My inspiration for this piece came from a discussion I participated in via Huffington Post Live. I was joined by a vegan author, a recent vegetarian, and a omnivorous chef. Here are the opinions we brought to the table:
- Get prepared for conversations by reflecting about why you're vegan before they happen. Do some research so you sound educated when you talk about facts.
- Listen and be open to hearing what they have to say without interrupting them (even when you disagree). The more you know about the listener, the better you’ll be able to tailor your explanation in a way that they will understand.
- Wait for them to ask questions and answer kind and sincerely. Speak your truth with calm confidence.
- Avoid expressing any judgement, challenging their feelings or using words like "better", "worse", "right" or "wrong".
- Show, don't tell how veganism has impacted your life. If you've lost weight, your skin became clearer, you feel happier - it will speak more than words.
- Never feel pressured to explain or justify your choices. If someone can’t accept or respect your choices up-front, you probably won’t change their mind that day.
- Don't take things personally if someone seems critical of your vegan lifestyle - their opinion has nothing to do with you and they are entitled to have opposing beliefs.
- Plant the seed and move on - there's no need to draw out the conversation. You might another chance to continue it at some point. Keep in mind that they might not consider veganism today, but they may consider it in the future.
I'll have more tips on this topic in an upcoming video on another website - stay tuned for the link!
Would love to hear your input, vegan or not - how do you handle these type of conversations?
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How to Handle Conversations with People Who Are Committed to Misunderstanding You
How Your Vegan Lifestyle Can Influence People Who Initially Criticize It
Progress vs Perfection within the Eco-Vegan Lifestyle
How to Subtly Influence People To Eat Healthier
Headline image from Search Engine People Blog