It's the 21st Century so you’d think it would be easy to discuss a dietary choice without upsetting someone.
Well, it is, except, perhaps, if that dietary choice is “I’m vegan”.
Meat-eaters are a touchy bunch!
That’s why we’ve put together a guide on how to tell people you’re vegan so it all goes smoothly.
Don't worry, it won't be long until the roles are fully reversed and the dead animal fetishists are shunned.
Begin With An Open Mind
We know you’re super excited to tell people how you got started on a plant-based diet and that this led to your total vegan lifestyle and all the reasons that you think this is right for you.
The trouble is, this can often come over as lecturing rather than explaining your choices. And everybody hates to be lectured.
So, start with an open mind. Be prepared to do, at least, as much listening as you do talking and give the person (or people) that you’re talking to time to ask questions and understand what you’re saying.
Clearly Articulate Your Motives For Going Vegan
We’re recently looked at the most common reasons that people go vegan, it can help to go through it and ask, “what am I doing this for?”
It may be one reason “animal welfare” or a combination of many “my friends are vegan, I think it’s healthier and I want to lose weight.”
You need to articulate this clearly, then you’re going to sound less like a religious zealot and more like someone who is making an intelligent decision based on the facts.
This can really help get through and saves you from having to show them all of our favorite vegan documentaries to get the message across.
Choose The Right Time
The right time to tell someone that you’ve gone vegan is not just as the Thanksgiving Turkey hits the table. That’s a dick move and if it leads to a shouting match – you earned it.
The same is true if you’re attending someone’s wedding or christening, it’s their day, not yours. If you were that concerned about the food, you’d have made time to talk about it earlier.
So, find a time that’s going to work for the people you’re about to tell.
Ask People To Ask Questions
People tend to fear what they don’t understand and while millions of Americans have opted to go vegan in recent years, hundreds of millions have not and most of them?
They have no idea what veganism is about. They may be worried about your health. They may find the idea of a life without bacon horrifying.
But if you encourage them to ask questions, they can put their fears to rest.
Though it’s worth noting some may blame themselves for your conversion and think they “should have done something”.
Don’t get angry about that, thank them for their concern and offer to send them some material that helps explain why veganism is perfectly healthy.
Don’t Turn Into A Preacher
OK, so you’ve had the conversation, you’ve avoided coming across as a university lecturer, everyone’s accepted that you’ve made your choice and then… stop.
Look, we know, there’s always an urge to talk to other people and convince them to be vegan because that’s part of the reason we run Whole People, right?
But there’s a time and a place for it and it’s not the minute after you tell people that you’re a vegan.
Because if you turn into a vegan preacher at this point, you’re going to undo all your hard work of the last few minutes/hours.
It’s going to seem to people that you’ve joined a cult, instead of taking up a new ethical lifestyle.
By all means, in the future, share your joy at that new vegan restaurant in town or explain why something in the environment isn’t totally in keeping with your new lifestyle, but for now?
Final Thoughts On Telling People That You’re Vegan
No matter what you’ve heard, it doesn’t have to be a huge issue explaining to other people that you’ve opted for a vegan lifestyle.
You just need to approach the encounter with tact and kindness and with as much care for others as you have for the animals you’re protecting.
Our guide to telling people that you’re vegan without starting a fight really works as long as you follow each step carefully. Good luck with it!