Hi Vegan Life Members and Friends,
There seems to be some confusion about our new name. I hope to put any concerns to rest.
We have changed our name a few times over the years, simply for "keeping up with the times" reasons. We think our new name sounds more welcoming to folks from all over, not just Denverites. In fact, we have had people quit because they moved from Denver to Aurora or Evergreen. To me they are all the same place, but apparently not to everyone. I suppose there is no way to make everyone happy with a name or to convey the overall intentions of a group in a name.
Our original name was Denver Vegan Meetup, then we changed to Denver and Beyond Vegan EatUp (beyond meaning we have events in places other than Denver), now we are Vegan Life Colorado. The group has always been vegan based and our name has always had "vegan" in it so the new name is no different in those respects.
Though our name has changed, our purpose has never changed. I'm sorry if the new name caused anyone to think that we will do anything differently than we have always done, because that definitely isn't the case.
We exist for several reasons; for socializing, as well as education (so we bowl, eat, hike, and also host movies, lectures, etc), as a place where people who are already vegan (whether for health or the animals) can have a place to go where they aren't judged and picked on for being vegan, a place where vegan or vegan curious can bring friends and family who aren't vegan so they can eat everything and still be with their loves ones, a place for those who are interested in trying vegan foods and/or learning about veganism, etc.
We have never hidden the fact that part of the reason for the group existing, is for vegan education. Many nonvegan people seek us out for that reason.
We make the statement that "everyone is welcome regardless of dietary preference" at the top of every potluck and in our welcome letter. If we were exclusive to only strict vegans, we couldn't possibly be a place for those who aren't vegan to come try veganism. We have always been inclusive, and we always will be.
Members who are vegan often bring friends and family who aren't vegan, and those of us who are vegan, do our best to help them feel welcome, as we do when nonvegan members attend. In fact, I think a good amount of our members aren't vegan, though we have never done a survey.
Only the food and drinks at our events are required to be plant-based (totally vegan), and that's the case because we are here to learn, teach, encourage and promote veganism, so it would be pointless if people eat with the group, what they usually eat when they aren't with the group. We would simply be an eating group, if that were the case, so we wouldn't have a reason to have the word vegan in our name at all.
Before going vegan myself, I always enjoyed eating vegan with people who were or mostly were vegan, because I was curious and I liked trying to convert things from nonvegan to vegan, while keeping them pretty much the same in taste and texture. It was a fun challenge for me. I liked the idea of eating with vegans, because I wasn't sure what to do or how or what to order so it helped me learn, while in a safe place. At the time, I couldn't go out with my meat eating friend's and say, "I think I'll order vegan today!" They would have made it totally unpleasant. Now I'm not bothered by what others think about what I eat,
So no, we haven't changed anything except our name. We won't be checking for leather at the door of events or asking folks what they eat outside the group. We never have and we never will. That isn't the point of the group and it would be pointless to have a group like that, in my opinion. Our "about us" message only changed slightly in order to include the new name and the "beyond" factor (meaning we have some gatherings outside Denver), since that part was removed from the name.
Here's our group description (About us):
"A "Vegan Life" Colorado is based in Denver, but we have fun, interesting and educational activities all over the place!
Our group welcomes everyone, regardless of dietary preference (vegan, ovo/lacto vegetarian, total vegetarian, pre-vegan, vegan curious, non-vegan, etc), to join our fun and friendly community to learn about a more healthy and compassionate vegan lifestyle. We welcome your participation in a variety of fun and educational vegan friendly social activities. We encourage your input and suggestions to help grow and nurture a wonderful community for you, the animals and our Earth."
I hope this is helpful.
Please feel free to email me personally if you have any questions.
Thank you and hugs,
VEGFEST COLORADO 2013
6 & 7 July 2013! See you there!
Follow VegFest Colorado on Twitter:
Think of me tonight, for that which you savor.
Did it give you something real, or could you taste the pain of my death in its flavor?
~Wayne K. Tolson "Food Forethought"
~ Animals have their own voices, but few listen.
Those of us who hear them, must help them to be heard. ~
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." –Elie Wiesel
Get involved! The World is run by people who show up. ~Unknown