Vegan Meetup Love!


I was recently invited to be a guest speaker at the Inland Empire Vegan Meetup. Due to speech anxiety, I wanted to say, “No”, but instead I blurted, “Sure!” I’m glad I agreed, however; because the members were so welcoming that I hardly felt anxious during my talk.

Not only was the group friendly, but they were awesome! They do fun events like potluck dinners, dining out, screenings of vegan-related movies and cooking classes. I was also excited to learn that many of their members are not vegan. It’s a comfortable place for non-vegans and vegans alike. I loved the group so much that I joined, but since they meet an hour from my house I doubt I’ll attend often.

Other Meetups I belong to

Although I haven’t been in a while, I’m also a member of the Greater Orange County Animal Rights Roundtable Meetup. I’ve met some amazing people at this group like Dave Simon, the inspiring author of Meatonomics and talented artist, Tania Marie. This is a passionate group that works hard on behalf of animals.

And I belong to the Plant-Based Living Meetup. This is a health-based group founded by Katherine Nilbrink, the plant-based nutritionist I worked with when I first went vegan. I’d love to attend Katherine’s potlucks and cooking classes but commuting in LA traffic keeps me away.

Since distance seems to be preventing me from attending Meetup functions, last night I searched for local groups. I was excited to find Orange County Active and Vegan for Life in Laguna Beach. I’ve joined them, and since they’re close I hope to be attending soon!

Do you belong to a Meetup?

Image courtesy of Active Vegetarian.


About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
This entry was posted in Daily Life, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Vegan Meetup Love!

  1. diahannreyes says:

    Not in a MeetUp, but the museum I was telling you about seems to be a nice community. Hope you are doing great, Celeste! Good for you for speaking despite your hesitations. I’ve a feeling you’ll be doing a lot of that once your book comes out.

    • It’s always lovely to get your comments Diahann! The thought that if (no scratch that – WHEN) my book gets published I’ll have to be comfortable with public speaking has crossed my mind. I’m gonna work on that! I hope you had a nice Easter. Celeste 🙂

  2. aw, you’re so sweet celeste. thank you ❤ grateful for our connection!

  3. It sounds exciting. When do we find out what you talked about?

    • Thanks for your interest! It was a talk for people curious about going vegan and I just shared my story, talked a bit about the Plant-based diet I follow and then answered questions. That’s all. 🙂

  4. Stacey says:

    That is so amazing about you being invited to speak! You totally rock, my dear! 🙂

  5. goodfoodindulgeo says:

    I do, in the university I teach 🙂 They are all mostly students though.

  6. staci says:

    Hey Celeste, that’s great. I’m so glad you found a local group. You have such passion for the vegan lifestyle and it’s always a good thing when we can meet up with those that share the same passion. I am also totally psyched that the first vegan group you spoke of, the one you shared at, also had non-vegan members. That’s so great. I’d love to go to vegan potlucks and learn more about the nutrition and all of it.

  7. stacilys says:

    Hey Celeste, that’s great. I’m so glad you found a local group. You have such passion for the vegan lifestyle and it’s always a good thing when we can meet up with those that share the same passion. I am also totally psyched that the first vegan group you spoke of, the one you shared at, also had non-vegan members. That’s so great. I’d love to go to vegan potlucks and learn more about the nutrition and all of it.

    • All of the vegan groups that I belong to encourage non-vegans to join. I think the group I spoke at, however; was especially encouraging to non-vegan members. Almost half of the people at the meeting I went to were not vegan and they were warmly welcomed and encouraged to ask questions. Maybe you can find a vegan Meetup in your area to check out (a lot of them do potlucks). I don’t think you have to worry about not being vegan, I’m sure you’ll be very welcome. Let me know if you find one and go – I’d love to hear what it’s like for you. Have a great week chica! Celeste 🙂

      • stacilys says:

        Oh how I would love to find some type of vegan meet up here. However, that would be very difficult to find in North-east Brazil. Meat is a huge part of the culture here and I don’t even think there are any vegans here. That’s the difficult thing about location. There are vegetarians, however they eat a lot of tvp and gluten protein and all. It would be a lot easier if I was in Sao Paulo or maybe even Rio. I have, however, learned how to make tofu. And we do eat a lot of beans.
        You have a great week too Celeste.
        p.s. if i ever get to orange county, i am so contacting you for some hands on help and advice in this area ok. 🙂

    • That’s too bad that there are no vegans or vegan groups in your area. If you ever get to Orange County, you BETTER contact me. I would love to take you out for a lovely vegan lunch. That would be so much fun!! Celeste 🙂

  8. Ralph says:

    Whoa !! I’m impressed !! CELESTE FOR PRESIDENT OF THE USA !! ❤

  9. M-R says:

    We don’t Do this in Sydney. 😦

  10. Tammi says:

    Wow Celeste! This is such a great idea…and you live so close to me too! I’m in Laguna Niguel. Maybe I’ll join the group and we can meet someday 🙂

    • OMG – we’re neighbors! I hope you join that Meetup. Even if you don’t, however; we should get together sometime. Hope you’re having a great week Tammi! Celeste 🙂

  11. saplingvegan says:

    Wish I could have made it, glad it went well!

    • I LOVE your group! You’re fortunate to have such a fun and supportive group of people to hang with. I will try to get to one of the potlucks soon and hopefully we’ll get to meet in person. Celeste 🙂

  12. Wendy Kate says:

    Lucky you! i sometime feel like the only vegan in Spain… 😉

    • I hear you! It really is tough to be vegan in an omnivore world, and especially when you’re the only vegan in town. I hope veganism catches on more in the future so that there are lots and lots of vegans everywhere. I suppose blogging can be supportive, but it doesn’t make up for meeting up face-to-face. Celeste 🙂

  13. That’s great Celeste….one question….pardon the pun, but shouldn’t it be called a VegUp instead of a MeetUp?

  14. Mike Lince says:

    First, I applaud your accepting the guest speaker invitation. I know you are a great resource, and while public speaking may not be one of your great desires, I applaud putting any apprehension aside to give people the benefit of your knowledge. Experiencing your sparkling personality and youthful good looks is just an added bonus.

    We are definitely going to look into these vegan advocacy groups when we are back in he states. Thanks for sharing this experience with us. – Mike

    • Thanks for all of your support Mike! Public speaking has long been one of my hang-ups. I joined Toastmasters some years ago to help me deal with the fear, and that helped. I haven’t been to a Toastmasters meeting in a long time now, however; so I’ve slid backwards. Hope you guys are well! Celeste 🙂

  15. I love meet up! I do not necessarily do it but I know it helps so much around the community and it spreads the word about business, organizations, and groups!

  16. Sophie33 says:

    That would be so cool if there ere any meet-ups like that in Belgium! There are vegetarian meet-ups but no vegan meet-ups though! 😦

  17. uberdish says:

    We don’t have such a thing in my area. I’ve been chatting quite a bit about my lifestyle and diet these days and I’ve found that many people are curious and have so many questions. So, in the back of my mind (along with many other things!), I was thinking of starting one off. I think a potluck would go over very well in our small town. And….food certainly gets people out!

    • That would be WONDERFUL if you started a vegan Meetup in your area!! I know it takes time, but if you could find a friend or someone to help you out with it that would make it easier. Let me know if decide to go for it so I can cheer you on. Have a great weekend! Celeste 🙂

      • uberdish says:

        Thank you, Celeste, for the encouragement! I think I may go for it, but in the Fall. The weather is looking a little nicer these days and with that we Canadians tend to head to the lakes on most weekends. I’ll keep you updated…

  18. Awesome! I attend the IEVM Supper club sometimes.

    • Wonderful!!! It’s so nice to connect with like-minded people. Have a great weekend chica! Celeste 🙂

    • Sadly, no. I live in Laguna Beach, so it’s quite a drive for me to get to the Inland Empire. I love the group and do plan to get to events when I can, but it won’t be regularly. My husband and I are very busy getting our house ready to put on the market right now, so I don’t have a lot of time for anything at the moment. I hope to meet up with you at a Meetup at some point, however. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend! Celeste 🙂

  19. I’m so going to look into this in my neck of the woods! I almost joined a new mom and tot group when Sonny was born, but soon discovered how difficult the newborn stage was and it never happened. LOL!

  20. Poppy says:

    This is brilliant, I love that you said yes to speaking and overcoming your fears. As a very nervous public speaker myself, I know that’s a big deal! You’ve inspired me to look for vegan groups around me!

    • Thanks SO much for the support Poppy! Public speaking really is a challenge for me, but this success experience gave me more confidence. I hope you find a vegan group in your area. It’s really nice to hang out with like-minded people. Happy weekend! Celeste 🙂

      • Poppy says:

        Me too, I’ve had to do it a few times with huge audiences when I was a charity fundraiser and I still get a funny feeling when I remember it! People always said I did good but my knees wobble and my voice shakes and I have sleepless nights in the lead up haha! It definitely does give a huge sense of achievement and confidence boost when it’s over. Well done you!! I’ll let you know if I find anything, would be really great! Have a great weekend 😀

    • You’re so much more courageous than me Poppy! I only spoke to a handful of people while seated with them at a restaurant (even this was anxiety arousing for me!). You’ve spoken to huge audiences – you go girl!!! 🙂

      • Poppy says:

        Thanks Celeste! I used to have to do it for my job, I used to have to speak at schools and large corporate events and sometimes about my own experience which was even worse! Thankfully I don’t have to do that at the moment! 🙂

  21. Michael Lane says:

    Hmm, it never occurred to me before to look for such groups in L.A….

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