1. Don’t intentionally stand out. This one is obvious, but, if you’ve gone veg for animal reasons maybe you feel like you need to defend animals at all times. I have a closet full of pro-animal shirts, but I only wear them when that’s who I want to be. Sometimes I’m out wearing a pro-animal shirt and I stop feeling like being a spectacle, so I turn the shirt inside out, and voila, I’m normal.
2. Casually keep it a secret. If you go out to eat with non-vegans, and somebody asks why you’re abstaining from cheese, just casually say “eh I don’t really like cheese” or “I’m just not feeling the cheese tonight”. Usually, if you downplay the importance, people will let it go. People have all kinds of dietary restrictions and allergies these days. If they don’t let it go, just say “it’s complicated” or “it’s a long story” and brush it off.
If somebody asks directly about your vegan/vegetarianism, it may be a good opportunity to advocate. But if you’re not in the mood to be a spectacle, and somebody asks “hey you’re a vegan aren’t you?”, it’s within your rights to say “na, I just eat like one”.
it’s within your rights to say “na, I just eat like one”
At the restaurant, make it out like holding the cheese is a specific request and avoid using the word ‘vegan’. If you need to know whether something has meat or cheese, by all means ask, but act as though you’re just not in the mood tonight.
3. Practice. It’s really not hard to blend in, once you start learning how. If your meals are always about veganism, try going out with omni acquaintances once and challenge yourself to keep it a secret.
4. Hang with veg friends. Community support and social pressure are incredibly powerful forces. If you’ve never been together with a group that is all vegan, you don’t know what you’re missing! The social reinforcement is well worth getting out to that meetup, conference, or retreat.
By allowing ourselves to relax in social situations, we can avoid alienating ourselves and others, and make it more likely that we’ll stay veg for the long term.