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What Do You Tell Them?

Filed under: Activism
Friends Forever

Friends Forever

Last week, February 26 marked the eighth anniversary of the day I declared I would cease my direct consumption of animals. Shortly afterwards, that decision extended to exclude products derived from animals too.

As we all have undoubtedly experienced from time to time over the years, our choice to live compassionate and cruelty-free never fails to raise questions from friends, family, coworkers and at times even total strangers. Though we’re not obligated to express our views, many vegans feel a sense of duty to share their enlightenment with others willing (and in some cases not willing) to listen.

What do you tell them? Do you have a regular response ready when asked, “Why did you become vegan? How do you feel? What do you eat?”

Depending on my mood or the circumstances, when asked why, I give the simple, “animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends,” to the more direct, “for my health, for the animals and for the planet.” In today’s Information Age many still don’t have a clue about veganism, but the movement is still going strong. I encourage those truly interested to educate themselves as I did, I offer them informational resources to learn more and if applicable provide or prepare something tasty to eat so they see we’re hardly eating “rabbit food.”

It tickles me sometimes, when asked if I feel better, as if I would be vegan without enjoying it or I’m depriving myself to make a statement. I have politely responded, “Yes, I feel better than I ever have. Why would I do something that makes me feel bad?” Other times, I simply explain that humans don’t need to harm or use animals for survival and I’m living proof. I try to answer people’s inquiring minds as best I can.

Living by example works well—perhaps better than any explanation. When you emanate health, vitality and clarity derived from conscious living, over time people notice. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get the ball rolling…


  1. Comment by


    on #

    For me there’s no messing around trying to explain why. I would tell them not to support the killings or I’d blame them for being heartless. I feel that it makes more sense to talk just about the animal cruelty. I don’t like to lecture how vegan diet is better for you. After all, people should worry about their own health, not by others.

  2. Comment by


    on #

    Thanks for the comments! Yes, I’ve heard great things about “Diet For A New America.” I have it but haven’t read it yet. “The Vegan Sourcebook,” which I have read, is also quite good.

  3. Comment by


    on #

    I read Diet for a New America and promptly became vegan. That was nearly ten years ago and I’m still vegan. I recommend the book to everyone. I’ve heard some criticism of some of Robbins’ figures but I think it has since been updated.