I have read the threads so far on this issue you bring up about alcohol at the veg meetups. I have pasted the thread following this one, at the end of this message so they are all in one. I would like to respectfully respond.
First of all, I would like to let you know who I am. I am 56 years old, a mom or 3 and grandma of 2, a vegan (originally for health, continuing for health AND ethical reasons), and I was raised by 2 alcoholic parents, so I too have lots of experience with alcohol and alcoholics. I am not an alcoholic and I seldom drink, even when I am attending an event where others are drinking. Our son-in-law is a rock musician and we often attend his shows in bars, where I almost never drink, while others do. I have a low tolorance for people who drink to the point where they are mean (that was how my dad behaved) or stupid, and no tolorence for people who drive while intoxicated. I don't mind attending an event where other adults are drinking and behaving in a respectful manner. Personally, I don't like the way I feel the day after, when I have had more than one or two drinks, so I "choose" not to do that to myself. It bothers me to see vegans drink coke or eat hydrogenated oils (the later will eventually kill them, which doesn't reflect well on the vegan lifestyle), but I wouldn't boycott events and isolate myself from otherwise fun activities with nice people, because of it.
That said, doctors will tell you that it is actually good for you, a woman, to have a drink a day (2 for men). More than that is not good. Your choice to totally abstain from alcohol, is your choice. I have totally respect for that.
I can tell you that being a vegan has nothing to do with the choice to abstain from drinking alcohol. Eating an animal or their by products, causes suffering and death to an innocent being and is certainly unhealthy for the consumer. Having a drink or 2, may or may not harm the the consumer.
You brought up AA, which has nothing to do with a vegan meetup. It doesn't matter if the local AA or MAD groups would "be shocked" that some vegans drink at vegan meetings. I'm sure I would find it disturbing that they serve dead animals at their meetings. As a child of alcoholics and a vegan, I don't go there and tell them how to conduct their meetings. A member of my vegan meetup, who also happens to be an AA member, often has vegan gatherings at his home, where wine is available for attendees to drink, if they chose to drink it. He simply doesn't drink it himself. Everyone who does, behaves in a respectful manner. That's what adults do.
Also, on one hand you are complaining about your thoughts and concerns being censored, while on the other you want to control what others do at the meetups. I just thought I'd point that out. It doesn't make sense to me that you want people to repsect your choices, while you seem to be intolorent of their choices. Sorry, but your choice of the words "alcohol CULTURE" sounds very intolorent. Whether I drink or not at an event where there is alcohol served, does not make me part of a "culture" of alcohol.
I am curious to know if you go to restaurants or outdoor festivals? If so, you must surely know that most of both, serve alcohol. What is the difference between walking around a festival or eating at the next table over from a stranger who is having a drink and behaving in a respectful manner, or being at an event with people who happen to share your basic diet choices, who are also having a drink and behaving in a respectful manner? There is no difference in my opinion. But that's my opinion.
Personally, I would LOVE to see all AA and MAD events be entirely vegan, for the animals' sake, the environment and the health of the attendees. Perhaps you might consider encouraging those groups to move in that compassionate direction?
Thank you for your time.
I hope you all have a lovely week, Ann
PS - Lisa, thank you SO much for your efforts to provide a fun community for us to gather and meet eachother, in this world where compassion toward innocent beings is sadly a low priority. Socializing is good for our hearts! :-)