A huge part of being vegan, cruelty free or zero wasting for me is to try and encourage others to do the same. But sadly as we are passionate about the subject I sometimes see it all become a bit too judgemental or pushy. Acting in such a negative way can be sooo counterproductive. It can really just turn people off to the entire thing. So today I wanted to share my views on positive vegan and zero waste advocacy to try to encourage others to make these lifestyle changes especially now whilst it is growing in popularity.
Have no judgement
Really this does not need any explanation, but leave judgement at the door. None of us are perfect. For all you know the person who is eating every meal from a single use plastic container is having a really rough time and are just not capable of making dinner at night. They may be trying their best just to eat. They just do not need your judgement. Making any change still makes a difference so do not be so hard on people.
Encourage small steps
Moving on from the last point, encourage small steps. For me it was easy to go cold turkey, but for some it just isn’t. They may have so much going on they will just become far too overwhelmed. So encourage small changes, like swapping out shampoo for a cruelty free kind or trying soya milk instead of dairy. Small changes will generally overtime lead to big changes.
Ask if someone wants your opinion
Just throwing an opinion at someone is not really the best course of action (this is coming from someone very opinionated, probably my worst trait!!). However, I have found just simply asking the question, would you like to know more about veganism, cruelty free products or zero wasting generally always has ‘yes’ as the answer. People are genuinely interested, there are very few people in this world who want to cause animals or our planet harm, they are just blissfully unaware they are causing it. If they don’t want your opinion, leave it, no doubt at some point they will come back to you. Whether they do or don’t though, giving an opinion where it is not wanted will never lead to a positive outcome.
Share your knowledge
If you see someone looking for a new product in a group, tell them about a great cruelty free alternative. Know someone is after new weeknight recipes, share your favourite vegan ones. When people specifically asking for something sharing a cruelty free or vegan alternative means you can plant a seed whilst not being pushy.
Offer real solutions
While this may be an unpopular opinion in the vegan community I very much stand by it. Some people want to eat meat and dairy, you will never change that. But what you can change is where they buy it and how those animals were treated. In an ideal world people would not eat meat, but in the real world just letting people know how inhumane the cheapest of meat and dairy is can help make a hell of a lot of animals’ lives more bearable. And who knows, it may just end in them going vegan anyway, once eyes are opened great things can happen!
Keep doing your thing
I have mentioned before, my veg bags always get commented on, people are always interested in them and want their own. Just being out there in the world eating vegan or using zero waste alternatives does encourage others. Do not underestimate the power of actually just doing your thing.