This weekend I went to visit my grandparents in rural Pennsylvania. They are located in Roaring Spring, PA. If it sounds familiar that might mean you bought a Roaring Spring Notebook. The town is less than a square mile, and most people living there work for the local paper mill, or the surrounding farms. The “biggest” town near it is Altoona, which is pretty much unknown to people outside Pennsylvania.
On Friday my husband and I drove 4 hours in the middle of Pennsylvania, driving through and up mountains. When we hit Roaring Spring, we passed by street signs pointing to the football field. We joked how it was like Friday Night Lights. Once we got to my Nanna and Pappy’s house, we found out that football is no joke in this town. There were signs everywhere for the big game. The field is near their house, so we watched lots of people park on the street and walk to the field. My Nanna even let a friend park on their lawn for a good parking spot.
Football and cheerleader wasn’t anything big at my school. To me it was an outdated stereotype in movies and shows, like the nerd with bottle-thick glasses and the pocket protector. This was the first sign that I have been living in an urban bubble.
It made me wonder, can small towns go vegan? It seems obvious to say yes, an individual can order stranger items online, and the internet can help them learn different things. And that is great. Isn’t that what all vegan bloggers do? Try and connect to everyone?
But it became apparent there are lots of reasons why people in Roaring Spring, or any small rural town, wouldn’t go vegan. One being community. Right before leaving, my vegan friend who grew up in Altoona wished me luck. She knew how frustrating it is to try and get her family to make something vegan. Luckily, my mother always cooks when visiting my Nanna, as she likes to try our cooking. What my family cooks were far from normal for the area. Most foods are bland, and meat based.
I point this out since we made two chilis for one dinner. One was with ground pork, the other was based off of Oh She Glow’s My Favorite Vegan Chili. My grandparents both seemed perplexed by the idea of a vegetarian chili. My Pappy ate two bowlfuls, despite everyone thinking he wouldn’t touch it. I wouldn’t of thought this would be such a novel idea since chili competitions have a “vegetarian” category.