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How to have a good time when you’re the odd one out

When you follow a plant-based diet, you get used to attending events that don’t always cater very well to what you eat. And it makes it hard to have a good time when you're often the odd ( plant-based) one out. Add to that, you might get challenged by people who don’t understand why you’ve chosen to eat plant-based (rather than follow traditional norms).

Luckily the move to a plant-based lifestyle is very topical, in a good way. So instead of feeling judged or defensive now’s the time to plant a few seeds and let others know what you love about plant-based eating.

Dinner party
Many traditions are centred around food (and not always the kind you eat)

Here’s how to have a good time when you’re the odd one out:

1. Don’t be shy

Ask for a vegan option when you accept an invitation. You might feel awkward. But it’ll be way more embarrassing if you turn up on the night and your host is in a spin trying to find you something to eat.

2. Have a chat

For family occasions, have a few conversations beforehand. You could talk about menu planning or what topics not to bring up at the table. You want your family to respect your lifestyle choice. And they want you to respect theirs too.

3. Bring your own

If your diet has people really stumped, show them how it’s done and bring your own! Bonus points if you take plates of deliciousness to share with everyone else. You’ll probably open a few minds as you do.

4. Make a splash

If you’re entertaining at home, go all out with dishes everyone will love. Impress them with a tasty and vibrant spread of the dishes you love. And try to have some familiar foods too that just happen to be plant-based.

5. Bat off arguments

Meat eaters often passionately defend what’s culturally or traditionally important to them. At an event the best thing to do is bat off any potential arguments before they begin and enjoy the occasion for what it is – a special time with family or friends.

6. Let it slide

If ever you were going to let uneducated or rude comments slide, a work event would be the time. They are an extension of the workplace and personal conflicts could reflect badly on you.

7. Be brave

Food is a big part of our identity, both individually and collectively. Many traditions are centred around food (and not always the kind you eat). But if it’s all too much, sometimes the better option is to respectfully decline the invite.

8. Most importantly, be proud

It’s not easy being the odd one out. But where would we be if everyone conformed to the traditional norms. Be proud of your choices. You make a difference – to your own health, to the planet and to animals too.

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