Join the Community.
Throughout my time being a vegan in Thunder Bay, I often felt discouraged: since our vegan population is not as high as it would be in larger cities, many stores and restaurants do not cater to my ethical values. But, no matter where you are, if you are in Thunder Bay like me or if you are in an even smaller community, you are never really alone. Numerous, unique social media sites mean that vegans can connect with fellow vegans; if you are apprehensive about veganism because of the isolating nature, have no fear, as the internet is a great way to join the vegan community and feel like you belong. YouTube is where I first learned of the vegan movement. Aside from the famous YouTube entertainers who just happen to be vegan, some YouTube entertainers specifically focus on veganism, recording the way they live in their lifestyle. Freelee the Banana Girl, who has almost 750000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, who is infamous on YouTube for her controversial vegan videos, and who has been interviewed on talk shows like The Today Show, is an especially influential YouTuber who made me, at least, feel like I am part of a larger community (Ratcliffe). Aside from YouTube vlogs, written blogs on social media such as this one, WordPress, function in the same way and are a great way to feel connected to a larger community. Furthermore, connecting through cooking recipes on Pinterest, a social medium that specialises in recipes, helps join individuals in this community. As proof of the power of Pinterest, the recipe for vegan burgers in an earlier post that kickstarted my vegan cooking was shared with me by my brother on Pinterest. With the interconnectedness of the world in modern times through social media and the internet, it is definitely difficult to actually feel isolated. Being a vegan, wherever you are, is, therefore, not a lonely experience.
Formal Work Cited
Ratcliffe, Leanne. “I debate with Dietitian on LIVE TV this morning – My reaction.” Youtube, uploaded by Freelee the Banana Girl, 30 March 2016, https://youtu.be/gZKDInabaPM