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something that's been bugging me

so i was in the shower this morning, thinking about being vegan and this forum and other general things.  and for some reason i realized i had been really agitated and couldn't figure out why for the past few days, re: this subject.  so i thought about it for a bit and slowly started to realize what has been bothering me.  

this all started around the honey debate.  which i do NOT want to bring back up here.  that's just where it began.  i was thinking about why i was being so stubborn about honey in my diet, when really i could care less about stopping eating it.  it's not like i buy it.  i don't cook with it.  the only times i eat it are when it just happens to be in something that i could easily find an alternative for.  so why was i being so...  just stubborn about it?  it's not like i don't understand the reasoning behind it.  i do.  

but here's where i started to really get it...  i've noticed...  and here's where i hope i don't start to make people mad, but if i don't get this off my chest i'm going to start coming here less and less and i don't want to do that.  but anyway, i've noticed that a lot of times when anyone (not just me) mentions they ate something or they say something kind of out of place...  people just show up and comment "not vegan!"...  which is honestly, very offputting.  as a somewhat new vegan, trying to find my way here, the last thing i want is for my efforts to be poo-pooed by someone pointing a finger at me and telling me i'm not something that i thought i was.  and it's often not in reference to something i'm even saying, it'll be about someone else entirely...  and MOST people don't do this and are very nice.  

i don't know...  i don't think that those of you who do this thing realize how bothersome it is.  it probably seems harmless, but i'm sure there is a more polite way to go about voicing your opinion, or even your facts!  when i read something that someone has eaten that i'm pretty sure isn't vegan, and i KNOW they are 'vegan', i usually say something along the lines of 'i think there is eggs in that' or 'here's a site that could give you more information, if you want it'.  and while you're probably just saying that the FOOD they have eaten isn't vegan, just showing up to say 'not vegan!' mostly implies that the person themselves is not vegan, and therefore shouldn't call themselves one.  haven't any of you made a mistake before?  i mean, we all have.  and sometimes we make choices on things before we are informed about them, only later to go back and change our minds, based on newfound information.  and maybe the people you say this to aren't even vegan, as many people on this site are simply ovo-lacto or some variation of vegetarianism.

IMHO, that does not make me 'not vegan'.  and i don't appreciate when such things are said, either in reference to myself or others.  such are the actions, in my mind, that make vegans appear arrogant and self-righteous to the general public (at least that's the way most people i know see us, unfortunately).  please don't get angry with me, i'm not trying to make enemies.  i'm just voicing how i feel before i get so resentful that i stop coming here.

The honey debate is divisive every time it's brought up here - which is over and over again.

eta:  It started on this board, but was moved to the Debate board so people could have a robust debate.

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The honey debate is divisive every time it's brought up here - which is over and over again.

eta:  It started on this board, but was moved to the Debate board so people could have a robust debate.

yes, but it wasn't just the honey debate.  i've seen this said several times to various people about different things.  the honey thing was just kind of the final straw for me, so to speak.

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Sometimes I **think** people are being sarcastic and kidding around (ex: when they say saying "cold turkey" is not vegan) when they say this stuff...but admittedly, I have a really hard time reading sarcasm in real life, let alone in print on forums, so I could be wrong.

I can understand where you're coming from, though. I rarely post things on the debate forum (though I've been on a roll lately, two topics in one week!) just because I PERSONALLY have a hard time with discerning where the strong feelings stop and the personal stuff starts.

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Well said.  In this world full of animal based products it is very hard to be Vegan especially if you are eating out or traveling.  The manufacturers of products also change thier recipes  constantly so some things that were vegan are suddenly not!  An example:  My kids adore Boca chicken patties, the ones is the red box are vegan BUT the organic ones in the biege box are NOT!  So yes I have made mistakes and I would be offended if somone pointed out my mistake in the manner of telling me Im not something I thought I was.  Thankfully everyone on this site has been very kind to me but I have seen some posts that were a little brutal, mostly by people that come and go or who don't post much.  The soy yogurt thing got me, I didn't realize the cultures were from dairy!!

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yes, but it wasn't just the honey debate.  i've seen this said several times to various people about different things.  the honey thing was just kind of the final straw for me, so to speak.

I do see what you mean.  I think the style of this board is to debate issues, not people, but sometimes the line might appear confusing.

There was another honey debate with Ecstatic (I miss her).  She was pro-honey and small farms, jumped in, and held her own, even though it appeared to be somewhat of a dogpile - just because some many people had a differing opinion.  There was also a thread where people posted something not vegan in their lives.  We've aired our "failings," so in a more long term perspective we aren't trying to say we're perfect.

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I've seen the types of comments you are talking about and have also thought "why did that person feel the need to point that out?"  Perhaps it makes them feel superior...."neener, neener, I'm a better vegan than you are!"....or maybe they just think you don't realize that the product in question is not vegan.  There is really no way to know, but please don't let them make you angry enough to leave here.  Most of us are really nice...you said so yourself! :)

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Saying "Not Vegan" is a joke actually.  It is not meant to be hurtful or demeaning to anyone but to be seen as humorous. 

There are forums out there that are very exacting about what a vegan should do / be / say.  VegWeb is very much a relaxed community without all the strict rules and stigmas.  Do NOT take someone saying "not vegan" to be a serious insult to your actions.  It is not a slap in anyones face or pointing out that mistakes are unacceptable.  No one is sitting more vegan than thou in judgment.  Do your best.  Keep enjoying being vegan and realize that there is no such thing as a perfect vegan.

The only perfect vegan is a dead vegan.

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I've often thought the same thing AP, and all I can say is that some people will always do something that could be hurtful. I had definitely notice that too, with some being so nit-picky to be pointing out non-vegan sayings. I really do question the need for the finger pointing, esp because I doubt that very few of us (if any) can say that we are perfect vegans. Like I said in the honey thread, wearing leather shoes is not vegan, but I think it's a better person that wears out the shoes than scraps all non-vegan things just so they can claim the name... and its ok by me if they do claim the name. We are what we are and we know what we are. It isn't necessary to have it pointed out. I've heard a lot of people write about how these boards don't have the veganer that thou aura, and perhaps that's true compared to others, but it makes it feel less safe to talk when you feel like you are going to be attacked. I do love me some debate, but at least keep it there.

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Saying "Not Vegan" is a joke actually.  It is not meant to be hurtful or demeaning to anyone but to be seen as humorous. 

Yes... but clearly more than a few don't find it funny. Could we maybe agree to keep it in debate?

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I don't have much time, and will probably write more later, but I will say (coming from one who does say "not vegan!") that I mean it in the joking/sarcastic sense, as Cali and PP pointed out, unless of course it is in the debate forum. I often reply with "not vegan" for crazy/silly things that even I never thought about before...like "goosebumps" or "cold turkey" and such things. I just mean "not vegan" in the sense that it's not vegan..by definition. There are lots of those crazy sayings that we just never thought about with "vegan eyes" before. At least I am always recognizing these things. I never mean it as a personal attack/pointing finger statement. If I truly have an issue with something (honey debate) then I'll say so.

I'm sorry if my comments have come off as personal attacks, or if I have hurt any feelings.

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I try my best to avoid making comments on the Debate boards (or reading it for the most part) because usually I get irritated by the uppity-ness of some people on there, the ridiculous comments made or the "vegan police" attitude people seem to adopt in the name of debating.  All the arguements go round and round with almost no one ever changing their minds.  Personally I have better things to do with my time.  I was getting angry reading the honey debate, almost commented in it in relation to a post defending leather usage versus honey usage, but then decided in the end, who cares?!  I'd rather share information with people (like you said) then constantly bitch at people that their ideas are wrong.  I don't know about you but that attitude would make me do almost the opposite.  

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We're all on our own paths, with our own ruts and stumbling blocks and victories. We've all got to start where we are and take ourselves with us.

There are people in the world who would fault a pig for not having a long neck like a giraffe. Fortunately most of us here wouldn't do that.

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Here is an example of the "not vegan" conversations that I tend to have:

"KMK): "I might look little, but I'm strong as an ox."
AC): "Is that vegan (or veegweas, as we say)?"
KMK): "Dang. I think it's OK because I am admiring oxen for their strength as animals. Doesn't mean I believe they should be pulling my plow.
I'm sorry, ok!
I'm scared to come visit you now, AC. I'm gonna need a weasel to translate.
Wait, is THAT vegan?"

I will read the rest of the comments later, and reply.

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I had definitely notice that too, with some being so nit-picky to be pointing out non-vegan sayings.

I always thought that was playfully pointing out how pervasive the omni lifestyle is in our culture.  It'd be like how common gender slurs are in everyday speak.  Since being on here and spending time around bp, I'm much more aware of my expressions, gender wise.  On ppk, if you type "cheese" it automatically posts as "nutritional yeast" and "pet" comes out as "companion animal."

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Yes, I really hate the vegan police. It makes me think twice before ever posting anything because of some backlash that I may face. I am so glad you brought this up, I completely agree with everything you said! I don't think anyone is perfect and that we should all appreciate each others efforts in making a better environment together.

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Oh allularpunk I feel for ya! I know exactly what are are talking about  ::) I think the important thing to remember is that we are all here because we've made a conscious, educated decision to make a positive change in our lives and to stand up for what we believe to be wrong. Whether we are a strick vegan or lacto-ovo vegetarian, the choice is very personal. We do what we feel right about and what fits in our lives best. I try to put things in perspective when I start to get offended. Sometimes it helps me  ;)
I will tell you I tend not to post on the debate board and if I do my statements are pretty simple and vague because I'm afraid of backlash. But hey, it is the debate board I suppose  ;)

Good for you for feeling comfortable enough to post about how you were feeling!

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Here is an example of the "not vegan" conversations that I tend to have:

"KMK): "I might look little, but I'm strong as an ox."
AC): "Is that vegan (or veegweas, as we say)?"
KMK): "Dang. I think it's OK because I am admiring oxen for their strength as animals. Doesn't mean I believe they should be pulling my plow.
I'm sorry, ok!
I'm scared to come visit you now, AC. I'm gonna need a weasel to translate.
Wait, is THAT vegan?"

I will read the rest of the comments later, and reply.

i'm not really talking about the things that are obviously silly (such as this).  i think if you read the rest of the posts, you'll get the gist a little more. 

also, i was in a terrible mood when i wrote that this morning.  that doesn't mean that i don't still feel exactly the same way, i just wanted to point that out in case i used language or expressions that offended anyone.  i don't wanna be part of the problem  :P  not that there's a 'problem'.  i'm just gonna keep quiet for now.

but i am glad i'm not the only one who feels this way.  it makes me feel better and less 'sensi-emo-'  ;D

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I hope I didn't say anything that upset or offended.  I'm not vegan, but I am interested in it.  I guess I'm just trying to understand where the line IS drawn and what is acceptable.  Again, I wasn't trying to offend if I did, it was all for the sake of debate only. :'(
There were still a few things that I wanted to discuss in the honey debate, but maybe I will just speak to those interested in private.

I just want to try to live my life in harmony with the Earth and all of it's inhabitants.  I believe that all of you are doing the same, too.  As Cali said, there is no such thing as a perfect vegan.

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Yes, I really hate the vegan police. It makes me think twice before ever posting anything because of some backlash that I may face. I am so glad you brought this up, I completely agree with everything you said! I don't think anyone is perfect and that we should all appreciate each others efforts in making a better environment together.

I was actually thinking about this today, but since I don't post a ton (only partially because of the vegan police) I decided it wasn't a problem for me. If a topic looks controversial and I know I'm going to get angry about people's opinions, I just won't read it. I typically assume I'll get irrationally riled about things like that, so if I can avoid getting that way all the better. I guess, being a vegan board, this is mostly for the people who are 'vegan police' or whatever you wanna call them, I mean, not that I'm not serious about being vegan, but on some issues I just don't fit in. Enjoyment of good, vegan food is one thing we do have in common though!

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I think that alot of times, if someone points out that a food is not vegan, they are trying to be helpful. As in, in case you didn't notice they started putting egg whites in their faux chicken, or I just found out that some beer isn't vegan because of isaglass, or whatever.

I'm pretty sure noone is trying to insult you or hurt anyones feelings.

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