Tip 17: Be Positive All the Time

pretend-smilePeople don’t take too kindly to anger. Or strong opinions. Or truth. Or your bringing up important issues. Or your asking them to get involved. Or your talking about how you’re involved. Anyway, just hide it.

If you want to talk with people or advocate for a cause, put your anger away, put on a smile and stop scaring everyone.

If you have a strong opinion about a topic, three things can happen:

  1. The person hearing it will agree with you, and all will be well. This is the outcome about 90% of the time when the topic being addressed is veganism or animal rights, because most people are on our side on this (with these exceptions).
  2. The person hearing your opinion will disagree and feel judged by you. This may seem like a problem they have, something that they should deal with internally without concerning you. But it’s not. It’s your fault. So it needs to be addressed – or prevented, if you can do it.
  3. The person hearing your opinion will not have thought about the issue, and will not want to think about the issue – or any other issue – and they’ll be super mad at you for having given thought to something important. What are you, some kind of show-off?

Why is this Important?
As almost-vegans, vegans and animal rights advocates, our aim is to improve the world for animals by promoting this cause and asking people to do more to help animals – or at least stop hurting and killing them. Now, this is a lot to ask. A LOT. So, as good advocates, we must baby them. People will shy away from issues that seem to be associated with any negative facts, images, truths, videos, feelings, accurate assertions, etc. So, put away your scary facts, hold their hands and walk them through it – no, frolic them through it. Or bounce them on your lap through it! It’s the only way they’ll come along.

What are the Rewards?

  • You won’t scare people away who just want to think everything is peachy so they don’t have to worry about doing anything to solve problems (Wait, that might not be your ideal audience).
  • Sometimes rainbows and unicorns actually solve problems. You know, when the problems are that there are no rainbows and unicorns. But unicorns aren’t real, so they’re hard to rely on. And rainbows only happen when it’s rainin’ (or was that thunder?), so I guess we all need a little precipitation in our lives.
  • There’s research that shows when people pretend to be cheerful, it actually makes them more cheerful. That doesn’t do much for the animals, but it’s nice for you I guess.

What are the Challenges?

  • The cause of animal rights does have negative stuff associated with it, and it feels really important to bring it up. I mean, animals are being horribly abused, neglected and killed by the billions. Ah, crap, sorry. What I mean is, rainbows and flowers and – I can’t do this.

In developing this website, I’ve found that there are actually quite a few people who aren’t vegan. Weird, I know! Most of these folks are thoughtful, compassionate and great critical thinkers, so the only reason for them not to be vegan must be a lack of information. For these people, I decided to include some tips on how to be vegan, so they can get started right away.

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