Bad experience online - Need some different perspectives and safe space to vent - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-19-2017, 06:34 PM
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Bad experience online - Need some different perspectives and safe space to vent

(Fair warning: I am a highly sensitive person, and going through a rough time right now. So this is probably affecting me more than it would a "normal" person on a "normal" day)

Hi,

I am brand new to vegetarianism and veganism, and I just had a heated argument on facebook on an animal rights post that devolved into a person who said she is vegan essentially berating me because I am a vegetarian now and am "transitioning" to veganism. I understand her argument and anger. She is angry for the same reason that I am angry, because of the murder and exploitation of countless animals in the meat and dairy industries. And I understand her argument, that since I am a vegetarian I should "know better" and that every day that I haven't completed my transition, I am still contributing to the pain and suffering that I abhor (which, believe me, I definitely understand).
But it just felt so combative and really hurt and frustrated me (ex: she said: "the slaughterhouse screams are ignored by those that keep eating animal products...ahem, ahem, for example YOU!" and "Good luck to you and prayers for those animals that become what you choose to eat"). I told her a couple of times that we are on the "same side" and that I felt like it was counterproductive to berate people for not going vegan earlier if the goal is for them to go vegan period. And she essentially said that she has been vegan since she was 12, and that she isn't better than anyone "but I am less cruel than many".
So anyways, I know that veganism is the way to go, and that it is right for me. And the consequences to animals have been painfully obvious to me when I didn't properly plan for food and I bought something with dairy in it for lunch or a snack (because it was the only option without meat, eggs, etc). So it just feels defeating to have someone tear me down and tell me that my efforts aren't good enough. And in general it just goes against my belief that we should be encouraging people to reduce their consumption of animal products in any way, and that we REALLY should be supporting each other on our journeys.
But anyways, it just made me feel kind of like a failure. And I feel more discouraged than encouraged to continue on, but I know it's the right thing to do.

Thoughts? Am I completely out of line? Is this going to be a regular occurrence (will there always be someone who is a "better" vegan than me who will be angrily judging me and tearing me down)? How do you deal?

I appreciate anyone willing to read and comment. I don't have any vegetarian or vegan friends, so I don't really have anyone to talk to about this.

Last edited by ashleycharters; 01-19-2017 at 07:32 PM.
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#2 Old 01-19-2017, 06:43 PM
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She's a...
Facebook is full of "I'm more vegan than you" arguments.
Don't make the animals suffer because of her, though. Do keep trying to eat vegan.
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#3 Old 01-19-2017, 06:48 PM
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That was very mean, to the point of being counterproductive. Ignore them.
They may have your best interests at heart, they may simply be internet trolls who aren't as much passionate about animal rights as they are inflating their own egos.

Everyone has their own issues they deal with, their own perspectives. We each have to find our niche, our balance. I have had to deal with obsessiveness to the point of breaking down. Finding gelatin I missed while in the middle of a grocery line. Staring at an organic and a conventional, a fair trade and a much cheaper counterpart. Is the stearic acid plant based? There are times I have to remove myself from that obession and just get a loaf of bread!

Don't despair, don't guilt yourself. Do the best you can and lose the haters. You'll find it's easier to normalize yourself veg'n without all the drama!

Welcome
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#4 Old 01-19-2017, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jessandreia View Post
Facebook is full of "I'm more vegan than you" arguments.
Well, I have been meaning to take a break away from facebook anyways, so maybe this is the final push I need. I am not giving up, the animals are more important than some random person's opinion. But it was still just disheartening. I have been told throughout my life that I am "too sensitive" and I think it's just a part of that. I take things deeply to heart. Thank you :-)

Last edited by ashleycharters; 01-19-2017 at 07:31 PM.
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#5 Old 01-19-2017, 07:30 PM
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Don't despair, don't guilt yourself. Do the best you can and lose the haters. You'll find it's easier to normalize yourself veg'n without all the drama!

Welcome
Thank you :-) It is very validating to hear about your experiences. Right now it takes me twice as long at the grocery store (reading all of the labels, googling the ingredients, trying to remember for next time, second-guessing if what I got last time was REALLY vegan and checking it again) and it's nice to hear that I might actually be doing ok (because I kind of feel like I want to pull my hair out some times). I know I will make it there, but it is taking some adjustment. I just bought some vegan personal care products last night with a gift card I got from Christmas. So, slowly but surely.
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Last edited by ashleycharters; 01-19-2017 at 07:33 PM.
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#6 Old 01-19-2017, 08:14 PM
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Loud, rude activists are effective for some things, and less effective for others. They are terrible when it comes to speaking with their allies.

In college, certain student religious advocates were so harsh, irrational, and rude that I was left with a horrible impression of their faith. It wasn't until years later (when I met religious advocates who were older, calmer, and more mature) that I began to appreciate spirituality.
.
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#7 Old 01-20-2017, 05:48 AM
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Vegans do have some good moral arguments although it sounds like the way it was done was counter productive in your case. Well done to you for making the steps you have already made. I suggest you do take a break from such discussions.

Try and use facebook more sparingly, for example 2 times a week and don't interact at all with people that antagonise you.

Many vegans, perhaps most, went through a transition phase as well.
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#8 Old 01-20-2017, 06:33 AM
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How dare she rant at you like that. You are making a big effort to change your diet and that is to be applauded. It is really not helpful at all to be lectured like this. OK, we know being vegan is the way to go, but every little step helps. How many people will be turned against becoming vegan by this kind of lecturing and bullying is quite worrying. Keep up the good work. Anybody making an effort to change their diet - veggie or vegan should be encouraged not shouted at. Well done for making changes to your diet, keep with it and listen to positive encouragement from others, not people that behave like that. I am a vegan and have friends who are transitioning gradually and I would never dream of behaving in this way, as I like to think back to the time when I first found this lifestyle and remember the encouragement that was given to me by so many people and kept me going to where I am now.
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#9 Old 01-20-2017, 11:30 AM
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She was correct in her concern for the animals, but not kind or graceful in her delivery, at all. I'm a very highly sensitive person, too, so I feel/understand your pain, and often feel the energies of others discontent and discomfort through their responses. I'm also a vegan eater who can easily sometimes comes across as hardcore or "militant" in my information sharing, but never intentionally mean to be. Once my heart gets wrapped around something, it's hard to ration out balanced portions gracefully and in concert with my brain.

I also remember feeling like I was being harassed/disrespected/looked down upon by folks who would share some of the less than pleasant aspects of the vegan/fruitarian/plant-based information with me when I was still eating animal products. Even if they were kind about it, it still stung me to the core and would often evoke uncomfortable emotions that made it difficult to even want to interact with them and stirred up feelings of resentment. I'd often feel like I was certainly the topic of each post or comment made regarding food choices after those interactions. I had to step away from social media and reel in my levels of participation from time to time. Still do. Fasting, so to speak.

I used to be annoyed by it all and felt I had to be the one to always change myself to appease others so I could more comfortably fit into (or more gracefully escape) every situation. But now, after only a half-century's worth of existence, I'm finally able to embrace myself and all of my sensitivities and weird oddities as is, especially as seen by others, and try to tap into them as my super powers instead of the shaming sessions I used to dive into. All I'm missing is a cape. And the ability to fly, or leap a tall building in a single bound, etc., etc.. Hahahahahaha!!!

I mainly just try to remember to always trace the roots of my emotions, especially hurt and anger, to see if they actually belong to me or if it's simply the delivery person tripping over their own roots while trying to serve it up to me. I have the right to refuse to carry whatever it is they're offering. My plate's already full of my own stuff.

Lots of deep breathing exercises throughout my days, time with nature, gratitude for the healthy abundance that surrounds, and smudging with sage help(ed) me through moments like you described. Primal screaming into a pillow can be a pretty powerful instant release, too. Keep striving for forward progress in spite of the perceived speed bumps. It's rough out there, regardless of the path you choose.
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#10 Old 01-20-2017, 04:38 PM
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Thank you all for the responses. You have no idea what I means to me <3
After reading your thoughts (and reflecting on my own thoughts and feelings) I'm pretty sure that a large part of why I got so upset is because I know that she was factually correct, and I am being very hard on myself for not "just being vegan already". So I just need to buckle down and make sure I am trying my best, while also being forgiving to myself. I'm my harshest critic, and I think she just kind of verbalized most of the thoughts I've already had. Again, I really appreciate your responses and support.
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#11 Old 01-20-2017, 05:29 PM
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Everyone takes some time to adjust to something new, don't take it personal. Off topic, sort of Welcome to Veggieboards.

Anytime I think I'm perfect, I remember that my cousin lives on an island, and I've never walked over to visit her.
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#12 Old 01-22-2017, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleycharters View Post
So it just feels defeating to have someone tear me down and tell me that my efforts aren't good enough. And in general it just goes against my belief that we should be encouraging people to reduce their consumption of animal products in any way, and that we REALLY should be supporting each other on our journeys.
This is it, nail on the head.

We should encourage everyone to do what they can, even people who eat meat doing Meat Free Monday etc. Every little helps, and it doesn't help in any way to berate people when they're trying to do what they can.

I'm vegan, and I can see why the other person got upset, but a holier than though attitude helps no-one, and they should be supporting you in your transition, not berating you for not being completely vegan yet.

Keep at it, lovely.
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#13 Old 01-22-2017, 11:52 PM
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*hug* agreed, don't pay any attention to them. there's always super extremist people around that care more to be hostile that to really lead by example and welcome others that wish to do the same.
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#14 Old 01-23-2017, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jessandreia View Post
She's a...
Facebook is full of "I'm more vegan than you" arguments.
Don't make the animals suffer because of her, though. Do keep trying to eat vegan.
Well said, my friend!

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#15 Old 02-20-2017, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleycharters View Post
(Fair warning: I am a highly sensitive person, and going through a rough time right now. So this is probably affecting me more than it would a "normal" person on a "normal" day)

Hi,

I am brand new to vegetarianism and veganism, and I just had a heated argument on facebook on an animal rights post that devolved into a person who said she is vegan essentially berating me because I am a vegetarian now and am "transitioning" to veganism. I understand her argument and anger. She is angry for the same reason that I am angry, because of the murder and exploitation of countless animals in the meat and dairy industries. And I understand her argument, that since I am a vegetarian I should "know better" and that every day that I haven't completed my transition, I am still contributing to the pain and suffering that I abhor (which, believe me, I definitely understand).
But it just felt so combative and really hurt and frustrated me (ex: she said: "the slaughterhouse screams are ignored by those that keep eating animal products...ahem, ahem, for example YOU!" and "Good luck to you and prayers for those animals that become what you choose to eat"). I told her a couple of times that we are on the "same side" and that I felt like it was counterproductive to berate people for not going vegan earlier if the goal is for them to go vegan period. And she essentially said that she has been vegan since she was 12, and that she isn't better than anyone "but I am less cruel than many".
So anyways, I know that veganism is the way to go, and that it is right for me. And the consequences to animals have been painfully obvious to me when I didn't properly plan for food and I bought something with dairy in it for lunch or a snack (because it was the only option without meat, eggs, etc). So it just feels defeating to have someone tear me down and tell me that my efforts aren't good enough. And in general it just goes against my belief that we should be encouraging people to reduce their consumption of animal products in any way, and that we REALLY should be supporting each other on our journeys.
But anyways, it just made me feel kind of like a failure. And I feel more discouraged than encouraged to continue on, but I know it's the right thing to do.

Thoughts? Am I completely out of line? Is this going to be a regular occurrence (will there always be someone who is a "better" vegan than me who will be angrily judging me and tearing me down)? How do you deal?

I appreciate anyone willing to read and comment. I don't have any vegetarian or vegan friends, so I don't really have anyone to talk to about this.
First of all, kudos and welcome to you!! You're taking steps in the right direction and that's what's important. How fast or slow is up to you. If transitioning slowly helps you stick with it then transition slowly.

People like that are going to push people AWAY from becoming veg*n and not bring them to it. Shame on her! Every little bit helps and brings us closer to ending factory farming. She should have encouraged you and not berated you.

I think people are so anonymous online at times they don't hold back.
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#16 Old 02-20-2017, 04:22 PM
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this is why we have block on fb. I have had problems also there and thinking to take a break. The person was really rude and that was un called for
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