You’re a vegan. It’s a little after noon on the weekend when your friend calls and says she wants to go to the mall to let off some of the stress from the work week. You’ve been dying to get out and do something so you happily agree to meet. You peruse through the stores delighting in the bustle of the people around you and some well deserved quality time with your friend. She asks you about how you got started with your vegan diet. As you talk about it she mentions being hungry and suggests grabbing something to eat. You are about to tell her that you brought something with you to eat when you realize that in your excitement you left it on the kitchen counter. Your stomach begins to growl as you both look through menu boards at the food court trying to figure out what you can eat. The whole mood of the day has changed and you both agree to just go home. This didn’t have to happen.
Many vegans shy away from social outings with nonvegans to avoid being a nuisance to the company around them because of their diet. After all, most restaurant and fast food chains don’t post which offerings are vegan and who wants to hold everyone up just to eat? Doesn’t that just make veganism unappealing to those around you and make you look like a snob? You don’t want to give up on your beliefs but you don’t want to ruin the mood either. What can you do?
What many vegans don’t realize is that most eateries do have at least one vegan item on their menus and it’s not always just salad. Going green is becoming trendier every day and food servers are taking notes. Restaurants like Johnny Rockets and Ruby Tuesday are offering veggie burgers that indeed are vegan! Others like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Subway and Cici’s Pizza Buffet will create vegan dishes for you with fresh ingredients. So how do you know who offers what?
Most vegans rely on word of mouth or posts to the many vegan forums on the internet. Many also attempt to contact the company they are interested in. Others just stay home. But there are other options available. The internet has become an excellent tool for exchanging information. Websites such as VegDining and Happy Cow’s Vegetarian Guide list restaurants that have vegetarian and vegan dishes by location.
For many a trip to a certain restaurant can be out of the way and take up a lot of time in a world where we’re all already busy with enough. But contacting a closer place for information may never elicit a response and is simply impractical when you’re casually out with friends. To avoid a situation like the food court, try Vegan Eating Out, a website laid out like a master vegan menu of all of your favorite places. With constant updates you’re always in the know of what’s available to you. It’s like having secret knowledge of all the choices you never knew you had as a vegan.
You’re at the mall. Your friend starts to look uncomfortable and suggests leaving. You smile and tell her how you’re going to out eat her today. You both laugh and get in line, ready to take a break and enjoy the rest of your day.
Article by the creator of Vegan Eating Out