I’ve seen vegans say this many times now, so I’d like to comment on it.
There is nothing wrong with trying to get other people to drop meat & dairy from their diet.
Most people do not know about the pain, suffering, death and environmental destruction they’re supporting when they consume meat & dairy products.
Most people also don’t know that they are poisoning themselves by consuming these products.
Those who drop meat & dairy from their diet are heroes.
Those who take the next step by teaching others the truth about meat & dairy are super heroes.
Here’s a related one while I’m at it:
“Vegans are no different than religious people who push their beliefs on others”
Religious people push beliefs.
Vegans share facts.
It’s not a belief that the consumption of meat & dairy products causes completely unnecessary pain, suffering, death and destruction.
On top of that, many people will respond very negatively to receiving information about the lives of the animals they eat. It is very ignorant, but… thats just the way of mankind. Ignorance.
I often find people show much more interest in veganism when you talk about the health benefits of the lifestyle. Why? Because humans are self-absorbed. They may not care that their bacon was kept in a tiny cage, jabbed with rods, beaten against the floor, and had it’s neck slit while it was still alive. We care. We care very much. But they may not, and we can’t -make- them care. However, while they may not care about the murdered pig they are consuming, they MIGHT care about what it is doing to their own body. The steriods, the anti-biotics. Heart disease, cholesterol. So sometimes, it may be much more beneficial not to mention the animal rights point of view, but rather the health.
As animal rights activists, we often feel like it is our responsibility to get all of that information out there. If we don’t speak up for the animals, who will?
I completely agree that -everyone- should know all of the horrors that are involved in factory farming and slaughter. People should know the massacre they are contributing to.
BUT. If someone stops eating meat, or goes completely vegan for WHATEVER reason – even if it is to preserve their own life, even if it is out of total self-absorption, even if they will never know anything about how the animals they stopped eating were treated… that is still a win for us. That is still a win for the animals.
I understand the point you are trying to get across, but you have to realize that most of the people who -push- religious beliefs truly think their religion is fact.
I have endured many debates about vegan vs. omnivore, and MANY MORE about atheism vs. christianity. In all honesty, religion tends to be much more hostile, simply because both sides will continue to believe they are the right and neither can -actually- be proven, not yet anyways. So both sides will continue to suggest that they are correct, and that they have the facts.
There is nothing wrong with sharing truths. But sharing and preaching are very different things.
Staying on the example of religion, -preaching- will often drive non-believers, or those with opposing beliefs, farther away because it is irritating, it feels forceful, and generally insulting. To be told everything you used to -know- is wrong… It stirs up a lot of emotions that many people honestly don’t know how to react to – so they react by getting angry. I have studied many religions for the exact same reason I have studied nutrition so extensively. To be able to support my beliefs (or rather, lack there of), and to be prepared to answer any questions that are asked.
Our facts, as animal rights activists, are that the abuse is there. The murder and rape is there. The torture is most definitely there, it all is.
it is our BELIEF as animal rights activists that the animals should not be subjected to the abuse, murder, rape, and torture. That they deserve freedom and peaceful lives, love and respect.
We can show them the footage. We can ask them to read the articles. But we cannot -force- them to believe that animals have souls and rights.
Just as we can show creationists dinosaur fossils, but cannot force them to believe that to believe in evolution.
The point in all of this, is that we know from experience that force is not the answer. As humans, we generally rebel against something if we feel like we are being -forced- to do it/read it/see it/eat it. But as humans, we are also -curious-.
I started out preaching. It got me nowhere, except deeper in a hole full of people who refused to understand. When I stopped preaching, people started asking questions on their own, and I was very happy to answer them. Those questions lead to more questions. So on and so forth.
It’s all to do with psychology. People are much more likely to consider something, if they think considering it was their idea in the first place.
The best thing we can do is to keep ourselves well educated and ready to answer questions.
I think you have to choose your battles. When most people say this, I think they mean they’re not going to be the type of vegan who lectures every person eating cheese, or bringing every single conversation back around to animal rights. There’s a balance you have to achieve no matter what your message is. Basically, what’s the vegan version of the expression “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? I’ve gotten my family and friends to eat healthier, embrace a veg lifestyle, and talk openly about animal rights not because I berated them or talked non-stop about AR, but rather because I live a consistent vegan life and answer questions that are asked of me.
Vegans’ points are far more likely to be effectively reccieved, as instead of forcing a person to arbitrarily conform their belief system, they present facts, and let it be up to that person to put those facts up against their current lifestyle, and eventually, hopefully,they’ll accept that change needs to happen ! 🙂
In any form, preachy vegans are the best kind for sure!