Veganism, as it was originally intended to be, is dead.
Maybe it never existed in the first place.

Post-veganism is a reflection about what it means to be a vegan,
now that the word has completely lost its meaning in the dominant culture.

Monday, February 14, 2011

5 Easy Tips to be an Inspiring Vegan

I don't think you should ever dilute a message to make it available to a broader audience. Context and necessary information simply gets lost. That is why I want to make it clear that this list should be read as a few ways to be a vegan that inspires change around you. I'm sure there are more tips, I encourage you to look for them. This is a beginner version to start thinking about how to be an inspiring vegan to vegans and non-vegans alike. It takes some thought, and hopefully if you don't do these things you might ask yourself why you don't. If you do all of them then perhaps you can share some of your inspiring vegan tips with me!

1. Introduce yourself as vegan.

If you get a new job, are starting a new class, meet a friend of a friend or are anywhere where someone asks you to tell them about yourself say you are vegan. Give a face to veganism. Most people don't know any vegans, and simply being able to think "hey that stereotype isn't true because I knew a vegan and she wasn't like that" is a great start to breaking down barriers.

You'll also find people will apologize a lot more when they say speciest things around you, and it's a great way to get them to realize that they are saying something offensive (I've noticed my professor slowly eliminate animal jokes from his language as the term has gone on and if he uses them he'll actually pause in class, look at me, and explain to me why he used them).

2. Brand yourself as vegan.

Wear shirts or necklaces that say vegan or have facts, quotes, or even thought provoking questions about veganism. Put pins on your bag or on your jacket. Advertisers throw thousands of ads at you a day, and they often don't even say much of anything. The fact that they're repeated makes them appear normal, makes you think about them, or even just tells you this is real and important.

You can often buy your vegan label items from companies that support something vegan. One of my necklaces that says vegan I bought off etsy and it was made by a woman who runs a farm animal sanctuary. The money from all her necklaces goes to the animals there.

3. Request vegan food.

If you're going to a friend's house, a family dinner, or even just at a mall or a campus fast food place request that vegan food be available. Point out that it's not just a personal choice but a belief and that it's actually more radical to serve dead animals and their byproducts than it is to ask for a meal made without suffering. The more you ask the more people will actually start taking you seriously and look for vegan items on their own. Complaining is also very important, because if you don't say there is no vegan food someone won't know they need to offer it.

4. Veganism is relevant almost everywhere, so talk about it.

If we don't talk about veganism people will think it doesn't have a natural place in every day conversations – and it does! Only talk about veganism as relevant to the current issue, because you want to be see as sharing and not trying to control an argument. When someone is talking about dieting say that veganism is the safest way to lose weight and that vegans are 9 times lower on average in weight than non-vegans. When someone is talking about pets talk about adopting or how you love all animals, including chickens and cows. When someone is talking about cancer say 71% of endocrine disrupters (hormones that disrupt your hormone system and cause cancer) that you consume come from cow milk. When someone is talking about charity talk about how animals die every day in ways that are so horrific no one talks about it. When someone is talking about a natural disaster ask what happened to the animals that were left behind and not shown on the tv.

5. Talk about it as an ethic and lifestyle.

Veganism is not just about what you eat. It's about how you live and approach the world. Make sure to correct people when they don't understand that, such as people reducing veganism to a label on food made differently.

When people compliment you for being altruistic, caring about others, or even being helpful say it's because you have a vegan ethic. Tell people that veganism is a non-violence world view that believes no one should suffer. Humans and animals are equal. Make sure to tell them it's not an attack on them, saying they're any less nice, but tell them you're nice because you believe in veganism.

1 comment:

  1. Hey this is really great! I saw your post on veggieboards. I go to York U too and I've been a long term veggie/vegan but i'm trying to go only raw food now.