ll never forget the first dinner party I went to when after going vegan. I was in the honeymoon phase, and I went eager to convince others to adopt my ways. When I arrived, I excitedly shared about my new lifestyle and was crestfallen when no one seemed to care.
When I think about it now, I cringe at how preachy I was. What’s worse is that I gave into temptation and ate my share of non-vegan food. That really showed everyone how great my lifestyle was!
I’m better at handling parties now. For one thing, I rarely cheat anymore. It helps that I usually bring vegan goodies to keep me from being tempted. I’ve also stopped preaching. This is not to say that I don’t talk about my vegan lifestyle, because I do if it comes up. I just don’t have an agenda.
Sure, I want others to go vegan, but I don’t believe that preaching works. I think of it like this. When I go to a store and a salesperson says, “Can I help you?” I get annoyed and immediately answer, “No, I’m just looking.”
Alternatively, when a salesperson simply greets me and then says something like, “Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.” This makes me feel good, and if I do have a question I’ll ask.
I realize now that my preaching was only turning people off. So now I just live my life according to my values and let people ask me questions if they’re curious. And since my lifestyle is unusual, people ask me about it all the time. This is when true dialogue begins.
Photo courtesy of Vegan Cooking.