I have been vegan for eight years and managed to get my father to go vegan and my sister to eat mainly plant-based. While that sounds like very few people, it actually wasn’t that easy.
It started fairly innocent, really. I discovered veganism and was so excited about the whole thing that I wanted everyone to know about it. I was shouting about it from the rooftops.
Needless to say, people didn’t like it. I lost a best friend of 20+ years because she was upset that I couldn’t eat the cake she baked anymore, and people started to avoid me.
But some individuals resonated with me. Like my father, for example.
I kept leaving vegan books on the table where he ate or did work. Eventually, he fell for my tricks and began reading them. One of his favourites (and mine) was My Beef With Meat by Rip Esselstyn. It was the very first vegan book I bought.
The next step was to show him graphic videos and documentaries. As he was a police officer, watching non-human animals being brutally murdered was not that hard to watch as he has seen his fair share of crime scenes and dead bodies. But it still moved him.
A year after I went plant-based, he did too.
Now, my sister on the other hand only began eating more plant-based after my father kept telling her that the problem with my niece’s stomach pain might be dairy. She listened and they started eating more veggies and vegan alternatives.
Here are my three best tips on how to inspire your family and friends to go vegan:
- Be someone they can look up to.
By that I mean, eating healthy foods, taking care of yourself and being the vegan you would want to meet. Most people would be turned off by a mean person who bullies them, so make sure you are encouraging them on their own journey. Use your voice for a good purpose and let your mouth create only positive and kind words.
- Be able to answer all of their questions.
Education is crucial when you are vegan or plant-based. Reading books, watching documentaries, having a good doctor or a nutritionist, and attending seminars and talks, are all very important in attaining knowledge. Not only for you but for those around you as well. Because they will ask you questions and you need to be able to provide them with an answer.
- Support them on their unique path.
Like I said in the first advice, encourage them on their own journey. I know it would be better if they went vegan right away and understood why this lifestyle is the best, but that is not the case for everybody. A lot of individuals require a steady support system before they start making changes. You can, and should, be that support system and a helping hand to them.
Try these tips for yourself and see how many individuals you inspire to go vegan. Even if they just start eating more plants it’s a win-win situation. Hey, we gotta start somewhere, alright?
Remember to encourage others to make steps towards a more ethical lifestyle through kindness and compassion, instead of bullying.