Monday, 26 January 2015

Where is the positive support???

Little rant today. On social media, I joined a few groups for vegans and vegan bodybuilders. I thought id be joining groups of positive, passionate people who were willing to offer help, advice, their experiences to others who were thinking of making the transition to a compassionate healthy lifestyle. However, more often than not, I see someone ask a question, usually a vegetarian, about something to do with the diet or nutrition and although some advice is offered, it always seems to be pounced on my someone quick to put down the persons efforts, to tell them they are not doing enough, not vegan enough, that being vegetarian isn't enough. Its usually quite strong messages, negative and not very supportive... and to be honest, has made me leave a lot of these groups. We are compassionate people, we care about health, we care about the animals, should we not care about people who are trying to learn? Should we not offer positive encouragement rather than criticise? How does putting someone down encourage them to continue on the journey? Who are we to judge anyway?

A few years ago I was invited to a Vegan Dinner by a Vegan friend, the hostess I didn't know, but she knew I was vegetarian and was keen to show me how great Vegan cooking can be. I was really excited to learn more, and enjoyed a lovely meal, of Vegan wine and chips, Lasagne and salad and chocolate cake... I actually couldn't believe it was all Vegan,  I was totally amazed and enjoyed listening to her cooking tips as she prepared the meal and throughout dinner. At this point I was really struck by the evening and was thinking I would look up some more vegan recipes to try when I got home, it was so positive ... BUT then after dinner, the books came out, the videos, the lecture on dairy causing cancer, how she grafitis butchers windows at weekends... it all became too much, the positive evening had just turned into a lecture I just wanted to escape from. It was relentless and left me feeling negative. It was just a step too far. I know she was just passionate and wanted to get her message across, but the more she pushed, the more I wanted to run...

So what did I learn from this evening. Well. Leading by example and providing positive experiences and advice can go a long way, but you have to gauge where the person you are talking to is at so you don't scare them off! I definitely respond better to positive experiences rather than being told I am wrong, not doing enough etc- this person went from being a positive role model to a radical extremist in a matter of hours and maybe did more harm than good. Its kind of why I started this blog, to offer positive advice, thoughts and experiences, not to lecture and judge. Im still not Vegan yet, but im on that path at my own rate! Have you experienced a great role model or someone who just put you down or put you off the lifestyle? Comment below, im interested to hear if its just me that's noticed this?