Plan, Plan, Plan: Have a game plan when you leave the house. Don’t assume that you will always have the willpower to avoid animal products. Especially when you first start out. After a while it gets easier. It’s been two years since I’ve eaten meat and I don’t want to. It seems disgusting to me. But when I first started out, it would be easier to “give in” when things gets difficult. So bring food with you everywhere you go. Call ahead or check the menus online for restaurants. Eat before you go to a restaurant, especially if the only thing on the menu is a salad. It’s not very filling; and kind of expensive if you get the chicken salad without chicken and pay the same price. If you are not hungry it is less likely that you will give in to something.
Know your answers: Have a few solid answers to the question “Why?”. Because it will be asked. A lot. So having a solid answer or two that you can bring out helps. The answer, “Well, I feel great so I must be doing something right,” is a good one, especially when the person isn’t really hearing you.
Know when to come out and when not to: Certian situations its better to say “no thanks. I just ate.” or “I’m not very hungry” than to say “I’m vegan.” or “I don’t eat (insert animal product here)”. When I don’t really know a person or I know that I will never see that person again, it’s easier to avoid the conversation. But if you will be hanging out or living with a person saying that you’re vegan helps, a lot. Sometimes telling one person equals everyone knowing. I told maybe one person at school, or two. But, for some reason everyone seems to know and to find out.
Know when to press the issue and when to avoid it: This is definitely situational and depending on the person. If it’s a family member or someone you have to live with (a roommate) sometimes avoiding the issue or changing the subject is better. You will have a better relationship with the person.
Lead by example: Just showing a person that you’re a perfectly healthy human being and you haven’t eaten meat for over two years or dairy/eggs for 8-9 months and you are not dying of a protein deficiency, is the best way to convince a person.