. or barely tolerate).
4. Throw your own party
Get on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram or if you are into DIY, craft some cards and invite your veg*n and non-veg*n friends. Call your old high school friends or your new friends from work and show them that yes, you can make some fantastic black bean burgers from scratch while dancing to your Summer Throwback playlist.
5. Support your small businesses
So you went to a BBQ and you left still hungry. Maybe you forgot your food, maybe you just did not bring enough. If you live in an area where there are great veg*n places or just restaurants with great veg*n options, swing by and support them. They will appreciate your support and you will appreciate their food.