I’m sure all of us who are vegan (and even those who are not) know the stereotype that all vegans need to let everyone know they’re vegan. I found this a bit ironic the other day when someone asked for examples of what they think of when they think of vegans. This was in a group of non-vegans, all my peers, but all of them had no idea I was vegan; so, naturally, I thought it was a bit funny for them to say “if they’re a vegan, you’ll know because that’s the first thing they’ll tell you.” And yet, they have all known me for the 9(ish) months I’ve been vegan and none of them had any idea.
I’m not saying I have it all figured out, because, honestly, sometimes even some of my closest friends forget I’m vegan because I almost never talk about it. And it’s always nice to be considerate and to not judge those who have different views than we do, but we should still get the word out! I’ll be the first to admit I was a little embarrassed at first to tell others about my lifestyle choices, but this new shirt from Pargaard is helping me own my decisions and learn to be proud of who I am becoming.
As with anything, I think it is important not to judge others (we all know the stereotypical vegan in a sitcom who just “wishes I could ignore the ethical voice in my head that tells me not to eat meat like you do”), but we also need to balance that with being able to educate others about our choices. So how can we create these healthy conversations to hopefully change the way people view vegans and veganism?
I think the most important thing is to never be ashamed that you are vegan (or vegetarian/pescatarian/waste-free, etc.). I used to try to hide the fact that I was a vegan, I thought I would come off as judgey to my meat eating friends, but the truth is, I used to eat meat not even a year ago, so who am I to judge? It’s important to remember your own journey in this as well; it took me three years from when I first gave up dairy for environmental reasons to now becoming a strict vegan, it’s by no means a quick journey. When we tell others about our lifestyle choices, don’t go into the conversation expecting to convert them, simply tell them your reasoning (without being judgmental) and hopefully you’ll be able to encourage them to educate themselves and seek out more information about environmental or ethical issues on their own.
Everyone’s journey is different, we just need to learn how to best help them. If we can get away from the image of judgmental, angry vegans, and instead adopt an image of a wonderful and welcoming community of people, perhaps we can educate even more people about veganism and sustainability!
Share the vegan message!
How do you share with others about sustainability or veganism? Leave a comment below or head on over to the instagram to join the conversation on the latest post!