Vegan activist Rhea Bindra spent over $6,000 to remove the leather from the steering wheel of her high end Lexus. In addition to convincing brands and restaurants to cater to vegans, she is proof that one person can make a difference.
"We hope from a minority we will go to a majority," - Rhea Bindra
Whether you're vegan on not, it's hard to live in a world that's not consistent with your morals. We all have our own personal code of ethics. As a friend of mine said once, "Everyone is a hypocrite. We all have to decide on the level of hypocrisy we want to live with for ourselves." He happens to be a leading lawyer with the Humane Society, and I had asked him how he functions day-in-day-out doing things like combating battery cages on a massive scale with often long roads to progress.
So how do we live day-to-day in a reality that is inconsistent with our deepest personal convictions? And how do we do it in a way that gives us strength and the energy to keep going?
I struggle with this myself daily. My partner and Unicorn Goods co-founder/CCO Dave had his birthday yesterday at a vegetarian restaurant, and we're both vegan. Even our friends and family, though supportive, still eat eggs, dairy, and meat, sometimes veal. It's really really hard to love those around you who don't adopt a vegan lifestyle and accept them for who they are. (But the vegan cake was awesome and totally blew everyone out of the water! Shoutout: Wildflour Bakery in Providence, Rhode Island, USA.)
I return to three mantras that permeate everything we do with Unicorn Goods:
1) We meet people were they are on their journey to a cruelty-free life.
2) We believe people are inherently good, and that given the right information and opportunities, that people will choose to do good.
3) People hate cognitive dissonance.
The above guiding thoughts allow us to love those around us who aren't like us. They give us the patience to be kind to people who don't think like us.
So how do you deal with non-vegans? Love, patience, and alternatives. You have to believe in them so that they can believe in themselves.
And now, a cute video of animals snuggling and a funny video about vegan stereotypes to lift your spirits. Remember why you're doing this.
Remember: don't be a stereotype.
I was inspired to write this after reading Matt Ball's address to the Arizona Veg Fest on the Farm Sanctuary blog. Read more here.