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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At work today the topic of my being a vegan came up - not at all of my provoking. There's a new girl who wanted to know how strict a vegetarian I was. Vegan is strict - I even call it extremist. I was going down the list of what vegans refrain from participating in: eating meat, eating fish, eating chickens, wearing leather, wearing wool, etc. etc. etc.

Another woman that I've worked with for years started in with: "sheep like to be sheared" blah blah blah and ended with "my sister rides horses and she and the horse love it and you're not going to stop her!".

Now, this is a VERY tame conversation I've had with those offended by my beliefs that ALL are equal. I was just wondering if anyone has had a similar or more severe conversation with one who didn't get the ethical point of view and just completely lost it in standing up for the ethical treatment of non-humans. I would just like to live vicariously through you for one brief moment as I am not a confronational person although I secretly would love to be.

btw i'm not sure where I stand on the whole "horse riding" issue so please don't yell at me for saying that riding a horse is not in the best interest of the horse.
 

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Yes I have (unfortunately - because I really try hard to set a good example by being patient and positive)

I work in a club which has a bar. Everyone who knows me knows I'm a veggie. If I go into the bar to check on things, once in a while someone who is an ass (and probably three sheets to the wind) will start in on me. Under normal circumstances I handle obnoxious people pretty well - but drunks I have little use for. I usually end up saying something really snotty. The last time this happened someone was going on and on (for my benefit) about the BLOODY RARE hamburger they had that day and boy wasn't it juicy and yummy and that he made it a point to have something bloody every day - adding a loud "MOOOOOOO!!!!!" a the end. I got close to him and took a big sniff and said "Jeez!! - I was wondering what that rotting flesh smell was every time I come in here ...... and now I know". I didn't make a friend that day, and that person has nothing but contempt for me (and I really am sorry I said it - but I just lost it).

So yeah - I lose it sometimes.
 

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I don't freak out or explode, or anything like that, but I do lose patience.

I'm used to non-vegans giving me a hard time, so I usually just blow them off, saying something random that will ensure they don't think they made any cogent points, but making it clear it's time for the conversation to move on to other topics. It's rarely worth the discussion unless people are in "open mode," as I call it.

My sense is that many of these people like to give people a hard time for anything different about them, say a unique sense of style. The other likelihood is often that they don't have the benefit of all the information we have.

I try patiently to explain that I've read up on all these things, while they haven't, and I offer to suggest books, but most of them won't have any of it because they're closed-minded and don't want to be challenged. I was a meat-eater for a long time, and was always open-minded (and teased for it), which is what made it so easy for me to see the path with perfect clarity once it was presented to me.

My most recent experience with this was starting a new job with a bunch of early-to-mid-20s kids who have just gotten out of college and think they know everything. We all trained together, and they knew I was vegan the whole time. Every once in a while there'd be a small, respectful side conversation, though sometimes there'd be a defensive crack ("synthetics are more harmful to the environment to produce than leather!"), but it more or less stayed quiet.

I came in everyday, behaved as my friendly, attentive self, became one of the top trainees in the 35-person class (2nd-highest written test score and one of the first to complete the oral exam).

I may not be "one of them," as a smart person, an intellectual, and being older and more serious about life in certain ways, but they have a certain place for me in their daily routines at work, at parties, and at softball practice. More important, they respect me for who I am, and know that they can count on me when it matters.

Good grief. This really is the day of tangents for me! Sorry to hijack your thread...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, Raine- I started a post about an experience I had recently that was much like yours. I didn't start the conversation, I tried to end it, but the other person just would not let go. I know they were trying to get the better of me, and to an extent, I let them. Thank goodness I don't have a temper or agressive tendencies, otherwise, I would have cracked her skull and shoved her brains down her throat. I was really annoyed by her and she wouldn't shut up. Then, to add insult to injury, she kept saying, "Now, don't get mad at me...I'm just trying to explain things....".....ARGH!!!

Since that evening, other folks who were there, including the host (her bf), have apologized on her behalf and said they think its cool that I am a vegetarian and care so much for animals.... That made me feel a little better.... ;0)
 

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ya do sumtimes ushally if someone asks i give them a short answer cuz i dont want to go into it but if they dont leave you alone i get very arngry !! or if they know you are veggie and say obnoxtios(sorry cant spell) stuff !!
 

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I freaked out on a co-worker several months ago. This guy (kid, actually--he's barely 21) sits across from my cube and is an annoyance in every sense of the word, so I'm usually pretty short with him to begin with (he calls his parents and his girlfriend long distance 2 or 3 times a day, and then disappears for a couple of hours, and then complains about how much work he has to do, plus his radio is on loudly and he listens to a crap station). So, one day when we're heading into the conference room for a meeting, he starts in about how he would die if he was a vegetarian. I pretty much lost it--I kept my voice low, but I was seething.

me: I've been a vegetarian for over 6 years and I'm not dead yet. What you mean to say is that you lack the discipline to be a vegetarian.

him: No, I really think I would die.

me: Whatever.

him: That's what I don't like about vegetarians--every time I ask a question just so I can be better informed, you guys get all defensive. What's up with that?

me: You didn't ask me a question. You said my way of living is deadly.

him: See, you're getting defensive again.

me: Don't talk to me ever again.

him: ha ha ha

me: I'm serious.

Argh! That kind of thing is rare (thankfully!).
 

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Sadly I freaked out on my mom yesterday. She was talking about how her doctor was going to give her another two months to lower her cholesterol. If she doesn't get it down she's going to be put on medication for it.

So she's going on about the cholesterol, her triglyceride level, how overweight she is, how dairy products are causing her pain. After sitting and listening to it for a while I got a little annoyed with her.

Me: You know mom, all you have to do is cut back on some of the meat and animal products you use. That's where all this extra cholesterol is coming from.

Mom: Oh no, it's genetic. My whole family is like this (they were all tested and they aren't). I can't do a thing about it.

Me: Yes you can mom. Just try basing what you eat around 3-4 fruits and 5 vegetable servings a day. I'm not saying that you have to cut out all meat and milk.

My sister: It wouldn't hurt mom.

Mom: You want me to be a vegetarian, I can't do that.

Me: That's not what I'm saying! Just try to eat a little less of it since that's a source of cholesterol.

My sister: That's not what she's saying. We're just talking about eating healthier. Isn't that better than being on pills for the rest of your life?

Mom: I'm not going to become a vegetarian.

Me: I don't want you to become a vegetarian! You'd drive me nuts if you were!

I think that was the point where the conversation stopped.
 

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I think that I might be about the most qualified person around to tell you all that I do NOT believe that riding horses is in their best interest.

There is SO much anthropomorphism when it comes to horses. I have been around horses since age 8. I have probably handled, trained and/or sold over 5000 horses in my lifetime. I have had horses come and go, and I have owned a horse or two for over 20 years.

Horses are herd animals, and their basic desire is to roam large tracts of land, with their herd. This is when they are the most "happy". I have heard umpteen people tell me how much their horse loves them, and how happy they are to see them, and how much the horse loves to jump, trailride, play polo, whatever. And to this I say, BULLS8T! They are trying to justify their enslavement of something that they "love".

The truth is this: given a choice, there is no horse that would choose a human "friend" over life in a herd. We don't give them that choice. We pull them out of their natural environment, stick them in a stall, feed the living daylights out of them (or keep them too thin - depending on the sport), take them out once a day or so to be ridden and to do our bidding, and then stick them back into a stall or into a pasture.

Horses in this situation do as we wish because we have trained them (usually using fear/reward methods or "carrot stick" methods - that's where that term came from - use the carrot to train the horse or the whip), and because we offer them no choice.

It is interesting to read one of Rudyard Kipling's "Just So" stories entitled, "The Cat Who Walked By Himself". This is a story of how wild animals were domesticated by man (or, actually, woman). In the story, the wild, wild horse was lured to the woman's cave by the scent of dried grasses. Once the horse eats the dried grass, it finds the grass so wonderful that it promises the woman to become tame if the woman will only provide it with all of the delicious grass that it can eat. The woman agrees and names the horse, "first servant" (the dog was named, "first friend"). This story saddens me. This IS our true treatment of the horse.

We manipulate the horses natural abilities and exploit them for ourselves. Trust me when I tell you that no horse, given the choice, would behave as we have forced them to behave. They are our friends because they no longer have a herd in which to belong. They run and jump because they are no longer able to do so freely. They are slaves for our pleasure, and for our pleasure alone, and we treat them as slaves, demanding that they meet our desires, selling them for money, killing them when they are no longer any use to us.

I will never, knowingly ride a horse again. I have been a major player in this animals suffering, and like eating meat, I will no longer cause misery.

Never believe someone who tells you that their horse is their friend, or that there horse loves what they do. This is what the masters of the slaves believed too. Keep in mind that horses are our "first servants" until they are emancipated.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by saborm

Mom: I'm not going to become a vegetarian.

Me: I don't want you to become a vegetarian! You'd drive me nuts if you were!

I think that was the point where the conversation stopped.
Yeah, she's hearing one thing, you're saying another...

She's not "open," as we say. She's already made her mind up about veg*nism, and you're probably not the person to tell her to cut back on animal products. Be sneaky. Have everyone else she knows do it instead.
 

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EquiPro, I wish I could get my mom to even discuss the subject with me. She has four horses, and they spend a lot of time in a stable (I don't care how nice it is). Hell, soon there won't be any more horses running free than there are buffalo, if we don't rein in the cattle ranchers.
 

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The methane argument doesn't work. Horses don't make much methane. The reason that cattle produce so much is because they are rumenants. Rumenants have a 4 compartment stomach (contrary to popular beliefs, the don't have 4 seperate stomachs), the largest of them being the rumen itself. The rumen is a huge vat of microbes that digest the food themselves - the microbes excretement is what the bovine digests.

In my first Animal Sci course at Cornell, we had a lab where they had a cow with a fistula in her side. Basically, they had cut a hole in the side of the cow, let it heal, and put a rubber plug in the hole. When you took out the plug, you had direct access into the rumen. Each student went up to this living, breathing cow - who was just standing there chewing her cud - and took a big 'old scoop out of the cows rumen and put it into a hug vat on a scale. After most of it was out, we weighed it. It was over 250 lbs of matter. What was most interesting was that, if we didn't put the contents back in, the cow would starve to death, no matter how much she was fed. She had to have the microbes to live. Basically, rumenants live off of bug s**t!

BTW, this is why "silage", which is the base of most cattle feeds (especially in the milk industry) stinks so badly. The microbes do really well if the matter that is sent to them is fermented. I worked at the Cornell Dairy Teaching and Research Center as a cow milker for a summer. One place in the barns was for silage production. It processed something like 20 tons of silage and haylage a day. Imagine rice gone bad multiplied by 20 tons! Blech - I had to throw away my coveralls after I ended that job - I could never get the smell out of them.

http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/facilities.html FYI

Anyway, back at school, when we'd walk into the an sci lab and there would be these posters, "feed the bugs that feed the cow" and "pigs are not rumenants".

How do you tell a rumenant? 3 ways: 1) they chew a cud, 2) the have split hooves (hence the pig poster), 3) they have no upper teeth - just a dental plate. (Yup, nothing on the top of the bovines mouth but gums! Same for sheep, Llamas, camels, etc.)

It is the rumen and the microbes that produce the methane. That is why cattle produce so much and why there is such a problem, although 20 years ago Cornell was in the forfront of collecting the methane from the manure pits and using it for fuel. I can tell you ALL about those manure pits in the heat......eeeeee!

Horse have a digestive tract similar to you and me. They have no rumen, but they do have a ceacum, which is sort of like a giant appendex. I could get more into it, but it is the ceacum that is the reason that horse colic so much.

So, there you have it - my elite degree shows some use after all. How wonderful it is to be a walking encyclopedia of animal s**t! Now, does anyone want to know anything about animal ejaculate, penises, oviduct lenghts or breeding cycles? After all, I got a really good grade in "Animal Reproduction and Development" (aka, "barnyard sex")!!!
 
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