Tuesday, August 09, 2011

10 Things Never To Say To A Vegan

Have a guest post of sorts for you today.  I saw this list over on VeganSpoonful a few months ago, and thought it was clever and amusing.  Rebekah agreed to share it with you on my blog today.  So here it is, 10 things never to say to a vegan... 
10.  ”If you were stranded on a desert island, and there was nothing to eat but animals, would you eat meat?” Despite the fact that this has nothing to do with most of our current lives, we hear this one ALL.  THE.  TIME.  It’s really not as clever as you think!  ;)  First, we’d probably eat some coconuts…but yes, if it came down to our survival or the survival of an animal, I’m sure all of us would choose ourselves.  What’s your point?  If I was in a dire survival situation I might also drink my own urine a la Bear Grylls, so should I start doing that, too?  (Okay, maybe I wouldn’t, I don’t know…but you see what I’m getting at?)
9.  ”But where do you get your protein?” Legumes, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds…pretty much every food in the plant kingdom contains protein.   If you are getting enough calories, you are more than likely getting plenty of protein.  Most meat-eaters get twice the RDA for protein!
8.  ”I just ate <insert name of animal body part herefor lunch, it was soooo yummy!”  and then on and on and on, describing it in great detail.  Um…vegan here!  Not really interested in hearing how the meat was just “falling off the bone” and now I’m starting to get nauseous.
7.  ”Plants have feelings too!  Don’t you care about the poor carrots?” Really?  Really?! If you truly can’t see the difference between pulling a carrot out of the ground and slitting a chicken’s throat, why don’t you try doing both and see if you feel the same about both acts?
6.  ”If humans weren’t meant to eat meat, why are animals so tasty?” If you cooked me up on the grill, my flesh would probably be tasty too, especially with BBQ sauce…but I’m pretty sure that’s not the reason that I am on this earth!
5.  ”So what made you decide to become a vegan?" (asked in the middle of a big family dinner while eating a hunk of ham.)  Sorry, I really would love to answer this question, but not in that context!  There is no way the vegan can come out of that one without offending someone or creating an awkward silence.  Go ahead and ask the question, just wait until after dinner.
4.  ”Oh, I could never go vegan.  I love meat way too much!  And I could never live without cheese!” Don’t assume that just because someone is vegan, they never liked the taste of meat or cheese.  Most vegans that I know had a hard time giving up cheese, at least initially.  Why do you think vegans are going nuts over Daiya?  Going vegan was an ethical decision that I made because I didn’t want to contribute to animal cruelty.  It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to cheese and I think that is probably a big part of why I’ve gone back and forth so many times between vegetarian and vegan.   I guess this question bugs me because it assumes that veganism is simply a taste preference, and that if you like meat or cheese enough, then you are exempt from considering the issues.  But none of this matters to the animal.  The mother cow whose calf is being taken away is not going to think, “oh, it’s okay though, because this is for someone who really, really loves cheese.”
3.  ”I feel sorry for you, that you can’t eat .” For one thing, let’s talk about that word “can’t.”  Unless a vegan also happens to have an allergy to meat, dairy, or eggs, the more applicable word is “won’t.”  I can eat whatever I want.  I choose not to eat animals.  I find it is much more empowering to view it in this way.  So please don’t feel sorry for me!   I am happy with my choice and I enjoy the wide variety of plant foods that I eat every single day.  Even though we may have once loved steak, the longer we are vegan the more we start viewing it as an animal’s dead body, and some of us are actually turned off by the sight and smell of meat.
2.  ”You sure don’t look like a vegan!” What’s this supposed to mean?  Are we too fat?  Are we too thin?  Do we not have enough tattoos or dreadlocks?  Vegans come in all shapes and sizes.  Wouldn’t it be boring if we all looked the same?
1.  Why don’t you care about people?  Aren’t people more important than animals? This one always boggles my mind.   Going vegan is not activism in itself, it is simply a way to live in accordance with our values.  More obviously, I want to point out that people can care about more than one cause at the same time!  You could work at the animal shelter and volunteer at the homeless shelter.  You could donate money to Farm Sanctuary and to the Red Cross.  And many vegans combine these passions, through organizations like Food Not Bombs or by hosting a Vegan Bake Sale to support relief efforts in Japan or Haiti.
Thank you Rebekah, you savvy vegan lady and beautiful mama.  I particularly love the bit about The mother cow whose calf is being taken away is not going to think, “oh, it’s okay though, because this is for someone who really, really loves cheese.”... and also number 3.  Bang on!  Or, as our 10-yr old daughter would say... "that is so pro"!

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

#8 happens almost daily to me! I hate it :)

Anonymous said...

#10 really bothered me. Are you actually saying that if you WERE stranded on an island, with only animals left, you would actually eat them just so you would live!? I think that is horrible, and that is not vegan at all. I honestly can't believe you said that. I would eat plants, seeds, fruit, hell even dirt. ANYTHING other than a living creature. I can see how compassionate you are...

urban vegan said...

Awesome post. Kudos to Rebekah, and to you, Dreena, for reposting.

I personally think these are all just projections. By belittling veggies, they make meat-eaters feel better about themselves. When I get the "Don't you care about humans" one, I usually ask which charities they donate to/causes they help. (There is usually a loud silence.) Then I proceed to tell them about all the human charities I also support/volunteer for. That shuts 'em up. Why does it have to be either/or?

A friend of mine has asthma and several other serious medical conditions. She and her husband are hugely obese and they eat tons of grease, bacon, cheese, etc. (Sadly, their little girl is on her way.) Yet she is always hounding me with comments like "Mmmmm. I love pig." It's always hard to take the higher road and resist responding with a comment like "You are what you eat" but somehow, I do bc I know I am representing. Luckily. I can do it here safely ;)

veganspoonful.com said...

Thanks Dreena for re-posting! I'm honored.

Dreena said...

@ anonymous and comment #10, I cannot speak for Rebekah, but I'll sure stand up for her. She is an incredibly compassionate person, and is raising 3 boys in her vegan lifestyle. This was a comment to a hypothetical question, which is ridiculous to even respond to on a realistic basis. Are you saying that if you were on a desert island and attacked by a wild boar that you wouldn't defend yourself because you are vegan? As she said, she would eat the coconuts or other plants on the island... but this is a wry response to an absurd question. We aren't in this situation. We will most likely never be in this situation. But, I don't think anyone can ever say what they would do unless they were on the brink of death and survival. So, don't judge Rebekah or her degree of commitment or compassion based on one facetious reference. And, if you *are* going to judge, at least do so with an identidy, 'anonymous'.

vanessa said...

Oh man, the cheese thing! That one got on my nerves more than anything when I was vegan (still does, even though I now eat dairy on occasion). What I say to people in response to #4 is that if they wanted to be vegan, they would. But they don't, so they aren't! Giving up ANYTHING is hard when you don't really want to.

Anonymous said...

khm OK, I wont say these.

Please STOP telling meat eaters that they should not eat meat.

Anonymous said...

...I'm also Anonymous...but not the one that left the ridiculous comment above. My name is Nicole. I've never posted before, but just had to say cheers to Dreena. Couldn't agree more.


To act as if eating an animal if starving to death is equivalent to throwing your values to the wind because meat tastes great is totally ignorant. Recall the soccer team that was stranded after a plane crash...I'm guessing you think they ended up eating one another because they're not Vegans, and therefore lack the same moral code and not because when you're on the verge of death the automatic reaction is to do whatever you must to survive.


Excellent post, and anonymous is a perfect example of the type of Vegan that perpetuates the stereotype that the rest of us are just as ridiculously absurd as s/he is.

Dreena said...

Vanessa, that's a very good perspective, hadn't thought of it in that way before - but absolutely the case!

anonymous, if you are a meat eater, why are you reading a vegan blog and criticizing the content?!

Meridith said...

I've been eating plant-based for almost 4 years now and I have gotten all kinds of comments.

"You know, breastfeeding your daughter is NOT vegan. It's milk from an animal."

"Chewing your fingernails is NOT vegan." are two of my favorites.

I don't even call myself vegan, yet everyone insists on calling me that.

I get #4 about cheese most often. I just smile and tell people "I know, it was hard for me, too. But I feel SO MUCH better now I can't even imagine going back to cheese. You should try it - I have some amazing recipes." :)

Anonymous said...

Not disagreeing with anything you say, and considering veganism myself. But what about the theories that we only became upright and intelligent as a result of eating meat? Didn't that make our brains larger and contribute to a reworking of our digestive system? Don't we kindof need meat? I'm just going by what I've learned at the natural history museum.

Anonymous said...

I could kill a chicken as easily as a carrot, they're obviously not an intelligent animal as anyone living on a farm knows.

jessie-girl said...

I thought this post was very insightful. I do eat meat, just not as much as your average American. But it is really good to know things that could be taken offensively. I am not in the same boat as a vegan, but being a Mormon who cannot bear children, I understand how frustrating it is when people say dumb things because they do not understand. My favorite from my situation is "If you adopt you'll get pregnant." Unfortunately there are always dumb people out there. Oh, and I read this blog because I do not know that I will ever become a vegan, but I am on the path to becoming a vegetarian.

Ben said...

A couple quick thoughts:

On #10, what are the animals on this desert island eating? ;)

I've never gotten #1 but another response to the asker is this: the same amount of natural resources can produce far more vegetarian foods as opposed to meats thus feeding more people so in a way you do help people by being veggie.

Heather said...

@anonymous...yes part of our diet over time has involved eating meat....however in very small quantity and very rarely. In times of severe plant food shortage we turned to meat as a means of survival, but ultimately returned to a plant based diet. We have without question evolved to be able to thrive on plant based foods alone. Just get your head out of the pro-meat/dairy propaganda and be willing to detach from your own lifelong habits and you'll find a huge population of people thriving on a plant based diet!!! The meat and dairy industry is just that, an industry happy to make a profit off of the masses of uneducated consumers and whom have very little regard for global welfare. There is much more updated scientific information out there about man's evolution and diet. Take a look at this summary: http://www.celestialhealing.net/physicalveg3.htm
p.s. if you know what to look for and how to observe animal behavior, you will find chickens are quite intelligent and have strong bonds with one another

Anonymous said...

@Heather
I do believe we have too high of meat and dairy diet especially in North America, however we did not evolve to eat meat simply because of a plant shortage. Similar to chimpanzees are closest relatives we are meant to eat some meat even if it is just a little compared to other food and we have done so long before these industries came into existence. As well just because chickens have strong bonds with each other does not mean they are conscious or have emotions, herbivores have evolved a long time ago to stick together in groups, it is a very primitive defense strategy.

Nanette said...

I loved this list! I think we are all ambassadors of a sort so I try to always be polite and kind no matter what the question. Perhaps that person will switch to a plant-based diet at a later date and something I said helped them on their way!

I highly recommend the book The Inner World of Farm Animals: Their Amazing Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Capacities by Amy Hatkoff. The research cited in the book shows these animals in a new light (for instance, chickens can count) and the photos are gorgeous!

Dyresty said...

You forgot my favourite!

"I love animals - they're delicious!"
;)

Dreena said...

@anonymous about chickens... seriously? Are you just trying to evoke a response here? I think so. It has been well observed and documented that chickens are intelligent, and yes, DO have emotions. It is our cultural schema of chickens that defines them as unintelligent and unfeeling, and yet we marvel at the affection and intelligence of our cats and dogs when they are eaten in other countries without a second thought. If you reclassified your definitions of which animals are food vs which are pets, you might see this differently. Maybe start with looking at this link about chickens: http://www.chickenindustry.com/cfi/intelligence/

Heather said...

like I said if you know what you are looking for when observing animals and are not merely coming from the perspective and experience of raising chickens for food, then you will observe them as intelligent creatures. Believe me it took me years to understand this myself. You must understand, most vegans and vegetarians were once meat eaters and have come to the educated choice of veganism for one or a number of reasons. I was raised a meat eater. I too, once upon a time offered up the same arguments in regard to human evolution and sentiment about animal intelligence. Because I was not raised in an environment inclusive of veganism/vegetarianism or much of anything outside of the standard american blue collar family life, it took me many many years before I fully came to understand what veganism means to the well being of all living things, people included. My life experience, ability to research and examine information, willingness to let go of neuronal patterning of my childhood understanding of food and nutrition have allowed me and countless other vegans to accept veganism as a healthy, compassionate lifestyle. We do not need meat. My athletic lifestyle and my healthy vegan pregnancies and children are a testament to this. Change is uncomfortable, be it on a personal level or a societal level. Veganism is exploding all over the world....its not a phase or fad diet. The question is are you willing to open your mind to the evolution of man as an herbivore? We're in it and you cannot deny it, veganism is everywhere...just go to your local grocer. Again, are you willing to open your mind?

Anonymous said...

#8 is just plain rude, and never to be used . . . unless the person isn't a vegan, but a vegan evangelist zelot who won't leave -you- alone while eating.

I don't know why some people do go on and on about their yummy hamburgers and so on, unless they feel like they're getting some kind of revenge on some -different- person they've met . . . or even just -heard- of.

How about this: if you're not interested in my eggplant lasagna recipes, I'll shut up; if I'm not interested in your barbecue rib sauce, you shut up. Especially while I'm eating. (It's okay. I promise not to get in your face next time _you're_ eating a sandwich. Really.)

Sheesh. Some people just don't know when to shut up. (looks in mirror . . . :-))

Dan said...

@9) Vegetable proteins are incomplete and do not contain all the amino acids necesary for proper human health. Your statement is incorrect with respect to biology. You have perpetual muscle wasting = not healthy

@7) Something has to die for you to live, its the circle of life. Agriculture uproots natural habitat, and pesticides kill animals and alter eco systems. You are not ethically better than omnivores.

Anonymous said...

How do you find a Vegan at a dinner party?
Don't worry. They'll let you know.

Dreena said...

Dan, your information is dated on vegetable proteins. There are quite a number of complete plant proteins (quinoa, hemp, tempeh, tofu, chia), not to mention that you do not need all the essential amino acids at one specific meal. There is ample information supporting this. That statement is based on outdated sources that have been refuted. On a purely personal level, I have three striving, strong, strapping children built from vegan proteins and birthed them all naturally, yes naturally, even a homebirth... all with vegan proteins.

And, your statements about habitat and pesticides are also misguided. More crop is used to feed animals, more pesticides used on those crops to feed animals, and more methane gas produced by those animals used to feed us. All that equals destruction to the environment. Far less agriculture is used to feed vegans than is used to support animal agriculture. So, while I don't think I'm better than you, I do think I'm doing better ethically and environmentally. You bet.

Anne said...

Hi Dreena, I have a hard time with #5, it has happened to me a lot! People ask why I don't eat meat when we're sitting down to dinner and they're cutting into a steak! What could I possibly say without offending them at that moment in time? I usually say something like "I like animals" but that's not really an adequate answer, a lot of people like dogs and cats and hamsters and still eat meat. Maybe I'll say something like "for compassion" in the future. Then it makes it clear it's not (only) because of health or the environment.

Sarah said...

Everybody feels sorry for me, and I hate it. I'm lactose intolerant and my body cannot digest meat, so I was pretty much forced into this position. Not that I mind - after being tested for cancer and crohns disease amongst multitude of other things it was a comfort to know that I could be so easily fixed, and I have never felt so healthy and good inside my own body.
Each to their own - my husband enjoys a hunk of eye fillet from time to time, and so he should. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not vegan but I appreciated this article. I'm also astounded at the things people say...I guess I'm not around rude people or, at least, they're not rude to my face. Sorry that you have to go through that.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the ammo.

Anonymous said...

#1) I'd throw back, "Don't YOU care about people?! Adopting a plant based diet would help eliminate world hunger. Are you ready to help or is that hamburger too important to you?"

~K

Anonymous said...

Dreena, I guess you should probably be flattered that you have so many trolls, but it is so bizarre. They actually take time out of their days to come on here and say ridiculous, insulting, and ignorant things. They seek you out to post this nonsense. What is wrong with people and this world that they would feel the need to do that? Where are they even finding out about your blog? How can their lives be so empty that they feel the need to actively spread hate like that? Ugh.

Dan said...

I'm not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I am curious about it to an extent. I don't mean to stir up trouble, but I do have an ethical question for some of the vegans here:

Some dude comes up to you and says, "Here. Here's a cooked chicken, which I have killed and cooked for you. Eat this, or I will kill this other, live, chicken right here. If you do eat the cooked chicken, this other chicken here will live a long, fulfilling life." What do you do as a vegan? If you eat the cooked chicken, you have betrayed your own values. However, if you refuse to eat the chicken, another animal is killed. So, the question is, as a vegan, is it about your values, or the protection of another life? What's the answer?

Anonymous said...

I worked at a small dairy, and I have to suggest that the cows don't care about having their calves taken away nearly as much as you think they do. They may look for their calf for a little bit (which they should, since they evolved by making sure their babies were safe), but they go about their business pretty fast.

If your decision is based on not wanting to exploit them at all, or because of environmental reasons, that's fine, but basing it off of anthropomorphizing animals' emotions isn't a good argument.

Anonymous said...

I was with you until you tried to make it sound like that it is about being "Ethical".

Seriously? And with the superiority complex, you wonder why those who eat meat ask you such stupid questions. Your article is no different than their questions.

Amir said...

Found this post by accident. A bit shocking though because I can't imagine myself asking those questions to vegans. Nevertheless, a good reminder on how we should treat other people's choice with respect.

Running Rat said...

Thanks for this post! Most inspiring!

Anonymous said...

I understand it has been well documented that chickens have feelings, it has also been documented that they do not. Both creationism and evolution are well documented but both cannot be correct. My point is from my knowledge chickens do not have emotions and from yours they do which is fine. I just do not like people looking down their nose at me because I think this since I am far from being the only one who does.

Anonymous said...

Giving up cheese was probably the hardest thing for me. But it's done and I don't even miss it anymore. Most chocolate also contains dairy, so I'm not eating it anymore. And feel happy I'm not hurting animals in any way. Being vegan is pretty awesome if I may say so. And makes you feel awesome and healthy :)

vegancouchpotato said...

Great post! I have had much experience with this! Never talk about food choices at the dinner table :)

I am journeying to eat healthier and more vegan foods as my vegansweetpotato is a vegan! Maybe one day I will join her, but I do not know just yet.

I like vegan food and she appreciates that I try to have an open mind!

For all the non vegan people out there, believe me, I understand :) I am not a vegan but enjoy trying new things... in fact most vegan restaurants have awesome food!

Laura Carr Hudson said...

At a restaurant the other day, the waitress suggested I try the burger. I told her I was vegan but she just kept on about how I really should try the burger. She was a sweet girl and I know she meant no harm so I overlooked it.

I thought of how offended others would be if I did the same about the salad, pushing the vegan agenda. I don't think "they" would treat me as kindly as I did her.

Just a thought...

Calico said...

#8 is also a big one for me. I eventually blurt out, "but I don't eat beef". The answer is, well I made it last week with pork. No, I don't eat pork either. And both of them are equally offensive to me. Do I tell you how cool it would be to kill, cut up, and BBQ a small child? (not that I would - but this is how your attitude towards peaceful farm animals appears to me)

Calico said...

And #10 is downright stupid. If there are animals on the island, what are THEY eating? Any place that can sustain a variety of animals should have something a person can eat.

Emil said...

I just want to reply to #6:

"If you cooked me up on the grill, my flesh would probably be tasty too, especially with BBQ sauce…but I’m pretty sure that’s not the reason that I am on this earth!"

Yes you are, from the POV of a lion, tiger, leopard, hyena, shark, and so on. The simple truth is that life evolved on earth based on some eating others. I would like it a lot if I could avoid eating mammals and birds (I don't have a problem with fish and crustaceans), but I do not think that is sustainable at this point. I'm thinking if something's good for me, should be good for everybody. Could earth's population subsist without eating meat, eggs, milk and such at this point in time? I don't think so. I'm sure it will happen in the future though.

SeeBee said...

I don't know any vegans, but according to this post and these comments, their judgmental jerks. Good to know.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for the vegans on this website (not the trolls plz)

If you become ill, do you take medication?

Would you vaccinate your kids?

Did you get Vaccinated?

Do you wear makeup?

all of those are either developed and/or tested on animals.

More specifically talking about vaccination, this is the single most important medical breakthrough that saved millions(if not billions) of lives through our history

I honestly would like to hear from you and I am not criticizing

(and I am yet another anonymous...)

Dreena said...

Emil, a lion/tiger/shark etc have the natural capacity to tear into the flesh of a human - if in that situation. The same cannot be said for humans vs cows, pigs, horses, dogs, etc. They also have the intestinal design to digest meat - we do not. Large part of the reason we have epidemic levels of diabetes, heart disease, and even cancers. Truth is, our earth will not be able to continue to sustain animal agriculture - eating meat is not sustainable to feel the world's population, it is destructive to our earth and our health, and obviously to animals.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of hearing this one about meat: "you don't know what you're missing" (they simply forget that I did eat meat in the past)

Anonymous said...

Whenever I hear the word "vegan," I replace it in my head with "hero."

"Oh I can't eat that, I'm a hero" "Hey have you tried those fake things for heroes?"

Good job changing the world by purchasing expensive, wasteful, judgmental products. Heroes, indeed.

Dreena said...

anonymous re medications and vaccinations... respectfully, I don't think this is the platform for discussing vaccinations. It is such a broad topic with many complexities. I know that the topic has been discussed in depth on veg*n forums, if you want to find some opinions/answers elsewhere.

As for medications, I want to note that many vegans, including myself, first became vegan because of the health benefits. As such, we have less risk for the diseases associated with many medications (heart disease, diabetes, etc). Studies have shown that health benefits increase as the consumption of food from animal sources decreases - that's the bottom line. But this is also a question of minutia that is posed to vegans very often - like the ultimate puritanical side of being vegan, that if you cannot be vegan in every single absolute scenario of your life - forget it. The broad sweeping efforts of eliminating meat and dairy from your diet will do more for your health, the environment, and animal welfare to outweigh any of these very occasional and even hypothetical questions. It is the big, lasting changes that matter to most vegans (at least for me), rather than the ultimate purity of each and every vegan. (And, I say this without knowing how many medications are synthetically derived rather than containing animal derivatives, though I realize that yes, animal experimentation is likely involved in a good portion of creating meds - though technology has, and continues to change.)

As for makeup, there are many brands/lines of cruelty-free makeup, once you become vegan you begin to learn about many of these alternatives.

Vegans are not all about being 'holier than thou', despite that being a very common stereotype. I may post more about that another day, because it has come through in these comments repeatedly.

I realize this doesn't entirely address your questions, but I acknowledge that you seem genuinely interested (rather than trying to provoke), so hopefully this provides some answers.

Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan said...

Oh my gosh, I hear number 3 ALL THE TIME!!!

Anonymous said...

I get these so often! Just came across your blog and love it Dreena! Great recipes, I have had Vive le Vegan for a few years and have impressed many meat eating guests with your recipes! Keep up the good work. It may get exhausting defending this way of life but it's definitely worth it.

zimt said...

Wow. This sounds just like my grandma's birthday lunch yesterday. Why oh why did it become about me?!

FYI- the "garden salad" and steamed beans were too good for words, haha!

Babette said...

Thanks for sharing! Number 7 really made me laugh =)

Anonymous said...

I'm a vegetarian, not vegan. I once trained for a marathon with, among other people, a vegan woman. I asked her what she did about protein, since that's more of an issue with endurance athletes than with others. She shrugged and said, I don't worry about protein. She finished the race ahead of several thousand meat-eaters.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that so many Vegans are so sensitive about the subject? You act like you've lived some terrible history of ridicule. So what if people dont always understand you, or agree with you. Can you get married? Can you vote? Get over it, if your proud of your decision, then be proud and stop caring what anyone says.

Oh yeah, also your immune systems suck and most of you wouldn't survive pneumonia. So if you mean it by life depending...

Animals eat animals.

Anonymous said...

Are there any vegan blogs that haven't had to do a "meat-eaters say this..." post?

Because they always make vegans seem like dicks.

Anonymous said...

The most important thing to say to vegans is "It's pronounced 'VEJ-un' not 'VEE-gan'".

Anonymous said...

Know why people hate you and say these things? B/c you are self-righteous shits, not b/c you are different. It is like crowing all day long you have three nipples and how you enjoy life and sensations no one has ever experienced before. Please. Shut the f%#k up.

Anonymous said...

Vegans are retards, they should eat some sheep balls

Kinder said...

As a vegetarian I have encountered many of these comments, I can't even imagine how much worse it would be if I were vegan, which I am leaning into, a little.

When reading these comments from people who obviously have issues with vegans, I can't help but notice a difference in the tone and aggression between those who eat meat and those who don't. Wow.

Thanks for this post.

talk2deb said...

Dan, the answer is the vegan keeps walking because the dude presenting the cook chicken for the vegan to eat and threatening killing another chicken if they don't, is a pretty whacked individual. The answer is that the responsibility for the killing of the second chicken is squarely on the whacked individuals head. Though it is beneficial for all for us to take responsibility for the well-being and lives of others, in your scenario, the human is out to "get" the other human and that's the priority problem rather than the second chicken's life or the measurement of the vegan's ethics.

Jasmine said...

I get #9 more than you can fathom. Almost impossible to escape it. But, who are they kidding...they don't even know!

vegan cleaning products

Jack said...

"Really? Really?! If you truly can’t see the difference between pulling a carrot out of the ground and slitting a chicken’s throat, why don’t you try doing both and see if you feel the same about both acts?"

Glad to know it is about how YOU feel, and not the animal or plant.

You're saying you don't have a problem killing the plant because it doesn't make YOU feel bad.

Good to know. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Rename this to "10 Fun Things to Say to a Vegan."

Scrumptious Vegan said...

I get all of these all the time...I'm vegan in the way I eat and clothes and cosmetics, but I don't hate on other people because they choose a different diet.

So if I never bother meat eaters or ask them stupid questions, why do they always do that to me?

and about # 6... I read that originally humans were vegans because women used to gather berries and vegetables before the hunting era..when men discovered how to make weapons, then they began to hunt.

I don't know if this is accurate entirely, but it makes sense..which means originally everyone was vegan...

as for nosy comments and rude things to say to a vegan..this list hits the spot RIGHT ON

Terrasque said...

Lots of interesting things on both sides here.. First of all, I'm not vegan, or vegetarian, by a long stretch.

Firstly, about #7.. Well, plants are living beings. If you doubt that, look at some timelapses of trees and flowers. And the comment about pet and food animals.. I grew up close to a farm. Ever had a pet sheep? Ever eaten your pet sheep? It's part of nature. Things die, and in death becomes the substance for more life.

And regarding the comments about health and especially diabetes.. I have diabetes. You know what the safest for me to eat? Potatoes? No, that's bad. Fruit? Bad. Bread? Bad. Sugar? Very very bad. Meat? Good. Pure, clean meat? One of the best things you can eat. Well, according to doctors I've talked to. Got any documentation for your viewpoint?

Further on.. There was one comment mentioning a waitress talking on and on about the burger, and countering what if SHE was talking that way about the salad.. Well, I like salad. Especially with a good dash of salad dressing. Fits well with a good steak, too. Excellent taste.

And, as a closing comment.. To be completely honest, I think vegans are a bit .. well, have their head in the clouds to put it that way.

I've also noticed that most vegans come from cities, and have rather little direct experience with animals (except for pets, maybe).

Dreena said...

Terrasque, to address your question about diabetes, I do have a link for you. Recent studies show a low-fat vegan diet can actually reverse this disease, and is even more effective than standardly recommended diabetes diets. Most doctors are unfortunately not trained in nutrition, so they give the standard dietary prescriptions. I encourage you to look into these links and read about the successes people with diabetes are having on a low-fat vegan diet - the science behind it cannot be ignored, nor can the personal results.

http://www.pcrm.org/good-medicine/2006/autumn/targeting-diabetes-groundbreaking-pcrm-study-shows

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diabetes-resources/diabetes-success-stories

http://pcrm.org/pdfs/health/diabetes/diet%20and%20diabetes-recipes%20for%20success.pdf

Terrasque said...

@Dreena - Thanks, will have a look at it.

Elizabeth said...

I agree with all of these wholeheartedly, and also want to add: by being vegan you ARE helping people, in so many important ways: 1) slaughterhouse workers, 2) people w/o enough to eat b/c meat production requires so many resources, 3) everyone that likes not having superbugs, 4) anyone that likes having a clean environment...the list could go on!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Dreena and Rebekah. It was hilarious and deeply insightful. I have had all of them, particularly numbers 7 and 8, which never fail to amaze/ nauseate me. Unsurprisingly I really do not want to know how to cook pig's cheeks in great detail.
My personal favourite came from a colleague who looked surprised when I laughed at a joke, and said (since vegans are one giant homogenous mass), "I didn't know vegans had a sense of humour".. He then went on to tell a "true" story about a vegan who had had shoes made out of human skin to make the point about the cruelty of using animal skin for human purposes. This was so ridiculous I had to laugh and point out that people who are against cruelty towards and taking the life of animals generally extend that same courtesy towards their fellow human beings.
I come from a place of no judgement towards non vegans. Why should I judge someone simply because they have different a dietary perspective (whether it is based on health, ethics or both) to me? Being open and non judgemental is the only way to open up a dialogue with non vegans, some of whom genuinely want to understand the motivation behind the vegan lifestyle choice.
K

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post.

On #3: The word is "don't."

Anonymous said...

Would like to add that I have 3 grown, taller than average, smarter than average sons also raised on vegan protein!! Much of that coming from your wonderful recipes Dreena! Being a creationist, I feel so blessed to go back to the diet that was specially tailored for human kind! Love this post- thank-you!!

Val said...

Thank you for this wonderful post!!! I thoroughly enjoy your blog and tons of recipes, but this post was really speaking for so many of us out there!!! I shared it on my FB page! :)

Thank you!!! :)

beatriznerd said...

soooo true!

edengirl said...

Can't we all just get along? It's up to you what you eat. We all have a choice.Don't be hatin' me for being vegan, I'm not judging you for what you eat, that's your choice. If you don't like vegans, don't visit vegan sites, go to carnivore or meat lovers sites. :)

Anonymous said...

No.. Chickens have emotions and have complex social structures. Science is showing more and more that chickens have the same intelligence as some primates. My nanny raised chickens when she was a little girl. She taught them to jump through her arms and other tricks. Have you ever net a chicken???

Elle. said...

This was a great post. I have became a vegan about a month ago, and didn't think it would be such a controversial thing to do! When people ask me why I don't eat meat or dairy anymore, and I tell them that I'm vegan, they get upset about my lifestyle and berate me! Very confused about the aggression and defensive tactics people use when they are upset about my own lifestyle changes. It's bizarre.

Dreena said...

Hi Elle, sorry you are feeling that resistance with your friends/family. It's not unusual, I think some feel a bit threatened by the decision, and lack of understanding creates some defensiveness too. Show 'em the goodness through the food, that's my coping mechanism!! :)

Crystalina19k said...

I love how all the people commenting leaving total ignorant insults stay "anonymous." i'm not a vegan, but i am a vegetarian who's lactose intolerant. i chose my path because my vegetarian friend answered every question i ever asked her about it with this strange excitement if you will. i couldn't understand it. then when i found out how utterly foul and despicable the meat industry is, i decided to go organic, sustainable, vegetarian. i finally understand what my friend's excitement is all about. I'm the only one (besides her) that I know who can literally name EVERYTHING i've eaten today. ask the average joe what they've eaten. "uh, cereal, sandwich, and a burger and salad." WRONG. you ate processed refined sugars, synthetic sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, antibiotics, synthetic estrogen-based hormones, GMO, and i'm already nauseous. i can't believe i was raised on this crap. fortunately i can say my child will not be. no one has a right to preach to others what choices they should make, unless you are a preacher. or a parent. judge not, lest ye be judged. i've been vegetarian for like three weeks, and have lost 9 pounds. and no, it's not from deteriorating muscle. it's from watching the ingredients entering my body like a hawk, and tossing anything i can't picture as part of a plant. like sodium tripolyphosphate. i don't even want to know, but it's been in every kraft easy mac i've ever fed my kid. gross.

Crystalina19k said...

or haha when someone asks "why don't you eat meat?" ask them, "why do you eat synthetic hormones, hydrogenated oils, refined artificial sweeteners, and puss?" <--- why i'm a vegetarian...

Adrienne said...

In response to "anonymous at 10:41am":
You are speaking about a study that showed a correlation in timing of when we began eating meat as a species. It does not say meat made us smarter, it says it happened around the same time. More likely we used our new intelligence to make tools such as spears and knives and that is what led to eating meat. Fire would also be a tool that our intelligence allowed us to use. Since we cannot easily digest raw meat. Our bodies are made for eating plants, flat grinding teeth and a long intestine...not good for raw meat... Or cooked for that matter...
-adrienne, www.thecutevegan.com