By Josie Moody, Vegan Outreach Office Manager
When I first became vegan four years ago, it was after meeting my boyfriend, Mitch, who had been vegan for over 17 years. I felt so lucky to have someone in my life that I could ask all sorts of questions, from what he ate to how to handle specific situations I found myself in.
For me, having a vegan partner made it especially easy to adopt a vegan lifestyle. I considered Mitch my Vegan Guide. Sometimes, as vegans, it’s pretty obvious what you can eat, or substitute, or what you can tell someone who doesn’t understand why you don’t eat animals. But sometimes it’s not, especially in the beginning.
I went vegetarian a few years before becoming vegan. When people would ask me why I didn’t eat meat, the only thing I could say was that I felt weird eating animals. I felt like that wasn’t an easy enough reason to understand. However, years later, I know that it’s a perfectly acceptable answer. As a vegan, you don’t have to know everything there is about veganism (or vegetarianism, or reducing your consumption of meat). All you need to know is that you don’t feel right eating animals, and that you don’t have to.
That’s why I’m so grateful to help out with Vegan Outreach’s Vegan Mentor Program. Launched earlier this winter, this program pairs up people who either want to eat fewer animal products, become vegetarian or go vegan with people who are already vegan.
The majority of vegans out there likely didn’t have a lot of support when they wanted to make this particular change in their lives. Though they weren’t afforded this luxury, they can use their knowledge and experience to help more people become vegan. To me, the best part of this is that people who are seeking mentors are already open-minded—they know what goes on in factory farms, and they want to make a difference. But they have a lot of questions and fears—What will I be able to eat? Will I be hungry all of the time? Will it be hard? What if my family doesn’t support me?
The good news is the number of vegans and amount of resources is growing daily. There are websites, new food products, meet ups, and more … all dedicated to veganism! We’d like to ask you to participate in this trend by either signing up to be a vegan mentor, or, if you’re looking for support yourself, as a vegan mentee. Just take two minutes to complete the brief form, and we will work to pair you up with your match as soon as possible.
If you’re interested in signing up as a mentor, please click here: http://veganoutreach.org/
If you’re interested in signing up as a mentee, please click here: http://veganoutreach.org/