A challenge we often face as vegans is staying positive amidst adversity. We frequently encounter defensive reactions when speaking the truth about animal agriculture, and communicating effectively with non-vegans can be difficult.
I like to think that every interaction is a learning opportunity as well as a teaching moment, because growth can happen in both directions. Discomfort is often the first step toward real change. It's a signal that prevailing assumptions are being questioned, and that can result in what's known as "cognitive dissonance," or feeling disoriented and confused.
People often react to this discomfort by doubling down on their beliefs since they're not ready to examine them, and they may lash out defensively with sarcasm, criticism, or anger. Don't be discouraged! Remind yourself that this is a normal reaction and you are not at fault for speaking the truth.
So why is this important? Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. This is essential for vegan activism. It means seeing every obstacle as an opportunity. When we feel powerless, we need to recognize that this is only temporary and the situation can be turned around so that we can connect with our inner strength.
Struggle builds strength. Know that you have the ability to overcome adversity by thinking creatively to solve any problem. Know that you are never alone in this struggle.