There’s a joke that goes, “How can you tell if someone is vegan? Well, they already told you!” That joke is a fair criticism of us vegans. We insert our veganism into every conversation we can. We feel compelled to spread our moral stance to the world. Why wouldn’t we? If you believe it’s good to be vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, then it must be true that if you get one or two other people to also be vegan you will have doubled or tripled your impact.

At its most selfish, veganism is a personal preference, limited to one’s self in judgment and ambition. But at its most pure, it’s straight multi-level marketing. Thou shalt convert. That’s the Vegan Doctrine.

So, I, too, can’t help but proselytize upon meeting someone new. “Hi, I’m Nikhil!” I’ll say, extending my hand for a handshake. “I’m vegan! When I eat food, I choose not to inflict pain and suffering on the world. When I partake in mealtime, I’m uninvolved with rising methane levels. What’s your name? Would I be right in assuming that you let your gastronomical predilection for cheese and chicken come between you and the pure nirvana that is a plant-based diet? It is just so nice to meet you!”

What an impactful way to save the world. And what an efficiently aggrandizing way to start any relationship.