How do you deal with hostility? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-16-2007, 08:00 PM
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How do you respond to vegan-hate and anti-veggie talk? Online and offline?

I tend to stand up online and back down in person. In person I just say something like "Let's move on. So how was your day?" And online I say what I'm thinking and feeling, albeit, a bit more eloquently.

What do you do?

Facts are the best response to ignorance, but what's the best response to the criticism that vegans are self-righteous and rude?

I currently say one of two things:

1) Their sample size is small. They're only talking about the vocal vegans and there are a lot more quiet vegans than vocal vegans. I stress the fact that veg*ns are a diverse group of people and I list a bunch of famous vegans.

2) "If we're right, well then maybe we should be self-righteous. Wouldn't you feel compelled to say something if you saw people eating human babies? Indeed, you'd have a moral duty to be 'self-righteous' about your choice not to eat human babies. Many vegans feel the same way about animals."

Those are adequate, but not compelling. Somehow the haters get even more riled up. I'm tempted to not engage them, but I think they make themselves look bad when they spew hatred and lurkers might be persuaded by my arguments. However, I would rather give a more clever and funny response than my standard vacillation between Spock-ish-ness and uber emo.
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#2 Old 06-16-2007, 08:57 PM
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I guess I'm lucky, I don't have to deal with any veg*n hostility...I do get a lot of unwanted advice and ridiculous omni comments about protein, needing meat to be healthy, stuff like that. But no one has ever become nasty or hostile about it. I probably wouldn't deal well it if it did happen. I'm not much of a fighter/argue-er.
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#3 Old 06-16-2007, 09:04 PM
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The most hostility I've encountered was a friend who snorted and said, "You're healthier if you eat meat." I just smiled and said, "You wouldn't be saying that if you knew of some of the things that go into your meat." She was eating chicken at the time. I think it got to her a little bit. She got a funny look on her face and said, "I don't want to know."

If you can't convince them, leave them wondering...
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#4 Old 06-16-2007, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by karenlovessnow View Post

I do get a lot of unwanted advice and ridiculous omni comments about protein, needing meat to be healthy, stuff like that.

Me too, people are obsessed with that protein thing arent they?
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#5 Old 06-16-2007, 09:41 PM
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i don't encounter hostility very often but when i do i just say something along the lines of "i eat what i want and you can eat whatever you want" and just end it. i truly believe the people that are being hostile about it just want to see you get upset trying to defend yourself.

i have, however, had some good conversations with people that are truly interested in what i eat/don't eat and why. at work the other day a co-worker was super impressed when in showed her the nutritional information on my soy creamer
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#6 Old 06-16-2007, 09:48 PM
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If I'm bored I return it. Otherwise I just don't care.
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#7 Old 06-18-2007, 02:39 PM
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I read up in/on sources like PCRM, the Vegan Society, and books like Plant Roots and The China Study. With facts on my side, I usually feel a bit more "able" to argue, though some people are obviously just instigators/trolls and I don't bother.
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#8 Old 06-18-2007, 04:14 PM
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Fortunately I don't have to deal with it. If people were hostile toward me, I wouldn't deal with them anyway. I have better things to do than to waste my energy on them.
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#9 Old 06-18-2007, 05:08 PM
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I think the hardest to deal with are the anti-animal activists. Sometimes they are paid PR people for various industries. Other times they are just individuals who feel personally threatened by increased protections for animals. Just as some people devote their lives to helping animals, others devote theirs to fighting pro-animal legislation.

These folks are worse than just misinformed omnis...rather, they purposefully seek out even the slightest hint of pro-animal bias and go on the attack. There are various online networks that help them with their protests, just as there are many networks for animal advocates. They are convinced animal advocates are vile terrorists, and there is no reasoning with them.

I left another message board because it became absolutely overrun with industry PR people, hunters, livestock farmers, even dog/cockfighting sympathizers. Basically a few hunters felt outnumbered and went to their chatrooms and messageboards and invited all of their buddies. Soon, EVERYTHING from innocent requests for veg*n recipes to bland posts about pets became absolute battlegrounds. Many animal friendly people gave up and left. Even the slightest pro-animal statement was shouted down with wild accusations about the poster's character. I got sick of it, and I left, too.

slops, gloops, and gruels.
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#10 Old 06-18-2007, 11:23 PM
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I get comments from people who are very misinformed sometimes, but I dont really get hostility. But maybe thats because Im 6 ft 2" and tower over most people so they tend to be wary of me.
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#11 Old 06-18-2007, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ElaineVigneault View Post

What do you do?

Facts are the best response to ignorance, but what's the best response to the criticism that vegans are self-righteous and rude?

I've never really delt with such asshattery before but if they want to stereotype a whole group of people, I'd just reply with somethng like this...

"You mean like those dirty [insert group name] or lazy [insert group name]?"

.... "Oh, but then again, it's pretty self-righteous and rude to make judgements about whole groups of people."


"I didn't know you're vegan." "Oh, you're not?" "Well you sound pretty self-rigteous and rude to me."

or you can just tell them to STFU. I like that one the best.
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#12 Old 06-19-2007, 02:34 PM
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I know I really liked a button I saw at Cafepress...but I didn't buy it because 1) I'm vegan (not just vegetarian) and 2) I don't like to be "in your face." Anyway, it said, "Anti-vegetarian? What kind of heartless ******* are you?"
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#13 Old 06-20-2007, 05:17 PM
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I've not really had to deal with a good deal of haters. Even the ladies that I work with at my job have simply said that I'm "stronger" than they could ever be. It was actually pretty funny. One of the ladies saw what I'd brought for lunch (baby carrots and hummus), and said "Are you vegetarian?"..."I'm vegan."..."REALLY! Wow, that's discipline."

However, I have had to make the statement of, "You know...I haven't criticized you, so who's the one being self-righteous here?"

That's usually a conversation stopper right there.

I found a great button the other day...which I might get, just because I find it hilarious. It has an angry looking cow on it, and says "How about if I eat YOU *explicit word*?"...heheh. I have a collection of really out there buttons...and it would be a perfect addition.
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#14 Old 06-22-2007, 12:33 AM
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When people get hostile with me, I just stand there looking at them. Sometimes I don't even talk. I don't talk because i'm trying to hold my tongue. I'll say something i'll regret. If I choose to say something, I'll just say, oh ok, well have a good day. (i'm talking about when i'm at work. I haven't had any situation relating to veg*n)

When you don't talk while they are goin' off on you, they look like a fool.

So you have actually won the argument.
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