Revisiting the vegan police issue: How to create a more welcoming vegan environment - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-11-2013, 12:06 PM
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Since Beyoncé and Jay Z announced they'd be going vegan for 22 days, possibly longer, there's been a slew of posts, articles and so on all over the web criticizing Beyonce for her clothing choices (many animal based it seems). Then once that happened there was a second slew of articles about how people need to quit criticizing her and focus on the positive aspects of people going vegan, even if it's just dietary choices to start with. 

 

Basically there's a whole lot of back and fourth online right now ranging from she shouldn't even be vegan to leave her the hell alone. Then I saw the article below...

 

The vegan police: Nobody is safe

 

Some of the article is sane, such as the following which I agree with...

 

Quote:
Celebrities going public with their veganism, whatever the intent, has to be a positive. It draws precious attention to the lifestyle, and to the ethics behind it. Most vegans are converted meat-eaters, and many can point to the work of a famous vegan (athlete, actor, musician, etc), as their inspiration, their initial first step towards a lifestyle they now consider routine. 

 

 

In most cases though, this article really let vegans have it. I'm not sure if the author is vegan, but based on his comments, many of which seem to perpetuate typical vegan stereotypes, I doubt it. Some comments in the article...

 

Quote:
Those less than thrilled with the couple’s public pronouncement are the entrenched, hardcore vegans... They are forever seeking new ways to separate themselves from the unenlightened masses who may soil the pristine vegan ghettos they have built up for themselves. They are the self-ordained vegan police, guardians of some subjective ethical code which all vegans, current and potential, must follow. 

 

Wow that's pretty intense if it's coming from a non-vegan/non-veg.

 

More:

Quote:
These vegans have created an environment which is contrary to their stated end goals. These blue bloods have imagined themselves stewards of veganism and, in so doing, have unconsciously pushed away countless possible converts. The reality is that, no matter what inspires someone to experiment with a cruelty-free lifestyle, that person ought to be afforded the same understanding as these vegan snobs received when they were just starting out. 

 

There's worse, but I don't want to post all of it. You can read it for yourself

 

What I think

 

On one hand I find an article like this, when written by someone who isn't even vegan, to be insulting, because I feel like it loops all vegans in together as one person who share a brain. 

 

Even if this had been written by a vegan I find it rude. I mean you can say stuff like this nicely. 

 

On the other hand the one issue I agree that some vegans have created environments that push away possible converts AND I agree that no matter what inspires someone to go vegan they should be given the same understanding / respect when starting out as any other vegan with other reasons. 

 

Personally, I've run into "holier-than-thou" vegans AND vegetarians AND meat eaters. I think anyone can be cool or overbearing, no matter your diet/life choices, but my real concern, since I'm vegan, is with the vegan issue. I think this article is really stereotypical and mean but I also think that if people have this idea of vegans we should pay attention because it clearly comes from somewhere (this wasn't the only article like this out there). I sometimes feel like vegans have major PR issues. I also wish we didn't, because I feel it really turns away some potential vegans. 

 

I wonder if there's a way to make vegan more welcoming to potential vegans. My idea is to accept that people go vegan for different reasons and to be supportive of vegan choices that are not AR related as it could lead to someone learning more about AR and eventually getting it.  I also feel like celebrating every animal not exploited or harmed is a good idea. I mean take the Beyoncé situation. She's wearing animals, but it's also really cool that a few more animals aren't being exploited for food because she's eating vegan. That's a step anyhow, no matter how small, towards fewer animal deaths for no reason. 

 

Do you think there's a way to make vegan more welcoming? Or do you think the PR issues of vegans are all made up and a non-issue? 


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#2 Old 12-11-2013, 12:16 PM
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It can only be more welcoming if the other side listens to what we have to say. Beyonce wasn't very respectful when she walked into that vegan restaurant wearing fur. I have a HARD time believing that you just cannot put at least somewhat of the two and two together.

 

I understand what you are saying, but we also don't want to go without acknowledging that veganism is more than about what we eat, lest tons of mindless followers follower her lead and degrade the meaning of veganism. The issue is we always appear to be attacking people when we say "well, that's not quite right." If more people were more supportive of experimenting with a plant based diet but at the same time noting heavily on how veganism is about the animals, we might have a start. Call me a bit crude, but I'd actually rather preserve the meaning of veganism, rather than have a bunch of people that don't think for themselves twist it all up, even if it many ways they are still benefiting the animals without much thought about it. I'm going to lose it when stuff that's labeled vegan actually isn't because of these types of people, and unfortunately it's these same people that think anything outside the social norm is crazy.... =___=

 

I definitely don't suggest tearing Beyonce down...but I'm not exactly happy of the vegan connotations attatched to it. (However I think the heated and angry articles do some good here because they remind people that veganism includes the animals and that we're SERIOUS.)


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#3 Old 12-11-2013, 12:21 PM
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#4 Old 12-11-2013, 12:57 PM
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Or vegans could abandon that V term for a cooler word. There was a time when an offshoot of vegetarians decided they needed their own word to describe not eating dairy or egg or honey as well as not eating meat or fish. The word "vegan" was coined. If an offshoot of vegans decide they want to identify specifically as not using animal products or products tested on animals, or patronizing entertainments that use animals, maybe the time has come for a new term. I know, I know, that word already exists, and the word is "vegan." But words begin to wear out after awhile, and a term that incorporates the word "animal" might have a longer shelf life. Something that conveys "animal-sparing," though shorter if possible, and ideally a bit badass and hardcore. There are phrases that would keep strict vegetarians, health vegans and people who eat fish occasionally from taking it over for themselves, from associating with its specific connotation. That way, if Gore or Beyonce want to call themselves any stripe of vegan because of how they eat and regardless of what they wear, it wouldn't matter so much. The people who publicly embrace the "animal-sparing life style" wouldn't have to worry about looking judgmental or off-putting. Different camp, different rules. If I was at that table having that conversation, one term I'd suggest might be "earthlings."

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#5 Old 12-11-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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No vegan is fine. Other people who aren't vegan should think of another word. How about plant based diet? Unethical vegan?

Like 4ever says it's not so much the fact that I want veganism to be a cool, elitist club etc I just don't want the meaning of the word diluted like vegetarianism has by people who eat fish and chicken. If they don't like labels or names just say 'I don't eat animal products'.

It's hard for me to wrap my head around. I think how amazing a world would be if everyone ate plant based yet still wore leather. That would be an incredible place to be compared to now. However, I can't see us ever being there till people realise it's a moral issue and that then would encompass all animal use.
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#6 Old 12-11-2013, 01:32 PM
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First and foremost, I ignore celebrities, as they tend to be engage in activities or say and do things that will bring them the most attention.

Second, from personal experience, I've found that by quietly teaching by example, you can attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

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#7 Old 12-11-2013, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponyboy85 View Post

No vegan is fine. Other people who aren't vegan should think of another word. How about plant based diet? Unethical vegan?
 

I think I get what you mean, but the question isn't "How can we get them to stop using our word." The question is, "Do vegans have a PR problem and, if so, what can vegans do to correct that?" The solution never comes from the one with the grievance restating over and over again what the other guy should do, because the other guy is never gonna do that; the solution comes from the group asking "What steps can we take?" And maybe I shouldn't even be posting on this because I'm not inside the tent where the real solution will be coming from. It's just that it's simillar to a solution many others have found remedy with: stop arguing, leave the playground, and leave the marbles behind. You can always get better marbles. I'll bet Donald Watson and his friends just finally got tired of trying to convince their fellow vegetarians that dairy and eggs were not consistent with a vegetarian lifestyle. Finally they realized that was not going to work, so they did something else.

 

I know an a cappella group of talented guys who were all recruited one at a time by a terribly off-key bass singer. They hung in as long as they could, but they couldn't ask him to leave because he had started the group. So they all resigned from the group, started their own, and recruited an awesome bass singer, and now they're local legends. For awhile they probably stood around complaining about how "This guy should take lessons, or quit, or sing softer." They finally realized the only solution would come from taking action themselves.

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#8 Old 12-11-2013, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4everaspirit View Post

 

I understand what you are saying, but we also don't want to go without acknowledging that veganism is more than about what we eat, lest tons of mindless followers follower her lead and degrade the meaning of veganism.

 

Is the meaning of vegan what matters most OR would it be more important to get more people on board with eating / wearing fewer animals? 

 

If more people liked the idea of vegan as a whole, and didn't consider it an odd club to be a part of and say, quit eating dairy, even if they didn't quite get the meaning of vegan in the AR sense, wouldn't that be a good thing for all the animals concerned? 

 

I get that wearing animals is horrid. I wouldn't do it. However, if people think it's acceptable to be say a "dietary vegan" then they don't eat them and fewer animals are harmed then it's better than when those people were eating animals. 

 

If someone quits eating animal products and we say, "You are being a very bad vegan because you wear leather." then maybe they'll shun all aspects of vegan - diet included and then more, not fewer animals get eaten. 


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#9 Old 12-11-2013, 02:01 PM
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"Vegan ghetto." That's rich!


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#10 Old 12-11-2013, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Capstan View Post
 

"Vegan ghetto." That's rich!

Yeah, I felt that was kind of a crazy line too. The person who wrote this clearly had some anger issues with vegans. I saw a lot more of the same all over online this week though. 


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#11 Old 12-11-2013, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post
 

I think I get what you mean, but the question isn't "How can we get them to stop using our word." The question is, "Do vegans have a PR problem and, if so, what can vegans do to correct that?" The solution never comes from the one with the grievance restating over and over again what the other guy should do, because the other guy is never gonna do that; the solution comes from the group asking "What steps can we take?" 

 

This is what I'm hoping for. I'm not personally looking for everyone else to change or find a new name or anything like that. I'm looking for what current vegans can do to make people excited about being vegan not reluctant to join in. 

 

I feel like people are reluctant to join in on vegan living/eating because they're freaked they'll be knocked down by a more experienced vegan. I'd like to see that stop. 

 

People should never have to say, "I'm reluctant to be vegan because frankly, I don't want to be associated with vegans." Yet, I've said that in the past, the BF said that in the past and I've seen plenty of other people on here and in my real offline life say they've felt the same at times. It seems unacceptable if we want more, not fewer vegans around. 


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#12 Old 12-11-2013, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ponyboy85 View Post

No vegan is fine. Other people who aren't vegan should think of another word. How about plant based diet? Unethical vegan?

Like 4ever says it's not so much the fact that I want veganism to be a cool, elitist club etc I just don't want the meaning of the word diluted like vegetarianism has by people who eat fish and chicken. If they don't like labels or names just say 'I don't eat animal products'.

It's hard for me to wrap my head around. I think how amazing a world would be if everyone ate plant based yet still wore leather. That would be an incredible place to be compared to now. However, I can't see us ever being there till people realise it's a moral issue and that then would encompass all animal use.

This. I could not agree more.

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#13 Old 12-11-2013, 03:15 PM
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Honestly who cares about that specific PR issue. Vegans are portrayed as all kinds of things, least of which is how mean we are to people who call themselves vegan while wearing the skin of a dead animal.

We're also extreme, unhealthy, too healthy, hippies, proselytizers, our food is gross, over processed, strange, we dont do any good anyway, and more.


Really, why is this one more important?

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#14 Old 12-11-2013, 03:30 PM
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I think many/most vegans don't realize how they appear to others, and/or don't care. That's fine if you're not concerned with reducing animal suffering overall, and are just concerned with reducing the amount of animal suffering you personally are causing.

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#15 Old 12-11-2013, 04:14 PM
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Becoming a little more vegan should never be devalued, whether it's someone's first time going 22 days or someone's first time reaching 22 years. 

 

We need both a broad movement and a deep movement.  People who want to be partly vegan should be encouraged, yet people who want to be fully vegan should not be discouraged. 

 

Internal competition provides numerous openings for saboteurs.  When you read a comment that sounds like it could have been written by professional advertisers for KeepBuyingSomeAnimalProductsAnyway, Inc.  ... well, perhaps it was.  The old joke is true:  just because you're paranoid doesn't prove that they're not out to get you.

 

People in general have a lot of weird defense mechanisms.  Sometimes we haughtily judge beginners because we fear our own efforts are not being appreciated.  Other times, they just try to strike first because our very existence makes them feel insecure about themselves.

 

We've gotten to a stage where food politics is so complicated.  Vegans need to be tolerant.  Plus I think we should try actively to demonstrate that tolerance when we can, paradoxical as showing off one's humility might be.  But we can't let this be made a wedge against actual practice.  It would be tragic if veganism ceased to exist for the sake of becoming accessible to non-vegans.  No offense meant to anyone who would like to be trusted, but I believe that could be a genuine possibility, if we just trusted everyone.

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#16 Old 12-11-2013, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike4891 View Post
 

Becoming a little more vegan should never be devalued, whether it's someone's first time going 22 days or someone's first time reaching 22 years. 

 

We need both a broad movement and a deep movement.  People who want to be partly vegan should be encouraged, yet people who want to be fully vegan should not be discouraged. 

 

Internal competition provides numerous openings for saboteurs.  When you read a comment that sounds like it could have been written by professional advertisers for KeepBuyingSomeAnimalProductsAnyway, Inc.  ... well, perhaps it was.  The old joke is true:  just because you're paranoid doesn't prove that they're not out to get you.

 

People in general have a lot of weird defense mechanisms.  Sometimes we haughtily judge beginners because we fear our own efforts are not being appreciated.  Other times, they just try to strike first because our very existence makes them feel insecure about themselves.

 

We've gotten to a stage where food politics is so complicated.  Vegans need to be tolerant.  Plus I think we should try actively to demonstrate that tolerance when we can, paradoxical as showing off one's humility might be.  But we can't let this be made a wedge against actual practice.  It would be tragic if veganism ceased to exist for the sake of becoming accessible to non-vegans.  No offense meant to anyone who would like to be trusted, but I believe that could be a genuine possibility, if we just trusted everyone.

 

I agree with this post a lot. I do see your point about it being bad if vegan became something new to accommodate non-vegans. It's hard to find a line that works - one that preserves vegan but accepts new vegans who aren't entirely on board. 


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#17 Old 12-11-2013, 04:21 PM
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Honestly who cares about that specific PR issue. Vegans are portrayed as all kinds of things, least of which is how mean we are to people who call themselves vegan while wearing the skin of a dead animal.

We're also extreme, unhealthy, too healthy, hippies, proselytizers, our food is gross, over processed, strange, we dont do any good anyway, and more.


Really, why is this one more important?

If we're mean to people who quit eating animals (even if they're still wearing them) it hurts animals who will now get eaten possibly because they person may now think, "Why even bother trying."

 

That, to me, makes this PR issue a much bigger one than us being called other names like hippies, strange or extreme. The people who say that stuff aren't at all on board with vegan. Someone attempting to eat vegan is at the very least thinking about what they put in their mouth, which sure is a small step, but a step nonetheless. All those other terms are just people who will never go vegan being rude to us. We can't control them, but we can make a difference in how already vegans are seen - i.e. supportive or not. 

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#18 Old 12-11-2013, 05:10 PM
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I don't fully get why calling nonvegans nonvegans is so offfensive.

If someone thinks they are going vegan for spiritu reasons yet still wears the fur and skin of a tortured dead animal to a vegan restaurant, they should be told they are doing it wrong.

It is NOT that vegans are trying to make new vegans feel bad. Vegans on this board help and encourage countless new vegans figure it out. There is a fundamental difference in telling someone they hust dont get it, and encouraging people who actually want to get it.

You cant tell me she didnt know fur is unvegan, you just cant. If the world has an image of AR it is an image of someone throwing paint on a fur coat.

People who decide theyre just going to eat plant based food are not vegans and are not AR or AL. If veganism is a movmement, or hopes to be a movement, adherents cannot let the definition be watered down by "spiritual" celebrities.

And if someone does think "why bother, they were mean to me" they were likely never very convicted in the first place, because if they were theyd have donated the god awful dead animals.
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#19 Old 12-11-2013, 07:02 PM
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River, you just tied together my views on this topic with the thread about whether veganism is ideological or not (don't have the link handy for that). The venn diagram on that thread with your words = my basic view of what veganism is. It also fits in to what mr Watson defined the term as back in the 50s (I know, he changed it from the origonal 40s definition, be he was allowed to do that).
Maybe a term like "AR spectrum" would work better for this sort of thing? Or "a step on to the vegan path"?
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#20 Old 12-11-2013, 11:43 PM
 
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I'm with River. One thing that really gets to me is when people are looking for an excuse not to go vegan with a very silly reason but want to discuss is to be 'pardoned'. When this doesn't happen they then cry that they didn't feel accepted and will now never be vegan because of 3 people they once spoke to on Facebook or a message board.

These people were never looking to be vegan and never really will and are clearly not really thinking about the animals in the first place. If someone on a forum puts them off imagine what they will be like when they go for a meal with 5 non-vegans who all try and make a joke of it.

It makes me laugh how long these discussions rumble on and that vegetarians are widely accepted but vegans are seen as extreme. Is it really that hard to not eat the milk from another animal and eat eggs that pop out of the back of a chicken!?
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#21 Old 12-12-2013, 12:33 AM
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The word vegan is suffering from it's own blinding success. Or in other words something amazing happened whereby instead of being a specialist term used exclusively by a tiny select group, it has suddenly entered the mass consciousness and become a part of the everyday language of ordinary people!

 

A natural consequence of massive amounts of people using the word means it's destiny now belongs entirely to the collective whims of common usage, and it will inevitably suffer the same fate as billions of other words in the course of it's journey. 

 

Right now however millions of people who never would have known about a plant based diet, now know about it. They find it interesting enough to talk about, think about, research and even try. I don't think it matters whether or not the word gets diluted, any word that becomes phenomenally popular gets diluted, it's just a natural part of what happens when millions of people start using a word.

 

The word vegan no longer belongs exclusively to vegans, and that's a good thing. Think about the millions of people using the word and what that actually means so far as *communicating* the message of less harm to animals to vast numbers outside the group, rather than the preciousness of it's meaning to those within it.


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#22 Old 12-12-2013, 01:02 AM
 
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You see I believe we will never reach abolilition if the word is diluted.

I will fight for abolition so will fight that the meaning of veganism stays the same.
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#23 Old 12-12-2013, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ponyboy85 View Post


It's hard for me to wrap my head around. I think how amazing a world would be if everyone ate plant based yet still wore leather. That would be an incredible place to be compared to now. However, I can't see us ever being there till people realise it's a moral issue and that then would encompass all animal use.

 

But do you seriously think that this would happen? Let's say, for example, that on the 1st Jan 2014 the whole world starts eating a plant-based diet - no animal products. Very quickly the price of leather and other animal ingredients and by-products would sky rocket. The cost of a pair of leather shoes would be out of most people's reach. For the manufacturers to survive they would have to use alternative products.  The same goes for food manufacturers who use small amounts of dairy or eggs in their products - they'd have to change, and fast, or they would be out of business. Same again for manufacturers of toiletries and cosmetics.  I remember this happening (in the middle1980's I think it was), when the top biscuit manufacturers realised that it was cheaper to use a vegetable fat rather than an animal one, and within 6 months or so the vast majority of biscuits, which were previously not classed as vegetarian, were suddenly available again. And the cheaper brands quickly followed. 

 

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Originally Posted by ponyboy85 View Post

You see I believe we will never reach abolilition if the word is diluted.

I will fight for abolition so will fight that the meaning of veganism stays the same.

 

.....and so the use of animal products would be greatly diminished if not completely gone, if the world just ate a vegan diet.

 

 

 

Whether people go vegan for dietary, environmental or ethical reasons, the end result is the same. Less animal suffering. Leading to no (or minute amounts of) animal suffering in the future.

 

The constant and niggling question in my mind is always 'how will this effect the animals?' and not, 'how does this effect me?' 

 

If you really want abolition, forget the purity of labels and concentrate on getting the message across that vegan food is healthy and good for you, good for the environment, good for the animals - whatever argument appeals to the omnivore standing in front on you.  You can't always sell what YOU find attractive, you have to find out what appeals to the potential buyer of your arguments and sell them on that. And do it gently, considerately and with compassion.

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#24 Old 12-12-2013, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by River View Post

I don't fully get why calling nonvegans nonvegans is so offfensive.

If someone thinks they are going vegan for spiritu reasons yet still wears the fur and skin of a tortured dead animal to a vegan restaurant, they should be told they are doing it wrong.

It is NOT that vegans are trying to make new vegans feel bad. Vegans on this board help and encourage countless new vegans figure it out. There is a fundamental difference in telling someone they hust dont get it, and encouraging people who actually want to get it.

You cant tell me she didnt know fur is unvegan, you just cant. If the world has an image of AR it is an image of someone throwing paint on a fur coat.

People who decide theyre just going to eat plant based food are not vegans and are not AR or AL. If veganism is a movmement, or hopes to be a movement, adherents cannot let the definition be watered down by "spiritual" celebrities.

And if someone does think "why bother, they were mean to me" they were likely never very convicted in the first place, because if they were theyd have donated the god awful dead animals.

It's how you tell people that's important. If vegans come across as boorish and full of moral superiority it gets people annoyed, whereas if as a vegan can get them to think about it, then they may come to the conclusion that you want them to come to, all by themselves.

 

Vegans on this board can very helpful, but there are other times when they are happy to denigrate others because they are not as pure as they consider themselves to be, or they are vegan 'for the wrong reasons'.

 

If Beyonce and her chap are just focusing on the diet itself (which from all the press reports I have heard, they are) then wearing animal products is nothing to do with it (although I do think it was incredibly insensitive to wear fur to a vegan restaurant).  

 

If someone is made to think 'why bother, they were mean to me'  and turns away from veganism, that's not something that vegans should just dismiss with a shrug of their shoulders and pronounce that the person 'were never likely never very convinced in the first place' . So what, perhaps they weren't at that time - but they were probably ripe and ready for convincing if only you had tread lightly (and when I say 'you', I'm not referring to you, personally). Your argument has turned them away, and turned them into yet another person who will badmouth vegans as extreme, or pushy, or elitist, or whatever words they choose to use to put vegans down.  And when this happens (and I've seen it happen several times on this forum) - you, as a vegan, have lost the chance to convince someone.  You've lost - and so have the animals.

 

I don't care if someone is veg*n for ethical reasons, environmental reasons, or dietary reasons, the end result is the same - less animals being eaten and used and abused.  So if you can't convince them to see the animal rights side, it really doesn't matter in the big scheme of things.

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#25 Old 12-12-2013, 05:45 AM
 
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Why would the price of leather go up? Leather is no longer just a by product of the meat industry.

More cattle would just be raised for leather rather than meat.

It isn't about purity. Veganism is an ethical stance so it has to be about ethics it can't possibly be for health reasons. If they want to be on a plant based diet then that's great and yes they are making a difference to animals whether they like it or not. However, they simply are not vegan and I really don't understand how saying this would push them away from abstaining from eating animal products for their own health?
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#26 Old 12-12-2013, 06:05 AM
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Veganism includes people with thorny personality issues, sometimes connected to autism, who connect on a deep level with animals while other people give them the hives. It includes people with eating disorders, people with wide and fierce militant streaks, people who live virtually as hermits. It includes glowering teenagers who sit silently through Thanksgiving dinners while putting nothing at all on their plates. It has people in leadership positions carrying on public feuds with other people in leadership positions. No one of these people speaks for all vegans, and most vegans aren't much like any of them. The thing is, whatever mainstream vegans decide is the best way to deal with public negative misperception of vegans, these more eccentric vegans pretty much won't get the memo.

 

The NRA, the pro-life movement, the Tea Party, they shrug off this kind of thing, saying basically "Our crazies are what they are; they don't represent us." They don't get dinged too bad for the crimes their more deranged members commit. Vegans on the fringe of society don't commit many crimes, but man, when one does, suddenly it's not about the mental illness, it's about the veganism. It's a chance for omnivores to air a grudge, but the grudge isn't caused by the Adam Lanzas or the spaced-out couple that starves their baby. Those are just the people who provide the opportunity to unleash. Honestly, I have no idea where that grudge is coming from. I can imagine group situations on campuses or Left Coast cities where most members are vegan, and the stray omni has to meet up at the vegan bar or get left behind. But is that really so common, or so unpleasant? Vegans are so marginalized in so many ways, where are these opportunities to make nonvegans feel unwelcome and disrespected? The "grudge" often resembles any of a number of left v right disputes, just another trigger for an argument, like immigration, gun control or abortion. It does seem vegans lean left and that omni trolls lean right, but with all the exceptions out there, that doesn't account for the whole picture. Except for one thing: The right keeps hitting the left for elitism, and that is also one of the biggest single knocks from omnivores on vegans.

 

I'm trying to imagine a situation where vegans can and do make omnivores uncomfortable, and it doesn't seem like it happens very often. Maybe someone in a relationship with a vegan might get dragged around to stuff and feel like an outsider, but again, that isn't usually the kind of place grudges are born. People do run into vegans on the fringe sometimes, and they might blend that perception with a TV sitcom "crazy date" vegan who's played for laughs, then merge the two in their minds. But there's not really much to do about that. It does seem that when mainstream celebrities dip one toe into vegan waters, that should be considered a good thing, but maybe less is best in responding to the event. There's not a Vegan Bureau that can coordinate vegan response to that sort of thing, but vegans one at a time can always smile and say noncommittally, "Well, bless their hearts."

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#27 Old 12-12-2013, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponyboy85 View Post

Why would the price of leather go up? Leather is no longer just a by product of the meat industry.

More cattle would just be raised for leather rather than meat.

It isn't about purity. Veganism is an ethical stance so it has to be about ethics it can't possibly be for health reasons. If they want to be on a plant based diet then that's great and yes they are making a difference to animals whether they like it or not. However, they simply are not vegan and I really don't understand how saying this would push them away from abstaining from eating animal products for their own health?

 

According to Viva, leather is worth 10% of the animal:

 

http://www.vegetarian.org.uk/factsheets/leather.html

 

'Even though leather is classed as a by-product it is still an important aspect of the meat trade: the skin/hide is worth about 10 per cent of the animal’s total value'.

 

So if an animal sells for £100 at the market, £90 would be for meat and animal by-products like gelatine, and £10 for leather.

 

If the meat/by-products are no longer used and the farmer wants to keep his profits at the same level, he now needs to sell the leather for £100 instead of £10, because the body of the animal is now waste.

 

So the price of leather to the consumer will have to increase, and would increase to the point that it would be too expensive for a lot of people, and they would be forced to make other choices.

 

I accept that veganism is an ethical stance, but at the end of the day, does it really matter?  If the end result is less or no animals being slaughtered for food or by-products, who cares? Perhaps the environmental stance will beat the ethical stance in that most people will eat a vegan diet for environmental reasons, but the end result (less/no slaughter) will be the same. Perhaps the dietary stance will beat both the ethical and environmental stance in encouraging people to eat a vegan diet, but the end result (less/no slaughter) will be the same.

 

We might not be all singing the same hymn, but we're all in the same church! :) 

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#28 Old 12-12-2013, 08:31 AM
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You do realize cows raised for leather would be just as environmentally unfriendly as cows raised for meat, right?

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"You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
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#29 Old 12-12-2013, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by River View Post

You do realize cows raised for leather would be just as environmentally unfriendly as cows raised for meat, right?

 

 

Of course. But if people can't afford leather and start buying alternatives, then the demand will go down and less animals will be bred for their skin.

 

I think cows being raised just for leather would be a short term thing - farmers wouldn't be making enough money to survive - unless of course, governments step in with subsidies.

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#30 Old 12-12-2013, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angie54321 View Post
 

 

 

 

The constant and niggling question in my mind is always 'how will this effect the animals?' and not, 'how does this effect me?'

 

 

And thi is as it should be, if the purpose is to reduce/eliminate animal suffering at the hands of humans.

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