Are you a "preachy" Vegan? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-13-2010, 09:40 AM
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I guess I've had a lot on my mind lately. Post #3 for today.

Anyhow I am curious, do you think that you are a preachy vegan or do you keep your views & opinions to yourself? I try really hard not to come out condescending when I talk about going veg, and I only talk about it when asked but sometimes I just want to tell people what jerks they're being by some of the stuff they say.

For instance I was talking with my SIL yesterday and she understands the holistic/natural way of eating and tries to follow it but is not very strict about it. Anyhow she & I were talking and I just said how I don't like when people will ask about my veganism and then almost challenge me or say that "all veg*ns are unhealthy and frail because they knew one who was too skinny". I said that I didn't understand how people can honestly say that veg*nism is unhealthy - that I've always looked at it as the ultimate health and applauded those who did and that they must have great self control.

She said that she "can acknowledge the health benefits of it and understands why people do it, but sometimes she just really likes to have a steak"

So I said that yes, I use to really like steak once and a while too, and I practically lived on chicken, but the more I researched and learned about eating animals, the less I even wanted it, and I can honestly say that a steak does not sound appetizing to me. Very much so the opposite in fact. To which she responded that she doesn't have any intentions of researching or learning about what goes on in slaughter houses or how it affects your health because she doesn't want to know.

...I really wanted to tell her how selfish that was of her. To turn a blind eye to the suffering that animals endure so that you can "enjoy" that steak... that you'd rather just not know about it so that you can consume it guiltlessly? Or that you'd rather not know about the health effects eating animals and their by-products causes because you think that then it can't hurt you? What if you had a boyfriend who was sleeping around behind your back...would you rather just not know so that you can go about your relationship "enjoying him" without knowing the truth about what he is doing to you...? (of course I didn't say any of this because I tend to avoid confrontation and I don't want to push my beliefs on anyone, especially when I am so new to this, but I really wanted to!)

Anyhow I am just curious, how many preachy vegans are out there or do you mostly keep your beliefs to yourself?

-Kari, Minnesota mommy, wife and vegetarian. treatyourbodyright.blogspot.com
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#2 Old 09-13-2010, 10:43 AM
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I mostly keep my thoughts and opinions to myself since I'm pretty shy and quiet to begin with. But I know exactly what you are talking about. I really wanted my sister to borrow a book of mine that talks about factory farming etc. It totally shocked me how angry she got over the whole thing. She told me that she hardly eats any meat at all anymore and she's not going to feel guilty about what she does eat. She went on to say that those books/videos/articles are full of misinformation about the meat industry and they only show or tell you the worst of it just to shock you.

Well I know the truth but she was so mad about me even suggesting she read my book that I just dropped the whole matter. But it's the same thing as what you are saying. People would just rather stick their heads in the sand rather than give up their precious steak and chicken. I don't understand this at all. I wish I was a better speaker. I have trouble presenting myself in an intelligent matter while arguing...

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#3 Old 09-13-2010, 11:27 AM
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I never talk about it unless I have to due to some eating-related situation, or if someone finally catches on that I never eat animal products and asks me. A few people really seem to be offended by the existence of veganism, and automatically see my diet as criticism of theirs, and have to start defending their diet and attacking mine as a result. I try to avoid conversations like that. Even people who aren't hostile about it generally ask the same tired old questions that I'm sure everyone here has been asked. Or have to tell me the "People for the eating of tasting animals" joke that is at least ten years old now.

I don't think there are that many preachy vegans, but all it takes it seeing a few anti-fur protestors for most omnivores to conclude that we're all crazy PETA activists. I really don't think most people who complain about preachy vegans actually know any vegans anyway.
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#4 Old 09-13-2010, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydoll View Post

I wish I was a better speaker. I have trouble presenting myself in an intelligent matter while arguing...

Me too. Totally. It sucks though when ppl will totally acknowledge that there probably is information out there that might deter them from eating meat but they'd prefer to stay in the dark. Ignorance may be bliss (for them) but knowledge is power

-Kari, Minnesota mommy, wife and vegetarian. treatyourbodyright.blogspot.com
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#5 Old 09-13-2010, 11:47 AM
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I would never initiate a discussion with anyone outside my family, but I always answer questions truthfully. I bring the most delicious food I can make (usually cookies!) to every possible event. Even if I'm not the most articulate spokesperson, I think (I hope!) people know that I'm sincere and committed.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#6 Old 09-13-2010, 12:24 PM
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I would never initiate a discussion with anyone outside my family, but I always answer questions truthfully.

This is pretty much me too. If someone wants to ask me something (and isn't being a jerk or mocking me), then I have no problems responding honestly. My family understands my being a vegan and why I am but we never discuss it. When I first meet someone and they find out I'm vegan there are usually the normal questions (The stupid protein question, the "What DO you eat?!" one, etc etc) and for the most part people accept it once they ask their questions.

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#7 Old 09-13-2010, 12:27 PM
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Honestly, it depends who I'm talking to and what we're talking about at the time.

For instance, my mother and I just watched Earthlings. After, I launched into a teary "I HATE PEOPLE WHY ARE THEY SUCH HORRIFIC, SELFISH, SOULLESS *******S?!!" talk/rant/sobbing idiotic rambling.

I would not have launched into that in a casual conversation with someone.

For the record, I've had many genial conversations about my veganism with my mother as well, both before and after we watched Earthlings. And I JUST got off the phone with her, and she said she was going to email me (so I'd "have it") a talk about the things she feels she can change in her life to live a more veg*n, compassionate life. She's a smart woman, and it's been my experience that if you present information about animals to smart people without attacking them, you stand a good chance of getting a positive response. The key, I've found, is to present information without being harsh, demanding, or judgmental.

In terms of those quick-fire responses needed for casual conversation about, "Wow, why are you eating THAT?" I usually just shrug and say, "I don't need to eat animal products to survive or to thrive. Even the ADA and AHA say so. That means eating meat or milk or eggs is a choice. And I personally don't feel comfortable choosing to kill or harm an animal if I don't have to. That just feels wrong to me."

It's simple, it's straightforward, it's the truth. It's a remark about my own personal decision. It's a lot of "I, I, I" not "you, you, you." It's not even about the treatment of animals, which some people want to ignore. It's about my very basic ethical philosophy of not killing or harming a living creature for no reason. And since I don't NEED to, then it truly is for no reason.
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#8 Old 09-13-2010, 12:38 PM
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The "preachy" criticism is just a way to get vegans to stay silent.

I speak up for animals regularly, but I do it on my own terms, not on other people's terms. That is, I spend my animal advocacy time doing things I think will help the most animals (leafleting, blogging, and other activism) not preaching to family and friends. I often redirect or avoid getting into discussions about veganism in everyday life. I don't hide that I'm vegan and I'll answer questions, but in general I don't want that time to be my animal advocacy time. I organize my life to keep some things separate so as to avoid constant arguments and criticisms.
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#9 Old 09-13-2010, 01:11 PM
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I don't say much. If people ask me questions, I will steer them to the right websites. Other than that, I give away a lot of vegan desserts, so at least the world will know it's a myth that vegan food tastes like sh*t.
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#10 Old 09-13-2010, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

The "preachy" criticism is just a way to get vegans to stay silent.

I speak up for animals regularly, but I do it on my own terms, not on other people's terms. That is, I spend my animal advocacy time doing things I think will help the most animals (leafleting, blogging, and other activism) not preaching to family and friends. I often redirect or avoid getting into discussions about veganism in everyday life. I don't hide that I'm vegan and I'll answer questions, but in general I don't want that time to be my animal advocacy time. I organize my life to keep some things separate so as to avoid constant arguments and criticisms.

Wow that is great. I've never thought about leafleting and such. Good for you. How did you get in to that and do you do it on your own or as part of an organization?

-Kari, Minnesota mommy, wife and vegetarian. treatyourbodyright.blogspot.com
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#11 Old 09-13-2010, 01:27 PM
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No, not preachy, but I'm not the silent type either.

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#12 Old 09-13-2010, 05:13 PM
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Preachy? No. But I am very open about what I eat and why. I like to share all of the health benefits that I have received and add that no animals are harmed in supporting this person.

The opposite of war isn't peace. It's creation!
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#13 Old 09-13-2010, 05:36 PM
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I'm pretty quiet about being vegan. I don't mention it unless someone makes a comment about what I'm eating. Or it comes up in other ways.

I'm kind of the spay and neuter police.

I think people don't want to think about it. I'm grossed out and saddened every day by what I see people eating and what's on the TV. Mostly I'm just doing what I have to do to get home.

One thing I have noticed and it gets on my nerves is the comment "I eat very little meat." I don't know how many times I have heard this from people when they found out I'm vegetarian, now vegan. Like I'm supposed to be impressed. And why say it at all. Not a proud meat eater? Interesting.

I also got this comment last week. Direct quote: "I eat fish. Jesus fed his disciples with fish. So I guess that's OK." She was also a "I eat very little meat" commenter.

I don't know what to do with these people.
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#14 Old 09-13-2010, 05:55 PM
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I bought Earthlings just to loan out to my friends who seem interested in giving up meat and it really bothers me when they say, " I cant watch animals getting hurt." Like its easy for us Vegans to watch? Such a cop-out.

It also bugs me when people make comments about Peta being extremists. Nothing is more extreme then how horrible animals are treated.

Preachy...maybe...somebody needs to speak for the animals.

They are here with us...Not for us!
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#15 Old 09-13-2010, 06:16 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with being preachy. I'm just not good at it.
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#16 Old 09-13-2010, 06:59 PM
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I'm not preachy or argumentative with people on this. I used to be a big meat eater so understand their thinking. I never criticize and don't even think against them because I know I did not get it.

There are many opportunities where the topic of veganism and animal activism comes up without even looking and without preaching. I'm lucky I had to change for health. That opened the window for me to "think" and unlearn the nonsense that had been forced on me. I'm lucky so I share it like a lucky person.

Through example, being a foodie whose friends love my recipes, all vegetarian, being healthy and a friendly warm person and discussing things in a matter of fact way, except about any cruelty aspect, where I may say something like "I could not stand if anyone did that to my child."

We catch more bees with honey than vinegar. If you are understanding, matter of fact (i.e. not defensive) & non-combative, then you are approachable and when they have questions, they are more likely to come to you.

Happy vegetarian, healthy vegetarian, pleasant vegetarian. Much more inviting.
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#17 Old 09-13-2010, 07:45 PM
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I post animal rights-related things on Facebook periodically. Like for Shark Week I posted articles about sharks and overfishing every day once a day. I try and keep it light-hearted, usually adding a smiley of some sort in the little comments section.

When people bring up my diet or something I elaborate. Though it seems I can't talk about food without someone saying something. Like in a conversation about bad service at restaurants, I can't remark that I asked for a grande-soy-no-whip caramel frappucino and got it with whipped cream, which the guy just scraped off when I objected, without someone saying, "I like REAL milk in my frappucino." I'd love to launch into a tirade about the evils of the dairy industry right then, but I don't, because I'd be seen as "preachy".
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#18 Old 09-13-2010, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

The "preachy" criticism is just a way to get vegans to stay silent.

I speak up for animals regularly, but I do it on my own terms, not on other people's terms. That is, I spend my animal advocacy time doing things I think will help the most animals (leafleting, blogging, and other activism) not preaching to family and friends. I often redirect or avoid getting into discussions about veganism in everyday life. I don't hide that I'm vegan and I'll answer questions, but in general I don't want that time to be my animal advocacy time. I organize my life to keep some things separate so as to avoid constant arguments and criticisms.


Likewise - my being vegan wouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. Once they know that I spend a huge amount of my free time volunteering at an animal shelter/spay-neuter clinic, foster dogs, am active in the the vegetarian society and regularly protest with a local animal rights group, am organizing Farm Sanctuary's annual walk for farm animals in my city next month, and help moderate a vegetarian forum, it's pretty much a given that I'm not going to get a whole lot of questions about the "whys" of my being vegan. ! It's not like I hide my passion!!!

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#19 Old 09-13-2010, 08:40 PM
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People staying silent during the holocaust is precisely what allowed it to happen.

With vegans staying silent today, it is no wonder that billions of animals are tortured to death for the most trivial desires of man.

However, speaking out does not imply being preachy. It is possible to have a respectful conversation on the issues without doing the verbal equivalent of throwing red paint on someone.

And there are millions of meat eaters that would go vegan overnight if only presented the information about how farm animals are treated, with hundreds of millions more to follow once veganism becomes more socially widespread.

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#20 Old 09-13-2010, 08:44 PM
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I also got this comment last week. Direct quote: "I eat fish. Jesus fed his disciples with fish. So I guess that's OK." She was also a "I eat very little meat" commenter.

I don't know what to do with these people.


You can say something as simple as,

"I don't know why Jesus ate fish, but I do know that fish feel pain and suffering just as all other animals do, and I know that I don't want to cause suffering to animals."

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#21 Old 09-13-2010, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
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How did you get in to that and do you do it on your own or as part of an organization?

I decided to volunteer for Farm Sanctuary a few times in New York leafleting in the subway stations. Turns out that I'm kind of an aggressive leafleter and I go through stacks pretty quickly. I don't like to have conversations with strangers so I barely even said anything, just "hello" or "free information?" I would just power-through my "shifts" like it was a job.

Then I moved back to Vegas and there was nothing like that going on here. Nothing. I heard or read about Vegan Outreach somewhere and so I ordered a stack of pamphlets. I didn't have a plan for them at first and I just hung onto them for a while. I was doing some other stuff already (blogging, potlucks, etc.) trying different things with various amounts of success and feeling a little frustrated. But then I just started handing them out on the college campuses or busy places, sometimes with people helping me and sometimes without. Again, I just set a short time goal (like 2 hours) and I hand a booklet to as many people as possible. I avoid conversations. I focus on getting the booklets into people's hands. Usually people say "thank you" and that's it.

So far, I feel like leafleting is the simplest, most effective thing I can do for animals. Like I said, I do other things too, and some get a lot of positive feedback (some get negative feedback), but none of those other things feel as powerful. Leafleting is by far one of the most effective forms of activism with the fewest barriers and expenses.
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#22 Old 09-14-2010, 02:25 PM
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I've been called preachy for responding to a relevant question. People just don't like feel like they're being judged, but they fell that way whether we're judging or not.

You're gonna make me puke my pants.
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#23 Old 09-15-2010, 05:17 AM
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I've been told a time or two that I'm a "vocal vegetarian/vegan". LOL But I can't help it. If you start asking me questions, I'm going to answer them. I also post animal/vegan related stuff on my facebook all the time. So far, no one has deleted me.

I'm marching with Mercy for Animals in a pride parade this Sunday, and I'm also going to visit a farm sanctuary in 2 weeks. This will be the first time I've ever done something with animal rights groups, and I'm beyond excited!!!
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#24 Old 09-15-2010, 05:22 AM
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I've been called preachy for responding to a relevant question. People just don't like feel like they're being judged, but they fell that way whether we're judging or not.

This.

People ask questions, or say why are you veg*n, but dont really want to hear the answers. Being veg*n and animal rights are my interests, and I try not to talk in a 'preachy' way about them, but people will always view these things as though they are being judged for NOT supporting AR or eating meat etc. I think that says alot more about them than it does us.
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#25 Old 09-16-2010, 09:45 AM
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I don't really promote that I am vegan that openly... But if people ask I sure as hell can stand my ground.
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#26 Old 09-17-2010, 06:18 AM
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I am very open to answer questions about my lifestyle. But I am not one to initiate a conversation purposely with a Omni and how they are going to die from consuming meat. My greatest pet-peeve is the question "Are you allowed to eat/drink_____". Its not that I am not allowed, it is just a simple choice. If every person in this world had to watch "Earthings", there would defintitely be higher percentage of Vegans over Omnivores.

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#27 Old 09-17-2010, 06:46 PM
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Ok, I'll admit, I am guilty of this crime. I can debate for hours over my veganism. XD

Enjoying the view over at http://forum.veggieviews.com/

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#28 Old 09-20-2010, 06:51 AM
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When I tell people about why I'm a vegan, I don't think of it as being "preachy." I think of it as being honest and telling truths that not everyone wants to hear.

Oh, and when people say "People Eating Tasty Animals" to me, I tell them that (a) I don't support PETA, and (b) they need new material.
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#29 Old 09-20-2010, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creep View Post

I've been called preachy for responding to a relevant question. People just don't like feel like they're being judged, but they fell that way whether we're judging or not.

+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

This.

People ask questions, or say why are you veg*n, but dont really want to hear the answers. Being veg*n and animal rights are my interests, and I try not to talk in a 'preachy' way about them, but people will always view these things as though they are being judged for NOT supporting AR or eating meat etc. I think that says alot more about them than it does us.

+1


I don't think there is much more we (the vegans who approach it as thoughtfully as possible when brought up) can do to avoid accusation of being preachy especially when asked a direct question. For example, my mother asked me a question and when I answered it, she got defensive and warned me that people may think I am pushing my beliefs off on them. I was confused, especially since she brought it up, asked me and I wasn't at all nasty about it. Although I shouldn't be as I figured out some time ago she is passive aggressive and loudly opinionated about everything.
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#30 Old 09-20-2010, 12:52 PM
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I wouldn't say I am preachy but everyone I know is aware that I am vegan and am open to answering any questions they may have. I don't tolerate people being rude to me about it, if they start I let them know my diet is not up for disccussion if they are just interested in trying to be rude. If they have a genuine question I answer it to the best of my ability.

I think its good that people don't hide the fact they are vegan, the more people meet vegans the more they become common place. Vegetarianism you to be considered radical and now almost all resturants have vegetarian options. People are not surprised when you say your a vegetarian. If veganism can become more aware of in the general population, the better it is I think.

I don't think being "preachy" helps anyone as a lot of people write a preachy vegan off as a stereotype. I think that vegans can represent the group best by being kind, rational, informative and nonjudgemental. But that's just my 2 cents

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