Getting chewed up by a group of friends? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-02-2015, 09:38 AM
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Thumbs down Getting chewed up by a group of friends?

So today I was sitting with a group of friends, and we were talking about politics, social things etc. And then the topic of animal rights came up (you can see where this is going) and I said "well you're wearing leather shoes" (BIG mistake). Then they all ganged up on me, and wouldn't stop shouting at me until I left. I think they are still mad at me, but I don't really know.

I am very upset and we were supposed to meet tomorrow, but I kind of don't want to. I'm just really angry a carnist who keeps talking about how amazing meat is, etc. can say ANYTHING about how "humans are not the greatest animal on earth".
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#2 Old 06-02-2015, 09:56 AM
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Out of curiosity, what did they have to say for themselves? I'm always interested to hear how people defend their cognitive dissonance.
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#3 Old 06-02-2015, 10:17 AM
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Out of curiosity, what did they have to say for themselves? I'm always interested to hear how people defend their cognitive dissonance.
"I have iron deficiency" "Not everyone can become vegan" "How dare you challenge my meat-eating" "Don't make fun of my choices" "Tigers eat meat" etc.

I never said they should become become vegan or anything, just that they shouldn't start making comments about speciesm if they are carnists.
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#4 Old 06-02-2015, 10:27 AM
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"I'm a tiger!" is my favourite.
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#5 Old 06-02-2015, 11:16 AM
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o but you implied it, by leading an exemplary life.
i say it time and time again, most people are ****.
the sooner you realise it, the sooner you will loose all your friends, and and become a happy vegan hermit.
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#6 Old 06-02-2015, 07:29 PM
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I'm sorry you got into an agruement like that.Those suck.I have a "friend" who wants to get into hunting and frankly it disgusts me, and I agrued with her the other day.
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#7 Old 06-03-2015, 08:19 AM
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It sounds like they fell into a mob mentality, and bolstered each others' negative reactions.

Friends should show respect. Perhaps you could explain to them why their actions were hurtful to you. If these "friends" don't understand their behavior was rude and apologize, I'd stay away from them.
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#8 Old 06-03-2015, 09:30 AM
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As you've discovered, it's best for friends and family to avoid topics like politics and religion. Maybe you and your friends could agree to avoid animal rights conversation in the future. This has worked for me and my friends/family.


The most successful way to promote vegetarianism is to be a happy, healthy veggie. Over time, people will notice that you remain healthy, despite your atypical diet. They may even decide to eat less (or no) meat, without even mentioning it to you (they don't want to swallow their pride).


It can take years for people to decide to become vegetarian. During this process of decision-making, people will remember the vegetarians that they've known over the years. If those vegetarians were pleasant and healthy, this will weigh positively in their decision. If their vegetarian associates were judgmental and unpleasant, this will weigh negatively in their decision.
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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
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#9 Old 06-03-2015, 09:42 AM
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i don't want friends like that.
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#10 Old 06-03-2015, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cuberail View Post
i don't want friends like that.
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Originally Posted by mecanna View Post
It sounds like they fell into a mob mentality, and bolstered each others' negative reactions.

Friends should show respect. Perhaps you could explain to them why their actions were hurtful to you. If these "friends" don't understand their behavior was rude and apologize, I'd stay away from them.
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Originally Posted by seanE View Post
o but you implied it, by leading an exemplary life.
i say it time and time again, most people are ****.
the sooner you realise it, the sooner you will loose all your friends, and and become a happy vegan hermit.
I think it's better to remember why you like your friends and avoid some topics if you don't feel in the mood to word-wrestle that day. Please keep your friends, they're also making you healthy and happy (sometimes). If we choose friends that are like us for alimentation, religion, politics, etc., not only is it going to be difficult, but also extremely boring !

I hope it'll get better for you !
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Bon appétit !
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#11 Old 06-03-2015, 03:31 PM
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I've had problems like this where my friends all make fun of me for being vegan and how they think that it is stupid and they start to throw stuff at you about how you need to eat meat or animal products and I've learned that those are the people I should not be friends with.
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#12 Old 06-04-2015, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by princessarachne View Post
So today I was sitting with a group of friends, and we were talking about politics, social things etc. And then the topic of animal rights came up (you can see where this is going) and I said "well you're wearing leather shoes" (BIG mistake). Then they all ganged up on me, and wouldn't stop shouting at me until I left. I think they are still mad at me, but I don't really know.

I am very upset and we were supposed to meet tomorrow, but I kind of don't want to. I'm just really angry a carnist who keeps talking about how amazing meat is, etc. can say ANYTHING about how "humans are not the greatest animal on earth".

I do understand being angry. They're your friends and they're not meant to act that way and certainly not meant to attack you.


On the other hand, if you're going to be in the world around people, this sort of thing is going to come up a lot. Whether your friends stay your friends, whether you make new friends who are only vegan, whether you decide to pamphlet and talk to people about changing their choices, this is going to be a discussion you'll have for a really long time. People will get defensive and sometimes they'll yell.


Trust me, I've looked into hermit options....It's really not available.

Rather than avoiding these topics (though you can do that too) maybe think about some other ways to broach them that might get the message across.

As you know to call them carnists, I assume you've either watched or read Dr Melanie Joy's take on the whole vegetarian/vegan/carnist thing, right?

So, then you probably get that carnism actually allows people to ignore their part in animal cruelty and suffering. When you pointed out your friend's leather shoes, you were pointing out their inconsistency and that's bound to get people defensive and then angry.

Is it inconsistent for your friend to talk about loving the taste of meat while wearing leather shoes and talking about how humans are horrible to animals? Yep.

But there's a great many of us who were inconsistent like that and we changed our minds. It's because of our inconsistency that we managed to change our minds. If I hadn't loved animals and eaten them, I would have never stopped eating them, does that make sense?

This certainly isn't my idea (someone else much calmer than me came up with it) but it's often better to use 'I' statements, rather than "you" statements.

So rather than saying "You're wearing leather shoes" you can say "You're right, humans do horrible things to animals. It's why I'm vegan" and you can leave it at that. Or you can say "You're right, I mean, the things they do to get things like fur or leather, it's horrible".

No one feels directly singled out, but it does mean there's a chance it will slip past their 'defensive' mind long enough for them to think about their impact.


I hope your friends and you manage to patch things up. I found reading books on activism helped me better construct my discussions with friends about animal rights. It means I have to hold back what I 'want' to say, but it means the message gets through.
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#13 Old 06-07-2015, 05:43 PM
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If their friendship is worth it to you, maybe just tell them you were only trying to get them to recognize their own hypocricy. You could preceed this by admitting that you are a hypocrite sometimes, (aren't we all) and provide an example.

I heard T Colin Campbell's son share in an interview something he'd learned in his family medicine practice. He talked about the tact involved in bringing up his patients' diets. He said, in his experience, that people are more uncomfortable about talking about their food choices than they are about sex. This can make them incredibly defensive -- especially if they have a guilty conscience that they don't want to look at. That might be the case with your friends.

I've found that if I hold my tongue about it most of the time, and just try to be an example, that people around me will sometimes admit that they're impressed by my decision -- that they wish they could do it too. These are usually the people who at one time yelled at me like your friends did.

I've seen people like that eventually go vegan. It's probably good that you shook things up for them a little bit.
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#14 Old 06-07-2015, 06:01 PM
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My advice- don't worry about what others are doing or eating. If you want to be a vegan, that's great. Be true to yourself. Don't try to impose it on others. Just live your life, be happy with who you are, and go about your business. Let others go about theirs.

If you are a recent convert to being a vegan- well you know what they say- converts are the worst. In all walks of life, the recently converted feel the need to broadcast it and try to convince others of the error of their ways.
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#15 Old 06-08-2015, 12:08 PM
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I used to be a bit like that, I knew it was hypocritical, so I doubled down on being defensive. But if you show them how easy it can be, and that you're not a horrible person, you can change their view and maybe even plant a seed that will one day lead them to giving up meat.
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#16 Old 06-09-2015, 06:47 AM
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There are some friends you can talk to about a particular topic and others you can't. There may also be occasions where a topic is inappropriate. You need to judge what you can say when, which is not always easy! Don't give up on your existing friends too soon.

I have a social group where they don't all even know that I'm vegan. It's just not that sort of group.
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#17 Old 06-09-2015, 08:34 AM
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The bigger problem here is that products made out of leather, suede, croc-skin etc are freely available for purchase & sometimes are the only options while going for a particular brand of shoes. The marketing of such products are often done in a way that gives an illusion of luxury, and the write-ups are so smooth that most people don't even realize that leather in the end is an animal by-product.

Shoes, handbags, watch straps etc are all made out of leather, suppose we look at the etymology of the word it merely means "animal skin". No consumer would want to read the term animal skin, it might even put them off from buying if the marketing is done as such. I blame the companies for their tricky campaigns of making leather fashionable while there are perfectly durable synthetic options like alcantara or rexin which are much cheaper.

People sometimes want the best luxury watch or shoes money can buy and they go to a big branded store for the same. There is absolutely no option for synthetic materials in the luxury world, watch-makers like Jaeger LeCoultre use croc/ostrich/bull leather for their 10,000$+ watches, same for luxury phone-maker Vertu. You were right in pointing out their hypocrisy but the problem is bigger than that, leather has become a natural everyday product these days and that can change only slowly.
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#18 Old 06-11-2015, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by princessarachne View Post
So today I was sitting with a group of friends, and we were talking about politics, social things etc. And then the topic of animal rights came up (you can see where this is going) and I said "well you're wearing leather shoes" (BIG mistake). Then they all ganged up on me, and wouldn't stop shouting at me until I left. I think they are still mad at me, but I don't really know.

I am very upset and we were supposed to meet tomorrow, but I kind of don't want to. I'm just really angry a carnist who keeps talking about how amazing meat is, etc. can say ANYTHING about how "humans are not the greatest animal on earth".
In the moment it's not always possible to say the most helpful and enlightening thing. If a friend is saying something positive about animal rights, is that really the time to pounce on that person? Sometimes, maybe, but it sounds like that friend was actually declaring a point of agreement between the two of you. Is there anything you might have said instead of jumping on the shoe leather, that could have built a bridge out of that point of commonality? When people say positive things about animal rights positions, their minds might already be undergoing subtle shifts that could lead them away from eating meat and eventually away from animal skin as well. It's like a tiny ember you can feed and strengthen with encouragement, instead of snuffing it out just because it's not consistent or well thought-out yet. Like when people who eat meat are also passionate about caring for their companion animals. Were your friends all agreeing with one another on that "man is not the greatest animal" point? If they weren't, something like that could be a chance to support your friend in an argument. Or if they're all basically saying the same thing about that, all you need to do is say "Yes, I agree." You don't need to point out that you're backing up your position with your lifestyle choices and they aren't. They can probably see that themselves.

Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 06-11-2015 at 11:59 AM.
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#19 Old 06-11-2015, 09:09 PM
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Update:
I got rid of those "friends". When I talked to them separately, they were still extremely angry (I don't know why...).
To be transparent, this is not the first time they've ganged up on me like this. On pretty much every issue that comes up, they find a way to make me a scapegoat (especially politics bc I don't conform to a political party so nobody can agree with me 100% :P). Anyway, they were really toxic and for someone like me who is in a fast-decaying emotional state I don't have the energy to put up with their crap anymore. I basically blocked them on social media/texting/email and that was the end of it.

I feel a lot better. Thank you for all of your support.

I will remember your suggestions if this happens in the future. There's not much of a vegan population so it's sure to come up again.
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#20 Old 06-12-2015, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by princessarachne View Post
Update:
I got rid of those "friends". When I talked to them separately, they were still extremely angry (I don't know why...).
To be transparent, this is not the first time they've ganged up on me like this. On pretty much every issue that comes up, they find a way to make me a scapegoat (especially politics bc I don't conform to a political party so nobody can agree with me 100% ). Anyway, they were really toxic and for someone like me who is in a fast-decaying emotional state I don't have the energy to put up with their crap anymore. I basically blocked them on social media/texting/email and that was the end of it.

I feel a lot better. Thank you for all of your support.

I will remember your suggestions if this happens in the future. There's not much of a vegan population so it's sure to come up again.
Good for you, princessaranche! Smart move on your part.
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#21 Old 06-12-2015, 06:07 AM
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Friendship has nothing to do with politics. It's better to have friends with lots of different viewpoints. They don't all have to be discussed, and we tend to take our own views a bit too seriously.

Are they true friends? Ask yourself if you called them up in the middle of the night would they come over no questions asked? If you needed help would they show up? If you needed CPR would they do it?

If so, they are friends, and that is something worth preserving. Talking about what you wear or they eat? It's fun, but at the end of the day, it's not the measure of friendship.

BTW, if you only have an electronic relationship, they are not friends.
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#22 Old 06-15-2015, 03:30 AM
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I hope you make good understanding friends soon !


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Bon appétit !
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