Friday, June 5, 2009

"Atlanta area veg heads are not very social"

Let me preface this by saying, we here at VeglifeAtl are the most social veg heads we know. So clearly this person was referring to all of you other vegetarians/vegans in Atlanta. That being said, we had the fortunate/unfortunate opportunity (depending on how you look at it) to speak with a fellow Atlanta vegetarian this past week and a few revelations came from that conversation.

Part 1 of which we are sharing with you today.

"Veg heads in Atlanta are not very social. Nor do they interact very well with one another."

We'll give details of what prompted this person to make this bold statement in our next post.

Really? Could it be true?

What say you?


Alicia (Vegan Guinea Pig) said...

It's interesting. Just because we're vegan/vegetarian does that mean that we are then obligated to hang out with and be social with every single vegan or vegetarian person in Atlanta? That seems like a ridiculous notion.

Anonymous said...

please UNhyperlink my image.
or i'll do it.
or maybe replace it with something you don't want to see.
thank you.

Veglife Atlanta said...

Wow. Clearly a timely post. :)

Feel free to "unhyperlink" yourself, as we have no idea who you are (anonymous) or what you are referring to.

Veglife ATL

Lite }{ said...

I agree to a certain extent, because I attended an event 2 years ago and it seemed like if you didn't fit into a certain box of what a vegan/vegetarian "should" be, people seemed taken aback. Just like many other labels/titles, if you aren't wearing the "uniform" people aren't particularly courteous. Some of us aren't the stereotypical granola vegan with vegan uniform on and it's sad when other people in general have any kind of superiority complex. I don't believe this is a "vegan" problem though. It's a human problem generally. It may also be an Atl thing too, as many natives aren't particularly friendly to "foreigners" lol It's all a riot basically, though.

Anonymous said...

I think Atlanta is such an easy place to be veg or vegan that it's less vital for us to band together. It's nice to get together with other vegans (we belong to another vegan group we have lunch with once a month) but all our omni friends are very respectful of our food choices and "get" us. There are lots of restaurants to choose from. So I'm with Alice - we don't feel obliged to hang out with every other "veg head" in the ATL. (But we are happy to, and we're nice - I promise!)

Anonymous said...

Sorry - I meant "I'm with Alicia", not Alice. My mistake.

Rebecca Alexander said...

I think we are being stereotyped once again!But seriously, Vegetarians and vegans are all so different, I just don't know you could NOT find someone to relate to.

johnatl said...

Maybe the vegs that left this impression need more roughage in their diet. No, wait...
Okay, maybe they were vegetarian, and it's all the milk and cheese in their diet making them cranky. Perhaps it is dairy guilt? Yeah, could be it, they can't enjoy their ice cream for thinking about the veal industry.

Seriously, you can't say, "All [whomever] are [whatever]." America had a big war for that in 1861. For instance, I know there are friendly people in Philadelphia. I just didn't meet any of them when I was there.

So why the teaser, details please?!

Anonymous said...

I think this may be an ITP/OTP issue to some extent. When outside the perimeter I definitely feel a bit more persecuted for being veg and am "much" less likely to mention that I'm veg to anyone I meet who's from an OTP area but inside the perimeter it's a totally different thing. Certainly being veg in Georgia is nowhere near as acceptable as it is on the west coast (or in any "blue" state) and to an extent the ITP area is a "blue" area in a sea of "red"-necks so maybe the social dynamic is related to something more fundamental like relative education-level? Atlanta does have some people who genuinely hate vegans and vegetarians (and in some of the cases where I've run into people going off on veg lifestyle I noticed it was somewhat politically motivated). Another good example of where this can be found is in comedy, I've seen several comedy acts that were stereotyping vegans/vegetarians incorrectly and I've noticed that the same set of jokes ran along the lines of extremely sexist/racist comedy which to me is clearly a less intellectual form of humor (it exists and I wasn't offended). I think this "style" of humor is more popular in the South than anywhere else because we (sadly) have a less educated group of people demographically. All this being said I really don't think the vegetarians and vegans I know are any less social than any other group of people I know in Atlanta but I will say that people in some other cities such as Austin, Portland, Seattle, and San Fran are much more social in general than Atlanta.

BTW: The unhyperlink my image comment probably refers to the fact that you are using someone else's "grinch" image on another website (possibly impacting their bandwidth and increasing the costs they have to pay to their service provider). I suspect if he or she replaces that image with something pornographic or some malware (which will affect everyone who views the VegLife webpage) you'll understand what they mean a little better. I'd unlink it personally ;-)

johnatl said...

Speaking of stereotyping, geez Anonymous(2), give me a break.
To paraphrase:
Everyone outside the perimeter is a stupid meat eating republican.
Everyone inside the perimeter is a veg loving democrat brainiac.

If the humor you mentioned didn't offend you, why bring it up? In case you hadn't noticed, Sarah Silverman and hundreds of other non-Southern comedians make a living making jokes about stereotypes.

I'm curious why you have had confrontations with so many people both inside and outside the perimeter, as well as in cities nationwide, about your diet choices?
Do you go to a BBQ joint in Tucker and say, "Hey stupid, I'm vegan, bring me some pita bread and hummus."?

Veglife Atlanta said...

Whew! We've fixed our grinch link!
Carry on!

Curry St John said...

I learned about that "hyperlink" issue myself, the hard way - people freak out when you use their bandwith without their permission (always save images to your hard drive first, then upload to your own provider before posting). :)

Re: Atlanta veg people not socializing? Yes! I agree. I joined a LiveJournal Atlanta veg community and only the community host would post. No one would join, nor participate. We have no big veg festivals like other cities, Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, LA, Portland, Seattle. It's like if Atlanta has vegetarians/vegans they are keeping it super quiet.

Outside of Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe, which is nationally known, we have a whole lot of nothing. A teeny handful, a small palmful of veg restaurants, and the Veg Life group you created.

There will be a vegan bake sale on June 21st, and that's exciting! But other than that, I've learned just to be a solitary vegan in a city not too conducive to meeting others of my kind. Oh well. ;)

johnatl said...

Hi Curry,
Search for "vegan, atlanta" at and you'll get hundreds of hits. There are lots of places to eat and shop veg in Atlanta.

Nathan Nobis said...

My guess is that many individuals who complain about some group of people not being very social or inviting or whatever are probably not themselves all that social or outgoing or whatever. I'd be curious to know the initial person's complaint here, but my bet is that he or she did not try very hard to engage others. And I really doubt that if he or she did he or she probably was not outright rejected.

One potential problem, however, is that if there is fairly fixed seating at the Veg Meetup events, that makes meeting new people a bit harder. What venues allow for the best mingle-ability, I really don't know.

Veglife Atlanta said...

Very interesting, Nathan...

We've been doing this for long time and we agree to the point that an experience is what you make it.

This person is a member of a few groups and has based their opinion on the totality of their experiences and I will definitely update you guys on this person's view point very soon.

Carry on! :)

Anne said...

people "freak out" over hyperlinked images because hyperlinking people's images is stealing. saving them and using them when they are copyrighted is still stealing.

johnatl said...

Whether stealing the image or not, you also use bandwidth from someone else's server to display the picture. It's kind of like someone seeing a picture they like in your home, and they show it to all their friends, using minutes from your cell phone.

Mary (and Frank) Hamilton said...

We have not experienced his judgmental attitude toward our dietary preferences. Most often, people want to know more, ask interesting questions and note that we look well, healthy, happy, well nourished, especially for our age group. Most often, people want to engage in conversation and are social. Sounds like the person who posted these dispirited and dyspeptic
comments may possibly have some 'splaa-nen' to do?
Occasionally, we do encounter some people who feel sensitive about their own meat eating habits and do not want to be reminded that they complicit in the destruction of the planet as we know it, through their own dietary habits.
These individuals are in denial and we can only be good examples of health and social responsibility, this is the way to teach and not preach. I sense this is what may have turned this person off and prompted comment. We are dealing with "old mode & outdated" thinking & that is why our planet is in trouble. We all feel the urgency and kickback from those reluctant to make changes is likely to occur.
Like Kipling says: ...And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise/ from his poem "IF"


VeggyJ said...

Why does it have to be acceptable to anyone but you? Don't get caught up with everyone else's thought and reactions to you. I have been veg for a year and haven't met many people that primarily understand why I don't eat meat. I also have not had an issue with any form of direct disrespect because of it. I was never teased or ridiculed. I mean, if you think about it, it would sound really lame. "Look at the vegetarians. Ha,ha, ha." Come on! Are you kidding me. I would probably also bust out in laughter. If we sit around getting angry at people for talking about us because we decide to eat differently, that makes us just as petty. Honestly, if I was to try to talk about others, that would be the last and most ignorant thing on my list due to the fact that my brain moves much quicker and holds more thoughts than that.

I am fortunate enough, like many others, to have the opportunity to teach outsiders about the topic. Although they are interested in the facts, they are not interested in joining(and I don't try to ask). I don't take offense to it because I made the decision to do this without consulting anyone. Why do I now need to be accepted. I am accepted for many other great things in my life. Go out, have fun, do what you want to do and excuse me for this but "who cares?" You are healthier for what you do.

EVERYONE is stereotyped for anything you can think of.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I haven't experienced this but I don't hang out that much. Everyone has their own opinions. It's all good. :)


HayMarket8 said...

Atlanta long time vegan here, when is the next meet up?

Smarry said...

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