If you are vegan, then you know how difficult it can be when someone you love is still asleep.
While you know what happens to non-human animals in slaughterhouses, on dairy farms and in every single facility that abuses and exploits them, they still don’t get it.
That doesn’t mean you have to stop being friends, just learn how to be friends.
If there is anything I have learnt from practising mindfulness and learning about how to be a better person, is how to coexist with those you disagree with.
They are not bad people, nor are they evil. They are merely still asleep. At one point you were too. So you know how that feels.
Here is how to be friends with people who still eat animals:
- Focus on their good qualities.
Everyone has qualities that are admirable and inspiring. You just have to look for them and believe they exist.
You do that by talking to people, listening to them, observing them, and giving them a chance to be your friend. If you give people a chance to be good, most often than not they will surprise you in positive ways.
- Listen to them.
There is a reason someone is not yet vegan. Maybe they are afraid of the change or they are not educated properly; perhaps their environment is holding them back.
There is a reason and you will find it when you listen with an open heart. Don’t judge, just be there for them.
- Don’t think about the future.
The easiest thing is to think about how their actions will affect everyone in the future (climate change, extinction etc.).
But what will make you feel better is to focus on this moment, on today. On their good qualities, on listening to them, and remembering that people wake up every single day.
The future is built on moments that pass way too quickly when you are not paying attention.
I encourage you to implement these ideas into your life. Who knows, maybe they completely transform your relationships for the better.
Give it a try.
Just because someone is still asleep, it doesn’t mean we should just write them off. People change every day. People wake up every day.
You got this.