I just made an account on a vegan forum - called veggieboards - and got permanently banned for the first thread I made. The reason for my ban? "not being a vegetarian." Now, I take issue with this for several reasons, the least of which being that I, personally, was banned.
I gave no indication whatsoever that I'm not a vegetarian. This was merely assumed by reading my post, where I questioned the ethics of consuming oysters.
So I'm not a vegetarian, but I am considering looking into the subject. So I said "ok then, I guess I'm not interested," and have went on with my life eating meat. I've recently thought about considering vegetarianism again, but every time, I just think of how terrible the vegetarian community is, and how I want nothing to do with those people. And it would be impossible for someone like me to make such a conversion without support from others.
If you spend your entire life as a vegan, but you push away two other people from becoming vegan, then you have ultimately done more harm to animals and the environment than any meat eater could have hoped to do. I want people to consider this when dealing with meat eaters.
Posted by gingergrace at 05/12/15 08:55:39I definitely agree! I think that the action of whoever removed you doesn't speak for the vegetarian/vegan community in general but for a particular type of person. Just like there are good and not so good meat eaters, there are good and not so good vegetarians/vegans. The label doesn't separate us. I have witnessed in some cases vegetarians/vegans labeling themselves as somewhat higher up, or unable to be around or understand meat eaters. I think this does hurt the cause. On the other hand, I have witnessed more frequently vegetarians/vegans who are very accepting and ready to share their knowledge with anyone who is interested. I have always tried to be this type of vegan, as I was once not to long ago a meat eater myself. I have never had a problem being around people eating or cooking meat, I just simply go about my business and eat the way I believe is most compassionate. I have also experienced similar situations as you, except from the other spectrum... Where meat eaters have mocked me and attempted to make me feel very bad/stupid/wrong for being vegan. Like I said... It has to do with the person not the diet. In these cases I just make it clear that it's my choice.. and it's okay if they don't understand. By being this way I feel more people feel comfortable asking me about veganism and my reasons for doing it, instead of being turned off by it. I think that if you are considering being vegetarian, you should do it for your own personal beliefs and disregard others. That way, when someone (regardless of the decision you make) questions or is rude about what diet you have, you know you have your own reasons for doing it.. and not because someone bullied you away from the idea (which really sucks that they did, I'm sorry!). Always know you CAN find a community to support your decision, whether through peta staff.. people on Instagram.. here, etc. I would be happy too. I highly recommend looking into the reasons you want to stop eating meat... and maybe watching some documentaries (vegeducated is great, or others on netflix) to see if you want to support the choices and ideals behind going vegetarian. I don't think you will be disappointed, and it will make your decision much easier.. and you will feel comfortable with whatever decision you make. I wish you all the best and I'm sorry for your unfortunate experience with someone from this community!
Posted by Carrot_Biter at 05/13/15 02:26:06That sucks. This community of all should welcome new people to it with open arms.
The more of us the better!
The reason for defensive attitudes like that, I believe, might come from the fact that many of us vegetarians and vegans are constantly questioned or even harrassed by non-vegetarians because of our choices. I'm not referring to you in specific, but having to defend their choices makes people defensive.
Of course, if you went there with the sincere intention of wanting to convert to being a vegetarian then the banning was totally uncalled for.
I hope you'll be able to find more welcoming vegetarians to connect with, 'cause they're out there.
Posted by Unnamed Narrator at 05/14/15 12:31:55Even if you were questioning any and all aspects of vegetarianism / veganism, I still welcome you into any conversation anytime.
Too often we see subcultures of people who prop up echo chambers around themselves to hear only opinions they already agree with to solidify the ideals they already have. This is usually the result of fear. Fear that they may have to defend something they don't understand because they may not have given it much thought in the first place.
We don't all have to read a physics book every day and sit around talking about gravity to be sure that it truly exists. Likewise, we don't all have to sit here and pat each other on the back for avoiding the animal industry when we all know that - as humans - our interests are absolutely self-serving whether we admit it or not.
I wont apologize to you on behalf of the "vegan community" because I cannot speak for the "vegan community" and many vegans I have encountered are people I won't be associated with in any way other than our coincidental appreciation for a diet which we believe promotes health and (we believe) minimizes abuses towards animals.
Akin to gravity, I can only appreciate and defend a vegan diet because I am living and feeling the benefits as such.