Becoming a Vegan Mentor

by Jennifer

It’s easy.

Vegan Outreach

Head to Vegan Mentor Program and complete an online application.

They will hook you up with someone who is looking for a mentor, or if you are seeking a mentor you can find one here (or email me as I’d love to support you in your transition!

Here’s a sampling of my answers:

Please write something (a short paragraph) you want your Mentee to know about you.

  • Hello Mentee. My name is Jennifer, and I’m a long-term vegetarian, recently vegan, who has been lucky enough to have the support of my longterm vegan husband to see me through my transition into veganism.  It has been challenging for me to say good bye to yogurt, cheese, etc 100% of the time, as I’m easily tempted to cheat when I see a tub of Cookie N Cream ice cream in the freezer of one of my petsits.  However, I know what I am doing is the noble and righteous thing to help save cows all over the world from the fate of becoming another abused dairy cow. Now, I know that not everyone has such support, so I’m hoping to provide it to you as you make this self-sacrificing, sometimes challenging transition into reducing meat and/or dairy in your life.  I have all the respect for you and want to do my best to make you feel that you have a cheerleader in your corner that can provide you advice and motivation to continue down this path.  I won’t judge you if you have slip-ups and will instead look to support you and encourage you as you improve the world little by little through your decisions!

 

Would you advise a mentee to adopt a restricted version of a vegan diet such as no processed foods, no cooked foods, gluten-free, only organic, etc., and why? 

  • Yes. I would advise them to take whatever path they choose, so long as they are aware of certain vegan vitamin supplements they can add to their diets to ensure they are hitting the various calorie types, vitamins, and minerals that they should look to consume daily. I won’t pass judgement on others for pursuing a specific diet, as I myself have been following a Raw Till 4 diet for the last few weeks and having been feeling great about my decision to follow a diet that is nearly 100% waste-free and healthy when supplemented by vitamins.

How would you respond to your mentee if s/he said, “I decided to go vegan and I’m getting a lot of negative reactions from friends and family. How should I respond to them?”

 

  • Often I think people are negative about veganism because they feel some level of guilt about their own choices to not pursue such a lifestyle.  Although it may not be said, they may feel that there is some level of judgement that will be passed on them by the person choosing a vegan lifestyle. Therefore, I think it is important that people pursuing veganism should approach detractors with an awareness of this mindset.
  • While it is wonderful that you have “awoken” to the horrors of livestock and the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you cannot assume others have or are ready for this.  Therefore, judgement should not be passed on others, and one should help others to feel at ease by expressing to them that while you are choosing to refrain from eating meat and/or dairy, you do not judge them for continuing to consume animal products.
  • Next, you can choose to explain your reasoning.  Discuss the harmful conditions of livestock. You do not need to convince them to go meatless, but you can certainly serve as an advocate for vegetarianism or veganism by educating others as to the realities of life inside a dairy farm or slaughterhouse. Those that are willing to watch the 10 Billion Lives video or Earthlings, you can recommend these films to, so they can choose to educate themselves of the horrors of livestock.
  • However, take things one step at a time. Assume that every person has their own path and way of thinking, and that while they may begrudge your lifestyle at the moment, it is not to say that they will never change their minds about this condition.
  • Keep your relationships strong, and do not let this choice be a divisive matter in your lives as what you choose to put in your body does not affect anyone else, beyond improving the world on a general level.

 

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