Summer is almost here, and that means sunshine, swimming pools, and socializing. Throw a grill in the mix, and you’ve got a perfect BBQ! But if you find yourself at a cookout with omnivorous friends, have no fear: You’re in a great place to spread awareness about living a cruelty-free lifestyle.
1. Bring Your Favorite Mock Meats
Most meat-eaters are unaware of how delicious vegan foods can be. Show them by bringing along your favorite grillable plant-based protein. There are loads of options at grocery stores, or you can get fancy and make your own.
2. Know the Facts
By bringing your own foods to the party, you’re already opening up the conversation. The next step is to know the facts. Be ready for the “standard” questions, such as:
- What do you eat?
- Where do you get your protein?
- Don’t we need meat, eggs, and dairy products to be healthy?
- Isn’t eating meat natural?
And our favorite:
Answers to these and all the other “frequently asked questions” can be found here.
3. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
If bringing your own faux meat doesn’t do it, then a stylish and poignant T-shirt from the PETA Catalog will definitely get the conversation started. Check out our selection of animal rights tees to see if there’s something that speaks to you—so that you can speak to them.
4. Don’t Forget the Sides
Why stop at the burgers and dogs when there are so many delicious classic summer sides that you can veganize? Try PETA’s recipes for coleslaw, pasta salad, baked beans, potato salad, and chocolate pudding to get conversations going and mouths watering.
5. Set a Good Example
It’s important that we set a good example whenever we’re advocating for animals. We don’t want to give meat-eaters any excuse not to take us seriously, so beware of some common pitfalls:
- Don’t accost people with your points. Try and work animal rights into the conversation subtly. People are generally curious and will ask about it.
- Build people up! Instead of telling them how many animals they harm each year, tell them how many animals they could save (200 each year if they go vegan).
- Leave the “meat is murder” talk out of it. This will likely start a heated argument, and you don’t want to be that vegan who ruined the party.
- If the cook uses the same utensils to cook both meat and veggie options, don’t make a huge issue out of it. Remember: It’s not about personal purity. It’s about advocating for the animals who are suffering on factory farms.
- Be yourself! You’re not talking to a group of strangers, you’re talking to friends. Appeal gently to them as individuals. For example, if you know that a family member is trying to get healthy, tell that person about the health benefits of going vegan. If a bacon-loving friend has a dog, tell that person that pigs are smarter than dogs.
- Remember: You’re right. The facts, scientific studies, and ethics are on your side, so don’t get frustrated. Just by chatting casually about animals rights, you’re making a huge difference for animals.
Every interaction starts conversations, opens hearts, and changes minds. Even a few words can start people on the path to making the kind choice for themselves, the planet, and animals: going vegan. Good luck!
Want more ways to help animals?