Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

What is it with this? When I chose to change from vegetarian to vegan, I joined a local vegan Facebook page. I was surprised and after some time, horrified about how people attacked each other. There seemed to be a competitiveness as to the level of veganism "I'm more vegan than you because I'm also an animal activist" and so hard and mean to people who are vegan because of health reasons. Does it matter why people choose to be vegan? Isn't it less animals dying and being used for their bodies and body fluids? Also opening my FB in the morning to graphic slaughter images, didn't make me want to stay with that group.
I wondered if it was just that group, so I left after a personal attack (my husband isn't vegan, but is very supportive and encouraging). I went to a Meet-Up group and when I said I was the only member of my family that is vegan, the only one of my friends who is vegan, and I'm married to a man who isn't vegan (and probably won't be) some commented that I should ditch my friends and family, and give my husband an deadline in which to go vegan. Wow. I've seen people on these forums get really, really mean comments. Shouldn't we think "Yay, they are vegan, or journeying to be vegan" without all the judgemental comments about their reasons, or the people around them who are not. If you live in a small country, in a small community, chances are your friends, colleagues and community (gym, church, parent groups) are not going to be vegan. I really believe that living by example is the best way to evangelise, not put-down, judge and think that vegans have special rights to attack non-vegans.

Responses (8)

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    Posted by Redheaded Vegan at 04/28/14 22:19:10

    I see a lot of this, too. I'm very passionate about my veganism, but I choose not to lecture. I tried that when I was younger and only got defensive responses and snarky remarks. These days I feed people when I can and answer their questions openly and honestly without judgement.

    Do I want to judge? Yes. Do I want to cry out for the murder of innocent creatures? Yes. Do I think that approach helps? No. Not in my experience.

    I wish we as a community would embrace one another more and be supportive. It's a gradual change for some and most of us were on the other side at some point in our lives. I have many friends who are not veggie who either have become vegan after years of my gentle influence, or eat many more plant-based meals because I have opened them up to options.

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    Posted by gillbean40 at 04/29/14 03:33:55

    Hi, I would have to agree totally with both of you. I am new to being vegan and find the comments of some people with regard to ditching your partner or family because they aren't vegan absolutely ridiculous. I mean come on people we aren't in a cult here just doing our best one by one to try to change things for the better and surely we should be encouraging anyone who thinks they would like to be vegan not putting them down for not being "vegan enough". This kind of attitude really does nothing to encourage anyone or to get positive attention for veganism.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 04/29/14 10:42:06

    Instead of thinking only about the feelings of vegans, vegetarians and those who eat meat and dairy products, how about the opinions of those being really made uncomfortable - on factory farms and in slaughterhouses?

    To remain silent in the face of injustice, cruelty and suffering is considered to be just as wrong as committing the acts themselves. If you see a human being raped, or a nation being bombed, is it best to look the other way?

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    Posted by The Hammer at 05/03/14 22:42:23

    Hmmm, interesting topic. I do agree with it to a certain extent, but come on, you can't blame vegans for being outspoken people, not everybody is like you.

    If your partner is non vegan or whaetever, that really is a personal decision, right? So i agree with you. BUT when you bring it up in a vegan forum or a vegan metup group, you open the door for other vegan people to comment at that. For me, i have been married to a non vegan, and i don't recommend it, so if i hear another vegan talking about a non vegan partner, sorry, but i like to voice my opinion and experience about the matter.

    Lastly, if you try to understand vegans, you might see that they are actually not preaching but simply expressing their opinion which happens to be diferent from yours hence you feel attacked.
    You expect that other people don't say what they think on such an important issue but rather try to insincerely please you?
    And rather than name calling (, rather insulting i would say...) it would be better to come with counter arguments.

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    Posted by The Hammer at 05/03/14 22:53:05

    The last part of my previous post is missing. LOL. Here it is again.

    ("vegan police" and "judgemental vegans" is rathre insulting i would say.)
    It would be better to come with counter arguments why being silent and trying to socially fit in with meateaters by pleasing them is better then standing up and speaking out about the issue and ruffle some feathers and, the horror, even upset people at the dinner table.

    Lastly, for me, i said it before, i am grateful to the confrontational vegans when i was a vegetarian, it did speed up my realisation that milk and eggs are also cruel and t5hanks to them, the vegan police, i became vegan soooo much more faster. IF they were pleasing and "nice" to me, maybe i still would be a vegetarian eating eggs and milk, and why not? If nobody ruffles my feathers, i will keep sleeping...

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    Posted by AllyG at 05/13/14 22:56:34

    I don't think I have to come up with "counter arguments" at all. I'm saying that vegans are judgemental towards OTHER VEGANS not vegetarians (although that does go on too).

    I just find some people on these forums really unsupportive of people wanting to be vegan. It doesn't really show loving support by attacking them.

    If I had a vegan challenge my vegetarianism I would really have thought they had issues. I had a gentle friend ask me "what's stopping you being vegan?" when I said I didn't like soy lattes she gave me suggestions (start with half and half etc or go cold turkey). Way better than preaching to be about milk production for cows! I know what goes on, and now my lifestyle doesn't promote or support the dairy industry.

    All I'm saying is be nice, be kind, make vegans welcome and be supportive. Don't attack or judge.

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    Posted by AndyT at 05/18/14 20:02:32

    I see both sides. On one hand, I might have gone vegan much earlier if the first vegans I encountered had not been totally confrontational and rude - they basically did not explain anything, but just said that being vegetarian is as bad as (or even worse than) being a meet eater.

    Had they patiently explained to me that a cow can only give milk if she is forcibly impregnated and her calf is taken away from her to be killed for veal every year (as I finally read in "Eating animals"), then I would have possibly gone vegan then (I went vegan the week I read that book, and have been ever since).

    So I must say, I am a bit miffed at those vegans I met (must have been 2 or 3) who just listened to me being vegetarian and either did not comment at all, or, took a totally aggressive stance without explaining anything.

    I personally had some very good experiences with vegetarians to which I explained that, and who went vegan afterwards because they - like myself - simply had not known before.

    HOWEVER ... when I explain this to a vegetarian, and s/he says "I KNOW ... and it is all very bad ... BUT I simply can not stand soy latte and I MUST have cheese" ... then my patience, understanding and "respect" also start getting thin... and I might start getting "judgmental"

    Best regards,

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    Posted by trinitybourne at 05/20/14 05:13:37

    Hi Ally,

    Congratulations on your transition.

    I am one of those long-term vegans who leads by example. I get people really curious and genuinely wanting to know more. I never think that animal cruelty is OK - never. But I do feel that if I build a real genuine connection with people, from the heart, without judgement, then we have an excellent to explore the truth from.

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

    I was a bit 'in-yer-face' in my early vegan days (about 20 years ago). I think I was just so horrified that anyone could even contemplate not caring and naively thought that all I had to do was inform people of their wrong-doing and they'd change. I quickly learnt that I was wrong and that being militant didn't help. I realised that resentment was doing a great disservice the whole cause. I was young and thankfully soon changed.


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