why are meat eaters defensive? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-25-2014, 03:28 PM
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why are meat eaters defensive?

Since most are,even when they act like they're not but it's obvious by how they talk? I find this interconnected with male dominance and think the only possible reason is on a level they may not be aware of,it threatens them to admit they are on the wrong path and what they are doing is wrong.
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#2 Old 08-25-2014, 05:56 PM
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Because they secretly know they are wrong.
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#3 Old 08-25-2014, 06:24 PM
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I don't find that most meat eaters are defensive. More often, when I have issues with meat eaters they seem like they just think they're super right to eat meat, but not in a defensive way.

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#4 Old 08-25-2014, 07:15 PM
 
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I think people are defensive when they feel they are being attacked. I would be.
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#5 Old 08-25-2014, 07:51 PM
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That's weird,i've found meat eaters to attack and be defensive far far more then vegans even when a vegan has done nothing,it's like they consistently are looking for something to feel superior.
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#6 Old 08-25-2014, 08:17 PM
 
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I've found that people are people no matter what they eat, do, believe, etc. Some people are threatened by differing or opposing views and others are not. Some people are pushy about their views and others are not. How we present ourselves has a lot to do with how people react to us.
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#7 Old 08-25-2014, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kallyho View Post
I think people are defensive when they feel they are being attacked. I would be.

I barely even try to change the minds of people I know. But once they find out I'm vegan (it will happen eventually), usually they will go on the defensive and try to justify their meat eating, sometimes by being ignorant and rude...
To which I usually reply "When did the topic ever change to your eating habits?"

Not the nicest thing to say... I know. But I really can't be arsed to argue with raging omnivores anymore.

Last edited by Diesel; 08-25-2014 at 08:30 PM.
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#8 Old 08-26-2014, 03:24 PM
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I barely even try to change the minds of people I know. But once they find out I'm vegan (it will happen eventually), usually they will go on the defensive and try to justify their meat eating, sometimes by being ignorant and rude...
To which I usually reply "When did the topic ever change to your eating habits?"

Not the nicest thing to say... I know. But I really can't be arsed to argue with raging omnivores anymore.
I completely agree. I told a friend i was vegan in july,he looked at me like i insulted him and said why. Like,i had said i was going to go and do something wrong. It was so weird,i expected intrigue or support or curiosity but i got disdain without even saying why iwas doing it. I haven't gotten much support at all. Just responses like i'm crazy and not understanding me. it's odd as heck and yes, ithink most meat eaters are on the defensive. i don't think we as vegan or veggies need to act like they're not to defend them. It is what it is,and they in fact are,without us doing anything. I have not once in my real life acted like a crazy vegan either.
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#9 Old 08-26-2014, 04:04 PM
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I go out of my way to avoid even talking about my veg diet with others unless I really have to for some reason (i.e. about to be dragged to a seafood restaurant), or if I am directly asked by someone who obviously wants to understand. That's the only time I will go into any detail at all, and I have to be pretty sure they really want to know. If I ever get the withering attitude like you got, Annabellevegan, my answer is to look them directly in the eye and say, "Because this is what works for me," in a respectful but very firm tone that basically says "you really shouldn't go wherever you are thinking of going." I've only had to do that a few times, and that response has so far worked every time. I think there's a lot to be said for recognizing an argument *before* you get dragged into it, and then choosing not to go there!

But I really hate having the casual conversations because so many people just suddenly think they are total experts on the subject (and they're anything but), so I try not to.
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#10 Old 08-26-2014, 04:59 PM
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I think people are defensive for two reasons.

1. Our reputation.

Veg*ns don't have a great reputation. We're known as 'preachy' and wanting to convert people. It's like telling someone you're part of a weird cult! While most of us don't appear to be like that, I get why we've got the reputation.

So, I think when we say "Nah, I'm veg*n" to food, the preconceived notions of veg*nism hits them and they feel defensive.


2. We hold up a mirror.
(Not my line, wish I was that smart, Colleen Patrick-Goudreu says it)

Even by not saying anything, they look at their own actions and probably feel judged. So, the defensiveness starts.


I'm not sure how to get around it. I try to be as laid back as possible. But it doesn't always work because a lot of people mistake being patient, with being passive. That's okay though, there's a line and when people cross it, they discover their mistake pretty quickly.
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#11 Old 08-26-2014, 06:02 PM
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People are admittedly afraid or scared of things they don't understand. It happens to all of us. If something is different then they're use to they get defensive and hold strongly to things they know and can relate to. It's not always a necessary reaction but it's not unusual. The only thing you can do in that position is tell them you are living your life the way you feel is the most correct and that is something you'd never force on them. Tell them you'd be happy to explain why you are living the way you are if they want to know more about it and then also throw in that you are trying to live the most compassionate life you're able to (At least, that's why I'd add)
Making people who get defensive feel like they can be comfortable is important. It brings down their level of feeling some type of threat on their lifestyle.
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#12 Old 08-26-2014, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Rocket View Post
I go out of my way to avoid even talking about my veg diet with others unless I really have to for some reason (i.e. about to be dragged to a seafood restaurant), or if I am directly asked by someone who obviously wants to understand. That's the only time I will go into any detail at all, and I have to be pretty sure they really want to know. If I ever get the withering attitude like you got, Annabellevegan, my answer is to look them directly in the eye and say, "Because this is what works for me," in a respectful but very firm tone that basically says "you really shouldn't go wherever you are thinking of going." I've only had to do that a few times, and that response has so far worked every time. I think there's a lot to be said for recognizing an argument *before* you get dragged into it, and then choosing not to go there!

But I really hate having the casual conversations because so many people just suddenly think they are total experts on the subject (and they're anything but), so I try not to.
true,i'm not one to speak much about my diet. when i became vegetarian,i didnt focus much on it,and even de-focused on it when it came up because i didn't want to deal with the typical boring questions. but,i think with being vegan and new to it,i felt a sense of pride for some reason. plus,in the example listed,it was in that whole so,what's new question and i never know how to answer that with friends so i just said that to have something to say.

on another note,has anyone noticed vegetarian seems more feminine and veganism more masculine? I've read more women are veggie and more men are vegan and the reasons why and this makes sense and back when i was veggie i felt more annoyed having it brought up because it did seem like a focus on my "meekness" and "femininity" whereas a vegan,it felt more like a boldness,a strength. it is interesting.
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#13 Old 08-26-2014, 11:13 PM
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luckily,these days,at least where i live and the circles i've found myself in,vegetarianism is extremely common. in a group of people,you are very likely to find at least one vegetarian and even several is not uncommon so that is nice.
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#14 Old 08-27-2014, 04:08 AM
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luckily,these days,at least where i live and the circles i've found myself in,vegetarianism is extremely common. in a group of people,you are very likely to find at least one vegetarian and even several is not uncommon so that is nice.

Lucky you...

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#15 Old 08-27-2014, 06:53 AM
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I don't think any of my friends have attacked (verbally or physically) me for not eating meat. I am not even sure I could say anyone's been defensive about their eating habits. I've had a couple of people say (longingly) that they wish they could go vegetarian. I usually say go for it and they will come up with all sorts of minor reasons why it wouldn't work. And my response tends to be - If you ever do go for it let me know if you have any questions.
And that's sort of it...
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#16 Old 08-27-2014, 09:00 AM
 
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Every meat eater I've known has accepted my going vegetarian without drama. My mom told me that it didn't surprise her. My dad occasionally does the whole omnivore nutritionist interrogation. My brother occasionally antagonises me about it, but being my brother, it's his duty (I certainly return the favour). I have heard that his father-in-law's (my uncle-in-law, maybe?) reaction to the news suggests there COULD be problems there, but I haven't seen him since March, so...whatever. My sister-in-law has asked some funny questions.

Basically, everyone has been an adult about it. No defensiveness, except from coworkers a couple times when I would suggest that they grill their vegetables they put on their sandwiches, as if I'm asking them to go vegetarian and confronting them about their eating meat, which I'm not.
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#17 Old 08-27-2014, 09:05 AM
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In the 3 weeks i've been vegan i've learned to just not bring the subject up as if the subject does come up meat eaters by default get defensive thinking that by me announcing i've become vegan i am in someway putting down their dietary lifestyle.
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#18 Old 08-27-2014, 05:16 PM
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Most close friends claim they eat very little meat or "just chicken". This being the majority, they appear to concede that I am right but offer no reason for their meat habits. Yet on Facebook I have what may be a battle with one who posts his meat pictures or maybe I am reading too much into it? Another couple have debated me, one offended by my valuing animals over people and her husband claiming vegetable feel pain too, I suspect he was trying to be funny.
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#19 Old 08-27-2014, 06:34 PM
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#20 Old 08-27-2014, 06:43 PM
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Animals are not a sustainable food source!

Whenever I'm put on the spot for my choice of, or lack of food choice, I generally explain that 'meat' is no longer sustainable on a overpopulated planet. The comment usually generates some confusion.

I should not have to defend my palate. It's intrusive to comment on someone's tastes and, quite frankly, it's no one's business.

@darkcon good try using animal suffering to justify consuming them. You almost made it sound humane...
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#21 Old 08-27-2014, 06:44 PM
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Most close friends claim they eat very little meat or "just chicken". This being the majority, they appear to concede that I am right but offer no reason for their meat habits. Yet on Facebook I have what may be a battle with one who posts his meat pictures or maybe I am reading too much into it? Another couple have debated me, one offended by my valuing animals over people and her husband claiming vegetable feel pain too, I suspect he was trying to be funny.

i'm quite sure the animals don't appreciate being compared to vegetables...can you imagine being compared to a vegetable?
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#22 Old 08-29-2014, 02:58 PM
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I usually receive open hostility from people who don't know me, like co-workers and new Facebook friends I've never met in person. Like they seem to feel they have to justify or defend themselves against my subversive, unchristian, un-american ways or something like that. As if I'm some kind of food terrorist. Even though I usually never say any thing more than; " No thank You, I don't eat chickens." or " I can't eat Taco Bell food because it contains a lot of lard and that has always made me sick." for example.

My friends sometimes make bad jokes. But, since they know I don't expect them to convert and I don't wave a flag in their faces over it so to speak, they pretty much let it be.

My relatives on the other hand; have never been openly hostile, but, do get rather passive/aggressive about it from time to time.
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#23 Old 08-29-2014, 05:17 PM
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I usually receive open hostility from people who don't know me, like co-workers and new Facebook friends I've never met in person. Like they seem to feel they have to justify or defend themselves against my subversive, unchristian, un-american ways or something like that. As if I'm some kind of food terrorist. Even though I usually never say any thing more than; " No thank You, I don't eat chickens." or [b] " I can't eat Taco Bell food because it contains a lot of lard /]and that has always made me sick." for example.

My friends sometimes make bad jokes. But, since they know I don't expect them to convert and I don't wave a flag in their faces over it so to speak, they pretty much let it be.

My relatives on the other hand; have never been openly hostile, but, do get rather passive/aggressive about it from time to time.
I thought Taco Bell beans and soft tortillas were lard-free. I haven't eaten there in several years, but I remember they had new vegan bean tacos called "fresco" or something like that.
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#24 Old 08-29-2014, 05:22 PM
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I thought Taco Bell beans and soft tortillas were lard-free. I haven't eaten there in several years, but I remember they had new vegan bean tacos called "fresco" or something like that.
Yep, the fresco menu is vegan. But it has mega cilantro!
I was kinda rude when I went in and said it was full of soap Was to me.
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#25 Old 08-31-2014, 06:45 PM
 
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mmmm...fresco. TB's beans don't have lard, they use soybean and sunflower oil. In fact, they're basically just reconstituted pinto flakes. It's what many restaurants use. I rarely run into places that still use lard. Occasionally an "authentic" Mexican restaurant will. Some frozen pies still contain lard, for example. But more and more companies are using hydrogenated vegetable oil instead.

When a local sports team scores a certain number of points, Taco Bells around here offer 4 Tacos for $2. I sub beans for the beef and get them fresco.

Here's their ingredient list for anybody interested: http://www.tacobell.com/nutrition/ingredientstatement
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Last edited by frrt; 08-31-2014 at 06:50 PM.
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#26 Old 09-01-2014, 01:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Diesel View Post
I barely even try to change the minds of people I know. But once they find out I'm vegan (it will happen eventually), usually they will go on the defensive and try to justify their meat eating, sometimes by being ignorant and rude...
To which I usually reply "When did the topic ever change to your eating habits?"

Not the nicest thing to say... I know. But I really can't be arsed to argue with raging omnivores anymore.
Same feeling here.
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#27 Old 09-01-2014, 09:49 PM
 
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Yep, the fresco menu is vegan. But it has mega cilantro!
I was kinda rude when I went in and said it was full of soap Was to me.
Ah, so you are one of those poor souls who don't know how to properly taste cilantro. Such an unfortunate genetic condition.

/being facetious

A customer came into my store yesterday who ordered a vegetarian pizza. A coworker of mine asked why she didn't have any meat on it, and the customer said she's vegetarian. My coworker said, "I couldn't do that, I need to eat meat." She went into the back, so I told her I'm vegetarian too, and she repeated the same thing. I responded, "a common excuse." To which she said "I have to eat meat." To which I said "a common excuse". To which she repeated "I have to eat meat". To which I replied...well, by now you get the point that this broken record conversation continued a few more times. Probably won't ever see her again, she's from another store, but...I think she was being defensive. Or maybe she was trying to convince herself. Is there a difference?

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#28 Old 09-02-2014, 01:35 AM
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Ah, so you are one of those poor souls who don't know how to properly taste cilantro. Such an unfortunate genetic condition.

/being facetious

A customer came into my store yesterday who ordered a vegetarian pizza. A coworker of mine asked why she didn't have any meat on it, and the customer said she's vegetarian. My coworker said, "I couldn't do that, I need to eat meat." She went into the back, so I told her I'm vegetarian too, and she repeated the same thing. I responded, "a common excuse." To which she said "I have to eat meat." To which I said "a common excuse". To which she repeated "I have to eat meat". To which I replied...well, by now you get the point that this broken record conversation continued a few more times. Probably won't ever see her again, she's from another store, but...I think she was being defensive. Or maybe she was trying to convince herself. Is there a difference?
Yeah right?

Its like they act that if you don't have meat on everything... You are trying to shove vegetarianism down their throats lol.

Like why does a customers pizza compel you to explain why you don't want to go vegetarian?
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#29 Old 09-02-2014, 02:45 AM
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Yeah right?

Its like they act that if you don't have meat on everything... You are trying to shove vegetarianism down their throats lol.

Like why does a customers pizza compel you to explain why you don't want to go vegetarian?
Yeah, I've had a few strange looks over the last few years when I've had to ask about ingredients, even at places to eat.

Some of it is curiosity, but people don't know how to ask without seemingly like they're interested, so they act defensive instead.

When I told a co-worker I was veg, they were immediately "I couldn't give up meat, I love eating it too much" I laughed and said "Yeah, I thought that too...."

Every now and then, they ask me something, or say something about vegetarianism like "I need protein" and I'm all "Yeah, me too, that's why I'm eating this tofu...." or "But I love bacon" which is met with "And I love pigs, plus they have vegetarian bacon and it's pretty delicious".

They're not vegetarian, but they're a lot less defensive with me now than they were at the very beginning and they're slowly 'getting' it.
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#30 Old 09-02-2014, 05:55 AM
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I definitely think that deep down almost everyone is uncomfortable with eating flesh.
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