I get this question a lot, so I thought I'd answer it here. I'm the kind of vegan who always wears leather shoes... a perpetually lapsed vegan. The general trend of my diet is entirely plant-based. On occasion, a sliver of gruyère, a drizzle of honey or a slather of butter enters my victuals. All the same, I think that, if animal products are used, they should be ethically sourced and used with restraint.
"Why do you call yourself a vegan?!?" people ask. They inform me, "If you don't always eat vegan, then you're not vegan at all; you're vegetarian!!!"
That makes sense, but at the same time, it reminds me of a harsh mindset that seems to be pervasive in the vegan community. I have high admiration for strict veganism, but not the hostile disposition. I've gotten some hate from using organic, free-range, certified-cruelty-free, vegetarian-fed chicken eggs.
So how can we invite people to the plant-based diet? First, be passionate about veganism, but don't be scary-crazy about it. We're probably not going to win over anyone to the vegan diet by fanatically grouching at everyone who enjoys a hamburger. Secondly, make good food. No, make great food! So much vegan food is "health food." It's not just bland and boring, it's offensively flavoured and sometimes, literally stinks. Don't try to force veggies into some sort of meat counterfeit. Let the natural food, deliciously, stand on its own! Lastly, remember that everyone is at a different place. Invite people to try your plant-based food and try not to roll your eyes when they ask, "Where's the meat?" Show carnivores how genuinely delicious vegan can be. Be the happy, friendly vegan who inspires others to give the plant-based diet a try.
So that's it. I'm generally a dietary vegan and I'm passionate about showing people that vegan food can be delicious. I hope you're inspired to give it a try! And, no complaining about my leather shoes ;)