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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum


I have a question--have any of you here successfully gotten someone else to become a vegetarian or a vegan? The reason I ask is because that is one of the most powerful ways to make the world better, for so many reasons, but yet once one is a vegan, then to multiply the positive effect one has on this world due to not eating meat and other animal products, one kind of has to spread the message and convince others to follow. Of course, there are all too many people who aren't very receptive to this message, even a lot of people who I would consider to otherwise be quite liberal and willing to change their lifestyle.

So for those of you who have found success, what did you do? I am guessing one thing that helps is connecting more to people's hearts, which can be a bit difficult for someone like me in the scientific community (just all the facts about veganism is good enough for me--for example, with meat production being a huge generator of greenhouse gases, or even the antibiotic resistance caused by the meat industry would by themselves be almost sufficient for me to become vegetarian or vegan if I were somehow still eating meat). But most people aren't convinced that easily. (What got me to originally be a vegetarian at age 18 was simply losing my appetite at the thought of animals being slaughtered, but I didn't really have much appetite for meat beforehand, so I can't fully empathize with those who might like meat but otherwise understand our message.)

So, I am a bit frustrated that I haven't yet changed anybody to become vegan. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps there are only a few of us who are good enough at leading to really touch others in a big way like this. For now, I do a lot of small things, including bringing in good foods like fruits and nuts for the break room table at work for people to snack on (though that's also to offset the junk food that coworkers sometimes bring in) and take people to vegetarian/vegan restaurants when they visit or otherwise want to meet up with me (and of course recommend those restaurants (and various foods/dishes) to people I might not normally eat with). Obviously, I contribute vegan food whenever there's a food drive as well.

Any thoughts?


Responses (13)

  • Carisa's avatar
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    Posted by Carisa at 06/06/17 14:07:10

    Look as though you're getting enough protein as well as eating tasty foods as those are the first things people question and lead by example. Wear a shirt saying 'Vegan' on it maybe, so it triggers the idea when you walk around say in the shopping centre. Introduce tasty vegan foods to people without them necessarily knowing beforehand that it's vegan. Eg. lol I casually gave some cookies to several of my friends then after they eagerly finished them I told them no animals were harmed in the making. They were surprised by how good the cookies were.

  • Carisa's avatar
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    Posted by Carisa at 06/06/17 14:10:30

    Some people find veganism too much to ask but at the end of the day it's the least we can do as intelligent evolved human beings to not cause harm to other living breathing beings who can feel the same capacity of pain , regardless of intelligence, in a world full of endless suffering and evil. Besides intelligence doesn't even matter. I'm not gunna hurt a mentally ill person even if they lack reasoning

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    Posted by NaturalHealthGroup at 06/07/17 17:29:14

    If you or anybody else in the U.S. is really interested in learning how to present the Vegan Solution to the general public (individuals, business people, groups, legislators) based on scientific and medical evidence there's a group in Los Angeles that has a complete training program for you and presentation that works!

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    Posted by westcornersville at 06/08/17 03:00:13

    Thanks Carisa and NaturalHealthGroup for the comments. Yep--I do realize that it's unrealistic to get someone to go from being a complete omnivore to being a vegan in a short amount of time, so I do often try to get the omnivores to go half way at least (or, sometimes, just to have one vegan or vegetarian meal). And I definitely encourage healthy vegan eating (as I do)--not only do I discourage meat eating but also the consumption of processed sugar, since that does a lot of harm to people's health, and I also very much encourage exercise (I'm a runner myself--though I do other exercising as well). I'll have to look into the Vegan Solution, at least initially online, to see if there are any good ideas. In my case, I think I need to focus more on my delivery/communication of the information--I have plenty of reasons to offer to become a vegan or vegetarian, but offering them in a way to make one actually want to become one is the important thing!

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    Posted by tarsbo at 06/13/17 19:33:23

    You cannot force anyone to go vegan but you can make them more curious about the lifestyle and that leads to further discussion. It's all about planting seeds. Because a vegan/plant-based diet can affect so many parts of our lives - ethical, environmental, and health... one of those aspects is bound to resonate with the person you're talking to.

    Stay positive and make veganism look like something they WANT to be a part of! :) I also recommend having the answers to vegan questions and learning the most effective ways to talk to omnivores. Search for James Aspey and Earthling Ed on Youtube.

    I've been vegan for years and posting about it for years... some old friends are only NOW looking to me for information on veganism. People will come around in their own time, and they will come to YOU if you come off to them as understanding and friendly.. not the stereotypical "angry vegan" (I hate to use that expression, but I think it's necessary).

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    Posted by happah10 at 07/01/17 00:17:59

    People who are open-minded and curious and want to change but don't know how are the best subjects. I have been chipping away at someone slowly but surely .

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    Posted by danielhenry at 07/01/17 20:16:02

    +1 for planting seeds. My personal rule is never to bring it up first. And I try not to use the 'V' word, unless the person just does not get what whole-food, plant-based means.

    I've also found that just being positive and enthusiastic about ithe lifestyle goes much further than attacking the S.A.D. If I'm hearing questions, I assume they already know the way they are eating is not working and they're looking for another solution.

    Finally, I do my best not to overwhelm people. Even though I could bombard folks with statistics and stories, I try to share just one main idea—like there is more than enough protein in plants—and then flip the conversation back to them. 2 ears; 1 mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak, and you open the door to go deeper next time.

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    Posted by IsaFer at 07/02/17 09:00:57


    A little more than a year ago I was diagnosed with insulin resistance, hypothyroidism and other problems related to the stress of my daily life. Since then I tried to lead a healthy life, I started with remedies and diet. However, it was difficult and still is, because food that is good for something, makes me worse for something else.

    Every day is a struggle to choose foods that are best for me. I have tried different techniques. The last thing I've done is meal prep for the week, that way I have less temptations or mistakes.

    I am not vegan yet. I was a vegetarian for several years, but I was young and then I did not have these healthy problems. Thanks to the different Facebook groups, forums, etc. I have realized that there are many more options, and I would like to learn from those who know more.

    That being said, with my husband we came up with a product that can be used by
    all those who wish to enjoy a healthy barbecue.

    Spice Up! is a revolutionary barbecue seasoning briquette that take advantage of smoke properties to food, creating healthy, tasty and flavorful results with ease!

    It is designed for vegans and omni, and for those who have health problems and need to take a diet sodium free, sugar free, gluten free, organic, etc.

    Right now we have a campaign on Kickstarter, and I would like to share this information to reach more people.

    Please support our campaign:

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    I hope I have not offended you and have a good reception.

    Thank you!

  • JohnSmith75's avatar
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    Posted by JohnSmith75 at 07/04/17 13:25:12

    My friend brings me to the vegetarian lifestyle and im actually very happy this happens to me.

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    Posted by captainvegetable at 08/25/17 20:36:25

    What a great question! Isn't it the most frustrating thing in the world when the people you love and care about won't do the one thing that could completely transform their world and the one they live in?

    I have done this dozens and dozens of times, yes. That said I have a background and an approach that is far different than most. You see, I believe that talking or debating with someone about their diet is a fiercely charged topic. It is very personal and it requires them changing habits and routines they have been engrained over a lifetime. Also, there is a physical reasoning to their resistance, a lot of these things are truly physically addictive... you have to understand the biochemistry to get how this is the case. (Happy to explain this if you like)

    I have found that all the data in the world while convincing and real doesn't change behavior in most people. Documentaries can change minds and do... but often they push people to the precipice but then they don't do it because "they don't know how to" or some other similar well-intentioned self justification. What changes minds is personal experience and PROOF.

    People in the US don't know much about their health or biomarkers for health. (I am coming at this from the medical and scientific side not the animal side... you need to overcome the first hurdle... first things first) If people knew more they may change behavior but they don't. Ignorance is bliss. (If we had to kill the chicken ourselves
    do you really think a lot of people could actually do it?... they can turn a blind eye because they don't have to see how "the sausage is made" they only see the juicy cheeseburger on the commercial or images of a happy 4th of July BBQ) - the above post made me think about BBQ lol :-)

    So, to open people's minds without activating their defenses, I use the "try it method" Many of the top plant-based vegan resources encourage this as well For example, the China Study by T. Colin Campbell suggests to his readers to try it for 30 days. . Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has a 21 day kick start program to try it for 21 days.

    People can do anything for 3-6 weeks. Yes, even change their diets. If you can't change something for 3-6 weeks you have an addiction. A socially acceptable addiction but an addiction nonetheless. So, often just asking them to "try it" can work. What is the downside? They eat a lot of really healthy food? If that doesn't work and they are a close friend or family member ask them to learn a little more about it and try it for you... so they can learn more about you and see the world through your lens.

    As I mentioned earlier I have a different background, so I utilize this method in my
    practice with a slightly different approach. I am a health and wellness educator. Many of my clients come to me because they need or are ready for a switch and are on board. They just need help. That said, once they get there, they are usually faced with family members or friends they would like to introduce to it but are running into the same problems you are.

    So, a few times per year (or every other year) I perform research studies looking at the health benefits of a plant-based dietary intervention. The study last 6 weeks and we do anthropomorphic and serum (blood) testing for various disease risk factors. We measure them before they change their diet and at the end of 6 weeks. We also provide them with some light required education about diet and nutrition. Most people stick with it at the end...some do because of what they learned in the education, some because they feel a lot better and some because they have proof of what their bodies did right and front of them. ...Proof that they cannot refute. They learn they they are truly in control of their is not hard coded in the DNA.

    Anyway... the point is, all you can do is try and get them "to try it". Don't push because you set the best example in what you do not what you say. Plus, in my experience people will eventually come around and try it if it is important to you. shoot sometimes my clients do it just to prove me wrong... I usually win those bets. 😋

    Good luck and best wishes

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    Posted by chb-pbfp at 08/26/17 06:25:23

    Inline with what tarsbo posted here above, I had that same kind of experience and wrote it down here; I than recently came in contact with a pragmatic approach in order to do, or realize more which I like very much and might maybe inspire you as well, I wrote about that over here; Have a good day!

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    Posted by Mountainmystic at 08/29/17 20:22:49

    I agree. The best way to help people become vegan or vegan aware is to be the best example by what you do, not what you say. I just tell people I meet, that the way I eat is not just eating. It's a healthy lifestyle. Most people can accept it as a diet or healthier choice, without feeling defensive and telling me meat stories. Although it's common. I just listen and tell them my choice is not to eat meat. I look healthy and feel healthy. They can't argue with that--a 6 ft. tall man who doesn't eat meat and has great blood work results every year. Try living in the southern U.S. as a man who doesn't eat meat. Its a conversation starter. It builds character and self-confidence in the mind also.
    It's all part of standing for what you believe in and feeling secure. It's not easy, but I would not trade the way I feel in my body, mind, and spirit and go back to a carnivore diet. I have seen the great benefits, and am living my truth as best as I can. Thats all any of us can do. It works for me. ---Mountain Mystic

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    Posted by emilymargaret at 03/06/18 04:44:22

    Hi there,

    I made this list of tips for people who want to work towards veganism but need some guidance. If you find some people who are interested in veganism, maybe it can help you help them.

    Good luck! I know how you feel :)

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