I often think about how exactly I should explain Veganism to others.
It’s not like it’s not an extremely important topic to me. It’s not like it doesn’t define my life in a crucial and mind-bogglingly-all-encompassing way. It does.
But determining my style isn’t exactly easy because I don’t fit into the two main “Advocacy Camps” that take the internet by storm.
The first, which I lovingly call the Vegan Warriors, are those who pour their energy into tirelessly pushing the Vegan message toward anyone who will listen. They are the ones that will promote the cause. They will argue, they will protest, and they will use their very last breath to fight for the cause. Their passion is infectious, righteous, inspirational.
And I absolutely admire that. Vegan Warriors are crucial for the Vegan movement. For every kind whisper and silent action that is heeded by some, there are others who need a proverbial thump over the head by a Vegan Warrior to see clearer.
The other camp, whom I call the “Vegan Priests,” are the Warriors’ gentler counterparts. Calmly explaining Veganism, but only when asked. Compassion is their message and understanding the position of those they’re talking to is their motto. Vegan Priests are more likely to be understanding if someone explains why they aren’t entirely Vegan, insisting that any action is better than none; that all contributions are good and a sign of progress.
And they are correct. Priests bring the humanity back into the cause, and are more approachable on many fronts than the Warriors. It’s easier to open up to them, it’s easier to explain to them where you are without fear of judgment. This is important for those who are put off by the force of Vegan Warriors and simply want someone to understand that they are interested, but have their fears and reservations. A Vegan Priest’s specialty, really.
But where do I fall?
Somewhere in the middle, truthfully. I’m no textbook advocate, but I care. I’m willing to explain, not likely to start a conversation with Veganism unless it makes sense in that context. I understand where people begin, yet I want to see more progress.
And that’s alright.
Perhaps any advocacy, no matter what it looks like, is better than none at all.