If you’re a vegan advocate, I need to tell you something. It’s not going to be pretty but it’s going to save you a lot of frustration and drastically help you create a more kind and compassionate vegan world.
You see, I’m a new vegan. After a year of a pescatarian transition in 2017, I committed to giving a vegan diet and lifestyle a shot as an experiment for 30 days as my January 2018 resolution.
I haven’t looked back.
Now, 10 months in, I passionately believe that everyone would benefit from eating vegan (or at least mostly vegan), and we know this shift would dramatically improve our world and human health. I see vegan living as the best fresh-squeezed lemonade stand in the world and yet the vast majority of people would rather drink the crap lemonade that destroys themselves and everything around them.
Why is that? Sure, the meat and dairy industries have a seemingly endless supply of money and resources, but if plant-based food is that much better (for us, for others, and for our planet—which it is!), it shouldn’t matter. Word of mouth and the exponential growth of social media is starting to level the playing field.
Strategic Vegan Advocacy
After 9 months of being in the vegan community, I see a giant piece of the puzzle that’s missing in this movement: strategic advocacy.
Every industry, every charity, and every business needs promoters, marketers, and salespeople. That’s my background. As a marketing graduate, former salesman, fashion model of 7 years, current product specialist/brand ambassador, and a constant student of personal development and communication, I make it my business to be well studied about this stuff.
For most of us here, our heart is full and we leave loads of passion out there when we’re speaking to others, eagerly trying to relay our messages of compassion. We’re not only attempting to save the lives of animals and the planet, we’re trying to save the lives of our friends and family too! That’s a lot of weight to carry on our shoulders—but we’re committed.
Sadly, the majority just don’t get it and it’s extremely frustrating, isn’t it? Now, you can blame them (which really doesn’t help anyone) or you can refine your techniques to better deliver the message in a way that will actually resonate with whomever you’re speaking with.
As far as I am concerned, everyone who calls themselves vegan is a brand ambassador and salesman whether they want to be or not. Based on your energy, communication style, attitude, and everything else that the human brain recognizes as input to analyze, you either promote this vegan thing in a positive light or a negative one.
And guess what? If you’re showcasing veganism in a negative light, you are selling the alternative.
Think about it. If you visit a Honda dealership and the place is run down and the salesman is rude and only cares for himself and his own agenda, Toyota wins. If most people you’ve met who drive Hondas are jerks (or even just slightly off-putting), your likelihood of buying a Honda will plummet.
Whether you want to admit it or not, there are thousands of vegan advocates who are unknowingly and unintentionally selling the alternative. I was one those people who didn’t entertain the idea of eating vegan or even vegetarian for years because I was so turned off by the judgmental, self-righteous, and angry messages I saw when I looked at vegans.
Funny enough, my best friend of 20 years (Stephen, now a 5-year vegan) is the one who opened my eyes to the vegan lifestyle. Looking back over the years, we realized that the largest gap in communication we had from each other was around 2013 when Stephen had just gone vegan and was a militant activist. He wore anger and resentment of other humans on his sleeve and just wasn’t the type of person I wanted to be around. We were in completely different places mentally.
The Bottom Line Is…
I’m sharing this with you because you and I have the same goals and I want to help us both reach them. To reduce suffering and create a kinder, healthier, happier world.
The organizations and businesses that thrive constantly study, analyze, adjust, and improve. They eliminate what isn’t working, and triple-down on what is.
What if you were able to “have that light bulb go off” for 3x as many people you encounter?
What if people saw veganism in a better light after encountering you?
What if you shattered the negative stereotype they had about vegans?
Just think of all the animal lives you could save by slightly honing your communication skills. Wouldn’t that be worth it? While your current conversations may feel like you’re to slice through a watermelon with a dull knife, you can sharpen that knife, release the tension, and start having meaningful conversations with ease.
To get started, I highly suggest you pick up the most prominent book in the field of communication, basic human psychology, sales, and negotiation, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This book was published in 1936 and has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, and was named one of the “Top 100 most influential books” by Time Magazine in 2011.
This book holds great power to help us all become more effective vegan advocates. I love it so much that my best friend Stephen and I have created our own version of this book that is tailored specifically to the vegan movement. You can check out our e-book: How to Win Friends and Influence People: Vegan Edition for practical advice on how to share your message in a way that meat eaters can relate to and want to open up to.
If all vegans read and applied the principles taught by these masters of communication, veganism wouldn’t still be a movement, but a way of life.
Want to learn more about vegan advocacy and how to have a positive effect on the people you encounter in your journey?
Follow these links and get inspired!
- How to Have Impactful Vegan Conversations
- How to Answer All Those Annoying Vegan Questions
- Motivational Methods for Vegan Advocacy