There are some people who cannot wait to shout from the mountaintops that they are vegan. Others may wait until the right moment before exposing themselves. There are a few reasons why some vegans do not share their lifestyle when they are meeting others right away.
Meeting with a Barrage of Questioning
The endless “why,” “how,” and “when” questions that come flying at vegans are the reason why people hesitate when telling someone about their vegan lifestyle. Imagine someone that has just began their vegan lifestyle; these questions will definitely overwhelm them. People are curious and sometimes cannot fathom a life without animal products. Although this kind of news will create an attentive audience, it can be exhausting. When you first meet someone, you want the conversation to alternate between each other’s interests, not just your own.
Meeting with Judgement
Sometimes, omnivores take a vegan lifestyle to heart and start to ramble about all of the negative things they have heard about a vegan “diet.” Some people will NOT let you forget how wrong they think it is. Perhaps, they go into a litany of foods that they cannot live without and even stop for a moment to obsess about bacon. It is unfortunate to have to take these kind of situations in consideration, but this does happen. It can be difficult to stay calm or positive in these situations which is a reason why vegans can tend to avoid this conversation with people.
Meeting With Lectures & Concern
People love to lecture vegans on protein and eating habits. Some will be genuinely concerned for your health, which results in you having to spend the night telling them all of the details of your diet and lifestyle to calm their fears. But, with the right conversation, vegans and non-vegans can absolutely work through their differences.
You may get the most slack from concerned family members. Many parents want to make sure that their children are eating “right.” And if you have a mother like mine, who would try to sneak in meat products out of her fear that I wasn’t getting enough protein, then you will understand. To spare the lectures, know your audience. If your date or friend seems open-minded and non-judgmental, you may feel more comfortable letting them know about being vegan sooner.
When to Let the Cat Out?
All in good time. When it feels right, maybe after you’ve finished eating (that way the non-vegan can see that you aren’t starving and that you do eat!) you can gently bring it up in passing. If you attack a new friend or potential mate with “I am vegan,” in the first few moments of meeting, you may have just sealed the topic of conversation for the next few hours.
Don’t be ashamed of letting the world know, just make sure the timing is right, so that you can enjoy a stress-free conversation for a little while longer.
How did you tell your friends and family you were vegan? What was their reaction?