You’re standing alone in the corner of the room at a dinner party, that only serves finger food of the animal based kind. All your friends are joyfully scoffing down chicken nuggets, camembert crackers and different varieties of processed meats. Like all dinner parties, this one in particular didn’t cater for the singular vegan and why should they? Majority rules. There are some blueberries scattered across the cheeseboard, with a smile you politely decline and lie; you’re not hungry enough to compromise your values. With a growling stomach you await for the night to be over, fantasising that more of your friends were vegan.
In the meantime, here’s some pointers to withstand these difficult situations to keep you optimistic.
Meat People Where They’re At
Even if doing something is inherently for the greater good, there are setbacks whether they be financial, physical or lack of resources that will restrict the majority of your friends from following a vegan lifestyle. In which case, meet them where they’re at. Change won’t happen overnight, it happens through a term of meaningful events and a pure desire to alter one’s lifestyle.
Rule of thumb: only approach a friend about a vegan diet once they’ve approached you.
Don’t Be A Preacher, Be A Teacher
Which brings me to my next point - there are two forms of activism that are most commonly used when enforcing change; the teacher’s method and the preacher’s speech. Only 1 out of the 2 were effective in convincing me to convert and I’m an excruciatingly stubborn person. The ‘teacher’s method’ is patient, comprehensive, understanding and empathetic - like a mother nursing their 3 year old out of a tantrum. The preacher’s speech is impatient, repetitive, hostile and indignant like a 3 year old in a tantrum.
Rule of thumb: creative and politely formulated educational discussions will always trump hate speech and dull lectures.
Meal prepping is already a good habit to get into; since a healthy vegan diet must consist of a myriad of nutrition, ensuring that you are consciously consuming a rainbow diet can already be a hassle. Bringing a preprepared meal to a dinner party may be counterintuitive but will ensure you’re not walking into a meat fest on an empty stomach.
Rule of thumb: it’s not anyone’s responsibility but your own to feed yourself, regardless if it’s a social event: the truth is, your friend’s priority isn’t to accomodate for your diet.