Originally posted on June 27/17
Yesterday, I had the extreme pleasure of speaking with Vegan Psychologist, Clare Mann.
She is no doubt, a lady of true inspiration to us all, including Vegans all around the world.
She had just arrived back home, after joining a panel of medical experts at the Canberra, Australia premier of the popular documentary, "What the Health".
I had a few questions for her, that you might find interesting....
What type of person becomes a Vegan?
According to Clare, she believes that there is a possible correlation with The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Firstly, we must define ‘ethical’ in the context of veganism/vegetarianism.
Veganism is a philosophy which influences a person to take every action not to be part of using animals in any way. Therefore, they do not eat or wear animals nor do they use products that have been tested on or have used animal substances. Many vegetarians stop eating animals because of ethical reasons as they too learn about the animal abuse, often but not always becoming vegan when they realize that their dietary choices to include dairy and eggs sadly collude with animal abuse to a great extent.
The MBTI is an introspective self-report questionnaire claiming to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions.
It outlines the two rational functions people possess "thinking" and "feeling". It also explains that either a person is a "thinker" or a "feeler" and uses this to guide themselves in decision-making, judging, and perception. Those categorized as thinkers tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, looking at something as logical, consistent, following long-standing rules etc. Those who prefer feeling tend to come to decisions by associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it 'from the inside' and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony, consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved. Thinkers usually have trouble interacting with people who are inconsistent or illogical, and tend to give very direct feedback to others. They are concerned with the truth and view it as more important. (Wikipedia)
With this definition of personality preference, Clare believes ethical Vegans are more likely to be “Feelers”. This doesn’t mean people with a preference for Thinking are not ethical, nor that they won’t become vegans or vegetarians, but that a high component of Feeling preference is likely to be correlated with such beliefs/actions.
What are some Psychological Benefits?
There are tremendous benefits. When someone makes the decision to become Vegan, they are joining the rising tide of social awareness, and for themselves, experiencing an expansion in their compassion beyond human beings. One can experience finding their chosen path, or purpose. Something beyond themselves. Their actions are focused toward a common goal of a new larger community or "family". Kindness and Compassion also appears to activate different parts of the brain with areas associated with empathy, becoming enlarged. All these things no doubt have direct health benefits.
What is the best way to advocate Veganism?
"The best way to change the world is to change yourself". That is first priority according to Clare. Get your house in order. If you have experienced larger amounts of ridicule and resistance to your choices, you may have anger issues that need to be calmed. The same goes for those who could be traumatized due to awareness of animal abuse etc. Your grief needs to be processed, not anger encouraged.
Calmness, and its counterpart anger is contagious so we can’t be a voice for animals if we are angry and despairing inside. If you open a conversation, in a non-judgmental tone and with the intention to be open-minded, good things often come. Clare believes, if we can give people a nudge in the right direction on a consistent basis, people will are more likely to open their minds.
She also states, "You don't have to do everything." You can choose one thing and be part of millions of people around the world who are contributing to a kinder world. For example, you might like to make "Vegan cupcakes", and that could be your contribution. Bake them, talk about them, give them out, bake them for your next get-together. This will provide ample opportunity for discussion and is a great form of advocacy.
Many resources including books, films, and articles are available for someone to distribute to their friends and family.
There is hope for the animals, the planet and our health; quite a bit actually. The road to ethical plant-based living is paved with wonderful works being done, every day.
My daughter and I give great thanks to Vegan Psychologist, Clare Mann, for providing such powerful insight.
Vegan Psychologist, Author and Communications Trainer
* Be sure to check out Clare's Essential Skills For Vegan Advocacy: Free Course
as well as the smartphone App with free training on how to talk about veganism
on Google Play Vegan Voice