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Angry Veg*ns

I have noticed a lot of anger on this site - people who love all living things and especially animals, but are very angry at the other humans around them. There are angry and sometimes even hateful comments about people of other faiths, political persuasions, cultures, and eating habits, not to mention our own family, friends, and co-workers. I even saw a comment wishing someone dead the other day. This seems to me to be not at all in the veg*n spirit - we should be kind, gentle, and loving to all around around us. Especially to those we disagree with.  I know sometimes animals treat us better than people do, but I think we need to be the ones to break this cycle of hate and anger - and if someone is unkind to us, we should still be kind and friendly back - that's the only way to really change things. After all, anger and hate just breeds more anger and hate. Is there any way we can turn this trend around? Thanks.

Thank you for putting the vegan spirit in perspective Anna1111. I know I lose sight of this sometimes. We should all tried to live a life as harmless as possible, not just in our eating but in our actions, in our words.

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The reason I first became a vegan was because of what I had read about plant based diets and allocation of resources--ie, we could easily feed all the world's hungry if we stopped relying on the meat and dairy industry.  So basically my veganism was for making a change for good of people, and I'm sure others on this board believe the same thing. 

It's good to pause and remember that we must be the change we want to see in the world.

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i agree
...it's like the quote by gandhi...     
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

a person can not relate their ideas of peaceful co-existence when there are mixed-in message of animosity and anger. 
thank you for bringing this to our attention, it helps to be reminded of our possible influence, as vegans/peace-lovers/humanitarians/________(other fitting label...)

we can't preach one thing with our lifestyle choice, and speak another means with our words and actions

(the gandhi quote is not a slam on christians, but a mere statements of how the actions of members of a group can and will turn one away from the group's ideology)

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I think its easy to become frustrated with the people who cause/support the things that we are fighting against. I feel like our anger towards them is justified, but we DO need to try to overcome it. Equal rights are important, but not more so than an open mind. It is hard to accept others opinions when we feel they are wrong according to our own moral standards... I've seen a family torn apart because parents think their gay son is morally corrupt.. It is hard to respect people who feel that way.. But aren't we asking of them, "Have an open mind and heart"? Even though they may disagree with homosexuality, if they love their son and wish him happiness, they will embrace him whether he dates men or women, or both. We cannot ask others to keep an open mind and heart if we ourselves will not.

That said, I admit I can be a pretty elitist vegan at times. I've made my fair share of snooty comments (in the privacy of my own home, mainly to my partner) about meat-eaters as well as racists/bigots.. If a little anger and elitism on this site keeps us from venting it to the people we are trying to show acceptance (or at least tolerance ::) ...) then it isnt doing so much harm.

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I agree with Janeyboo, I know I rant about my family on here for not understanding me.  I rant here so I can show tolerance and patience when I am around them.  I would never say anything hurtful to my family, I do love them after all.  But it gets so frustrating at times.  I think every person needs an outlet, it is ok to feel angry sometimes. That is human.  It is what we do with that anger that is key.  If you are mean and hateful to those around you, this is obvioulsy not good.  But to keep all your frustrations bottled up is unhealthy too.  I try to direct my anger into energy to do what I feel in my heart is right.  I get angry when I see an abused animal, so I volunteer at the Humane Society.  I get angry when fast food places promote their latest 1 1/2 lb burger so I boycott that restaurant. Do I vent my feelings to people who I know have similar views?  Absolutely.  I think it's necessary for sanity.

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i'm glad i'm not the only one who noticed the angry comments.

but then, i became vegetarian for health reasons, didn't eat much meat to begin with anyway, and i let people choose their own diets as i wish they would allow me to choose my own. if it's my family, i will try and tell them of the health of effects of eating  meat, but what they choose to put in their body is their business, not mine.

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i'm glad i'm not the only one who noticed the angry comments.

but then, i became vegetarian for health reasons, didn't eat much meat to begin with anyway, and i let people choose their own diets as i wish they would allow me to choose my own. if it's my family, i will try and tell them of the health of effects of eating  meat, but what they choose to put in their body is their business, not mine.

Excellent point, Sariea...and anna1111. (my name's anna, too!) VegWeb is one of my "safe places" to visit and I find some of the anger upsetting. It seems to have increased just lately, I keep hoping it is cabin fever and as spring moves in people will be less stressed. I understand that a lot of us here practice alternative spiritual beliefs etc. but it doesn't say much for a "better way" if it leads to loudly condemning others who aren't like oneself.
VegWebbers can be so supportive and kind to each other at need! I know we all need a safe place to vent sometimes, and of course posting in type isn't like out loud, where you can *hear* and see body language to know if a person is just being ironic about their situation...but it would be good to use some of the emoticons to show if you're serious or not. Maybe I'm just not very bright, but it would help me.
I know life can be very hard when you swim against the current, but it's important to keep your perspective and remember WHY you're doing what you're doing. If we agree that man is an animal, he deserves the same compassionate treatment as we accord to his furry and feathered cousins...
"I suffer a great deal, it's true...but do I suffer well? That's the question." (Therese Martin, who died age 24)

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i've been biting my tongue for a while and i'm glad someone else brought it into the light because i probably would have ended up fighting fire with fire.

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Sorry, but I might be the biggest offender here (ummm more than might). I just find it "hard" not to hate those that harm and abuse animals. Be it  hunters that kill for sport, or those that test animals in the name of science, those that run factory farms, and just plain ol' animal abusers. I do feel hate for them. I hate those that "kill" and injure. Those that cause suffering and pain to others on this world. Those that pick on people or animals that are "weaker" then they are.  Being a vegan, I try to stand up for those that can't speak for themselves. I try to make a difference. Sometimes I can and do, sometimes I just get pissed off and frustrated. I try to see the "good" in most things. These days, in this world as it is at the moment, it's easy to be blinded and see only the bad.
I'm sorry if I have offended anyone here in some of my latest posts. I am not really one to "think" before I speak (or type) at times. Like music, it just flows out of me at times.....If any of my posts have offended you.....I am truly sorry. Please accept my apology.
-dave

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Well spoken Dave. Ghandi once said: "He who is in the right can afford to apologise; he who is in the wrong can't afford not to." I like to think all of us on VegWeb are on the side of those who can afford it. Recognising one's weakness is a sign of strength too.
Have a happy day, all.

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Guess I am not one to talk as one of my favourite or more common expressions is, "Have I mentioned how much I hate people?".  It is a standing joke at work.  I say it and many respond....yes...yesterday!  I of course usually reserve it to a story of animal cruelty or child abuse.  Unfortunately, we hear these stories everyday.  Yet, I don't really hate people and am one of the first to help out when needed.  On the other hand, when I hear a horrific story of abuse, neglet or whatever...my statement flows freely out of my mouth.  Those who know me well know I would not stand by and see a human being suffer and not help out.
This board has been a great source of comfort and many of us have vented.  Just because we don't eat animals doesn't mean we are perfect creatures without feelings of sadness, despair, and anger.  As well, it doesn't mean we are creatures without compassion, love, senses of humour although sometimes warped and humility.
Therefore, I am sure I will still say...."have I mentioned how much I hate people?"  but to everyone who knows me, they know if someone needed the shirt off my back, they would get it.
I am sorry if I have offended people with this comment of mine.  When I hear horrendous stories, I do mean it although my mom raised me to dislike people greatly, not hate.  But, if you tie your dog to the back of a pickup and drag it through the streets at 60 miles an hour to teach it not to pee in the house or rape and kill a young child, I do mean it.  Sorry! 
On a funny note, if I was to do that to my Cali, she would have no feet.  Heck, she would have no legs! :-)
On a not so funny note, the Rottie was seriously damaged but after thousands of dollars of vet bills, people all over the world donated, he or she has a new loving home.  Yes, I felt hate. 

Di

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This thread made me think of a Dhammapada verse -

"Blessed indeed are we who live among those who hate, hating no one; amidst those who hate, let us dwell without hatred."

(Not a huge fan of this translation but I can't seem to find my "good" copy of the Dhammapada laying around)

I don't vent too much on this site, but I understand the frustration that some people have been expressing lately. People are so cruel to other living things, including their own kind. I volunteer in nonprofit law office and I hear some of the most horrifying stories about what some men do to their wives, children, and pets. I spend most of my time trying to make the world just a bit better, but I still have trouble letting go of some of the anger that I feel towards the people who commit horrendous acts towards other living beings. The problem with hatred and anger is that we bring suffering upon ourselves (and maybe others on accident too). I suppose that, ideally, we should love all of humanity and just disapprove of their behavior.

Oh, how it's easier said than done.  ::)

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I remember VegWeb being very heated a good share of the time in the past. Sometimes is was maddening, but I sure did learn a lot & get exposed to a lot of different perspectives. All in all, it made me a better person & a wiser & less angry vegetarian. And it led me to veganism.

I think for many of us, when we first went veg*n, we went through an angry period. Some do not, but many of us do. It is a reaction to seeing something horrifying for the first time & not understanding how others can't see it. Someone may be working through something critical in their life. If the angry posts bother you, skip them.

On a somewhat different topic, I think many of us are suffering from outrage fatigue in regards to the conduct of the current administration & congress & this frustration is flowing into other areas of our life. I know that is a fact for me.

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I personally have limited myself now to posting on threads that have only to do with recipes and ingredients.  I decided to do this after someone actually quoted Ghandi at me, which I found completely offensive.  (And frankly, I've about had it with the Ghandi quotes.  I think he was a great great person, but FYI, I know lots of Fortune 100 companies with pictures of Ghandi and large Ghandi quotes posted in their lobby.  I wouldn't be surprised if Coca-cola launches a new "be the change" ad campaign in the summer.)

There is a surprising amount of moral superiority, hypocrisy and general intolerance on this board. I've been using vegweb for years, but I never realized there was a discussion board until a couple of months ago.  I like to check it out, but I have to say I usually don't come away feeling warm and fuzzy.

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Thank you all for your kind replies.

I was worried when I made my original post that I would get hostile responses - I am very pleased by so many sweet responses. I am especially touched by davedrum's very gracious apology.

I completely understand the outrage sometimes. I have lived overseas more than once, and seen some things in my travels that are just stunningly horrendous - too horrible to mention here - both in the treatment of animals and humans. It is very hard to overcome our anger when we see something truly horrifying, and I often fail in that myself.

On a side note, I have read psych studies that say "venting" one's anger actually increases anger rather than decreases it - but I am not saying that to argue, just to give some food for thought.

I really think we can fix some of these horrors if we can meet other humans, even those who offend us, with love and compassion. Thank you all for your kind and encouraging words.

And - I apologize for any way I might have offended anyone here, too.

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I'm also sorry if I offended anyone one here too. We all have different perspectives, and just because you don't "get" someone doesn't mean you should be hostile toward them (that goes for me, too, not just you guys). I feel like I have been given the cold shoulder and outright ignored on here lately, but, ya know, I can't worry about what people think about me. I am who I am. You either like me or dislike me. Yes I agree with jkl about the moral superiority thing. that is what bugs me on here. Yeah, like running is a vice? Come on, people!!!  There are some things we are all passionate about, and I guess being angry is just a natural thing. Anyway, i hope everyone havs a great weekend!! :-*

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i was glad to see this thread started and that it was so well phrased.  

i think the members here have mostly a common goal and it is important for us to keep that in mind when we debate things.  i, like yabbitgirl, obviously misinterpreted some comments that were meant in a joking manner.  i think using the emoticons would help, good idea!

i think to be able to discuss things, we have to strive for an open attitude.  if someone thinks they will get angry responses for speaking up and opposing something, they won't do it.  we would definitely be defeating the purpose of a discussion board if that were the case.  

on the other hand, when people get angry about something, they are only showing their passion!  some things should make you angry, and the challenge is finding a way to channel the energy from anger to make a change.  

fiona

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I just want to add that I think it was "hate" that finally drove me to being "vegan".....Maybe not Hate, but "BAD" would be be a better word...."BAD" people drove me to become vegan.....those bad ones that cause so much pain and suffering.....

Again, sorry if I have brought "pain" to any of you...Or...have made any of you "upset" with some of my posts and rants....that has never been my intention.....it's not my style...sometimes I just get too caught up in the moment....I really mean it when I say that being a musician has taught me to "release" emotion without "thought"....that is how one plays music...by not thinking...by just "feeling"...most of the time it is hard for me to be any other way....A thought may enter my head, and I guess it just comes out immediately...no second guessing...it just flows out...I guess I need to learn to separate the "music" thought process, and my "emotional" thought process.....it's hard for me to see the difference at times.

-hey, I am who I am....far far far from perfect....(that is why i always call myself an idiot)...too "touchy, feely" I guess....
-dave

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I read the boards everyday and am  grateful of the time, patience and understanding and knowledge from other people.  I think its a GREAT board with wonderful people.  When people ask quest. about the veg*n lifestyle or why soy is so horrible countless times, other people are usually tolerant, helpful and supportive.

I have learned SO much from web.  I read the China Study because someone else did (amazing book) found Newstarget.com refreshing and eye opening, found a great comedian Lewis Black, became a better cook healthwise and my quest. where always quickly answered.

I have read so many links to articles here on the Q ans A  that made me think and question...all due to the intelligent people here on vegweb.

Maybe once or twice I have seen a remark that made me cringe a bit BUT well sometimes life isn't so pretty and rosy and I even learn from those comments and mind states.  Thats a rarity here on vegweb though.

I tell my bf that I am so lucky to find great people who think, reflect and try to become better people.  Sometimes venting is really for someone to feel appreciative, accepted and understand when a lot of other people are quick to made hasty and uneducated decisions.  Its like a family you look for advice and sometimes its not  pretty.  I usually feel like I'm going against a lot of reactions and ideas in general and its so comforting to come here on vegweb to see like minded people struggling to make a better world through various ways.

I mean it....I am so thankful for the administrators that created vegweb...and the people that take the time to respond here as well.

I do understand you can't cure anger with more anger...I do. I wish the world was peaceful and loving I wish for a lot of positive things.

So thank you vegweb posters who take time from their busy lives to educate people like me that do want to become better people and sharing their wisdom and thoughts!!!

:D  ;D  :)  ;)  ::)  8)

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Amen, NoIllusions!!!  (Sorry, I coudn't think of a secular word that was better ;))

My feelings exactly!

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