A change to a plant based diet often comes with judgement from those who love you most – they are the closest to you and therefore the people who feel most comfortable to tease about or even criticize your new habits. Sometimes something deep inside of them is threatened by what seems like a drastic change in a person they love – you and your new food choices go against what they just ate for lunch!
Change is scary, and even positive changes like moving or pursuing a new career can cause anxiety. The GGG Pea Pod has advice for approaching beloved family and friends about the exciting new discoveries you have uncovered concerning the standard American diet – DON’T!!!
Be like Ghandi and “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Influencing others does not come quickly by requesting or demanding change. It comes when you embody your beliefs. If you want others to be kind and courteous, be kind and courteous to others always. If you want others to be conscious about their food choices, you have opportunities every single day to embody that change simply by eating a healthy vegan diet and politely declining when offered foods with animal products. Naturally others will question you, and this is your opportunity to tell them about your compassionate decisions in a kind and gentle manner.
If you have the knowledge that eating animals bodies contributes to/causes cancer, diabetes and heart disease, likely you are concerned about your family and friends. If you have the knowledge that consuming these animals and their milk and eggs causes enormous pain and suffering for the entire lives of the animals, then you are concerned because you desperately want to ease this suffering. If you know how the mass over-production of these animal products is destroying the planet, you must have an urgent desire to share this information with everyone so that our grandchildren can experience natural diversity as beautifully as it exists today.
Have patience with the ones you love and maintain kindness always; this is the way to communicate. Once they see the change in you is not so threatening, they will feel safer in approaching you. Simply by being yourself you plant the seeds of change in others. This is how miracles happen. Just ask Momma Pea Pod, former avid-meat-eater, now costume-wearing-parttime-vegan-extrordinaire:
Family gatherings and holidays? Bring prepared side dishes to share and ingredients to get busy in the kitchen. If everyone is meeting at a restaurant, call ahead and challenge the chef to prepare you a vegan meal (even Olive Garden and Applebee’s have “chefs.”) Is it your birthday? Hooray! It’s your special day to pick out a veg-friendly restaurant or host a dinner party and ask your closest friends to help you cook.
Love your meat-eating friends and family, love them without condition. Love them even if it seems they’ll never ever change a bit. Give them space to grow and the chance to surprise you over time.