Arguments for my dad - please help! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-04-2016, 07:20 AM
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Arguments for my dad - please help!

Hello! I've been doing a lot of reaserch on vegetarianism and veganism over the last few days and decided to give it a shot. The hardest part about me becoming a vegetarian is my father who is strongly against this idea and considers vegetarians as egotistical people who don't eat meat so that it makes THEM feel good, like they are doing the right thing, but don't really care if it actually changes anything (because he thinks it doesn't). He thinks that this problem is minor in comparison to other problems in the world that vegetarians don't seem to care about because it's not convenient for them and not eating meat is because, as I mentioned before, that makes them feel good. He told me that if I don't want to eat meat because animals get hurt then why do I use a cell phone (its case contains some element that children work for in mines and get hurt - child abuse) or wear clothes that were made by abusing workers in India, or don't help the homeless etc. He said that it doesn't make sense and I have to be consistent. I don't really know how to answer to that and what to think. Please help me!
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#2 Old 06-04-2016, 08:43 AM
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Next time you're shopping ask why he doesn't just steal stuff-- you know, cause it doesn't matter. Maybe throw litter on the ground, shove people out of line.
And while you're at it, why are you bothering to get good grades? You could party, have babies, get on welfare.

I think breeding animals, raising them in confined horrid conditions, then killing them in early life when there's no need, is quite egotistical.
Personally I buy as much secondhand, clothes, furniture, as possible since I can't afford new things that I feel as ethically produced
The idea that you can't do everything is no excuse for not doing as much as you can. You can control whether you purchase flesh.
In addition to not wanting to eat meat for ethical reasons, there's also the health benefits. Maybe he thinks reducing your cancer, heart problem, diabetes risk is also egotisical?

Activists have led the change for betterment against all odds. Without them we would all be slaves
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#3 Old 06-04-2016, 08:50 AM
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The more people do it, the more difference it makes. Of course it feels good to be taking part in something that pushes things in the right direction. Besides tormenting and slaughtering animals for no good reason, meat causes more pollution than cars, and everything and everyone is affected by pollution. Your own health improves without meat, which cuts down on your likelihood of being a heavy user of health care, or of Social Security disability payments. Plus, why wouldn't your father want you to feel good about your lifestyle choices? Doesn't he want you to be happy? How much ink, how many piercings, how much beer, how many drugs, how much high-risk sex, do people indulge in so they can feel better? If eating chick peas instead of chicken is your bliss, why would he hold it against you?
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#4 Old 06-04-2016, 08:59 AM
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Joan makes a better point than I did!
That's it exactly. Parents want their kids to better themselves, to live according to the best ideals possible. Get good grades in school, pursue moral careers and live good lives. Most don't think about goals outside of what they're used to, so reaching for outsider things seems -- well, silly. Some parents would argue against what they consider lofty career goals, or pursueing a career in entertainment. Veg'nism is often looked at much like that.
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#5 Old 06-04-2016, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecyl View Post
considers vegetarians as egotistical people who don't eat meat so that it makes THEM feel good
What, does he believe all things you do must be done to make everyone else feel good?

I don't know your age, or your country, but in my country (the USA) there's a little document that starts something like: "We were endowed by our creator to certain rights, those of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

You have the right to do as you please, and make yourself happy. Yes, that is your right as long as you do not step on the rights of others to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (And believe me, what makes some people happy is not something you want to get into, but they still have the right to screw up their lives. That is like when the KKK has rallies, okay, most people don't like them, but they have the right to do it.)

And the rest of his logic is highly flawed. Because you somehow cannot fix all wrongs in the world, you should not make an effort to fix only one of them as your conscience dictates? You are only one person, you are not supernatural.

Ask him where he got is degree in nutrition and medicine. (He'll yell at you though). This is the problem I see. Most kids are Taught what to eat by their parents. And from the way most kids I have seen eat (I work with kids) they have only been taught to eat meat, fried potatoes, and candy. I would love to see kids care about what goes into their stomachs. I would love to see kids eat fruit, vegetables, rice and beans, and drink WATER. Real, non-corporate foods that are actually beneficial to your body.

This does not answer your question. I do not have any right to go up against your parents. Is their any way you can get your mom on your side? I know when I told my father years ago, he started to buy meat for himself, and bought me a box of Boca vegetarian Burgers every month.
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#6 Old 06-04-2016, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecyl View Post
Hello! I've been doing a lot of reaserch on vegetarianism and veganism over the last few days and decided to give it a shot. The hardest part about me becoming a vegetarian is my father who is strongly against this idea and considers vegetarians as egotistical people who don't eat meat so that it makes THEM feel good, like they are doing the right thing, but don't really care if it actually changes anything (because he thinks it doesn't). He thinks that this problem is minor in comparison to other problems in the world that vegetarians don't seem to care about because it's not convenient for them and not eating meat is because, as I mentioned before, that makes them feel good. He told me that if I don't want to eat meat because animals get hurt then why do I use a cell phone (its case contains some element that children work for in mines and get hurt - child abuse) or wear clothes that were made by abusing workers in India, or don't help the homeless etc. He said that it doesn't make sense and I have to be consistent. I don't really know how to answer to that and what to think. Please help me!

Welcome to VeggieBoards!

When you tell your parents about wanting to be vegetarian, don't criticize their own meat-eating. Don't say anything that would lead them to feel insulted.

If you say, "Eating meat is wrong!", then of course they will respond by arguing. It sounds like you may have already said this, and that things have already become argumentative.


Give them time to cool off. Don't talk about vegetarianism for a while. During this time, gather information which demonstrates that mainstream health organizations support vegetarian diets - the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, Kaiser Permanente, and the USDA have all stated that properly-planned vegetarian diets are healthy. Please see the links below:

From the American Heart Association: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Health...32_Article.jsp

From the American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fit...r-vegetarians/

From Kaiser Permanente: https://share.kaiserpermanente.org/w...et-booklet.pdf

From the USDA: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/tips-vegetarians


Even if your parents are open to you becoming vegetarian, they will be worried about your health. You and your parents might find it useful to make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian. A Registered Dietitian is a professional with a university degree in human nutrition. They can help your parents to understand vegetarian nutrition, and to reassure them. They can also help you to plan nutritionally-complete vegetarian meals.

In the United States, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.eatright.org . Just click on the "Find an Expert" button, located in the upper-right-hand portion of the webpage.

In the U.K., you can find a local Registered Dietitian on the Freelance Dietitians website: http://www.freelancedietitians.org/

In New Zealand, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Dietitians New Zealand website: http://dietitians.org.nz/find-a-dietitian/

In Canada, you can find a local Registered Dietitian at the Dietitians of Canada website: http://www.dietitians.ca/Find-a-Dietitian.aspx .
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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."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#7 Old 06-04-2016, 01:54 PM
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It is very easy to be a vegetarian. And then you can concentrate on all the problems in the world.


Some people think they are doing good by sending money for charity (but they don't how the money is spend).
If you don't eat meat, you are sure that for your taste no animals are murdered. That it is healthy and and there is less harm for the environment.
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My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#8 Old 08-14-2016, 01:55 PM
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Hi Mecyl,

I'm not sure if you have worked out this issue with your Father, I hope you have. Although other commenters have given perhaps more satisfactory answers; I am going to leave my comment for future reference.

I have been vegetarian in the past in my teens and for various reasons was almost forced back into eating limited amounts meat - fish mostly - by my doctors. For me my switch to veganism has always been dietary. I am of course interested in reducing animal suffering and improving environmental issues like the clearing of the clearing of rainforest for cattle in Amazon and elsewhere etc. However my number one concern has always been my own health and the health of other people.

Switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet can be a completely apolitical gesture and doesn't have to be an attempt at "virtue signaling". So even if you do care deeply about the political side of vegetarianism I would try using the health benefits and the apolitical nature this against your Father. Tell him you are doing this for yourself and just as you do not tell him not eat meat has no right to force you to eat something that makes you unhappy.

Ask him does he want you to be unhappy?


Best Wishes,


C.


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Last edited by Cillian; 08-14-2016 at 02:00 PM.
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#9 Old 08-15-2016, 06:41 PM
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It seems pretty simple - just tell him you're no more "perfect" th an anyone else, but you're just trying to  make the world a little better. You really can't argue with that!
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