How to Deal When You’re the Only Vegan at a Barbecue
How to Deal When You’re the Only Vegan at a Barbecue

How to Deal When You’re the Only Vegan at a Barbecue

  • Sarah Von Alt
  • Sarah Von Alt

Summer just wouldn’t be the same without weekend barbecues with friends and family. But if you’re new to plant-based eating, you might be overwhelmed at the prospect of being the ONLY vegan at a barbecue. But fear not—with a little preparation, eating vegan at a barbecue can be super delicious, and it’s a fun opportunity to share plant-based foods with friends and family.

Here are a few tips for enjoying your next barbecue:

Bring Something for the Grill

While it’s always a good idea to let your host know that you’re eating plant-based, it’s also a good idea to bring something yummy so you’re not left eating a plate full of grilled zucchini (no judgment if you’re into that sort of thing). Try the Beyond Burger, Field Roast frankfurters, or any of the other amazing plant-based meats on the market.

If you’re worried about cross contamination, and you’re not able to get your goodies on the grill first, consider bringing a little bit of foil or just giving the grill a good wipedown.

Be Proud

Don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed about your choice to ditch animal products—factory farms and the widespread problems they create are simply out of step with the values most people hold. By eating plant-based, we’re working toward a less violent, more compassionate, and more sustainable world. Your choices do make a difference.

Enjoy the Sides

Tons of barbecue sides are already vegan, like corn on the cob, grilled veggie skewers, or fruit salad. And there’s never any shortage of snacks, like potato chips and pretzels, and you might even get lucky and find someone’s brought hummus! You can also keep some snacks in your bag if you need something quick, like granola bars or nuts.

Know When to Step Away

During a meal is probably the worst time to explain why you’re eating differently. If someone asks you a question about your diet, offer to chat afterwards. Remember that most people are opposed to animal cruelty, so keep the focus of your conversation on what you have in common.

But it’s also important to remember that we can’t convince everyone, and some people get defensive at the mere presence of a vegan. Let them know that you are happy to have an honest, respectful conversation, but that you aren’t there to argue. If you have to, it’s OK to step away for a moment.

Lead by Example

Strive to be a positive example by having fun and showing compassion to friends and family. This will not only be great for you and animals but make you a wonderful advertisement for veg eating. Friends and family are much more likely to take veganism seriously when they see that you’re having a great time and enjoying delicious food.

Want more? Click here for a list of our favorite grill-worthy vegan recipes!