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Animal "Lovers" who eat Animals

I just spent the weekend at an old friend's house (haven't seen him in 20 years). He and his wife are adamant animal lovers (have rescued several cats, have a 14 year old dog, and a huge aquarium). They would basically do anything for these pets and talk about them all the time as if they are their children (they are). However, my friend really made a big deal about how difficult and picky I am when it comes to eating. I should mention that we brought all of our own food and didn't eat anything of theirs, but the comments kept coming. I could tell it was an issue for him, just as it is with my dad (who I basically told to STFU when HE made a comment). Anyway, I just don't get how these people can be so loving towards their house pets, but won't even consider eating vegetarian meals. We wanted to check out a restaurant I like in Orlando called the Garden Cafe (all the meats are MOCK meats) and his wife wouldn't even consider going there and said she wants to eat real meat.

I had never met her before, and she was SUPER nice, and I didn't really want to raise up a debate with her (they are in their late 50's, fyi). Especially since I was a house guest, but I really wanted to ask them why they felt that cows and pigs weren't as important as dogs and cats. I just couldn't bring myself to do it, and I think it was the right choice.

It seems my sister is the same way. LOVES her dogs more than I love my kids  ::) but continues to eat the flesh of other animals. I don't like debating with her either, so I didn't say anything.

She cooked out a bunch of burgers, chicken, etc the next day, and when I was making my tofu, she said it smelled good and looked like chicken. I offered her a bite and she was like, "I have enough to eat, thanks" in sort of a snotty way. I didn't say anything but maybe she realized she was being sort of rude and she said, "well, OK" She took a tiny piece and said it didn't taste unfamiliar and sort of reminder her of chicken. I said, "yes, except no one had to die". And she just threw her head back and laughed, and that was the end.

I just don't get it.

They want to do a house swap with us next year, but I will have to decline, mostly because I don't want meat cooked in my kitchen.

Do you ever debate with people like this? If so, what is their response?

I am hoping that maybe I planted a seed (she didn't think of it that way before?). I might also email with my friend (the one I've known for 20 years) and see what his response is. I would be more comfortable talking to him than her.

Oh well, this is more of a rant for me than anything else. We all know people like this.

That'd be a hella long weekend.  I'd have to be robustly buzzed to get through it.

I don't bother debating eating choices with people.  They don't make the connection and wouldn't through a conversation, anyway.  I think if they took shots at my food, though, I'd curiously ask them about their choices from a health angle.  Don't high protein diets increase the risk of breast cancer and prostrate cancer?  (Someone will correct me if I'm wrong.)  If so, though, why would they mock you for not wanting cancer and to raise your kids to reduce their risk of lifestyle diseases?  It's baffling.

My co-worker said something this morning about Alonzo having drunk a lot of milk (for the calcium) for being able to stand after deJong's chest kick.  I discussed how the high protein content of milk counteracts the calcium and a better source for strong bones is weight-resistant exercise.

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I don't usually say much, in most situations. My dad is a huge, huge nature lover/outdoor person/all animals LOVE him, but he's about the biggest meat eater I know. I sometimes make offhand comments here and there to my parents, but I know they just fall on deaf ears.

My mom always loves my food, and has said for YEARS AND YEARS that she "could be vegetarian if she could have a hamburger every now and then."  ::)  ::)  ::)

My MIL is the worst, though. She was vegetarian for years before she had P, but started eating meat, and has always fed all her children fast food/bad food. Yet she's sooooooo into the natural, "healthy" lifestyle, and always tells me how she wants to cook more, and eat better, and yada. She just can't take the step. She seemed to be very annoyed several months ago about this honey situation we had. She had this honey that she told me was from some type of tree. I thought she meant it was like some type of sap or something, that was like honey, and the bottle was very confusing. So, I had some (it was very, very thick..unlike honey), and it was exactly like honey. I was very surprised. I later realized that it's still produced by bees, but something about how they aren't affected. I don't know what the fuck, but she didn't get why I wouldn't eat it.  That's another story, though..

People just do not want to face the truth, and look past all that they've known for their lifetimes. It's just a close minded way to be.

I'm always happy to answer any questions people have, share my food, talk about my lifestyle, but I'm most likely not going to randomly say anything. It's often not the right time. If someone seems to have an open mind, and wants to talk, I'm totally up for it, and even "debate." (P is better at this than I)

It is definitely hard to comprehend. We have that bumper sticker "which do you eat, and which do you pet? Why?" with the kitty and chick. I wonder if anyone has ever stopped and thought.

I wonder why your friend seemed so put out though? It doesn't sound like he even had to do anything different for you. Were you veg*n when he knew you before? Maybe he was disappointed that you turned out so "radical," or something? Bah.

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AC I have always wondered about your parents! My mom says the same exact thing.....and she did come to my defense and say that the last time she visited she ate everything I made and didn't deviate from my "diet' and she said everything was delicious, she felt great, and even lost 5 pounds she wanted to lose. "I couldn't do it all the time, but I liked it!".  :)>>>
My mom has come around to respect it and doesn't say things like, "it won't hurt Noah to have a little turkey" anymore.

I have that post card, AC...I think I might scan it and post it on my wall and see what my friend says!
Yeah, I don't get why he was put out. I was not veg when we knew each other before, and he is super conservative, republican, etc.....but a cool guy nonetheless. I think that is it...I am too radical. I am used to my dad making comments because he is an asshole, but this guy was kind of like a father figure and a dad I always wanted, so I did not expect it from him.

One other embarrassing thing that happened was at a chinese restaurant (the one we went to INSTEAD). When she brought the eggdrop soup for others, LYle yelled out, "I want somma that!" so she was a kind and funny waitress and brought him some. I thanked her and smiled and thought it would be rude to refuse ( i was just going to pass it down to someone else when she walked away) but my friend had to jump in and be like, "can he even have that with the egg in it?" so then she was embarrassed and had to apologize and take it away. LIke if he wasn't there I would have been breaking the rules.   ::)

HH so true on the health point.....my dad has prostate cancer this year and even his doc said its related to overconsumption of animal protein. Dad thinks its not diet related and keeps on eatin' on.....hasn't changed a bit.

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Yeah, my parents have always been really supportive (I went veg when I was 15), and my mom has always made foods for me. She's always very complimentary about my food, and she loves cooking. My dad is conservative (I think? he's a weirdo, but I love him), and just has always eaten lots of meat. He's not at all a hunting guy, and I don't even think he ever fishes. He had some issues recently, too. I ask him if he's eating any more fruits and vegetables, and he says some, and lots of yogurt. Ugh!
I'm sure my mom would be open to trying vegetarian meals, but I know she'd have to cook meat for my dad. Or he would make it. He cooks also.

Just a bit more info for you, since you were wondering. :)

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I am annoyed by people like this. ^

I normally do not talk about my choices with people if they are being assholes about it.  I'm not going to waste my time on someone that can't discuss our different points of view respectfully.  But there is a point that I reach and I will say something extremely rude/nasty about their eating habits just to shut them up.

L2A~
Maybe his wife's feelings are where your friend's comments stemmed from??  I dunno.... I think I'd send him an email and let him know that both his and his wife's actions/comments were off putting and that you didn't appreciate it.  As for the house swap thing, I'd tell them EXACTLY why they wouldn't be welcome in my kitchen (and therefor the rest of the house).

AC~
I always figured you'd have very veggie/fruit loving folks.... What about P's parents?

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I don't bother debating eating choices with people.  They don't make the connection and wouldn't through a conversation, anyway.  I think if they took shots at my food, though, I'd curiously ask them about their choices from a health angle.  Don't high protein diets increase the risk of breast cancer and prostrate cancer?  (Someone will correct me if I'm wrong.)  If so, though, why would they mock you for not wanting cancer and to raise your kids to reduce their risk of lifestyle diseases?  It's baffling.

I believe they cause more problems than just cancer.  High fat diets are a major factor in cancer, too. 

Most people just don't want to make the connection that what is on their plate was once a living animal.  Those that do are afraid they will be considered outsiders if they change their diet.  (How often are vegans and vegetarians mocked in reallife and on TV and in movies?)  At least this is what I grasp from general observations and conversations.

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I live in the land of animal people who eat animals. It's actually more bizarre to me that there are people at my school who have worked on farms and plan to go down that route and still eat them. Though the whole point of working for farms is to assist in "production," there's so much out there about animal husbandry that suggests that these animals are more social, intelligent, and individual than an average person would think. Knowing this, wouldn't it be harder to not see the connection between, say, a pig and a dog?
Just pig husbandry for example - some of the "behavior problems" in confinement do not exist when the same type of pig is kept as a pet or in a more "free range" situation. The farrowing crates that are there to prevent the moms from crushing the piglets are not necessary in a more open, outdoors environment, because somehow piglets just don't get killed by their mothers in that setting. There's no bar-biting or tail-biting, either because the diet is better (partly related to iron deficiency) and they can root for tubers. Sanitation isn't as hard because, with enough range and natural substrate, pigs will all do their business in one particular area. Pigs also have a variety of vocalizations, and you hear a lot more "happy grunts" when they're in better conditions.
But not only do people who know this still eat pigs, but the majority of the large animal vets oppose legislation to phase out confinement (or basically any other change). You can see something right in front of you, but can't make the connection.
I wouldn't be surprised if someone who has a pot-bellied pig at home still eats pork.

I think it's more understandable if someone is entirely unfamiliar with pigs/cows/chickens/turkeys/etc and eats them despite loving dogs and cats. Even if the names were switched, I think sometimes it's just a matter of familiarity and image. I think we see farm animals as sort of bland, blank, dumb, apathetic creatures without individuality. Even if one becomes familiar with those animals, the image may be so ingrained that there's still no connection (but not for every one, of course).

On another note, I could see someone relating to cats/dogs as predator animals, and seeing the prey as less significant and valuable. Like someone who hunts with their dog seeing it is being more of the "natural order" for the dog, and the same for themselves. But... I think it's unlikely that the "animal lover" friends are hunters or anything. I think of the "animal lover" type as more of the stereotypical anti-hunting, cruelty free cosmetics (but nothing else), donates to every charity, has things with cats and dogs on them, ... basically as a culture that still accepts eating meat.

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My friend also recently had his stomach tied up (that crazy surgery)  to lose weight. it didn't work....he is still very obese!
You'd think he might be open to other ways of eating since his obviously isn't working. ho hum.

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ughhh people like that annoy me sooooooooooooooo much! i usually will say something like "you love them, but you're willing to eat them?" and then they get defensive and i just walk away. lol. sometimes they try to be smart and say "if you're such a tree hugger, why do you eat trees?". annoying.

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Tell them you don't love trees, you hate them.  You aren't hugging them, you're strangling them.

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Tell them you don't love trees, you hate them.  You aren't hugging them, you're strangling them.

hah!!! love it! i'm definitely using that

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Tell them you don't love trees, you hate them.  You aren't hugging them, you're strangling them.

That was awesome! I'm going to have to use this one too!

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I have a coworker like this... multiple rescued pets; soapbox about how people treat animals so badly; meat/dairy (overprocessed crap versions, at that) EXCLUSIVELY in her lunch box. I... dk. It always kinda boggles my mind, I don't know exactly what to say: it's just so weird to me that they can live within such a tangled-up world view... I try to be 'info on request', at work, but... wow it's hard not to submit instructive comment...jeez--humans!

:-\

Ignorance is NOT bliss, really, for the creatures at the other end of the fork.

I'm thinking of taking Melanie Joy's 'Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows' to leave lying prominently about her work area... otherwise, I fear my primary response tends to be a pained and somewhat puzzled sort of a look, which is probably not changing the world in any positive way. Work in progress... report back if you find the magic antidote for this foolishness! Please and thank you. :-)

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not totally relevant, but I thought Id join in on the rant....

I had a coworker when I worked at the supermarket about 8 years ago who would always try to persuade me to eat meat.  I can't even remember how it came about that I was vegan (or maybe she thought I was veggie but didn't realise I was vegan, whatevs).  But anyways, she'd basically say to me that she loved animals as much, if not even more than me but she'd never ever go veggie, because there'd never be enough people going veggie to make a difference on the world and change how the animals were kept.

I always argued that sure, if every single veggie thought like that and no one ever became veggie then maybe, but people like myself did go veggie and it was making a difference...more veggie products, more free range stuff, etc.

But no, she loved animals more than me but continued to eat them knowing how they were kept because no one single person can ever make a difference.

Grrr!

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I have a coworker like this... multiple rescued pets; soapbox about how people treat animals so badly; meat/dairy (overprocessed crap versions, at that) EXCLUSIVELY in her lunch box. I... dk. It always kinda boggles my mind, I don't know exactly what to say: it's just so weird to me that they can live within such a tangled-up world view... I try to be 'info on request', at work, but... wow it's hard not to submit instructive comment...jeez--humans!

:-\

Ignorance is NOT bliss, really, for the creatures at the other end of the fork.

I'm thinking of taking Melanie Joy's 'Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows' to leave lying prominently about her work area... otherwise, I fear my primary response tends to be a pained and somewhat puzzled sort of a look, which is probably not changing the world in any positive way. Work in progress... report back if you find the magic antidote for this foolishness! Please and thank you. :-)

oh, that book sounds interesting. maybe if i read it, i will understand better. then i will mail it to my friend!

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not totally relevant, but I thought Id join in on the rant....

I had a coworker when I worked at the supermarket about 8 years ago who would always try to persuade me to eat meat.  I can't even remember how it came about that I was vegan (or maybe she thought I was veggie but didn't realise I was vegan, whatevs).  But anyways, she'd basically say to me that she loved animals as much, if not even more than me but she'd never ever go veggie, because there'd never be enough people going veggie to make a difference on the world and change how the animals were kept.

I always argued that sure, if every single veggie thought like that and no one ever became veggie then maybe, but people like myself did go veggie and it was making a difference...more veggie products, more free range stuff, etc.

But no, she loved animals more than me but continued to eat them knowing how they were kept because no one single person can ever make a difference.

Grrr!

my friend is like this...we went to thai last night and i had my usual "tofu no fish sauce no egg" order. she started giving me shit about it. i didn't say too much because if people want to argue, they'll argue. i just hope that by people knowing me and knowing what i believe they'll at least take a second look at that steak/chicken boob/whatever.

Ignorance is NOT bliss, really, for the creatures at the other end of the fork.

I'm thinking of taking Melanie Joy's 'Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows' to leave lying prominently about her work area... otherwise, I fear my primary response tends to be a pained and somewhat puzzled sort of a look, which is probably not changing the world in any positive way. Work in progress... report back if you find the magic antidote for this foolishness! Please and thank you. :-)

i lent my copy of this book to my coworker!! she hasn't read it yet, but has had it for a little while..im hoping she reads it soon! some animal lovers just don't know what really happens to the animals they never learned to love! *sniff*

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chicken boob! Ha! I love it.....and will be using it myself

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I have to jump in here and say that that was me for a long time... the animal lover / animal eater. Up until about 4 years ago, actually. I was an animal lover my whole life, which had NOTHING to do with my parents. I don't know where I got it from, but I was getting my class to raise money for wolf rehabilitation at age 6.

Having been there, I can look back and say that even though I can see now how skewed my perspective was, I still can see where I was coming from. Yes, it was partly denial and partly the fact that its easier to eat "beef" than it is to eat "cow". It was partly that I had three "vegetarian" friends in school, one of whom ate only pasta, cheese and fish (never a vegetable), and was extremely vocal and obnoxious about his views, and another who occasionally ate hamburgers. So my views of vegetarians weren't that great.

For another thing, my parents grew up eating mostly meat that they had raised themselves, or hunted or some thing, so they taught me early on about the food chain and the natural way of things, etc. Why it took me 19 years to realize that I didnt live on a farm and all of our food was coming from the shelf at the grocery store which came from a factory in some other state, I have no idea.

I think people who are genuinely interested in the welfare of animals are often ignorant to the actually practices of slaughterhouses, or they develop and almost Holocaust like state of denial towards it. I personally didn't know, and as soon as I did, I was done.

I have an aunt who is probably a bigger animal lover than me (she knows how to properly feed an abandoned squirrel baby, if that tells you anything), and she is not a vegetarian. While she is always nice and supportive to me, I know her reasoning is that she grew up on a farm with my mom, and was only exposed the best possible scenario of farm raised meat: the cows are happy and well fed and loved and brushed and petted and named, and when the time comes they are taken to the village butcher who has been in business for 40 years or something like that. The cows are treated well and healthy, the meat is fresh, etc. She doesn't realize that the meat she gets from the grocery store or a restaurant isn't the same thing.

Sorry I went on so long, I just have so much experience with this and it really is a fascinating subject.

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I have to jump in here and say that that was me for a long time... the animal lover / animal eater. Up until about 4 years ago, actually. I was an animal lover my whole life, which had NOTHING to do with my parents. I don't know where I got it from, but I was getting my class to raise money for wolf rehabilitation at age 6.

Having been there, I can look back and say that even though I can see now how skewed my perspective was, I still can see where I was coming from. Yes, it was partly denial and partly the fact that its easier to eat "beef" than it is to eat "cow". It was partly that I had three "vegetarian" friends in school, one of whom ate only pasta, cheese and fish (never a vegetable), and was extremely vocal and obnoxious about his views, and another who occasionally ate hamburgers. So my views of vegetarians weren't that great.

For another thing, my parents grew up eating mostly meat that they had raised themselves, or hunted or some thing, so they taught me early on about the food chain and the natural way of things, etc. Why it took me 19 years to realize that I didnt live on a farm and all of our food was coming from the shelf at the grocery store which came from a factory in some other state, I have no idea.

I think people who are genuinely interested in the welfare of animals are often ignorant to the actually practices of slaughterhouses, or they develop and almost Holocaust like state of denial towards it. I personally didn't know, and as soon as I did, I was done.

I have an aunt who is probably a bigger animal lover than me (she knows how to properly feed an abandoned squirrel baby, if that tells you anything), and she is not a vegetarian. While she is always nice and supportive to me, I know her reasoning is that she grew up on a farm with my mom, and was only exposed the best possible scenario of farm raised meat: the cows are happy and well fed and loved and brushed and petted and named, and when the time comes they are taken to the village butcher who has been in business for 40 years or something like that. The cows are treated well and healthy, the meat is fresh, etc. She doesn't realize that the meat she gets from the grocery store or a restaurant isn't the same thing.

Sorry I went on so long, I just have so much experience with this and it really is a fascinating subject.

thanks for sharing! we were all there at one point (meat eaters), denying the truth. I wish I had a good vegetarian role model as a kid.
I guess what made me most mad about this particular case was that they were giving me a hard time/acting inconvenienced about being vegetarian and acing like martyrs for saving all these cats!

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I think people that get all accusatory and defensive about you not eating meat and faced with their own hypocrisy and they don't like it. People that eat animals are NOT animal lovers. Maybe they are dog lovers, or cat lovers, or bird lovers, but not animal lovers. Lots of the people that blow a fuse if the chinese eat cats and dogs seem to think their cows and chickens on the dinner plate are different. They are not. Period.
I don't discuss my diet with people in general, waste of breath. I only tell them about it if they ask. But if someone starts giving me a hard time, I let them have it.

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