Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I thought I would toss out this question so we HappyCow members can have a positive debate about the best way to get others to consider being vegetarian.
I know opinions vary wildly on this subject, and range from aggressive action to simply living a healthy, peaceful life and hoping it rubs off on others.
Many of us, myself included, have gone through various stages over the years, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts about which way works the best overall.

Responses (22)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by shearwater at 11/08/09 13:37:43

    There's no one right method. Different actions reach different people. Sometimes more subdued approaches like press releases and letters are enough to change minds. Sometimes more aggressive protests and controversial campaigns get the message out better. The media often focuses only on shocking stunts, then question their effectiveness. That's the point - it got them talking about issues they were till then mostly ignoring.

    A cause is stronger when it has a diversity of people, ideas, and tactics. It always saddens me when I hear in-fighting between people working towards the same goal, each trying to get others to do things their way, to limit their cause to only one tactic. During a couple of local controversies I started people would ask me what I wanted them to do. I would ask them what they wanted to do. It's along the lines of the old adage "don't put all your eggs in one basket" - not that a vegan would ever put eggs in anything.

    We got a lot of new and creative ideas that way. It also allowed people not comfortable with one method to put their energy and talents into something they were comfortable with. And when one method failed or started to become less effective there was always another one emerging.

    We need less leaders and more individuals. We need writers and debaters as much as we need screaming protesters and shocking stunts. And of course, we all must live a good example for others to witness.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by fcp at 03/26/10 10:56:41

    People automatically get defensive, talking about 100,000 years of evolution with men eating meat and that our system doesn't digest cellulose, like cows do.

    I don't try to convert anybody; just mentioned that I had high cholesterol, started to cut back on meats and realized that being vegetarian wasn't too difficult (and felt like the right thing).

    Now, if the meat eating person defends ecology causes and/or is disgusted by bullfights, you may kindly point out to the idiosyncrasy: Nothing has a greater impact on the environment than cutting back on meat and Bullfighting bulls are raised in far more humane conditions than the ones people eat. And... at least they have a chance: if the bull wins, he will never fight again and will be used for reproduction only.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/26/10 23:20:02

    This is a very good post :D
    There are many ways - directly, indirectly, subtly, fun and interesting, tough one ...
    Create the veg*n environment, talk about Veg*n Cuisine just like any other cuisines, let it be trendy and hip, let's there be more positive relaxing talks (not extreme debate) and then let other have a chance to find out for themselves , tap on other forces ...

    There is one thread in Vegetarian Society Singapore Forum with different ideas (sometime similar to this thread), if interested -

    On the whole, I find that there are quite a lot of potential areas haven't been explore to promote vegetarianism in a positive way.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/26/10 23:39:02

    More Vegetarian Eateries setup, more resources spend on developing the Veg*n Cuisine and let it be on par with other cuisines is one of the many inoffensive way of promoting vegetarianism.

    Veg*n Eateries must change the mindset, that veg*n cuisine is not just meant for veg*n, therefore, they will be able to create more innovative dishes that are appealing to meat-eater.

    "guide" meat-eater to see the beauty of this veg*n cuisine (as delectable, as health conscious, as green conscious, as something fun, the history of veg*n cuisine around the world, etc etc).

    Post Veg*n Food Reviews in a non-vegetarian environment, so as to market veg*n cuisine, to bring awareness, to share info on good veg*n Food.

    As long as, meat-eater do not feel we are out there to totally change their lifestyle (afterall - freedom of choice), they will be more receptive to vegetarian food (eating less meat is always better than eating more).

    Sometime, other find it real difficult to let go of meat with so much marketing and delectable non-veg stuff around. As long as they eat 60%-80% veggie diet, that is quite good already. Having 10,000 people eating one vegetarian meal a day is almost equivalent to 3000 vegetarian.

    Create the demand for veg-choices at non-veg eateries, so that veg*n diet are given some importance.

    Share Veg Food Info/happenings/experiences globally, for more inspiration ...

    More free Veg*n cooking classes/workshop ...
    Develop more veg*n cuisine with the kid or teens in mind, there will be the future vegetarian.

    Encourage meat-eater friendly to dine at veg*n eateries or have a veg-option meal at a non-veg eateries ...

    Free veg*n food for Fun Fair or Charity events or other events ...

    Healthy eating info made available ...

    Set up more Vegetarian Food Hunting (locally or globally) Meet-up Group ...

    There are still lots more ... :D

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/06/10 20:14:42

    As a vegetarian, I would try my best to give constructive feedbacks to Non-Veg Eateries or Hotels or Airports for Veg*n Options or ideas for Veg*n Food (suitable for Meater and Veg*n too) etc ...

    Sometimes, we need to play a part to let the WORLD know about our existence, tell the WORLD what we want and make it a more beautiful WORLD for Veg*n ETC ...

    Only when Veg*n become mainstream that the WORLD would be more beautiful for Veg*n ETC ... and create a conducive environment for more to enjoy veg*n food and fall in love with it ...

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/06/10 20:35:01

    1. More FREE and FUN Veg*n Cooking Workshops/Gatherings for all different groups - kids/adult/newbies/...

    2. More interesting and informative articles (cookbook, book etc) on History of Vegetarianism, Vegetarian Food History (like Zen Temple Cooking, Korean Temple Food ...) ...

    3. Identify those Vegetarian Friendly Organizations such as
    * Tour Agency which provide good vegetarian food for package tours, or able to provide (or liaise) good vegetarian info for Veg*n Tourists, vote them as BEST Vegetarian Friendly Tour Agency etc

    * Schools that pro-vegetarianism and healthy eating,

    * Non-Eateries that come up with innovative or Fusion Vegetarian Food Creative by Non-Vegetarian CHEFS via cookbook, TV shows, cooking workshops, highlight those non-vegetarian eateries who are vegetarian friendly with GREAT Vegetarian Menu with assorted dishes ...

    4. Encourage non-veg*n cooking shop to include some veg*n dishes or sharing tips how what are the alternative substitutes for veganism the dishes, as the participants could encountered situation where they need to entertain veg*n guests in a non-vegetarian function/party.

    5. Encourage all non-vegetarian eateries in Airports be vegetarian friendly and have a good Veg*n Menu, as the number of Veg*n and health conscious eater globally is growing fast.

    6. Spot them young, train them young - have a more conducive environment for grooming younger veg*n and getting them to eat healthy etc

    7. Create more BUZZ ...

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/06/10 20:38:36

    Maybe a Vegetarian Museum

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/07/10 23:34:37

    Getting meat-eater to go for vegetarian food at vegetarian eateries is rather difficult.

    Not that they don't eat vegetarian food, just that, some don't like the concept of vegetarianism or vegetarian eateries.

    However, they are happy and have no rejection to eating veg*n food in non-vegetarian eateries!

    SO ....

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by prittykitty at 05/10/10 00:27:16

    I find that a lot of people just are heaps more open to becoming a vego after they're aware of two things:

    1: how bad meat is for the environment, and how much CO2 emissions they can save by reducing their meat intake

    2: that it's possible to have beautiful vegetarian/vegan meals - most of my friends are jealous of my school lunches every day, even though they're veg! tempeh balls in tomato sauce with homemade gnocchi, mmmmm

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/12/10 18:36:19

    Another way -

    With more Travel and Food Sites popping up, vegetarian dinning information are been asked in those forums etc by veg*n or non-veg*n travelling with veg*n.

    The only thing lacking in those sites - meat-eater aren't able to provide real good info right now.

    In term of promoting veg*nism, veg*n could venture into those sites to fill the gap. More inputs together with the right key-word can be another useful and powerful way.


  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/10/10 18:22:14

    Yes, there are people after understanding animal farming and those who really understand and care about the environment would be more receptive to veggie meal.

    For some, there is a "mental battle" going on - to go veggie or not to go veggie. Thee process can be so tough that eventually they just gave up to desire, unless there are many supporting factors around and encouragements.

    However, there are many who DOES NOT even UNDERSTAND or WANT TO UNDERSTAND about climate change. Even the 3R is such a chore to them and want they are used to is convenience (even does not mind paying for mineral water in supermarket), therefore, the idea of CO2 emissions will never sink in at all.

    To start them caring about environment means starting from the very basic - 3R.

    In order for this to work (go veg for environment) and have great effect - the first important criteria/foundation is - the awareness of environment friendly had gone deep and most people are into ways of trying to care for the environment.

    Does not mean, can't go via this direction but only "work" to a certain extend to serve its purposes and not solely hope this will bring wonders.

    It needs other ways and ideas from different people too to speed up the process.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/10/10 18:27:00

    Beautiful Veg*n meals is a good idea - and able to share this with more is kind of planting "vegetarian seeds" and with the helps from various platforms etc, it helps to path the way more easily.

    For some Buddhist Temples - they offer FREE vegetarian food.

    If there could be more volunteers (interested in this area and also with the Temple's supports) that can help to create more Veg*n Food with good presentations, sharing knowledge on veg*n food, healthy food, veg*n food culture etc,

    It can be fun and interesting plus informative and less offensive (when we talk about veg*nism and animals cruelties, the first impression for some meat-eaters is - are you saying I'm cruel and you are kind? kind of stuff - it straight away cut off the path to move on into more and indirectly build up many negativities ..., which is no good for everyone including the animals.)

    During the time frame when this is workable, need to seize the opportunities to do as much as possible. Afterwhich, the method will lose its power and the world would co-act with some other stuff.

    So, the rule of the game (promoting veg*nism is always changing base on the situations etc)...

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/10/10 18:29:18

    So, to really promote veg*nism, it is not so simple - need deep understanding of human nature and how to go about doing it via innovative ways (many, different for different people) ----- apply the "psychology" methods with lots of understandings and using different strategies.

    Understanding this, we will be very calm in dealing with various "funny" comments/criticisms and excuses from meat-eaters and how the world works.

    With the help of the component - "Marketing", it might be able to make this world a more beautiful world.

    We really need MORE people in this area. Unfortunately, I am not the one, however, I will do whatever within my means.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/10/10 18:39:02

    This world has its own law of nature ... which is beyond our control ...

    However, positive energies can be added and maybe it can help to make it a much beautiful world. Even it might not change much, at least those 50 BILLION land animals that are being eaten ANNUALLY, know that there are people who want, trying to help them ...

    Maybe, use the power of "Hundredth Monkey Effect" and "Butterfly Effect" ...

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/12/10 18:58:09

    What happened in my country is that - Vegetarian Eatery or Vegetarian Stall is available in Tertiary Education Institution (like University, Polytechnic).

    Even some secondary schools - one of them is the Top/Elite School, have vegetarian stall in the school canteen. Are the vegetarian students' population in the secondary school a lot, in fact - No. It is more towards - cultivating healthy eating.

    It has been featured in some local newspapers but wasn't catching much attention - after all it is local media featuring it locally for the local. I wonder, if it is a foreign "media" interviewing or featuring it in a different way, would it be a different story ...

    In a way, vegetarianism is spreading very fast now ...

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/12/10 19:11:41

    Lately we see more and more other organizations are pro-vegetarianism in here - there are many such creative events held indirectly promoting veg*n in a fun ways, like ...

    * There was even a FREE Vegetarian Cooking Demo by a Meat Eatery/Cooking School at a special event at the Museum (Open House).

    Advertisement/Exhibits by Supremaster
    * We see some of the public transport buses with "Go Green" /"Climate Change" advertisements painted on big buses that move around the heartlands, city and airport. We see such big advertisement on advertisement panel near bus-stops in town. These advertisements are from supremaster group I think:

    I took a photo of the bus-stop,

    Lately, I spot their Go Veg Exhibition in a Public Library in a heartlands.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/12/10 19:19:59

    If I am not wrong, there are also Buddhists (non-vegetarian) who based on their religion teaching - on RIGHT LIVEIHOOD, open Vegetarian Eateries, even they haven't be a vegetarian fully yet.

    There are people who are not fully vegetarian and in putting effort in promoting veg*nism, maybe with some more encouragements/supports/time/spaces or ..., they would be overcome the difficulties and be a full veg*n in the near future.

    So, this maybe another area to look into ...

  • evelyn68's avatar
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    Posted by evelyn68 at 05/13/10 04:01:30

    there are the some people who is vegetrian but some take meet. Vegetrians food is good for our good health.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/19/10 19:04:55

    Yes, there are people who eat mostly plant-based meal (health conscious) and eat very little meat might think "Vegetarian" is the word to use ...

    Maybe they don't know what word to use or didn't really understand the meaning of "Vegetarian" or they get the wrong idea from incorrect sources.

    Maybe, it is the lack of awareness.
    I guess NOT ONLY vegetarian community(etc )could bring such awareness, other non-vegetarian organisation etc too

    In comparison, the vegetarian communities contact with Meat-eaters is very limited, as what in vegetarian communities that attract or what things the meat-eater look for or interested in or valued is in our area that draw them to willing to spend time knowing us?

    There is one such NON-VEGETARIAN Restaurants, I discovered have a SHORT and INFORMATIVE info on different diet type (organic, vegetarian, blood type etc) in their MENU - Six Senses Hideaway Samui - Dinning on the Hill (their lunch menu -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 05/19/10 19:26:47

    "Vesak Day" Celebration
    We have a public holiday known as "Vesak Day", usually in May. Today, when I read the newspaper, our big local supermarket has a promotion for "Vesak Day" Celebration - a list of Vegetarian Products available in the supermarket is entitled to discount.

    Different people would have different feel on this, but it would be nice to go a little deeper to discover ...

    Phuket Vegetarian Festival
    In Phuket, there is yearly event - Phuket Vegetarian Festival - the tourists going there are non-vegetarian.

    World Vegetarian Day
    World Vegetarian Day - some vegetarian eateries give promotion on that day or even hold a special event. I remember reading in a newsletters, that one eatery only offer DISCOUNT to VEGEATARIAN, Maybe I read it wrongly or misunderstand it - WHY Vegetarian ONLY? Would Meat-eater go as they are not a Vegetarian and an event exclusive for vegetarian or would they pretend I am a Vegetarian?

    Besides, there is Earth Day, World Organic Day ...., SO ....

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Chase Morgan at 09/26/10 14:51:18

    On an individual basis I just mention Im vegan then it generally follows with the question why so It doesnt make them feel attacked if they open the discussion then i talk about the benefits and how easy it actually was when i truly made the commitment

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    Posted by AndreasHarkiolakis at 12/07/11 23:28:20

    Hi, i tried through a previous blog i had to promote vegetarianism, by explaining through karma the effects of eating.. Ironically i had no response with this poem but with another site i had that lacked more facts i got turned one person into vegetarianism, at least that was the reply i received.

    Vegetarianism poem, poem about vegetarianism.

    They look on them down, as they are not worthy a crown,
    they bind them in fences whilest waiting for them to frown, most of them live to become fat, to be sloughtered and in our toilets drown, a vegetarian lifestyle would send the big companies underground.

    All living beengs are different organs working for the external body organization, as the out must be seen in inner unification, like the pigs who are the heart in pink decoration, who have no perspiration, who eats from the earths stomach area nutrition, if one eats different animals one through the karmic reaction destroys ones own so that one ends up in hospitalization for diseased condition. By performing this meat eating violation ones inner digestion transforms into elimination as animals of the north that we to them perform destruction have inner digestion (for more on this explanation see the animals who are in comparisation with the africans and the same with the dead southern materialization) as they are of the beengs who intake nutrition, something that by us eating them through karma we become fat so our own turns into unmanifestation as lava/magma is much more in quantity in the southern nation..

    The priests look at animals in degradations, though they are not following the orders of not abiding to money relations, that must be first of all said to be for sensual gratifications, what they claim that animals only have as their life foundations, as if they don't own other different pleasure principles of interested actions. The greeks in the beginning had advanced philosophical speculations, with their great civilizations, then the civil wars arised is what we learn from history lessons, the westerns work job transformations because of lamentations and exhaustions, because of these dualifications I claim the western animals as the higher creations, as they have found happiness based by their concentrations, that is the only path towards self realizations.

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