How to talk about veganism

Along my food journey: becoming more plant-based and ultimately eating fully ‘vegan’; I have found so such a variety of conversations taking place on the topic of veganism. Some are questioning, some are confused, some conversations are very hostile. As with any topic that’s a bit taboo, or not well spoken about, conversations about veganism could really do with an overhaul.

Some things I’ve picked up on about the way we talk to each other vegans and non-vegans included here have led me to want to write this post. Please read on and take a look at my top tips about how to talk about veganism.

Non-Vegans talking to Vegans

  • Be inquisitive

It’s only natural as humans to be curious so if you know someone who is vegan – ask them any questions you have. Or search and find answers to your questions online (just be wary of where you find your information from – make sure it’s a reputable source and that the information comes from fact and not opinion!)

  • Be open to responses

So now you’ve asked a question truly be open to hear the response given. When faced with information which doesn’t fit our current knowledge or what we think about a topic it can be easy to shut off or be defensive. Try to really hear what is being said and ask more questions based on what is said rather than contradicting what is said. Don’t be afraid to ask why.

  • Don’t provoke

Don’t say things which you know will provoke someone (this goes for everyone in all situations) an example I mean for this topic is insensitive comments like “I love eating dead pigs”. The only reason for saying comments like this is to provoke a reaction and response from someone, knowing it would be quite an emotive thing to say. Remember the old saying “if you don’t have something nice to say…”.

  • Remember we are all different

We all have different thoughts and feelings and different passions. What you believe and care about will be different to another person. Difference is great and it’s ok not to agree with someone about everything or even to not understand their point of view. Just be open to listen to others without judgement or agenda.

Vegans talking to Non-Vegans

  • Do your research

Make sure when you speak you do so with knowledge and facts, not emotion and opinion. If someone is intrigued and wants to find out more speak with compassion and answer with knowledge you’ve gained from your research.

  • Remember you’ve been on a journey yourself

It is highly unlikely that you have always been vegan. You yourself will have been on a journey to get to where you are now. Hold on to that knowledge and know that everyone has their own journey and each will look different. When you may feel frustrated that others don’t see things the way you do just remember you didn’t always see things that way either.

  • Don’t get annoyed by ‘silly’ questions

If someone is asking you a question, that’s great, it means they are interested or intrigued and want to find out a bit more about you, maybe find a bit more understanding. However silly the question may seem to you that person may not realise you view it that way. Answer with compassion, answer with facts and answer with enthusiasm. Even if the person is asking knowing the question may annoy you – answer in the same way. So, the next time someone asks where you get your protein from, don’t roll your eyes; explain that all food contains protein and that vegans get their protein from the same place as non-vegans: from plants. The difference is vegans eat the plants directly whereas non-vegans eat animals who have eaten the plants to get their protein.

  • Remember we are all different

We all have different thoughts and feelings and different passions. What you believe and care about will be different to another person. Difference is great and it’s ok not to agree with someone about everything or even to not understand their point of view. Just be open to listen to others without judgement or agenda.

Vegans talking to Vegans 

  • Don’t judge others journeys against your own

We are all on our own journey and at different stages. We all have different situations and live in different environments. No one way of being vegan is better than another. There is never an excuse to be nasty to another person because you disagree with the way they are being ‘vegan’.

  • Share knowledge

Find your community: groups on Facebook, friends who live locally. Whatever that may be and share knowledge with each other, tips, products, new research. Help others and share what you know.

  • No one reason for going vegan is better than others

Do not judge others for their reasons for going vegan. Whether it’s for the planet, for health, for the animals – it doesn’t matter. The end result matters so don’t criticise others reasons.

  • Remember we are all different

We all have different thoughts and feelings and different passions. What you believe and care about will be different to another person. Difference is great and it’s ok not to agree with someone about everything or even to not understand their point of view. Just be open to listen to others without judgement or agenda.

  

This list has come from my own experiences. I have had a lot of judgement from other people vegans and non-vegans alike and would love to see the way we talk to each other change. What would you add to this list?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s