1. People Learn Differently and It’s Okay to Walk Away
I’ve been vegan for almost 13 years now and I’ve observed and participated in animal rights/vegan events. It is exceptionally easy to be lost in the passion for the movement and forget that people respond to information differently. Some people prefer science and will want only to learn the facts about the environment or health. Others will open their ears to the stories of animal sanctuaries and the cruelty in factory farming. We can’t force people to be ethical vegans if they don’t make that space in their heart. If we try and fail, sometimes it is better to walk away. If someone feels that you made them miserable trying to force them to be vegan, that will stay with them longer than the information.
2. You Don’t Owe Anyone Your Energy
Sometimes vegans can feel that it is their burden to educate the world and never stop fighting. Personally, I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Asperger’s. I have a small tolerance for large crowds. I’ve had several vegans try to recruit me for large protests and marches. I seldom go. Maybe I will have a good day and not have a panic attack, but it is guaranteed that I will spend several days overwhelmed afterward. It was an amazing feeling to realize that I didn’t have to torture myself and attend these events. Veganism is about compassion and you should not be suffering. Compassion for yourself is okay.
3. Human Rights ARE Important
Recent events have been devastating. Please do not try to use this platform to talk about animal cruelty. Yes, animal cruelty sucks. But so does police brutality and institutionalized racism. Fighting for another cause doesn’t invalidate others, it just means we are working extra hard to free the world from unnecessary suffering.
4. Oreos Are a Valid Food Group
Yes, I said it. *mic drop*
Al Miller is a Main Street Vegan Academy graduate, writer, and designer. She lives in Brooklyn with her rescue dog, Thisbe, who is also known as The Sass-Monster. Al currently runs Wolf + Roses Studio, LLC where she designs and sells tees to support mental health and raise money for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBT Youth. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org