The majority of vegans in Great Britain – 63 percent – identify as women, with just 37 percent as men.
While there are many theories as to why the movement has so far attracted less men, it finally seems like that may be slowly changing.
It’s not always easy telling people around that you have ditched animal products: in my experience, some people will question your masculinity, mock you and try to devalue your decision. In these situations, it’s important to know how to carry yourself.
Since going vegan nine months ago, I have endured conversations that have been anything from hilarious to seriously offensive. Here are my five pieces of advice for coming out as a vegan.
1. At first, keep it quiet
When I first decided to go vegan, I kept it very quiet. Telling everyone about a life-changing decision can remove the power and makes it harder for you to achieve.
Announcing your decision to people after already living it for a couple of months allows you to have built confidence and knowledge about your decision. People take confidence seriously.
Only tell people when you feel comfortable with veganism. If people notice you are not choosing meat in the restaurant, and you’re not ready to explain about your ethical choice just yet, you can say it’s for ‘health reasons’.
2. Know why you are vegan or plant-based
This may sound strange, but it will be the first question people ask you.
‘Is it for health or the animals or is it the environment?’ Make sure you understand why you made this decision.
That’s not to say your reasons will not evolve. They will. And that’s fine.
3. Get informed
Now you know why you are vegan, get to know the facts.
What aspect of the diet makes you healthier? Why is it in the best interest of animals? Why does it positively affect the environment?
Learn about the abundance of delicious, healthy vegan foods. It’s not just about cutting out meat from your diet – it’s about what you are adding to your diet. Think variety. Think whole foods.
4. Be Passionate
You have to be passionate about your decision. Show people that you are serious about your commitment and you have good reasons to have chosen this lifestyle.
However, in my experience, preaching doesn’t often work. People do not generally respond well to this, and it just further alienates them from the idea.
5. Own it
I believe there is nothing that solidifies your decision to be vegan more than owning it.
You don’t have to say anything. Just be healthy, be happy and show how it has positively impacted your life.
When people meet you, they will feel your energy, and it may just get them thinking.