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Hydrogen 08-11-2016 03:56 PM

Associating veganism with bigotry
 
This post is kind of long so I'm going to summarize in the first paragraph for those who don't want to read the whole thing: I've seen a very large amount of people complain veg*ns online. I've seen a rather huge amount of comments online associating veganism (or sometimes vegetarianism) with bigotry and it is very persistent. Meat eaters do similar things to what people complain vegans do, but people don't seem to care when meat eaters do it. I wonder if there is anywhere I can go online where people are not constantly complaining about vegans. If people complained this much about meat eaters it would be considered preachy and disrespecting the beliefs of others. Is there anything I can do about this, or are there ways to find online communities where people don't constantly complain about vegans?

Now for more detail: One example of accusing veg*ns of bigotry is that on disability tags on Twitter, a lot of people have said there are medical conditions that require people to eat meat so it is ableist to say that everyone can be healthy as a vegan. I think many people saying these things are vegan themselves. I have written tweets on disability tags on the other side of the issue, like criticizing people who say that everyone needs meat to be healthy, since medical conditions and/or disabilities can interfere with meat eating. People have retweeted or used the "like" feature on my tweets (including some of the people who claim a lot of vegans are ableists). However, I have not seen a single person other than myself tweeting about anti-vegan statements being ableist when there are a huge number of people tweeting about pro-vegan arguments being ableist. I have also not seen a single person on Twitter mention what medical conditions require meat or say what the symptoms are or anything.

Some accusations of vegans being bigots is due to some vegans comparing killing animals to the holocaust, lynchings, or slavery. This is wrong, but I'm not sure what to do about this because I can't prevent other vegans or vegetarians from making these comparisons. If I stumble across something that has a reply feature, I can ask them not to make those comparisons, but not if there isn't a reply feature. It seems like some people are blaming veg*ns in general for this instead of only the veg*ns who make these comparisons. I recall someone saying these comparisons are so rampant in the vegan community that a Google search for "vegan" would find these results.

I did a Google search for "vegan". Most results on the first page were directories and reviews of vegan restaurants. However, the first result was Wikipedia's page about veganism, which contained the statement, "In Israel, interest in veganism surged in recent years, with an estimated 5% of Israelis identifying as vegan in 2015, approximately double the figure in 2010.[74] The phenomenon has been attributed to a 2012 visit by abolitionist activist Gary Yourofsky, who frequently compares the treatment of animals to the Holocaust." Wikipedia is not a vegan site and it reports what is in citations. Wikipedia is not supposed make arguments itself (just assert that other people made arguments) and many people edit it. So it's not like Wikipedia's page on veganism is a vegan advocacy site.

Other results on the first page from a Google search for "vegan" were vegan.org and vegan.com. There were no comparisons to the holocaust, etc. on the front page of vegan.com, but I did use the search feature on vegan.com and found pages with holocaust or slavery references. One result was a criticism of PETA for their holocaust on your plate campaign, and a campaign comparing dog breeding to the KKK. While this result does show that some vegans make offensive comparisons, the article itself was a vegan website criticizing these campaigns. However, another result on vegan.com stated, "Another foot and mouth outbreak, another animal holocaust," about pigs being buried alive. When I searched vegan.org I did not get results for "slavery" or "holocaust".

While some veg*ns make arguments/comparisons about slavery/lynching/holocaust/etc., it doesn't seem as rampant as people claim. To find this on a quick Google search of "vegan", I had to search within the sites I found on the Google search.

Someone on Twitter wrote, "The moral argument for vegetarian seems to be sort of the same basis for light-skin privilege in white America. More like me, more right to life." The author then wrote some things about how killing plants is still killing. It sounds like she is saying that the argument that animals have a right to life and plants don't uses the same basis of the argument that white people have a right to live and black people don't. I think this argument is both a strawman and equivocation fallacy. The right to life is not the right to biological life, it is the right of conscious entities to continue their life. On Star Trek, Data has referred to himself as alive even though he is not in the biological sense. I don't know for certain if plants have consciousness but it's highly unlikely. I don't know if is a chemical process in plants that causes consciousness. I have heard that plants release chemicals to communicate with other plants, but it sounds more like the way hormones work rather than the way brains work.

I think according to this person's argument, the argument for meat eating is closer to the argument for light-skin privilege. Meat eaters restrict the right to life to humans so in that sense they argue "like me" (same species) has a greater right to life (like the way this person argues vegetarians argue "like me", same kingdom, has a greater right to life).

On the issue of meat eaters claiming vegans are preachy or disrespectful toward their beliefs, it doesn't seem to take much to be considered disrespectful. I once came across a YouTube video where someone said that when people call themselves vegan they are passing judgement onto others as being inferior and they should say "I don't eat meat or dairy" instead.

Someone suggested that when people say negative things about the vegan community, I apologize that they had bad experiences and try to represent the vegan community as positive as I can. A problem with this is that I would be constantly apologizing but likely nobody would apologize to me for **** I get from meat eaters. I also wouldn't want to apologize if the bad experience with the vegan community they are talking about is simply that people in the vegan community called themselves vegan (they are not always clear about what the bad experience is). A lot of people also seem eager to dig dirt on vegans so at least some people could be making things up and apologizing to them could give them the impression that they are successful at convincing me that vegans are evil. I could apologize for the holocaust comparisons, but I don't know what to do about the other issues.

I also find it curious how so many meat eaters are encountering so many veg*ns. Veg*ns are about 2% of the population in most countries so it doesn't seem likely meat eaters would encounter a large number of people from a small fraction of the population.

My primary question is: Is there anything I can do about these, or are there ways to find online communities where people don't constantly complain about vegans?

As a side note, I sometimes watch vegan videos on YouTube and lately YouTube has been recommending videos of vegans arguing with each other. This isn't good for the vegan community.

Jamie in Chile 08-15-2016 05:10 PM

I think you spend a lot of time online, maybe even too much. Take a break if it gets frustrating.

Vegans are in the minority at the moment, so that could be a factor in some of this, but that will change eventually.

I don't have enough knowledge about the type of sites you are posting on, personally I don't see constant complaining against vegans, but we obviously visit different places.

Don't waste too much time on energy on arguing that people that might be trolling, or just having a different opinion.

David3 08-15-2016 07:59 PM

By publicly being vegans in the outside world - vegans that DON'T fit these (false) stereotypes - we can help to topple this bigotry.

Point-by-point arguments may not be very effective. People don't have the attention span for that kind of thing. A simple response might be more effective, like saying, "In any movement, the loudest and most radical members are the most visible. I think you'll find that most vegans are surprisingly normal people." And leave it at that.
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Poppy 08-16-2016 02:12 PM

Veganism goes against so many of our deepest ingrained cultural rituals that sometimes it's hard to remember, especially when you've been vegan for some time, just how radical we are.

When we won't eat most of the food, wear much of the uniform, or buy into some of our culture's favorite hobbies and entertainment, we set ourselves apart. It's important, though, to stay approachable and friendly and open to discussion. The whole point is to create converts not create enemies. :)

Skylark 08-16-2016 08:44 PM

Most veg*ns I've encountered are relatively educated white people. The way they live their veg*nism will show the privileges they have as relatively educated white people. As the compassion movement spreads into other demographics, I expect we will see people bringing their privileges or lack thereof to their way of living with less or no non-human animal products. It is particularly important for existing veg*ns to educate themselves about their unearned privileges as white people, as people with access to schooling, as possibly straight people, as people with access to a variety of foods, etc. If we're ignoring or excluding people from veg*n information and resources, we need to work on that.

Hydrogen 08-16-2016 10:24 PM

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I think you spend a lot of time online, maybe even too much. Take a break if it gets frustrating.
I can't really get out and do things offline. This might confuse people since most people have wrong ideas about what autism is, but I am autistic and have no idea how to socialize. I also can't drive so that makes going anywhere difficult. To give a short description of autism to those who watch the Big Bang Theory: a lot of people think Sheldon seems autistic. There are differences between autistic people so most have differences between Sheldon, but the point is that I am simply not able to get out and the Internet is really the only way I can interact with other people.

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Vegans are in the minority at the moment, so that could be a factor in some of this, but that will change eventually.
The percentage of vegans and vegetarians is increasing, but very slowly. It will probably take hundreds of years before vegans are the majority if it happens.

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Most veg*ns I've encountered are relatively educated white people. The way they live their veg*nism will show the privileges they have as relatively educated white people. As the compassion movement spreads into other demographics, I expect we will see people bringing their privileges or lack thereof to their way of living with less or no non-human animal products.
I've met many LGBT veg*ns and disabled veg*ns. I've also seen surveys that conclude that white people are the race with the smallest percentage of veg*ns. Some veg*ns I've met online are teenagers so are not finished with their education.

Although it only happens to a small percentage of veg*ns, I think people can be oppressed for being veg*n. I've heard of veg*ns have children taken away or denied adoption for being veg*n. Also if a veg*n becomes homeless or goes to jail, they might not have access to suitable food and if they can't bear to eat meat would starve to death. Disabled people (like me) have an increased risk of becoming homeless. I know a disabled person who used to be a strict vegetarian then started eating meat upon becoming homeless.

Jamie in Chile 08-17-2016 06:13 PM

I think vegans or at least vegetarians will be the majority in between 50 and 200 years, at least in the US and Western Europe if not the world.

When you think about how few vegans and vegetarians there are today, and how many try it and fall back, and how slowly people change their attitudes, and that it takes real sacrifice for some, it's hard to see it taking place in 20 or 30 years. It needs multiple generations.

However I don't see how it can take say 500 years. From any angle it seems to me that it will take less. Look at how many more children are going to be brought up as vegan and vegetarian this generation, and how many more will at least be brought up with the idea that there it is a valid option there. Look at how much more is known about the meat industry today compared to a generation ago, how many videos and reports there have been. Look at the spread of the internet, how people exchange info more easily, the recent trend of movies on the topic. This is the start of real change already within the space of a few decades.

And look at the speed of previous movements. Major changes in attitudes to sexism, from woman not owning property or being allowed to vote, to becoming arguably fully equal by our children's generation at least in developed countries, is taking around 200 years. While black people have gone from slaves to equality in a similar period. I think black people are only one generation away from true equality in developed countries.

The one thing that I can see that could stop a major increase in veganism in 50-200 years is some major setback to humanity and the planet as a whole, such as a massive catastrophe like a nuclear war or global natural disaster or ecosystem collapse. If that happens animal rights will inevitably take a back burner as people go back to worrying how to survive. But, assuming it doesn't, and assuming humanity continues to increase wealth and spare time so it's easier for us to confront other issues, then we have been on a steady path of enlightenment as a species for centuries (the extent to which humans have actually damaged the world MORE in recent generations being more of a consequence of greater numbers and wealth rather than becoming less moral). And I think it's logical that that increased moral concern will be expanded to animal rights issues more and more. People are already having concerns about bull fighting, zoos, circuses etc.

Jamie in Chile 08-17-2016 06:26 PM

While I do struggle to relate to the idea of not being able to get out and socialize at all, I think I can relate more generally to autism because I am leaning in that direction myself in some ways. However I could be wrong so let me explain and you tell me if I'm wrong. I was a very shy child, although I have improved a big amount. However I would still feel uncomfortable about going to a party or bar meetup with many people there if I didn't know any, and was going alone. I also felt uncomfortable about work social events in jobs where I didn't have close friends. I have often been at a party and looked around the room and noticed that every person in the room was having an animated and happy conversation but me, and I wasn't sure how to squeeze into any of those group conversations, and was just standing alone, hoping no one would notice or someone would come and talk to me. I am not a popular, charismastic type of person but more awkward and considered perhaps slightly oddball.

I tend to like rational, logical arguments. It annoys me when I make an argument that is logically irrefutable, and another person still disagrees, even though they have no counter argument. It's especially annoying if everyone else in the room agrees with the other person (or seems to) even though it seems that I have said 1+1=2 and they 1+1=3.

I love the Big Bang Theory and can really relate to Sheldon. I would have said he was a classic example of autistic. Do you agree or not (I wasn't clear from your post). Are you saying that he is autistic but that other people can be autistic and be completely different to that?

Hydrogen 08-18-2016 10:47 PM

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I think vegans or at least vegetarians will be the majority in between 50 and 200 years, at least in the US and Western Europe if not the world. ... And look at the speed of previous movements. Major changes in attitudes to sexism, from woman not owning property or being allowed to vote, to becoming arguably fully equal by our children's generation at least in developed countries, is taking around 200 years. While black people have gone from slaves to equality in a similar period. I think black people are only one generation away from true equality in developed countries.
Even if 50% of people in western culture become vegan in 200 years, I will not be around to see it happen. Even if it only takes 50 years, that's still a lot of time when I'll be surrounded by meat eaters.

Social change occurs at different rates depending on the issue so I don't know how easy it would be to predict when any change will happen. The first USA state to legalize civil unions for gay couples did so in 1999 then 16 years later the supreme court ruled that all states must recognize gay marriage. The first USA state to outlaw public school corporal punishment did so in 1867, the second in 1971. Excluding the outlier, it's been 45 years and 19 states still allow public school corporal punishment. One change taking 16 years and the other still not finished after 45 years shows the different rates social change happens.

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I love the Big Bang Theory and can really relate to Sheldon. I would have said he was a classic example of autistic. Do you agree or not (I wasn't clear from your post). Are you saying that he is autistic but that other people can be autistic and be completely different to that?
Yes, I'm saying I think Sheldon is autistic but other autistic people can be very different. I mentioned Sheldon as a way to give a brief explanation of autism to explain why I depend on the Internet for socialization.

Sheldon seems to have autistic traits to a very large extent, the way he can barely understand sarcasm, has to have things a certain way and gets very upset about change, takes almost everything literally. I generally do laundry on Sundays but if I have to do it a different day I don't get as upset as him when he can't do laundry on Saturday night. It's like his autistic traits are very exaggerated and I don't think most autistic people have these traits to the extent as him.

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While I do struggle to relate to the idea of not being able to get out and socialize at all, I think I can relate more generally to autism because I am leaning in that direction myself in some ways. However I could be wrong so let me explain and you tell me if I'm wrong. I was a very shy child, although I have improved a big amount. However I would still feel uncomfortable about going to a party or bar meetup with many people there if I didn't know any, and was going alone. I also felt uncomfortable about work social events in jobs where I didn't have close friends. I have often been at a party and looked around the room and noticed that every person in the room was having an animated and happy conversation but me, and I wasn't sure how to squeeze into any of those group conversations, and was just standing alone, hoping no one would notice or someone would come and talk to me. I am not a popular, charismastic type of person but more awkward and considered perhaps slightly oddball.
I can't say for sure if what you describe indicates autism or not, but this does sound like issues autistic people have. Being shy or uncomfortable at parties or social events are common in autistic people but could probably also be a result of social anxiety. The part about everyone else at a party having an animated conversation and you don't know how to squeeze in sounds autistic to me (but again I can't say for sure).

tpkyteroo luebeck 08-19-2016 08:25 AM

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Originally Posted by Jamie in Chile (Post 4007489)
While I do struggle to relate to the idea of not being able to get out and socialize at all, I think I can relate more generally to autism because I am leaning in that direction myself in some ways. However I could be wrong so let me explain and you tell me if I'm wrong. I was a very shy child, although I have improved a big amount. However I would still feel uncomfortable about going to a party or bar meetup with many people there if I didn't know any, and was going alone. I also felt uncomfortable about work social events in jobs where I didn't have close friends. I have often been at a party and looked around the room and noticed that every person in the room was having an animated and happy conversation but me, and I wasn't sure how to squeeze into any of those group conversations, and was just standing alone, hoping no one would notice or someone would come and talk to me. I am not a popular, charismastic type of person but more awkward and considered perhaps slightly oddball.

Think back to your childhood. Did you play "pretend" games easily or struggle with these games as a child? Were you non-verbal until a teacher came in to teach you speech? These are the early signs of Austism Spectrum Disorder. Aspergers tend to want to talk about specific topics to the Nth degree - like Sheldon. They tend towards very precise ways or arranging things. Sheldon is more Aspergers than Austistic in my opinion. My nephew is high functioning Austistic with some signs of Aspergers. He used to want to hug everyone he saw, but wouldn't speak otherwise. This was before the age of 5.

Here is a good place for information about Austism. I can not post links yet, so go to nationalautismassociation dot org forward slash resources forward slash signs-of-autism for a good list of signs to look for.

tpkyteroo luebeck 08-19-2016 10:27 AM

Online, you will always find very vocal "haters". Why? They can be anonymous. Its been proven through research that people who would never say such things offline, will say things that are very hurtful online. (This was a study in general, and not associated with vegan vs. non-vegan sentiments, that was mentioned on the news a while back.) I tend to find the people who think that their manliness is tied to how much meat they eat in a week. I had to learn to ignore them and put them in the same category as "Price" supporters, in that they tend to be arrogantly ignorant. (I do not wish to name the organization fully, as I do not want to give them free advertising.) Bill Pearl is a decorated Vegan Body Builder. He was the first Vegan I found anywhere, and the one who inspired me to not care about what the "peanut gallery" says. He has also proven that Body Builders can medal as a Vegan.

I think that where you live does make a difference in whether accommodation will be easier to find or whether accommodation will only come with a very hard fought fight. In places where hunting and farming is the main activity, I find that Veganism is discriminated against almost as if they think that they will lose a piece of themselves if I don't eat meat. Certain groups, who will remain nameless, will even insist on only eating at non-vegan accommodating restaurants as if the vegan should have to eat eggs and just deal with it. Yes, Oatmeal with juice is often available, but its normally oatmeal from a company that not all vegans and no celiacs want to support. Even if a restaurant comes onto the scene, that is very popular with meat breakfast eaters, but does have a 99% Vegan option form of pancakes, this group may still insist upon only meeting at that other restaurant. Why? I do not understand it! This group also tends to believe that you will not get sick as long as you do not kiss the person who ate what you are allergic to on the day that person ate it. A group of researchers proved that the offending protein does not die after 2 months of testing. They quit the test after that due to lack of funding. True, they only tested 3 proteins - one was Peanut, the other was chcken, but I forget what the third protein was. I react to the chicken.

OTOH, I am told that London area, has many good Vegan restaurants and many non-vegan restaurants have good Vegan choices. I so live in the wrong country! Punjabi region of India, is pro-vegetarian. I do not know this as a fact, but I am led to believe that it is easier to be Vegan in Seatle, San Francisco and Manhatten. The people are more used to Vegans being around, and tend to be less offended by Vegan existing and needing reasonable accommodation.

I think that online, one of the things we can do is simply mention all the vegan atheletes who are body builders and metalled, or lifted weights and metaled. I think it would be cool to find a Strong Man competitor who is vegan and always gets to finals. If we just mention them and their successes first, and then mention that they eat Vegan, I think it might go easier. I also think that the more NFL superstars, Rugby players, boxers, and WWF people who are vegan get mentioned, the better. These tend to be the sports that men associate with manliness. I don't mean, mentioning them all at once, but if we were to spoon feed them this information, I think that it will help. Perhaps I am wrong here, but it can't hurt, can it?

Jamie in Chile 08-19-2016 05:02 PM

"Did you play "pretend" games easily or struggle with these games as a child? Were you non-verbal until a teacher came in to teach you speech? These are the early signs of Austism Spectrum Disorder."

I had some pretend games and made up imaginary competitions and things. I wasn't non verbal but I wasn't a big talker as a child.

I have some obsessive compulsive disorder type things. I am the kind of person that locks the car, walks away ten yards, and goes back to check again. I take 5 minutes to check all the doors and windows are locked and closed before going to bed. When I take my shoes off, I prefer to line them up neatly rather than having one going off at a angle or the other way around. If I see a sock is sticking out of the drawer, I tend to fix that. And yet I can have jackets and empty bottles thrown all over the floor and not care. At least I could before I was married lol.

I tend to write too much detail and have to try and make an effort to be concise.

I really don't do the whole restricted, repetitive, routine behaviour. I like variety. I only use routine to avoid forgetting things and to develop positive habits (e.g. I go running Saturday mornings or Sundays if I was busy Saturday, and take a B12 tablet Wednesdays).

I don't think I am autistic but even if I am only a very mild case. Let's say I went to an expert and they had to answer the question, "Am I autistic?" with a simple yes or no. What would the answer matter anyway? I think as a culture we are somewhat too obsessed by saying someone either has a defined condition or not.

tpkyteroo luebeck 08-24-2016 07:12 PM

Based strictly on what you said, it could be a sign of mild high-functioning Autism. Does it matter? Not really. It is more of a curiousity. It only matters if socially who you are gets in the way of having a social life, in that people dis you, do not want to be friends with you and you have huge difficulties in getting and keeping friends (outside of being Vegan.) Veganism, obviously brings up its own issues. If you do have those problems, only then would it be worth it to pay the big bucks to get a life coach to work with you or a behavioral therapist who works with you in the situations. Thanks! :D

tpkyteroo luebeck 08-24-2016 07:43 PM

There is no difference between I, a Jew, looking in at people eating and not being able to eat anything there at that restaurant because I have been banned by race or I, a food allergic person, looking in at people eating and not being able to eat anything there and being banned because of blatant discrimination. If I walk in as a Jew in Germany during that time period, I can be shot on the spot. If I walk in and eat their with my food allergies, I can die on the spot (unless epi-pen worked, and i got to the hospital in time.) A Vegan? its not quite exactly the same thing because they may not die if they ate what they do not want to eat. However, they still look in at people eating and they still can not eat there due to blatant discrimination of a different kind. The restaurant refuses to put anything on their menu that a Vegan might be able to eat because they only cater to diets who eat only animal and fish, and are not even vegetarian.

Blatant discrimination here is being defined only as referring to restaurants that have the ingredients in stock, but refuse to serve them in ways that isn't a "prescribed recipe" on their menu. For example, can't serve head lettuce by itself, because only beef eaters can have that on a burger. Or, can't give me a price break for only having jacket potato, but instead insist I pay the full $16 that pays for the beef and veggie blend that contains only vegetables I am allergic too.

The evil dictator in Germany murdered both Jews and the disabled. I am both. I would have been murdered twice over. At restaurants, I always carry my epi-pen. I can still be unintentionally murdered there, or intentionally murdered if they blatantly refuse to take seriously my alcohol allergy. I learned real quick, that if anyone tells me that "the alcohol cooks out" that I should just get up and walk out. It means they will not get it. I do tell them that the I react to alcohol period. No exceptions. lol

Anyway, that is just my opinion. I will not be offended by anyone who disagrees with me. Thanks! ;)

Hydrogen 08-25-2016 01:15 PM

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There is no difference between I, a Jew, looking in at people eating and not being able to eat anything there at that restaurant because I have been banned by race or I, a food allergic person, looking in at people eating and not being able to eat anything there and being banned because of blatant discrimination. If I walk in as a Jew in Germany during that time period, I can be shot on the spot. If I walk in and eat their with my food allergies, I can die on the spot (unless epi-pen worked, and i got to the hospital in time.) A Vegan? its not quite exactly the same thing because they may not die if they ate what they do not want to eat. However, they still look in at people eating and they still can not eat there due to blatant discrimination of a different kind. The restaurant refuses to put anything on their menu that a Vegan might be able to eat because they only cater to diets who eat only animal and fish, and are not even vegetarian.
I can't really tell what this is in response to from this thread but it seems like it could be response to what I said about vegans potentially starving if they become homeless or go to jail. It may not be identical to other forms of oppression, but it is still serious oppression. The consequence could be fatal after all. It's more than I just would rather not eat meat, for me eating meat would be highly disturbing. I don't think I could do it. What if a Jewish or Muslum person was only offered food containing pork? What if a Hindu was only offered food containing beef? What if someone had a food allergy that would result in a lot of discomfort but not death? Also, since I mentioned jail, I expect people to say that vegans and vegetarians should simply not commit crimes. I don't think the courts are 100% accurate and that wrongfully accused people go to jail. Also, not all crimes are henious.

Some people also defend ableism by pointing out the discrimination is not identical to other forms. Other marginalized people don't usually require accommodation and usually want to be given the same expectations as other people (where people with disabilities need for it to not be expected that they will do things they can't). However, I think that discrimination is still discrimination even if it is not identical to other forms of discrimination.

Unicorn Pretzel 08-26-2016 05:44 PM

There are bigots in every group and community, so of course you will find vegan bigots. These individuals were most likely bigots from way back when they were meat eaters. Bigotry is most often bred into an individual during their childhood. Not to mention, human beings are complex. A child murderer can believe in racial equality (given race is a non biological social construct based on power anyway) but still go on to commit heinous crimes against children. Someone can be racist and treat people, specifically those from "races" they abhor like trash but become vegan because they don't believe that animals should be exploited or treated as inferior to humans. People can be hypocrites. Because meat eaters still vastly outnumber vegans, a few vegans making bigoted remarks will be seen as enough to tarnish all vegans. It's partly a numbers game. Vegans are easier to stereotype to fit meat eaters' agendas because of how much smaller we are as a population.

To prevent the vegan community's reputation from being tarnished, vegans do need to call out other vegans who are going around promoting bigotry of any kind. Ethical veganism is about objecting to exploitation and cruelty to animals. Letting hatred be associated with veganism will cause people not to take us seriously and why should they if we don't practice what we preach? Humans are animals as well, so I don't see how a person can hate their own species but call themselves truly vegan. I agree with you though, vegans are often criticized as a group rather than as individuals which is often the case with any group of individuals considered to be a minority in society. It's unfair, but the only thing we can do for now is show that veganism is a positive movement in many aspects. Vegans can highlight struggles specific to veganism without having to "highjack" other people's personal tragedies. This is important because veganism is actually growing among people of all walks of life/ethnic groups/backgrounds.

I just feel it's ridiculous to use the horrors marginalized groups have faced in the past and still face today to some extent for the sole purpose of evoking sympathy for veganism and the animals. It's insulting and unnecessary. I know quite a few people who have become resistant to veganism altogether because of those comparisons and feeling like their people have been likened to animals (as was done in the past and sometimes in current times as well).Unessecary comparisons between humans and animals should be avoided. The facts will speak for themselves. We don't need to bring up other forms of exploitation and discrimination to point out what animals go through. It kind of reminds me of how someone likened a vegan using soap to kill bacteria on their skin as being equivalent to killing and eating animals for meat. It's obviously a preposterous comparison and one that is grasping at straws.

Authentic facts showing why veganism should be pursued cannot be argued with and will likely leave people contemplating whether they are truly doing the right thing for their health if presented in a neutral, pleasant fashion. Spreading hate will only make people more resistant to changing their ways. People say any activism is good activism, but if it's turning people off from veganism, can it truly be deemed activism if the goal is to convert more people to veganism?

Hydrogen 08-30-2016 10:34 PM

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I tend to like rational, logical arguments. It annoys me when I make an argument that is logically irrefutable, and another person still disagrees, even though they have no counter argument. It's especially annoying if everyone else in the room agrees with the other person (or seems to) even though it seems that I have said 1+1=2 and they 1+1=3.
I feel the same way but it seems to me that other people think figuratively that I say 1+1=3 when I think they said 1+1=3.

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Point-by-point arguments may not be very effective. People don't have the attention span for that kind of thing. A simple response might be more effective, like saying, "In any movement, the loudest and most radical members are the most visible. I think you'll find that most vegans are surprisingly normal people." And leave it at that.
I think many people have decided that vegans with more radical and/or offensive views are the majority. People have said holocaust comparisons are rampant in the vegan community and also that there is a lot of bigotry in the vegan community. I don't expect someone to say there's a lot of bigotry in the vegan community if they think there's a lot of bigotry in every community so people seem to think vegans are more bigoted than most people.

Maybe I need to determine how common holocaust comparisons are in the vegan community, and if it is not as common as people think, tell that to people. I don't know how to determine how common this is or how to it convince to other people.

I wonder if people hear more from people criticizing vegans for making these comparisons than directly from vegans making these comparisons, making it seem more rampant than it is.

Quote:

Online, you will always find very vocal "haters". Why? They can be anonymous. Its been proven through research that people who would never say such things offline, will say things that are very hurtful online. (This was a study in general, and not associated with vegan vs. non-vegan sentiments, that was mentioned on the news a while back.)
That's true that people say things online they would never say offline. Although this could mean I encounter people offline that have these opinions who simply don't say anything about it, but it might not matter what their opinions are if they keep them to themselves. I also might end up in places online with angry opinionated people for some reason.

tpkyteroo luebeck 09-04-2016 04:54 PM

@Hydrogen I do not know anyone else who has made the holocaust comparison besides me. I just know that at least one Jew found it offensive when I made that comparison with my food allergies before I went Vegan.
Quote:

Hydrogen wrote:
I wonder if people hear more from people criticizing vegans for making these comparisons than directly from vegans making these comparisons, making it seem more rampant than it is.
I can see this as being true. Its a very plausible theory. I think that people are also so afraid of being a social outcast if they support Veganism, or so afraid that they won't be seen as a "real man" that they instead tend to dis us.

Hydrogen 09-04-2016 06:48 PM

Quote:

@Hydrogen I do not know anyone else who has made the holocaust comparison besides me. I just know that at least one Jew found it offensive when I made that comparison with my food allergies before I went Vegan.
PETA had a campaign about 10 years ago which compared animal slaughter to the holocaust. I once saw someone post a cartoon image on Twitter where a product was advertized as being made by "free range slaves." I think I've heard a couple more examples but can't remember them of the top of my head.

loreng morena 09-06-2016 12:15 AM

I feel the same

Hydrogen 09-10-2016 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpkyteroo luebeck (Post 4013145)
@Hydrogen I do not know anyone else who has made the holocaust comparison besides me. I just know that at least one Jew found it offensive when I made that comparison with my food allergies before I went Vegan.


I can see this as being true. Its a very plausible theory. I think that people are also so afraid of being a social outcast if they support Veganism, or so afraid that they won't be seen as a "real man" that they instead tend to dis us.

If people see physical strength as what makes a "real man", and think meat is essential for strength, maybe they should be reminded that Popeye got strong by eating spinach, not meat.

obsidian 09-10-2016 06:51 PM

I personally think it's due to the embarrassing-as-hell vegan "activists" that video tape themselves walking into normal American restaurants and performing their whole weirdo-psycho monologs on how the cheeseburgers are suffering and blah, blah, blah.

Vegan extremists have tarnished the linguistic reputation of the word "vegan" and even somewhat to "vegetarianism" in general -- Extremists and hippies, basically. If you haven't seen this sort of madness, simply YouTube search "vegan cringe" and you will be shocked at the level of buffoonery these people are engaged in.

Jamie in Chile 09-10-2016 07:18 PM

Loosely related to the last comment, I think one of the problems here is the media and what they report, which both excessively highlights crazier vegans as well as encouraging vegans to get crazy, or risk no attention at all.

The following is NOT a newsworthy headline:

"Vegans protest in a public place politely making a compelling and well thought argument."

The following IS:

"Painted naked PETA girls block road and cause traffic jam."

If you go to the houses of Parliament in the UK, there are constantly people sat outside protesting politely about something. As far as the UK media is concerned, these people do not exist. But as soon as they dangerously scale a famous building, interrupt a sporting event by running across the field, or throw an egg at a politician, people apparently want to click on the story.

Hydrogen 10-09-2016 08:42 PM

A lot of these anti-veg*n comments I find are on Twitter, most of which support radical liberal politics. I wonder if people with other political views are more tolerant of vegans, but the irony is that it seems that veg*nism is associated with liberal politics. It also seems like a lot of vegans are anti-vegan. Could it be that most people with somewhat liberal political views are tolerant of veganism, but not most people with radical political views?

I don't want to give too many details of my location, but I currently live in a region of California that is probably more liberal than 80-90% of the state. Many times at grocery stores my mom has mentioned that I am vegan (I depend on my parents because of disability/autism) and the clerk often seems to find it interesting or comments on how healthy it is. People online can come from anywhere in the world, but maybe I'm lucky to come from a more tolerant geographic region. I don't want to live in this area forever (mostly because of California's super expensive housing). Most cities I see on lists of vegetarian friendly cities seem very liberal, though a few are not, and a lot of people dispute cities on those lists.

From the responses, it seems some of the reason people complain about vegans a lot are: radical/extreme activists draw more attention to themselves, the media pays more attention to provocative activism because it tells a juicier story than reasonable activism, veganism goes against cultural values (in the United States and many other countries), people say things online they won't say offline. However, I'm still not sure how to get people to stop associating veganism with bigotry. Someone said to point out there are vegan body builders to show that vegans can be physically strong, but I don't think pointing out tolerant vegans will convince people that vegans are not usually bigots (at least not more bigoted than most people). Someone said for vegans to be a positive representative for the vegan community to show others that not all vegans are like those people complain about, but I've seen far more vegans criticize other vegans than I've seen vegans do provocative things. Since so many vegans have already shown themselves to not support provocative vegan activism, vegans being positive doesn't seem to have worked.

Gallo 10-10-2016 05:17 PM

Well, there are vegans who take it too far, but generally, the truth hurts. I know from experience that I tried to rationalize my meat eating for years, resorting to bulls**t arguments like - "well, I only buy meat that's already been prepared, how am I the bad guy?", or "I'm an apex predator, rrrrrr". The answer is simple, truth hurts. When you have to do inconvenient things that require you to leave your comfort zone, you are going to be offended, and when most people get offended, they attack. Thing is though, radical vegans - same as with radical feminists, or any radicals, basically - hurt the cause a lot, no question about it. You can't show an example to people by offending them, and telling them how they are basically POSs. Very few people are born vegan, and I imagine most of them are not very old, so you have to give them time. I know I needed years, and between the time I started to contemplate the idea and actually do it (five days ago), I was annoyed by vegans. Because once again, the truth hurts.

Thalassa 10-12-2016 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylark (Post 4007017)
Most veg*ns I've encountered are relatively educated white people. The way they live their veg*nism will show the privileges they have as relatively educated white people. As the compassion movement spreads into other demographics, I expect we will see people bringing their privileges or lack thereof to their way of living with less or no non-human animal products. It is particularly important for existing veg*ns to educate themselves about their unearned privileges as white people, as people with access to schooling, as possibly straight people, as people with access to a variety of foods, etc. If we're ignoring or excluding people from veg*n information and resources, we need to work on that.

There are quite a few African American vegans out there. I'm just saying this association of vegan with whiteness is weird. I know a soul food family restaurant in LA that is vegan, in Inglewood, and a Cuban vegan restaurant near LAX. On YouTube Brown Vegan, Urban Black Vegan and Cheap Lazy vegan are all non white, and while they're not as well known as Freelee, very few YouTube vegans are as well known as Freelee.


I can see the association of veganism with education and by proxy, social class, but to call it a white thing is kind of ridiculous.

I think the bigotry the author was referring to wasn't even race related, with the exception of the halocaust references, which I personally avoid because those aren't good arguments ...Godwins law says as soon as you compare Hitler to anything else the conversation is over. Incidentally, Israeli ethnic Jews ironically have the largest percentage of vegans in their nation, so much so that there are now vegan options in the Israeli army.

Thalassa 10-12-2016 10:31 PM

The online world is full of echo chambers of ignorance and hate. For every person advocating social justice or progress of any sort, there seems to be a group of three, with linked arms, hating vegans or denying anthropologenically caused rapid climate disruption, or calling feminists evil ugly women, or saying they're more discriminated against as a white man than anyone else in the entire universe.

Some of these people are deceptively clever or have large vocabularies, so you may be tempted to argue some sense into them. Before I returned to college I spent way too much time doing that. While I learned a great deal from my stay in Intertardz land, cultural and social information I'm sure I'll always carry with me in some small way, I'm generally giving up on those folks, even the ones who are deceptively clever.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. It's a stupid cliche but it's true. Post your blog, make Pinterist boards, make YouTube videos, but don't waste too much time arguing with these sorts of people. ..especially if you're only making animal rights arguments and not including environmental or health reasons, or facilitating veganism to make it easier for them to transition, with tips.

It struck me quite a few years back that mainstream liberal youth thought had made it trendy to bash Christianity, less on the basis of logic, or comparative religion, and more so because of some abortion clinic bombers they saw on TV.

I mean if it can become that trendy to knee jerk bash one of the largest religions in the world without having to form intelligent arguments, what makes you think the unwashed masses are going to treat veganism any differently?

Some people don't like people with strong ethics. Period. So that's a group you'll never get through to, because they're probably post modern existential nihilists.

Then you just have followers, and followers will laugh at vegans if their friends do.

Then you have the genuinely ignorant who might change their opinion through sound education, but the best way to reach them is unlikely to be arguing on the Internet, unless they showed genuine curiosity about veganism, or at least vegetarianism in the first place.

Hydrogen 10-13-2016 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gallo (Post 4021570)
Thing is though, radical vegans - same as with radical feminists, or any radicals, basically - hurt the cause a lot, no question about it. You can't show an example to people by offending them, and telling them how they are basically POSs.

My issue is not how to convince meat eaters to stop eating meat. It's to convince people that vegans are not bigots or evil, and not to constantly complain about vegans. I agree that radical/extreme activists hurt their cause (including extreme vegan and animal rights activists) but I don't encounter very many radical/extreme vegans so I don't have many opportunities to convince vegans not to be extreme.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thalassa (Post 4022034)
There are quite a few African American vegans out there. I'm just saying this association of vegan with whiteness is weird. I know a soul food family restaurant in LA that is vegan, in Inglewood, and a Cuban vegan restaurant near LAX. On YouTube Brown Vegan, Urban Black Vegan and Cheap Lazy vegan are all non white, and while they're not as well known as Freelee, very few YouTube vegans are as well known as Freelee.

I can see the association of veganism with education and by proxy, social class, but to call it a white thing is kind of ridiculous.

I don't understand why veganism is associated with being white either. In the United States, Europe, and some other places, most vegans are white but that is because in those places most of the total population is white. European culture (and places colonized by white people) also seems to be a lot more meat-centric than the rest of the world. Although a very large majority of people in every country except India eat meat, in a lot of places people eat a lot less meat than in Europe or white majority colonies (like the United States). In some countries meat usually is not a main course but something like a stir fry will have a small amount of meat in it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thalassa (Post 4022034)
I think the bigotry the author was referring to wasn't even race related, with the exception of the halocaust references, which I personally avoid because those aren't good arguments ...Godwins law says as soon as you compare Hitler to anything else the conversation is over.

Something else race related is someone said the ethical argument for vegetarianism uses the same basis as for light skinned privilege by considering animal lives as more important than plant lives.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thalassa (Post 4022034)
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. It's a stupid cliche but it's true. Post your blog, make Pinterist boards, make YouTube videos, but don't waste too much time arguing with these sorts of people.

The problem is it was a huge number of people who never stopped complaining about vegans. It was mostly on Twitter, and I've stopped using Twitter anyway because most of the tweets I've seen were about highly controversial topics and the 140 character limit makes it hard to discuss controversy. I don't know if these attitudes about vegans are mostly popular among Twitter uses for some reason but it would be good to know what to do about this in case I find another online community and people still complain frequently about vegans.

silva 10-13-2016 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hydrogen (Post 4022138)
My issue is not how to convince meat eaters to stop eating meat. It's to convince people that vegans are not bigots or evil, and not to constantly complain about vegans. I agree that radical/extreme activists hurt their cause (including extreme vegan and animal rights activists) but I don't encounter very many radical/extreme vegans so I don't have many opportunities to convince vegans not to be extreme.


I've known people who for 10 years and more have used the same story to illustrate their small minded prejudices. You, nor any one else, is likely to change those people


Quote:

Originally Posted by Hydrogen (Post 4022138)
I don't understand why veganism is associated with being white either. In the United States, Europe, and some other places, most vegans are white but that is because in those places most of the total population is white. European culture (and places colonized by white people) also seems to be a lot more meat-centric than the rest of the world. Although a very large majority of people in every country except India eat meat, in a lot of places people eat a lot less meat than in Europe or white majority colonies (like the United States). In some countries meat usually is not a main course but something like a stir fry will have a small amount of meat in it.


Depends a lot on where you live. In bigger cities I don't think thats true. There are many black vegans.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hydrogen (Post 4022138)
Something else race related is someone said the ethical argument for vegetarianism uses the same basis as for light skinned privilege by considering animal lives as more important than plant lives.


That's pretty stupid. Humans are certainly equal to each other, and they're also animals----plants aren't sentient

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hydrogen (Post 4022138)
The problem is it was a huge number of people who never stopped complaining about vegans. It was mostly on Twitter, and I've stopped using Twitter anyway because most of the tweets I've seen were about highly controversial topics and the 140 character limit makes it hard to discuss controversy. I don't know if these attitudes about vegans are mostly popular among Twitter uses for some reason but it would be good to know what to do about this in case I find another online community and people still complain frequently about vegans.

You can't change this, leave it alone. Work on promoting AR and veg diets.

Thalassa 10-13-2016 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hydrogen (Post 4022138)
My issue is not how to convince meat eaters to stop eating meat. It's to convince people that vegans are not bigots or evil, and not to constantly complain about vegans. I agree that radical/extreme activists hurt their cause (including extreme vegan and animal rights activists) but I don't encounter very many radical/extreme vegans so I don't have many opportunities to convince vegans not to be extreme.



I don't understand why veganism is associated with being white either. In the United States, Europe, and some other places, most vegans are white but that is because in those places most of the total population is white. European culture (and places colonized by white people) also seems to be a lot more meat-centric than the rest of the world. Although a very large majority of people in every country except India eat meat, in a lot of places people eat a lot less meat than in Europe or white majority colonies (like the United States). In some countries meat usually is not a main course but something like a stir fry will have a small amount of meat in it.



Something else race related is someone said the ethical argument for vegetarianism uses the same basis as for light skinned privilege by considering animal lives as more important than plant lives.



The problem is it was a huge number of people who never stopped complaining about vegans. It was mostly on Twitter, and I've stopped using Twitter anyway because most of the tweets I've seen were about highly controversial topics and the 140 character limit makes it hard to discuss controversy. I don't know if these attitudes about vegans are mostly popular among Twitter uses for some reason but it would be good to know what to do about this in case I find another online community and people still complain frequently about vegans.

Yeah Twitter. It's impossible to have a meaningful argument there. I mostly just tweet and follow interesting or like minded individuals. I honestly consider Twitter, Instagram and Pinterist to be more relaxing because of the relative lack of arguments.

I tried to argue once with a morbidly obese man who said he was concerned about THE HEALTH RISKS OF VEGANISM, I was so appalled I posted rebuttals and links, but it's the only time, because trying to have an argument on Twitter is about the most absurd thing I can think of because of the format. I realized it was just foolish.


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