And no, I don't mean that you'll have fewer years to endure the mind-boggling and nerve-curdling animal cruelty that passes for normal on most parts of the planet. By the way, if all that crap is getting you down big time and sometimes (on darker days) having you think that the predicted demise of our fair earth in 2012 might not be such a bad thing, may I suggest a refreshing dose of CarpeVegan? Even if you don't agree with their viewpoints of purposeful vegan baby breeding or thrift store leather purchases, these dudes can be seriously funny and laughter-induced endorphins are good for everyone's health. Especially vegans. And those who have to live with them. Kidding! About the last part. But you knew that.
Where was I again? Oh yeah, the advantages of being wrinkled. Sure, most of the materials distributed by places like Vegan Outreach are aimed at younger brains and hearts and that certainly makes sense, but let's not forget that there are distinct advantages to going vegan when you're older. First, no one will pat you on the head and inform you that you're going through a "phase" if you announce your vegan intentions at the ripe old/middle age of 46. Had I gone vegan when I was 16 I'm sure my head would have gotten tired of all those patronizing hands. People expect college-age students to try on different philosophies and identities whereas we more seasoned folk have pretty much figured out who we are by now. And we've certainly been around the block enough times to be fairly serious about our goals (and more immune) when we agree to be maligned by the majority of meat-loving cohorts around us.
Another distinct advantage of most older vegans is that they tend to be established in their careers and finances (not myself personally, snort, but MOST), which means they have more money to donate to vegan causes and a wider sphere of influence. Who has more clout? Somebody in a boardroom or a schoolroom? Bill Clinton, or the girl on Glee?
So while I understand the impetus to recruit the young as they'll have more years to save more animals, let's not underestimate the importance of reaching out to the not-so-young. Like the quantity versus quality argument, young isn't always better and doesn't mean they'll influence more folk to go vegan than we older fogies will.
Um, I know there are other advantages too, but I'm gonna go take a wee nap now...
p.s. accuse me of being ageist in this post and I'll make sure your funny bone STAYS missing ;)
p.p.s. I MEANT to link to this informal poll, but forgot. Blame old age if you like. Or not.