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twilight_phoenix
Jul 1st, 2011, 09:01 AM
(ahhh first post! *nervous*)... For myself personally, the short answer is idealistic ignorance. While I was aware vaguely of factory farming since my teens (though I had no clue how abusive it was, I just thought they kept the animals too much indoors and in too great numbers, which is smelly and polluting, and that was it), I thought it was relatively rare-- Don't laugh too hard! I live in a nice fairly affluent Canadian suburb surrounded by rural towns where I grew up going for weekend drives and seeing many small farms where I saw content cows napping in pastures that looked healthy and happy (I have still never -seen- a factory farm in my life, and only know of one within practical afternoon driving distance). My family was also friends with a dairy farmer and we never witnessed any abused looking animals, he seemed to genuinely care for the animals and their welfare. Of course he was also pretty much bankrupt as he couldn't compete in the industry and had to move thousands of miles away to a cheaper locale, perhaps that should have tipped me off something wasn't right... But I digress.

Growing up surrounded by that, I sort of assumed that was the norm-- That factory farms were fairly rare, almost always American (I now know the opposite is true, many come up to Canada as our laws our less strict!), and mostly existed to cheaply supply crappy fast food places, which I refused to eat at anyway, and well, not much I could do about that except not eat at such places. I did feel bad about eating animals anyway (even while assuming they came from local and relatively humane sources), but I rationalized that they had good lives beforehand, never knowing cold or lack of food or predators, and likewise, humans are omnivores and my family would have found not eating meat bizarre and likely not let me choose, so I just went along with it-- Usually giving a small silent prayer of thanks to whatever animal I was eating before I ate it, to honor its life in a way.

In the last year or so however I researched more and more about the food industry starting with a rather insightful documentary on GMOs I happened to watch, and became appalled on many levels and realized the immediate area I live in is a bit of a dying-out anomaly... NOT the norm! That MOST meat is likely from factory farmed sources, and so are eggs and dairy, even bees are treated this way! Not to mention even outside the meat industry, the proliferation of GMOs, HFCS, and all sorts of other toxic CRAP that is being forced down our throats by the big bloated greedy agriculture industry.

Cue a total rebellion on my part and gradual conversion to veganism (I was already gluten intolerant so finding food I can eat was already a pain!) for both ethical and health reasons, because like hell am I going to blindly support all that nonsense anymore, even if my family or whoever else thinks it 'weird'. And so here I am... Been totally vegan for a few months now, and not felt so well in years! I do not miss meat at all, all it ever did was give me acid reflux and a moment of sadness for the poor animal anyway.

Gwydion
Jul 2nd, 2011, 09:13 AM
Nice post, welcome :)

leedsveg
Jul 2nd, 2011, 12:04 PM
Hi twighlight_phoenix, welcome to the forum and well done on an interesting first post.:thumbsup:

Leedsveg

Franksmammy
Jul 2nd, 2011, 08:20 PM
i was 13 when i went vegetarian, i cant really remember the exact chain of thought but i was just in my mums garden thinking about things and it suddenly occured to me how cruel it was to eat animals, i then researched it a bit and decided to be vegetarian, about a year later after reading about veganism through the vegetarian websites i decided to go vegan.

why wasn't i before? well no one had taught/told me any different from 'our way of life' no one had encouraged me to question, and i guess i just took my time in getting to the questioning stage on that matter. :)

veggiedave
Jul 26th, 2011, 06:53 PM
Hi,

I'm Dave and I've been vegan for 4 years and am new to the forum.

My question: What are some of the primary reasons that people still eat meat and exploit animals even with the awareness of animal cruelty in factory farms, testing laboratories, rodeos, health and environmental issues, etc...?

Blueberries
Jul 26th, 2011, 08:20 PM
My question: What are some of the primary reasons that people still eat meat and exploit animals even with the awareness of animal cruelty in factory farms, testing laboratories, rodeos, health and environmental issues, etc...?

Ignorance, emotional blocks, greed, laziness, tradition, malice... just a few I can think of! To be honest, you're asking the wrong group of people! Ask an omni! :)

twinkle
Jul 27th, 2011, 12:56 AM
I actually think it's probably mostly lack of awareness, whether accidental or deliberate. For a long time I semi-consciously resisted going vegan because I thought I was doing enough being vegetarian and that it would be too hard and socially isolating, even though all the reasons I was vegetarian meant that I should take the obvious next step. I did this by mentally putting my fingers in my ears and going "la la la" every time I was made aware of problems with eggs and dairy.

Guessing there are lots of other reasons too. Some people aren't very empathetic and don't think about pain and suffering, or might genuinely believe animals don't feel it (I know a lot of people think fish and molluscs can't suffer), or... well, I could go on and on speculating. Is there any particular reason you're interested?

veggiedave
Jul 27th, 2011, 05:04 PM
I guess the main reason I asked why do people still eat meat is because of frustration. Having been vegan for 4 years and living this lifestyle has had little or no impact on those around me. My wife joined me when I first started because of her love for animals. My 9 year old niece was at our house for Thanksgiving last year and decided to go vegetarian after eating our tasty vegan food. That was encouraging but other that no one else in our family or outside of the family is interested.

Maybe the frustration comes from the time and energy of answering all of the questions and sharing all the food but making little or no impression? I decided to go incognito with my veganism at work because working with a bunch of guys just results in a bunch of teasing about not eating meat. I feel good mentally and physically about my lifestyle but were does one draw the line about even having a conversation about it at all?

Korn
Jul 27th, 2011, 05:19 PM
Hi Dave,

I merged this thread with another one, because the question about why others still eat meat are closely related to why we ate meat (when we still did that). The difference, the way I see it, isn't between them and us, but between what it is that makes someone decide to change their lifestyle/habits while others don't do that.

If you have frustrating communication with others about your choices... maybe it's worth considering just telling them that you're not interested in discussing this any further - and ask them to respect that? Or find another job... :)

veggiedave
Jul 27th, 2011, 08:34 PM
Thanks Korn for your encouragement. Reading through the other posts here speaks that I'm not alone in dealing with the ups and downs of this lifestyle. The ups far outshine the downs. Just needed a little support and perspective. Thanks again!

Elli
Aug 1st, 2011, 02:47 PM
I heard the word 'vegan' when I was like 15 or 16 y/o but I had a lot going on in my life at that time so even though I knew I needed to think about it, emotionnally I think I just couldn't make the transition. And I was somehow convinced that it was not the right time for humanity to stop eating meat because we were too dumb, not evolved enough blahblahblah. What a good excuse! lol
In short, I needed to grow up, which happened soon after my 19th birthday. -!-

I wish I had encountered vegan people earlier though, I think that might have helped me going vegan sooner. That's why I try to not refuse any social invitations by omnivores, although I really don't like the idea of being around people when they're eating flesh or so, because I have the feeling that I might be the only vegan person they're going to meet in their whole life and could be the one that turned them vegan. (I just wish they'd realize that on the contrary, I, in fact, am surrounded by omnivores and that I have already heard a thousand times all of the arguments they're presenting to me. :p)

JuxtaposedPink
Aug 1st, 2011, 04:48 PM
The biggest reason I wasn't vegan until I was 19 was lack of information. I was a vegetarian, and knew next to nothing about the egg and dairy industries. Growing up, I never encountered a vegan and only knew about them from TV (usually in a joking manner while they poked fun of them). One day at the public library, a leaflet about dairy fell into my lap while reading a book. I read it, went home to do some research and never looked back. Once I knew how the industry worked and how animals were being used I knew there was no other way to live.

Rakel
Aug 1st, 2011, 06:42 PM
I never really was much of a meat-eater, so becoming vegetarian was no big deal for me.
I mainly decided to try because I knew so many vegetarians, and was curious. Then I found that not eating meat made me feel much healthier and energetic than before. So I stayed vegetarian.

I became vegan only after meeting my current boyfriend, he had been one for several years.
Had heard of veganism then, but never really knew much about it. He unintentionally inspired me to try it out, and now I've been vegan for a year and a half. Feeling much better :)

Though I never have, and never will be the type who looks down on all meat-eaters. Their choice.

Kateee
Sep 3rd, 2011, 10:06 AM
I wasn't vegan before because of some different reasons:

- I didn't hear of veganism here, where I'm living and there are very few vegans here anyway(I don't know any and I guess there might be 2 or 3 in my city, because it's not a big one and veganism is still not very present here)
- Meat, dairy and eggs were very consumed in my family and I was surrounded by them and told that all of them were healthy and good for consuming
- Even when I heard of vegetarianism for the first time I thought it was stupid(I was pretty young then, 9 or 10 I guess)

But about an year ago I came across something about vegetarianism and veganism and I considered them again. I've decided quickly to make this step, understanding way much better what they mean now, first vegetarianism, then veganism, even if when I became vegetarian I didn't think that I would go vegan(or not as long as I was living with my parents). But it was easier than I thought to make the transition to vegan and my parents finally accepted this, even if they don't completely agree with the idea lol.

kessie184
Sep 11th, 2011, 02:39 AM
Before becoming vegan I was a vegetarian and before that an Omni. I put it down to lack of education on the matter. I didn't really need education on the vegetarian part because to me, meat was animal. It wasn't ours to kill or eat. Bare in mind I only became vegan just over a year ago. Before that I thought dairy, wool etc came from the happy little farms you see advertised everywere. Then I remember researching why vegans are vegans - I mean back then I didn't think that any animals were harmed in the production of dairy/clothes etc. So I just ended up researching into it and discorvering that the places I thought our products come from were far from reality. It was then I decided to take the step into 'veganism'. So again I put it down to lack of education. Because people are bought up to believe that we need to milk cows because they become ill and so on which isn't the case. So yeah, Lack of education.

MomOf2Gremlins
Sep 16th, 2011, 10:50 AM
Honestly, because I didn't have enough 'guts' to do so...:o

I was raised omni and live with an omni husband. When turning vegetarian (after reading 'Skinny Bitch' -which also mentions the dairy & eggs nightmares!) 6 yrs ago, I already encountered a bit of criticism of my family and wasn't informed enough about how to be a vegan properly, so arguments that vegans lack of certain nutrients (that vegetarians supposedly get from eggs & dairy), made me hesitant :undecided:.
Shortly after we moved to Italy and again lack of education made me think "How in the land of pasta [which I thought was always made with eggs!] shall I manage!?", thinking also of so many vegan alternative foods that exist in the US and other countries. any processed stuff if I can avoid it.]
Long story short, I've put mental blinders on!..

I remember reading a slogan somewhere that said "When vegetarians grow up, they become vegans." and I feel that's exactly the case what happened with me.
Did I like dairy yogurt and cheese? Yes! But now that I'm aware (again!) of the background to these products, I really can't justify it any longer consuming them! [I've heard it many times while being a vegetarian from other vegetarians, "I just love my cheese" or "I just love eggs!"..:no_expression:] I think it's hypocrite otherwise if you're a vegetarian due to ethical reasons but continue to eat dairy/eggs!..

splodge
Sep 24th, 2011, 09:01 PM
I was born vegetarian but wanted to be free of the whole system since I was about 7. My mum told me veganism was very difficult and they had to take vitamin tablets. I made my next attempt at 9 because I was always disgusted by milk, but again my mum stopped me. My first serious attempt was when I was 14, unfortunately I also tried to do it at the same time as a gluten-free diet (to see if it would help my bowel problems. I've since learnt that it is the bowel problem related to autism.) so I only lasted 8 months. But I never ate eggs again and have been vegan properly since I was 15 and am now 20 :)

The key is to add things in, not cut things out.

So the reason for me was:

1. Not thinking where all the males go
2. Not realising how bad it was for the environment
3. Not realising it causes world hunger
4. Thinking it was difficult and unhealthy.

MomOf2Gremlins
Sep 25th, 2011, 09:39 PM
I was born vegetarian but wanted to be free of the whole system since I was about 7. My mum told me veganism was very difficult and they had to take vitamin tablets. I made my next attempt at 9 because I was always disgusted by milk, but again my mum stopped me. My first serious attempt was when I was 14, unfortunately I also tried to do it at the same time as a gluten-free diet (to see if it would help my bowel problems. I've since learnt that it is the bowel problem related to autism.) so I only lasted 8 months. But I never ate eggs again and have been vegan properly since I was 15 and am now 20 :)

The key is to add things in, not cut things out.

So the reason for me was:

1. Not thinking where all the males go
2. Not realising how bad it was for the environment
3. Not realising it causes world hunger
4. Thinking it was difficult and unhealthy.

This is very interesting for me to read as I'm currently having a big debate with my husband about that, regarding our daughter (she'll be 10 in Feb). After inquiring why I made the switch to veganism (finally), she declared that she too wants to be vegan! She never liked eggs to begin with and only ate cheese on pizza or in Mac'n Cheese for ex. but of course never realized how many products are containing dairy & eggs. I tried to let her know that there's no pressure from my side (though inside I'm *very* happy she's following my lead :lol:) and she's doing quite good so far. [She's realizing, lots of 'junk' food like treats from the store are history and already said with a bit of a sad face that Halloween will be weird with hardly any candy available for her... -I'll make some home made treats at home for her, of course!]
Anyway, long story short.. My husband thinks she's too young to understand why she's doing what she's doing and is a bit upset with me for 'initiating' my DD to act that way. Personally, aside from my own living and action, I think she IS indeed old enough as I remember the age where I myself also didn't like animal products but basically had to eat them because my parents told me to stop being 'silly'!..
Your post just confirmed it for me again that it is indeed possible to be that young and know what you want eating wise! :thumbsup:

splodge
Sep 26th, 2011, 07:25 PM
Yes you are never too young! I always fully understand why I was vegetarian for as far back as I can remember, and I always understood that it was ultimately my choice. I also always had a nagging sense that something wasn't quite right, didn't quite add up, about eating milk and eggs, and it didn't seem a particularly radical concept to my 7 year old self to be totally animal free. I was surprised and disappointed to hear it was supposed to be difficult and unhealthy.

Our bodies are naturally herbivorous and our minds naturally empathetic, and our bodies and minds have to run a gauntlet to make meat acceptable. So to be vegan is to show her how to live with an addiction-free, open, compassionate mind and a healthy body, as nature intended. I bet your husband would also believe she is too young to witness how animals are farmed and slaughtered.

As for sweets, american hard gums and jelly beans are normally vegan, there are some others that are incidentally vegan. Vegan chocolate is readily available and marshmallows can be found over the internet. Browse health food shops for more options, and search online for more. I'm not really an expert - I hate sweets! - but I know there's a good variety. The main problem I noticed is that when people makes vegan sweets, they try and make it suitable for everyone - nut free, gluten free, no artifical colours etc.

veganosie
Sep 26th, 2011, 09:54 PM
i decided to be vegetarian when i was around eight years old, purely because of the fact that i didn't agree with the process of killing animals. i have always been an animal lover but it was only around a year ago when i started to research into the industry of farming animal for eggs/dairy that i realised that "organic" and "free range" don't really mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things!

splodge
Sep 26th, 2011, 10:55 PM
I never really was much of a meat-eater, so becoming vegetarian was no big deal for me.
I mainly decided to try because I knew so many vegetarians, and was curious. Then I found that not eating meat made me feel much healthier and energetic than before. So I stayed vegetarian.

I became vegan only after meeting my current boyfriend, he had been one for several years.
Had heard of veganism then, but never really knew much about it. He unintentionally inspired me to try it out, and now I've been vegan for a year and a half. Feeling much better :)

Though I never have, and never will be the type who looks down on all meat-eaters. Their choice.

I don't like this. It's fine not to look down on people, but remember that it's never an animal's choice to be used in this way. It's also not the choice of poor people around the globe to be born intoa situation where they risk starvation, which animal farming causes. It stops being a "personal choice" when other people and animals are directly affected by another's actions.

MomOf2Gremlins
Sep 27th, 2011, 08:44 PM
Thanks for your further explanation, splodge as well as your input, veganosie!
I'm supporting my daughter a 100% and think slowly my husband will come to understand that it's really her choice and not 'forced' by me. ;)

As to the comment of 'not looking down on meat eaters, it being their choice'.. I think I know, what you mean, veganosie, considering that I live with an omni (thankfully he rarely eats anything non-vegan inside our home! -I certainly don't buy anything for him *lol*) but I have to agree with splodge that it's further than only a personal choice when the animal's well-being is involved as well as other global factors.

I have to say, I really have a hard time nowadays understanding how I could stay a vegetarian for so long!.. Which in return makes me look at other vegetarians in a different light these days.. (Not to mention omnis who claim to be such animal lovers and yet eat meat/dairy/eggs..)

Mirandaxx
Nov 4th, 2011, 02:15 AM
I think it is definitely conditioning from a young age, being passed down from parents who were also conditioned in the same way. It has now become such a huge profitable industry that we are constantly being overwhelmed with advertisements promoting false health benefits of eating meat and consuming dairy products. I believe it is all in the name of profit, with little or no regard for peoples health and wellbeing. There is growing evidence of health complications associated with eating meat and consuming dairy, but most people choose to ignore these findings. Just look at the ever rising number of lactose intolerant people. We don't even continue to consume our own mothers breast milk throughout our lives, so why do we consume the breast milk of another species. Most people, i find, just do not really think about what they are doing.

theresnoreason
Nov 17th, 2011, 01:30 AM
I love everything you said.

theresnoreason
Nov 17th, 2011, 01:36 AM
Because people don't have to hunt, kill, gut, and harvest their own meat. The smell alone would turn people away from meat.

We grow up learning that this is what we're supposed to eat. The dairy and meat industry spent billions brain washing people into believing that their products are good for them.

Apathy---disconnection---selfishness.

Mostly, my first point-- They can order chicken at a resturant without having to get their hands dirty. It's a piece of breaded up protein to them... not a piece of a dead, tortured animal.