Keep it short and sweet
People will ask many questions about your choice to go vegan, at least until they’re used to the idea. This is a good way to spread the vegan message, but it can be hard if you're not used to this line of questioning. Remember that you're well within your rights to change the subject if you don’t wish to discuss it, particularly at mealtimes. Our blog on how to talk to your family about veganism may help with this. As the blog says, knowing your facts is a key way to keep yourself confident, so have a good read of our resources, including our important nutrition page.
Don’t feel you have to explain everything in detail right away. If you don't feel comfortable with the conversation or confident in your responses, offer to send them information later (this website could be a good starting point). If anyone refuses to accept this answer, they're probably looking for an argument and it's best to change the subject. Those genuinely interested won’t mind waiting.
Have courage in your convictions
When discussing your choice to go vegan in a little more depth, keep in mind you won't change anyone's mind in the course of one conversation. Prepare by doing careful research and giving thought not only to your personal reasons for choosing to be vegan, but also the wider issues of animal use, the environment and human health. Try to answer in a positive way and try to remain calm. Even if the conversation leaves you feeling exhausted, remember it may have been more productive than you think. If others get angry, that’s usually their problem – and it normally won’t last. Sometimes sharing with them positive videos of animals will help your friends and family make the connection: or they'll at least make you feel good! And, when you have more confidence in yourself and your decision, you can find out how to maximise your outreach to non-vegans.
You can still continue as normal
Being vegan doesn't mean you have to miss out on meals with your mates. Many chains these days offer options that are suitable for vegans. If you're based in the UK, you may want to check out our list of vegan-friendly options at UK restaurant chains. And, if you're worried that you may miss out on your favourite junk food indulgences, think again. Remember, you can always call ahead to ask the chef for a vegan option, whether you're going out to eat at a restaurant, or heading to a catered event. And why not encourage your friends to try out a vegan-friendly cafe with you for once? HappyCow will be able to help you find such places, wherever you are in the world.
Enjoy the triumphs of vegan living
Meeting other vegans can be a great way to chat about vegan living, share your favourite recipes and encourage each other with vegan experiences. Compare notes on the benefits of going vegan, the challenges you’re facing, your long-term vision and the next achievable steps in your vegan journey. The Vegan Society has a network of Local and Group Contacts where you can meet other vegans and volunteering is a great way to learn quickly, gain experience and meet new people.
Still need help? Check out our solutions page.