Have you ever witnessed someone getting more and more uncomfortable in the presence of someone who has differing views than they do? Or watched as someone stood in silent paralysis because it didn't seem like that big of a deal?
As kids in grade school, we’re taught that we should tell an authority figure about someone being bullied or picked on. Then later, in middle school, we’re told the same thing. Yet we get the label of a tattletale when we try to reach out. By high school, we just keep quiet and stay out of the way out of fear of not fitting in. And by college, we’re a mess, because we’re either trying to fix our past mistakes by speaking out "too often," or still desperately trying to keep fitting in.
That’s what they want you to think about veganism.
People will want you to keep it to yourself about it. Or why they absolutely despise all the crazy radical ones. That veganism is just a cult of mentally unstable people, who will do whatever it takes to scare you into avoiding animal products. And (sarcastically) that whenever someone becomes a vegan every single slaughterhouse gets a memo reminding them that they no longer have the need to slaughter any more animals. Even more that vegans use propaganda and fear-mongering tactics. And that we’re hypocrites because we’ve imperfectly done something that isn’t vegan.
People will aim to silence your actions by demeaning you. Through intimidation of you being labeled a social pariah. Or by fear tactics like telling how much you’re hated. “Shut up and go vegan somewhere else,” is what they’ll tell you.
The realities of veganism can be difficult topics to broach and may seem tricky to navigate, but remember, you’re not in grade school anymore. Your voice is important because no one else has the ideas that you have or can think the way that you think. You’re powerful enough to make a difference and truly make a difference in the world around you. Your and your words are unique and can be shared to make a monumental change in the community.