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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Tribute to Bapu: “Why Being the Lone Vegan Makes You a Power Player” by Ruby Roth

Today is International Day of Non-Violence, a day marked to respect possibly the greatest crusaders of non-violence in the modern world: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, fondly known as Bapu. Bapu continues to inspire the world; in fact, interest in the Gandhian way of life continues to grow more than 60 years after his assassination. While prayer meetings are being held in memory of Bapu in various parts of the country today, British MPs have pledged to go vegan for the day as a tribute to this great thought leader. Let us remind ourselves of Bapu’s famous words, “The greatness of a society and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.”

We couldn’t find a more fitting tribute to make to Bapu than to assure him we are at it. This stimulating article by Ruby Roth [] re-posted on this blog with her kind consent makes a mark by calling out where we, all the vegans at this point in time on Earth, stand – we are the Early Adopters of an idea that will change the world. We may be the lone ones but we are the unsurpassable voices of sanity and are creating the unmistakable ripples.

Yay! We are the Early Adopters and we are influencing the course of history! We are infallible, we are intuitive, we have the power to drive change, we have the power to make veganism mainstream – Yes We Can!

And, on this day we would also like to share this video in the voice of Steve Jobs that resonates with our idea of change. Incidentally it went on to become one of the greatest commercials of all times: “Here’s to the crazy ones…. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Why Being the Lone Vegan Makes You a Power Player
By Ruby Roth

Being vegan got you feeling alone? Ostracized? Left out at social meals?

Are you fatigued by the “People for Eating Tasty Animals” joke?

Ever feel like you’re the only one who cares about animals?

Well, hold up! I will not have you feeling this way! Let’s bring those feelings to an asphalt-burning halt, case closed, right this minute!

Let me lay a virtual hand on your shoulder and tell you exactly why the work you’re doing—even if you’re doing it alone—makes you a power player in the vegan movement.

In 1962, Everett Rogers published a book called Diffusion of Innovations. In it was a bell curve graph that illustrated how new ideas spread. “Innovators” were on the left, a miniscule 2.5% of the population. Then came the “Early Adopters” at 13.5%. The “Early Majority” and “Late Majority” followed at 34% each, making up the ascent, crown, and descent of the bell. Finally on the right side, were the “Laggards” at 16%.

Innovators are infatuated with new ideas and core-driven to bring about advances. Small in numbers, they are brave and daring, the adventurous few who challenge others to see, think, and behave in a new ways.

Early Adopters immediately see the value and potential of innovative ideas and advances. Empowered and intuitive, they participate—their commitment undeterred by obstacles of inconvenience or expense that new ideas and technologies arise with.

The Early and Late Majorities are respectively less and less comfortable with new ideas, influenced by practicality and habit over innovation. Change requires ease, inexpense, and wide social proof. These groups need others to go before them in order to change their ways.

Laggards refuse to adopt new ideas and technologies until there is no longer a choice.

See where I’m going?

Today, veganism is just being introduced to the mainstream. In fact, at this moment, we are amazingly aligned with Rogers' numbers, vegans making up about 2%+ of the U.S. population!*

Depending on how long you’ve been vegan, you are either an innovator or an early adopter—and that means the vegan movement doesn’t become mainstream without you.

You have more influence than you know. Whether you think it or not, you are normalizing veganism in your community—its definition, existence, its feasibility, and its “face”. Your purchases influence the market and make vegan products more accessible and available.

You are a POWER PLAYER IN THE GAME, ya hear?!

It may be a quiet and sometimes lonesome battle you’re waging, but you are inherently cutting away, subverting, and undermining the meat and dairy industry every step of the way. Don’t you go backing down now!

What others do or say doesn’t matter. It only matters what kind of person you want to be.

The rights we’ve attained throughout history have come from the bottom up, not the top down. So if you’re toeing the line alone, just keep showing up. Wear that vegan T-shirt, keep bringing your favorite dish to the party, carry that green juice in a glass jar when you drop your kid off at school—and smile and wave it around the community like it’s the best thing that has ever happened to you—and them!—because your choices are a flag and you are a leader.


Editorial note:
*In the absence of a census, India-specific figures are not available yet; however as early adopters we all are aware of the sweet winds of change. We know our choices have influenced the market as we have seen an unprecedented number of vegan parallels emerge in the market this year.

Here’s another famous quote from Bapu, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”