There is a guy I was talking to about being vegan. He said that I’ll only live to 50, and that veganism is unhealthy. I explained that he’s wrong and my own health exams prove that I’m healthy as a vegan.
I also told him that there is an ethical part to it as well. His reply was that there is no ethical part to it as animals have no rights and are unconscious beings, so it doesn’t matter what you do to them. This upset me greatly; animals feel pain and they have desires.
He didn’t even try to see from my point of view. I don’t know what else to say to him because I feel he may have really no empathy for other living beings. But what else can I say. How do I get people to see from my point of view? I don’t want them to have to agree with me but I feel they should at least look at both sides and not just what they want to see.
First, let me give you some health resources that prove vegetarianism and veganism can be very healthy. Below are two kinds of resources, one for in-depth nutritional information and one for quick and easy guides.
a) Here is some in-depth information. Take your time to read these sources thoroughly and reread as needed:
- Vegan Health: http://www.veganhealth.org/
- Plant-Based Nutrition: http://www.plantbasednutrition.org/plant-based-nutrition/
b) These take little time to read and are easy to print out and give to new vegans. They are what I call, “easy to follow nutrition guidelines”:
- USDA: http://www.mypyramid.gov/tips_resources/vegetarian_diets.html
- USDA: http://www.mypyramid.gov/downloads/TenTips/VegetarianTipsheet.pdf
- Vegan Food Pyramid: http://www.veganfoodpyramid.com/
- ADA: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6373
- ADA: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6374
Next, let me get to your main issue. You ask, “How do I get people to see from my point of view?”
This is going to be frustrating, but unfortunately there are a huge number of people who simply refuse to try to see things from our perspective. We can try and try, but some are simply never going to open their eyes.
Here’s how I like to deal with that reality:
- Remember that some people will open their eyes, just not right away. Be patient and respectful and keep working on them gently.
- Realize that some will never open their eyes, so don’t waste a tone of time trying to convince them. Instead, focus on other people who are more likely to need and use the support that you offer. Give those people more of your energy.
- Remind yourself that this is a “numbers game.” The more people you reach out to, the more likely some will choose vegan. Keep spreading knowledge far and wide. Find methods that suit you and go for it gung-ho! Spread the vegan message!
Hope that helps,