Community Coordinator | Wellington, New Zealand | Contactable via nadia@livekindly.co

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“HEY EVERYONE, I’M VEGAN!”

Contrary to popular belief this cliché announcement isn’t actually typical for most vegans.

So, you’ve made the choice; you’re about to embark on a new ethical lifestyle and you are pumped to start your journey… BUT.. how on earth are you going to break it to your friends and family? This is social suicide!

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Don’t worry – You aren’t alone.

Whether you are the first to decide to become vegan in your family or friendship group, or you know one or two people who have made the transition, you aren’t the first person and you certainly won’t be the last.

However, explaining why you have made this choice can be a tricky obstacle to overcome. So how can you best prepare?

6 Tips on Coming Out as a Vegan



KNOWLEDGE
Conversations regarding veganism will be unavoidable and knowing your stuff is key! There is nothing worse than someone asking you a question, knowing that you’re right, but fumbling with your response. So grab some popcorn, stick on your comfies and hunker down with some eye opening documentaries or good-reads.


CONFIDENCE

You just gotta own this. If you have the ability to grow a thick skin, the (inevitable) criticism will be water off a duck’s back.

ADAPTABILITY
People respond in different ways when they are exposed to information about veganism – you may find that some of your friends and family are genuinely curious; others not so much. Be aware of peoples’ differences and adapt to them – be conscious of their interests and personal circumstances and drip feed information appropriately. It’s important to be conscious of peoples’ situations and avoid overloading them with too much at once.

PATIENCE
Remember that you also once drank cow’s milk and ate ham sandwiches without a second thought.  Your choice to become vegan doesn’t mean that other people have no morals – they just haven’t had that ‘ah-ha’ moment just yet. Be patient with them. Don’t lose friends and alienate people.



KEEP IT KIND

It can get tough! People can be mean! It’s exhausting to hear ‘Bacon though” every time you speak to a meat-fanatic. But don’t rise to it. This lifestyle is about compassion, and this extends to all living beings, including others and including yourself!

JUST PLANT THE SEED
Sometimes, it is prudent not to push your values onto people who may not be so willing to accept change. It’s important to be aware that no matter how passionate you are, not everyone you talk to will be receptive to vegan values. Do be prepared for whichever way the conversation flows and remember that you can always win in your heart with logic and a conscious mind. All you can do is plant the seed and set a good example.

Ultimately if you can explain to others logically why you chose to become vegan, they are more likely to understand and even support your decision. Who knows, they may even consider making the change themselves one day.

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