“We can do no great things – only small things with great love.” – Mother Theresa
Without meaning to, sometimes setting a good example brings others on board or touches people’s lives in ways we aren’t even aware. Can you think of anyone you have flat-out converted to a cruelty-free, veggie lifestyle? Now imagine how many more have followed your lead in some unknowable way, by making small but impactful changes. Perhaps you have even saved a life or two, whether animal or human, and don’t even know it.
Even if a friend, coworker, or family member hasn’t come to you for advice on how to become vegetarian or vegan, they may have taken your lead and not let on. But if it’s direct impact you’re looking for, however, then maybe it’s time to be direct yourself!
Leading meat-eaters and partial vegetarians to a more committed veg lifestyle takes careful handling, depending on the audience. Let’s assume that a more subtle approach will not turn anyone off while allowing for one to come to one’s own conclusions.
Therefore, here are some ideas to be a good veggie spokesperson:
- Attribute a positive quality or improvement about yourself due to veg*ism, such as your health, weight control, zest & energy, cost savings, athletic performance, or low carbon footprint;
- Share veg food with others, such as letting people sample a meat-free product or bringing a veg*an treat to a gathering;
- Let others know that you are veggie, ie. when ordering or if it’s relevant to segue into a conversation. Not only will you call out the other likeminded folk, but curious people will wonder what you eat and you have an excellent opportunity to tell them;
- Share horror stories of things you may have read or experienced that are due to a meat-based diet. These could include news stories of contaminations, health problems, or tales of working in the food service industry such as meat packing plants;
- On the other side of the coin, share positive, uplifting stories of the grace and intelligence of animals. We all have our favourite animals, and reminding people that their food source is connected to a beautiful, living creature may be all it take to raise someone’s consciousness.
Knowing that people might be watching & learning from you can keep you on your toes, too. Even though French fries are vegetarian, they aren’t healthy. Maybe you could help promote the association of health that is attributed to a meat-free lifestyle whilst making self-improvements.
At the end of the story, every little bit counts; it’s just important to be aware your “small” efforts may be paying off in larger dividends than merely your direct actions alone.