One thing many people attempt to do is to push their values and beliefs on to others. In fact, it is, unfortunately, one of the things that vegans are infamous for. Because it is such an emotional issue and one that involves things that are deeply passionate and that seem very urgent, many vegans will do very extreme things to get attention for their cause. The suffering these animals endure is remarkable, and those who are connected to it and wish to prevent it may feel that pain almost as if it is their own. So, of course, they are eager for it to end.
The sad thing about it is that the more urgent and pushy we may be to explain why the issue is important, the faster it seems the rest of society dismisses us. They do not want to feel responsible for the pain that the animals are enduring. They do not feel personally involved in the way these animals are raised or the things that happen to them before and after they are slaughtered. We have been taught that food just simply comes to us in these pre-packaged forms and we should be grateful we have anything to eat at all.
Truth be told, being vegan is a luxury. We are lucky to have the option. Some places are not so lucky and they are impoverished enough that if they are not eating meat they are starving. So, of course, there is a lot of high tensions around attempting to convert others to a vegan lifestyle. We want to help spread an idea of love and unity and peace for all, including the innocent animals. But it is simply something that is difficult to do. We are all very personally involved in the foods we eat and the lifestyle we live in. Asking someone to give up meat can almost feel like asking them to give up their mother. They don’t respond to it well.
However, one of the greatest ways to lead is by example. We may not get very far preaching and spouting out facts and statistics and trying to guilt-trip people for the way they are eating. But they will see us and admire that we have made a choice that is out of the norm. many people will say they have thought about it but they know they could never do it. You can take this as an opportunity to ask questions. Like, why can’t they do it? You can inform them about ways it has made you feel better, and things that you do to make it easier for yourself. You can even suggest they simply try a meatless Monday every once in a while just to get used to the idea. Even one day of not eating meat makes a difference in the life of the animal that isn’t being eaten.
If you practice what you preach, you will have more sway. But try not to be too pushy, or you could push others right in the opposite direction!
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