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Encouraging family & friends to eat fewer animal products

Over 140,000 people signed up for Veganuary in 2018. I thought it could be good to keep the ball rolling and keep this conversation going! I’m going to share with you my advice on getting your family and friends to warm to the idea of veganism, bit by bit. Baring in mind, I’ve included approaches that have worked for me personally – what works for me, might not work for you!

Give them free food / Cook them meals

Because who can refuse free food? I think this is one of the most effective ways to get people to warm to veganism, as you’ll be surprised at the number of people that still think we eat grass. My mum and I had loads of recipes that we would cook together regularly, but now I’m vegan I veganise these same recipes and get her to try them – she says they taste exactly the same!

Remind them of the perks

We all know that there are countless perks of going vegan, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does! I always slyly slip in the many benefits in general conversation… Here are just a few:

  • Cheaper food (when eating mainly whole foods!)

  •  Fewer calories, saturated fats, etc.

  •  Clearer skin

  •  More energy

  •  Better digestion

  •  Richer in nutrients

  •  Linked to lower heart disease

Learn to know the right times and the wrong times to talk about veganism

For example, talking about the unjust and brutal slaughter of farm animals as your parents are tucking into a meaty meal can probably be classed as a ‘wrong’ time to talk about it. I like to help my parents when they’re deciding what to cook for the following week, I come up with lots of delicious looking recipes; they don’t necessarily have to be vegan, vegetarian is still great.

Accidentally vegan

So many people assume that vegans can’t have treats like chocolate, biscuits, crisps, etc. Let them know that there are plenty of accidentally vegan foods out there, e.g. Oreos, Starburst, Doritos (Chilli Heatwave and Lightly Salted), Co-op jam and custard doughnuts, and SO many more. Veganuary have a really helpful list here. The trick is to show people that you’re not missing out.

Educate, don’t judge

For me, it helps to think about how clueless/ignorant I was before I went vegan, and it allows me to realise that many other people are exactly the same. I would have loved someone to take the time and kindly educate me on veganism years ago. Expect lots of silly arguments that you’ve heard 100 times before (“If we weren’t supposed to eat meat, then why do we have canines?”;), but the trick is to just be patient. Know your family/friends As confusing as it is, there are a lot of people out there who genuinely do not care about animal rights or welfare, and you may feel that it’s a waste of time to educate them about how farmed animals are treated. I know that it’s pretty much pointless to talk to my dad about animal welfare, however, I do know that he’s into health – therefore, I talk to him about the health benefits of going vegan, and he went vegetarian for a few months, and still reduces his meat intake now. On the other hand, if you’re a pro-debater like Earthling Ed, you might be able to talk anyone into going vegan!!

Brand recommendations

These are some brands/products that I think are really good to get meat-eaters to try (of course, it totally depends on the person and what they like, but these are all quite popular products).

  • Linda McCartney quarter pounder burgers

  • Linda McCartney original sausages

  • Quorn nuggets

  • Quorn hot & spicy burgers

  • Quorn breaded fillet

  • Fry’s schnitzels

  • Tesco Wicked Kitchen range 

I really hope this list was helpful, we’d love to know if you use any of these tips! Also, feel free to leave your own in the comments.

By Jenny
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