Karins chats about her “veganising” over the past 25 years, tells you about her inspirations and chats to some passionate vegans too…..
I have always found being myself works well. Whether I am coaching a journalist to be vegan, when I was giving school talks or running my Essex based vegan campaign group many years ago.
Although at times (and many times) we are likely to feel frustrated, angry, upset and confused with the rest of the planet I put myself to one side and feel that I personally like to turn people on than put them off. If you know what I mean. So I feel positive and focus on everything wonderful about being vegan.
I could have moaned when asking for soya milk 100’s of times in eateries that I knew didn’t offer it. However I said it was a shame (with a smile) and they are missing out on extra revenue.
I do like to focus on the abundance of veganism and I did this over 20 years ago – yes even then there was a vegan version of everything! And I focused on this when giving radio interviews about veganism too.
I love personal development and this has helped me through life challenges. I am still a work in progress (aren’t we all!) however reading books like The Secret and being inspired by my great friends such as Dr Rohan Weerasinghe and Sue Stone who have inspired me over the years. This also means I aim to be the best advocate for veganism that I possibly can be.
I would also highly recommend checking out American peak performance coach Tony Robbins who also advocates why we shouldn’t eat meat and dairy – although I am not sure if he is vegan.
Turning to veganism it is always handy to have a few practiced soundbites up your sleeve! These can be handy answers to annoying or inquisitive questions from friends and family. So short snappy answers that show you do know what you are talking about.
Unless someone is being a bully and what they are doing or saying is unacceptable then laughing off what they are saying in a non sarcastic way is fine too – well it has helped me. And be like a politician – you don’t always have to answer the annoying questions…. You are not beholden to whoever is asking you…… if you do not want to answer that annoying question than don’t. I feel this is a better solution at times as getting angry never works especially if someone if just trying to wind you up.
Do what feel right for you and your advocating…. Some people are happy to make viral videos and “vox pops” people on the street, others would prefer something more subtle.
Perhaps taking in a box of vegan cookies or cakes for work colleagues to start a conversation is a more acceptable approach.
Sharing vegan issues and videos on your social media does get help the word out there…. Perhaps if sharing the more gory content isn’t for you then sharing links to vegan festivals like VegfestUK, Plant Powered Planet Magazine, or to your local vegan café/ animal sanctuary would be easier. Hey why not even share this website VeggieVision TV!
Perhaps starting your own vegan blog or podcast appeals – a great way to advocate veganism and be in control of the content….. (if you do this let me know as I would love to share it!)
Maybe becoming a regular on your local radio station or writing for your local paper may appeal – all you need to do is ask!
Connecting with fellow vegans is vital too. When following groups on Facebook make sure they are aligned with your values and you do not get wrapped up in arguments! A huge time waster that doesn’t do anything for veganism!
Join a local vegan group too – and if you have time why not set one up. Our group back in the day had regular meetings, went to demos, we trained others to give school talks, went to pub quiz’s wearing vegan t shirts and we all empowered each other.
Andrea Harvey The Vegan Hairdresser and manager at vegan friendly Salon Messina in Essex advocates veganism constantly and now does so through her vegan hairdressers and beauty salon. “When you are vegan for the animals, it goes much deeper than just not consuming meat and animal produce, it is a lifestyle that incorporates every part of your being- from beauty products to cleaning products- and the longer you are vegan, the stronger your belief becomes. It is a passion that stays your whole life.”
Annie Connolly is a passionate vegan activist and former international athlete who is against any form of speciesism.
“My vegan advocacy means everything to me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I am training clients in the gym we chat about plant based eating. I think it is about being positive and encouraging others. Being the best role model you can as it is for the animals. I know a lot of fellow professional sports people from my athlete days and seeing more and more embracing veganism. Do what you can – and then some!!”
No matter what you do – make a difference for veganism in a way that you love – even if at times it means coming out of your comfort zone!