vida vegan recovery, part 2

Right now I’m listening to another podcast, Our Hen House. I’m loving the coverage of the conference, since there’s so much I couldn’t see. This episode includes interviews with Jess, Chelsea Lincoln, and the lady heir of Herbivore. Three very different vegan voices.

One of our aims, our hopes, for the conference was to bring together these voices. Everyone in this one room, from the speakers to the registrants to our assistants and the exhibitors, was trying to leave the world a little nicer than they found it. It’s not always easy to think beyond your own hand. I may have talked about this before, but for many people that’s where it ends, at their own hand. They don’t think about the waves each action sends out, the effect of our every breath. We interact with our world. And if we act responsibly, not only are we doing less harm but we may spread that example to others. That is what every vegan blogger does.

We had crazy self-promoting bloggers, unambitious bloggers, bloggers who hadn’t updated in months and were looking for inspiration. Some of us had huge Facebook and Twitter followings; others belong in the remedial social networking class (yes, Jess & Janessa made me get on Twitter and I totally suck at it).

We had hard-core activists, sly-smile bake-tivists, soft & fuzzy hug-tivists, and straight-up recipe developers.

We had members of huge vegan bubbles, wranglers of potluck friends, and some who had never met another vegan before. As someone who’s only lived in decent-size cities, it’s hard to imagine having to live on rice and beans and kale (when you can find it?), shipping in specialty items from online stores. But that exists. These small-town folks are out to change that, whether they know it or not. And whether they knew it or not, they just joined a huge community: the community of VVCers.

Yes, if you were there, chances are you’ve joined our Facebook group, which is now closed to new members. (We can add you if we know you, but nobody else can.) We closed it because it has become this little family forum, where people talk about their experiences, share their contact information, and arrange post-VVC meet-ups. Crazy, right? Last week a group met up in Seattle, and later this month a bunch of us will be reunited at Portland’s VegFest, and DC Vegfest.

So was the weekend a success? Absolutely. As with any passion project, especially in its first year, our goals were minimal. We wanted to create community (smashing success), have useful classes to invigorate the blogosphere (feedback’s pretty good thus far), create excitement for the next conference (I’m feelin’ it), raise money for animal sanctuaries (about $3K!), boost local businesses (sounds like everyone had a very busy week), and not get into debt (final billing still coming in, but I think we’ll have at least a deposit for the next space).

Fights with catering, temperamental wireless Internet, sleep deprivation, and all, I had the biggest, bestest weekend of my life. Thank you all.

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