How to lead a constructive conversation about veganism?
Why is it so hard to talk about veganism?
A lot of people start defending themselves or attacking as soon as someone starts to talk about veganism with them or they find out that their interlocutor is vegan. There are several solid reasons for such behavior.
The first reason is subconscious mistrust and a sense of vulnerability. These feelings arise when a person sees that their innate beliefs may be wrong and successfully circumvented. People are afraid of fundamental changes. And they have a very skeptical attitude to something that could change their daily life and inborn habits.
The second reason is the apprehension of vegans. Many people perceive them as loud «showgirls» and just fashion followers. Many vegans have actually discredited themselves in the eyes of society.
What does conversation about vegans usually look like?
Only a few people are able to have a reasonable and tolerant conversation about veganism and other non-traditional lifestyles. A significant part of people tries to defend themselves immediately by using mockery or shouting at their interlocutor. Another part of people could lead a normal conversation by asking questions and arguing the current issues, but they will remain skeptical about everything you will say.
There are some things you need to know to have a constructive and rational conversation about veganism.
So what’s the right way to lead a conversation?
Just a couple of tips will help you communicate constructively with a person no matter what their life views are.
- Respect is the first and most important rule of any conversation. Mutual respect should be recognized by both sides of the conversation and other people’s opinions should not be questioned and criticized. Reasonable argumentation will be the right strategy.
- Be sure about your answers and knowledge. Remember that your lifestyle is something fundamental and true, not just a fashion or a hobby. Justifying your arguments with facts and proven sources will prove that you’re right.
- Don’t be fooled by provocations. You can shake your interlocutor’s confidence with your arguments. His defensive reaction may insult you or lead you out of a calm state. You must remember that the person you are talking to is only defending his or her point of view and lifestyle. Once you were that ignorant person and it is important to remember that.
- Some people just can’t listen. Some people will not listen to what you say. It is their nature and only they can change their point of view. Don’t try to forcibly change it if you’re faced with such an interlocutor.
- Do not try to dispel the delusions of your interlocutor, but talk about the benefits of the vegan lifestyle. You will build confidence in your interlocutor if you will talk about the pros and cons of your lifestyle without trying to tarnish his point of view.
Veganism is a sensitive topic to have a conversation about. A large part of the population has heard about veganism only by hearsay. People are skeptical about everything new or unusual. You must remember that your interlocutor is only defending his point of view. Try to understand him. You’re in the same position after all.