I've been vegan for over 3 years now.
That. Is. Crazy.
There's been a lot that's happened in those three years, which is to be expected. I feel like I've been through many "vegan phases" in that time period, too. Out of the evolution of my animal product free lifestyle I have learned a lot. I've changed a lot. I think it's super important to discuss now more than ever why veganism is so important and also why it's not at the same time.
Yes, that's right.
Veganism is important. But it's not important.
Over my time period of experiencing a lot of various reactions to my veganism I have observed and learned a lot about people's feelings towards it. I've actually even changed my feelings towards it. That's why we're here today talking about this.
Veganism is so near and dear to my heart. I freaking love it and I want to live this lifestyle forever. I really do. But, I know that not everyone feels that way and that's okay.
I think that as vegans we need to lead by example.
Compassion. Ethics. Mindfulness. Kindness. Acceptance.
Those are the things we need to be. Those are the things that I practice being each day. I know that I am a lot more open to something new when someone displays it from a place of non judgment and willingness to educate but not force anything upon me.
If we speak from a genuine place instead of from a place of forcefulness then I think we're more likely to help others make better choices.
Here's the thing; someone doesn't need to be 100% vegan. I mean, yeah I would love that. But I know that is an unrealistic expectation and forcing that expectation on others only pushes them away. I think that we're a lot more likely to make changes by supporting the small changes that those around us are making through our examples. We are able to lead by example. If someone sees you thriving on plants then there is a good chance that they will become interested in your ways. It might take longer than you'd like and it might even happen without you being aware of it initially. But it is likely to happen.
So let's take the lead. Show everyone around us how freaking awesome it is to live a compassionate lifestyle. Fruit is fun and Beyond Meat is the best. Let's show them that small changes matter, like switching to soy milk instead of dairy or adding in a plant based meal each day or even each week. It's all important and it all matters.
Let's support those around us for the small changes because we were almost all consumers of animal products at one point. We all start somewhere and as vegans we have the opportunity to help others take those first steps.
Be the change you wish to see while understanding that we're all in different places in life.
Veganism is great. Small changes are great too. Let's embrace it all and use our positivity to uplift and transform ourselves and those around us because at the end of the day we're all in this together.