In my umpteen years advocating for animals, I’ve learned that I can have a bigger impact influencing others when I play the part of the sneaky vegan. Now, don’t get me wrong—there are a million and one ways to speak out for the animals, but in case you find that your loved ones are balking at your direct pleas, you might try incorporating your vegan values into your everyday interactions through subtle methods. By doing so, your omnivorous compadres will think it was their bright idea to go vegan (good going, you sneaky vegan!) because the sneaky vegan leads by example. Rather than directly pushing others to change their ways, just be the change. Flaunt your food, glitter, and gleam, while demonstrating your joy in living your vegan life. With this in mind, cue the James Bond theme song because I’m about to teach you how to get sneaky.
1. With glorious vegan food
The number-one way to influence your headstrong omnivores is with delicious vegan food. For instance, you might share my Tie-the-Knot Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie with your co-workers, but don’t tell them it’s vegan until after they’re raving about how mind-blowingly decadent it is. Remember to make sure that whatever you serve is, in fact, mind-blowingly decadent. The sneaky vegan wants to hear phrases such as “tastes like heaven” and not “tastes like barn.” As much as you might enjoy those raw buckwheat-kale cookies, save those for the already-converted.
2. With glamour
Being a glamorous fashionista is not for everyone, but it sure as shooting works for me. If looking and feeling amazing sounds just right for that special someone in your life, then it’s time to get sneaky in order to counter those limiting stereotypes of what it means to be vegan. Those very stereotypes are sometimes what hold people back from choosing a more compassionate lifestyle, but they don’t have to be. Just take a gander at my Instagram if you need convincing.
3. With laughter
Newsflash: people like to laugh. If that works for you, use your sense of humor to appeal to the masses. Weave some jokes into your messaging, and open the hearts of those who might be listening. Now, I’m not talking about sharing those snarky memes that poke fun at omnivores. You know, the stuff like, “This is the face you make when meat-eaters say something stupid.” That might feel satisfying to you and your vegan pals, but if you’re trying to be the sneaky vegan and reach those omnivores with a message of compassion, being mean isn’t necessary nor is it helpful. Remember: be sneaky, not snarky. Your Mistress has spoken.
4. With ALL that you are
Lucky you—you get to be everything you are and circulate in the communities that don’t necessarily identify with veganism. Are you a Person of Color? LGBTQ? Religious? Are you into politics? Punk rock? Yoga? Whoever you are and whatever you enjoy, you can be a part of those communities in an authentic way and bring your vegan values along for the ride. You’ll have an automatic common ground with those you find there, and then it’s that much easier for your friends to see themselves reflected in you. “Hey, Mistress Ginger is a queer cabaret artist just like me! And she’s also vegan. Hmm, maybe I should give that a try, too …” Sneaky.
Mistress Ginger is a sneaky cabaret artist based in the Twin Cities and author of Mistress Ginger Cooks!: Everyday Vegan Food for Everyone.
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