When I first went vegan, I shared what I was learning with people. I thought that if the concept of discovery in regards to where my food came from, how it impacted this planet, and what it meant to animals was that mind-blowing to me, that everyone would want to know. But everyone doesn’t.

I was overcome with “angry vegan” syndrome, with a dose of moral superiority for good measure. I had broken through the haze of unknowing and for some reason, I felt superior for it. That was the wrong reaction.

The longer I’m vegan, the more my approach mellows out. This does not mean I’ve “gone soft”… in fact, I think the longer I’m vegan, the more committed I am to speaking out for the animals in a way that will actually help them. I am finding my voice, and here is what I’ve learned so far.

If you’re thinking it, it’s almost guaranteed that someone else is, too. Don’t be afraid to ask a question, to propose a hypothetical. Don’t be afraid of being honest. And if someone says something that resonates with you, let them know they’re not alone!

Some of us are good speakers. Some of us are good writers. Some of us are artists. Some of us are awesome cooks. We’re all valuable. We can all be heard. We don’t need to open a vegan restaurant, be published in a major publication or shown in a big gallery (though all of those possibilities are nice). Never forget that, just as little moments effect change, little voices can roar loudly. So find your voice. It might take awhile, and that’s okay. You don’t have to use words like “real” and “authentic” to come across as such; you just have to be them.

Photo credit: grigoryk via Flickr