1. Woo them with delicious, cruelty-free food.
Half the problem is, people think vegans just eat raw blocks of tofu and grass. They think their options will be limited and they won’t be able to eat their favourite foods. Wrong! Bake your family some brownies. I can guarantee no one will say “Where are the eggs? I sure do miss the taste of eggs in these brownies!” Make them some pasta. Fresh, roasted tomatoes and make sure you salt your damn water. They’re going to eat it, and they are going to love it. After they’ve finished stuffing their faces make sure you slip into the conversation that they just ate vegan. Wait? Whaaaatttt?!
2. Help them make a connection.
Most people want to avoid high cholesterol. Most people are against animal cruelty. Most people want their great grandchildren to be able to walk around without oxygen tanks. There is a relationship between the modern American diet and modern American ailments. That hunk of stuff on your plate was a living, feeling, being. This is something we completely detach ourselves from while we eat. There is an undeniable, and HUGE correlation between the meat/dairy industry and the climate crisis. Vegans don’t go vegan because we hate the taste of cheese and bacon. We make the connection and act, to aid our bodies, the animals, and our planet.
3. Offer alternatives.
Not enough people know that 1 tablespoon of ground flax plus 3 tablespoons of water is pretty much an egg…that didn’t come out of a chicken’s you-know-what.
4. Get off your high horse.
We all do it, I’ve done it. We dance around with flowers in our hair. La La La I’m a superior being. Simmer down, dude. We all have our own timelines. We all experience that Aha! moment at different points in our lives, sometimes never at all. This all depends on the information and support that was available to us, and our openness to change.
5. Give them time.
Remember when you were eight and your mother told you not to do something? You wanted to do it even more. Same goes with grown ups. Plant the seed of wisdom. Step back. A few months later they’ll go buy a package of hotdogs, bring it home, and realize, standing in the kitchen, they can’t eat meat ever again. True story.