How do we convince people to try a vegan diet? I don’t think going into deep arguments about protein, essential amino acids, iron, calcium, B12, factory farming, wearing animal products leather, fur, wool, silk, etc. is the best way. I’ve tried explaining the science behind it, but that hardly ever works.
Here are three approaches that have worked for me:
1. Share your personal story; inspire people.
Tell them how your life has changed since you’ve become vegan. Share your physical and emotional experiences after changing your diet. You can even go as far as showing people your blood work (and then asking them to get some labs done themselves). Most of the time, their cholesterol is high. I then ask them to try a vegan diet for one month, only one. Then ask them to test again in a month and by that time, two things will happen. First off, they now love vegan food and feel great. Second, their tests come out much better; most of the times back to normal ranges.
2. Have them try vegan food.
Invite people over to eat at your house. Prepare delicious vegan meals that they’ll want to try at home. Bring vegan dishes to big family/friend events, like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Between the turkey and the ham, someone is bound to try your vegan stuffing or dessert. (This has happened to last Thanksgiving – I got all the carnivores asking for seconds of my vegan dish! ) Take them to your favorite vegan restaurants and try to make it a habit to go out at least once a week. Share your favorite recipes; starting with the easy, practical ones. Tell them about your favorite vegan snacks/ desserts or buy them a couple, so they’ll start buying them for their homes. Example: cinnamon almonds, dark chocolate almonds, non- dairy ice cream, kale chips, popcorn, rice cakes, tortilla chips, guacamole, pita chips, hummus, etc.
3. Share information.
There’s a lot of information out there. Every time you find interesting information, articles, recipes; share them. (With your facebook friends, twitter, etc.). Two of my favorites are Food That Kills and https:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=srkd-irmrC0">Diet Wars. Some people like to make drastic changes and go vegan cold turkey. Others are fearful of change and may like transitioning little by little. To those people, I suggest they try Meatless Mondays. I launched the Meatless Monday Campaign in Honduras. Many people follow it, and some go meatless a couple of times a week. Baby steps. Our friends or family members may never agree to it. You should still try and never give up. There are other people who may be more receptive and will embrace all you have to share. The best way to get people interested and to try it is to show them how healthy, happy and friendly you are.
What are some of your tips?
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.