Disagreements with non-vegan sibling

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by PlantPoweredMermaid, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. PlantPoweredMermaid

    PlantPoweredMermaid New Member

    Dec 13, 2017
    +0 / 0 / -0
    My brother, who is three years younger than me (I am a teenager), seems to be very close-minded when it comes to the reasons for being an ethical vegan. He doesn't understand how the milk, egg, honey, etc. industries are cruel and often asks me why, so I give him a logical and clear explanation to which he just replies, "You don't have to take it out on me," for example, as if because I am vegan I am going to be pushy (you know the stereotype). Whilst I never push my views on him (I hardly ever talk about veganism unless he asks) I will answer his questions and tell him the truth about things, in a passive way. Out-of-the-blue he often says "Vegan meals don't appeal to me," as if he is creating negativity and making me feel bad.

    He also asked me about the health effects of animal products. After telling him he simply said, "I don't care if I get cancer one day, I'll enjoy my life while I still can." I think this is a really sad thing to say! Wouldn't it be a goal to live your life to the fullest, in abundance?

    Another thing I don't understand is that he doesn't think that exploiting sentient beings for meat and other animal products is cruel. I tell him I am vegan because humans do not have rights over other creatures and he doesn't agree with that. He doesn't believe that cruelty exists in these industries, and that animals are "killed quickly and painlessly". He tells me he has done the research and seen videos, but I don't think he has. I outlined that milk is for baby cows, and shouldn't be taken by humans, but he shook his head as if he couldn't argue and just said "I'm not interested." When he asked me why honey is unethical I read out an article to him that was clear, then asked, "Does that answer your questions?", to which he replied "No." This, to me is ironic, because aren't vegans the ones to be 'close-minded' (note the sarcasm :laughing:)?

    Sorry for the rant, but does anyone else have to deal with people who know the truth about animal exploitation but don't really care? Or create negativity just because you are vegan? I know I have to be open to others' opinions and simply turn away, but sometimes it is hard because it makes me think my brother must be heartless!
  2. VjohnV

    VjohnV Member

    Jan 25, 2018
    +3 / 0 / -0
    I have dealt with a lot of those, i usually just back down. For the open minded, many different people can have some affect on them, but for the close minded i think only certain people will have an affect, i know some people who are in a relationship where one partner is vegan and the other is not, the vegan partner, with what ever he/she does and eats and says, has no affect on the non-vegan partner, but, "outside" people or one specific person has a huge affect..

    So, maybe you just aren't that person for him, maybe someone else will cause him to open his mind, maybe he will open his mind by himself..
  3. Forest Nymph

    Forest Nymph Active Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    Northern California
    +608 / 1 / -14
    Your brother might be at an age (if you are both teens and you are three years the elder) where he will say "No" to anything and be nasty to his sister just to see her get upset, because he can. I know it's a hard thing to accept, but it could be a phase he is going through (hopefully) where he likes to think of himself as edgy and rebellious and dark, so I think the best way to deal with a boy of his particular age is to seem to really ENJOY your vegan food...make it seem FUN and COOL...bring your pretty girl friends over to laugh and bake vegan cupcakes together and ignore vegan bands like The Smiths, Rise Against, Ariana Grande, Avril Lavigne, or PJ Harvey and act insanely HAPPY. Just be as positive as your possibly can and make it look like you're much super-cooler than him and completely unconcerned with his negativity, and he may become vegan next year.

    But as long as you act like it bothers you, he will kill animals like it's hot.

    I'm sorry, but it's just the truth about teens of a certain age, particularly males. Luckily many people grow out of this horrible phase of life.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

    Jul 2, 2016
    +188 / 2 / -1
    That may well be good advice.

    With your brother, you have years to convince him. Therefore, you have the luxury of trying to get him to go first reducetarian and then vegetarian and then vegan - if you think that's more effective and realistic.

    You also can afford to work the arguments slowly over the years as well. There is less need to question someone's morality when you have years to slowly convince someone.

    If you get nowhere at least you have, by being the first, broken down the initial barrier of vegan just being too radical. The first person that tries to convince someone of some minority opinion is more easily dismissed. When it's more than one person people are more open minded to it. The second person can convince more easily, but the first was a part of the process.

    Most people of that age are not going to be vegan, because it's too much of a conceptual leap when society around them is saying something different.

    Just try and make sure he doesn't close his mind down to it. Try and get the conversation more along the lines of him deferring decisions to later rather than declaring he will never do it, and if says he will never be vegan, you can say that being vegetarian or only eating meat 1-2 times a week is still a great step forward in reducing animal suffering and environmental damage.

    I don't know your brother of course, so you can just judge for yourself if any of this makes sense.

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