How a friendship ended when I became vegan - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-11-2016, 01:24 AM
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How a friendship ended when I became vegan

" you dont listen thats the problem. you expect studies as if i didnt actually live it for a large part of my life. thats insulting. you think im cruel to animals just wow. ya cows are stupid as ****. you dont know that i doubt you ever saw one in rl. you take a few facts a few half truths and a lot of lies and join the vegan camp thinking you know all there is. No point in talking to you. You already know it all. This is why vegans are obnoxious. its like a cult. just mindless repetition of talking points with no actual discourse. I admit there is problems with farming you dont admit you know pretty much nothing. so ya just wow. But at least i lived it unlike those idiot poseurs who pee their panties cos oh no ! not bambi ! grow the **** up. dont wanna eat meat i dont care, just dont pretend you know half of what you think you do. you dont even know the basics of how a farm works.no point in trying to tell you either you wont listen. you know it all after one or 3 videos. seriously grow up"

This is the last thing my friend said to me after I shared my reasons for going vegan, one being the cruelty that animals experience in factory farms. She grew up in a family dairy farm and felt insulted. I became vegan after 2 years of eating mostly vegetarian and educating myself, watching documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Vegucated, Earthlings, which I guess she hasn't heard about and assumes anything I've watched is purely propaganda. Anyway, I kind of feel relief because it became exhausting even expressing my views to her. I think some people are not ready to hear the truth and it upsets them. I guess I just wanted to put this on this thread. My other friends and family have been supportive about my decision in going vegan, and I didn't expect someone I called a friend to react this way.
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#2 Old 03-11-2016, 02:46 AM
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Sorry about losing a friend. There's a saying however, that when the times get rough, you'll recognize your real friends because they'll support you no matter what. I had such a rough time the last 3 years (problems at the job plus health issues). Now that it is all solved, I have less "friends", but I know the people I can count on, come hell or high water.

Farmers however tend to be a bit nervous when talking about veganism, especially if they work with animals. Bad for business as you may imagine, so I guess you really can't blame them for it. Your friend's reaction seems a bit extreme though. Ok, she probably knows how things work on their farm, and if their animals are treated decently, she might generalize it and assume it would be like that on every farm. I can assure you, factory farms however are as bad as they say they are.

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#3 Old 03-11-2016, 03:21 AM
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" you dont listen thats the problem. you expect studies as if i didnt actually live it for a large part of my life. thats insulting. you think im cruel to animals just wow. ya cows are stupid as ****. you dont know that i doubt you ever saw one in rl. you take a few facts a few half truths and a lot of lies and join the vegan camp thinking you know all there is. No point in talking to you. You already know it all. This is why vegans are obnoxious. its like a cult. just mindless repetition of talking points with no actual discourse. I admit there is problems with farming you dont admit you know pretty much nothing. so ya just wow. But at least i lived it unlike those idiot poseurs who pee their panties cos oh no ! not bambi ! grow the **** up. dont wanna eat meat i dont care, just dont pretend you know half of what you think you do. you dont even know the basics of how a farm works.no point in trying to tell you either you wont listen. you know it all after one or 3 videos. seriously grow up"

This is the last thing my friend said to me after I shared my reasons for going vegan, one being the cruelty that animals experience in factory farms. She grew up in a family dairy farm and felt insulted. I became vegan after 2 years of eating mostly vegetarian and educating myself, watching documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Vegucated, Earthlings, which I guess she hasn't heard about and assumes anything I've watched is purely propaganda. Anyway, I kind of feel relief because it became exhausting even expressing my views to her. I think some people are not ready to hear the truth and it upsets them. I guess I just wanted to put this on this thread. My other friends and family have been supportive about my decision in going vegan, and I didn't expect someone I called a friend to react this way.
As Phil said... she wasn't your true friend. She has some growing up to do herself. We don't have to know everything, we just have to know enough. And now you have a community online as well to support you! don't worry about her she may even come around.
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#4 Old 03-11-2016, 04:18 AM
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If you're living your life based on your values and what you know is right in your heart then you're likely to lose a few friends along the way.

If she doesn't respect your decisions to live a more ethical, cruelty free life then she doesn't sound like much of a 'friend' anyway.
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#5 Old 03-11-2016, 08:11 AM
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Was this an email? In my experience, it is much better to discuss sensitive or controversial subjects in person so the conversation doesn't go off the rails like that.
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#6 Old 03-11-2016, 09:00 AM
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Farm people often have a regard for their livestock that is central to the way they view themselves. It’s quite possible that your friend’s intimate knowledge of farm culture is as central to her identity as your veganism is to yours. She will probably never see things the way you do. She will probably always see vegans as living attacks on her image of herself as a good person. As friendships go, this one sounds like a lost cause. Possibly she can't be friends with you while being loyal to the community she comes from.

I corresponded for awhile with a cattle rancher’s wife who also raises chickens, goats and pigs on a farm in Utah. Knowing I don’t eat meat, she went into quite a bit of detail describing her life and her “good steward” attitude toward the animals in her care. In countering what she called a widespread myth of cruelty, she talked about how extremely upset she was the time she botched shooting a steer, her lack of skill and experience prolonging the steer’s agony. That story wasn’t about the suffering she was causing, it was all about her own agony for putting the steer through that. Likewise, another steer who walked for a mile on a broken leg before her husband became aware of the injury. Gosh, he felt just horrible about that, good man that he is. And the young hog in the pen with a “ruptured tummy” who “probably isn’t going to make it” but they’re just letting it go for now, hoping he’ll get along well enough without treatment to make it to market.

This woman calls her goats her “girls” and their offspring and the dairy calves she raises “my babies.” The goats are there to provide milk for the dairy calves she and her husband buy as one-day-olds at auction. They bottle-feed them on goat’s milk until they’re ready for pasture, then raise them in pasture as beef cattle till they’re ready for the train to the feedlot. But while they’re juveniles those calves and goats are her babies. Because she’s a good person, and because none of the animal suffering is intended, it’s just part of life on the farm.

It feels like there’s really no talking to people like that. Often they’re incredibly locked into their lives and tapped-out of other career options. The woman I was writing to is also part of an offshoot sect of Mormonism. They don’t do polygamy, but the women all wear blue, all the time. Sometimes the communication gap can be just too wide to cross; I stopped writing to her after I saw some of her FB postings about the Bundy group that was occupying the nature preserve in Oregon. There was nowhere to go from there.
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#7 Old 03-11-2016, 09:13 AM
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Farm people often have a regard for their livestock that is central to the way they view themselves. It’s quite possible that your friend’s intimate knowledge of farm culture is as central to her identity as your veganism is to yours. She will probably never see things the way you do. She will probably always see vegans as living attacks on her image of herself as a good person. As friendships go, this one sounds like a lost cause. Possibly she can't be friends with you while being loyal to the community she comes from.
I agree...This explains a couple of people from farms in my hometown.
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#8 Old 03-11-2016, 09:58 AM
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Does she still live on a dairy farm today? Tell her to go visit a few and see the cruelty for herself. Let her watch a calf be taken away from its mother and hear a mother's cry. She said cows are dumb as ****. Maybe she really doesn't give a damn that they don't deserve to be slaves. She feels insulted because she feels guilty but... She is prideful. Good old pride put those blindfolds on real tight. That's why she won't take in anything you say. I pity her. You can't change ignorant people. You tried to explain things but she's the one that is acting like a "know it all" 😑 Wow we vegans are so stupid to fall the "propaganda" and live like it's a "cult". Shame on me for caring for the animals that don't have any freedom. I'm pretty much venting now. I hear this **** too often when I try to explain things myself.

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#9 Old 03-11-2016, 10:00 AM
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By the way, prideful people are the ones that have a hard time keeping close friends.

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#10 Old 03-11-2016, 10:03 AM
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You just keep being awesome and live a cruel free life. Let her be and you will make more friends more like yourself.

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#11 Old 03-11-2016, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post
Farm people often have a regard for their livestock that is central to the way they view themselves. It’s quite possible that your friend’s intimate knowledge of farm culture is as central to her identity as your veganism is to yours. She will probably never see things the way you do. She will probably always see vegans as living attacks on her image of herself as a good person.
(my bolding)

Really insightful post. Particularly with reference to the protecting of self image when lifestyle options may be very tough to break down (perhaps because of cultural, religious, family or economic demands/pressures). No-one wants to admit that they're a 'bad person' (and if you acknowledge that you've been doing 'bad things' (even in ignorance) it's hard not to feel guilty and responsible). Not elderly grandmothers who have spent a lifetime mutilating little girls' genitalia, not people who eat fast food, not people who raise animals.
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#12 Old 03-19-2016, 04:43 AM
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That's a sad story.


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#13 Old 03-19-2016, 06:25 PM
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I think some people react this way because they think it's dumb to be a non-conformist to whatever basic values they were taught. The irony of course being this sort of person actually has average or in some cases, even below average intelligence, because it indicates their entire learning process is based upon rote memorization and/or collective traditional social values, and they are largely incapable of working new concepts into their chosen schema in an abstract way.

That's no reason to pity them of course because they aren't functionally retarded or "stupid" - they just weren't taught better critical thinking skills in school or at home, or while they may excel greatly in certain areas, for whatever reason they struggle with abstract thought. So generally their ideal of intelligence is an individual who has memorized and carefully follows the social narrative. This kind of thing is helpful for keeping social order or bonding within a tribe, but may pose problems with accepting any new or foreign ideas, or certain types of scientific thought.

So try not to take it personally, though it's difficult. With people like that I'm less likely to get my feelings hurt, and more likely to be angered by what appears to be their willful ignorance.

If I respect someone and I don't think the problem is necessarily below average intelligence, I am more likely to argue with them or challenge their views - which is why I just kind of sigh and ignore certain old acquaintances, but may confront another, showing them news articles or other proof outside of my personal opinion.

In this case, it's really dependent on your own judgment how to handle this.
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#14 Old 03-19-2016, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Spudulika View Post
(my bolding)

Really insightful post. Particularly with reference to the protecting of self image when lifestyle options may be very tough to break down (perhaps because of cultural, religious, family or economic demands/pressures). No-one wants to admit that they're a 'bad person' (and if you acknowledge that you've been doing 'bad things' (even in ignorance) it's hard not to feel guilty and responsible). Not elderly grandmothers who have spent a lifetime mutilating little girls' genitalia, not people who eat fast food, not people who raise animals.

I honestly have trouble understanding this, as a person who can for example love my parents even while acknowledging they made mistakes. I also don't have a problem pinpointing certain flaws in the culture I came from, even though on the other hand I'll protect it from blind ignorant attacks.

For example I have an acquaintance from Texas who will not own up to problems with the newer far right take over there -even though she votes liberal - nor will she talk about their death penalty problem, and she seems to have closed her eyes to the scientific findings about cattle making significantly more impact on the environment than other livestock, though she is not the daughter of a farmer she seems weirdly patriotic to Texas.

I know another lady from Texas who bemoans their objective social problems there. I relate to this more, having been raised in the South myself, while I won't join in to a great bashing of all Southern culture, I'll easily and happily admit that the state government of North Carolina is borderline Medieval and hog farming is an issue - that doesn't mean I hate people there or my culture.

I try to understand these things through the lens of the Civil War - because a huge issue in the South was in fact economic, and I think perhaps some of this willfully ignorant bias I see is also based in economic fear.

I just don't understand this kind of jingoism. It seems like blind patriotism, or brain washing, if not outright lack of critical thinking skills.
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