Meet the Manch-vegans
Club seeks to unite animal-free eaters
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
The omnivore world can be a lonely place for vegans.
Jen Drociak has decided to change that with the creation of the Manchester Vegan Social Networking Club. The idea is for Manch-vegans to meet up once a month to have some fun.
“It’s a group for those who have been vegans for a while and can share their experiences or for those new to the vegan experience,” Drociak said.
Unlike vegetarians who often still consume animal products such as eggs, cheese and milk, vegans reject the use of animals for consumption and other purposes. Most choose this path for ethical and moral reasons, with their main objections focused on factory farms, inhumane farming practices, and animal testing. Others become vegans for environmental or health reasons.
“Becoming a vegan is a different path for everyone,” Drociak said. “People make the transition for different reasons. When you are doing it for ethical reasons, it is not about what you are giving up but what you are gaining.”
Drociak’s own journey began when she became a vegetarian at the age of 12. It started when she received a copy of Animal Liberation by Peter Singer and did a science fair project on factory farms. At the age of 28, “I decided to just go all of the way,” she said. “I was having a guilty conscience. I didn’t want to contribute in any way to the suffering of animals.”
In those early days, Drociak remembers, frozen meals and canned vegetables were the norm. She ate a lot of Prince spaghetti with Ragu sauce.
“It’s been a fun adventure. You learn after a time to eat a wide range of vegetables, fruits and grains. Everyone should consult with a nutritionist and a doctor before making this big of a leap. From a health perspective, it is a very healthy lifestyle. It cuts down on the health problems caused by our modern diet. Of course, you can eat Cape Cod chips and drink a Coke and still be vegan, but it isn’t very healthy,” she said.
Activities for the social club will include vegan pot-luck dinners, meals at area restaurants, recipe swaps and environmental activities. She also foresees discussions of vegan-themed books, such as Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World by Bob and Jenna Torres or In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan.
If you are interested in joining the club, call or e-mail Drociak, and pass along any ideas you have for group activities. “I just want to see if there is anyone else out there,” Drociak said. With a slight grin, she added, “A friend pointed out that it might be a good way to also meet a nice vegan man.”