"Do Vegetarians and Vegans Think They Are Better Than Everyone Else?" - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-30-2012, 08:08 AM
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http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/08/30/160117028/do-vegetarians-and-vegans-think-they-are-better-than-everyone-else

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do vegetarians and vegans think they are better than the rest of us? Judging from personal experience, a good number of people who aren't vegetarian or vegan would offer a resounding "Yes"to this question.

Those individuals who publicly tout eating no meat, especially when their stated reason has to do with caring about animals, are thought to be telegraphing a message of superiority: My dietary choices make me a better person than you.

I encounter this sort of thinking frequently in the 13.7community. (I'm very close to, but not quite, a vegetarian, myself.)

When I wrote about the paleo-diet, a reader commented: "You are one more in a long line of vegetarian holier than thou types." When I considered vegetarian diets from an evolutionary perspective, a reader mocked, "Airy, fairy self- righteous, I am more virtuous than thou..." Another wrote to say, "The worst thing about vegetarians and vegans is that treat it like a religion. They preach, they push, and they act like they are better than the rest of us." And these are just three examples.

So is it true? Do vegetarians and vegans think they're better than everyone else?

 

 

The responses in the article are wonderful, great way to approach this issue!

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#2 Old 08-30-2012, 08:35 AM
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It always annoys me when I get called holier than thou. I don't think any veg*n is one so that they can walk around with a feeling of superiority. Some probably do because there is no such thing as a 100%, but most of the preachy ones do it because they care about animals. We are no more preachy or 'holier than thou' than those people who try to get you to donate to people in need. If a person for the red cross asks you for money, to help their cause, do you yell at them for acting smug? No, no it always annoys me when a veg*n approaches someone and asks them to help their cause, and get yelled at for the same reason. I am currently too afraid to approach people (something I am told I will grow out of) because I am worried that they will get angry. I don't want to show off how much more awesome I am, I don't want to have a feeling of superiority, I just want to help relieve the horrible gut wrenching pain that is caused by the knowledge of what the meat/dairy/egg industry is doing.

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#3 Old 08-30-2012, 09:13 AM
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I don't think I'm better than them as a person, but I do think my dietary choices are better. It's becoming common knowledge that vegan diets are better for the animals, the environment, and the human population. On the other hand, some omnivores could be blood donors or organ donors, something I don't do/I'm not.

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#4 Old 08-30-2012, 09:22 AM
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We are better what with the vegan powers and all! Just kidding...

 

Honestly, I've met a lot of holy minded vegans and vegetarians. I've especially met a lot who think I suck more than they do because I didn't go vegetarian for AR vs. other reasons. I care about AR just maybe not as much as some. 

 

In fact it's not unusual to meet brand new vegetarians or vegans who get all tied up in knots about me not being all about AR, which makes me really frustrated considering I've spent 18+ years not eating meat, so no matter why I went veg, the end result was I caused less animal harm then say a new vegetarian who doesn't go veg until age 28 or later. 

 

I've also met a ton of meat eating folks who say, "I'd never go veg because you people are like a cult and think you're better than everyone else." AND I've met vegetarians who won't go vegan for the same reason, or so they say. Honestly it all sounds like excuses from meat eaters to me, which has nothing to do with veg diet folks. 

 

All this considered, I actually do think there are plenty of vegetarians and vegans who maybe don't think they're superior, but who for sure act like they are. Maybe people just don't know how to sell veggie lifestyles nicely. 

 

That said, it's not like veggie eaters are in a unique position. Plenty of people who belong to a religion act "better than thou" as do folks who are into attachment parenting vs. non-attachment, as do folks who have a college degree vs. life experience, as do people in the eco-community who freak if someone doesn't recycle... and don't get me started on the homeschoolers vs. public schooler debates - both sides think they rock so much more than the other. All of the above can be just as pushy as vegans I've met. 

 

It may just be human nature to push your belief systems, especially when you've recently converted to a belief system or lifestyle. For example, the newbie environmentalists I meet are often super horrid to others and can really turn people off to green living entirely.

 

I think too many people don't push their ideas nicely and what happens is an entire community of some lifestyle choice comes off as harsh, over-excited, and sometimes nuts. There's no way all vegetarians and vegans (or any entire group) thinks they're better than everyone else, but guilt by association happens. 

 

PS - ugh when I clicked over to that NPR image!

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#5 Old 08-30-2012, 10:01 AM
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In the sense of willing to change for other's who would have been the victims of my actions, yes. I do think I'm more enlightened than most omnis. As for overall people, I wouldn't say that I'm "better" than anyone. So yeah, in certain standpoints I do think I am. There is no "I'm being judgemental" it's more like there is a clear betterness of changing to vegan for the animals, than someone who reuses to because they like their meat. I liked my meat to, but like hell I gave it up.

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#6 Old 08-30-2012, 10:44 AM
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I think I'm better than everyone else, vegan or no vegan wink3.gif
 

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#7 Old 08-30-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mollycakes View Post

I think I'm better than everyone else, vegan or no vegan wink3.gif

 

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There are some veg*n's who act like jerks out there for sure, but I've noticed omnis have a tendency to get defensive and act insulted just hearing people don't eat meat/animal products sometimes. I think it's a natural response to seeing someone else living a different way, people don't like wondering if their actions are wrong and feeling guilty and honestly I think it's just easier to blame the person that's making you feel that way than it is to reflect on why you feel guilt and if that means you need to change.

You see the same kind of reaction with ex-smokers, ex-drinkers, heck even just people who really have their lives together. People feel judged and even jealous when they see that someone else has stopped doing something they used to do or is doing something they think they should be doing.

Full disclosure: I have felt like that myself before so I'm speaking from personal experience blush.gif

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#8 Old 08-30-2012, 12:54 PM
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I think I'm better than everyone else, vegan or no vegan wink3.gif
 

Ha ha! There you go. A little confidence never hurts. 


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#9 Old 08-30-2012, 01:02 PM
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You see the same kind of reaction with ex-smokers, ex-drinkers.... People feel judged and even jealous when they see that someone else has stopped doing something they used to do or is doing something they think they should be doing.

 

Yes to everything you said, but especially the above. Though I do think vegans and vegetarians can be judgmental, I also think it's WAY easy for meat eaters to feel like veggie people are more critical than they really are because deep down a lot of people feel bad about meat.

 

It's like my aunt I've mentioned before. She thinks I go off far too much about meat issues (but really I don't [no, really] - I'm more likely to spout off green advocacy stuff, I keep my veggie issues mostly private). However, my aunt also says she feels horrid about animal cruelty and hates that she eats meat (as she eats meat). Then if I even mention meat issues at all, even in a very minor way or because she asks, she gets so upset.

 

I think so many people know eating meat is a baddie bad, but can't motivate themselves to stop. Since we're doing what they wish they could, we get the whole judgment label tossed at, but they're likely, as you point out, judging themselves. 

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#10 Old 08-31-2012, 09:40 AM
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If we didn't believe that eating veg*n was better than not eating veg*n then we wouldn't be eating veg*n. That's a lot different from saying that a veg*n is a better person than a non-veg*n. 

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#11 Old 08-31-2012, 11:20 AM
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I don't think I'm better than them as a person, but I do think my dietary choices are better.

seconding
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#12 Old 08-31-2012, 11:30 AM
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I think I am better than a person who is like me in every possible respect with the exception of eating meat.

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#13 Old 08-31-2012, 12:38 PM
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I judge people by their actions and the way they treat others, so yes, personally I think that in general vegans are better. I tend to keep this viewpoint to myself in my day to day life though because I do not want to make other people feel bad. I make no secret of my veganism, but never preach.


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#14 Old 09-01-2012, 01:57 PM
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YES! Vegans tend to view other people who aren't vegan as ignorant. I think it's kind of natural-- in the same way that people believe their religion is better and more right than all the others :)

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#15 Old 09-02-2012, 01:01 AM
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YES! Vegans tend to view other people who aren't vegan as ignorant. I think it's kind of natural-- in the same way that people believe their religion is better and more right than all the others :)


Ah, sorry but I have to disagree. Veganism isn't really like a religion. It does not require blind faith in anything, and has proven results and consequences.

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#16 Old 09-03-2012, 10:12 AM
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I think I am doing more than most people to be less of a dick to the world, its environment and its various populations. Plus rather than saying 'Oh I know, isn't it terrible' then continuing to eat a bacon sandwich after a discussion on animal cruelty and farming practices, I actually did something about it. But I'm not a superhero. 

 

I reckon a lot of animals consider us to be superior though cool3.gif


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#17 Old 09-03-2012, 10:37 AM
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I try to keep in mind that, for over half my life, I was omnivorous- trained to be so. I think there's a terrible, world-wide tradition at work here, rather like a dirty snowball rolling down a slope- very hard to stop. I feel more lucky than superior that I got it figured out.

 

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#18 Old 09-03-2012, 06:28 PM
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 I can say that veganism is a healthier option. However, as HUMANS, vegans are not better than anyone else. 

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#19 Old 09-22-2016, 08:16 AM
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The comments you have received would indicate that vegans and vegetarians are discriminated against rather than being the discriminators. Think about it... a (albeit large) minority group ridiculed for their beliefs ... it's not a new concept.
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#20 Old 09-25-2016, 06:13 PM
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Certainly not.

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#21 Old 09-25-2016, 06:28 PM
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I think my toenails might be a little bit shinier.
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#22 Old 09-26-2016, 06:51 AM
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I think my toenails might be a little bit shinier.
.
Seriously? My toenails are super shiney- like polished shiny. I finally decided it must be new socks, but why? I don't know....
All my nails are thicker and stronger now and the longitudinal ridges I had on my thumbs are gone. They weren't bad, but they were noticable

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#23 Old 12-13-2016, 05:54 AM
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I do think so. I don't think it's wrong either. But I don't go around acting like it.


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#24 Old 12-13-2016, 07:56 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Werewolf Girl

I think so many people know eating meat is a baddie bad, but can't motivate themselves to stop. Since we're doing what they wish they could, we get the whole judgment label tossed at, but they're likely, as you point out, judging themselves.
That is the case with almost all judgment by other people out there. I'm fat because I have PCOS and take prednisone and people will tell me I need to lose weight regardless of what reasons I have to be fat .

Now I could focus on defending myself, or realize what's really happening instead. People who call me out for being fat, are usually insecure themselves and need to feel better than someone else. That gives them confidence.

The same goes for meat eaters who say veg*ns are arrogant, they need to put the guilt in their mind to a halt by attacking someone who reminds them of that feeling.

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#25 Old 12-21-2016, 09:08 PM
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These people don't want you to have morals that conflict with their lifestyle. I used to be one of the most ridiculously open minded people until I realized how intellectually lazy and morally weak that is, that certain things should NOT be encouraged (the average American level of meat consumption, being "fat positive" ...I'm not pro-body-shaming, but I think being pro-fat is along the lines of being pro-gluttony, pro-greed or pro-heroin, and so forth, living in one of the most liberal states in the nation and YET DESPITE THAT FACT OF LIBERALISM watching people still litter and my city have one of the largest homeless populations in the world has changed me considerably) ...they're going to argue you should be OK with them eating animals. Well I'm not, because most of them are middle class Americans who have a choice and prepare "turducken" for the holidays. I'm not going to reassure them that's OK. Liberal should not mean stupid, amoral, or overly permissive. That's why Trump got elected. ..they, the conservatives, think we are all a bunch of mindless overly permissive a-holes, who openly encourage children to take drugs and able-bodied sane-minded people to be unemployed (obviously the joke is on them, because Marx was all for everyone doing their J-O-B to contribute to the community and socialist countries have the best drug rehabilitation facilities) ...but no as long as I'm not running up to people and telling them they're Satan for eating at a steakhouse, nor harming my friends because they eat animal products, I'm not going to apologize for having ethics. Yes, I do think veganism is better. Does it mean I'm an overall superior human being? No it means I have different weaknesses or that I stumbled onto the information earlier than they did (however, I do grow impatient or annoyed with people who still persist in bacon monologues once exposed to the information, just like I lectured my own sister for smoking in the car with her kids ten years ago). Do I think veganism is better? Absolutely, unless you're an Eskimo living on the frozen tundra. Do I think I'm flawless? Sadly, no.

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#26 Old 12-21-2016, 09:27 PM
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Quote:Originally Posted by Nara 

YES! Vegans tend to view other people who aren't vegan as ignorant. I think it's kind of natural-- in the same way that people believe their religion is better and more right than all the others



Ah, sorry but I have to disagree. Veganism isn't really like a religion. It does not require blind faith in anything, and has proven results and consequences.
This X 1000.

That's why I think the days of apologetic veganism need to draw close, like the days of apologetic homosexuality, or the days of apologetic belief in global warming or recycling.

No, the world is essentially burning down, and veganism is a very good and effective way to handle the over consumption and it's been proven by science.

People who over-consume meat aren't just doing something morally wrong, they're doing something incredibly destructive and stupid, if they value their lives or the lives of their children.

I also don't care if arrogant entitled Americans feel bad about their life choices. We have 6% of the earth's population but 60% of its obese. We take up less than 5% of the earth's surface and have the largest carbon footprint per person. I'm sick and tired of approaching each American like they're tiny monarchs or gods - these people need to stop their ****.
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#27 Old 12-22-2016, 04:26 AM
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Ah, sorry but I have to disagree. Veganism isn't really like a religion. It does not require blind faith in anything, and has proven results and consequences.
And I have to disagree with this. You can only go so far with saying that veganism is good for health, good for the environment, good for the economy etc. At the end of the day, I also have a belief that it is intrisically wrong to mistreat and/or kill animals but like a religious belief eg a belief in God, it's something that I'm unable to prove. It's a belief.

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#28 Old 12-22-2016, 11:48 AM
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Quote:Originally Posted by mollycakes 

I think I'm better than everyone else, vegan or no vegan

 




There are some veg*n's who act like jerks out there for sure, but I've noticed omnis have a tendency to get defensive and act insulted just hearing people don't eat meat/animal products sometimes. I think it's a natural response to seeing someone else living a different way, people don't like wondering if their actions are wrong and feeling guilty and honestly I think it's just easier to blame the person that's making you feel that way than it is to reflect on why you feel guilt and if that means you need to change.

You see the same kind of reaction with ex-smokers, ex-drinkers, heck even just people who really have their lives together. People feel judged and even jealous when they see that someone else has stopped doing something they used to do or is doing something they think they should be doing.

Full disclosure: I have felt like that myself before so I'm speaking from personal experience
I think you hit the nail on the head and just the fact that we're saying that something they like is awful, they automatically get defensive and the first defence is to try to shift the blame to us. We're rude, we're pushy, we're.....

I used to 'worry' about being called judgemental when I talk to people online about this. But recently I started thinking like this:

If I sense that the person has a bit of an idea about the issue and they still chose to participate in the cruelty (by being the 'market'), then I have no hesitation about telling them they are participating in animal abuse. If they say obnoxious things, same thing. If they come with a legitimate question or I sense that they are on the edge, then encourage, encourage, encourage!

I've also read Lots on the effects on the environment and have loads of great non-vegan websites bookmarked so I can discuss it intelligently.
Same with health, and I make sure that regardless of what I'm saying to who, no cursing, no name calling, no verbal abuse.....and sometimes it is soooo hard to refrain from, as I'm sure some will agree.
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#29 Old 12-22-2016, 12:01 PM
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One more thing about being called judgemental, I usually respond like this:

I'll ask them how they would feel about the neighbour who kicks the daylights out of his dog who sits on the porch, every day. I ask them if they would be judgemental about that neighbour (he's a jerk, he's a monster, etc) or would they smile and nod and not be bothered at all to see it, every day. I usually finish off with something like, 'I feel that all the things that are done every day to your food is as bad and worse than what happens to that old dog on the porch, so think how I feel.'

I've been a vegan for almost ten years now, and veganism is mainstream enough that in most areas is getting sort of known and given that the danger we are in from animal ag and its effect on the environment being potentially catastrophic, I figure 'Truth's' time has come. So 'yes, you are participating in animal abuse', 'yes your diet is destroying the planet (give examples), and 'yes, your diet is going to kill you from HD, cancer, obesity or diabetes in greater likelihood than mine'......but I always do it politely. They're going to call us pushy no matter what. They just don't want to see or hear and they figure that if they do that, we'll leave them alone or we will just all agree that 'yes, each to his own' because we don't like being called judgemental. I don't really care because I freely admit that on the issue of causing suffering to anyone, I'm pretty judgemental. I also own the label 'Bleeding Heart' because that's a badge of honour (it proves that I have one and its alive and well ;-)



But you know, one of my hero's is Captain Paul Watson and he once said, "Our clients are the whales, sharks, seals, fish, whatever. We don’t give a damn what you think. Find me one whale that disagrees with what we do and maybe we might reconsider, but until then we’re going to do what we do..."

Replace cow or pig or chicken wherever the word whale appears and think of us as 'talking' instead of being out on a ship like he is....and in those conversations 'our clients' are the cow....or pig....or chicken.....or?


So armed with knowledge and facts and bookmarks, I talk and talk and talk.....
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