There’s no such thing as a stupid question?

As a wannabe vegan, I strive to be tolerant of others who may not be as aware of what it means to be vegan as I do. In fact, I do everything I can to help people become more informed – if they want to be. But sometimes the questions can be a bit ridiculous and it can be difficult to maintain a demeanor that exemplifies the compassionate, loving person I strive to be.

Of course, I am not the only one that suffers from this and I was pleasantly surprised to find the following video that addresses just such a dilemma…

Although he takes it to the extreme, sometimes it DOES feel like the endless questions and scenarios presented distract from the original topic at hand and degenerate the conversation into an endless game of “What if…?” that could eventually get pretty ugly if both sides decide to defend their opposing opinions.

So what should a wannabe vegan do when this happens? Here are three suggestions that have worked for me in the past:

  1. First, take a deep breath, stay calm and remind yourself this is a great opportunity to be a good example of a compassionate person.
  2. Acknowledge their questions and try to understand the belief behind their reaction. For example, “Wow. You seem to be really interested in veganism. Why is that?”
  3. State your intention for the conversation and divert their attention to the original topic. For example, “Nancy, I’m happy to answer your questions about being vegan anytime but I asked you to lunch today because I wanted to hear about your trip to Japan. How was it? Did you have a fabulous time?”

Have you ever encountered the ‘endless question’ scenario? How did you handle it?

Please share below. I’d love to hear from you!


How Can You Be Dynamically Harmless?

In my last post, I committed to sharing some ideas on how, as a wannabe vegan, you can by dynamically harmless based on the ideal of ahimsa.

Over the last month, I evaluated what I was doing and tried to discover ways we can all be more dynamic in our veganism so that I could share them with you. To say it was difficult is an understatement.

I realized that when I was presented with an opportunity to be outspoken or ‘plant a seed’ of new thought, I normally stayed quiet unless I was with a person I knew well and trusted would be open to my opinion.

This really surprised me. How can I be so steadfast in my belief and yet so timid and quiet?

I think it stems from the negative impressions people already have about plant-based diets and some of the people who follow them. There are some very outspoken, opinionated and downright mean people out there that are vegan.

Because of their aggressive and judgmental approach, I definitely do not want to be associated with them. In my opinion, they are promoting their own ego-driven agenda instead of coming from a place of being sincerely interested in people discovering what is right for them; vegan or not.

So, after a bit of soul searching, I knew there had to be a middle ground that works for me and others as well, so here are my suggestions on how we can all be dynamically harmless:

  1. Continue to learn so that you can be a source of accurate information
  2. Listen and respond from a place of respect and compassion
  3. Take positive action when it feels right

How are you dynamically harmless? I would love to hear your suggestions /comments on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.