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"so why did you go vegan?"

im living in an international dorm and everyone eats a lot of meat.  last night while i ate my curry, i watched a girl gut two fish.  every time people find out that im vegan they ask "so why did you go vegan?".  i have been going through the animal rights thing and then people usually just get really defensive and make a lot of "but..." statements.  i really dont enjoy arguing, but i want to make a statement.  so i have been thinking of just saying something totally ridiculous like "because it makes me taste better" or "i dont like eating menstruation or breast milk".  ill have to give it a shot and see what people say.

what do you say when people ask you?

Depends on who is asking... if someone actually is interested in the subject, I usually explain that I'm vegan for a combination of environmental, animal welfare, and health reasons.  Then I provide them with brochures and websites (if they want it).

However, where I live its typically a smart-a$$ redneck comment in which case I somewhat tactfully explain to them that I believe in veganism the way they believe in Christianity.  I don't agree with their views, they don't agree with mine; but both of our ingrained philosophies involve peace and acceptance.

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If you know the person isn't really interested, and is possibly looking for a chance to tell you you're strange/wrong, just tell them it's a matter of taste. Just say, "Because I prefer it!"
You could also come back with, "Why do you eat meat/eggs/milk?" I bet you anything you like, they don't have a real answer for that question--because they've never even thought about it.

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I'm a vegan because I'm really hardcore about rights.  And I think every living thing as the RIGHT to live, free from torture and cruel treatment.

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It depends on the audience...

Interested?  Refer them here for the proper information on how to do this healthfully and happily.

Defensive?  Usually just stick with something like "I am allergic to animal products of every kind" which does happen to be true.  I might say that it is better for the body, the environment and every living thing on the planet, which also true. 

Religious and defensive?  I remind them that in Genesis (Christian belief system) God gave us every herb and every seed-bearing plant to eat and made us STEWARDS over the animals of our beautiful planet.  Stewardship is also what is asked of us as parents in the way we treat our children.  They are OF us, but not OURS.  We are truly OF animals, part of them, animals ourselves.  Umm and Jesus said, do unto others as you have them do unto you...and then yeah, we are all animals.

When I am feeling glib and a little put off?  I might say I just don't eat anything with face.  Or, if I could not kill it myself, I will not eat it and I can't kill much outside of flies.  Maybe...do YOU know where that comes from?  HOW can you eat that egg?

I have been acosted and recently by someone who suggested that ALL animals are good to eat and told me that I should have serve my NEW PUPPY FOR SUPPER (OMG) because they eat dogs in China so they must be good.  I was so sickened I just looked at this idiot (okay, a$$ hole) and said " I will NEVER be the living grave of MURDERED animals"!!! and tried not to vomit.

My son has been asking me what to say.  My oldest, my most devoted former beef eating son, has gone VEGETARIAN!  We have had this conversation about what to say and that for the most part, it is probably best not to broadcast your choices unless or until someone else tries to thrust their choices on you. 

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It depends on the audience...

Interested?  Refer them here for the proper information on how to do this healthfully and happily.

Defensive?  Usually just stick with something like "I am allergic to animal products of every kind" which does happen to be true.  I might say that it is better for the body, the environment and every living thing on the planet, which also true. 

Religious and defensive?  I remind them that in Genesis (Christian belief system) God gave us every herb and every seed-bearing plant to eat and made us STEWARDS over the animals of our beautiful planet.  Stewardship is also what is asked of us as parents in the way we treat our children.  They are OF us, but not OURS.  We are truly OF animals, part of them, animals ourselves.  Umm and Jesus said, do unto others as you have them do unto you...and then yeah, we are all animals.

When I am feeling glib and a little put off?  I might say I just don't eat anything with face.  Or, if I could not kill it myself, I will not eat it and I can't kill much outside of flies.  Maybe...do YOU know where that comes from?  HOW can you eat that egg?

I have been acosted and recently by someone who suggested that ALL animals are good to eat and told me that I should have serve my NEW PUPPY FOR SUPPER (OMG) because they eat dogs in China so they must be good.  I was so sickened I just looked at this idiot (okay, a$$ hole) and said " I will NEVER be the living grave of MURDERED animals"!!! and tried not to vomit.

My son has been asking me what to say.  My oldest, my most devoted former beef eating son, has gone VEGETARIAN!  We have had this conversation about what to say and that for the most part, it is probably best not to broadcast your choices unless or until someone else tries to thrust their choices on you. 

the christianity thing is so odd (touchy subject).  when i first went veggie my dad kept saying stuff like 'well jesus ate fish!!, so you can too"  maybe jesus ate tofishy.  wwjd? eat tofishy!  heh.  i would always feel so odd going to church events and having a huge steak and potato dinner.    eating animals at church after a sermon about loving all gods creatures...  im glad i started hanging out with quakers instead! they love all creatures.

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I am repulsed by eating flesh, not eating meat is a compassion-thing for me. I don't really consider myself political, and don't enjoy arguing about the statistics. That's what I usually tell people. But ultimately (I hope) we all make choices about what we believe and how it will effect our lives. Ask them in return, "What do you believe in? How do your beliefs effect your life?"

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I am repulsed by eating flesh, not eating meat is a compassion-thing for me. I don't really consider myself political, and don't enjoy arguing about the statistics. That's what I usually tell people. But ultimately (I hope) we all make choices about what we believe and how it will effect our lives. Ask them in return, "What do you believe in? How do your beliefs effect your life?"

one of the people that asked me this question seems to be rather philisophical and 'deep'  ha.  i think ill ask him.  im kind of interested in what he beilieves anyways

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I just tell people that I am vegan b/c of the horrible and cruel ways that farm animals are treated. It is why I became a veggie at first, and then became vegan. Most around here (in Gawga) don't get it. My friends respect do respect it to a point. As I have said before in previous posts, my best friend told me once that he thinks I must have "incredible willpower" to not eat meat and dairy any longer (he knew me when I did eat that cr*p). I told him that me taking a "bite" out of his arm would be just as  appealing to me as chomping into a steak (or any rotting flesh for that matter). When you just get to the point that biting into flesh, or eating cheese, or eggs, or drinking milk grosses you out, there is no "will power" involved any longer. It just grosses you out. It's told him it's easy, there in no willpower involved at all.

I also remember telling him that he should think about locking his cats up in tiny cages for a few years and he should feed them lots of junk and fill them with growth hormones and antibiotics. When they get really fat and look like they are "ripe" he should drag them out of their cages, slaughter them, and throw them on his grill. What is the difference between his cats, a cow, or a pig, or a chicken? Is there a difference? I personally don't think there is. They all have feelings and all want to live free of pain and suffering. Who was it that decided what animals are OK to eat, and which ones should be pets and are off limits? i hope it wasn't the bible!.....maybe it's just me...I guess I'm still an ANGRY VEGAN!
-dave

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I just tell people that I am vegan b/c of the horrible and cruel ways that farm animals are treated. It is why I became a veggie at first, and then became vegan. Most around here (in Gawga) don't get it. My friends respect do respect it to a point. As I have said before in previous posts, my best friend told me once that he thinks I must have "incredible willpower" to not eat meat and dairy any longer (he knew me when I did eat that cr*p). I told him that me taking a "bite" out of his arm would be just as  appealing to me as chomping into a steak (or any rotting flesh for that matter). When you just get to the point that biting into flesh, or eating cheese, or eggs, or drinking milk grosses you out, there is no "will power" involved any longer. It just grosses you out. It's told him it's easy, there in no willpower involved at all.

I also remember telling him that he should think about locking his cats up in tiny cages for a few years and he should feed them lots of junk and fill them with growth hormones and antibiotics. When they get really fat and look like they are "ripe" he should drag them out of their cages, slaughter them, and throw them on his grill. What is the difference between his cats, a cow, or a pig, or a chicken? Is there a difference? I personally don't think there is. They all have feelings and all want to live free of pain and suffering. Who was it that decided what animals are OK to eat, and which ones should be pets and are off limits? i hope it wasn't the bible!.....maybe it's just me...I guess I'm still an ANGRY VEGAN!
-dave

haha.  yeah it doesnt take much willpower for me to not eat meat cheese and eggs either.  sometimes i wish things like non vegan cookies had butter dripping off them so i wouldnt want to eat them.  when i see the amounts of cheese and eggs and meat, i dont want to eat it at all, but if its a cookie, or croisant i think... i bet this is vegan, then it makes me sick and i get mad at myself for thinking that and not checking.

maybe you are an angry vegan, but you look so peaceful in your picture!  what kind of music do you play?  my little brothers a professional drummer as well and just became veggie (yay).

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I just tell people that I am vegan b/c of the horrible and cruel ways that farm animals are treated. It is why I became a veggie at first, and then became vegan. Most around here (in Gawga) don't get it. My friends respect do respect it to a point. As I have said before in previous posts, my best friend told me once that he thinks I must have "incredible willpower" to not eat meat and dairy any longer (he knew me when I did eat that cr*p). I told him that me taking a "bite" out of his arm would be just as  appealing to me as chomping into a steak (or any rotting flesh for that matter). When you just get to the point that biting into flesh, or eating cheese, or eggs, or drinking milk grosses you out, there is no "will power" involved any longer. It just grosses you out. It's told him it's easy, there in no willpower involved at all.

I also remember telling him that he should think about locking his cats up in tiny cages for a few years and he should feed them lots of junk and fill them with growth hormones and antibiotics. When they get really fat and look like they are "ripe" he should drag them out of their cages, slaughter them, and throw them on his grill. What is the difference between his cats, a cow, or a pig, or a chicken? Is there a difference? I personally don't think there is. They all have feelings and all want to live free of pain and suffering. Who was it that decided what animals are OK to eat, and which ones should be pets and are off limits? i hope it wasn't the bible!.....maybe it's just me...I guess I'm still an ANGRY VEGAN!
-dave

AWESOME!!!

i have been going through the animal rights thing and then people usually just get really defensive and make a lot of "but..." statements.  i really dont enjoy arguing, but i want to make a statement. 
what do you say when people ask you?

Often, making a statement that's different from the norm will get defensiveness. Saying what you need to and don't  buy into the arguments they 'but' back at you. Or just know that unless they are genuinely interested in what you have to say, they'll probably come  back with what info they grew up with. Then again, it really depends on the person and the mood. My answer would probably be different tomorrow, depending on my mood. I find the health approach works well.

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My response is usually, 'because i believe that God made us to be good stewards of the earth, and by consuming meat/cheese/dairy we are wasting a lot of resources that could be used for a better purpose, like feeding the hungry.' 

I don't even get into animal rights because that just means they're going to argue that they don't matter.  It's easier, I think, for people to feel justified for eating meat when you mention animal rights, but when you mention the very real HUMAN rights issues assosiated with eating meat, they get a little more contemplative.  At least that's the experiance I've had.

I get the 'Jesus ate fish!' thing a lot, too.  One reply I've used is, 'and John the Baptist ate locusts.  So what?' 

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i just say that i choose to live a cruelty free lifestyle, that it's nice to know at the end of the day that i didn't contribute to the suffering of a living creature.

i have yet to get any "but..." statements with that response

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I tell people that it's for animal rights and then expand on this by saying "with the many possibilities of food options these days, theres no reason NOT to be a vegan". Indeed, being a vegan has never been easier!  Why not choose these same tasting options (soy sources of cheeses, milks, desserts, and meats) AND reduce cruelty at the same time? It just makes sense.

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I tell people that it's for animal rights and then expand on this by saying "with the many possibilities of food options these days, theres no reason NOT to be a vegan". Indeed, being a vegan has never been easier!  Why not choose these same tasting options (soy sources of cheeses, milks, desserts, and meats) AND reduce cruelty at the same time? It just makes sense.

I agree secondbase. If all of the "others" could see how great our vegan choices taste (like the ones we share here at vegweb)....and that we give up nothing regarding the taste and food choices we have...maybe more would "hop on the boat" to becoming vegan. I have to say...honestly...that everything I eat now as a vegan tastes SOOOO much better then when I was am omni! Anyone else agree?

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honestly, while i've tried every tactic that's been mentioned so far, i've recently found the best response (to sensible, at least moderately educated people) to be this simple sentence.

"Becoming vegan is so far the best, easiest, and most do-able way to signifigantly affect the immenent threat of global warming and the wide-spread destruction and pollution of the globe."  (only more grammatically correct, and maybe a few stats thrown in... see below)

This side of the argument is politically and socially relevant, stays alway from grey areas of individual morality, is more selfless than personal health (and thus more likely to personally affect someone you talk to), and has recently been proven an unarguable fact by all sorts of well respected institutions, like the UN, the University of Chicago and others.

"In a groundbreaking 2006 report, the United Nations (U.N.) said that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. Senior U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization official Henning Steinfeld reported that the meat industry is “one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems.”"
http://goveg.com/environment-globalwarming.asp

so, no one's (except crazy people) arguing that global warming is a myth anymore, the facts that a vegan diet does more to deal with this issue than say, buying a prius, are there.... tah dah, a fool-proof argument for your vegan diet that will not devolve into a ridiculous conversation about the relative rights of pigs and puppies.

oh, and my favourite retort to the idiots who complain about the poor hog farmers losing their livelihoods... "no one told Mr. Ford stop making cars because the wagon builders were going out of business. If you think that capitalist business is more important than the air you breathe, then you can't complain about the market changing."

of course, this doesn't work on people who've decided that 99% of science doesn't count and that they like their water good an' polluted, thank you very much. feel free to push them off the edge of a bridge... preferably downstream of the "farm" where their precious porkchops come from.

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Quote:
of course, this doesn't work on people who've decided that 99% of science doesn't count

yeah..like those that believe every word of the bible to be true .....like our planet is only 6000 years old and cavemen and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time....maybe it's those people?....believe what you want....I'll never tell anyone not to believe if that is what they choose. If it (your belief in god and the bible) made you become a vegan and led you to this lifestyle...what can I say? Nothing I guess. I can only really say "god bless" in a way. It's not for me, I just think science makes more sense then the bible...I'm only glad if the bible and your belief in it made you choose not to harm or eat animals, then there must be "something" good in there that you saw and others did not.... I just wish more would read and learn and see what is really going on. Not just see a "chicken" wrapped" in plastic at the supermarket without understanding that it never had a chance to live a "normal" life...

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i'm hoping you quoting me was meant to be sarcastic, and not you thinking that i think that all people who believe in the bible should be pushed off a bridge. i was really refering to a certain breed of "young republican" that i've encountered at school and elsewere who aren't particularily religious, but have decided that every word that comes out of the mouths of the "other side" (al gore, and any other mildly liberal environmentally active person) is totally false. those people cannot be argued with. they're too smart to be tricked, and too proud to admit that anything you say makes sense.

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I've had two devout Christians tell me that the bible says we are not suppose to think much about what God provides us and we are supposed to be thankful for the food available to us. One of them went so far as to tell me it's a "sin" to think much of what you eat.  :o  Whatever; I guess I'm a sinner just like everyone else on the planet, eh?

One of those conversations sprouted from talking about why we should pay attention to the veggies we buy and they should be organic, non GMO. That's when I got the "we're suppose to be thankful to the food that is provided to us". Hmmmm......I guess even if it kills us.

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I tell people that it's for animal rights and then expand on this by saying "with the many possibilities of food options these days, theres no reason NOT to be a vegan". Indeed, being a vegan has never been easier!  Why not choose these same tasting options (soy sources of cheeses, milks, desserts, and meats) AND reduce cruelty at the same time? It just makes sense.

yeah totally!  i told my friend the other day about something on here about senses and she said 'you probably lost them because you cut out so many categories of food' and we went through the food pyramid (even though it sucks) and she kept trying to find more food groups that i was cutting out, but it was just 2 out of 6.  there are so many other categories of food that people dont think about.  she also put beans and grains in the group of vegetables before we looked at the pyramid.  so she was thinking that all i ate were veggies and fruit.  that could get kind of boring.  i think that spices should be their own food group.  thats the biggest group of foods that i use anyways.  people just dont know how many different types of foods i eat!

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i'm hoping you quoting me was meant to be sarcastic, and not you thinking that i think that all people who believe in the bible should be pushed off a bridge. i was really refering to a certain breed of "young republican" that i've encountered at school and elsewere who aren't particularily religious, but have decided that every word that comes out of the mouths of the "other side" (al gore, and any other mildly liberal environmentally active person) is totally false. those people cannot be argued with. they're too smart to be tricked, and too proud to admit that anything you say makes sense.

Hey rachandra!
You should know by now from reading my posts that ALMOST everything that comes out of my mouth (or out of this keyboard) has a bit a sarcasm to it! i do not think that ALL of those that believe in the bible need to be pushed off of a bridge...just the talibangelicals! :D Just those that are as crazy (if not MORE crazy) then the Taliban is! And trust me.....here in the south.... there are many that are!

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