1) Feed people nice vegan food
Cook for friends, host a supper club, bring snacks to work. Sharing food is a simple and friendly gesture. A delicious home-cooked vegan meal can build positive connections and showcases the wide variety of options and flavours a vegan diet can provide.
Some people don’t even think about veganism as an option because meat and dairy are so embedded in their culture and the way they cook. They might have the impression that going vegan would mean expensive, bad tasting or limited food options. By sharing nice vegan food you have the opportunity to change that perception.
2) Look your best
We live in a time of branding so remember you represent the vegan brand – dress nice, look good!
Ideally we should all be striving to appreciate and accept people no matter what. To judge them based on what they stand for and how they conduct themselves. However, the reality is most people do subconsciously make judgements and assumptions based on appearance and body language. Wearing stylish vegan clothes, shoes and accessories that align with your values and express your ethos can help to build credibility in the eyes of others.
Depending on your personality, it may also increase your own feelings of confidence and self-worth. This in turn can impact on the way you conduct yourself and influence others. Creating a positive feedback loop.
3) Be kind to people, regardless of their beliefs
People are animals too – with highly complicated social structures, advanced mating rituals and opposable thumbs.
A common trait of the human species is they don’t like to be made to feel stupid or immoral and will quickly become defensive if you speak to them as if they are. This can be frustrating but that doesn’t mean that you should be rude or unkind. Acts of kindness and connection are a far more powerful and rewarding way to interact with other people.
4) Don’t just be defined by your veganism
Be someone who has lots going on and stands for a range of issues. Find ways to get joy from the world and share your unique talents and ideas. This broadens your social circles as well as your credibility as someone who has got life figured out and is on a positive track.
5) Work to help tackle human injustices
Vegans sometimes lose support when they’re seen to focus on or prioritise animal lives over humans. This is probably an unfair criticism because many vegans are trying to challenge the root causes of unjust society by rejecting the belief that it’s acceptable for a conscious being to be killed or caused pain when there is no clear need (an issue that some psychologists believe is linked closely to how people treat each other).
However, much of the perception of vegans is not about facts and instead about how they make people feel. Helping to tackle human injustices in different ways than just talking about veganism helps make your positive actions relevant to and resonate with more people.
6) Think carefully about what you buy and sell
The reality for most people is that we live in a consumerist society. We feed the systems that govern our lives through the purchases we make. If we buy and sell things that align with our values we fund the growth and continuation of those things and if we buy and sell things that are detrimental to what we believe in then we are indirectly supporting those things.