This post first published on Care2.com
It was a celebration at an all-the-meat-you-can-eat Brazilian restaurant that transformed my friend, Joy, from a meat eater to a compassionate vegan. As she transitioned to her new lifestyle, Joy visited farm sanctuaries and read read books on factory farming. Instead of seeking support from a mentor she started each day by watching Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home. The award-winning and life-changing documentary highlights the emotional lives of animals and the moral struggles of farmers who had a change of heart about the animals in their care.
According to Vegan Outreach, a nonprofit working to end violence towards animals, many people aspire to be vegetarian or vegan but need support in making the transition. Some – like Joy – find this support in books and media while others seek out a personal connection. Connecting to a vegan mentor can make the challenging transition to a compassionate diet less challenging.
Two people shopping for vegan food.Vegan Outreach launched a Vegan Mentor Program to help those seeking one-on-one support. Through this program new and aspiring vegetarians and vegans—and established vegans who feel isolated in a world of meat eaters—are paired with mentors who provide guidance and support.
Today, the program has 2,300 mentors helping 4,300 mentees in 1,150 cities in 60 countries.
“Our mentors are non-judgmental and meet mentees wherever they are along their journey to reducing animal suffering,” said Vegan Mentor Program Coordinator Jean Bettanny.