My response is too long to be a Facebook comment so I created this blog (that I anyway had planned on doing) to be able to respond to all things sayd in detail! 😉
First on why “converted” is not a good use of words when it comes to somebody having turned to a vegan diet: It might be a correct use of words regarding the fact that a person having turned to a vegan diet has done so most probably because of a change of opinion or beliefs. Nevertheless “converted” has a strong association to religion and to call Veganism that is just plain wrong. Veganism is simply put to act according to the belief that I think the huge majority of people (no matter if meat eaters, vegetarians , vegans or in-between) already share, which is to not unnecessarily harming animals. So many claim to “love animals” but in the same time see no problem with eating them. Can you really love something AND eat it? Pretty crazy idea when you think about it a bit longer than usual. I assume that you as a vegetarian know pretty well how that sounds if somebody claims that to you and how you feel hearing that. So this is just in case of you being a vegetarian for ethical reasons of course. As farm animals are not only harmed and killed by the meat industry but as much in the dairy and egg industry, vegans go the logical step further to not consume any animal products and to so not support any torture and killing of sentient beings. Trying to cause the least amount of suffering in the world = Veganism. As simple as that really. If you don’t know about the harm thats being done to those animals im happy to be the preachy vegan to provide you with the according information. If you get attacked by vegans for not being vegan but “only” vegetarian, I think thats wrong. Not because I don’t agree with why they think that, but because its wrong to attack people and to judge them to be less evolved or whatever than you are yourself. I think going vegetarian is a huge step in a society like ours and it should definitely be supported and praised ! It is important (but difficult sometimes) to not forget that us as vegans/vegetarians used to eat meat once and that we wouldn’t have wanted to be shamed or attacked for it. That obviously has the opposite effect of what is wanted and just closes people instead of opening them up for the idea and they get in opposition and defense. Because thats how humans are.
The way YOU prejudice, judge and make generalizations here about vegans though is certainly not the way you would want to be treated by meat eaters, would you? I am definitely not one of those vegans who would attack you for being vegetarian and I can tell you I know plenty and plenty of vegans who wouldn’t either. If you do bring up the topic though consuming dairy and eggs doesn’t harm animals or not that much, I would be happy to have a reasonable discussion with you about that in case you are open for that. If you DO KNOW though that you hurt animals by doing so but just decided for yourself that not eating meat is as far as you wanna go to reduce the suffering in this world, I cannot say anything against that. Thats a decision i do have respect for and I know that I myself do as much as I feel I can in my world to do the best. People are different and we should respect everyones own path. That doesn’t mean though that I respect the kind of harsh judgement you put on the path I am on and the path of many people I know and love or respect. If you call vegans religious and fanatics than I will give you my two cents on what I think about that.
-“Converted is a good word, because so many people they jump into veganism to satisfy their want of fanatism”
my response: First of all “jump into Veganism” . Really ? If it would be just a “jump”, such an easy thing to do, just a little quirk or a thing of your mood at the time, I think we wouldn’t have this discussion here in the first place.
-“I know many examples, and they do harm definitely vegetarism.
my response: Vegans are not vegans to put anyone in a good or bad light but to not support animal cruelty as much as possible.”
“Even I know people who were close to me who rejected me because I am a vegetarian since decades when they jumped in vegetarism and veganism less than one year long
my response: You met the wrong people and nobody feels more sad about that than vegans who are not that way.”
– “They just want to ruin the ancient world.”
my response: What do you want to say here? Are you talking about destroying traditions? I think traditions should be kept as long as they don’t harm anyone and as they are still found useful and joyful. If they do harm people, animals or the planet all together- hell yea I do think they should be broken and destroyed and never ever come back.
-“And they handle veganism like it’s a neo-communism or a collective obligation”
my response: Please explain (in detail, lol ) how veganism is like neo-communism? That seems like such a far fetch and like such a word just thrown in there to give more meaning to something that has actually no true ground. Collective obligation- Well let’s see. Do you think equality for women, black people and gays for example is something that should be a collective moral obligation? I think not purposely harming sentient beings should be a collective obligation. Do I think we are still far from this to become reality? Unfortunately yes. Do I think we are on a good way towards it? Yes I do.
-“The effect of that behaviour will be a rejection of vegetarism.
It’s not a good idea to communicate about veganism like it’s a political ideology and a sort of manifesto of a party
More discretion works better”
my response: There are a few statistics by now talking about effective activism and whats the most effective way to present a difficult but important subject as veganism to people. I joined a two day conference recently with this as the only topic. Being aggressive or using shock as a method is one but clearly not the best one. I am all for a compassionate, non-judgmental and non-violent communication when it comes to that. Leading by example and being the change that you want to see in the world is one thing that I think is effective on its own. If you want to be even more effective than that you will communicate about it. If women who wanted to be treated equal would have been quiet, they probably still wouldn’t be able to vote. If there wouldn’t have been a huge revolution about the equality of black people, we would still have slaves. Unfortunately, big things like that don’t change by being quiet, they change only the hard way.
-“Not words but a good behaviour and not trying to force other like veganism is a new religion. Because this would end in a fight. :-)”
my response: Non-violent communication is key. (still working on it myself)
-“The best exemple is when you stay vegan more than one decade and when you can show and express the benefits”
my response: The benefits of being vegan start the moment you don’t consume an animal product, because one less bought animal product means one less support given to a company that lives off the exploitation of animals. Boom. That easy.
-“But when people who are vegan since one or two years they preach daylong veganism they look like people who have stopped cigarette and who fear to smoke again, and fanatism is a disease of young persons who want to convert everybody.”
my response: I agree “preaching” is not the way to go, but putting out information on your own Facebook page about a topic that you are interested in or passionate about doesn’t equal preaching. If you feel attacked by somebody pointing out simple facts, you should maybe think why you feel so strongly about that. It might be because it triggers some feelings of guilt or shame in yourself that you try to be defensive about or it might be, as you claim here, that it really just is that you think wrong vegan communication hurts vegetarianism. I assume that this is what it comes down to what you are saying here in a more elaborate way. And i strongly agree with the addition that i think wrong vegan communication doesn’t only hurt vegetarians, but even more so vegans and so the message that both have.
-“And unfortunately most of vegan they look like this because they eat vegan , they think vegan, they talk vegan they love and hate vegan, they preach vegan they pray vegan and so on, like there is no other issue. Wrong.”
my response: I do also see a problem with people putting all their life and identification around the fact that they are vegan. But i think that there are certainly worst things to identify and spend your time with than doing the best you can for the planet.
-“because I am vegetarian since 40 years. This is a joke and just turning vergetarism into a fanatical practice.”
my response: Please check your ideas of fanaticism ! Being a passionate activist for a good cause does not equal fanaticism. If that would be so then people like Martin Luther King or Gandhi would go under the flag of fanaticism as well because they fought hard to bring their idea of a better world into reality.
-“And when veganism is just a snobbish and fashion thing then it’s really doing harm to real vegetarians. “
my response: What is really doing harm to vegetarianism is comments like yours here. Because Vegetarianism and Veganism are not that far from one another and by you publicly ridiculing and insulting Vegans especially the way you do here, generalizing all vegans as if they would all be the same, you do more harm then good to the way people see people who decide to live without eating flesh.
-“I witness that most people in fashion preaching veganism they just extend the discrimination in fashion to the purity of food, and they don’t care about animals, it’s just a sort of neo-purity of the elite.”
my response: Vegans who are about purity rather than effectiveness are certainly not the ones to talk to if you want to get inspired, however as in every scene or movement or you name it, there are always black sheep. But to focus on the black sheep is not the way to go if you are truly interested in a reasonable argument. It makes you more appear like you want to find reasons against something and you do that in the not most honest and neutral way.
-“And the worse are those who try to convert their dogs to become vegans and who forbid milk to babies, this is torture and cruelty, fanatism.”
my response: “and the worst are those” – So they are all bad but there are some that are even worst ?! I would appreciate a conversation in which we avoid generalizing and insulting. And please get your facts straight regarding feeding your dog vegan. Dogs are omnivores and are very well able to live a healthy life on a vegan diet as much as humans.