Food is personal. Food creates emotions. Veganism can lead to all kinds of arguments. Some can become nasty. In the midst of a debate, remember who you are, and what you’re trying to say and show. Remember who they are, just uninformed individuals. Even if they are unkind, ignore the anger. Fight with love. Be kind. Be patient. Breathe.
It’s the science stupid
There is no better weapon than science. Use the facts. Use the studies. Anecdotal proof is NOT proof. That fact that you feel healthier is not science. Pier reviewed studies, not social posts. Study the science, even if it doesn’t always support our worldview. Research who paid for the study before assuming it's legit. The Agra-coorperations are multi billion dollar businesses. They have the power to create their own science to support their interests. They have created numerous misinformation campaigns against Vegan ideals. Be mindful of this. Know the facts. Admit the unknowns. A strong foundation is the secret of all masters. Use science and you can win the fight.
Know your enemy (who’s not your enemy)
Mom’s Thanksgiving turkey. Grandma’s meatloaf. Food is tradition, food is family, food is history. Meat is a part of all of that. Change is tough. Most cannot let go of that and see the damage meat is causing. Step into their shoes and you can find a way to nudge. Convince, leverage, educate and change.
Know your Cholesterol score
When their doctor says it’s time for medication because their cholesterol is too high. Time for a daily pill. An easy fix, in hopes to make their bad decisions go away. Tell them your score. Tell them what medication you take. (perhaps none) Show them an alternative.
Fight or flight
Food and politics are brothers from different mothers. Knowing when to fight. Knowing when to walk away. This is a path of a master. Talking to somebody who’s not listening is not a great use of your time. Pick your battles and you can help change the world.
Focus your fight
Gluten free, Organics , GMOs are all worthy debates, but best not at the same time as discussing Veganism. Don’t lump these into a discussion. They are separate facts. Separate topics. Separate science. Fight one battle at a time.
The moral fight
It’s tough walking through a world that doesn’t have compassion. Animals are treated so badly and people don’t seem to care. It hurts. Remember light creates more light. Be that light, and support groups and people that are also being the light. Compassion won’t win every fight, but it WILL win the war.
Don’t be smug
Being called "smug" or "holier than now" hurts. But some of these names we have earned through our attitudes and bad debate skills. In the debate, focus on how the choice affects you and your family. “I do this for me because...” , “Our family chooses another path because...”. NOT “You should be doing this... ”. “You’re wrong because... “. It’s good to be passionate, just show it in a better way.
Keep it simple
Nobody wants a lecture. Nobody wants to read a speech. Give shortened responses in debates. Masters fight with less.
Change your words
Words like Vegan and Vegetarian come with a lot of baggage. Try words like Plant based, sustainable, green foods. Change the words and you can turn an argument into a conversation.
We could be wrong
It's hard to accept, but it is possible. We don’t know everything. We are usually not environmental experts, nutritionists, veterinarians or professional debaters. Also the science could change. Be open to that, be humble and flow with that. Never stop questioning the science. Admit when you’re wrong and keep fighting for what is really proven.
(Feel free to copy and paste)
“It’s too hard to give up meat.”
Know anybody who’s survived a heart attack or stroke? That’s hard and expensive. A bypass operation cost averages $100k (USD) and you will be out of work for 6 weeks or longer.
In our family we have "chicken, beef or fish" quite often. All plant based, all delicious, nutritious and affordable.
Doing it slowly one meal at a time is easy. You won’t miss it for long.
"It’s too expensive"
Actually it’s gotten a lot cheaper in comparison to animal products. Plus if you consider the heath cost and envirometal damage associated with eating meat. Plant based foods are much cheaper.
“I’ve always eaten meat. I always will.”
Slavery was a tradition. Women not being able to vote was a tradition. Smoking was cool. Science changes, feelings change. We are evolving as a species. We are moving away from bad habits that no longer serve us.
“But I need the Protein !!”
ALL essential protein comes from plants.
Beef is high in protein because the cow ate plants. Chicken is high in protein because the chicken ate plants. Nearly all animal protein is recycled plant protein. Most people eat too much protein, not too little. Protein has become a buzz word, It’s become another marketing term. Eat plants and you will eat plenty of protein.
Most Adults need 30-50grams of Protein each day. Which is about equal to a bowl of brown rice.
There are many vegan athletes: Sarina Williams, weight lifters , wrestlers , swimmers , runners, football players.
"But animal Protein is better than plant Protein "
There is not a lot of science to support the idea that plant protein is somehow made better by animals eating it first. The notion that animal proteins are more complete than plant protein is dubious at best.
The biggest and strongest animals on the planet: Elephants, Bison, Gorillas, Rinos and many more, are all herbivores. They get all their protein from plants.
“But I can’t give up bacon!”
Bacon is now classified as carcinogenic by the World Heath organization along with smoking, arsenic, pesticides and other processed meats.
Bacon causes tremendous environmental damage. The giant lagoons of pig feces from factory farms leak into rivers. They often spray the feces into the air to evaporate it, causing health issues for local residents.
Pigs have been found to be more intelligent than dogs.
"One size fits all diets don’t work"
Smoking is bad for everyone. Heroine is bad for everyone. Skydiving is dangerous for everyone. One size does fit this.
"The Bible says that Man has dominion over all animals."
On the day they are born, most all male Chickens (chicks) are thrown into a blender like device called a Maserator, and chopped up. Male chickens are too boney to be eaten, and they can’t lay eggs. So they are a by-product to be discarded.
Pigs often have their tails chopped off and are often castrated without anesthesia. This is what dominion over animals looks like.
There is an Australian film called “Dominion” which is available for free on YouTube. It shows the real lives of these animals. From birth to plate.
“My doctor hasn't recommended it”
Many doctors don’t train in nutrition and may not be aware of the benefits.
Doctors are overworked and sometimes look to give the patient what they want, not what they need.
An unfortunate new trend is that doctors are linked to corporations who are trying to maximize profits. Businesses need customers, sick people are customers.
"My family has a history of heart disease. I can’t avoid it."
Did your family eat meat? Then you can’t prove that it is unavoidable. Vegans typically have significantly lower cholesterol than carnivores. Lower cholesterol means lower chance of heart disease and stroke.
"But I hear soy has hormone issues."
There have been some studies showing that large amounts of soy consumption could lead to small hormonal issues. Soy is just one of many sources of nutrition for Vegans, and can be easily avoided.
"A vegan diet is missing the B12 vitamin"
Yes that's true, but many plant based milks (soy, almond etc ) and other plant based products are fortified with B12. A well balanced diet and the consumption of these products will provide sufficient nutrition. Consult a doctor and check your levels yearly.
Farm animals are often injected with B12 vitamins to supplement their diet.
“I've seen Vegans cheat and eat meat...”
It's common for Vegans and Vegitarians to cheat or take breaks from the diet. Social presures, family presures. We are only human. We fall down and we make mistakes. But even with a small efforts, great improvements can be made in our health, enviroment and the lives of the animals.
“Substitutes just don’t taste the same”
Did you try the Impossible Burger? Beyond Burger? Vegi-naise, Gardein, So-Delicious? The new products are amazing. Give them another try.
You can have virtually the same product with half the fat and impact on the environment.
“But don’t you need to take Supplements to be vegan?”
A plant based diet has all you need, but if you find yourself missing essential vitamins, you can always add it to your diet later after consulting a doctor. Most alternative milk products are fortified with the same vitamins as cows milk.
“It’s just more vegan propaganda”
Everything is propaganda. Anti smoking was propaganda. Using seatbelts, motorcycle helmets, asbestos etc… These were all propaganda that made us safer.
“Veganism hurts farmers”
Farmers are the backbone of our world. They work harder in a day than most of us do in a week. But like the tobacco farmers before them, they are growing an unsustainable product. The environmental damage meat is causing is unsustainable. The heath problems it’s causing are unsustainable, and the torture and suffering of these animals is unconscionable. Farmers are businessmen and businesses women. They must look to their future prospects and see it is time to change their crops.
“Well, we’re all gonna die anyway.”
Did you brush your teeth this morning? Wear a seatbelt? Exercise? emember to turn off the stove ? Why? You're gonna die anyway ??
You make choices every day to extend your life. The choice of what you put in your mouth is the most important of the day.
If you get sick, who pays for it ? Health insurance? Then we all pay for it.
“All things in moderation.”
Smoking in moderation ? Heroin in moderation ? Is it unhealthy or isn’t it?
“Eating meat is my personal choice”
It is your personal choice but it affects ALL of us. The cost of health care, climate change, and environmental damage.
“Why do humans have canine teeth like carnivores in the wild then? ”
All species are evolving. All species have body parts or functions that are of little use anymore. For example your pinky toes, wisdom teeth or sweaty palms.
The majority of all adult choking deaths happen when eating meat, which suggests we’re not meant to be carnivores at all.
“Local organic meat is still better than vegetables brough from other places”
It takes 16 pounds of vegetables to make 1 pound of beef. It takes 50 times more water to make that same amount of beef as plants. The impact of meat is far larger than plants. Mad Cow disease, E.Coli, salmonella and Anti-Biotic resistant diseases are linked to animal agriculture.
"But I only buy cage free and free range meat"
There is no better way to do the wrong thing. There is no humane way to kill an animal that doesn’t want to die. These techniques might make you feel better, but the improvement in the lives of the animals is negligible.
"But lettuce and other vegetables have been making people sick too..."
True, Currently the leading cause of short term food born illness is leafy vegetables. Meat is a close second. The reasons for this vary, but the illness is usually E. Coli or Salmonella , which comes from feces. (Poop). Probably feces from animals. How is animal feces getting on the vegetables? We don’t always know, but the raising of so many animals for food causes immense amounts of feces that is difficult to manage and keep out of the water supply.