Making the resolution to go vegan is a life-changing decision. And when a new vegan begins to find joy in new foods, like-minded friends, or animal rights activism, it can feel like drifting away from their old life and the people in it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re looking for some inspiration to help your friends and loved ones understand your new passions and inspire them to lead a more compassionate life, this is the article for you.
Share A Delicious Vegan Meal
We are lucky enough to live in a time where there is an abundance of delicious plant-based substitutes for just about any animal product you can imagine. And there’s nothing better than an excellent meal to change hearts and minds.
If you love to cook, invite your friends over for a veganized version of their favorite foods. And if you are all thumbs in the kitchen, ask them to join you to try your favorite vegan restaurant, fast food vegan options, or plant-based food truck. You can also get them excited about the vegan options available in your town by showing them plant-based restaurant options on the HappyCow app.
Watch a Vegan Documentary Together
Documentaries are powerful tools. Many vegans initially decide to change their diets and lifestyles because of a film about animal rights or veganism. Sharing an informative video with others is a great way to inspire them to start their journey towards a more compassionate life.
Here is a shortlist of influential films to share with friends and family:
Dominion – “Exposing the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture through drones, hidden & handheld cameras, the feature-length film explores the morality and validity of our dominion over the animal kingdom.” Available to watch online for free.
Forks Over Knives – “What if one simple change could save you from chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease? Take a deep dive into the plant-based diet documentary that has influenced millions around the world.” Available to watch here for free.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret – “A groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.” Available on Netflix or for purchase here.
Earthlings – “A 2005 American documentary film about humankind’s total dependence on animals for economic purposes. Presented in five chapters (pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research) the film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, featuring music by Moby, and was written, produced and directed by Shaun Monson.” Available to watch on Vimeo for free.
Blackfish – “Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion-dollar sea-park industry.” Available on DVD and Blu-Ray or for download on iTunes.
Invite Them to Take The #MeatoutChallenge on March 20th
Since its inception in 1985, MeatOut has become the world’s most extensive annual grassroots education campaign focused on removing meat and animal products from our plates. Each year on March 20th, people from around the globe welcome spring with events and activism for the animals.
The following cities have made an official proclamation to make March 20th, 2022 #MeatOutDay for their towns:
- Dallas, Texas
- Houston, Texas
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Durham, North Carolina
- Columbus, Georgia
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Madison, WI
- New York City
- Riverside, California
- Fort Wayne, Indiana
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
Please invite your friends to take the #MeatoutPledge to remove animal products from their plate on March 20th and give vegan food a try. When they take the pledge, it will enter them to win $120 in vegan meat from NextMeats delivered FREE to their home.
Take A Trip to A Farm Sanctuary
As children, most role models indoctrinated us to think that some animals’ lives are less valuable than others. Since many people have never spent quality time around farmed animals like cows, chickens, pigs, and sheep, they don’t understand how unique, and complex these beings are.
Taking a friend to experience the joy of animals at a farm sanctuary is a great way to inspire them to make the connection between the animals in our homes and the animals that they put on their plates.
Be Compassionate About Their Journey
Showing compassion for all beings is the basis of veganism, but staying patient with people who contribute to the animal suffering we have vowed to fight can be difficult. We have broken free of the meat paradox as vegans, so it is difficult to feel so disconnected from family and friends who have not. It may be hard to accept that the people we love and care about aren’t as quick to change as we’d like them to, but keeping a compassionate mindset for their journey can be essential.
Every person is different, and what influences one person may deter another. Some people are very open to logical facts, while others need to realize on their own time. But very few people are swayed to do better by negativity and anger.
Unless you were born into a vegan household, you were in a similar place at one time or another. So, try to be patient and live by example instead of being pushy or judgmental about someone else’s timeline. Even if it feels like your message isn’t getting through to them, or they give plant-based eating a try and backslide later, you have planted a seed that will grow in time with positive nourishment and care.