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I am a newbie to vegetarianism and am working towards being a vegan, but everyone asks me why, and I don't know how to put it. I start to say that it's for the animals, but there are soooo many arguments for both sides and I think most people feel the need to defend themselves when someone tells them they are a vegetarian, but Im also doing it for my body and health.<br><br><br><br>
Does anyone have any suggestions of what to tell them regarding WHY? I cant find the words!
 

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You don't have to defend yourself to anyone. Do you make others defend their eating habits? Chances are you don't.<br><br><br><br>
When people ask, if you want to just leave it at "for the animals," then leave it at that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> If you want to include health reasons, just say, "for the well-being of myself and other animals."<br><br><br><br>
These are just ideas. Hope this helped a bit!
 

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It's something you'll have to figure out for yourself, over time. For right now, just be clear that you don't have to debate anyone if you don't feel like it. You can always just say, "I think it's the right choice for me", and then, if pressed, say "I don't feel like a discussion about it - maybe later".<br><br><br><br>
Something else that might be helpful - if you make statements about how you personally feel, those give people less traction for debate. If you say "It's unethical to kill animals for food", people will debate ethics. If you say "It's healthier not to eat meat", people will start "but what about protein?" etc. If you say "I feel more comfortable not eating meat", it's just a simple truth.<br><br><br><br>
Here are some reasons often cited for vegetarianism:<br><br><br><br>
Animal rights (animals have the same right to live and not be killed as people)<br><br>
Animal welfare (animals are treated badly by the food industry)<br><br>
Health (a vegetarian diet is healthier than one with lots of meat)<br><br>
Environment (vegetarian diet conserves global resources, such as water)<br><br>
Spiritual (belief in the sacredness of life, or the importance of conscious choices)<br><br><br><br>
Look into those that seem most "close to home" for you - as you learn more about them, you'll be able to articulate your reasons with more detail and confidence.
 

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Hi Kiki<br><br><br><br>
Congratulations on becoming a vegetarian! You are right - there are so many arguments for both sides and I'm afraid that as long as you remain a vegetarian (or vegan) you are going to come up against someone who thinks it's weird or funny or whatever.<br><br><br><br>
I became a vegetarian when I was 15 (18 years ago) and my mother continued to put meat on my plate every day until I left home - unless I cooked for myself which I often did.<br><br><br><br>
I also found it hard to explain why but I have found that if I just keep it simple - look them straight in the eye and say "because I don't want to eat animals" it often shames people into shutting up. But for those who keep at you (and there are a few) I just smile at them until they stop talking. They realise they're not going to win so they usually change the subject!<br><br><br><br>
Good luck! Stand your ground - be confident (or fake it - noone will know the difference!)<br><br><br><br>
vegmumma xxx
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kiki</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I am a newbie to vegetarianism and am working towards being a vegan, but everyone asks me why, and I don't know how to put it. I start to say that it's for the animals, but there are soooo many arguments for both sides and I think most people feel the need to defend themselves when someone tells them they are a vegetarian, but Im also doing it for my body and health.<br><br><br><br>
Does anyone have any suggestions of what to tell them regarding WHY? I cant find the words!</div>
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I personally went veggie for mostly spiritual/energetic reasons. I dont think its exactly always "wrong" by nature to use animals for food, but I feel its healthier for my spirit to injest food matter that hasnt been tainted by negative emotion (extreme stress, sadness, and intense fear right before slaughter). Of course I think its sad and wrong how the meat industry treats animals, but I feel this reason for going vegetarian makes the least sense, especially to meat eaters. So my reason is mostly spiritual and because I couldnt kill the animal myself (which I feel should be a requirement for any meat eater, at least once).<br><br><br><br>
I find people dont really have a lot of arguments back against "its my spiritual belief" or "its religious reasons" where as if you bring up the morality of killing an animal you will have a fierce debate on your hands.<br><br><br><br>
Of course that is just me, and those ARE my reasons. Whatever your reason is, just go with it and be proud and able to defend it.
 

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I just say "I dont feel comfortable with eating corpses" or something to the effect of that, and avoid the whole debate altogether.
 

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Kiki,<br><br><br><br>
I think, first off, you need to learn how to discern whether or not the person you are talking to is actually interested in hearing what you have to say. I can read people well enough now to know pretty quickly if someone is trying to instigate an arguement or is genuinely curious.<br><br><br><br>
If they really seem interested then just be honest and explain your true reasoning for your choices in a very veggie-positive, non-judgemental way. Talk about your respect for animals and for your own body. Tell them that it's a personal choice that you take very seriously and you hope that your actions allow others to see how positive this lifestyle is.<br><br><br><br>
On the other hand, if someone is questioning your choices in an attempt to belittle you and make you feel stupid, then I'd just ignore them or give a short "Why? Because that is what I chose. Thank you for asking." and dismiss their silly questions. I'd be more likely to tell them to STFU, but that's me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/lipsrsealed2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sealed:"><br><br><br><br>
Don't ever let anyone make you feel like you have to apologize for your choices. Good Luck!!<br><br><br><br>
Hang~Ten
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Pirate Ferret</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I just say "I dont feel comfortable with eating corpses" or something to the effect of that, and avoid the whole debate altogether.</div>
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That will surely start a debate, not avoid one!
 

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I am teaching my 5 year-old daughter to say "Because we choose not to eat animals" to her little friends. It usually does shut people up, and gives them something to think about. I think all the replies contain useful answers, you will have to pick what suits the person & occasion best.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kiki</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I start to say that it's for the animals, but there are soooo many arguments for both sides</div>
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I really don't think there are persuasive and compelling arguments on the "other" side for people who have resources in a first world country, when one truthfully weighs killing a young being who wants to live (the vast majority of time including being raised and killed in horrific ways) vs. convenience. If you weight the interests, the human reasons are quite trivial in comparison to the animals' interests in this circumstance.<br><br><br><br>
If you would like to talk to people, I think you might learn more about the facts and reasons for being veg*n, so you can answer with knowledge, if you choose to do so. <a href="http://www.whyvegan.com" target="_blank">http://www.whyvegan.com</a> is one source. But if you do encounter someone who isn't really interested and just wants to attack you for whatever reason, it may not be worth your effort to try to educate them.
 

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Whenever meat-eating friends/relatives ask me why I turned vegetarian, I always say, "Because I love the taste of vegetables so much that I couldn't get enough of them."<br><br><br><br>
Then if they ask me why I stopped eating meat altogether, I'll just say, "Because they don't taste as good as vegetables."<br><br><br><br>
In my personal experience, whenever I answered, "Because I love animals and don't want them killed", it always triggered arguments on how God made us to be the top of food chain and blah blah blah.<br><br><br><br>
So by saying I just love vegetables so much, I'm practically saying "I'm just eating what my taste buds like, what I like, just like the rest of you, and just like everyone else in this world."<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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"-would you eat your cat?<br><br>
-no<br><br>
-well I don't eat cows because I don't find them any less important than your cat<br><br>
..."<br><br>
Worked very well so far.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rahkoon</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
"-would you eat your cat?<br><br>
-no<br><br>
-well I don't eat cows because I don't find them any less important than your cat<br><br>
..."<br><br>
Worked very well so far.</div>
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What do you do if they say "yes"?
 

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I usually say I don't want to be part of unnessary harm to other creatures. It's the shortest way to state my reasons, which don't follow the exact animal-rights argument.
 

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I could describe my reasons with a statement like "I want the use of animals to be abolished". But that might have too many big words for some people so to them I could say "animals are not property" or "doing baaad stuff to a-ni-mals - baaaaaaddd".
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Blue Plastic Straw</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What do you do if they say "yes"?</div>
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I'd either go "and your parents?" if they were serious, or abandon any hope for them to ever understand me.<br><br>
If they were just joking, I'd ask them to invite me over when they do.<br><br><br><br>
It never happened to me before. People have always got it that way so far.
 

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I usually say that it's because I discovered the horrors of factory farming...it is the main reason why I first began this journey...the rest is just a bonus!
 
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