It is crucial for vegans to go mainstream. Time to bust out of our little fringe bunkers. Time to abandon the militant rhetoric and angry self-righteousness. Time to reach out to our omnivore friends and family members with compassion and kindness. Being judgmental? Doesn't work. Adopting abrasive rhetoric? Doesn't work. Getting in people's faces? Doesn't work.
What does work? Reaching out, showing people that living vegan is liberating and enjoyable, and - most importantly (are you ready for this?) - listening. An effective vegan has to be a good listener. Listen to omnivores. Listen to other ideas, especially the ideas that you dislike. Take it all in. Process it. Think it over. Reevaluate your ideas. And guess what will happen? You'll come back even stronger in your commitment.
One of the most eloquent and thoughtful arguments for why we need to go mainstream comes from Christina Pirello, a best-selling, well-known vegan chef based in Philadelphia. Christina wrote an extraordinary column on The Huffington Post. It should be mandatory reading for all vegans. The headline? "Let's Break the Vegan Stigma."
The philosophy of catching more bees with honey (vegan pun intended) would draw people to learn more about these lifestyles. If we are peaceful, attractive, inviting and open to all we meet, do we not stand a much better chance of them hearing what we have to say and thereby affecting greater change? Seriously, who wants to be scolded? And who wants to scold? It's exhausting to be so self-righteous -- for the scolder and those who must endure it.
Amen! This is the best argument for getting rid of the Us-Versus-Them Mentality of Some Elements of the Vegan Movement that I have ever read. I definitely couldn't have said it better myself.
Please read it.