In my earlier post What to Do When Someone Gives you a Non-Vegan Gift, I suggested that you should accept non-vegan gifts (e.g. non-vegan toothpaste) and then give it to a non-vegan as a gift.
The idea is that if I gave a non-vegan toothpaste to someone, because they are using your gift, they will delay purchase of non-vegan products, which means fewer non-vegan products are purchased.
The same idea applies for food. For example, suppose someone gave you chocolate as a gift. This often happens during, say, Easter. The chocolate is not dark chocolate and contains dairy milk, which means it is not vegan. What I do instead is I give this chocolate to someone I know is not vegan and is unlikely to convert to veganism. Tell them something like, “I got these for Easter. I am vegan, so I can’t eat it. Do you want it?”
There are many benefits of giving away food. Firstly, the non-vegans will be grateful for the gift. They will have a positive reaction. If you are kind to someone, they are more likely to be kind back to you, which means they may research veganism and give it a try.
Furthermore, by giving them chocolate, this family will delay and therefore buy less animal product. If you give chocolate, this means they don’t need to purchase as much food, which means they will be less likely to purchase animal food, which helps the vegan movement. For example, if I were a meat eater and someone gave me a whole day’s worth of chocolate, I wouldn’t need to buy meat for the day because I’d want to eat the chocolate before it goes off.
Of course, there are some problems with this technique. Firstly, the family receiving the gift may not delay or reduce purchase of animal products at all but instead will eat your gift in addition to the food they already eat and as a result they will get fatter.
This is a major problem. However, there is a way to fix it. I personally have now gotten into the habit of buying beans from the supermarket and giving it to meat eaters as gifts. Suppose I received a box of chocolate as a gift. If will then purchase about two kilograms of dry beans from the supermarket and give not only the beans to the meat eating family but I will also give the chocolate as well.
The reason why I like to buy beans is because beans are extremely cheap and healthy.
I personally purchase various McKenzie’s beans and soup mixes from Coles supermarkets. The cheapest beans cost $1.70 per 500 gram bag. Each bag contains about 100 grams of protein. Given that the average person needs about 50 grams of protein per day, one bag (which is approximately one bowl) gives you double your protein requirements.
Another reason why beans are great is because they fill you up fast. If I gave chocolate to someone, they may eat the chocolate and still be hungry, so they will head off to buy junk animal food like KFC or McDonald’s. However, after one bowl of beans, I am really full. Studies find that food high in fiber and protein tends to make people feel full and satisfied. Because beans will fill you up as well as beef will, I feel that eating beans will quickly end a meat eater’s meat cravings. Both beans and beef are high in protein, but unlike beef, beans contain fiber.