Veganism has taken the media by storm in the past few years, with so many celebrities flocking to the diet.
That's wonderful news for those of us who believe in the vegan lifestyle, but an unfortunate side effect of all this momentum is judgement. Some vegans judge others for not going vegan and non-vegans criticize vegans for being too judgmental.
If you are vegan, this article is for you. I am asking that you will consider the following 5 ideas to better represent veganism. I believe that the way to garner attention is not by bashing, judging, or looking down upon those who don't embrace this lifestyle. It's not by judging those who are not vegan.
Here are 5 Steps to Dropping Your Ego and Being a Vegan Without Being Preachy:
1. Be kind.
Let me reassure all of you who are vegan that being kind to others works. Kindness (toward animals and yourself) is important to you or else you wouldn't be vegan, right? Well it's equally important to be as compassionate to those who aren't vegan. When you exude kindness, you have a glow of sincerity, which grabs people's attention. If you're trying to influence others to become vegan, the approach works.
2. Don't be judgmental.
Thousands of you who have become vegan were once were meat eaters. You were once part of "the problem" (so to speak), eating innocent animals on their journey to slaughter. If you think about your journey into veganism, it probably took some time.
It took me years to become vegan and I don't know if I will stay vegan forever (I might incorporate fish back into my diet). My point is that it's not only unfair to judge others, it's also an inadequate approach to educating others. When you are a judgmental vegan, it is misrepresenting what should be a kind community.
3. Show (don't tell) why veganism is amazing.
Vegans have been accused of being elitists and I have seen many that behave like such. It's ugly. It's important to lose the ego. Live in harmony with others. Remember that when you are vegan, you have a responsibility as you are representing a global movement. If you want people to see how amazing it is to be vegan, you're going have to show them a worthwhile reason to do so. Who has influenced you? What inspired you enough to change a habit in your life? I'd bet you weren't influenced by an elitist who judged you nonstop.
4. Let your healthy mind and healthy body communicate for you.
For most people, one result of veganism a healthy body. A healthy body begets a healthy mind and vice versa. Alicia Silverstone said in an interview that she really began to influence others when she stopped challenging them, debating why veganism was "better," and when she stopped talking about it. She went about her fab life eating plant-based meals, losing weight and shining love! Suddenly people started to ask because they saw her skin glowing. They started asking about her diet because she was losing weight. It was then that she started to have a positive influence.
5. Get a life.
Yes, I wrote that. I am encouraging vegans to take a step back from the label of 'Vegan'. Who are you? Why are you defining yourself solely by what you eat or don't eat? The healthiest people in this world are well-rounded individuals with much to offer others. Build upon all of your other interests in life: your character, your skill sets, and do not forget to share more of yourself with the world because you are more than a vegan even if being vegan is a big part of your life.
Be kind. Be lovely. It are these qualities that make one shine and bring the right kind of attention to anything worthwhile!