How to become an activist & alienate yourself...


Dear Anna,

When last I wrote, it was about how I would describe myself as not only a bad feminist, but a bad vegan. I am now wondering if my activism is making me also a bad friend.  To begin, I must explain that I’m crestfallen by my inability to persuade anyone around me to even try to #govegan.  And if I’m honest, I’m disheartened that the people for whom I care the most don’t share my values*. It is alienating. I feel alone. So what I’m struggling with now is how to balance my personal convictions with my personal relationships.

For me, the urgency and the rewards for embracing a vegan lifestyle are self-evident. With all we know, the only sustainable and ethical way forward, for our planet, for our health, for all living beings, is to radically overhaul the way we eat.  Have you seen Cowspiracy on Netflix yet? I was going to rattle off some of the facts and figures here, but there are so many – so many - compelling, irrefutable reasons to adopt a vegan diet that I don’t know how to pick only a few.

To my mind, the question today should not be ‘Why are you vegan?’, but rather ‘Why are you not?’

But then I remind myself that I didn’t become vegan until I was 31 years old. I was, in fact, a highly inconsistent vegetarian until just this past year.  So who am I to judge anyone else? I really, sincerely, try not to. But something in the way I talk about veganism has not convinced others to give it a try, and I wonder if I sound like a righteous killjoy. What am I doing wrong? How can I be a better, more effective, activist for animal rights? And for human rights, I must stress as well! I have quite a few causes...And I want to make a difference.  But right now, I admit I am feeling set back.

I can’t remember where I came across the quote that I’ve used to open this post. But I like it because it’s a reminder to never stop questioning habits and traditions and “the way things have always been”.  It is, of course, habits and traditions that we are up against when trying to convince someone to go vegan. It is no wonder that it is tough-going. I just wish I was better at it.




*Except for you, of course! But you are so far away...