Having grown up in Colorado, I know all too well the struggles of being a vegan in a smaller town or country-esque atmosphere. When I made the choice to change my diet nearly seven years ago, there was only one vegan-friendly restaurant in the entire city—and don’t even get me started on the rest of the state! So as you can imagine, living this way posed a challenge at first, but it actually turned out not to be that difficult at all.

Follow these few simple tips, and you’ll be off to a good start as well:

1. Join or start a vegan club at school, and have potlucks. This is especially helpful if you’re in college and don’t have access to home-cooked meals as often.

2. Google and explore the local vegan joints, and bring your friends to help introduce them to a new world of delicious foods. No vegan restaurants in your town? Check out our guide to eating out at fast-food places, and you’ll be amazed by how many popular restaurants can easily be turned into a vegan paradise.

Because @TacoBell is BAE. ???? #TacoBell #WhatVegansEat #TacoBellVegetarianMenu #peta2life

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3. Call ahead before you eat out. You’d be surprised by how accommodating chefs can be and that many places these days have secret vegan menus! Ask what the options are, and see if the restaurant will work with you. You can do the same for college dining halls, too.

4. Don’t skip out on regular grocery stores. Faux meats and exclusively vegan brands are available at tons of grocery chains, but if your local store doesn’t carry them you don’t need to worry. Google vegan versions of your favorite recipes or use our peta2 recipes section, and you’ll find that there are many things that you can make from ingredients available at Kroger, Target, Ralph’s, Wal-Mart, and even the Dollar Store! Foods like pasta, Bisquick, sauces, tortillas, rice, tofu, bread, salsa, chips, grains, beans, etc. can make the most delicious meals and they’re so easy to find!

5. Take trips to the health-food stores. One of my fave things to do in college was to try a new vegan recipe once a week, and discovering goodies at the local Vitamin Cottage made the cooking experience even more fun.

6. For even more vegan options, try shopping online at vegan stores like Food Fight and Vegan Essentials. If there’s no health-food store in your area, online vegan stores will basically be your savior.

Piper ??

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7. Treat yourself to a monthly subscription box. Who doesn’t like getting packages in the mail? Vegan Cuts has a fun, affordable monthly vegan subscription box that enables you to try new vegan food and products no matter where you live.

8. Spread the vegan joy. Host a dinner and movie night: Invite your friends over for yummy food, and turn on some animal rights documentaries on Netflix. This is a fun and easy to way to open people’s minds to compassionate living.


9. Join the peta2. Back in the day, joining an online forum made me feel so much less alone on the vegan journey. Not only will being a part of peta2 give you opportunities to help animals, it’s also a rad online community that offers tons of support for young activists like you.

10. Don’t suffer from FOMO. It might seem tricky, but don’t think of being vegan in a small town as a downfall—think of it as an opportunity to start a movement! Remember that city I mentioned living in when I first went vegan that had only one vegan-friendly restaurant? Well, now, it has not only more restaurants but also a monthly vegan pop-up market, an all-vegan grocery store, an annual vegan prom to raise awareness for animals, and so much more. Proof that progress is possible! Own that token vegan status. 🙂

Having trouble talking to your friends about going vegan? Check out our advice list!


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