25 July 2011

TDIV Q&A: How can I share my veganism respectfully?

How can I share my veganism respectfully?

I’m sure there are many methods of respectfully sharing veganism, but today I’m going to share with you the method that I use: leading by example. Unless I’m tabling, pamphleting, or protesting I don’t just run around condemning meat eaters and vegetarians by constantly trying to tell them where there food comes from. Doing so would annoy them and push them further away from the idea veganism. Instead I don’t do anything until prompted, I just simply be a vegan. I try to live my life in a good way and make positive choices; because veganism is so important to me others notice how it influences my decisions.

When you lead by example, it’s not too long before others come up and ask YOU the questions. This is what you want, because now they are asking for information instead of you forcing it on them. The most important part is to make sure you answer these questions in ways that are non-judgmental to the person asking. Don’t say things that make them feel guilty; instead say things that make them think. It’s really that simple.

If you were expecting a long guide on how to convert people to veganism, it's not necessary. Now I think a slightly more aggressive outreach works for mass public situations, but the tactic above work best for family, friends, and acquaintances. Follow this advice and I bet that at least 10 to 15 people you know will consider converting to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Trust me, I know from personal experience!

Steven Garnett | Facebook | @stevengarnett
Steven is currently pursuing a B.A. in history and women's studies at East Tennessee State University. He is the founder of Vegans and Vegetarians of the Tri-Cities and a student animal rights organization at ETSU. Steven is a vegan, active feminist, and environmentalist. He enjoys film, art, and delicious vegan cuisine and wishes to educate others about oppression, regardless if it's animal oppression or human oppression. Steven's blog.

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