Why do people go more insane over vegans than vegetarians do you think? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-18-2013, 09:16 AM
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So, anyone who has seen my ranting posts lately has likely noticed I'm sick of people's comments about vegan diets. It's made me ponder why vegan diets get so many more negative comments than vegetarian diets. 

 

Honest to god, I was vegetarian for some 15+ years and I really can't remember getting much negativity about it from anyone. On one hand, I was veg so long, maybe I blocked out people's comments, but I don't think that's it.

 

I don't remember ever thinking, "I need support" or "I wish people would just shut up" as a vegetarian, but I think this all the time as a vegan. 

 

Maybe I've just been lucky and no one felt like attacking my diet until I went vegan (in Aug). I think it's nuts, because all that happened was I cut out eggs and cheese. Is this really so extreme that it should make everyone crazy upset? 

 

What's the big deal? Why would people get so defensive about vegan but not vegetarian? 


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#2 Old 01-18-2013, 09:29 AM
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You're the whole package, they can't measure up to you.  :p

 

No, I don't know why people have issues.

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#3 Old 01-18-2013, 09:34 AM
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CHEESE. I really think that is why.
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#4 Old 01-18-2013, 09:41 AM
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It's a total rejection of the cultural eating habits and patterns, and for ethical reasons no less. Going vegan is like a giant billboard saying "your eating habits are cruel, and I am opting out". I think they percieve our "action" as a judgement on them, whether we verbally judge them or not.
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#5 Old 01-18-2013, 10:47 AM
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Remember in elementary school how kids used to pick on the anybody who was different? People don't grow up. 

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#6 Old 01-18-2013, 11:07 AM
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Veganism is something more :) It's a whole lifestyle stance against animal exploitation. People feel uncomfortable when they undoubtedly reflect on their own lives when they find out you're a vegan :) Take pride, Jennifer. While it's crazy annoying, it's actually a good thing that it makes people uncomfortable. Without people being uncomfortable, nothing gets changed, ya know?


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#7 Old 01-18-2013, 11:12 AM
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CHEESE. I really think that is why.

Me too.

People cannot fathom living without cheese!!!

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#8 Old 01-18-2013, 01:31 PM
 
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I think it's because of culture and what we are taught to believe. In American culture people have grown to think dairy/meat/eggs are a staple, yet if you go to other countries that's not always the case. I grew up half here, half in Korea where dairy is not found in any of the traditional dishes and meat is consumed in sparse amounts (unlike the crazy amounts of korean bbq that's served here in the states!)

 

Americans have consumed dairy/eggs/meat for so long that it's considered socially "extreme" to eat otherwise. But I personally feel it's the opposite- to me it's extreme to consume milk as adults let alone from another species, it's extreme to eat a carnivore-like diet when our bodies are obviously designed as herbivores and meat/dairy has numerous negative effects on our health, and it's extreme to eat a diet that contributes to the most negative impact on our earth + animals. But that's just the way I see it!

 

I do feel that if more people become educated on it, they'll be more open to the idea of veganism.. that we're not crazy people, we're happy average joes who eat delicious food, we're just more aware of where our food comes from and how the choices we make have consequences.

 

Of course there are a few cases where people will see stuff like "Meet Your Meat" and shrug it off. However I believe that if everyone saw a factory farm or slaughter house in real life it would totally shake them.. and just the awareness of what it does to our environment. It's a senseless industry that's doing nothing good for this world.

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#9 Old 01-18-2013, 01:52 PM
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They are scared of your new powers of empathy towards other living beings and great health. :D lol

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#10 Old 01-18-2013, 01:53 PM
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CHEESE. I really think that is why.
i was going to say the same thing
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#11 Old 01-18-2013, 02:18 PM
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Wow, the power vote goes to cheese huh. That seems nuts! Doesn't that seem nuts? I mean, yeah, I missed cheese at first, but I'm over it, and got over it quick too once I set my mind to it.

 

Now if I gave up coffee, I'd get people not getting it, but cheese? 

 

 

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It's a total rejection of the cultural eating habits and patterns, and for ethical reasons no less. Going vegan is like a giant billboard saying "your eating habits are cruel, and I am opting out". I think they percieve our "action" as a judgement on them, whether we verbally judge them or not.
 

I think this seems likely. A lot of the criticism I've gotten has started like this, "I knew this one vegan once who.... " Meaning maybe some vegan did judge them or the person felt they did and now I'm paying the price for some action I didn't participate in.

 

The other comments I get tend to start out, "I don't need to hear about AR" which makes sense in relation to your comment.  

 

I'm still not seeing how vegan is so insanely worse than veg though - maybe it is the cheese. 


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#12 Old 01-18-2013, 02:19 PM
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I tend to agree on it being cultural. Feeding patterns are strongly cultural and with increased deviation comes increased 'foreignness'. America is a 'melting pot' because, for the most part, americans are intolerant of foreigners. They have to either acculturate or remain separate and isolated.

 

However I could be wrong, perhaps its breeding instinct. Vegans typically follow a healthier diet but have an abnormal willpower to break away from social norms. Because of this anomalous will power omnis cant see how fast we'd become diseased following an omni diet, so who knows if our offspring would live past 50 if they end up omni. Perhaps thats why they try to stuff bacon into vegans, to see if we'll flop over dead or if they can safely breed us. Its similar to how I breed plants tongue3.gif

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#13 Old 01-18-2013, 04:33 PM
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Probably because they perceive it as going against the cultural grain. The main issue regarding that is that Americans consume WAY too much meat and dairy to the point where they feel deprived if they can't have it with every meal. This eating practice has become deeply ingrained in society, where anything that differs from it, tends to confuse and even freak some people out. When one travels across the world, you'll likely see people eating a LOT less meat and/or dairy because of a variety of reasons: spiritual, economic, etc. This perception of one being a 'strange' eater if they're not consuming meat and dairy is so uniquely American.


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#14 Old 01-18-2013, 04:33 PM
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I think that it has something to do with the vegan stereotype. The other day one of my co-workers asked me if I was with PETA. I said no, and she continued to tell me about her vegan friend who is with PETA and does things like naked protests. Sometimes I feel like I'm being constantly judged, as though "vegan" was somehow the deciding factor for my entire personality. Another reason is that people are told from a young age that dairy is an essential food group that needs to be eaten 2-3 times a day. They run propaganda ads on children's television all the time here, so it's difficult for people to imagine living without dairy. To do so seems extreme as we have been programed to believe that it's unhealthy.

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#15 Old 01-18-2013, 04:40 PM
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I think that it has something to do with the vegan stereotype. The other day one of my co-workers asked me if I was with PETA. I said no, and she continued to tell me about her vegan friend who is with PETA and does things like naked protests. Sometimes I feel like I'm being constantly judged, as though "vegan" was somehow the deciding factor for my entire personality. Another reason is that people are told from a young age that dairy is an essential food group that needs to be eaten 2-3 times a day. They run propaganda ads on children's television all the time here, so it's difficult for people to imagine living without dairy. To do so seems extreme as we have been programed to believe that it's unhealthy.

 

That's very true. I remember growing up, reading in my school textbooks, how important it was to drink five glasses of milk a day, how this and cheese and meat, etc. was a balanced part of the 'food pyramid'. I grew up thinking that it was necessary, even crucial, to consume a significant amount of dairy to the point where I feel now, I was almost addicted to milk. Now, I'm learning about all of the hormones in milk and dairy products and it's opening my eyes to how detrimental to human health it is.


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#16 Old 01-18-2013, 04:46 PM
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That's very true. I remember growing up, reading in my school textbooks, how important it was to drink five glasses of milk a day, how this and cheese and meat, etc. was a balanced part of the 'food pyramid'. I grew up thinking that it was necessary, even crucial, to consume a significant amount of dairy to the point where I feel now, I was almost addicted to milk. Now, I'm learning about all of the hormones in milk and dairy products and it's opening my eyes to how detrimental to human health it is.

It wasn't made for us to begin with either. It's amazing how people can be brainwashed when something, once you are aware of it, seems as clear as day.


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#17 Old 01-18-2013, 04:50 PM
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It wasn't made for us to begin with either. It's amazing how people can be brainwashed when something, once you are aware of it, seems as clear as day.

 

 

That's very true...now for calcium, I try to get it from juices and am looking into various foods that are rich in calcium. smiley.gif


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#18 Old 01-18-2013, 05:02 PM
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It wasn't made for us to begin with either. It's amazing how people can be brainwashed when something, once you are aware of it, seems as clear as day.

 

 

That's very true...now for calcium, I try to get it from juices and am looking into various foods that are rich in calcium. smiley.gif

This link has a good discussion and list of calcium-rich vegan foods.
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.php
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#19 Old 01-18-2013, 05:24 PM
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This link has a good discussion and list of calcium-rich vegan foods.
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.php

 

 

Thank you so much! I see a few of my favorite foods like broccoli and tofu are listed. Wonderful. In fact, most of the foods listed I love!


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#20 Old 01-18-2013, 05:28 PM
 
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The phrase I hear most often repeated in response to being vegan is that it's "too extreme". And I can kind of understand this misconception because before I completely cut out all animal products from my diet I thought it would be really hard to avoid those things because eggs, dairy and gelatine are in everything (processed). But, when you have your ethical stance motivating you, it's not hard at all really.

 

But meat eaters don't have that ethical stance, so it seems like such a lofty ("extreme") undertaking to them. Having to read labels on everything to check whether or not you can eat it is beyond the scope of many peoples' willpower.

 

I think it comes across as being extreme because you stop eating a lot of the things you would have when you were vegetarian. And people notice. I have to say "no thank you" multiple times a day at work when people are offering me crisps, chocolates, coffee (with milk), biscuits, etc. It gives the impression that you don't eat anything. You can't even accept a cup of coffee or tea made by someone.

 

Of course all those rubbishy junk foods you are refusing don't need to go anywhere near your body in the first place, and you're a lot better off for it. But there is this cultural norm dynamic involved with people offering you food and you refusing all the time, and I reckon that contributes to peoples' perception of veganism as extreme and like vegans can't eat anything except mung beans.
 

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#21 Old 01-18-2013, 05:38 PM
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I think that it has something to do with the vegan stereotype. The other day one of my co-workers asked me if I was with PETA. I said no, and she continued to tell me about her vegan friend who is with PETA and does things like naked protests. Sometimes I feel like I'm being constantly judged, as though "vegan" was somehow the deciding factor for my entire personality. Another reason is that people are told from a young age that dairy is an essential food group that needs to be eaten 2-3 times a day. They run propaganda ads on children's television all the time here, so it's difficult for people to imagine living without dairy. To do so seems extreme as we have been programed to believe that it's unhealthy.

Yeah, I don't think PETA has helped my cause. I don't care too much about them one way or the other. Like all organizations, I take what I feel I can use, leave the rest. They offer some useful info and some not. That said, as a vegetarian no one ever brought them up to me. Now I have a couple of friends who bring them up all the time as if I'm in love with PETA or something. 


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#22 Old 01-18-2013, 06:36 PM
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I think it comes across as being extreme because you stop eating a lot of the things you would have when you were vegetarian. And people notice. I have to say "no thank you" multiple times a day at work when people are offering me crisps, chocolates, coffee (with milk), biscuits, etc. It gives the impression that you don't eat anything. You can't even accept a cup of coffee or tea made by someone.

 

This is the only reason that any of my classmates know that I'm vegan. Who else in their right mind would refuse free chocolates or cupcakes?

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#23 Old 01-18-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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This is the only reason that any of my classmates know that I'm vegan. Who else in their right mind would refuse free chocolates or cupcakes?


Heh, exactly. :-) Sometimes I will say, "No thanks, I don't eat dairy" and leave it up to them to fill in the gap as to why that might be. If I said, "No thanks, I'm on a diet" that would be totally acceptable. As I'm pretty skinny I wonder if people are starting to think I have an eating disorder.

 

Writing this has just made me realise how I feel so much more comfortable telling people "I don't eat meat" or "I don't eat dairy" rather than "I'm a vegetarian" or "I'm vegan". Probably because if you say "I'm vegan" you'll get asked for clarification on what that means, which will lead to why etc. Vegetarianism is more mainstream these days so people don't generally question it, or so I find.

 

Sometimes you just don't feel like going into the whole thing over an offered cupcake on a Monday morning, ya know?

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#24 Old 01-18-2013, 08:43 PM
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Heh, exactly. :-) Sometimes I will say, "No thanks, I don't eat dairy" and leave it up to them to fill in the gap as to why that might be. If I said, "No thanks, I'm on a diet" that would be totally acceptable. As I'm pretty skinny I wonder if people are starting to think I have an eating disorder.

 

Writing this has just made me realise how I feel so much more comfortable telling people "I don't eat meat" or "I don't eat dairy" rather than "I'm a vegetarian" or "I'm vegan". Probably because if you say "I'm vegan" you'll get asked for clarification on what that means, which will lead to why etc. Vegetarianism is more mainstream these days so people don't generally question it, or so I find.

 

Sometimes you just don't feel like going into the whole thing over an offered cupcake on a Monday morning, ya know?

EXACTLY. For me it usually happens in English class because my teacher gives out chocolates for right answers. Sometimes I just want to answer the questions, but when I refuse the chocolate, everyone thinks I'm weird...

I often feel uncomfortable saying that I'm a vegan, since that brings along a whole bunch of questions, so I think I'll copy you from now on and just tell them that I don't eat whatever they're offering me. I'm skinny as well, so I can't say that I'm on a diet without getting yelled at or whatever.

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#25 Old 01-19-2013, 07:54 AM
 
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EXACTLY. For me it usually happens in English class because my teacher gives out chocolates for right answers. Sometimes I just want to answer the questions, but when I refuse the chocolate, everyone thinks I'm weird...

I often feel uncomfortable saying that I'm a vegan, since that brings along a whole bunch of questions, so I think I'll copy you from now on and just tell them that I don't eat whatever they're offering me. I'm skinny as well, so I can't say that I'm on a diet without getting yelled at or whatever.


Oh no, that's terrible that you're in a position where you avoid answering questions in class because you'd have chocolate thrust on you! I'm sure your teacher has the best intentions with this "reward tactic" but it's kind of insulting to your intelligence. If you're smart and you want to answer a question, then being smart and intelligent is kind of the most appropriate reward in of itself. Well, I think so anyway. :-)

 

You could also just say, "I don't eat that sh*t" (to peers, maybe replace with "I don't eat junk food, thanks" for the benefit of your teacher). I sometimes say that when I'm offered the usual junk cr*p. Coming across as being healthy and health-conscious is sort of on par with being on a diet, except you're not trying to lose weight which people would question if you didn't need to.

 

Of course really, ideally, we should stand up proudly as veg*ns and not avoid saying that's what we are, ever. But, sometimes being pragmatic and doing what's most comfortable for you at certain times in your life is perfectly valid as well, in my opinion. I think it's very admirable that you've embraced veganism and you're at school. I can imagine that would be a difficult environment to uphold your beliefs in, so good on you! :-)

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#26 Old 01-19-2013, 10:45 AM
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EXACTLY. For me it usually happens in English class because my teacher gives out chocolates for right answers. Sometimes I just want to answer the questions, but when I refuse the chocolate, everyone thinks I'm weird...

I often feel uncomfortable saying that I'm a vegan, since that brings along a whole bunch of questions, so I think I'll copy you from now on and just tell them that I don't eat whatever they're offering me. I'm skinny as well, so I can't say that I'm on a diet without getting yelled at or whatever.

I usually find it harder to talk about something the more strongly I feel about it- which seems wierd- but that's just the way it is. So when someone asks me why I'm avoiding foods with milk or egg in them, I usually just say that the cows and chickens aren't treated acceptably by my standards, or something like that. That lets them know I have an idealogical reason for doing this without our having a discussion several minutes long. If they ask for more information, I just go from there.

 

Anyhow... as to why people are more put off by veganism... I agree that people do see veganism as more "out there". I went vegetarian in 1972, and even then, vegetarianism didn't seem as extreme to people as veganism does now. But here's the thing: compared to what most people eat, veganism IS kind of extreme- "extreme" defined in this case as being simply unconventional. Milk and egg are common ingredients in a lot of foods, including convenience foods which I was able to eat as a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. It is true that drinking the milk of another species- as an adult, no less!- would seem really wierd to us if we hadn't been brought up from childhood consuming it. And it's not obvious to most people what animals have to go through so we can have eggs and milk to consume. They don't think about what happens to the calves if humans drink their mothers' milk, or what conditions hens live in until they can't produce eggs any more.

 

ALWAYS keep in mind how hard it is for most people to throw off what they've lived with from childhood (not that this justifies how animals are treated).


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#27 Old 01-19-2013, 11:05 AM
 
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Most people think it's impossible to eat anything that doesn't have dairy in it. The whole "oh so basically you only eat twigs and brocolli, right?". I can't even count the number of times some dingbat has said "but you can't even eat bread when you're vegan!!" or something to that effect.

 

It makes it especially funny to be said to me when I'm a VERY husky man. No one is eating just twigs an brocolli when you have a belly like mine!!!

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#28 Old 01-19-2013, 01:31 PM
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I can't even count the number of times some dingbat has said "but you can't even eat bread when you're vegan!!" or something to that effect.

ROFL! I was talking to my friend over the phone today and he said that! *Vegans don't eat bread or pasta right?* I think I need to invite him over for dinner one day, spaghetti with mushroom mockballs and garlic bread :D just to see his face.


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#29 Old 01-19-2013, 03:05 PM
 
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I think because vegan is a lifestyle, vegetarian is a way of eating. Plus people are soooo programmed by meat and dairy its sickening
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#30 Old 01-19-2013, 05:02 PM
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drinking the milk of another species- as an adult, no less!- would seem really wierd to us if we hadn't been brought up from childhood consuming it.

The intense overlay of culture and marketing seems to blind people to the raw undisguised activity itself.

People say they know where their food comes from but it can be revealing to imagine just what society would do if some random man ate something in a direct and unapologetic way while sitting in front of an elementary school.

An apple, no problem.

Sunflower seeds, no problem.

Celery, no problem.

A raw rabbit?

Sucking on a cows udder?

I'm starting to hear police sirens tongue3.gif

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