Training Course for Vegan Mentoring

Welcome to the training course for Vegan Easy mentors, designed to equip you with basic mentoring skills and give you an idea of what is and is not expected of you when assisting others.

About the 30 Day Vegan Easy Challenge

Our 30 Day Challenge is designed to help people transition to a vegan lifestyle via informative daily emails, the resources available on veganeasy.org and importantly, the guidance, encouragement and assurance they receive from our mentors in our support group on Facebook. From time to time, participants may ask for one-on-one support, which involves mentoring through emails, or via a communication app like Messenger.

Please read through each section carefully and complete the associated questions.

There will be some open questions for you to practice responding to as well as multiple choice.

 

Training course to become a Vegan Easy mentor


SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION

The purpose of being a Vegan Easy mentor is to provide support and assistance to Challenge participants and help them transition to a vegan lifestyle. This is predominantly done via our support group on Facebook or one-on-one mentoring.

1/ Support group
Many of the people who sign up for the Challenge request to join our support group on Facebook. As a mentor, you can answer participant’s questions, give advice and contribute informative posts to the group.

2/ One-on-One mentoring
As the support group is a more popular choice, it’s not often that participants of the Challenge submit a request for one-on-one mentoring. However, on some occasions you may be asked to mentor someone. You can decide how best to communicate with your mentee whether through email, a messaging app etc.

Benefits of mentoring

There are a variety of benefits for mentors of Vegan Easy, including:

  • Knowing you are making a difference in people’s lives by assisting them to transition to a kinder way of living
  • Knowing your efforts are helping to reduce the suffering of animals in the world
  • Building your own skills as a mentor
  • Being part of the Vegan Easy initiative – Australia’s longest running 30-day vegan challenge
  • Connecting with other vegans

Some key points for effective mentoring

i) Ask questions – asking a mentee questions is a good way to gain a better idea of what they may want out of their journey and to know how best to approach them. Examples of some general questions are: ‘How are you going on the Challenge so far?’ ‘Have you come across any hurdles?’

ii) Provide guidance – if a mentee makes mistakes along the way those can be valuable lessons for them. Rather than pointing out their mistakes, the mentor can reflect on and share their own experiences in relation to the setbacks encountered by mentees, as this can provide valuable guidance and insight for them. As a mentor, your role is one of encouragement and support.

iii) Engage and share your stories/ideas – putting forward ideas about a topic or sharing your stories are great ways to connect and engage with mentees. It can show that you understand what they are going through and that they are not alone in a particular situation. Sharing an anecdote where you may have successfully navigated through a challenging event or situation, can be an effective example to show mentees how to turn things around from what may have been a negative circumstance into a positive outcome.

iv) Offer encouragement and understanding – remember back to when you first decided to go vegan. Which was more helpful - having someone offer you encouragement or having someone telling you exactly what to do or not do? It can be tempting to simply tell the mentee what you think they should be doing, however, being supportive and understanding allows for smoother communication to help them feel at ease to ask questions, share experiences, vent possible frustrations and seek to comprehend a situation better. By encouraging mentees to push through difficult situations and cheering them on, it helps them to learn and continue on their journey to becoming and staying vegan.



SECTION 2: ANSWERING QUESTIONS IN GENERAL

Veganism is a way of living that seeks to avoid all forms of animal exploitation and abuse, whether for food, clothing, cosmetics or for any other purpose. Transitioning to a vegan diet is almost always the first and most vital step on the journey towards kinder living.

Our approach at Vegan Easy is to encourage, guide and support participants of the Challenge. When answering/advising/communicating with mentees, we value the following qualities in our mentors:

  • respectfulness
  • patience
  • empathy
  • honesty
  • reliability
  • resourcefulness
  • compassion

How would you respond to the following posts? Please fill in your answers below:


SECTION 3: WHAT TO DO WHEN PEOPLE ASK FOR NUTRITION AND/OR MEDICAL ADVICE

General answers to questions regarding nutrition can be given based on the fundamentals of vegan nutrition. However, questions seeking specific medical or nutrition advice should be referred to a qualified health practitioner.


Please respond to the following:

“I’d like to go vegan but I have celiac disease and I’m allergic to soy. Can you help me with meal suggestions?”

SECTION 4: HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING

“I’m having a hard time convincing my family members to go vegan. What can I say or do to help convince them to change?”

SECTION 5: RELIABLE RESOURCES

We advise using trustworthy sources when providing information or evidence in support of your comments if needed. VeganEasy.org has a variety of resources you can reference. ALV.org.au covers a number of issues relating to animals. Some other sites we recommend are Vegan Australia, NutritionFacts.org by Dr. Michael Greger and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

You are welcome to use your own knowledge base and links to reliable resources, as long as they do not:

  • Promote violence towards or the demise of any species (including humans)
  • Incite illegal activities
  • Contain unsubstantiated claims or ‘facts’
  • Promote any type of trolling or bullying
  • Support the welfarist approach to animal rights (e.g. advocating for improving the treatment of exploited animals instead of the abolition of their exploitation for food, clothing, entertainment, experiments, research or any reason)


SECTION 6: CONFIRMATION

Have you been vegan for over 12 months?
As a mentor, you will be required to provide advice and/or answer people’s questions respectfully, with kindness and patience. Is this something you agree to do?
Unless you are a qualified health professional, Vegan Easy mentors cannot provide medical advice. Do you agree?
Animal Liberation Victoria (organizer of the Vegan Easy campaign) has a no-tolerance policy with regard to behaviour that is abusive, violent, prejudiced or otherwise harmful. Do you agree to abide by this policy?