I know that when I first went vegan I had this urge to try and convert everyone I knew because I thought it was so amazing. I still think it’s amazing, but I didn’t have a particularly high success rate in converting people. I wanted to write a post about things we can all do to encourage more people to be vegan, or to at least eat vegan more regularly.
Now although this isn’t a direct action that will convert someone, I think that encouraging the production of cultured meats is the best chance we have of ever getting an all vegan world. Cultured meats are basically meats that have been lab grown. It’s still meat, tasting and looking exactly the same, but it’s made without harm to animals and with minimised environmental harm. I honestly believe that most people don’t go vegan because they like animal products too much. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable with taking an animal’s life when they don’t really need too, or causing a disproportionate amount of environmental harm. But food is comforting to people and as a result it can be really difficult for them to give some products up. So putting our support behind organisations that our promoting cultured meat is important. For example the Good Food Institute who are working to make cultured meat an everyday product. You can support them through donating or simply following them and sharing their posts on their Twitter and Facebook.
Cultured meat is really exciting, but it is something that is still in the future. Right now, we can demand vegan products to increase supply. The more vegan products sell, the more choice there is and the more people will be more inclined to eat vegan. So, if a restaurant near you comes out with a new vegan dish, go out and try it. Show them that the vegan options they are providing are wanted. Alternatively, if you feel there’s a lack of a vegan product, go and tell companies that you want it. If enough people are asking for a certain vegan product, they might just start making it. Look at the amount of vegan alternatives that have come out recently, Gregg’s vegan sausage role, Papa John’s vegan pizza’s, Vegan Pain Au Chocolat in Sainsburys!
Obviously, people have to be given an actual reason to be vegan and I think it’s important to share the reasons why we should make this change. This can easily be done by sharing videos and pictures on our social media or simply talking about it. But I think it’s important to do this subtly, don’t bombard people with videos of slaughterhouses. More often than not it can backfire and cause people to get defensive. Sharing the odd video here and there and talking about it when the opportunity arises is the best way to subtly get into people’s heads. It often takes a lot of small things to trigger a big change. For me, when I was a vegetarian, I kept seeing vegan videos and images popping up online, after being exposed to these for a while, I finally realised I needed to make the change.
If you want people to go vegan, I think it’s important to act as a role model. Obviously don’t pretend to be perfect, or act like some you’re not. But portraying yourself and veganism positively can encourage others to consider it. If you’re looking healthy and happy then other people will be more inclined to copy aspects of your lifestyle. Sharing images of all your delicious vegan food and talking about how you’re really enjoying the vegan lifestyle will encourage others to consider it too!
In this post I’ve talked about things that will encourage people to consider going vegan, but in a future post I cam going to talk about things not to do if you want to encourage people to go vegan. As I feel I definitely have some experience in that!