Welcome to A "Vegan Life" Colorado, or Vegan Life for short!
We have changed our name a few times over the years, simply for "keeping up with the times" reasons. We think our current 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), and now we are A "Vegan Life" Colorado. The group has always been vegan based and our name has always had "vegan" in it so our current name is no different in those respects.
Though our name has changed a few times, our purpose has never changed.
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, to support each other, etc.
We have never hidden the fact that part of the reason for the group existing, is for plant-based (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, in our description, and in our welcome letter, and we mean that. 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 or a place for education. 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,
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.
Here's our group description (as posted on "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."
We hope this is helpful for understanding our name and reasons for existing.
Please feel free to email the organizers, if you have any questions.
Ann and The Vegan Life Colorado Team
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