Changing the Menu at Christian Conferences

by Sarah Withrow King

Which vegan has two thumbs, travels a lot, and has been eating pretty well at Christian gatherings of late? This gal!

Earlier this year, my team at ESA let me know that they wanted to show solidarity with my CreatureKind work by making all of our events vegetarian or vegan. Another CreatureKind colleague's team made a similar decision. I had a vegan dessert for the first time ever at a gathering of Christian leaders in June (here it is, it was such a perfect little pudding, I had to take a photo), a dessert that followed a series of outstanding vegan meal options. 

 Perfect tiny vegan tapioca pudding. I could have eaten about five of them.

Perfect tiny vegan tapioca pudding. I could have eaten about five of them.

I have received incredible vegan hospitality at Christian events in cities all over the U.S. in the last year, from Portland to Durham, D.C. to Grand Rapids.

I love plant-based food at Christian events for a few reasons:

  1. Providing plant-based meals ensures that vegans, vegetarians, and conscious consumers are able to fully participate in the event. Having to leave to go seek out food, or having to pack and prepare your own is a bummer. 
  2. 99% of the animal products provided at your average event will be from industrial farms and slaughterhouses, which are not only bad for animals, but for the humans who work there, too. 
  3. Eating more plant-based meals is better for the environment. 

And one more: I talk to a lot of people who balk at the idea of calling themselves vegan or vegetarian but who would choose plant-based foods if they were readily available. Providing or (even better) prioritizing plant-based food at Christian events gives people the opportunity to try on a different way of eating without making a (seemingly) daunting commitment. 

Are you part of a gathering of Christians that shares meals? Do you go to a conference every year and want to see more plant-based food? Do you have a positive story to share? Let's talk about how to help make this trend into a norm! Drop us a line or comment below.