When I was in my teens and twenties I went through
lots of fads and evolutions of self-identity. One year
I was a motorcycle punk, one year I was a yuppie, one
year I was a responsible home owner. You get the idea.
It's all a normal part of growing up. Now that I am
approaching forty, I find that other people going through
their own evolutions of self-identity are also reaching
out for philosophies and examples of lifestyles that
fit the idealism from which most younger people draw
At some point as we grow up most adults seem to lose
that idealism, but for some odd reason I clung to it.
Being vegan is a part of that. Being vegan makes me
feel like I can help make a positive change the world.
When I was younger, I admired that sort of idealistic
vision in (it hurts to say this) an older person and
often emulated it. This is one of the very positive
things about getting older: providing a philosophy and
example of a lifestyle. Show a positive strength of
conviction and people will often admire you for it.
Nobody has ever said "I want to emulate your vegan
lifestyle," but a lot of people ask questions, and that's
the start of the snowball effect. Be prepared with your
own convincing answers to people's "FAQs." Keep some
leaflets in your car or desk, and have a few URLs handy
so that people can do research in their own time. Every
time someone becomes vegan, or even just tries it, knowledge
and awareness are raised of the issues that we find
important. And most significantly, animal lives are
e x t e s s a y -
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by Jo Stepaniak All rights reserved.
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