How can I respond when an Omni says... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-02-2016, 09:40 AM
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How can I respond when an Omni says...

Hello! New member here, but I've been reading the boards for a few months.

I'm a fairly new vegan, only a few months from a full Omni, and it's going well. I still struggle with hidden things on labels, but it's all a process

Anyway, my husband, my mom, and some others are supportive, but have no desire to make the switch themselves. That's fine; I can't change them. But some of these people, my mom and sister especially, have always presented as huge animal lovers. The reason they say they don't go veg is:

"It won't make any difference, anyway."

They've said that, if they thought it would make any difference in the bigger scheme, they would quit eating animal products, but they can't be convinced otherwise.

I've told them that it makes a difference to the animals that won't die for them. (Well, someone else will just eat them). I've said that, even if it doesn't make a difference, they can choose not to participate in it. I've asked them if they would eat cats or human babies, or anything if someone else is "just going to kill them anyway." Of course not. They won't watch documentaries or videos about factory farming or abuse because it's "too upsetting and sad." Sigh.

Nothing seems to get through, and it's so frustrating because I feel like they are so close to quitting animal products if I could just find the right thing to say. Any advice?
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#2 Old 01-02-2016, 10:27 AM
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We have a member here who uses the tag line-
"Every snowflake in an avalanche pleads, "Not guilty". Stanislaw J. Lec"

That sums it up. Everything that has ever changed, has changed because of individuals. There are individuals who are leaders in bringing about change, others who follow because it goes with their ethics, others still who follow simply because of what the majority does, or out of ease.

There is so much research now that proves veg'n diets are healthy, or healthier, that there is little room to refute the idea of being hard, or unhealthy.
Even if they're unwilling to give up animals, its still a great benefit to reduce them, and instead add beans, lentils, and increase the amount of veggies and fruits.

http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/wp...et-booklet.pdf
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Gettin...32_Article.jsp
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#3 Old 01-04-2016, 03:40 AM
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Unbelievable that a meat eater cannot watch a slaughterhouse video because it is too "upsetting". Makes me grit my teeth.

Denial is a selfish human trait that can be difficult to break, and putting oneself in the victim's situation is a major part of the conscience change that is required to become a vegan...

You need to convince them that it is pretty "upsetting" for the animal when they are killed against their will. Put a freakin' guilt trip on them, tell them they are closed-minded and self-indulgent, if they can't give up an hour of their day to watch something that can help them, the animals, and the environment! Hey no one is perfect and I feel guilty all the time even though my habits are better than probably 80% of the population - People need to wake up and see the decadence of their daily lives from outside the box (animal's eyes).
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#4 Old 01-04-2016, 03:54 AM
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I would not bother asking. If people want to do it they will.


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#5 Old 01-04-2016, 04:20 AM
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I like the saying "Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something".

Anyways what they are saying is not true. Producing meat is expensive and making more than people are going to buy is not something anyone will want to do because it cuts into their profits. Every single person who goes vegan will save the lives of animals.

Also one more thing.....just by being vegan you may be pushing them towards veganism. If my sister weren't vegan I may have not switched. If both me and my sister were not vegan, my brother's wife may not be now. I can never say for sure one way or the other if we would have gone vegan without having vegan family members however it undeniably had influence.

Give it time, show them how easy it is to do, and you may win them over yet.
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#6 Old 01-06-2016, 09:23 PM
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Thank you all for your answers. So, my husband, who is the most voracious Omni I've known, has watched me "being vegan" for the last few months. I haven't pushed him to join me, I've barely commented on his foods, or anything like that. I've just been doing my thing, and he's been doing his. A couple days ago, he started asking me some questions... And then he says, "hmmm. I guess maybe I should do this, too." Just like that! I was afraid to scare him with how excited I was, lol. He's honestly, just suddenly, decided to join me! He said he may eat fish occasionally, for a while, but we'll see about that, lol. He's decided to quit eggs and dairy, and all meat except that. I'm still a bit in shock
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#7 Old 01-06-2016, 09:43 PM
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Hey, that's a great start! Happy to hear about your husband!

Honestly, living by example often has a bigger impact than we may initially realize. I don't really preach to people or talk about my diet much if it doesn't get asked about, but just in the time that I've been a vegetarian, I've gotten at least two or three people interested in becoming one and my roommate has nearly eliminated meat and most dairy from her diet as well. And I'm not completely sure if I would have made the switch had my older brother not made it first.

I would still encourage them to watch the documentaries and videos -- hit them with some statistics to drive the point home that every little bit helps. Personally, I feel like Vegucated is a fun documentary that kind of hits all the points. I would imagine that eventually it would get difficult for them to continue living in ignorance and denial...
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#8 Old 01-06-2016, 10:38 PM
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I am pleased to hear this.
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#9 Old 01-07-2016, 02:51 AM
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I used to spend a lot of time trying to convince my Mom, sister, and partner why they should be vegan and why it is so important. They had no interest at first. Eventually I stopped trying, but I would make awesome vegan dishes and share them at get togethers with my Mom and sister. After months, even years, they all saw how successful I have been, how much more energy I have, the goals I have achieved as a vegan (finished college with a 4.0 gpa, did canoe camping trips, animal rights activism and leafleting local colleges and high schools, lifting more weight at the gym and carrying our canoe overhead over trails, cycling to work, earning a certification etc). In 2012 my sister finally went vegan herself, though now she is a vegetarian. My Mom became interested after watching Forks Over Knives (Earthlings didn't even change her mind) and has been on again off again vegan. My omni partner I have lived with for 18 years (five of them as a vegan), now eats mostly vegetarian at home and really loves my vegan meals. We do keep separate cupboards for our own foods, and separate areas of the refrigerator for certain items because i don't want to look at dead animals/animal products. He has been very respectful of not using my cookware and certain eating utensils to prepare his animal foods on. And I did put the fear into him if he dared cook meat while I am home lol. I think the change of mind for him came when he began to hear of UFC fighters that were very successful as vegans. He is a huge fan of UFC fighting (I am not lol). If THOSE guys can be healthy as vegans...

Sometimes you just have to find common ground and work from there. And not push too hard. Show by living your life in a positive way, aligning with your values, and don't preach at others. That is the biggest turnoff. You can never force people to change. You can give them information and let them decide what to do with it, and leave it at that. I know it is hard when it is close family. With my partner, he is an advocate of the environment and protection of wild animals like the wolf. So we go to activist events centered around those. We have disagreements about farm animals and it is hard for him to see the connection with animal farming and hunting of wild animals, or animal farming and the environment, and animal farming and health. Frustrating, but he has lived his whole life ingrained to believe in the cultural value of animal farming. His parents were dairy farmers for years. And they push dairy on their grandkids and give him tons of venison each time we visit them out of town. But he is not deprived at home when I feed him all vegan meals every day.

I'm glad to hear your husband is coming around!

In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel



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#10 Old 01-07-2016, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talynn View Post
The reason they say they don't go veg is:

"It won't make any difference, anyway."
Really?

The Chinese proverb: "A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step" comes to mind.

It sounds like a cop out to me.

Either they care....about their health, animals, the environment, or they don't.

Different strokes.....
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All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#11 Old 01-12-2016, 04:43 PM
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I am the only one on a vegan diet in my house. I feel that making sure every meal comes with a big salad and veggies, and the servings of animal products are small, I am moving them in the right direction. I get one night a week to make them a vegan dinner. I have been married 20 years and only eating vegan for 10.
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#12 Old 01-13-2016, 10:35 AM
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I like to quote the starfish story when people are in so much denial that they say they cannot make a difference:

A young man is walking along the ocean and
sees a beach on which thousands and thousands
of starfish have washed ashore. Further along
he sees an old man, walking slowly and
stooping often, picking up one starfish after
another and tossing each one gently into the
ocean.

“Why are you throwing starfish into the
ocean?,” he asks.

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out
and if I don’t throw them further in they will
die.”

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles
and miles of beach and starfish all along it!
You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even
save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you
work all day, your efforts won’t make any
difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent
down to pick up another starfish and threw it
into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”

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That awkward moment when your partner walks into the kitchen to find you huddled in the corner with an open container of nooch and a spoon and your mouth encrusted with little flakes...  
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#13 Old 01-13-2016, 03:33 PM
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People like Durianrider, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Michael Greger, Gary Yourofsky and all the rest, (dosen't matter of you like them or not) are all "only one person" out there who are doing something. There is a whole big list of "single people" out there who are doing something. By the way that grocery stores are including Vegan and Vegetarian foods, enough people want to eat that way to make a dent in the economy. Okay some eat 1 vege meal a week or something too, but still, it's movement size, and so was Rock and Roll, Women's rights and the personal computer when it started.
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#14 Old 01-13-2016, 05:13 PM
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Stop making it just about animals. Even if you hated meat from earliest memory, or felt a special bond with animals, you can't expect everyone to be moved by the same reasoning, as it's seen as indulgent, romantic or impractical by some personality types.

If you are a newish veg*n, it might take time to build your armory, but collect every rational, scientific or ethical reason you can find for being vegan, or at least lacto-ovo...the reasons and evidence are currently so strong that anyone who flat out denies them and won't at least decrease their animal consumption to at least being a flexitarian is pretty much living in the dark ages...but don't say that, especially since you know you also came out of darkness. Use your own process to identify, very few had the opportunity to be raised by vegan parents or to have that level of resistance in our teens to everyone around us. Many many vegans became or are becoming so as adults...but every other major social change in history happened similarly. Just think of the terror and alienation early feminists or civil rights activists experienced if you start to feel sorry for your self, you have it quite easy in comparison though our bacon loving culture is overbearing and obnoxious.

Think about what mom or boyfriend cares most about. ...is it health? Environment? Vanity/youth? Religion? Social justice? Trust me, there's an angle for every type...it's just about honing in on their personality, without making them feel like they're evil or stupid.
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#15 Old 01-14-2016, 02:12 AM
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Stop making it just about animals. Even if you hated meat from earliest memory, or felt a special bond with animals, you can't expect everyone to be moved by the same reasoning, as it's seen as indulgent, romantic or impractical by some personality types.
I accept that some people feel this way (and that you aren't one of them), but this line of thinking has always struck me as utterly ridiculous. One doesn't need to feel a "deep bond" with animals in order to understand that it's wrong to enslave, torture, and slaughter them. You may not be a great lover of children, either, but that doesn't grant you the right to slit babies' throats.
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#16 Old 01-15-2016, 02:30 PM
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I accept that some people feel this way (and that you aren't one of them), but this line of thinking has always struck me as utterly ridiculous. One doesn't need to feel a "deep bond" with animals in order to understand that it's wrong to enslave, torture, and slaughter them. You may not be a great lover of children, either, but that doesn't grant you the right to slit babies' throats.

I agree, and it absolutely is ridiculous once you see the truth for what it is. ..but I've started thinking of this in terms of tactics, like fighting a war, and in order to do that I think it's important to recognize what the "enemy" believes...there are idiots out there making blogs about how they hate vegans, and there are people who will believe their lies (vegans are malnourished, brain damaged, whatever) because "conventional wisdom", experience, and possibly child abuse, taught them that they couldn't thrive without animal products. So in order to defeat this enemy - ok, maybe not the aggressive idiot making the blog, but the people who follow him blindly - we have to look at this in terms of people also very much believing slavery was normal and practical, and yes some people argued for humane treatment of human slaves rather than ending slavery -,in fact especially sadistic slave owners were sometimes shunned by society, even among other slave owners. So I am just thinking it's more. ..efficient. ..to approach these people from other angles. T. Colin Campbell does that, I've noticed, he strictly focuses on health and nutrition and never talks about animal rights, though I'm sure that bothers him too.
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#17 Old 01-15-2016, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talynn View Post
Hello! New member here, but I've been reading the boards for a few months.

I'm a fairly new vegan, only a few months from a full Omni, and it's going well. I still struggle with hidden things on labels, but it's all a process

Anyway, my husband, my mom, and some others are supportive, but have no desire to make the switch themselves. That's fine; I can't change them. But some of these people, my mom and sister especially, have always presented as huge animal lovers. The reason they say they don't go veg is:

"It won't make any difference, anyway."

They've said that, if they thought it would make any difference in the bigger scheme, they would quit eating animal products, but they can't be convinced otherwise.

I've told them that it makes a difference to the animals that won't die for them. (Well, someone else will just eat them). I've said that, even if it doesn't make a difference, they can choose not to participate in it. I've asked them if they would eat cats or human babies, or anything if someone else is "just going to kill them anyway." Of course not. They won't watch documentaries or videos about factory farming or abuse because it's "too upsetting and sad." Sigh.

Nothing seems to get through, and it's so frustrating because I feel like they are so close to quitting animal products if I could just find the right thing to say. Any advice?
You're a brand new vegan; a few months ago you were eating meat too. It's so early to try and talk anyone else into trying this new thing you're doing while you're still finding your way yourself. It's a very good thing the people close to you are not trying to discourage you. The best way you can influence your loved ones is to thrive on your new way of eating. If you're overweight, or tire easily, or are allergic to physical activity, or have any chronic health conditions, they'll be quite impressed when any of that turns around. The only other thing you can do is give them delicious vegan food you've prepared. Nobody talked you into making the change, right? The change happens from within, or it doesn't happen. Exposure is important, but it's on them to take it from there if they're going to, and most people don't.
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#18 Old 01-25-2016, 07:15 PM
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You all are so great and supportive! Thank you. Things are still going well, and I agree - I can't change anyone. I'm not really trying to change anyone, just looking for a response other than my old, "um... Because... Animals?" when asked.

Again, thank you all so much. Your posts have given me a lot to think about and have helped a lot.
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Last edited by Talynn; 01-25-2016 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Typo
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#19 Old 02-03-2016, 10:55 AM
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Maybe they don't WANT to go vegan/vegetarian?
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#20 Old 02-03-2016, 12:56 PM
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Maybe they don't WANT to go vegan/vegetarian?
If they love animals, then I'm quite sure that they don't WANT to participate in the exploitation, abuse, and slaughter of those they love. It's entirely reasonable for OP to ask for guidance in explaining veganism to them so that, perhaps, they might someday want to stop eating animal products. Isn't that the point of advocacy?
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#21 Old 02-06-2016, 02:17 PM
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I tend to say "One person doesn't make much of a difference, but when you add up all those other vegans out there our combined efforts make a much bigger impact". Or "Even if it doesn't make a difference all on my own, and I was the only vegan I believe using animals is wrong. So I live my beliefs and will take no part in it".
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#22 Old 02-06-2016, 08:14 PM
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I think that a lot of the hostility that vegans and vegetarians get is from people who deep down, know the truth but feel too overwhelmed and unempowered to make any personal changes. For this reason, I try to be fairly positive/ upbeat and explain to them that the factory farm system is terrible, and that even though they aren't ready to go vegan, what if they did a meatless monday or vegan monday? I talk about my omni friends who have tried this and how each Monday those one-day-a-week vegetarians are saving animals. I tell them that their diet is their choice and that I love them unconditionally, but if they ever want to join me I am ready in waiting with recipes and ideas.

I don't think it's my job to evangelize my fellow humans. Instead, I try to lead by example, tell people why I am working on eating fewer animal products, and currently, empathize by telling them I totally understand because I love cheese and am struggling to eliminate it.

I know I have posted here as a new vegetarian for advice, but I was actually a vegetarian from ages 14-18 and vegan for one of those years. When I got diabetes I started eating meat again to limit carbs. So I am pretty familiar with getting a ton of crap from omnivores, especially because I am a pretty mild mannered person.
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#23 Old 02-06-2016, 09:22 PM
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The best argument for any philosophy, belief system, or moral code is a happy, successful, well-lived life. If you can't show the world this it won't matter much what words come out of your mouth.
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The symbol of the race ought to be a human being carrying an ax, for every human being has one concealed about him somewhere, and is always seeking the opportunity to grind it.
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#24 Old 02-07-2016, 12:59 AM
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It sounds like a cop out to me.

Either they care....about their health, animals, the environment, or they don't.

Dave is spot on, do these things and then claim you care, just saying it doesn't make you an animal lover or an environmentalist.

My son has been vegetarian from birth, he struggled with the peer pressure to eat meat for a while, but doing a carbon foot print test on line really helped him put a tangible difference to his impact.


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#25 Old 02-07-2016, 02:10 AM
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The best argument for any philosophy, belief system, or moral code is a happy, successful, well-lived life. If you can't show the world this it won't matter much what words come out of your mouth.
This is truth!!
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#26 Old 02-07-2016, 02:49 PM
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Dave is spot on, do these things and then claim you care, just saying it doesn't make you an animal lover or an environmentalist.

My son has been vegetarian from birth, he struggled with the peer pressure to eat meat for a while, but doing a carbon foot print test on line really helped him put a tangible difference to his impact.
COOL!!!!

My vegetarian daughter & son in law are raising their child vegetarian!!!

They asked me to pick up some carrots and sweet potato baby food the other day.

I ran across this.....

Eeeeeeeeeww....

Click image for larger version

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ID:	13577

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#27 Old 02-08-2016, 01:25 PM
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Have you tried making them watch Earthlings, that should help.
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