One of the hardest yet best decision I ever made was to go Vegan. Making the choice is my head was as easy as pie but living out that choice is a whole different ball park. Once I made that promise to myself, I knew there was no going back. I couldn’t right? My eyes had been opened to a world of cruelty, torture and disgust and something I never wanted to be a part of. When Veganism clicks in your head, you want to tell everyone about it. Here I share with you how to own going Vegan and deal with the negativity that may arise.
After watching numerous documentaries and choking on my floods of tears, I made the decision to go vegan an hour or two before a shift at a pizza place where I worked. I felt disturbed by what I had seen and initially struggled to be around so much dairy and meat. As the question arose of ‘what pizza do you fancy tonight?’ I couldn’t have prepared myself for the response I got. Before I even finished the sentence ‘I’m now Vegan’ the uproar began. I felt like a con artist, as if I had stolen somebody else’s identity and I had forgotten the date of birth. Hell I didn’t know where I would get my ‘protein’ from or that ‘supposedly I needed meat and dairy to survive’ so I was told. I just knew in my head that eating animal products was inhumane so I chose not to. After the initial debates, heated discussions and taunting subsided, I realised that their inhibitions had come from a place of ignorance and guilt and that my dietary choices were nobody’s business but my own.
Family & Friends
Telling your family and friends is also a difficult feat. It entirely depends on individuals but more than likely, if you come from a typical meat and dairy loving British family, you are bound to find some resistance. The first few weeks and months were difficult but they thankfully soon become accustomed. Those who love and support you for who you are as an individual will stick by your choices. When my family realised my choice to go Vegan wasn’t a fad, they embraced it and continue to support it. When they see they you eat more than just blades of grass and aren’t malnourished, things get a little easier.
Dealing With The Negativity
When those around you do not agree with your lifestyle choice, you are bound to experience a lot of negativity. Some will approach the topic with anger and hatred, challenging your every response and trying to get you to slip up. They will throw the generic questions at you and inspect every piece of food you consume. Nevertheless, the best approach is to kill it will kindness. Do not lower yourself to their level of negativity but rather respond in a calm and collected manner. Take the time to educate yourself on facts and figures and have a number of responses to reply with. But remember, you do not have to justify your lifestyle choice to anybody. If somebody is open and ready to listen to why you chose to be Vegan, then you can educate them and have a respectful conversation. If friends and family do not accept your choice then limit time spent with them. The vegan community is a fantastic way to not only make new friends but to share tips and advice. The lifestyle change will open up the door to so many opportunities and meeting likeminded people.
Own Your Choice
When you begin to own your choice and truly embody it, it becomes a hell of a lot easier. I never chose and to this day choose not to put my choices on others. If others fancy trying a vegan option, I will always support that. If they want to eat meat and dairy, heck they can go right ahead. I’ve come to realise that showing people how easy and incredible Veganism is speaks volumes against forcing others to try. Since going vegan, many friends have turned vegetarian and some vegan too. You are there for advice, act as a support and to offer insight into a different way of living. Show others how accessible Veganism is and lead by example.
How did you own your decision to go vegan or more importantly, how will you?