In today's Q&A we talk about “coming out” as a vegan when you may be the only one in your class, at work, et cetera, how to deal with hateful and mean comments, and about whether fake fur actually serves to endorse real fur. [tweet this]
Q: Max Power asked, “How do you react if you out yourself as a vegan in front of many people who are offended by that. For example in a new school class and you are the only the in the room.” [tweet this Q&A]
A: So I guess personally, I have never been super concerned in school and stuff about what people thought of me. I have always kind of been the weird kid and just accepted that to a certain extent. But it can be challenging, especially when you're in middle school and high school, which is a rough time in life. I think it can be really helpful to have confidence in your decision, or faking confidence in your decision because I've done that a lot. It's kind of “fake it till you make it.”
You don't have to be aggressive about it. Honestly if you're not comfortable yet, saying that you're vegan, I don't think you have to lie, but I don't think you have to make it a huge deal and announce it unless you want to and you’re ready to. I think that there's something to be said for growing into your veganism.
You know when I was younger I had a really hard time finding my voice about it. It took me a lot of time to figure out how to best express myself. That's something that you're just going grow into, so I would have patience with yourself. You know maybe talk to people who are supportive of you first and start to get that comfort. And then you can you can bring it up in smaller situations and then start to become more confident and more comfortable. The more you do it the better it's going to get. It might always still be scary. But it gets better. So I hope that that's helpful.
Q: Sstffl asked “Do you have many of vegan friends? How do you deal with mean comments? I'm often afraid to say I'm vegan because of the criticism and the stupid questions. I went vegan eight months ago mostly because of your videos. Lots of love.” [tweet this Q&A]
A: Number one thank you for going vegan–that’s fantastic and I'm honored to have any part in that! “Do I have that many vegan friends outside of online?” No, I do not. I never really have. I didn't grow up around anyone who was vegan. And the only vegan friends I've had in real life are ones who went vegan after knowing me for a very long time. It wasn't an instant thing by any means. And I don't even live near them anymore. I’ve typically lived in areas that are not very vegan friendly and lived around people who are not vegan.
“How do you deal with mean comments?” I don't if you mean in real life or on YouTube or both because they're all over the place. But I think again staying true to who it is that you are and why you've made these decisions. Keeping that close to your hearty–you'll know the truth about your intentions with that.
A lot of times you're going to have people be rude or you're going to have people saying mean things and not always, but a lot of times, that just comes out of their own fear. Most of us when we're afraid become defensive and sometimes we say things to make ourselves feel safe again. It's a defense just to feel to feel that security. So knowing that a lot of times what people say is often about what they're going through rather than than who you are as a person.
Q: KawaiiDollie asked, “Do you think that wearing fake fur perpetuates the idea that fur is OK or kind of normalizes it. As fellow vegan I never wear fake fur because of this reason I love to hear your thoughts.”
A: So I can see both sides of this. Honestly. I do understand the fact that having fake fur or fake leather could make it seem permissible. That sometimes is an issue with wearing leather shoes that you might have had before you went vegan and you know give people the impression that you're OK with it. But I think fake fur, fake leather, and for that matter fake meats and cheeses do more good than harm.
They open up veganism to people because as as humans, we resist change. Especially when it means changing a lot. And the less people have to change or alter about their behaviors to be vegan, the more likely it is that they will be in vegan. The more that we can still wear what we want to wear, look the way we want to look, eat what we want to eat, the far easier it is for us to go vegan.
The animals don't really care what we eat or what we wear as long as it’s not them and the planet doesn't really care as long as it's not destroying the planet. I do see that side of it seeming permissible but it can also be a billboard for the fact that, if in fact people can't tell the difference, then we don't really need real fur. You can you can do without the cruelty and still have the same aesthetic. So for that since I do think that they can be a good thing but I do understand the other side of it. And I think that it can be a bit of a double edged sword.
Hop that was helpful! Feel free to ask your own questions in the comments for a future Q&A!
See ya next nugget!
Resources & Featured videos:
How to Talk to Non-Vegans About Veganism
Dealing With Non-Vegan Friends & Family [Gary Yourofsky]
Being Vegan in A Non-Vegan Household [Colleen Patrick-Goudreau]
How to Find Your Voice As An Activist
Everything Wrong With Environmentalism