As you may know, November is “World Vegan Month.” Starting on November 1st (World Vegan Day), vegans all over the world spend the month celebrating their vegan diet and compassionate lifestyle. A number of festivities honor the month, including: film showings, festivals, restaurant parties, and a host of online community gatherings. There are even virtual vegan potlucks where vegans meet-up online to share their favorite vegan dishes.
November is an opportune time to form friendships with those who share your “veganistic” values. It’s also a great time to spread the word about the benefits of veganism and help others to transition into a plant-based diet. But are we limited to this 30-day window of opportunity?
I was recently asked – What do you plan to do for World Vegan Month? I casually explained that I would be doing what I always do, which is sharing my knowledge of veganism and helping others to grasp the concept of living free from animal-dependency. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. I will take this month and spread it evenly across the remaining 11 in an effort to raise awareness of key issues surrounding veganism.
When I first started my vegan journey I knew very little about the lifestyle, or where to find information regarding it. Luckily, I had a friend who pointed me in the right direction. He was eager to explain to me the benefits and answer my “newbie” questions. It seemed as if he had a personal agenda. I wondered about his motives for sharing such valuable information. I suppose we’re somewhat conditioned to think in this manner. As it would turn out, my friend didn’t want anything from me; he simply wanted to do his part in protecting the earth and all of its creatures, while seeing me perform at my best.
Since making the leap (which was an overnight affair), I’ve gained a sense of purpose and responsibility. I feel responsible to share with others what has been freely shared with me. Hence, the blog your reading right now. Vegans (or vegetarians for that matter) don’t talk about their lifestyles to stroke their own egos. We are simply trying to break the cycle of naivety which has encompassed the world over. We see the nutritional benefits working in our favor. We understand the impact we’re making on the planet by reducing our carbon footprint. We know that lives are being saved by the simple choices we make day in and day out. So why wouldn’t we share a few tips with others?
But as we go about our daily lives, gabbing at the first spark of nutritional conversation, we earn ourselves a social stigma. People become turned off by our “over-excitement” about the topic. Or they may find themselves feeling unarmed (so to speak) so they avoid the conversation altogether.
While carrying the message is important, we should be doing so with care. Perhaps the best way to make an impression is to lead by example. That’s right, you may never even have to say a word to impact someone’s life. If we can even pique a person’s interest, the magic of Google may do the rest. And to me, that’s a job well done!
What inspires you to share your lifestyle with others? Are you compassionate when you talk about nutrition with non-vegans? Please leave a comment below.
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