I ate meat and cheese and eggs for the first 28 years of my life. It would never have occurred to me that I could live without them. So when I hear people say “Oh, I could just never give up meat!” I understand exactly how they feel.

And I think it is a big reason that many people simply do not want to know about factory farming. If you can’t imagine a life without meat (or cheese or eggs), it creates a lot of uncomfortable inner conflict and psychological discord to hear that meat-eating is unethical. It’s no wonder that so many people ridicule vegans or get downright hostile about this way of eating.

People who believe that vegan foods taste good and that a vegan diet can be fun and delicious are very likely to be at least a little bit more receptive to change. Educating people about the realities of factory farming is powerful and important activism, but so is helping to create an audience that will be receptive to that message. And we do that by serving great vegan food to non vegans as often as possible. Anyone who has tasted rich chocolatey vegan brownies or a great creamy vegan egg salad might be willing to consider that life without eggs is not so bad.

Being too purist is the best way to turn people off to the idea of vegan eating. Everything doesn’t have to be low-fat, whole grain, and sugar-free. Show your friends that vegans love and eat good food and that vegan cuisine is not about deprivation. Start with their stomach and maybe they’ll feel ready to open their heart to animals and ethical eating.