I am going to make an assumption that most people who are vegan have very strong reasons for their lifestyle choices. I know that I often want to rant about the environmental, social, health, and ethical reasons for not eating meat while a loved one chows down on a bloody steak but us vegans learn very quickly that only ends your dinner invitations for Friday nights.
I strongly believe that to promote positive change we need to empower others because ultimately that's what veganism is for me: completely empowering. I feel confident and strengthened by the fact that there are some terrible things about the meat and dairy industry and I'm refusing to support it. So ultimately shaming our carnivorous friends while they eat won't accomplish much other than resentment.
But all of us have different skills, personalities, and comfort zones so we all have different ways of being a champion for animals. Some of us organize rallies, some of us head over to our social media sites, and some of us circulate petitions.
However one thing we can all do is promote the power of food. I LOVE food. A lot. Like sometimes I want to go home on a Friday night and be alone with my food. I digress.
Food is one of the easiest and most fun ways to create conversation, destroy stereotypes, and promote vegan enthusiasm with incredible vegan cuisine. Vegan food is exciting and it’s thrilling to see my friends and family take an interest in it. I love having them over for some pumpkin pasta penne with mashed yams and answer their questions about how I get my iron and protein (will we ever have to stop answering that question!?!).
Many times these conversations spill over into why I’m a vegan and the health benefits. I’m continually surprised and delighted at the unexpected people telling me about their vegan recipes or plans to become vegetarian. I recently started a vegan cooking blog and I’m shocked at how many people that I haven’t seen in years will send me messages saying they love trying the recipes. You’ll even get the occasional hilarious comment; “You’re that girl who makes cupcakes with nothing in them right?”
Ultimately I think that the reasons we’re vegan are serious and there’s definitely a time and a place for the slaughterhouse footage or statistics on meat and cancer rates but food is something we can all do. So next time you want to scream when you’re told you need meat for protein, go home and make some delicious deep fried tofu for your friends!