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. Politely change the subject if you don’t wish to discuss it, particularly at mealtimes. You might also find it useful to have brief, polite, one-line responses prepared, like:
- “I love animals and I want to be kind to them”
- “I believe that killing is wrong”
- “I want to limit my environmental impact”
- “I want everyone on the planet to have enough to eat”
- “I want to eat more healthily.”
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. Always try to answer in a polite, 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 normally won’t last.
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 what's going well, 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.