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Everyday Activism

Is there already a thread about this? I tried to look.
Anyways, The deeper and deeper my vegan ethics evolove the harder it is for me to stand living in a non-vegan world.  It gets hard to keep my mouth shut and I have noticed I talk about veganism quite a bit.  I don't want to put others on the defensive, which doesn't accomplish much but perpetuates the stereotype of vegans being radical-and scary.  But, I feel like once others know about/ acknowledge the horrors of factory farms and slaughter houses AND learn all of the healthful, and enviornmental benefits of veganism they couldn't possibly continue to consume meat. I know people learn in their own time and these days veganinsm is becomming easier than ever, but how can I balance confronting the evils of animal consumption AND not loose all my nonvegan friends and family in the process?
So far my everyday activism consits of....
*cooking and baking a lot of yummy vegan food and being sure to always have some here to serve guests or bring some with when meeting up with friends
* I also try and host many dinners/ get-togethers over here so I have control over the food
*I share recipes whenevr anyone comments that they like a certain food
*I tell people to check out vegweb for tons of recipes
*I try to reinforce my friends family when they do tell me about the vegan mayo or whatever they tried instead of giving them a hard time

And oh yes the dreaded vegan debate-I will go there anytime day or night when I'm called out, but I go to great lengths to avoid the heated vegan debate...and I wish I could calmly and cooly get through one of these but they always seem to catch me off guard.

So....what do you do in your everyday actvism? Help me win a vegan debate and not loose my head when doing so!

i feel ya on this one... the more i learn about veganism and the dreadful things that are done in this world, the more it bugs me... i feel people just want to live in their happy little bubbles and don't want to think about all of the horrors going on all around them...

i try to spread veganism by passing out copies of Skinny Bitch, telling people about vegweb, having people watch movies like Food Inc, Eating, and The Cove to get their brains going about this stuff... i try to get people away from the ignorance is bliss attitude... i sing the praises of how awesome and varied a vegan diet is and how great my vegan poopies are :)

i also always bring an awesome vegan dips to parties with my friends... they're always waiting to see what i bring next... i also try to control the food situations too as i am getting sick of celebrating holidays with family members who stuff their face with carcass and such...

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I also bake a lot for other people and I usually try to print the recipe out and make copies. That way they like it, they see how easy the recipe is, and hopefully they make it at home. And then at least they can make 1 vegan recipe.

I also print out PETA posters (I'm not going to get into the whole big mess that is PETA right now...but they have good poignant posters), and I put these up around campus. Maybe it will make just one person think...

I've e-mailed the local co-op about trying to host a vegan cooking class. These midwesterners need some help deciding what is and isn't meat, and then how to cook without it.

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it's REALLY hard for me to talk to people calmly about it right now. 

i haven't matured much when it comes to that.

but as soon as people find out... they automatically want to know why.  i tell them.  they fire back with some lame argument.  i get heated.  and usually tell them to educate themselves... then come talk to me.  i usually call them some sort of name.  i apologize.  then we change the subject.

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My mom has some heart problems and really has to watch her cholesterol so every time I make something --dinners, cookies, anything--I proudly announce "cholesterol free!" and she's been so happy that there are all these things she can still enjoy while watching cholesterol. I also showed her things like adding flax seed into oatmeal or smoothies. In this way I was able to talk to her about veganism in her terms--she may not be quite thinking in terms of "good bye forever chicken" but she's excited by all the new ways to cook with beans, delicious vegan sauces, she even liked tempeh!

I also brought home vegan sugar one day to cook with and I told her about the bone char, which she just thought was gross. So now that's the norm in my parents house. :D Makes me happy.

(My dad is a much harder sell. He'll try whatever I make but he's so picky! He's weirded out by any mention of tofu and doesn't like basil (what?!) but I give him credit for trying things....and he loves the cookies).
* bringing vegan food wherever I go
* making vegan brownies (among my friends, brownies are like the holy grail)

I used to be very demure about veganism, just saying, "It's a personal choice, I don't expect everyone to do it." because I didn't want people to grill me about it or think I was the "radical vegan" but now I'm trying to change my explanation of why I'm vegan to to focus on my intolerance of animal cruelty. This is thanks to this article:  http://www.goveg.com/effectiveAdvocacy_personal.asp

Great post! I look forward to learning what other people do.

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i was thinking about drawing a big black rectangle on a piece of copy-machine paper and typing in the middle something like,

"this is how much room your chicken had to live in while laying the eggs you are about to eat, before it was killed as a baby for not producing eggs fast enough.  enjoy."

then taking those and taping about 100 of them around the local breakfast place on the rail.  while people are out on the sunny porch enjoying their coffee and eggs.  

but i think my wife would kill me.

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longer_look, I just read your post--you must have been answering at the same time as me!
You should definitely check out the link in my post. Once you get to that article they have links to other ones that address your concerns. It's so easy to get fired up about this stuff--and why shouldn't we? It's horrible and it feels especially horrible when you tell someone about this stuff and they say "uh but like chickens are dumb so i don't care". It's hard not to say, "Well you're obviously an idiot so maybe we should stuff you in the factory!!" But there are ways to help you keep your cool so you can open up more of a dialogue that brings people around to your way of thinking, or at least makes them a little more receptive.

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This is thanks to this article:  http://www.goveg.com/effectiveAdvocacy_personal.asp

i loved that article.  that's exactly how i feel.

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longer_look, I just read your post--you must have been answering at the same time as me!
You should definitely check out the link in my post. Once you get to that article they have links to other ones that address your concerns. It's so easy to get fired up about this stuff--and why shouldn't we? It's horrible and it feels especially horrible when you tell someone about this stuff and they say "uh but like chickens are dumb so i don't care". It's hard not to say, "Well you're obviously an idiot so maybe we should stuff you in the factory!!" But there are ways to help you keep your cool so you can open up more of a dialogue that brings people around to your way of thinking, or at least makes them a little more receptive.

i totally agree.  i was exaggerating, i do that a lot... but i do get fired up and need an effective way to deal with my n00b emotions.

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I email restaurants to tell them to get more vegan options, to use vegan cheese on pizza, etc.  I emailed my Whole Foods to request Daiya cheese.
I email companies questions about ingredients.

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This is thanks to this article:  http://www.goveg.com/effectiveAdvocacy_personal.asp

i loved that article.  that's exactly how i feel.

that is a really good article... super duper long though... but great points! thanx for sharing <3

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LL: have you read Foer's "Eating Animals"? He does that box idea, showing how much room chickens have to live. He also does a few other visual representations of how animals are treated. All of these would honestly be good posters to put up around a campus or other place where people gather. I think it would be cool for you to do, and people really respond to visuals.

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LL: have you read Foer's "Eating Animals"? He does that box idea, showing how much room chickens have to live. He also does a few other visual representations of how animals are treated. All of these would honestly be good posters to put up around a campus or other place where people gather. I think it would be cool for you to do, and people really respond to visuals.

yeah... his book is the entire reason i'm here.  that's where i got idea. 

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Good ideas, awesome article link Aggplanta!!! Its hard, I used to always be like "its a personal choice..." to try and difuse the oncoming negative comments and to not make others feel bad but lately I am like what am I protecting them for? People respond to positivism more than guilt trips, so I try and say everything in a non-attacking tone.  I also buy flax seeds for my mom, and email companies.  My dad started buying EB instead of butter so slowly there are some changes and some are better than none.  I also always attribute every complimpliment I get to veganism, seriously.  When people are like, "you already lost all your pregnancy weight" I'm tell them it because I'm vegan, if they say, "yor skin is so nice," -its because I'm vegan, if they say you have so much energy/patience/etc....-its because I'm vegan!  Skinny Bitch is a good "converter book" Amy-I know its Rory is always a hot button issue, but if you can get past the word bitch, I have had two very nonvegan friends read that book and one became vegetarian and one became a 75% raw-foodest/vegan.

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Well, we can't all be as hot as you and contribute it to our veganism, BGS!  :P hehe. I think you're right though, that positive reinforcement really does help. Yes, telling facts about how 10 billion land animals are killed every year in the US is helpful, but where does that leave the person? How do they take that information and go anywhere with it? I've started printing out VegWeb recipes and giving them to people, not even mentioning veganism, but leaving the VW site on the paper, in case they want to check it out themselves.

It's been a hard sell with my parents, and it's still not there. I bake for them, but they kind of think tofu is weird and don't understand seitan, etc. However, they did buy some soy milk, so maybe I'm being too harsh.

It IS a personal choice, but most people in the world are making that choice without all the facts. I truly feel that if people found how JUST how bad factory farming is, or how there are animal products in everything, then they'd at least make some changes. I'm not saying everyone is going to go vegan, because that's a pipe dream. But when people say "I could never give up my meat" I always just say "you'd be surprised." (I've now said this enough that another girl in my climbing club will say it at the same time I do, when I'm talking to other people. Oops. Predictable!). I want to give people facts to work with and learn from, but sometimes it is hard to do this without coming off as judgmental.

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Well, we can't all be as hot as you and contribute it to our veganism, BGS!  :P hehe. I think you're right though, that positive reinforcement really does help.

LOL! Oh my gosh did it sound like that?!!! Whatever VR, you're hot, tell everyone you're hot because you're super vegan! And if they say you run fast say its because you're really really vegan! (J/K) But yeah I think we're on the same page, trying to win 'em over with good food seems to be my best bet.  Letting people see that vegainism is doable, and fun is half the battle.  There should be some vegweb buisness cards to print off and hand out, vegweb helped me more than anything!

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Vegweb was a huge help for me too! It's great just seeing everyone's thoughts, the recipes are fantastic. I like being able to sift through bunches of recipes at once.

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Vegweb was a huge help for me too! It's great just seeing everyone's thoughts, the recipes are fantastic. I like being able to sift through bunches of recipes at once.

me too, I came here for a chocolate cake recipe and found so much more.  I loved searching the different recipes and even though I wasn't much of a cook/baker in the beginning it became a whole new way of life!

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Well, we can't all be as hot as you and contribute it to our veganism, BGS!  :P hehe. I think you're right though, that positive reinforcement really does help.

LOL! Oh my gosh did it sound like that?!!! Whatever VR, you're hot, tell everyone you're hot because you're super vegan! And if they say you run fast say its because you're really really vegan! (J/K) But yeah I think we're on the same page, trying to win 'em over with good food seems to be my best bet.  Letting people see that vegainism is doable, and fun is half the battle.  There should be some vegweb buisness cards to print off and hand out, vegweb helped me more than anything!

No, no, I was just teasing you! If you got it, flaunt it, and make sure everyone knows it's from being vegan! I can't think of any better way to reach some people.

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