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Drug Free Vegans?
nae Posted at 2011/01/23 10:15am reply to

nae
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I'm on a quest to make new drug free vegan friends in Austin! I've personally never drank alcohol, smoked, or done any other drugs and I've been vegan for 8 years. I seem to either meet vegans who smoke a ton of pot or drink a lot or drug free/straight edge people who can't live without meat.

Anyone else in the same boat?
Ross Posted at 2011/01/23 10:30am reply to

Ross
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Yo! If you come to one of our meetups, we at least have a few folks who don't drink or smoke(myself included), though those who do don't usually overdo it, we're a pretty chill group as a whole. happy
chaosdollheads Posted at 2011/01/23 10:38am reply to

chaosdollheads
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alas, i am in a different boat altogether.but i am curious about your plight. being around people with little to know self control can be awkward if not sad, especially when said people regularly indulge to the point of harm, but does it bother you when your friends are vegan and have a drink or two or smoke small amounts of herb?

i have (like most in this group) watched countless friends and acquaintances tear into animal on their plates at the same table i eat my veggies. whereas i've never become used to it, i don't wish to trade good friends for lesser friends who eat conscientiously. of course, i would certainly prefer they came to see the light. sometimes they do.

i'm trying to wrap my head around your situation, but i feel i'm doing a poor job of it. i did go through a period of indulging in nothing but caffeine (many, many moons ago) and still associated with people who drank. seeing people whose goal in life seems to be getting smashed on one thing or another is as sad today as it was then. i could easily be acquaintances with such people, but my friends tend to have higher priorities. most of us drink, though, and i can't think of a single friend who has not partaken of pot. it's a question of balance for me. if someone's life is in imbalance, they tend to slam into others repeatedly like a rogue gyroscope.

what i'm really wanting to know is if you see people who indulge mindfully and without letting substances rule their lives as somehow lesser or weak of will.
nae Posted at 2011/01/23 10:50am reply to

nae
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@Ross Yay! I look forward to attending some meet ups once I'm moved in and such - My friend and I are also going to have a housewarming party at some point and we'll throw it up on the events list happy

@chaosdollheads It does bother me to some degree when my friends drink or smoke. It's pretty similar to having friends who eat meat/dairy/animal products- I don't agree with their decision, but I don't personally believe I have any right to tell them how to live their life or what choices to make.

I still have tons of friends who drink, and tons of friends who eat animal products. I'm just looking to find other friends who are drug free and vegan because they have a similar mindset to myself (generally, that of keeping a clear mind). At no point am I at all saying I'd reject friendship with someone who drinks because that's silly - friends are awesome and variety is necessary. I'm just trying to prove to myself that I'm really not as alone as I feel. I don't think of people who 'indulge mindfully' as you said as 'lesser or weak of will', I would just rather indulge in fresh baked vegan cookies or brownies and not in a mind altering substance. happy
peter Posted at 2011/01/23 12:40pm reply to

peter
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Welcome to the group/board, nae and chaosdollheads.  happy

@nae - I'm also a drug-free vegan.  I go back and forth on the straight-edge title, though.

@chaosdollheads - It's interesting that you bring this up, because it's something that I've thought about recently.  I went to a housewarming party last night where there was a keg and other alcohol served, and I when I thought about it later, I was taken aback a bit by how chill I was about it.  A few years ago this would have NOT been the case.  It's not like my younger self would have sabotaged the keg, but it would have prohibited my enjoyment of the evening with its presence.

Now, I realize that while some habits are more destructive than others, we ALL have our methods of escaping reality.  No one can abstain entirely from mind altering substances when everything in our environment (food, TV, social interactions, etc.) affects us psychologically and biochemically.  For me, my escape is the computer.  I could easily veg out for hours staring at this screen, much like I'm doing now.  It has a calming, drug-like effect.  Is it as destructive as pot or alcohol?  Good arguments could be made either way.  All I know is that I can't judge others for choosing a different method when the results are essentially the same.  And everyone of us does this, whether our habits are playing video games, rocking out with the crowd at a punk show, or gorging on vegan food, we all have our ways of coping with life that affect our brain chemistry.  Are these the same as getting wasted?  No.  But I'm comparing them to moderate consumption, not abuse.

All that said, I think there good reasons to not partake in drugs or alcohol consumption at all.  I think that both are shitty industries to financially support (if your pot is from Mexico, blood is on your hands), and I personally believe that the latter is used as a social crutch waaaaaay too often.  There's good health reasons as well, and if you are prone to addiction, then that's a whole new ball game.  And of course abuse of these drugs, as well as the use of harsher and more addictive substances, are incredibly destructive.  However, I still think that a major reason why I'll never do drugs is that I never did in the first place.  All the previously stated reasons still matter very much, but since drugs/alcohol were never part of my socialization growing up, why start now?  I don't need to.  I don't think I ever will.  There's no fucking point.

We had a similar thread a couple of years ago, and one guy posted that it was tragic to define yourself by what you DON'T do.  That's stuck with me, and I often use it when explaining my veganism.  There has to be something other than abstaining for abstinence's sake.  Being straight-edge is fine, perhaps even worthy of support, but it has to be more than just a punk-inspired rejection of mainstream values just for the sake of rejecting the norm.  I'm sure a good number of those who identify as sXe base their philosophy on concrete reasoning, but I still think it's worth mentioning.  I think a big reason why people stop being straight-edge when they get older is because they became straight-edge when they were young and trying to carve out an identity for themselves.  If people base their beliefs more on concrete reasoning, then it's more likely that they'll stay that way.

By the way, NONE of this is meant as passing judgment on straight-edgers or anyone else.  The whole point of this is to limit passing judgment on anybody based on what they choose to do.

I could say more, especially about the decriminalization angle (which I support), but this is already a LONG post.  Peace.
jillian Posted at 2011/01/23 1:03pm reply to

jillian
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Nae, Although I do enjoy the occasional beer or cocktail, I keep it very occasional, and will go months without it and feel perfectly happy.  I never ever use drugs, even the natural ones, although I have no qualms with people who do.  I always enjoy meeting people who understand the importance of moderation and the idea of "make it a treat"!

Jillian  
nae Posted at 2011/01/23 1:18pm reply to

nae
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@Peter We have very, very similar opinions on this. I really like your idea of not defining oneself by what one doesn't do.

@Jillian Awesome! We will have to hang out sometime!
BreanneSaldivar Posted at 2011/01/23 7:53pm reply to

BreanneSaldivar
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Nae,

It's good to meet a fellow vegan "straight edger" (sorry for throwing the label out there but I don't know what else to call ya).

I am alcohol and drug free as well. I too, have never smoked pot; but unfortunately I cannot say the same for other substances. angry But that was long ago - the troubled days of my youth. I have since moved on and I struggle to find friends who I am 100 percent comfortable hanging out with. They either drink and do drugs or they eat junk (meat, processed foods, GM foods, etc.). It makes life difficult because I stick up for myself, I stand my ground and I explain my choices and values. But this leads to a great loneliness and isolation. I always feel like the odd one out. The one who doesn't order anything at the BBQ joint. The one who asks for a water with lemon at the bar. It can be quite defeating at times. But I am proud of my decision to live this way; the way that I want to.

Anyways, are you new to Austin? If so, what brought you here? How do ya like it?
posirich Posted at 2011/01/25 4:56pm reply to

posirich
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i'm chill xvx
jillian Posted at 2011/01/27 3:10am reply to

jillian
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You guys, we should have a straight edg....or crooked center (?) get together sometime.  I'm not sure what that would entail, but we could make it work.  Maybe just cook a really nice meal and get to know each other.  Who knows?  Maybe we could rotate it and do theme nights or something (like Italian, not Love Boat or anything).  Just an idea.

Nae, I feel ya.  If I am driving I won't even have one drink, but am perfectly happy with a juice.  It's AMAZING how uncomfortable this makes some people!

Jill
BreanneSaldivar Posted at 2011/01/27 9:31am reply to

BreanneSaldivar
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I second that.
VeGanesha Posted at 2011/02/01 9:51pm reply to

VeGanesha
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Nae,

I am in the same boat as you. I have been vegan for just over a year and sober for 9 months on the 3rd of this month. I find myself feeling more and more alone when it comes to veganism and sobriety.

Most of the time, I don't mind hanging out with my friends when they are drinking. I even enjoy being able to be the DD for my loved ones, but sometimes I just need to be around someone that can relate to me.

I would love to meet some friends like me as well!
Daiya-Bollich Posted at 2011/02/05 11:27pm reply to

Daiya-Bollich
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It seems like this has been a sounding board for people to express their insecurities regarding their consumption of stimulants and depressants. I don't think those on either side should feel defensive. I think we're all tolerant here.

I've found VRA to be a very prude-friendly group. I only recall a couple of official events where alcohol was consumed, and never to any level of excess.

Peter, I really like your point about the various avenues of escaping reality. I agree that it's important to acknowledge how all the things we consume influence us.

All my statements have been meant to pass judgment. :p
ElectraMourning Posted at 2011/02/12 3:29pm reply to

ElectraMourning
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Hello, Nae!  I too am a drug/alcohol free vegan, looking to make new friends.  

I think a lot of things which have been brought up in this post have been really interesting, seeing different peoples perspectives.  It's a reminder that we've all come to a similar conclusion from very different backgrounds, which I think is fantastic.
woolymammoth Posted at 2011/02/13 11:40pm reply to

woolymammoth
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i still listen to STRIFE and EARTH CRISIS.  
Kristen Posted at 2011/04/12 1:14pm reply to

Kristen
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xvx here.

Also, strife and earth crisis are backed.
Josh xvx Topic Posted at 2011/04/14 11:12pm reply to

Josh xvx Topic
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vegan edge pride

strife and earth crisis backed x2 although i do have to say i'm bummed that strife still plays their old stuff.......
foxyrabbit Posted at 2011/06/08 10:45am reply to

foxyrabbit
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i'm sXe, too. 3 years. i need my friends to be sober while we are together. i also seek out sober spaces. being around intoxication triggers terrible defense mechanisms in me, due to my experiences of being molested sexually, mentally, and verbally by people who consume the slightest amount of alcohol and do a personality change. children cannot cope with drinkers or other intoxicated folks because the differences in behaviour, though minor, causes confusion in a mind that is learning the difference between outside realities and perceptional realities. sXe is about building trust, knowing devotion, and abstaining from causing harm.

lemme know if ya ever want to hang out. i am looking for friends.
-jesse
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