Avoiding animal products is not only the most important factor in being a vegan, it is the definition. But going plant-based and wearing hemp should not be where you complete your ethical evolution. Below are my top tips for being a better, more effective vegan:
1 – First rule of Veganism… “Don’t talk about Veganism!”
OK, this one’s controversial I know, but I feel it needs addressing. It doesn’t take long before your friends and colleagues find out that you’ve gone vegan, so there is, arguably, no need to openly push it on people. You may have good intentions, heck, you might even convert someone, but lets be honest, it’s better to befriend those you meet than risk turning them away forever.
Veganism, as you know, is not just a diet, it’s a belief system. For us to make a real impact we need the whole world to act — not just those who can tolerate your ranting.
You may feel that spreading the word is beneficial to your cause, but isn’t it more likely to make you look like the problem rather than the solution?
So, with this in mind, pick your moments carefully and keep in mind that life-changing decisions are not usually made in a split second.
2 – Never attack, and don’t bite back
Don’t start a war you can’t win. Vegans at present are the minority, so unless you are at vegan club, don’t start fighting with a non-vegan. Even if you feel you can outsmart your opponent, you won’t win! Remember, for us to win, EVERYONE has to win, so you are better to turn an enemy into a friend, than to try to outwit them. Let them save face and they’ll be less likely to attack next time.
3 – Help out, but in a non-vegan way
Many vegans like to do their bit to help the cause, but when you help a non-vegan in a vegan way (such as preparing a vegan meal for someone) it can often be seen as self-serving or an empty gesture. Your image is so important if you are a vegan, as we are constantly under the spotlight.
So every now and then maybe offer to cut an elderly neighbour’s lawn, give someone a lift or help them out at work. It will go along way towards building trust and you might just be doing more for your cause than you think!
4 – Eat healthy and heal yourself
Some people can be forgiven for thinking that all vegan food is healthy. In fact most preprepared vegan food is pretty bad for your health and if consumed in enough quantity, potentially life threatening.
If you make yourself ill, or even look malnourished, you are negatively affecting the cause. Now for some, you may already be ill and it may not be your fault, but for those of you who are eating lazy, scoffing ready-meals, sugary snack bars, and vegan ice cream (yes you know who you are), it’s time to clean up that diet.
Eating a plant-based diet is all about the fresh fruit and vegetables that repair our bodies and make us feel great. By eating cleaner and learning to cook, you will look better, feel better and I guarantee your friends and colleagues will admire you for it.
5 – Dress to impress
Vegans are known for being scruffy hippies that don’t use soap. Don’t be that vegan!
If you prefer the bohemian look, that’s great, but do it well. Be sure that your clothes are flattering. It’s important we show the world that dressing ethically can still impress.
Also it’s essential to be inclusive. Being individual is great, but if you are seen as elitist you will push others away. Remember not everyone likes to stand out from the crowd.
6 – Get in shape, feel confident and look great!
When was the last time you attended a gym? Getting and staying in shape is one of the best things you can do to go above and beyond as a vegan. With a slim, strong body, you are living proof to the people around you that not only can you survive on a plant-based diet, you can thrive!
You don’t even need to join a gym. You can train on the park, In your own home, or even take up a sport. Ever tried rock climbing?
Not sure where to start? Get in touch with us today and we’ll give you some ideas.
7 – Don’t boycott your friends
It can be hard to be around people who don’t share your views, but if they lose you, you cease to be a positive influence on them and you may lose the most valuable people in your life. After all, old friends are likely the best friends you’ll ever have!
They’ve stuck with you till now haven’t they?
Exclusively hanging out with vegans might be easier, and though it’s great to have like minded friends. It’s the old friends that you’ll miss the most! Trust me I know!