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Veganism / Vegetarianism


Hercules
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So, I've been doing a lot of looking around on the net the past week or so. But first, here is a little bit of background about me: if you didn't already know, I've been a vegetarian for about 4 years now, and a vegan for about 6 months. Now, there are a few things that are making me a little angry, and I thought I might be able to get a good discussion out of it, or at least get some people to give me their views on the topic, hopefully in a mature and respectable fashion. Here are a few things that I have noticed from the past week or so, and other experiences:

 

I was looking around for a vegan meatloaf recipe on Yahoo! Answers. Someone happened to ask for a recipe. Many of the replies were downright mean and vulgar, and well, kind of stupid - "Take a s**t, put it on a plate, and eat it.", "I don't understand why vegans want to eat things that taste like the meat that they hate.", "How can you have meatloaf without the meat?". I feel like a lot of this is really uncalled for. Maybe it is just me being a vegan myself? However, the first comment is just rude. The second I found to be funny because, it's not that vegans don't like the taste of meat (damn I miss things like lemon pepper chicken, baby back ribs and wings) but it is the moral principle that keeps them from eating the meat, not the taste or anything like that. And the third one, I'm not sure if they were kidding or what, but I'll let that one be.

 

Next, any time that I tell someone that I'm a vegetarian/vegan, they either say: "Ewwww.", "Why?" - which is guess is a logical question, if it is not said with a face and an attitude, "Man, I hate vegetarians." - to which they proceed never to talk to me again, "I don't get it.", "I'm a vegetarian too, well pretty much, I just chicken, and sometimes some fish, and God I love a good steak once a month or so.", "So all you eat is rabbit food?" A lot of those things kind of hurt a little, especially when people try to play something different than what they really are around me.

 

Lastly, I was reading VegNews the other day, and there was a funny comic in it. Basically it was about this guy that went around and ate all of these exotic foods from the world. Each frame showed him downing things like Fried Pickled Pig Testicles, or Elephant Liver Sauteed in Gorilla Urine, with people in the background saying "Look at that guy, what an iron stomach!", or "What a feat!", or "Amazing!". Then, the last frame showed him in front of a piece of tofu, shrieking in fear and running away. Why is something like a soy product like tofu so gross, but animals products like liver and, well, balls, okay? Granted, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a fan of tofu, however, I have become accustomed to liking faux meats like Boca burgers, chicken wings, fried shrimp, and veggie crumbles.

 

Basically, I just want to know, why is there just so much hate and questioning? I can admit, there are some real hardcore vegan elitists out there that are a real pain in the butt. But, I'm not really THAT bad of a person, at least I don't think. I mean, my self-esteem really takes a hit each time I either read something, I hear someone talking, or anything like that.

 

Please, discuss and let me know what people are actually thinking.

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Oreo's are vegan, Who hate oreos???

 

 

Seriously though, while I enjoy my meat (*snicker*) I definitely feel for you guys. It's definitely not easy and while I don't agree with it, I'm definitely more then educated enough to know why some people do it and there are many different reasons which is why I do ask "why."

 

I also know that quite a few very yummy things (like oreos, seriously) are Vegan thanks to a friend who tried to go Vegan and him directing me over to I can't believe it's vegan so I know a little better about the junk you can eat.

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Some people are just a-holes, simply said.

 

I HAVE no problem with vegans and veggies, I tried some of the dietary vegans and veggies eat and I find of it in weird taste like veggie burgers but they're okay. I actually got fed a veggie burger and didn't realize it once.

Tasted like the real thing to me, and didn't have a big deal to make from it.

 

But to be honest, a few people I know are veggies and some of them I'm good friends with. However here and there I do get looks of longing at my double cheeseburger or chicken sandwich and I've had to remind of what they are. pains me to do that sometimes.

 

I'm not taking pity for ya, these are honest experiences I've had at school and on social outings.

 

These are my thoughts, and plain out some people are just dicks like the first on Y! Questions.

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In my opinion, there is hate due to a stereotype. Similar to how flamboyant gay men give gay men an often negative stereotype, outspoken vegans give all vegans and vegetarians a negative stereotype.

 

My guff with vegans comes when they try and make me feel like a bad person for eating meat. If somebody has that much compassion for animals, then that's great. Honestly, I can understand that and think it's noble. However, don't tell me I'm a douchebag or heartless for eating meat. Those people that argue it's wrong are those that create the hate and the negative stereotype. Eating meat is a natural activity and I just find it funny when vegans tell me I'm a bad person for eating animals, even though some of the animals they are trying to protect eat other animals. As much as I hate the typical "Food Chain" argument, it's sort of true.

 

So yeah, if that's somebody's thing, then great. However, to me, it's like sexuality or religion: Don't throw it in anyone's face. Now, obviously, it's a two-way street and you're the victim here where it's been thrown in your face. But for me, I'm not going to wave a piece of steak in front of a vegan just to taunt them. I keep to myself, until the opposite argument is thrown at me. Then, there is a problem.

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Yeah I totally agree. It does get annoying when people are telling you what to do and what not to do, as if their way is right and your way is wrong. That is probably my biggest problem with a lot of roller coaster enthusiasts too, and one of the reasons why I got off of the message boards for a period of time too. However, I have to say this:

 

Have I been to an animal rights protest - Yes

Have I been known to leaflet people's does with animal rights propaganda -Yes

Have I gone to animal rights conferences - Yes

Did I stand outside of the Sounds of the Underground tour when it came to Philadelphia to promote animal wellness - Yes

Have I let PETA members stay in my home while they were traveling through town on a tour - Yes

 

I admit, I have done those things. However, I do not throw it all in people's faces. I try to do it in a respectable manner. I will not pick fights with people out of nowhere, or call them names, or anything like that.

 

I tend to be pretty outspoken. Yet, I don't like it when people of some religion or political party try to get me to their side, and then degrade my intelligence for simply saying that I'm not interested. I won't pick a fight until one is picked with me. I went onto one site where someone said all kinds of things about eating meat, and killing animals, and about how much vegetarians suck. I, in what I thought to be a calm and respectable way, went against his points and opinions, to be followed with "See! That is what I HATE about vegetarians!." Ummmm...... didn't you start to say crap about vegetarians in the first place? I just don't get the way people think sometimes.

 

And yes, I could go against your argument that it is natural to eat meat, and the food chain thing, and how other animals are carnivorous, but I'll let it be because I like to be civil unless someone really comes at me. I'll do things like write letters, and post on message boards and blogs, and maybe I'll even get out there this weekend with some chants against Ringling Bros., but I won't be out there heckling people in their cars, or streaking naked at the Phillies game with "Go Veg" across my butt. That just isn't my style, and I respect others as long as they respect me.

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The second I found to be funny because, it's not that vegans don't like the taste of meat (damn I miss things like lemon pepper chicken, baby back ribs and wings) but it is the moral principle that keeps them from eating the meat, not the taste or anything like that.

 

I think this is one of the things that can sometimes bother people. A lot of vegans cite moral reasons for their choice to become a vegan. In some cases, this can kind of come across as condescending for non-vegans. When a vegan says that they are a vegan for moral reasons, that can imply that they're more moral than you. Whether that's the intent or not, I think a lot of vegans are perceived as thinking they're somehow better than non-vegans. I think Scaparri touched on that and made a good point with the comparison to the gay men stereotype. Obviously I'm not saying that this is the case here, but I think that's a big reason why Vegans get a lot of hate.

 

 

As for me, I went on a date with a vegan girl once. Let me tell you, I could NOT handle eating tofu for the rest of my life, much less skipping out on cheese and chocolate. We ordered a substitute chocolate cake, and that just doesn't fly with me (haha, I know I sound like such a fatty). All joking aside though, I understand that meat production takes up an insane amount of resources in terms of land and water compared to vegatables. For the people who have the will power without the ego, more power to you because it is something that would drive me insane.

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I personally don't see me as being better than anyone else because I have those moral beliefs, but I do know that there are a lot of people out there that are vegan and truly believe that they are better than other people, and only hang out with other vegans.

 

And, I don't eat tofu, and I'm a vegan. I know that there is also that stereotype that all vegans eat tofu, and wear Birkenstocks, but I'm far from that. Tofu is just plain gross. I do, as I have said, eat fake meats of a soy base, but they are nothing at all like tofu. And, honestly, I don't see a difference in a lot of the chocolates that don't have milk in them. That is just an opinion I guess. It all just comes down to take, and I have, over time, aquired a taste for a lot of the stuff.

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I was looking around for a vegan meatloaf recipe on Yahoo! Answers. Someone happened to ask for a recipe. Many of the replies were downright mean and vulgar, and well, kind of stupid - "Take a s**t, put it on a plate, and eat it.", "I don't understand why vegans want to eat things that taste like the meat that they hate.", "How can you have meatloaf without the meat?". .

 

I'm not familiar with Yahoo! Answers, but is it un-moderated? Or even semi un-moderated?

 

The Internet is a breeding ground for people to slander each other anonymously. It gets worse on sites that are fairly un-moderated.

 

For instance skim through the comments on some Youtube videos to see what I mean.

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Jay, to be honest I don't get why someone would give up meat, but like almost everything in the world that doesn't effect me, it doesn't bother me. Vegan, gay marriage, etc those are all things that I am ok with as long as they don't effect me. Gay marriage great, just like "traditional" marriage I am happy for you. Don't eat meat, great saves some animals and it actually is doing some good, great for you. I do wonder why the no milk part of it?

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Quick answer - The no milk part of it is because of the way dairy cows are treated.

 

Here is a link if you would like to check it out.

 

http://www.unhappycows.com/

 

That's basically the short anwer. The same thing with eggs too, but I never did like eggs in the first place, at least by themselves. Since I have gone vegan, I don't eat products like cakes and stuff that are made with eggs, and even try to stay away from things with honey in them like pies, and some breads.

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Ok, sorry but I hate vegetables. I cannot ever see myself giving up meat. I pick tomatoes out of my chili . I cannot see why someone would put away meats other than the moral reasons of saving animals, but in my mind, I know the animals I'm eating were raised for this purpose and no other. I understand your thought process though and I have no problem with vegans or vegetarians at all. I just know, I'll never be one.

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I have a few vegetarian/somewhat vegan friends, and have tried things like okara burgers and such, and they're pretty good. I don't think I personally could give up meat, but if others are willing to then I see no reason why anyone should be an ass about it. People are lame.

 

 

 

-Nick

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I've really got nothing against vegetarians or vegans.

What I dislike however is ie. some "vegetarians" at my (former) school who are mostly vegetarians because it's "trendy" and "so cool" (I don't know if it is?) because they think they are superior to meat eaters. Also I for some reason don't really like when I've seen quite a few times that some of them has been eating a Big Mac meal or so at McDonald's.

 

I respect vegetarians and vegans for their principles in general and I think it's a good idea. It's also good that the numbers of vegetarian dishes/products at restaurants/grocery stores have increased. That should hopefully continue.

I feel quite sorry for vegans in the way that I see it as a lot more difficult to find food or make various dishes that contain all necessary, fats, carbs, proteins, vitamins, minerals etc.

Then there are of course some subgroups of vegans, as here in Finland one is called Fennovegans they only eat Finnish vegan food, which can be hard to find in the winter as for fruits and some vegetables, are not produced here then, or only a little amount (in greenhouses) because of the climate.

 

Personally I doubt could be a vegetarian as I love meat too much, there are lots of good veggies and fruits I enjoy, however not as many solely vegetarian dishes, so that I could eat as varied things I do now. As of now, I really don't want to make my life (a bit) more complicated either.

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Not saying that there is any excuse for the bashings that many vegetarians/vegans get, but I think a lot of it stems from how the food tastes and the way many vegetarians/vegans present themselves. I tried a vegan brownie once, and thought it was terrible. Chalky, flavorless, and very dry. Well, when you take eggs, butter, and milk out of pastries, that's the end product you'll get! And also, many vegetarians and vegans (not saying you, persay) look down on those who DO eat meat. I've a vegetarian friend who always asks me why I like to eat murdered animals! Of course, she is an extremist, and I never invite her to events involving food, but it is also quiet annoying to have to justify what I eat. I definitely don't appreciate it when people make me feel bad for eating meat.

 

However, those idiots who bash you so rudely just because you believe in something and stick to it, are just plain ignorant. I think it's great that you were a vegetarian (and now a vegan) as it shows how much self dedication you have. However, I have to ask. Is being vegan healthy? I mean, at least with being vegetarian, you can have milk, eggs, and other forms of protein... but as a vegan, only vegetables are allowed to be eaten, right? My vegetarian friend (whom I was speaking of earlier) has a friend who is a vegan (and also already quite thin), and she has lost over 20 pounds in the matter of year, due to what her doctor said as 'malnutrition'. I guess sticking up for what you believe in is great, but when you risk your health to do it? Is it worth it?

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Ok, sorry but I hate vegetables. I cannot ever see myself giving up meat. I pick tomatoes out of my chili . .

 

Actually, a tomato is a fruit I know, now I sound like a vegan jerk.

 

I respect vegetarians and vegans for their principles in general and I think it's a good idea. It's also good that the numbers of vegetarian dishes/products at restaurants/grocery stores have increased. That should hopefully continue.

I feel quite sorry for vegans in the way that I see it as a lot more difficult to find food or make various dishes that contain all necessary, fats, carbs, proteins, vitamins, minerals etc.

Then there are of course some subgroups of vegans, as here in Finland one is called Fennovegans they only eat Finnish vegan food, which can be hard to find in the winter as for fruits and some vegetables, are not produced here then, or only a little amount (in greenhouses) because of the climate..

 

Being vegan really isn't that hard. People make it hard on themselves though, whether it be that they only eat organic foods, raw foods, or in your example Finnish foods etc. I personally don't get that, but then again, a lot of people don't get why I'm vegan in the first place. If that is what they want to do, then so be it. Don't feel sorry for someone making a decision for themselves and the rest of the world, in their mind. It is their choice, and it really isn't that hard at all.

 

However, those idiots who bash you so rudely just because you believe in something and stick to it, are just plain ignorant. I think it's great that you were a vegetarian (and now a vegan) as it shows how much self dedication you have. However, I have to ask. Is being vegan healthy? I mean, at least with being vegetarian, you can have milk, eggs, and other forms of protein... but as a vegan, only vegetables are allowed to be eaten, right? My vegetarian friend (whom I was speaking of earlier) has a friend who is a vegan, and she has lost over 20 pounds in the matter of year. I guess sticking up for what you believe in is great, but when you risk your health to do it? Is it worth it?

 

Personally, I'm the best I have ever felt in my life. When I used to eat meat, I would get horrible chest pains from time to time. Ever since I went vegetarian, the pain has gone away, except for when I eat extremely large quantities of saturated fats, like when I eat french fries by the bucket load.

 

Plus, I'm someone that believes the studies that milk and cheese are not that good for you in the first place. There are many studies that show that dairty products are a leading cause of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and heart disease, not to mention osteoporosis. Plus, it has been shown that dairy can cause acne in children, increased mucus in the lungs, and may cause diabetes. I know that, when I was still eating cheese, after a while of not eating pizza I would eat a whole pie, and then a few hours later I would be hacking up a lung. Not plesant. Also, I think that milk and dairy is just downright gross, and not really natural. And, there are studies that show that milk doesn't actually ad calcium to your system, but it actually takes it away, creating weaker bones.

 

Now, I know there is a misconception that vegans just eat fruits and vegetables, but that is not true. As long as something does not contain dairy, eggs, honey, or some kind of animal byproduct like gelatin or something, it is far game. There are a ton of faux meats that are vegan, as well as cakes and other things like that. Heck, I go to Taco Bell on occasion and get a vegan bean burrito. Or I go to a pizza place and get a tomato pie. There are just so many options out there.

 

And veganism is healthy if you do it right. Currently, I'm 5'10" and about 175 pounds, which I find to be fairly healthy. It is easy to gain weight as a vegan though, especially if you eat a lot of oils. I got up to about 202 this past summer because I was eating like a horse due to a medication that I was taking, which shows that I wasn't just eating salads. I get plenty of protein on a daily basis. I believe it is recommended that a person get 1 gram of protein per kilogram of weight in a day. And, I exceed that fairly consistantly with things like soy, legumes (beans and lentils), green vegetables (like broccoli, spinach, kale), and oatmeal. Plus, I get B12 from a pill, and a few other foods over the course of the day. Being vegan doesn't mean that I'm stuck to vegetales, or that I can't get the proper nutrients that are needed on a daily basis. If it is done right, it can be done. I know there are a lot of people that don't do it right, and suffer from it. There are a lot of people that try to lose weight being a vegetarian, but don't because all they do is eat veggie dogs or burgers, with tater tots every day. Or, people go vegan and lose 30 pounds in 2 months and look like a zombie. And then there is the other extreme, like when people body build on a vegen diet: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/ . It happens, but if you do your research, and eat things properly, then there isn't a problem.

 

Lastly, the brownie thing. I make some pretty good brownies! I just use vegan butter and egg replacer. There really isn't a difference!

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I've been a vegetarian for 15 years...I started when I was 12 b/c I felt that what is being done to animals is wrong. Its a part of who I am....I like the food I eat and I dont care of what others are eating (except for my bf).

 

People drive me nuts when they say that they love animals as they are chomping on a leg of lamb. It’s the contradiction that bothers me. People can have their choice as to what they want to eat...but I can’t believe that a person cares about animals and the environment when they are eating meat or wearing fur/leather.

 

I think the reason why people get hung up on others being vegans and vegetarians and vis-à-vis, is that people don’t like those who are different and they want to bully others into their beliefs. I end the conversations that turn a positive thing such as eating better for me and the environment into a debate on which diet is better.

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Ok well I'm not vegetarian, however I don't much waste my time worrying about people who are. However I think the question about where the hate from can be answered by saying that some people are just jerks.

 

There was a vegan girl in a class I took while at UCLA. Every week or so this girl would walk around with a petition to make UCLA the first and only vegan campus in America (she wanted all meat and dairy gone from all campus locations). Well I enjoy meat so I simply decided not to sign, as is generally the choice you have in a petition. I guess this girl didn't get enough signatures, so the next day she personally walks up to each and every person she could before class, and asks, "Will you sign my petition to make UCLA a vegan campus," again I say no thanks, to which she response with "why?" I was taken aback and said because I'm not vegan, again she asks why? I told her (now getting annoyed) that I enjoy eating meat, she proceeds to shake her head and say "you murderer."

 

This story repeated itself once every few weeks for the remainder of the semester. So as I said, it basically comes down to some people just being jerks.

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People drive me nuts when they say that they love animals as they are chomping on a leg of lamb. It’s the contradiction that bothers me. People can have their choice as to what they want to eat...but I can’t believe that a person cares about animals and the environment when they are eating meat or wearing fur/leather.

 

No offense, but this is the kind of snobbery I can't stand. It's not an either/or situation. People can still care about something, but maybe not on the same level. Just because I eat meat doesn't mean I don't care at all about animals or the environment. It's arrogant arguments like your's that carry the negative stereotype and make it seem like vegetarians think they are better than everybody else.

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Every week or so this girl would walk around with a petition to make UCLA the first and only vegan campus in America (she wanted all meat and dairy gone from all campus locations).

 

Sounds like pissing into the wind to me.

 

How does someone expect to make such a drastic change affecting so many people?

 

It'd be like making the campus one religion, one skin colour, one nationality, one choice of music, etc etc.

 

It's just arrogant to think that a petition could get thousands of people to act and think alike.

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People drive me nuts when they say that they love animals as they are chomping on a leg of lamb. It’s the contradiction that bothers me. People can have their choice as to what they want to eat...but I can’t believe that a person cares about animals and the environment when they are eating meat or wearing fur/leather.

 

No offense, but this is the kind of snobbery I can't stand. It's not an either/or situation. People can still care about something, but maybe not on the same level. Just because I eat meat doesn't mean I don't care at all about animals or the environment. It's arrogant arguments like your's that carry the negative stereotype and make it seem like vegetarians think they are better than everybody else.

 

Its not being arrogant, I believe in saying: actions speak louder then words.

 

We are both are allowed to have points of view that look at things/beliefs. I just cant believe somebody when they claim that they love animals in one breath and then goes ahead and eats/wears them.

 

Thats all.

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I have to agree with Scaparri on this one. Hercules has been saying all of the reasons he decided to become a vegan without becoming condescending about it. If I have your argument right (and please correct me if I don't), if you eat meat then you automatically don't care about animals or the environment. Don't you think that's a little bit extreme? Maybe I like animals, but I just am not dedicated enough to the cause to live an alternative lifestyle. Whether you mean it to be or not, this is the type of thing that vegans say that make them come across as thinking they're more holy than non-vegans.

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Every week or so this girl would walk around with a petition to make UCLA the first and only vegan campus in America (she wanted all meat and dairy gone from all campus locations).

 

Sounds like pissing into the wind to me.

 

How does someone expect to make such a drastic change affecting so many people?

 

It'd be like making the campus one religion, one skin colour, one nationality, one choice of music, etc etc.

 

It's just arrogant to think that a petition could get thousands of people to act and think alike.

 

That is pretty ridiculous. I mean, she is just going up to people without giving them any kind of information, and just expecting them to react to it, and then demeans them after they say no. That is just ignorant on that girls part. Personally, I don't look for that kind of change. I know that people aren't going to stop eating meat. It is just unreasonable to think that. However, sometimes I suggest that someone just eat one vegetarian meal during the course of the week. That in itself saves a lot of animals, plus, it might actually make the person feel kind of good for that day - a little less artery clogging.

 

And I do get the point by Teacups, and I kind of agree. However, people don't see things like cows, minks, rabbits etc (whatever can be turned into coats, shoes etc) as domesticated, mostly because a lot of them aren't. People who say that they care about animals are usually talking about animals like dogs and cats and the like - domesticated animals that they see as their friends and family. And that is great! Really. At least they care about something. There are actually a lot of people that don't really know the process of making a fur coat, or a leather jacket, and that is the reason that they still continue to wear them, but I bet there are others that if they knew what happened, they would stop wearing all of that stuff, and I have experience with people like that. Of course, there are those that wouldn't care that animals get their skin ripped off alive. But, that is just how it is. I'm not looking to change the world, I'm just trying to get into people's heads and understand their thinking.

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I actually had to write a paper in my philosophy class last semester where I had to compare the arguments of a vegan versus a non-vegan. In my opinion, the most striking thing from the vegan argument was the description of modern day slaughter houses and how inhumane they are. Aside from that, a lot of animals of farms do get poor treatment that is truly awful. Am I aware of this? Yes, but it's not enough for me to change my entire diet in protest. If I wanted to become a vegan I would do it for the environmental reasons, because being a vegan does reduce a lot of energy consumption. The cattle industry isn't going to change by me becoming a vegan, and I know a lot of people will see that as a cop-out, but it's true.

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I don't know. Check out a store like Whole Foods. They sell organic, free range meats, and that is all that they sell. The only reason that the meat industry is the way that it is, is because of government regulated agriculture. For some reason everyone believes that there has to be this insane throughput of animals in order to meat the demands of the country, but it really isn't true. Farmers could do a much smaller scale and still meet the demand for meat. It would save on a lot of the environmental strain, and cause the animals to be treated in a much more humane way. The only reason I don't see that being done, ever, is because of corporate greed and the unwillingness to change protocol.

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I've been a vegetarian for 15 years...I started when I was 12 b/c I felt that what is being done to animals is wrong.

 

What we're doing to animals is wrong? What about what animals do to other animals? Does the antelope deserve to be killed by the lion? Do mice want to be caught and killed by cats? If it is wrong for us to exploit animals then doesn't it make it wrong for other animals to exploit their fellow creatures? Aren't we ourselves, Homo sapiens, a species of animal? What I'm getting at here is that just as the lion exploits other animals for food, so do we. It just so happens that we can exploit on a massive scale thanks to technology. What you need to remember is that nature is one cruel b*tch, who cares nothing for the well being and rights of animals. So from nature's standpoint, what we do to animals is just business as usual. Now I have nothing against veganism or vegetarianism, but if your one of them because you argue that it isn't natural to exploit animals, then you are sadly mistaken in my opinion. Just be aware that veganism/ vegetarianism is unnatural in humans.(In a way that makes being a vegan/vegetarian an exercise in separating yourself from the cruelty of nature). BTW, I'm not a vegan or vegetarian.

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