It can be difficult living as a vegan living amongst a non-vegan family. Fortunately Joe Calo now lives amongst a family who are all enthusiastic and passionate vegans. However, it wasn’t always this way for Joe, so he’s sharing his advice from experience on how to get your family to go vegan too!
Growing up as a vegan in a meat-eating world can be tough. Growing up as a vegan in a meat-eating family can be almost incomprehensible. Sadly, this is a situation that so many of us find ourselves in. It can make you feel as though you’re maybe somehow wrong for contradicting their beliefs and morals by going against how they choose to live their lives. Fortunately for me, this is no longer the case in my family and I hope that by following these steps, you too can experience the joy of living in a cruelty-free, happy home.
Step 1: Understand that the change is not always quick and easy
Okay, you find yourself in a family that enjoys eating animals and this is weird. Just remember, it’s not weird for them, nor was it weird for many of us before we decided to make the change. You know more than anyone how much propaganda is around veganism and the meat, dairy and egg industries. Because of this, it’s only natural for your family to be sceptical at the idea of a new lifestyle and you have to be understanding of this. However, the changing process can be sped up by following the next 4 steps.
Step 2: Be the change you wish to see
An obvious one, I know, but it’s essential. Asking your family to consider veganism whilst you ignore your dogs bark for food, contribute nothing towards recycling and show little compassion to others is not going to help. Fortunately for us, I doubt there’s anyone reading this who fits this category as we tend to be both compassionate and on the ball, go us! Nevertheless, it is always important to ensure that you do your best to make veganism look good and appealing to those who may not otherwise consider the change.
Step 3: Educate
As cool as being a vegan may sound, there are very few people out there who will make the change in order to just gain the fancy title. Make the effort to point out the facts to your family members and don’t be afraid to let your emotions show. Let them know that 150 billion animals are slaughtered, but also let them know how that makes you feel. You would be surprised how loving your family actually are and how deeply affected they are by things that effect their families (in most cases anyway). Luckily, this step is very easy and you don’t necessarily have to look any further than this magazine to round up all of your information.
Step 4: A picture paints a thousand words
As the title suggests, sometimes words aren’t the only way, nor the best. Sit your family down for a nice family-orientated viewing of Cowspiracy or slide them a cheeky photo of a slaughter house over the dinner table whilst they tuck into a chicken breast. Perhaps not the most dignified ways of showing them but I’m sure you can find more appropriate times to show them some of the information that you feel they need to see. Humans tend to be quite responsive to photos so you may be surprised just how effective these things can be in changing your family’s mind-sets and help them with future decisions.
Step 5: Be the helping hand
Your family are considering the change, maybe even trying it, don’t just sit back and watch them struggle. This is your time to shine and show them how great veganism can be. Take them shopping, cook them meals, make the change as tasty and fun as you possibly can. This is the most fun step of the change for you and them. It’s the perfect time to make your family see that they don’t need meat, dairy and eggs to be healthy, happy or cool. By now there will be no turning back. You will now have an educated, passionate and green family. I hope you can handle that.
About the author
Joe Calo is a young academic currently obtaining a degree in Media & Communications at Birmingham City University. www.joecalogerodavis.wordpress.com.