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Thier reaction to your veganism and how you respond

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Nekodaiden, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member

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    Hi everyone.

    After reading through the forum a bit I have noticed the recurring theme of family/friends resistance to veganism, often just the idea of it rather than a reaction to it being promoted or pushed in any way. Not just on this forum, but on the internet in general, and to a limited extent in my life.

    It's limited for me because I live alone and usually eat alone. This last X mas I went to eat with some friends as I usually do this time of year. A few know I have gone Vegan, as I have told them. They are also big meat eaters - so I figured that there wasn't going to be much in the way of calories from plant based products at the meal, and I made sure to fill up before I went. When I arrived, I was right, a few potatoes and limited greens was all that was available. Had I come hungry, I might have deprived everyone else a chance to eat some veggies, hehe.

    No one commented on what I ate, but the host did jokingly make the comment "Not much to eat if you're a vegetarian eh?" with a chuckle.

    After dinner I had a conversation with a relative of his, and when I mentioned I was Vegan he got super defensive. I explained to him that I had done my research and why I was doing what I was. At no point did I criticize his or anyone else's eating habits.

    As a vegan, how often do you encounter this? Aggressive or defensive behavior on the part of people who are otherwise on good terms with you? How do you address the issue?

    I am curious and just started this thread to get people's thoughts.
     
  2. Nicky

    Nicky Member

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    I go to great pains not to be critical towards people, and I'm lucky enough only to really have had problems with one or two people who have become quite defensive. I am not a confrontational person, so when this happens I've just said something along the lines of "well, you eat what you like, and I'll eat what I like. How's work going?".

    This works well enough if all you want is a quiet life, but it's a long way from effective advocacy, and I do wish I had a better way of dealing with it. Even without commenting on someone else's eating habits, people can be surprisingly quick to take offence on behalf of the meat and dairy industries.
     
  3. poivron

    poivron Member

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    I think that the ones who get defensive are the ones most likely to go vegan themselves. They realize that their behavior is inconsistent with their principles, and they attack you for reminding them of this. I can't say I have ever dealt with such people in a smart and self-controlled way, but I think that if a vegan managed to respond to a defensive non-vegan with total compassion, they might put that person on the (long) path toward veganism.

    Melanie Joy suggests saying, "I'm vegan now, but for much of my life I wasn't", rather than just saying "I'm vegan." She makes other useful suggestions in one of her videos, entitled "How Vegans Can Create Healthy Relationships and Communicate Effectively." Check it out; it's on YouTube.
     
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  4. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    You get this more when you're passive. I'm VERY assertive and confrontational. I actually recommended that my JA neice could be helped by veganism. Her father is one of the people who speak to me regularly, and not because he's vegan, or my brother (he's not) but because he suspected I was right! My mom is flexitarian, she eats veggie burgers and drinks coconut milk but eats fish (sad face) ....but people respond best when you're assertive. My family is from West Virginia, they're not nice people but not necessarily from California where I've spent most of my adult life (which also approves veganism, which I sought out actively) ...yeah not everyone is Cheers...that songs welcomes a lot of people that would surprise you...but what might surprise you most is that it's not you....I'm lucky that I'm a welcomed weirdo...because that's exactly what I am.....I've always thought about people who are disabled severely, or overly passive...because no one like that ever gets an easy time...they get harder times than us rebels.
     
  5. Forest Nymph
    Old Hag

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Maybe I'm very lucky but my mother is very fourth type....you're just like your dad's sister or your grandpa's father. It's common in the Old South ....it's funny because because people hate the South....those people hate the New South....the Old South is one of the most gentle, forgiving, artistically centered, validating institutions ever. Didn't you people see Fried Green Tomatoes or Sweet Home Alabama? We're the long suffering mother in mother!...
     
  6. Forest Nymph
    Old Hag

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Even as a child I saw that Weezie had a harder time getting her turn at bat.
     
  7. Dan
    Wisdomatic

    Dan Member

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    I know this is off subject, but what if Vegans could enjoy real dairy without feeling guilty about it?
    How, you may ask, would this be possible? Well, by using traditional, natural methods of course.

    Hear me out.
    I come from a country that has strong agricultural traditions, where nearly every household would at some point have owned a cow. These cows were held to provide owners with milk and calves. The cows would be impregnated naturally by local bulls and would give birth naturally to healthy calves. Owners would feed and care for these cows very well.

    In winter they would give them warm stables full of hay and straw whilst in summer all the cows of every town would be rallied every morning and cared for by groups of young men. These men would take the cows to large, open fields to graze on lush grass and then return the cows to their homes at sun-down. Some cows could find their own way home, or the owners themselves would go after them. My own aunty would go out every single evening to get her cow and guide her home.
    Once the cows gave birth to calves, the owners would feed the cows with all the nutrients they would need to make the necessary milk for her calf. The cows would feed their calves in the evenings until they were full, and any milk left over was milked by the owners. Some cows produced many litres of 'leftover milk' because they produced so much of it in their udders, but not because they were genetically modified to produce loads of milk, but because it was natural. Any well-fed mammal produces a bountiful supply of milk for her young if she has the right amount of food.

    [​IMG]
    This is EXACTLY the kind of fields the cows would be taken to feed during summer. These fields would be many, many acres big.

    The calves would at some point be sold to other people who would either use them for the same purpose as their mothers or use them as bulls to fertilize cows. Now, on some occasions, the calves were left to grow and then cut for meat, but no-one there was a vegan, so it's understandable. This brings me over to my point- what if NO calves were EVER killed? Would Vegans find it acceptable to drink the milk that would essentially be the 'leftovers' of a healthy mother if it did no-one any harm? If so, what if a dairy farm like this was made?

    I am not a Vegan, but I still hate the conditions dairy farms keep their cows in, and what they do to calves is immoral. If I was to create a dairy business where all the cows had many, many large fields to roam, full of lush vegetation to eat, at night came home to a warm stable and raised their calves naturally and healthily, would you buy the milk sourced from these cows? Especially if it was obtained using traditional methods-by hand- and not using painful mechanical extractors? The calves would not be starved of their milk, the cows won't be pressured and stressed to give out as much as possible. Calves would be left to grow up and support the business if they were female or go on to become pedigree fathers if they are males. Either way, they would live a good, stress-free life. None would be sold or killed for meat.

    Would you Vegans support this? I mean, the only reason you don't consume dairy is because of the inhumane ways it is obtained, right? So if dairy is obtained by not using these inhumane ways and instead by the natural, stress-free and healthy ways I have described, would you buy the dairy? Would you support a business like this? It could be like your own prestige brand that Vegans could buy from. Sure other dairy would be cheaper, but is it obtained the way you want it to be? Even non-Vegans could buy from this brand of dairy simply because of the humane and natural way the milk is made. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
     
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  8. poivron

    poivron Member

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    The milk the cow produces is meant for the calf. If you don't steal the milk from the calf and only take, as you say, what is left over after the calf has had all he or she wants, then that will be a very small amount of milk. If you then sell that, it will have to be extremely expensive. Only a tiny minority of people will be able to afford it. The world simply doesn't have enough resources for every human to continue to drink milk every day using the methods you advocate.

    Moreover, like humans, cows are only fertile for a part of their lives. What happens to a cow when she stops producing milk? Are you going to keep supporting all these cows and bulls in their old age, even when they're no longer useful to you? How much are you going to have to charge for your milk to cover all these costs?

    Having been vegan for close to five years, I no longer see animals, or things that come out of their bodies, as food. The idea of drinking the milk produced by a cow for its calf grosses me out as much as the idea of drinking the milk produced by a woman who has just given birth to a baby. It's simply wrong.

    There are also environmental considerations. Cows produce methane, which is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. The more cows you keep, and the longer you keep them, the more methane you will be putting into the environment.

    Finally, there is the health aspect. The milk that a cow produces is full of hormones that are designed to help a calf grow into an adult cow. Research increasingly shows that when humans ingest this milk, these hormones cause cancer cells to grow. Drinking the milk of a cow is unnatural for humans. We didn't evolve drinking it, which is why it stresses our bodies.

    I think that you are starting to realize that animal exploitation is wrong, but you can't yet imagine giving up the foods you have loved all your life, and the traditions you have grown up with. Give yourself some time. If you go so far as to actually try veganism, perhaps cutting out one animal product at a time, I think you will eventually come to the realization that the vegan way of life is the most compassionate, and that we simply don't need to exploit animals. Similarly, if you actually try to start such a farm, I think you will find, as other compassionate farmers have, that animal farming is intrinsically exploitative. Just because something was done by our ancestors doesn't mean it's intrinsically good and that we need to continue doing it.

    ETA: By the way, it's not polite to derail threads like this by posting irrelevant content. I see that you tried to derail another thread as well. The right way to post your question would have been to make a thread in "Introduce Yourself". This is a vegan forum, and posting anti-vegan material repeatedly in unrelated threads does not make a good impression. If you absolutely have to drink milk, go right ahead. No one is forcing you to be vegan. But going around challenging vegans, derailing our discussions, and trying to shove your love of cow's milk down our throats reveals an amazing level of disrespect. I won't be responding to your posts any longer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  9. Dan
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    Dan Member

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    I was not challenging anyone. I was asking for an opinion. It's an idea that came through my mind and I wanted to see what others thought of it. In fact, I was merely educating myself, because I had a feeling someone like you would take the time to explain things to me that I didn't understand before.
    This was not anti-vegan material. It was something that I thought would intrigue people. I am not trying to derail discussions, or shove my love of cow's milk down your throats. I am not disrespecting others. I merely made a suggestion. You think I went through all that trouble to write all that so I can mock Vegans? No!
    It's something I thought would help those who love dairy but are torn between eating it or giving it up to help the cows. I am not expecting you or anyone else who is as dedicated to being vegan to agree fully with my idea. I know some people who feel terrible about the treatment of the dairy cows but find it difficult to resort to being vegans. I thought my 'idea' could be a solution that they'd like. I may have been wrong. I may yet be right. I posted to get opinions and deduce whether it is a needed thing.
    And as for posting irrelevant content on discussions, I am new to this forum, so I don't know where to post things I want to discuss. I started a conversation, but I wasn't sure if it was open to the public. I just chose this discussion because it is an active and recent one where someone would surely see my post and give me their view.

    Stop trying to lash out at the inexperienced when it comes to talking about the subjects of veganism. I could have actually been a vegan who thought they'd come up with an answer to some people's problems.
     
  10. rogerjolly
    Breezy

    rogerjolly Active Member

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    Hi Dan,

    I read Poivrons’ reply to you before she added her ETA and thought, “Hey, a perfect and very sympathetic and understanding response. No need for me to put in my tuppence worth.”

    You should not be offended by the ETA. I am sure you will understand that double posting is anathema not just on this site but on all discussion groups on all topics throughout the internet.

    Also the introduction of off topic posts can be very irritating and a total distraction from what is supposed to being discussed. I once read on a scuba diving site, “Hey, get off my thread.”

    Anyway, no tuppence worth from me on this thread but you might like to look at “How to respond to this argument” posted by Rory in General which was started way back in early November. :)

    Roger.

    ETA Sorry, wrong thread. Should be “How would you feel about drinking milk ….” even further back to late September and currently on page two. But do see both.

    Roger.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  11. Dan
    Wisdomatic

    Dan Member

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    Alex.

    You're not funny. Why are you doing this? You are just trying to **** people off. Just stop. You're dissing is weak and pointless.
     
  12. Damo
    Mellow

    Damo Administrator Staff Member

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    Seems to be mostly schools/colleges that troll, use the report button just in case I happen to miss anyone.

    @Dan I see you're using the same network, if your intention is to troll I'd advise against it... We can easily contact your college to report abuse.
     
  13. rogerjolly
    Breezy

    rogerjolly Active Member

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    Hi Damo,

    I would like to publicly thank you for your resilience in dealing with trolls of the possible, probable and definite varieties. You have the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon. :)

    But what a shame some people lead such sad wasted lives.

    Roger.
     
  14. Dan
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    Dan Member

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    Damo,
    I am not trolling. Alex is a colleague of mine who thinks he is being funny. I apologise on his behalf. He seems to think his 'puns' are 'legendary'. I told him to stop being stupid and to not be disrespectful, but he wouldn't listen. I hope you understand that the only reason I even posted anything on this thread in the first place was because I had something I wanted people's opinions on. I shouldn't have suggested my off-topic discussion here, but I am new to these chat forums and don't know exactly know where certain things should be posted. I now know what I should have done in the first place.
     
  15. Dan
    Wisdomatic

    Dan Member

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    Roger,

    Regarding your reply to my first post, I did not understand the outrageousness of double posting at the time of my post. I was just really eager to get people to see my post and give me their thoughts on it so I could educate myself. I never was offended by the ETA either. I was just surprised that people took my post the wrong way and that they thought I was trying to disrespect and change the topic.
     
  16. poivron

    poivron Member

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    Now that you and your friend have succeeded in derailing this thread completely, if you're not a troll, why don't you respond to the points I made? You have conveniently ignored them, so here they are once again:

    In the meantime, I thought of another point, which is related to the second paragraph above. On an old-fashioned farm, you would only need one or two bulls to impregnate the cows to get them to produce milk. On your hypothetical farm, approximately half your cattle would have to be bulls, because you wouldn't be able to slaughter the calves. Given that at least two thirds of your cows would be infertile (either too young or too old), only a sixth of your cattle would be producing milk at best. Since the calves would be allowed to have as much of their mother's milk as they wish, this means you would get a tiny amount of milk for the number of cattle on your farm. I'm imagining prices like $1,000 per carton of milk. Good luck making that work!

    Incidentally, your idea is not new or original. It's one of the first objections meat-eaters come up with when they first meet a vegan -- as if all the factory-farmed animal products they eat came from such hypothetical, impossible farms, and as if the mere idea that such a farm could potentially exist made all the horrific suffering that produces the food they love so much acceptable.

    ETA: Here is an article featuring sixteen former dairy and/or meat farmers who have gone vegan:
    https://freefromharm.org/animal-pro...er-meat-dairy-farmers-became-vegan-activists/
    Many of them tried very hard to run a humane farm but found it was either not profitable, or not truly humane in the end.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  17. Damo
    Mellow

    Damo Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks Roger.

    Yep, there's certainly a lot of people out there with a lot of time on their hands.
     
  18. rogerjolly
    Breezy

    rogerjolly Active Member

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    Hi Nekodaiden,

    Congratulations. It looks as though you have got your thread back. ;)

    Yes, I believe that both aggression and defensiveness are common reactions. But there is another element sometimes encountered especially from family members.

    People do not understand commitment to veganism. My father was killed in WW2 during the invasion of Sicily. My mother had never felt able to visit his grave so I arranged to accompany her to Agira some thirty years ago. She asked me if I would give up being vegan for two weeks while we made the trip. The reasoning being that it would be so much more convenient when travelling. It was as if veganism were just a diet that could be switched on and off at will. Just one of those fads that has gone on much longer than it should.

    Roger.
     
  19. VjohnV

    VjohnV Member

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    For me the initial reaction is mostly fine, people usually say things like: oh really? nice, good for you, i wish i could be vegan too..

    A lot of times people actually tell me that they are vegetarian or used to be vegan/vegetarian and had to stop for some bad reason..

    But, the moment they understand that i do not eat at tables that have non-vegan products on them, they usually start saying: oh thats radical, thats too far, its too much, you cant do things like that, etc..
     
  20. Lesley

    Lesley Member

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    Family and friends have been pretty supportive of my move to veganism. I'm very assertive so will close them down if they do make negative comments or absurd statements.

    It's a handful of co-workers I have the biggest challenge with. Their comments are reactive and ignorant. I just tune them out completely now, their opinions aren't important to me.
     

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