You don’t have to be an animal activist to be a vegan. Of course, like other social justice issues, the more outspoken you are for veganism or against animal exploitation, the more pushback you’ll generally receive. But there are many vegans who refuse to debate the issue with others, preferring to simply disarm questions or comments with a polite statement that they care about animals.
More and more, as information about veganism becomes more widespread, vegans are finding that their friends and family are much more supportive and accepting than they used to be. When we set an example of being kind and gentle, we are able to use conversations about veganism as opportunities to inform and discuss instead of arguing.
It is also worth noting that the abolitionists who fought to free human slaves may have been seen as extreme, yet no one would fault them today for speaking out.
If you are outspoken, some people may see you as extreme and some friendships may fade, but true friends will respect your desire to better yourself and the world. You can also make use of the myriad of vegan meet-up groups, social networking sites and support groups online to connect to others who have the same core ethic as you.
For those who are truly concerned about the possibility of feeling isolated, we suggest that you ask yourself what is more important to you: being accepted by a society that doesn’t share your values, or living according to your principles?
(Shared with kind permission of Angel Flinn)