The thing that most vegans or healthy eaters always think about when they travel is: "Will there be something for me to eat at. . ."
I didn't have those issues, but I did wonder. Luckily, I went to a graduation party and there was mixed green salad and pasta salad. I went to a funeral and there were rolls, rice, corn and other veggies. I went to my homegirl's house and there were plenty of snacks and breakfast foods. When I surprised my aunt at her house (she broke into the ugly cry, but I felt loved! Hey Aunt Susie!!! I know you are reading this) the first thing she said was: "We have lots of fruits and veggies in the fridge for you." I loved that! Lastly, I went to my sister's house (I'm an only child, but she is truly a sister) and she stocked up before I even got there. She had kale, spinach, red potatoes, corn on the cob, bananas, berries and peaches galore (the ones in Georgia exceeded my expectations for sure). You don't know how her prior planning touched me. I was able to cook everything I ate from scratch and I saved major money during the days that I stayed with her.
So this plethora of food options and show of abundant consideration got me wondering: Are the "lack" of vegan eats at events and while traveling all in our minds? I think the answer is two-fold.
Sure you can always pull together a vegan meal - as one of my virtual mentors Happy Herbivore says, "there are salads and baked potatoes at every restaurant." You can specify what you want at a restaurant and send the order back if it does not meet your desires (you are paying for it after all). Additionally, you can bring your own snacks and eat before you go to certain places so you won't be starving.
But we can't ignore the power of speaking up for yourself. My family and friends know that I am vegan. I haven't made it a secret. I haven't asked Uncle Greg for a hit of his brisket at the family function. I have welcomed the questions and the scrutiny. They understand (well some of them do any way) why I don't eat meat, so they know that when I step in the place to be, I don't want fried chicken and mac & cheese. Now, if it was fried chick'n and mac & cheeze, that would be a different story!
Make yourself heard around your family and friends and they will come around. . .and even if they don't really understand your choice to nix meat and animal by-products from your diet and even if they think you are crazy for not at least tasting Godmommy Ang's famous cheesecake at the party, at the very least they will respect your v!