The second in our series Vegan Question of the Every So Often.
More and more people are choosing a vegan lifestyle – a lifestyle that does not include using animal products. There are so many reasons to be vegan: for yourself, for other people, for other species, for the whole planet. Some of the reasons include: Animal Welfare, Health and Nutrition, Environment, Spiritual, Ethics and Global Food Security. This topic is huge – too much for just one Vegan Question of the Every So Often, so stay tuned.
Slideshow Answer: Here is a short slideshow from Evolve! that says it so well (approx. 4 minutes),
Debate Answer: Philip Wollen is a former VP of Citibank who left to become a philanthropist to work to help nonhuman animals, the planet and humans in need. Here he is in the very compelling “Animals Should be Off the Menu” debate (approx. 10 minutes).
Long Answer: Here is a very interesting and entertaining, longer video presentation “101 Reasons to Go Vegan” presented by James Wildman, and created by The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (approx. 1 hour).
Answer in a Song: Here’s a delightful song by Home and Brook Le’omahala called “Go Vegan!”
Vegan already? How to Keep the Conversation Going:
General advice for talking about “why vegan?” when the question comes up.
1. Find common ground with the person you are talking to. For example, are you both worried about climate change? Do they have high cholesterol like you used to before you became vegan? Do you both love cats? Use the commonality to talk about your food choices.
2. Listen carefully and respectfully to what the other person has to say.
3. Be authentic.
4. Tell your story if you get a chance – whatever your story is. For instance, about looking into the eyes of a pig sitting in a transport truck just before it went into the slaughterhouse, or your realization that the chickens on the farm next door have lives they care about – scratching, forming friendships, communicating, or the fact that you belonged to the 4H club and you were devastated when your bunny was killed for food. Whatever emotional story you have is worth sharing. People who change their eating habits based on their emotions are the ones who stop eating animals for good. Perhaps your story will trigger a similar recollection in the carnist you are talking to.
5. If someone asks you why you are vegan you can say “thanks for asking…are you vegan?” If they say no you can reply, “Oh, why not?” Which immediately changes the emphasis from you justifying your veganism to the other person justifying their carnism. That might start an interesting conversation!