JUSTICE FOR ANIMALS
Join Date: Jan 2015
Why is the vegan population so small? Why are so few people hearing and responding positively to the vegan message?
I've seen incredible progress in the last 25 years that I've been vegan.
In 1991, when I became vegan, I had to go to a tiny health food store to buy cruelty-free products, or to buy soy milk. Now, even the huge American stores (like Costco and Walmart) carry these products.
There used to be only a few scattered vegetarian / vegan restaurants, but now there are veg restaurant chains.
In 1991, the general public didn't know what "vegan" meant. But now, the other day, I heard a woman order a "vegan bean burrito" at my local Taco Bell restaurant (a fast food chain), and the counter lady didn't bat an eye.
At one time, the medical community was skeptical of veg diets. Now, although some individual physicians remain skeptical, all mainstream American health organizations state that properly-planned veg diets are healthy.
We've come a looong way, and it hasn't taken that long, really.
The best thing a vegan can do is be healthy, happy, and likeable. If others like you, they may want to be more like you. They might not even tell you they are becoming vegan (people are too proud to admit these things).
The worst thing a vegan can do is be pushy - that will immediately drive people away.
I can only tell you why it took so long for me to come around, but I'm sure that my experience isn't uncommon.
PETA: While not the only reason I was reluctant, PETA pushed me away with their horrible ethics, and as someone without much world experience, I associated vegans with PETA because most vegans I'd ever met before the age of 20 were PETA vegans slapping me with videos of animals being skinned alive.
Upbringing: I was a country kid. When I was five, my mom let me get a "pet" pig... which later became bacon. Of course I didn't want to eat it, but I also didn't want to disappoint my parents. We also had dairy goats and chickens. So this became normal. People don't like being told that the way they were brought up may have had fault. People don't like changing once they're set on something.
Extremism: A lot of people see being vegan as extreme. People who have never considered meat itself to be wrong certainly haven't considered byproducts to be wrong, or honey or silk to be. It's such an extreme way of thinking to someone who hasn't considered any of it before, so that turns them off to it. If introduced a little at a time, it sits easier... like first considering where just the meat comes from and the torture often involved with that, and also at extremely wasteful practices, like the roosters who are bred and killed for their feathers... and only their feathers. Once someone has started changing their way of thinking, they will be more open to veganism as a whole.
Interesting - I actually became vegan in large-part thanks to PETA. Watching "Meet Your Meat" was life-changing.
I personally suspect that a lot of people who say veganism is extreme are really saying that veganism is extremely inconvenient for them to accommodate and they don't want someone around who is going to remind them of where their food comes from.
We long-term, committed vegans can do a lot, imho, to change opinions about the extremism excuse. When we are compassionate, unapologetic, self-reliant, generous, and upbeat about our way of life, it goes a long way to show the positive side of being vegan. We don't need to engage in arguments, we just need to stay true.
A lot of people think that a vegan diet will cost a lot of money. You know, fancy organic exotic foods....
I ordered a book, and a suggested companion book was EAT VEGAN ON $4 A DAY. I ordered it, and it's unreal. The money you can save on a vegan diet is unbelievable. I learned a lot from this book.
Right off, the author states how cheap fast food is. Then a comparison is made to vegan food, and it's not even close. Vegan food comes in a lot cheaper!!!!
The problem is that most people see fast food as inexpensive....and go for it for the convenience. It's supposed to be cheap, fast, and easy.
The author explains how "fast, easy and cheap" it is to eat vegan.....and it's true. If the general population knew how cheap vegan food was, and they could see through the massive ad campaigns from the fast food chains.....more people would be vegan.
For now, every little bit helps!
Quiteinspiring, and very informative!!!!I am stoked after watching it. Thanks for the link!!!!!