Feeling down and annoyed at "plant-based" people - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-14-2020, 05:44 PM
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Unhappy Feeling down and annoyed at "plant-based" people

I'm a vegan and I was watching this YouTube channel a while ago by the name "Krocks in the Kitchen", which is basically a plant-based cooking show by a married couple who lost a lot of weight together by going plant-based. Sometimes they answer viewers' questions in their videos. They answered the same question in two different videos I saw, and both times it got me feeling low (not quite depressed, but it made me feel a bit helpless; as in, if they aren't willing to be vegan, then is there any hope for the world to become vegan??).

The questions from two viewers were if they have incorporated animal-rights beliefs into their reason for eating the way they do, and if they use the word "vegan" to describe themselves. They said "no", because they feel that word encompasses a whole lifestyle and not just cooking. So, they basically admitted that they don't concern themselves with animal-tested toiletries and cleaning products, circuses, rodeos, etc. They said that they have respect for vegans (but I wonder if they only said that to prevent any angry vegans from commenting), and that they don't feel worthy of using that term since they're only doing it for health.

I think the reason they annoy me so much is because they look like the type of people I would want to be friends with, and I'm very picky about choosing my friends, and where I live, I've had difficulty finding suitable friends ever since I was about 13 years old, when I became vegan. I experienced a ton of ostracism in high school and tertiary education because I'm a female who wears glasses (I was the only white female in my entire grade to wear glasses, and I went to a large high school). I didn't dye my hair blonde or wear thick makeup like a large percentage of my white female classmates. So when I finally see a woman (or even a man) who looks like me, I get a little excited. I've known ever since I was in elementary school that I'm heterosexual, so this isn't romantic or sexual interest, in case any of you had your heads in the gutter. I don't live in their city, so I can't be friends with them, but if I did, or if they lived in my city, I would definitely want to hang out with them and talk about animal rights.

They live with two pet dogs in a metropolitan area, and they are most likely native-speakers of the English language (because not as many books, videos, pamphlets, and websites are available in non-English languages), so it's not like they don't have any experience with having a companion-type relationship with non-human animals, or that they grew up in the sticks/boonies where none of the supermarkets or restaurants carried a veggie burger and everyone was into hunting and fishing. I'm guessing if this married couple had a Deep South accent, I would just assume that all their family members and classmates weren't very pro-animal, and so I wouldn't be so annoyed at them (though Alaskans don't have that southern accent either).

They kind of look like hipsters a bit, but muted hipsters. I guess it isn't so annoying since the husband is a churchgoer (I'm an agnostic).

I guess the subconscious feeling I have when I watch this couple is, "See! It won't even be possible to get white, educated, urban, non-vain/materialistic, more-than-one pet-having, native-English speaking people who have the willpower to stick to a diet of no animal ingredients to stop buying animal-tested toiletries, rodeo tickets, leather shoes, therefore, your hope of turning the world vegan is hopeless! Just give up on activism already!"

I actually would rather be friends with and marry meat-eaters who are remorseful about the animals that had to die for them. I know of one meat-eating woman who said she agrees that meat is murder, but she likes the taste of meat too much to become a vegetarian. She was obese when she said this. I also know of another woman who was very active in the animal rescue scene, and even did internet shows about animal rights, but she said she eats meat because she believes there are certain nutrients that can't be found in a vegan diet. I would actually feel more rapport with these individuals and enjoy sitting on their couch while discussing animal cruelty and other worldviews than with this married couple.

It's like their saying, "Oh, we have plenty of willpower to not purchase things that contribute to animal cruelty. We just don't think animal cruelty is a bad thing". It would be like living in a world where most people have Tourette's Syndrome, where they have uncontrollable tics that cause them to beat their spouse with their fist, and then you meet someone who, through gargantuan effort, has managed to suppress their tics, but says that they're only doing it to conserve as many calories as possible so they don't starve to death if agriculture collapses, but that they have respect for non-wife-beaters, even though they themselves used to beat their wife everyday.

This married couple has even more willpower than I do. I'm vegan but I use oils in preparing meals, and I snack and I usually eat at least 3 meals a day. She admitted that she doesn't use oil, doesn't snack, and only eats two meals a day, and tries to only eat whole foods. I don't do any of that. It's like, "Oh, we have more than enough willpower to do all these things; we just don't care!"

Am I wrong to have these feelings? Am I a bad vegan? I've never written these things on their channel, by the way.
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#2 Old 06-17-2020, 05:20 PM
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I wish I could hug you. (((there)))

I think it's fairly normal for privileged people to only think of their personal health, their own bodies -- the benefits of a diet to themselves only. It's coming from a place of ego. An ethic of justice requires us to think outside ourselves and many in the west's privileged people are not able to manage that.

"Environmental vegans" often have that same kind of ego drive: it's about their enjoyment of a planet with less polluted air and water, more abundant natural resources, so they can go to the beach or the mountains or whatever. (Or so their kids can enjoy the planet, which is also egoic.)

For people who work in mainstream animal rights orgs, 95% of the effort is on farmed animals in the food system, since they believe that's the most urgent. It's definitely the biggest death toll. Anyway those animal rights pros would probably be really happy if everyone stopped eating animals for WHATEVER reason...so then we could work on animals in laboratories, fur farms, wildlife, etc. I am not necessarily agreeing with this approach, and I'm the mom of dogs who were rescued from animal testing so it's a VERY big issue for me. But it's still fair to say if the world stopped eating animals we'd have a hell of a lot less other problems to deal with -- including health, environmental, economic, etc.

Can't agree about preferring the company of a hypocritical animal-eater to an honest plant-based dieter! I LOVE your Tourette's analogy though. Genius.
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#3 Old 06-17-2020, 06:37 PM
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They come right out with the fact that they're wfpb. A plant based diet of whole foods is by far the healthiest, and reduce the incentives for the slaughterhouse profits. Products are made with animal ingredients because they're basically the trash from meat eaters

It does sound like you're putting a ton of prejudices on people! It is kinda natural to want to people to go further, but it's counter productive to feel better about those who just don't give a f'k than those who are not only living their own lives to save animals but also go out of their way to promote that lifestyle.

I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts on this together now, but basically it comes down to the why you're vegan. It's for the animals, not personal purity or reputation.
Eating wfpb in order to achieve your best health, or even save your life, is very distinct from being an ethical vegan, and neither side should be critical of the others goals. I've heard far too much criticism of the 'processed crap' so many vegans eat from plant based eaters, --it isn't their motive, and for many plant based people ethics aren't their motive. What's great though, is that they are part of the Venn diagram of saving animals lives.

Just think how huge it is for people to turn away from thinking of animals as food. If you don't raise and kill for food it only goes to reason we'll have a generation that isn't blinded by the thought we "need" to treat them as commodities. It's a win

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#4 Old 06-24-2020, 08:17 PM
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I consider myself an ethical vegan and make an effort to buy animal and cruelty-free non-food products, but I don't always succeed. Maybe by your and other vegans' definition I'm not a vegan. I don't agree, but I'm not going to try to defend myself against that claim. The "practicibility" proviso in the definition of veganism is very personal and subjective, and was put there, it seems to me, to counter overly judgmental vegans. It's precisely this tendency toward judgmentalism and definitional rigidity that drives people away from labeling themselves vegan, even when they may be just as strict, or even stricter, than the vegan police. I'm sticking with the "vegan" label and I think I've got a perfect right to it, but I've considered giving it up, as a lot of people have, who remain essentially ethical vegan in practice. I've got many inconsistencies and failings in my life that I'm working on. I'll hoe my row and let others hoe theirs. I'll encourage and support anybody for the 99% their doing, rather than nitpick and judge for the 1% they still need to work on, if they decide to work on it at all, which isn't any of my business. I'm sometimes a little disappointed when I learn a "plant-based" person doesn't care much about animal suffering, but I'm willing to let them follow their path. If they don't feel it, they don't feel it. I've got much more important battles to fight.
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