How to Mindfully Talk About Veganism with Loved Ones
Choosing a vegan lifestyle is such a big change, especially if no one around you is vegan. It is unfortunate that most people are yet to understand this is a lifestyle change made out of choice. For most vegans, this can be frustrating when no one seems to understand your choices. So how do you ensure that you talk about the subject mindfully and respectably with loved ones? Here are some tips on how you can approach the subject.
Choose the Right Moment For The Conversation
Imagine grabbing lunch with a friend you have not seen for a while, and instead of getting to know how they have been, you bring up the benefits of eating vegan. You will have caught them by surprise, and they might feel like it is an attack. Be careful when bringing up the subject. For instance, say your friend is organizing a party, and they have asked you to help. When discussing what meals to serve, now is the right time to bring up the conversation and not at the table where people are eating meat-based meals.
Remember You Were Also Non-Vegan Once
At one point, before you chose to stick to a plant-based diet, you also ate meat or enjoyed melted cheese. And the chances are that if a vegan approached you and told you to make the switch, you would not be open to letting go of your favorite foods. Put yourself in those shoes when you bring up the topic. Note that as you consider talking about veganism, picture how you would have embraced the topic before. That will help you know how to interact with non-vegans.
Do Not Focus on Converting Others
Do not talk to your loved ones about veganism to convert them. If it comes out like you are preaching to change them, you will meet more resistance. You should aim at positive conversations that focus on getting your loved ones to accept your new lifestyle without ridicule. You should also listen to them as this is the chance to debunk any myths they might have about veganism. Sometimes what people need is the correct information to change their minds. And if the people around you continue eating meat even after educating them, that does not make you a failure. Above all, as Gale Tobin reminds people, transitioning to veganism is a process that might not happen overnight.
Educate Those Ready to Learn
It is likely that some people around you will be curious or willing to learn more about a vegan lifestyle. Take that opportunity to educate them more on the lifestyle. If possible, take them some vegan cakes next time you are meeting. You can even organize a simple dinner for them and serve vegan dishes.
Learn When to Walk Away
It is not uncommon for people to ridicule vegans. If it gets to a point where you notice a person is mocking veganism or insulting you, walk away. Also, if they are being aggressive, refusing to listen to facts, or making you angry, step away from that conversation.
If you choose to advocate for a vegan lifestyle, you may meet some resistance. The best way is to be a good example while maintaining good relationships with loved ones and hope that they will see your point of view in time.