I first want to thank @mtbvegan for the idea for this post! Regina THIS one is for you 😉 She suggested “how about a non-vegan’s opinion when their vegan friend shares vegan related info/opinions etc. Do they listen or ignore it?” So here goes:
I think I am lucky as far as the for the vegans that I know well… I mean to say that I’ve never ever (not even close) gotten a lecture from Brad and Claire about veganism. When I talk to the Gosse’s about why they chose to cut out all dairy, eggs and meat from their diet I don’t get the “100 points on why you should be a vegan too.” Both explain calmly and friendly about their love for animals and how they became vegans years ago. (This is the point where I talk myself up BIG time LOL) ME being a smart, level headed and open person I always listen and never judge or try to convince them that they may have made a HUGE mistake or whatever. I think that it takes a certain kind of person to understand the choice but I also think it takes a stronger person to MAKE the choice.
There is another kind of person in the mix out there and I like to call them the “Preacher.” Preachers don’t just exist in the vegetarian/vegan world either. These are the people who make it their life goal to “educate” (I use this term VERY VERY loosely) all of us “less informed” people about what we couldn’t possibly figure out and clearly make decisions on ourselves. The Preacher uses shock and scare tactics to make a point and sometimes unverifiable stats and data to drill change into your brain. I dislike this style of discussion with a passion…
As I said before I’m fairly intelligent so coming at me with a barrage of info, that I can’t verify without a google button on the back of my neck, just will not work. I know that the populous in general isn’t BRILLIANT but shouldn’t we all approach people with our opinions as if they are smart and then modify according to the person? I’m not trying to shoot down explaining to people your stance on eating meat but I think I’m saying if you feel the need to educate someone real COMMUNICATION (speaking AND listening) is key. I’m not going to listen or absorbe your information if I’m too busy feeling offended at your tactics. Ask questions when trying to make a point. What does the person already know about vegetarians/vegans? What do you both agree and disagree on? Is it worth making this person agree/disagree with certain beliefs?
I personally think the best way to win someone over (Claire Gosse is master of this) is to show them a vegan meal can be as (if not more) delicious as a meal with meat in it. Proof is in the pudding LITERALLY! So next time you find yourself in either situation (The “explainer” OR the one get the explanation) be calm, listen to the other person, ask questions and be fair NOT EVERYONE can be educated or good at educating others.
Let’s all be friends!
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