According to Google Trends, last month marked a spike for the search term “vegan” that equaled the spike in vegan searches that normally happens only at New Year’s (aka, resolution time). Perhaps watching What the Health got you on the wagon to better living or the slaughterhouse scene in newly Netflixed Okja is pushing you in the vegan direction. Whatever your reasoning might be, you might need some help when making the transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle. With this in mind, we’ve compiled seven Facebook groups that will help you figure out how to navigate these new compassionate waters. All you have to do is ask for permission to join, and you’ll have yourself a vegan support system that spans the globe.
1. Vegans United
The largest Facebook group dedicated to all things cruelty-free, Vegans United is 100,000 members strong, and newbies are totally welcome. Vegans United is a fun space to check out pictures of what people are eating daily, discuss issues of how to gently respond to family members that disapprove of your new lifestyle, and ask that one burning question: how do I turn this [fill in the blank] into ice cream? However, the group’s administrators do have some conditions (posted in the pinned note) that must be understood to be a good member—no trying to hook up with other vegans (there are vegan dating groups for that).
2. Aquafaba (Vegan Meringue—Hits and Misses)
Aquafaba: Hits and Misses was launched in 2015 after software engineer Goose Wohlt coined the term ”aquafaba” (or bean water) upon discovering the incredible egg white-like qualities of the water inside a can of chickpeas. Here, members use aquafaba for making cupcakes, frosting, pudding, vegan butter, cheese, ice cream, and just about anything you can imagine (including the eponymous vegan meringue cookies). The best part? You can gawk at all the gorgeous photos (or get some baking tips of your own) posted by what we’re convinced are professional bakers.
3. My Vegan Dreams
People in My Vegan Dreams are always interested in giving others solid veganism advice. Come here for recommendations on thought-provoking vegan documentaries, inspirational “how I went vegan” stories, and posts about how members rescue various animals from precarious situations. The group does not allow links, so if you want to share something, you must type it out (even recipes). Lately, My Vegan Dreams members have been playing fun vegan games such as posting the name of a food and then continuing the chain using the last letter of the food to name a new one (ie, avocado … oranges … spirulina).
4. Vegan Cheese Lovers Club
Perhaps you came to veganism from being a long-time vegetarian and cheese was that one thing you could never give up (but thankfully finally did). If so, Vegan Cheese Lovers Club is great because the group shows the novice former cheese-eater that plenty of plant-based, savory delights are available. Here, you will find vegan cheese-related stories ranging from new cheesy products to cheesemaking workshops. Members will also post photos and recipes of their own impressive cheeses that they concoct from a variety of nuts, tofu, and other plant bases that’ll help guide you toward quitting that animal cheese for good. Some of the cheeses you’ll see posted here are too good to be true—think luscious camembert surrounded by a ripened rind and gooey bleu cheeses with just the right amount of funk. We strongly suggest you join and then settle down with some wine (vegan, of course!)
5. My Vegucation
As implied by the name, My Vegucation is a group founded on vegan educational needs. If you know that dairy sucks but aren’t sure why, group members will help you make the cruelty connection—hint, it has to do with baby calves, but also a lot more. Come here if you’re not sure what vegans eat for breakfast or if you’re stumped about how to order vegan food on a night out. Members also post a collection of vegan memes, recipes, and designs for new vegan products with a message (on items such as pins and t-shirts), which means you can get your vegan shopping and education all in the same place.
6. Vegan Humor
If self-deprecating humor is your jam, then Vegan Humor is the group for you. You like memes that make fun of what us vegans eat? Check. Comic strips that explain your day-to-day struggle to explain veganism to the masses? Sure thing. From ”Gary” the vegan cheese to the recent poop-related event at a Nashville vegan restaurant (we must ask you to Google this on your own), no hilarious topic is left un-posted in this group. Think of this as your free space to post the funnies you find in real life—as long as no animal is exploited—and you’ll be lol-ing with a large group of hilarious vegans on the internet.
7. Cool Cats Group
The founder of this group is vegan, but that’s the only relation Cool Cats has to veganism. That said, we know you love cats as much as we do, which is why we’re including it. This group is strictly for photos, videos, and discussions of the feline nature. Thus, posting a picture of (say) a ferret and calling him a “long cat” will get you banned. People often ask group members to help them choose names for a new rescue kitten (everyone always falls back on Game of Thrones characters FYI), or post photos of cat “beans” (those toe cushions we covet to touch for more than two seconds at a time), but mostly the group is a bunch—we’re talking more than 140,000 international members strong—of cat people looking at other people’s cats during work hours.
Anna Starostinetskaya is VegNews’ news editor and spends more time perusing the Cool Cats Group than she’d like to admit.