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February 19, 2022 5 min read
Veganism involves making plant-based choices in diet and consumer products for ethical, ecological, and personal health reasons. Perhaps because of its comprehensive coverage in a person’s life, many vegans are quite…vocalabout their lifestyle.
Quite simply, veganism is important to vegans! Saving animals, reducing the strain on the environment in a small but tangible way, and improving one’s health are definitely all worth sharing about. But vegans are so serious about these issues that when explaining themselves - or promoting its benefits to others - they can get a bit intense.
Online or in real life, vegans are sometimes prone to spamming, or worse: preaching. Veganism is an extremely personal ethical and health-based rationale that supports the underlying philosophy. Since everyone has their own perspectives on personal virtue codes, and tend to be passionate about them, vegans can, in their passion, come off as arrogant, self-righteous, or even pushy to those with starkly different beliefs.
Regardless of the evidence - even if a vegan may be absolutelyright about the injustices of factory farming and the nutritional advantages of going plant-based - most people don’t like being told what to do. Moreover, people don’t like being told that their current way of life is harmful and needs to change.
We understand the criticisms (andthe memes). Since we are committed to the positive messages of a vegan lifestyle, here are a few tips on how to respectfully spread awareness without being *that* vegan.
Vegans are promoting change. We question others’ habits. And we are challenging the status quo in a serious way. In many ways, veganismcan be considered as a form of ‘counterculture.’
Before entering the discourse around diet, animal cruelty, or any other logical relation within conversations around veganism - every vegan should understand these facts. You will be coming from a place that is NOT the status quo. Many people listening to you may feel attacked by default, regardless of your tone or level of respect behind your words.
In a CareElite blog titledWhy Are Vegans So Annoying? 5 reasons - written by a self-deprecating vegan trying to unpack some of the negative stereotypes - the author speaks on the core of the vegan philosophy dealing with advocating for difficult changes in society. This makes veganism the target of external criticism from the majority of the population while also further steeling the resolve of those already in its camp.
According to the author, when vegans promote their cause, they:
As an advocate for veganism, enter the conversation knowing that your words may be heavily scrutinized, or even misconstrued, from the get-go.
A major tip:Embrace your role in a countercultural movement that is countering the normalization of factory farming and heavily processed foods and fashion. Share your perspective on why veganism is worth breaking with the status quo for. Express your passion for animals and the superior nutrition of a plant-based menu.
As a vocal vegan, do it all. Just do it allrespectfully.
For example - psychologically speaking, focusing on the *positive* aspects of a change can be a better route for convincing someone than criticizing the negative aspects of the current situation.
The argumentsfor veganism andagainst animal products are myriad. Translation: there are a ton of angles that you can go with your advocacy for veganism. The big ones:
Regarding the ease of convincing someone, one of these three reasons stands out as a slam dunk.
The first two issues are widespread problems spanning the globe. They can be hard to understand for some people, and even harder to imagine. Even for the concerned, these problems can feel overwhelming to the point of being hopeless for an individual within society to change. Everyone has different priorities, especially when it comes to environmental issues that feel beyond their circle of influence.
The health angle, however, is relevant to everyone and manageable on an individual scale. The evidence for the high nutritional value of fruit & vegetable-based diets has been clear for years and is freely available for further learning. On top of that, improving one’s personal health is a concern to all people (especially inAmerica).
Our next recommendation: when introducing the idea of veganism to a newcomer or stranger, it’s best to start small with the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Personal experiences will always be more relatable, and diet changes for the sake of personal health improvement are more readily implementable.
Now, a couple of caveats. Just because mass animal suffering and ecological destruction are big, difficult issues DOES NOT mean they are not important. By all means, communicate them and try to convince any doubters of the seriousness and challenge of mitigating such harms. We just say try starting with a more manageable avenue to begin, and then build up to the big stuff later when you’ve laid the groundwork.
Additionally, (maybe it goes without saying) when coming from the health angle - try not to insinuate that your audience is especially unhealthy and could use a better diet. Even if that may be true, it’s rude!
Speak from your own personal experience, if possible. What has the vegan diet done for your own health, mood, and happiness? Ah, and that leads us to our final message on this topic.
Maybe the most important aspect of vocal advocacy for veganism is being fact-based in all your claims.For it, andagainstthe aforementioned environmental and animal harms that make mainstream diets and consumer choices so problematic.
This is obvious, but it’s vital to do your homework when speaking on veganism and related topics. In order to speak (or type) with confidence on any issue, you need to know what you are talking about and even be able tocite sources, if necessary.
Everyone absolutely responds to facts (eventually), even if recent times have dissuaded some. As long as the facts - about the highemissions of leather-making or thecruelty of factory farming - are delivered respectfully and in a clear, cohesive manner, people can take in your arguments better. When you are coming from a solid foundation that transcends their or your opinions, folks are more likely to be receptive.
Finally, as a vegan communicating in-person or on the internet, we believe it’s best to always lead with your own personal experiences. Whenever possible, speak from the perspective of what the lifestyle has done foryou. Communicate your values and the benefits you’ve been afforded - mind, body, and soul - by becoming a vegan.
Everyone has a story. And people respond to stories.
In fact, we’d mark the above bits of advice as evergreen in all aspects of life and communication. Use facts and speak from the heart!
That is just what we are trying to do here at Doshi with thisblog and ourshop of all vegan products. Read more about our own philosophy as a businesshere, and share this article with anyone you think may appreciate it.
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