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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When someone asks me why I choose not to eat meat, I think, "oof thats a long conversation..." bc its environmental, animal well being, human health, unethical nature of factory farming etc. But people who don't understand or emphathize with these issues are taken aback if I attempt to explain it that way. I feel like its inviting ridicule and defensiveness, and I especially don't want that to happen when talking to someone I care about. So, I was wondering how u guys respond respectfully and simply and efficiently? Btw If someone wants to sit down and really talk about it, I wont hesitate. I jump at the chance to educate. But when asked this question at a dinner table full of other people eating meat, while I am noshing on tofu, it can get sticky and uncomfortable. My face always flushes. Ugh.
 

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Whether you give a short answer or a long one, you shouldn't feel uncomfortable or defensive. They're asking the question, so I would assume they really want to know. Give it to them straight.<br><br>
Sometimes I think, when people ask me why I eat veggie, they're really asking themselves, why they're doing what <b>they</b> do. In other words, they're looking to me for guidance, almost like they're asking permission, "Is it <b>okay</b> to be a vegetarian?"<br><br>
Most people eat meat because their parents trained them to. They may feel that not eating meat would be a betrayal of their upbringing. You should let them know that it's okay to think for themselves.<br><br>
When people ask that question, it is they who are coming from a position of defensiveness. You should be strong, because you ARE strong, and not let them down.<br><br>
I think more and more, people really want to know.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>jentlytread</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2995593"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
When someone asks me why I choose not to eat meat, I think, "oof thats a long conversation..." bc its environmental, animal well being, human health, unethical nature of factory farming etc. But people who don't understand or emphathize with these issues are taken aback if I attempt to explain it that way. I feel like its inviting ridicule and defensiveness, and I especially don't want that to happen when talking to someone I care about. So, I was wondering how u guys respond respectfully and simply and efficiently? Btw If someone wants to sit down and really talk about it, I wont hesitate. I jump at the chance to educate. But when asked this question at a dinner table full of other people eating meat, while I am noshing on tofu, it can get sticky and uncomfortable. My face always flushes. Ugh.</div>
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Just say "For the earth, the animals, and my body." If they ask further, refer them to various resources.
 

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Easiest non confrontational answer is because I can't think of a good reason not to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomad888</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2995633"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Easiest non confrontational answer is because I can't think of a good reason not to be.</div>
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Wow. That is the best response I've ever heard.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomad888</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2995633"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Easiest non confrontational answer is because I can't think of a good reason not to be.</div>
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That's a good answer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rockon.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rockon:">
 

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I don't want to eat animals.<br><br>
I've had a variety of responses from people. Some supportive as well as the predictable "God meant for us to eat meat. That's why we have sharp teeth. There are nutrients in meat that we need." I don't get defensive, but alot of omnivores do. I'm new at this, after 39 meat-eating years, so I haven't really figured out people's reactions yet.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Darth Zucchini</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2996667"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I don't want to eat animals.<br><br>
I've had a variety of responses from people. Some supportive as well as the predictable "God meant for us to eat meat. That's why we have sharp teeth. There are nutrients in meat that we need." I don't get defensive, but alot of omnivores do. I'm new at this, after 39 meat-eating years, so I haven't really figured out people's reactions yet.</div>
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I'm afraid to tell you that reactions from strangers don't change. I've been here 30 years (not on this forum, as a vegetarian) and when I hear newbies tell of their family and friends reactions, it just reminds me of how it used to be in the 1980's.<br><br>
One piece of advice: refuse to discuss your vegginess as mealtimes. Tell them you are happy to discuss, but after the meal. Things can really blow up if you are telling them about factory farming while they are sticking a piece of dead cow into their mouths. And give them small bits of information, not a tirade; let them ask questions.<br><br>
Another way of dealing with it is to ask them questions, but for this you need to have quite a bit of knowledge re factory farming, nutrition and basic social psychology under your belt, so you might want to hang fire on that tactic for a while.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Darth Zucchini</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2996667"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
That's why we have sharp teeth.</div>
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That's a really illogical thing for people to say. Gorillas don't eat meat and have way bigger fangs than we do. They are down right scary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I always point out that house cats (carnivores) and puppy dogs (omnivores) have very pronounced fangs. We do not. Where does that leave us? To me our physiology equals herbivore, whether we evolved to have the enzymes to digest meat or not.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Gorillas don't eat meat and have way bigger fangs than we do</div>
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Some monkeys/gorillas do eat other monkeys and other animals occasionally. Baboons for example. I see eating meat as completely natural. Other predators do it and we have bodies customed to it. Its just the welfare of the animal that has made me decide to stop eating meat. And meat has become far to unhealthy with all the additives, growth food, germs, fat etc. Just say you don't like to eat animals and you feel your body bennifits from it I guess <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Actually we don't have sharp teeth. We have flat, blunt teeth. We also have a jaw that grinds side to side and back and forth, which all herbivores have. Carnivores do not have this ability. And all herbivores have canine teeth. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
I have been known for my eating healthy "preaching" for years, especially at work, so I don't get a lot of questions about why thankfully. If I do I usually say for many reasons, but mostly for my health. Which is partially true, but is also one of the most PC answers. If someone is more inquisitive about why then I go into the ethical and environmental reasons. Getting into those reasons with steadfast omnis is usually pointless anyway i've found. The ones that ask more are usually the ones that are actually interested and have half a clue that vegetarians aren't crazy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">
 

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I tell the truth.<br>
I used to eat meat, basically its all I ate.<br>
I had to have a stent put in due to a clogged artery, and I was about 80lbs overweight.<br>
I was on 4 medications that I took daily for Cholesterol, Blood pressure, A blood thinner, and one that kept my heart rate lowered.<br><br>
Since I went veggie in November 2010, I have lost 60 of the excess lbs, and I have been taken off of all medications by my doctor. My current Cholesterol level is right at 100, my blood pressure stays around 117 over 58, I dont have to worry about the blood thinner anymore, or the heart rate.<br><br>
Health wise, exactly why would I choose not to continue meatless?<br><br>
See, non-confrontational, personal health benefits that can be proven in my case, and they can see that Ive dropped the weight. Not saying I was fat but, I went at least 15 years not seeing my feet, or other things in between. Now I can look down and actually see a belt buckle.. 20 more lbs to go...<br><br>
Now, if anyone can argue with my reasons, I would appreciate knowing what they would say.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>River</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2995618"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Just say "For the earth, the animals, and my body." If they ask further, refer them to various resources.</div>
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^^This is basically what I usually say, something along the lines of, "I got interested in it for health and environmental reasons, and then learned all about animal rights."<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomad888</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2995633"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Easiest non confrontational answer is because I can't think of a good reason not to be.</div>
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^^This is a much better response. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
As it sounds like most people here are saying, you probably just want to keep it short and sweet. Educating is great! But in my experience, the majority of people who are asking that question aren't really interested in being educated; they just want a quick answer so that they can make judgments (not necessarily bad ones) about what kind of person you are. You know, when you're meeting someone or learning something new about someone.
 

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My response usually depends on my mood and the tone someone in which someone asks. Sometimes I just say "it's just my choice", sometimes I will say "because animals have rights to."<br><br>
I never feel that I have to justify my reasons though.
 

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When someone asks me that question, if I wanted to, I could go into a long description but I usually just cut to the short answer. I just say, "I am a vegetarian to respect all life, for my health, and for the enviroment. Now of course if someone wants to hear more I always love to educate the omnivores! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nomad888</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2995633"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Easiest non confrontational answer is because I can't think of a good reason not to be.</div>
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That is a good answer.<br><br>
I'm kind of unfriendly and this issue usually comes up with co-workers with whom I fake a smile and tolerate. I'll usually say "personal" "I don't like to talk about food"<br><br>
I know these aren't very effective but I don't want to argue or debate anyone.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Brontë</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3000838"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
I never feel that I have to justify my reasons though.</div>
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You are absolutely right. You don't.
 

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Since I have only been vegetarian for a little over a month, I have only had to answer a couple of times. When talking to my mom, I gave her lots of reasons - health, inhumane treatment of animals, disgust with the food supply in our country. At a work lunch when someone was trying to force a turkey sandwich on me because the restaurant did not deliver my salad, I said that it is for my health. In a work situation, I did not want to start a debate or make anyone uncomfortable, so I focused on my personal health.
 

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Why should I eat somebody if I don't need to?<br>
Why should an animal be fed plants and then killed for food, when you can just eat plants? I try and avoid middlemen.<br>
I don't eat people either.
 
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