...And Here I Am!

Sep 27, 2016
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New Jersey
  1. Vegan
Hey guys,

I was gonna jump right into a post about a conversation I had with a family member over the weekend, but I figured it would be polite to start with a proper intro...

Me and my GF at the time (now wife) were always vaguely vegetarian, but in 2013 we saw a few documentaries (Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, etc.) that really opened up our eyes to animal suffering. Where normally I'd justify my food by saying "eh they don't really feel pain til the end...then it's quick anyway," I finally started making a different connection. It's amazing what seeing the scenes of misery will do.

We spent a few weeks researching the proper foods (I have a personal training background, so I'm familiar with general healthy eating), and then did a huge shop. We promised we'd try it for a month. We did, and never looked back.

Over the last few years I've grown more passionate for my cause and become more hurt by the hypocrisy around me....but that's for my other threads! My big goal being here is to exchange ideas on how to better make a difference (and honestly...to vent my frustrations with it here and there). I've kind of been quiet publicly about my veganism because I think vegan relations are terrible in general with the mainstream. I want to change that.

Anyway, see you guys around!

TLDR version: Here's another vegan. Yay.

Welcome! Did someone recommend/ persuade you to watch the documentaries, or what made you watch them? I ask because I am interested in the question of whether we should try and "convert" people to vegetarianism or veganism or whether we have to leave people to figure it out for themselves. And also, what's the best way to "convert" people.
It wasn't from anybody, really. It was a natural progression of my interest in nature and what this whole crazy world is!

I don't know the "best" way yet, that's a big part of my vegan struggle. But I do know what doesn't work, and that's alienating the omnivores by shaming them. My goal is to always remove the humans from it and make it about the animals. It's not about "you" doing something shameful and being yelled at for it, it's about what's happening to the animals and how we can help stop or at least slow it down.
Welcome! I just responded to you in another thread but thought I would stop by here too!

I started doing some leafleting and tabling at local colleges and high schools when I was two years vegan in 2013. I felt this strong desire and need to share what I knew, but in a way that wouldn't scare people away. I started out raising money for and then joining a Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals event, where I first learned to leaflet. I found the experience so positive that I decided to do it on my own back home. I got in touch with Vegan Outreach, United Poultry Concerns, and a few other organizations who provide me materials to leaflet with. Vegan Outreach has an adopt a college program and forum and they provide free leaflets that they ship to you if you show you are serious about doing some activism. They gave me over a thousand. I did two high schools and seven colleges. Leafleting sounds scary, but you don't really talk to people a whole lot. You are constantly on the move handing out materials about factory farming, animal agriculture and the environment, humane myths surrounding organic animal agriculture and so on. With tabling, it is more intimate and face to face, but I always had positive experiences. I once talked to a hunter/farmer while tabling at a local private college in the student union. I had made vegan muffins and he ate five of them lol. We had disagreements but were able to find common ground (he was against factory farming also). I was never pushy, aggressive, or shaming when I leafleted or tabled. Often I offered free vegan recipes and food ideas and that almost ALWAYS garnered interest lol. People are often drawn in by food. I tried to stay low key, let the information I provided speak for itself, and speak from my own experience when asked. I found that the younger students in the high schools were much more interested and a few said they were going vegan on the spot. I don't know that that really happened, but it may have planted a seed. It's really about getting the information out there, not necessarily protesting or yelling at people. Sometimes you offer suggestions, like trying one meal a day vegan. Little steps like that are more doable for people and tend to draw them in more.

Other than that I usually don't advertise my veganism unless asked or in a particular situation where I need to speak up about my needs/desires (ie work related food gathering etc). Occasionally I wear my vegan t shirts when working out at the gym. :) I'm not the type to only hang out with other vegans. I try not to judge others, even though deep down I am often frustrated with hypocrisy. It took me 38 years to go vegan (I am 44 now). I am also very very quiet by nature, not the outspoken type. I am guilty of being overly enthusiastic and pushy towards family at first, but have since calmed down a bit.

I like the maturity and subdued nature of this forum so far, compared to some Facebook groups. I shutter at the lack of social skills on some of those lol. Welcome again!
Thank you! I came here as well because of Facebook's childish pages. Even on Vegan Humor, they all just fight and troll each other. Like I said...bad PR all around. I'm here to be positive, not to fight with "mmm bacon" people.

I've never done leaflets or anything like that - wayyyy too much anxiety in the public. Who knows, though...I've surprised myself before. Maybe I'll give it a go.

I've looked for vegan shirts to wear at the gym, but I find most of them terribly corny and/or preachy. I'm not a HUGE dude by any means, but I definitely look like I work out and have muscle. I was thinking about creating my own or buying a subtle one that fellow vegans could pinpoint. I just recently found out about the 269 calf...a 269 shirt could be pretty good, if not a little too 'meta.'
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