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So my friends are all a bit upset about my "random and radical" change to veganism, and they are telling me that I'm a hyporcrite because no matter what happens I'm going to hurt others, and instead of worrying about other people I should just strive to live a happy life and not "bog myself down" with painful thoughts.

"Why don't you just become amish if you care so much about the world, that way you'd really be doing the least damage"

It's true that veganism is really the first stand I've ever taken on anything, but is it true that it is impossible to live a normal, low income life and still not support oppression of others in one way or another?

I'm a little upset and don't know how to respond. I feel like I'm doing something good, even if it doesn't encompass every issue in the world.
 

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Let's be clear: This "all or nothing" attitude is merely an excuse for your friends not to consider the moral implications of their own diets. Unless your friends are psychopaths, they would never apply that logic to any other situation. Do your friends murder and rape others because, as they can't avoid hurting people entirely, they see no point in avoiding murder and rape? No. (At least, I hope not!)
 

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Thank you, I feel a little better now. I have really bad anxiety and it makes it difficult to think clearly in conflict situations. Y'all are definitely right. Next time they say something like this to me I'll bring up this logic.
Fair warning, they won't like meat eating being compared to rape and murder! You might want to choose something a bit less incendiary than my example. Maybe you could point out that they can't avoid hurting everyone's feelings all the time, but that doesn't mean that they go around purposefully insulting people. You're only responsible for doing the best you could reasonably be expected to do.
 

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^^^ What Werewolf Girl wrote.

LuciBow, your veganism doesn't cause any more harm to anyone- human or nonhuman- than your previous meat-eating diet did. You have to eat to live. But now, you're choosing to eat in a way that causes the least harm. You don't have to apologize for it.
 
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They'll get over it. They just need to get used to it. Food is very sensitive to people psychologically. My girlfriend was mad at me at first. It makes them have to think about things they don't want to think about, but they'll rarely admit that. They'll put it all on you, and it sucks. But, like I said, they'll get used to it. They better.

It's good to come up with some quick and succinct answers to the questions you get the most often. I've never heard the Amish one. I'm pretty sure Amish people eat meat, dairy and eggs, and they use horses as slaves.

It would be hilarious if you showed up to meet your friends next time dressed like an Amish woman. Or man.
 

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The Amish are pretty dependent on animals for food and to do work, which makes their lifestyle not as earth-friendly as it could be, and certainly not vegan-friendly.

The idea that you can't do *everything* so you should do *nothing* really doesn't hold water, obviously. All of us have to choose how far we are going to go to avoid harming animals (and remember that humans are animals too). The way I look at it, being vegan really only takes much time and energy when you first get started. After you've been doing it for a while, it requires almost no thought most of the time. So, if something so simple as avoiding meat, dairy and eggs could reduce negative impacts on animals, why wouldn't you do it?
 

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I would just avoid discussing veganism for a while. If your friends try to discuss it, just tell them that you don't want to fight. Just give them a chance to get used to your new lifestyle.
 
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So my friends are all a bit upset about my "random and radical" change to veganism, and they are telling me that I'm a hyporcrite because no matter what happens I'm going to hurt others, and instead of worrying about other people I should just strive to live a happy life and not "bog myself down" with painful thoughts.

"Why don't you just become amish if you care so much about the world, that way you'd really be doing the least damage"

It's true that veganism is really the first stand I've ever taken on anything, but is it true that it is impossible to live a normal, low income life and still not support oppression of others in one way or another?

I'm a little upset and don't know how to respond. I feel like I'm doing something good, even if it doesn't encompass every issue in the world.
I'd like to present you with your vegan card and badge, you're not a 'true' vegan (or even vegetarian) until at least one friend has offered an outrageous excuse for why they can't even consider doing, what you do.

Other excuses include "But if you were on a deserted island....." "But what about insects and other animals in combine harvesters?" "But plants feelings" and my personal favourite "But if we don't eat animals, they'll take over!" (which always gets me humming the song 'Cows With Guns').

It's not impossible to be vegan on a low income life, I think it's a little harder for some people (depending on how much fruit and veg costs). But then, everything's a little harder when you don't make a lot of money.

One of the things that shuts up my friends and family when they bring a similar argument, is when I say "Well, you're right.... Animals die in harvesting of food, pesticides are used, people are hurt.... It's impossible to do 100% of things vegan, when I don't live in a vegan world. But one day I will, one day everyone will value life the way I do. Until then, I'll do an imperfect job and I'm not okay with that, but I can look myself in the mirror most days".

Don't do what they're doing, don't throw it back on them and say "Oh yeah, well YOU are even worse for the environment, do you even KNOW what you're doing to the rainforest?" because that doesn't work. Not in those situations, anyway. You can talk about it and you can say it, but when they're already making unreasonable leaps, it's better (I've found) to meet them with logic.

See if you can get your hands on a book called "But you kill ants". It's helped me a lot with those sorts of discussions.
 

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I think your friends are starting to feel guilty because they haven't changed the way they are eating.

Amish diets tend to be very heavy on meat/dairy/eggs and they rely heavily on animals to get their daily work done, so as far as a vegan belief toward animals the Amish aren't doing the least harm. As far as electronics and other products we buy which tend to be made in sweat shops in countries with little to no laws policing the treatment of humans most Amish people use these things as well, the "rule" within the Amish communities is electronics/electricity aren't allowed inside their homes. Many Amish people still utilize these items in their barns and shops.

It is impossible to live a life which does zero harm. You are doing the best you can do which is great!
 

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Hey all, new to this site and was intrigued by comments on the Amish. As an Amish man myself (who left the life for a meat free diet years ago) I do not find the way I raised and kept my animals as cruel. We cared for our animals like our own kids. They were family to us. Asking my horse to pull the wagon just like asking my son to take out the trash. No difference.



I have health issues that keep me from eating meat and enjoy cooking with all the alternatives and just love the recipes I find here.



So, please don't think that the Amish are cruel to animals. We really love them and even though we eat some of them we still treat them well while there are here.

My apologies, I wasn't thinking about Amish people per se, I was thinking about horses in general.
 

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My apologies, I wasn't thinking about Amish people per se, I was thinking about horses in general.
I understand.

This is where information gets skewed to fit an agenda. Anyone that ever raised animals is not an abuser. I took great care of my animals. What purpose would abusing my animal serve me? It cost money to repair an abused animal. Abused animals will not be happy and will not work for you. My animals were well cared for and happily did the work and looked forward to it each day. Like mamma always said " you can't keep kicking the garbage can and expect it to hold all the trash".

Take care of our animals and they take care of us.
Thank you for your kind and understanding replies. I didn't expect to see an actual ex-Amish person on here.

It's very admirable to know that you and your community take good care of your animals.

That being said, when I called these animals slaves, I was trying to make a point about the exploitation of animals for human purposes, no matter how well they are treated. And, while I still think one could reasonably draw a connection between animals we use to serve us and human slavery, I realize now I should not, and don't have to, use that particular word to make my point. It seems insensitive to do so when there are people who can trace their recent ancestry to the bondage of legal human slavery. I want to be a good ally to people of color, so, to them, I want to apologize for using that word. I won't use it anymore.

Not that anybody cares what I say anyway.
 

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I understand.

This is where information gets skewed to fit an agenda. Anyone that ever raised animals is not an abuser. I took great care of my animals. What purpose would abusing my animal serve me? It cost money to repair an abused animal. Abused animals will not be happy and will not work for you. My animals were well cared for and happily did the work and looked forward to it each day. Like mamma always said " you can't keep kicking the garbage can and expect it to hold all the trash".

Take care of our animals and they take care of us.
You should understand that your experience with animal agriculture is not representative of the norm. The vast majority of animal products are produced on factory farms where animals are treated as commodities rather than as living beings. You should also understand that the breeding and slaughter of animals for their flesh and bodily secretions is unacceptable, no matter how kindly the animals are treated before they're killed.
 

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Hi tow, I have no doubt you did, indeed, treat your animals well. Bottom line for Lucibow, though, is he/she should become vegan if he/she believes it unethical to eat animals and animal products; they should become Amish if they agree with the Amish religious belief system. For his/her friends to equate it as one and the same is a little silly since they are two separate things.
 
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