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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I've been a Vegetarian for most of my life and Vegan for the latter part. I'm sure all of you can relate to the frustrations most of us encounter in our everyday life, namely, those frustrations have to do with omnivores and their silly/asinine questions. I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread where we can post a question we've been asked followed by an awesome response that will make an omnivore speechless. I have a few, but I'll start with a hunting question since that's all I've been asked lately.

Omnivore: Hunting deer is a necessary means of population control, without it, the deer would be everywhere/overpopulated. There will be so many deer, people will be hitting them left and right with their cars…

Response: [#1 Who took over their habitat/homes??? We did, deal with them…they have nowhere to go since you destroyed their homes!!!] What I actually say: Really? So since humans are also overpopulating, should we be shooting them too? You know, to control the population...

This response has left everyone speechless…but it's true. I'm interested to see some of your responses to questions.

Responses (14)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by SynthVegan at 11/29/07 13:24:29

    Come on, I know some of you have great responses to questions that you get asked by omnivores! :)

    Anyway, over Thanksgiving someone found out that I'm Vegan and I got the typical, "Where do you get your protein from?" response.

    My answer: I get protein from all kinds of [non-artery clogging] sources, some of which include: nuts, beans, whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, etc. Furthermore, you can take in too much protein; leading to problems with your kidneys [this is especially true if it's derived from animal sources] and other complications.

    I still need to perfect this response. But usually when people ask you these silly questions, they don't even care about the real reason, so I need to come up with something witty…

    Please share your responses, or questions you've been asked. Maybe we can help each other come up with good answers! :)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tatiana at 11/29/07 15:21:12

    I think one thing that's important to remember is often they are not asking the question to be rude or condescending but have a legitimate question about the vegetarian way of eating. I think quirky and informative answers are great.

    Here's a very common one:
    How do you eat that crap?

    My response:
    How do you eat THAT crap? Sometimes followed up by telling them all the wonderous things like E coli, salmonella, and parasites that are in their food, yummy. Or if it's a serious comment about vegetables tasting yucky or whatever (which I get a lot) I talk about society and how restaurants and places don't put any emphasis on fruits/veggies so they are bland, overcooked, seasoned improperly, etc. I tell nonbelievers to try to roast a veggie at home, which is almost as easy as opening and can and popping it in the microwave, and I guarantee they'll turn around. I mean, who doesn't love fresh asparagus, oven roasted with salt, freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil?

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    Posted by peasonearth at 11/30/07 07:39:57

    Ok, I'll post a couple of questions and replies. I know when I am asked about my vegan beleifs at a table full of meat eaters, it often puts me on the defensive. Smart, well thought out answers are key to not looking like an ignorant chump.

    Q: Humans are at the top of the food chain. Don't we need to dominate other species in order to keep our status?

    A: Yes, humans are indeed at the top of the food chain, and while we can dominate and eat other species, we can also protect those species that are unable to defend themselves against us.

    Q: Aren't humans carnivores?

    A: True carnivores like lions, wolves, ... will run up to a rotting carcass and start chowing down. Are you drawn to bloody roadkill on the side of the road?

    Here is a great scenario: Suppose creatures from another planet who were far superior in intelligence to humans were to come to Earth. They have the ability to breed us and eat us without us humans being able to stop them. Would we humans agree be happy about this and just accept it? This is EXACTLY what we do to other species now.

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    Posted by AlmostVeggie at 12/07/07 21:12:34

    Lol, nice response to the first statement,SynthEBM.

  • Stig's avatar
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    Posted by Stig at 12/07/07 22:56:47

    A visit to a factory farm shuts most of them up - a real visit is best if you can arrange it.

    Otherwise a virtual visit courtesy of one of the sites of PETA - www.peta.org/other.asp

    ---------------------------------------------

    In the 80's this video woke up a great many people - The Smiths - "Meat is Murder" - www.youtube.com/watch?v=vecCZsHlYEc

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tom at 12/15/07 23:00:02

    One of the most frequent comments I hear when I advocate against killing is that "you are killing vegetables", to which I reply that
    "I can't recall ever having to chase down and stab, shoot or beat a vegetable to death against their will. That is an absolute necessity when consuming any animal parts, even so-called "humane", "free-range", "organic", etc.. animal parts. Thay are all derived from violence."

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by SbutterAMfly at 12/31/07 13:17:29

    I'm weaning meat out of my diet, working toward becoming 100% veggie. As friends and family members learn of this, the first thing they mention is the lack of protein. I tell them that nuts, legumes, etc… have protein, but one of them told me:

    "yea but there are certain protiens you can only get from meat (it's like after spending hundreds of thousands of years as hunters our bodies are used to it"

    Is this true? How would you respond to something like this?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tatiana at 12/31/07 14:40:13

    SbutterAMfly - This is NOT true. While animal products offer more "complete" proteins, you can get the full spectrum of amino acids (building blocks of proteins) and also many full proteins from eating veg sources. These are called complementary proteins. A classic example is beans and rice. They each have different amino acid profiles, and when put together, become a complete protein source.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Aardy at 01/05/08 13:55:20

    Is it true that meat literally 'rots' in your intestines because it takes so long for your body to process before eliminated? If it is true I can think of a few sassy remarks to put off the well-meaning commentators. Isn't the incidence of colon cancer much less for vegetarians? That should say something!

  • JennyO's avatar
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    Posted by JennyO at 01/08/08 13:57:02

    My brother said yesterday that eating meat is the reason our brains evolved into what they are today (i.e. intelligence), is this true? I kinda just acted like I didn't believe him (sounds a little far-fetched) and didn't say anything.
    As I was typing this it occurred to me that I could say \"Well plenty of other animals eat/ate meat and their brains haven't changed\"

    Anyone got anything better?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Tatiana at 01/08/08 14:34:02

    That is one of those ridiculous comments. Unless your brother is a geneticist or population biologist with scientific proof I'd say that is totally bunk. Evolution works in that the changes are made based on what works, i.e. natural selection. So in a given population, if the pink bugs get killed less than the blue ones, natural selection will choose the pink gene more predominantly, until a point where that bug may only be pink. Or with humans, the ones who were smarter tended to outlive and outbreed the ones who weren't as smart, leading us toward the evolution of intelligence. Part of living includes nutrition. The importance, just like today, would be a balanced diet with adequate calories to allow for breeding, etc. This does not mean that they needed to eat meat. Just like today's vegans/vegetarians, they just needed a variety of proteins, etc to allow for appropriate growth.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by SynthVegan at 01/08/08 16:13:18

    I'd like to meet your brother to see what other "theories" he has about life. Just as Tatiana said, evolution works in concert with natural selection. Thus, the larger our brains and our capacity to utilize them to their fullest extent, the more apt us "bigger brains" are to survive. Eventually the smaller brain "less smart" brains will die off first and will not pass on their small brain genes.

    To go into more detail as to what Tatiana was talking about, this can also refer to dominant and recessive genes. For instance blue eyes are recessive [we'll give blue the letter R], brown are dominant [we'll give brown the letter D]. You get one gene from each parent. If you have a parent with blue eyes their genes for eyes look like this, RR. If you have a parent with brown eyes, they can either be DD or DR (RD works too).

    Given the information above, say that people who have brown eyes are more likely to be killed by a bear or something. Eventually these people will die off leaving the blue eyed people to continue on. In this case the blue eyed people would continue on [without a possible way to make a brown eyed person again because their genes are RR] where as brown eyed people would become extinct.

    Furthermore, all species are always changing; just some are at a much slower rate than others. Evolution occurs gradually over millions of years. OK, I'm done with my tangent; I don't work in science or anything [although I thought about majoring in it as well as Archeology].

  • JennyO's avatar
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    Posted by JennyO at 01/08/08 16:56:11

    Thanks for your help Tatiana and Synthebm! Yeah my brother is far from a credible source (unless you count a college freshman as credible lol). The funny thing is, his diet is practically vegan (he just doesn't realize it). Literally all he eates is like 5 packages of broccolli, oatmeal, and grapes every day (don't ask me why--it is and will remain a mystery to me), but every now and then he'll have grilled chicken. Which brings me to another helpful response to omni questions--turn the question around and force them to look at their own diets. Chances are, they are probably worse/less healthy than most vegetarians, and since when are they so concerned about our diets?

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    Posted by shinin_1 at 02/04/08 11:09:23

    I have to say to the very first response you are so right on, the doctor i worked for was trying to tell me what was so right about him going hunting, made no since to me. but i try not to enforce my beliefs on anyone.

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