Written by Donat a/k/a The Vegan Hubby
The 4 basic things you need to know about being a classy vegan.
Living a vegan lifestyle is important on a multitude of levels. Unfortunately, some vegan’s forget their manners when interacting with their meat-eating counterparts. Follow these 4 simple rules to always being a classy vegan, which really is the best kind of vegan.
1. Keep it simple, Vegan
When talking to non-vegans always remember to keep the conversation relatively simple. This is different from talking to them like they have the IQ of a cow (don’t do that either!). You have spent countless hours pouring over information on diet, nutrition, exotic foods and vegan cooking. Most people have not! Do not start off a conversation telling people about which brand of B-12 supplement is legitimate and which is run by corporate moneybags. Nor should you tell them all about which enzymes digest which nutrients at which point in the digestive process, not unless they specifically ask of course. It might be fascinating to you but it zooms over their heads like a high flying bird. Not only did you just not get your point across, but you have effectively made sure the person stopped listening to you altogether. While they may have genuinely been interested in the vegan lifestyle before, they have made up their mind that it’s too complicated for them. All they wanted was some good food.
2. Don’t give vegans a bad rep
You might be crazy in the rest of your life, but when talking about vegan subjects, keep the craziness to a minimum to keep people from thinking that vegans are the crazy ones. One of the biggest complaints I hear about vegans is their general tendency to be, to put it nicely, unpleasant. I was talking with one vegan girl who tried to argue the point that people who eat meat/dairy are modern day Nazis. Such an argument was not only outrageously ignorant but it also made me wonder if all vegans are this crazy. Yes there is a lot of animal cruelty that goes on for the sake of meat and dairy production, but there are ways to talk about it without accusing people of being Nazis. Thankfully I recognized that this might just be an isolated incident, so my faith in the vegan community was not shaken. Be crazy on your own time.
3. What you resist, persists
There are loads of reasons why you turned vegan. LOTS of good reasons! However, you either came to those reasons on your own or were guided to them. You were not FORCED to turn vegan, therefore, do not try to force others to become vegan. By trying to force people into it, you are doing a great job at making sure they are turned off from being vegan altogether. What you resist persists. Tell non-vegans about the joys, ease and benefits of being vegan. Do NOT try to talk about how horrible they are or that they are going to die from heart disease. You might get punched. And for good reason.
4. Thou art not morally superior
You feel like a superhero learning about superfoods, healthy living and a cleaner environment. You should feel good about it. Just keep your feet on the ground is all we’re saying. There’s no need to go competing with other vegans over how much more vegan you are then everyone around you (i.e. “I am a level 7 vegan: I don’t eat anything that casts a shadow!”). Be proud, not arrogant. Same goes for talking with non-vegans; people come from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences, don’t make yourself seem better than they are. Vegan poop still stinks. And if it didn’t, no one likes a show off anyway.
If you have any other tips to add to the Gentlemen’s Guide to Being a Vegan, please comment and let us know. Keep it classy everyone!