Grandma's Reaction - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-20-2010, 06:01 AM
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My grandma lives in Poland and even though I try to vosot her every year this happened on the phone...

My dad told her that I wasn't wating meat anymore, not sure what his intention or point was in saying anything since I haven't even bought my plane tickets for the next trip yet but he did. So, then she called me and started questions. I mentioned some health stuff and then started talking about AR stuff. And I should have never mentioned AR... She got upset that I would think it was terrible that animals were held in cages without any room since (and I am translating) "when I was transported in a cattle car for two weeks with no food and a barrel to ___ and s___ in, dead bodies around me, no knowing whether I was going to my death, no one wanted to save me. If I can experience that so can the animals."

After that I said I am sorry and you are right and stumbled off the phone. What should have I said? I mean, I think I will stick to health reasons although those arguments were getting nowhere with her since she is very old school but now I feel like I have offended her and she is updet at me. Sigh, any advice about how to fix things with grandma. I don't want her to hate me or think me insensitive... and I know this will come up again. How can I handle it then?

By the way, my grandma was transported like that to a Soviet work camp in Kazahstan during WWII and did not get released until the late 50s.

ÂNothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul. - Oscar Wilde
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#2 Old 10-20-2010, 06:20 AM
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I am sorry that your Grandmother had to go through that.
And I really do not wish to sound harsh when I say this as I wouldnt wish anyone in this world to have to suffer like that but, just because a person has had hard times in life it doesnt justify wishing others (whether it be animals or other humans) would suffer to.
She should be happy that youre are so compassionate that you want to help end the suffering of a living thing.

If you speak to her reguarly then I would suggest just testing the waters, perhaps shes going to let it go, and if she doesnt bring it up again and seems to be ok with you then why rock the boat again.
In reguards to comparing what your GM went through to animals, just make it very clear that you are not doing that.
Say something like:
I cannot rectify what happened to you and no one should have to go through what you did, but I can make a difference today, tomorrow and in the future. I hope you can admire my strong morals...
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#3 Old 10-20-2010, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

I am sorry that your Grandmother had to go through that.
And I really do not wish to sound harsh when I say this as I wouldnt wish anyone in this world to have to suffer like that but, just because a person has had hard times in life it doesnt justify wishing others (whether it be animals or other humans) would suffer to.
She should be happy that youre are so compassionate that you want to help end the suffering of a living thing.

Agreed.

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#4 Old 10-20-2010, 06:53 AM
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I completely agree with Goth Alice too.
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#5 Old 10-20-2010, 08:19 AM
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Like you said, your Gran is old school so she is really going to struggle to understand people being this concerned about animals when no-one seemed to give a damn about her suffering at the time. Fifty or sixty years later it still cuts like a knife for her, poor thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkwingDuckie View Post

Sigh, any advice about how to fix things with grandma. I don't want her to hate me or think me insensitive... and I know this will come up again. How can I handle it then?

Just avoid discussing it if you can, but if she asks you why you care so much about animals, perhaps you could explain to her that there are still atrocities being carried out against human beings even today which it's hard for other humans to do anything about, which you also care about, but helping animals is easier for you, it's within your power to do something about it. It doesn't mean that you don't care about the human atrocities, just like it doesn't mean that you or other people don't care about what she suffered through.

Perhaps you could send your Gran a card or a letter and some flowers or something and tell her you love her and explain the above to her. Sometimes it's easier to write these things down than to bring it up on the phone.

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#6 Old 10-20-2010, 10:58 AM
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It's rather strange she came to the conclusion that since she suffered animals should suffer in the same way, I would have thought the experience would have had the opposite effect.

Maybe you could tell her that knowing how she suffered is what inspired you to be compassionate to all living things? Everyone wants to be an inspiration.

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
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#7 Old 10-20-2010, 11:04 AM
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I agree with Alice. That's terrible that your Grandma had to go through that If I had been on the phone, I would say said "Since you experienced it, why would you want anyone else to go through that? Most people have sympathy after going through pain and suffering. By saying the animals can go through it, you're basically saying what they did to you was okay. Was it okay?"
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#8 Old 10-20-2010, 11:15 AM
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I'm not sure where she gets the idea that nobody wanted to save her. If that was the case, she wouldn't be here.
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#9 Old 10-20-2010, 12:28 PM
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Are you sure your Grandma's actually angry with you? Because it seems strange...just as her argument - don't want to sound disrespectful, but I agree with the comments above - shouldn't her own experience prove that no one deserves such sufferings? Although, of course, I believe when you say Grandma's oldschool - most of them are like that, and you won't be able to change her mind or world view, no matter how well-argumented... That's just how it is with old people mostly

If I were you, I'd try to touch this subject as less as possible. And even the topic breaks out, maybe better argue over some other aspects (like health) rather than caged animals' suffering at CAFOs...

Good luck!!!
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#10 Old 10-20-2010, 12:37 PM
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Well said Alice.

Our Generation has had no Great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives.
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#11 Old 10-20-2010, 12:51 PM
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I think maybe you touched a nerve. She was horrified to think she might be causing animals to suffer in the terrible way she did, so her natural reaction was to fight that idea. The description may also have bought back bad memories for her which made her upset and angry. I think it would be good for you two to talk further and sort things out
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#12 Old 10-20-2010, 01:41 PM
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I'll probably alk to her this weekend and try to sort things out although I am more worried about when I visit her since she loves to cook and I don;t want to be disrespectful but I will cross that road when I get to it. Thanks for all the wonderful advice.

Oh, and the reason she got out of teh labor camp is because she ran away with some others, not because anyone "rescued" her. That has been a huge pride thing with her... that she has survived her life and no one ever did anything for her, she did it all.

ÂNothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul. - Oscar Wilde
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#13 Old 10-20-2010, 02:36 PM
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Ooooh, good luck with Grandma's cooking also! Now that's going to be tough, I think... as far as I know, Polish cuisine is largely filled with different types of cooked meat At least here when I see posters on Polish food shops advertising Polish food, it basically shows like 10 types of fancy hams and sausages or something...

As for the labour camp part... I kinda can understand your Grandma actually. I'm Eastern European myself; 60 years after the most brutal Soviet ruling - and the labour camp topic is still extremely sensitive and polarised among our people...
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#14 Old 10-20-2010, 05:36 PM
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i think your grandmother should be very proud of how strong she managed to be in the face of a horrendous injustice and such a traumatic experience. i doubt i would have been able to get through such a thing. i'm sure you're very proud of her detirmination and sorry for what she suffered at the hands of other people.

do you think she could come to understand on a logical level that while you weren't there and able to help her when she was young, and while she's entitled to be very angry that nobody else did, you do have the opportunity to prevent some other living creatures from being traumatised on your behalf today, and you want to try? if she can, great- give her a hug and tell her how glad you are that she's in your life. if not, then maybe tell her you're sorry if you stirred up bad memories, that you didn't mean to upset her at all, and that you would love it if she could help you learn about cooking and adapt food so that you can continue to enjoy traditional things, without thinking sad thoughts about where some of the ingredients come from these days.
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