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View Full Version : standing up for my veganism? help please!



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triona.d.
Mar 12th, 2007, 11:54 PM
hi all, i've been a vegan for about four years and i do it for the animals. i just cannot agree with exploiting animals for our own benefit.

BUT i'm really rubbish at sticking up for myself/my veganism when people start getting at me. although i cannot really explain why i'm a vegan, i just know i'm doing the right thing.

anyway, the usual things they throw at me are "But if no one ate the cows, the world would be over-run with them...where would they all go? they'd all die anyway..." and "if no one milked them, they'd get really ill" and of course, "We're at the top of the food chain...we're MEANT to eat animals!" this last one is the only one i can respond too - in my opinion, we're at the top of the food chain and therefore we have a RESPONSIBILITY to look after those under us, not a RIGHT to abuse them. however, i'm really stuck on how to respond to all the other rubbish they throw at me. what would happen if no one ate the cows??? sorry if this sounds dumb but i could really use the feedback, thanks!

happy veganising, tri :)

veganwitch
Mar 13th, 2007, 12:16 AM
The only reason there ARE so many cows is because there is demand for it by the meat eating population. Factory farms keep breeding them to keep up with the demand for meat. As far as milk goes, again it's human interference that keeps so many cows impregnated. They only produce milk if they are pregnant. So they keep getting them pregnant, so they keep producing milk. The female babies are put into the life of slavery that their mothers are already in and male babies are crated to be veal. Another point you could make in your favor is that if there weren't so many cows that took up so much space , that same land could be used to grow crops to feed more people.

Don't let other's arguements get to you. I think people give us a hard time because deep down they they feel guilty for eating meat and feel they have to act defensive. ;)

eco
Mar 13th, 2007, 12:25 PM
I spoke to someone once who was convinced that cows ate grass and that's what made them produce milk! They didn't twig that cows are mammals and only produce milk after having babies. I don't believe this person was alone in thinking this. Cows are just milk producing machines as far as most people think, if they actually think about them at all, they just want their daily pinta without the inconvenience of learning how they get it. If only they knew how much pus they pour into their tea and coffee and onto their cereal every day due to the high levels of mastitis that cows suffer because of their overloaded udders .

Cows are domesticated animals and are only here because humans artificially inseminate them to produce more. No human interference, no lame, mastistis infected cows. Cows are so unnatural now that they have been bred to produce far more milk than the calf could ever drink. No mammal produces more milk than is needed for the baby except mammals that have been bred to do it by humans.

Get info on the dairy industry here:

http://www.milkmyths.org.uk/

Hope this helps :)

That top of the food chain thing always makes me smile. Put a lion in a room with a weaponless human and see who's at the top then :D

Felece
Mar 13th, 2007, 10:03 PM
Also check
http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13755
and
http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3024
Then you should be good to go:)

paulpet
Mar 14th, 2007, 11:51 AM
Personally, I think people coming at you with those sorts of arguments aren't interested in a serious discussion, they're just looking to wind you up. So best to just ignore it and not even bother.

It's always been obvious to me when someone is genuinely interested in a considered discussion about veganism (even if they don't necessarily agree with it). :)

-Paul

flying plum
Mar 14th, 2007, 06:14 PM
Cows are so unnatural now that they have been bred to produce far more milk than the calf could ever drink. No mammal produces more milk than is needed for the baby except mammals that have been bred to do it by humans.

what people then say is - 'well, we bred them to do it...it would be cruel to just leave them with these overly-filled udders, wouldn't it?'.

to that, i have no answer, other than, i guess the remaining cows should be milked humanely i.e. just to relieve the pain, not overly milked nor inseminated again until they no longer naturally produce milk. is that right?

the second point people then say is 'well, then what would happen to all the cows? you can't expect farmers to keep them for free, but presumably you don't want them culled!'. well, of course i don't want them culled, and i feel that it's our mess as humans, we should bear the cost and personally, i think they should all be allowed to sit in a field and moo until they're old and grey or whatever cow hair does...but does anyone have a sensible answer to that?

amanda

Fekkler
Mar 14th, 2007, 07:47 PM
...'well, we bred them to do it...it would be cruel to just leave them with these overly-filled udders, wouldn't it?'. We could let the calves have some of that milk - afterall that is the purpose of lactation. I can imagine that it would take some of the pressure. We may have bred them to an unnatural level of lactation, but that does not mean we have the right to take their milk. Two wrongs do not make a right.


...'well, then what would happen to all the cows? The immense population of cows would slowly phase out if we did not breed them. The remaining cows should be given sanctuary like the freed slaves they are. Again, we may have bred them to a life in slavery, but taking their lifes does not set that right.


...you can't expect farmers to keep them for free... Subsidies have been greasing the wheel for ages. Those money could rightfully be put to better use for this purpose.

The Fekkler

triona.d.
Mar 15th, 2007, 12:29 AM
thanks ecoanimal and felece - those links were great, i feel much more informed (and confident!) now, cheers!

cyril
Mar 16th, 2007, 10:58 PM
"But if no one ate the cows, the world would be over-run with them...where would they all go? they'd all die anyway..."

I find that the best response to this particular old chestnut is a broad smile and a “huuum” to give the impression that you are considering this devastating demolition of the foundations of all your beliefs for the very first time.

Then you respond along the lines of, “I don’t really believe that the whole world will be converted to veganism overnight. So, I suppose that gradually there would be a smaller and smaller demand. That would mean that equally gradually there would be a declining meat and dairy industry until it slowly diminished to zero. It’s just an example of the law of supply and demand.”

Manzana
Mar 18th, 2007, 09:03 PM
... I always try making people see the ethical argument but giving them a human equivalent example... so in the case of "all the cows dying if noone eats them" I would use an example:

Imagine we bred certain humans to be our slaves, would you rather they existed or not? Personally I rather they did not...

John
Mar 18th, 2007, 09:21 PM
It's funny how people worry about what to do with livestock when the vegans make them obsolete. Anyone care to worry with me about the economic disruptions that are bound to occur when there is world peace and the weapons manufacturers go out of business and soldiers are out of work?

piggy
Mar 18th, 2007, 11:24 PM
It's funny how people worry about what to do with livestock when the vegans make them obsolete. Anyone care to worry with me about the economic disruptions that are bound to occur when there is world peace and the weapons manufacturers go out of business and soldiers are out of work?
hehe, good point, john
it really is strange that people always ask that question...it's so senseless!:rolleyes:

emamaly
Mar 20th, 2007, 09:24 AM
... I always try making people see the ethical argument but giving them a human equivalent example... so in the case of "all the cows dying if noone eats them" I would use an example:

Imagine we bred certain humans to be our slaves, would you rather they existed or not? Personally I rather they did not...

And also, anyone who agrees with abortion should also agree that not bringing a cow into existence.. purely to suffer.. is well, similar in a sense.

flying plum
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:40 PM
thanks for the answers to my questions :) there those points that i know i'm right on, but can't always find a good answer to. i like the one about a slow conversion and less and less demand required.

amanda

nervine
Mar 22nd, 2007, 08:44 PM
It's funny how people worry about what to do with livestock when the vegans make them obsolete. Anyone care to worry with me about the economic disruptions that are bound to occur when there is world peace and the weapons manufacturers go out of business and soldiers are out of work?

lmao! nice one. :D

pat sommer
Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:26 PM
all purpose answer when you can't come up with a quick reply:
Ya, I used to think that too before the brainwashing wore off.

Frank
Mar 24th, 2007, 01:01 AM
You could also look to some free booklets that you can get from the Vegan Society - http://www.vegansociety.com/html/

The information contained in these covers animals, the environemnt etc and they are aimed i guess in part at people who do not understand the arguments we portray.

The good thing is that you are then armed with technical and scientific snippets of information you could use.

Some people i know have never been able to fly the 'animal' flag, for whatever reason they felt uncomfortable in doing so.

But now under the 'environmental' flag the same message is coming out and across with less 'hassle'.

Try those booklets and see if that helps a bit.

Korn is putting more and more environmental stuff on the site too - so plenty to explore across all subjects until you find something that you are comfortable with.

pat sommer
Mar 24th, 2007, 03:36 PM
I could use more 'environmental' ammunition as well. One of those online 'green' sites advocates -get this- raising pigs and chickens for food instead of importing. Uuugggh. There are still so many people around who think their local ham and cheese sandwich is greener than my imported avocado and pepper. Wish I had the facts on hand!

Frank
Mar 27th, 2007, 01:08 AM
Many environmental reasons here:

http://veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=293946#post293946

Lilac Hamster
Mar 28th, 2007, 01:16 PM
I never understand this! I put it quite simply comparing it to other forms of discrimination, for instance if people with learning difficulties and therefore less intelligence should have rights, and definitely the right to life and not to be exploited or abused, so should animals. I have never shied away from saying this to animal eaters if anyone wonders why I am vegan and if they ask I tell.

I find it a bit irritating how many vegans shy away from actually citing anti-speciesist arguments, and I believe we have to keep stating it assertively and calmly, or else the whole idea will never get into the mass public consciousness. Anti-racism and anti-homophobia has so we need this also to happen for the animals.

I'm not shy to say I am for the abolition of the use of animals for our ends, as a vegan I am not going to advocate reforms such as "kinder" ways of farming which slows down real progress, ie abolition of animals as our property to use (I guess I am quite a bit influenced by Gary Francione). I'd rather leave the reformist talk to the vegetarians and selective meat-eaters.

Lesley




Some people i know have never been able to fly the 'animal' flag, for whatever reason they felt uncomfortable in doing so.

pat sommer
Mar 30th, 2007, 03:05 PM
Slows down real progress? If abolition can't be accomplished tomorrow I will advocate for any steps that make abuse less profitable. Yes, you're right in that we all have to ration our efforts but I feel we all work on the same front.
Does that mean I don't fly the animal flag? As long as I can be subversive....

xvegan_alix
Apr 12th, 2007, 10:28 PM
hi ppl im new here thought i'd say hi and that i also find it frustrating and difficult to tell people why im vegan. i just say i cant be bothered to tell them and tell them to research it on the net.

veganbikerboy
Apr 13th, 2007, 06:05 PM
give them my phone number, i'll tell them:D

DancingWillow
Apr 14th, 2007, 07:07 AM
hi vegan_alix! welcome to the forum:)

i know sometimes people ask why you're vegan and don't really care about the answer, but if they seem to care, maybe they're put off by how you seem to brush off their question like that. i think it also may add to the misconception that veganism is irrational/silly/frivolous and can't be explained and that's why you don't want to explain it to them...obviously that's not true, but your reaction to their question might make it seem that way.

that's just my opinion...it's up to you how to deal with people though...whatever works best for you:)

harpy
Apr 14th, 2007, 10:58 AM
I just posted my approach to this one on another thread, but I'll post it again here because it often seems to work.

Experience shows that people often seem to ask you about being veg*n when you're both eating, and that often seems to lead to an argument (presumably because they feel criticised). But, if you explain politely that you'd prefer to discuss it after you've finished eating, and ask them to ask you again then, the ones that bother to come back and ask seem to be those with a genuine interest.