Need help to keep faith in humanity - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-14-2010, 01:54 AM
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I am a pretty quiet vegan, I keep to myself. I did talk about it, speak aloud, when I first became vegan. There were a lot of questions from people I saw on a daily basis, about why I ate certain things or excluded others. Lately though, I've wanted to take a stand and sort of promote the movement. The issue is, all I come up against is prejudice. Nobody wants to hear a single word, no matter what I say or do, they want nothing to do with it. I try my best not to come off as "preachy" and whatnot. It's just draining my life force to the extent that I don't even want to mention my veganism ever again, and if questioned about what I'm eating or what I'm doing, to not even bother answering or just saying, "none of your business". Maybe being a closet vegan wouldn't be so bad? Or maybe I should just take a break and worry about myself for a couple of weeks, or months.
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#2 Old 08-14-2010, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by KrisMTL View Post

I am a pretty quiet vegan, I keep to myself. I did talk about it, speak aloud, when I first became vegan. There were a lot of questions from people I saw on a daily basis, about why I ate certain things or excluded others. Lately though, I've wanted to take a stand and sort of promote the movement. The issue is, all I come up against is prejudice. Nobody wants to hear a single word, no matter what I say or do, they want nothing to do with it. I try my best not to come off as "preachy" and whatnot. It's just draining my life force to the extent that I don't even want to mention my veganism ever again, and if questioned about what I'm eating or what I'm doing, to not even bother answering or just saying, "none of your business". Maybe being a closet vegan wouldn't be so bad? Or maybe I should just take a break and worry about myself for a couple of weeks, or months.

I understand Kris... I also wanted to promote the movement as I felt it was such an important issue.. However, I realised that people didn't want to hear it.. I have learned to keep my mouth shut and only answer questions when asked (this is to stop my life force being drained). You should take a break and worry about yourself - you are not helping anyone by becoming drained and disillusioned. Take care and know that there are many who feel like you do on this board.
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#3 Old 08-14-2010, 04:39 AM
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I feel the same way as you sometimes. I just try and spend time with my vegan friends or talk with them online and try and keep away from any graphic or upsetting images or stories about animal abuse.
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#4 Old 08-14-2010, 12:03 PM
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yea I did the same thing when I first went vegetarian...i couldn't believe that no1 else understood it like I did. It's human nature to want to share our beliefs with others, especially for the things we are most passionate about. Now i'm kinda like you, i've realized most people have convenient morals, if they've been doing something for 20-30 years, they don't want to admit it could have been wrong. Honestly, I don't think most omnivores even make a conscious decision about whether or not to eat meat, they just have always done it, keep on doing it, and try to defend it.

Anyway, now I don't hide that i'm vegan, but I don't try to promote it either. People close to me and my co-workers all know i'm vegan, and sometimes they'll ask questions and i'll try to enlighten them a bit and set a good example for our kind =P

it's good that you want to spread the word, just pace yourself. it's a marathon not a sprint.
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#5 Old 08-15-2010, 08:29 AM
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alot of people i work with are the same way, they question because they dont understand vegans and our position and views. some are so ignorant as to tell me eating meat is ok because it was done in the bible. i answer the reasonable questions and i like to debate with the other people about eating meat. most people i work with are overweight and diabetic and wont change their ways to help themselves. just try and do what you can to educate people. like yumy said, its a marathon not a drag race :P you just have to believe in what you believe. i myself was a closet vegan for a long time because i knew of the prejudice people send out. you should try doing some meditation if you feel completely burnt out. let out your emotions here on this forum, we're here to help and support ya ^.^ i will admit i find it harder and harder to find any faith in humanity anymore, but its there.
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#6 Old 08-15-2010, 09:31 AM
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One thing that helps me is too compare how I feel about the ethics of being vegan with other ethical views I don't maintain.
Hard core environmentalists certainly have it right about saving animal habitats, but I still drive a car more than they would, and don't save as much water etc....I try and do my best, but it's far from extreme.
People that feel abortion is murder. I don't, but I do feel we should come to terms with eliminating the need. Big difference in that if you feel it's murder you don't want it legal.
Many people feel it's perfectly okay to use animals. I try to represent the idea that at least keeping it to the most minimal does a great amount of good. I guess that's what I expect from other viewpoints, and what I strive for.

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#7 Old 08-15-2010, 09:56 AM
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It can be so difficult, and oftentimes I find myself feeling the same way as you do. I used to give more elaborate answers when people questioned my views, but now I keep it to a minimum (and sometimes feel guilty or angry after doing so). What hurts me the most is when people know the facts, have seen the horrid videos, and still continue to eat animal products without any emotion attached or any attempt at reducing their consumption. I see this happening with some of the closest people in my life and it makes me feel very alienated.

However, I think that the best thing you can do is lead by example. Preaching or arguing or forcing viewpoints upon anyone never does any good. If someone asks you about your lifestyle, have a conversation about it, but I do not feel it has to be argumentative. For the most part, I just live my life in a way that people can see I am still happy, lively, and fulfilled even without the meat and dairy others are so attached to. Your example makes a much greater impact than an argument.
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#8 Old 08-15-2010, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KrisMTL View Post

I've wanted to take a stand and sort of promote the movement. The issue is, all I come up against is prejudice. Nobody wants to hear a single word, no matter what I say or do, they want nothing to do with it. I try my best not to come off as "preachy" and whatnot.

In my experience, when you advocate "within your sphere of influence" and stick to merely answering questions as they come up, it can be very easy to feel like "nobody wants to hear a single word." It's hard to feel like speaking up for animals is worthwhile.

But if you step out and get active in other ways, especially if you get involved with other more experienced activists and if you advocate veganism to strangers, it's easier to feel like your efforts are effective, meaningful, and worthwhile. I think there are a few reasons for that:
- the more you speak up, the better you get. The better you get, the less challenging it seems.
- advocating veganism to strangers can be easier because the interactions are less personal. (For example, if someone calls you "judgmental" or "preachy," it stings less when it comes from a animal-eating stranger who says it reflexively to every vegan.)
- advocating veganism to strangers can be easier because it's simpler to stick to the topic of animal rights. Interactions with family, friends, coworkers, etc. tend to involve a lot of other issues and it's more difficult to stay on the same subject.

Ultimately, if you're moved to get active for animals but you're struggling, take a break and then come back to it refreshed. Try again and again until you find the path(s) that suit you best and use your skills, interests, and passion most effectively.
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#9 Old 08-15-2010, 10:57 AM
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I think it's a responsibility for those who know how much animals are suffering to be made into food to spread the word (i.e. not be completely silent and retiring about the issue) - and at least take away the excuse that "I didn't know" from people who are actively participating in the torture.

The people you're around may be too entrenched in their views, and for whatever reason you may be around people who don't respect you all that much. You may have more success being an activist with people you don't know, and sometimes it's easier for people to accept information that way. You can join a group or independently pass out vegan literature like "Why Vegan?" or Mercy for Animals' vegan starter kit... a number of times I've been able to pass out literature and simultaneously have a screen behind me playing Meet Your Meat. There are people who are very concerned by it and want information, and those who walk by and think it's all one big hilarious joke - as they're watching animals being hurt. The people who are concerned and want to change will give you more "faith" (and you will definitely meet those people); the ones who make it obvious they don't care what animals have to experience so they can have bacon can take that faith away...

The reality is that I don't know that you should "have faith in humanity." It is what it is and your experience tells you something. I don't think that humanity deserves your faith so much as you might work on accepting the reality of humanity.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

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#10 Old 08-15-2010, 11:50 AM
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It can be so difficult, and oftentimes I find myself feeling the same way as you do. I used to give more elaborate answers when people questioned my views, but now I keep it to a minimum (and sometimes feel guilty or angry after doing so). What hurts me the most is when people know the facts, have seen the horrid videos, and still continue to eat animal products without any emotion attached or any attempt at reducing their consumption. I see this happening with some of the closest people in my life and it makes me feel very alienated...

I think that feeling of alienation is very common amongst vegans. We are very much in the minority!
I've gone through the ups and downs of my faith in humanity...and at times it is so low that I pretty much give up all hope. I am not having any kids, so the future of humanity wouldn't necessarily concern me so much. But then I get rays of sunshine here and there and I become hopeful, and think we may be able to save it after all...at the very last minutes (like in the movies!!)
There are veg*n restaurants popping up everywhere in the world. More and more people turn to veg options now than a decade ago. More people are becoming aware of the health risks of their diets and making better choices. More and more doctors and health organizations recognize a vegan diet as the healthiest and it's not like 10 years ago when they would shun against it (or like it was in the 20th century ). Nowadays we have cheese options like daiya and even a freaking frozen pizza sold in supermarkets. We have so many more ice cream options, it actually takes time to decide which one to buy at the freezer section. While vegan cupcakes are winning over chef judges on tv, in the background business is booming for vegan commodities like Sweet & Sara vegan marshmallow, Daiya cheese, Moo Shoes and more. Not to mention all the laws being put in place, on a regular basis, around the world to protect all sorts of animals.
Yes, we are taking tiny steps, and of course it's not as fast as I would like it, and there are even a few back steps along the way, but in general, we seem to be moving in the right direction. And though it might not be at a pace of a rabbit, we all know that the turtle won the race! Btw, the CLEAR act was recently passed to protect the habitat of sea turtles and other wildlife threatened by the Gulf oil spill.
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#11 Old 08-15-2010, 05:14 PM
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It's not only acceptable but good to allow yourself "time off" and put you first. Try to rebuild your life plan that way anyway. You cannot give what you do not have. Look....you are a good person. You're ethical and caring about animals. And guess what? There's lots of nice people like you. Just look at this board, so many people. And we're just the lucky people who know about this board.
I have friends who are influenced by me, and some neighbours who are the nicest neighbours you would or could ever wish for. They'd help you in a lick. I have acquaintences who have phoned me to let me know emergency warnings for tornados just got announced and they think being a vegetarian is funny. People are skilled in different ways and kind in different ways. Some people treat strangers kindly and their family like dirt, or their family beautifully and strangers like nothing. We are complex.

Just see the good where you see it and if you open your eyes you'll see lots.

I feel better when I limit my exposure to the news. It's picked by others and emphasizes almost exclusively stupid or negative things, most of which I have little influence over. So when I seek news, I limit my exposure and I love reading.

So try to find out what treating you good and looking after you looks like, then when you feel better decide how you want to promote; if you want to promote vegetarianism. If the people in your neighbourhood are not open, then those ideas recommended about telling strangers, maybe in cities where you can go near more open communities, like near a health food store, etc. maybe that will feel better or feed the poor only vegetarian food.

Believe me there are so, so, so many good people. Some people truly do not understand. I was told it was okay to eat meat when I was against it as a child (as most children do protest at first) and became brainwashed. I am lucky I had a chance to become un-brainwashed when I became allergic to meat. So see, a stupid, callous meateater became a lamb lover, instead of a lambchop lover.
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#12 Old 08-17-2010, 01:22 AM
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The reality is that I don't know that you should "have faith in humanity." It is what it is and your experience tells you something. I don't think that humanity deserves your faith so much as you might work on accepting the reality of humanity.

I was thinking the same thing while reading this thread. In a way, it's kind of like becoming awakened to the reality of consuming other animals. One shouldn't work on 'keeping faith' that consuming animals is okay either. We can accept it and work on changing what we can.

It can be difficult, alienating, humbling, frustrating, insane... While at that moment one may be alone, the reality is that there are other people (and hopefully the number is growing) who are out there feeling the same way, in that other animals are not ours to do with as we please. At the end of the day, we're not crammed into tiny cages, living in terrible conditions, killed, etc all in the name of 'food.' I want to be a voice for those without one.

I believe everything.
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#13 Old 08-17-2010, 07:07 AM
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Take a break for yourself and regroup. Remember that you are a good person and that there are plenty of people on this forum alone who are like-minded. Just the other day, one of my friends told me she was going pescatarian, and that I, along with her other veg*n friends, had influenced her. She asks questions that I am happy to answer. I even have friends who, although they are not veg*n, they support me and ask me questions, and I hold out hope that one day, I'll get them to cut back in some way. I am calm and informative, but never preachy, because preachy alienates.

I hope you find it in you to keep believing, because there are plenty of people who are worth it. You just have to find them.
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#14 Old 08-17-2010, 07:13 AM
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I am a pretty quiet vegan, I keep to myself. I did talk about it, speak aloud, when I first became vegan. There were a lot of questions from people I saw on a daily basis, about why I ate certain things or excluded others. Lately though, I've wanted to take a stand and sort of promote the movement. The issue is, all I come up against is prejudice. Nobody wants to hear a single word, no matter what I say or do, they want nothing to do with it. I try my best not to come off as "preachy" and whatnot. It's just draining my life force to the extent that I don't even want to mention my veganism ever again, and if questioned about what I'm eating or what I'm doing, to not even bother answering or just saying, "none of your business". Maybe being a closet vegan wouldn't be so bad? Or maybe I should just take a break and worry about myself for a couple of weeks, or months.

I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. No one convinced me to go vegan, it was a natural decision. You should let people do what they want and just set a good example of how to live happily. Water is the softest substance yet can cut through the hardest rock.
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#15 Old 08-19-2010, 12:40 AM
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Stop worrying about humanity. You can't help them. Leave it to those who can. Even that is risky, to interfere in the karma of those who are suffering. They are suffering for a purpose.
Having faith in humanity will probably just drag you down to their level. You don't need that. Rely on yourself: don't put yourself on a par with others. Recognise that you are above the masses, far above them. Cast off your faith in them: it's an unnecessary illusion.

Everything is prejudice. Veganism is itself nothing but a prejudice. Reality is something else: cause and effect. You are entitled to your prejudice, but so are others.
Conserve your life force. Withdraw from uncongenial society. Retreat. The day will come when you can emerge into the sunshine again.
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#16 Old 08-19-2010, 01:44 AM
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I can empathize. It's not always easy. Especially when we are bombarded with the food industry on TV, radio, in the stores, what co workers eat. The list goes on and on.

I too am quiet about being vegan. Most of my co workers have no idea. It is though, for me, the best thing I have ever done and I take comfort and solace in that at least.
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#17 Old 08-19-2010, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

I think it's a responsibility for those who know how much animals are suffering to be made into food to spread the word (i.e. not be completely silent and retiring about the issue) - and at least take away the excuse that "I didn't know" from people who are actively participating in the torture.

The people you're around may be too entrenched in their views, and for whatever reason you may be around people who don't respect you all that much. You may have more success being an activist with people you don't know, and sometimes it's easier for people to accept information that way. You can join a group or independently pass out vegan literature like "Why Vegan?" or Mercy for Animals' vegan starter kit... a number of times I've been able to pass out literature and simultaneously have a screen behind me playing Meet Your Meat. There are people who are very concerned by it and want information, and those who walk by and think it's all one big hilarious joke - as they're watching animals being hurt. The people who are concerned and want to change will give you more "faith" (and you will definitely meet those people); the ones who make it obvious they don't care what animals have to experience so they can have bacon can take that faith away...

The reality is that I don't know that you should "have faith in humanity." It is what it is and your experience tells you something. I don't think that humanity deserves your faith so much as you might work on accepting the reality of humanity.

Did people really actually laugh while watching Meet Your Meat?

I find it is tricky to find a good balance - not being preachy, but still advocating for the animals. I am working on becoming braver and unapologetic about being vegan. I have a vegan blog and I have only recently branched out from just sharing recipes, to talking a little about WHY I am vegan. All my friends and family read my blog so it was a little scary to put it all out there, but I am really glad that I did.

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#18 Old 08-19-2010, 11:19 PM
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Did people really actually laugh while watching Meet Your Meat?

I find it is tricky to find a good balance - not being preachy, but still advocating for the animals. I am working on becoming braver and unapologetic about being vegan. I have a vegan blog and I have only recently branched out from just sharing recipes, to talking a little about WHY I am vegan. All my friends and family read my blog so it was a little scary to put it all out there, but I am really glad that I did.

Yes, I've seen people joke and laugh about it. I've seen the same thing while showing the fur video in which the animal is skinned alive (easier to take skin off a live animal than a dead one who has gone into rigor mortis) and you see the skinned animal dying and still blinking. And I've talked with people who stand there completely unaffected and continue to argue that furriers have a right to their business without being protested, people ought to be protesting abortion clinics instead, etc. Pictures and video are the most powerful thing we have, but there are still people who really don't care about animal suffering at all. Like the people who go to dog fighting - they can watch animals being ripped apart, and they're great with it, in fact they pay for the pleasure of seeing it. There are a lot of sick, sick humans. Heck, a lot of people would still own slaves in this country if they weren't prevented from it, the South didn't give that up willingly. I think that probably most people are followers and will do what the majority do, even if they have some tiny inkling that it might not be right. It takes a few brave souls to stand up against the status quo and actively change things. The rest just go along with them as soon as it seems safe and convenient to do and think differently, and the numbers go their way.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

Every animal you eat
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#19 Old 08-20-2010, 05:42 AM
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I have no faith in humanity. I have faith in individuals and some groups that seem more enlightened than most of our species.

We will change or we will be changed.

Still speak out against injustice when you can, for every 10 people who think you're wrong you might reach one.
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#20 Old 08-20-2010, 06:03 AM
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Yes, I've seen people joke and laugh about it. I've seen the same thing while showing the fur video in which the animal is skinned alive (easier to take skin off a live animal than a dead one who has gone into rigor mortis) and you see the skinned animal dying and still blinking. And I've talked with people who stand there completely unaffected and continue to argue that furriers have a right to their business without being protested, people ought to be protesting abortion clinics instead, etc. Pictures and video are the most powerful thing we have, but there are still people who really don't care about animal suffering at all. Like the people who go to dog fighting - they can watch animals being ripped apart, and they're great with it, in fact they pay for the pleasure of seeing it. There are a lot of sick, sick humans. Heck, a lot of people would still own slaves in this country if they weren't prevented from it, the South didn't give that up willingly. I think that probably most people are followers and will do what the majority do, even if they have some tiny inkling that it might not be right. It takes a few brave souls to stand up against the status quo and actively change things. The rest just go along with them as soon as it seems safe and convenient to do and think differently, and the numbers go their way.

That makes me so furious and sad at the same time.
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#21 Old 08-22-2010, 04:41 PM
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It's not only acceptable but good to allow yourself "time off" and put you first. Try to rebuild your life plan that way anyway. You cannot give what you do not have. Look....you are a good person. You're ethical and caring about animals. And guess what? There's lots of nice people like you. Just look at this board, so many people. And we're just the lucky people who know about this board.
I have friends who are influenced by me, and some neighbours who are the nicest neighbours you would or could ever wish for. They'd help you in a lick. I have acquaintences who have phoned me to let me know emergency warnings for tornados just got announced and they think being a vegetarian is funny. People are skilled in different ways and kind in different ways. Some people treat strangers kindly and their family like dirt, or their family beautifully and strangers like nothing. We are complex.

Just see the good where you see it and if you open your eyes you'll see lots.

I feel better when I limit my exposure to the news. It's picked by others and emphasizes almost exclusively stupid or negative things, most of which I have little influence over. So when I seek news, I limit my exposure and I love reading.

So try to find out what treating you good and looking after you looks like, then when you feel better decide how you want to promote; if you want to promote vegetarianism. If the people in your neighbourhood are not open, then those ideas recommended about telling strangers, maybe in cities where you can go near more open communities, like near a health food store, etc. maybe that will feel better or feed the poor only vegetarian food.

Believe me there are so, so, so many good people. Some people truly do not understand. I was told it was okay to eat meat when I was against it as a child (as most children do protest at first) and became brainwashed. I am lucky I had a chance to become un-brainwashed when I became allergic to meat. So see, a stupid, callous meateater became a lamb lover, instead of a lambchop lover.

This is we need to remember. We're not perfect, and recognizing the everyone has their own battles to overcome is a very important thing.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#22 Old 08-26-2010, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Breezydreams View Post

It's not only acceptable but good to allow yourself "time off" and put you first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xamorphia View Post

Take a break for yourself and regroup.


It seems to me that most vegans are on one big perpetual break... One big perpetual vacation.

Contrary to popular opinion, converting omnivores into veg*ns is relatively easy, provided we go about it in the right way.


I think that when handing out Why Vegan pamphlets to a young audience, I have only approximately a 2% conversion rate. However, I can give out over 1000 pamphlets in a single day, hence at least 20 new vegetarians, and thousands of animals saved. The reason we have trouble convincing the people in our immediate social circle to go vegetarian is one of statistics. With only a 2% success rate, and a 98% failure rate, the odds are against you if you are dealing with only a small handful of people.


If leafleting isn't your thing, you can reach lots and lots of young people from the comfort and convenience of your computer, as is described in this thread:

https://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/showthread.php?109474-Online-Activism-Can-be-very-effective-if-done-right


And if you need faith in humanity, just check out some of the comments I have received from people that went from omnivore to vegan as a result of my MySpace video:

https://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/showthread.php?113320-Reactions-on-MySpace-to-Vegetarianism


As for getting all the hard core meat eaters you know to go vegan, and having a vegan world, I think this is covered in:

https://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/showthread.php?112458-Why-we-will-have-a-veg-world-within-our-lifetime.



-Eugene

http://ar.vegnews.org
(My animal rights FAQ)
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