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Thread: What do we have in common?

  1. #1
    Karma Junkie vava's Avatar
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    Default What do we have in common?

    I am wondering what we all have in common apart from being vegan.

    I remember when I was a kid - about 5 years - seeing a worm in the middle of a step my mum was going to walk on - I said stop and moved the worm and lovingly put it back where it was after she had gone up the steps.

    Is this behaviour common to all children and then is is trained out of them? Do you all have similar experiences of having deep feelings towards animals when you were young?

    Do we have some genetic disposition towards animal welfare and others have genetic dispositions towards human welfare etc. Tis all v puzzling to me.
    even perfect isn't perfect - Rubyduby 4th July 08

  2. #2
    cobweb
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I sometimes wonder, too, vava - i used to think i was 'normal' for caring for animals so much, then one day it dawned on me that it's probably more 'normal' to care more for humans (as we are humans! ).

    It's not that i don't care about humans, but somehow it comes naturally to me to know how to 'talk' to animals, and what they need. I'm a great animal carer but not always so good with humans. I find that quite puzzling, too, especially when my brother, for instance, says he can't really empathise with animals. Hmm.........

    There again, there are vegans who don't necessarily connect well with animals, aren't there? .

    Confusing.

    I like to think it's something to do with past lives, or purpose in life, something like that.

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    Linxie's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I have always been animal mad right from a young age. I have never felt much of a connection towards children. And I have friends who are children mad and can't stand animals.

    I'd be interested to know where this all comes from. I think it is definitely something I was born with. But my parents and sister are not really into animals or animals welfare at all.

    I also think on the whole people that who are vegetarian/vegan/animal lovers are sensitive souls

  4. #4

    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I was concerned about animals from a very young age and remember wanting to be vegetarian but wasn't allowed to. I used to get very upset when I saw kids pulling wings off flies and cutting up worms etc or hearing about animal cruelty. I'm equally sensitive to human suffering.

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    puffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I was brought up with animals, we always had a cat, dog, bird, or fish. My dad used to work in a glass factory and he made this giant tank and i used to spend ages looking at the fish. (it once leaked but that is a different story).
    So yes i guess i have always loved animals.
    I have a friend whos son stamps on snails because they eat his veggie patch i would go mental if my son tried to do anything like that. When i was around hers in the summer i showed her other son the bees around the lavender and one landed on the floor and he said "stamp stamp" i quickly dragged him away before he stuck his foot on the poor thing. So not all children have a caring nature towards animals.

  6. #6
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    no, i agree that some children seem to have an inherent cruel streak towards animals
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  7. #7

    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I was pretty hideous to insects as a child, but kind enough to people..
    We can all change.
    ..but what would they do with all the cows?..

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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    of course people can change, i was considering vava's idea that caring for animals is an inherent trait in children that gets taught out of them. in some children's cases i think the opposite is true. but all kids are different.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  9. #9

    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    My two liner was a general comment about me Gorilla x (It's all about me..).
    I was super nice to dogs, cats, rabbits, horses as a child but never saw insects as fellow beings until much later. I am a bit weird, however, innit.
    ..but what would they do with all the cows?..

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    Karma Junkie vava's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote horselesspaul View Post
    I am a bit weird, however, innit.
    Narna comes to mind
    even perfect isn't perfect - Rubyduby 4th July 08

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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    No doubt.
    x
    ..but what would they do with all the cows?..

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    Sluggie's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I don't have much of an affinity with animals (never kept any as pets, never wanted any). I don't think you need to be an animal lover to deplore cruelty towards them.

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    Karma Junkie vava's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote Sluggie View Post
    I don't have much of an affinity with animals (never kept any as pets, never wanted any). I don't think you need to be an animal lover to deplore cruelty towards them.
    is the way you feel about cruelty to animals the same or different to cruelty to humans Sluggie - nosey me
    even perfect isn't perfect - Rubyduby 4th July 08

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    Cake Fairy Cherry's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote vava View Post
    Is this behaviour common to all children and then is is trained out of them? Do you all have similar experiences of having deep feelings towards animals when you were young? :
    I feel that it is all mostly learned behaviour.

    I think the 'stamp stamp' behaviour of children is usually learned from watching and copying adults. I remember stopping my nephew from stamping on woodlice but he was just copying his parents, who killed slugs in that way in their garden.

    I've always been massively interested in 'life'.My parents tell me about when I was in my pram and used to pat the flowers in the garden, and when I was 3 I was fascinated by the giant snails in France and was once found arranging them into groups! (Hopefully they didn't mind too much!)

    It seems reasonable to suggest that it's more likely that people who like nature make steps towards vegetarianism/veganism.

  15. #15
    Stu
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Haha, a child patting flowers sounds like the cutest thing ever!

    I agree with what you said Cherry. Chiddlers learn through imitation. It makes sense in terms of growing up. We watch our parents, older siblings etc and copy them for two reasons:
    1) to seek their approval, and more singnificantly
    2) because we judge their behaviours to be functional (otherwise they wouldn't have them).

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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    This is a very interesting thread!

    I have always liked animals a lot. I was never cruel to insects - I was frightened of a lot of them . I can remember making a home for a wasp in a toothpaste box and being very sad when it died the next day anyway.

    I am also very empathetic towards humans. I am often called a "do-gooder bleeding heart" (as if it's a bad thing) because I try to see the good in everyone. If I ever hear of a car crash or anything where people have been hurt/killed I find it very hard to forget about it. I will brood over it and feel terrible for a long time.

    I have always been like this as far as I can remember. I have always felt things very deeply and always seen every side of a story. It makes for a difficult and sometimes painful life! :P
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary and those that don't.

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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Oh, I forgot to add... I have three children and although they are not vegan or even totally veggie (father problems), they have an inherent respect for all life. I teach them about things like that by trying to get them to think about their actions. I recently rescued two guinea pigs and the children are fully aware that they are not play things and have been so gentle and respectful towards them. They are only young (the children, not the piggies) and I think they are doing well.
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary and those that don't.

  18. #18
    cobweb
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    what i think is fascinating is that 2 children in the same family can be so different, so i don't think it can be all down to 'learned behaviour'.

    there's only a year between my brother and i but we are quite different. I remember getting really upset as a child if i found a dead Bee, and i was always drawn towards animals, whereas my brother was always a little wary of them.

    eta; i will never forget a little boy who came to pay at our house (a friend of my son's at the time), when he went into the garden he went over to Buster, our Rabbit, and smacked him! . It was only after i saw a glimpse of his home life that i realised he thought this is what bigger people did to smaller ones . Actually, posting that has made me feel extremely sad.

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    Tottering Bunny's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote cobweb View Post

    eta; i will never forget a little boy who came to pay at our house (a friend of my son's at the time), when he went into the garden he went over to Buster, our Rabbit, and smacked him! . It was only after i saw a glimpse of his home life that i realised he thought this is what bigger people did to smaller ones . Actually, posting that has made me feel extremely sad.

    And me . I teach, and the home lives of some of the worst behaved children are so bad, you can't help but give them a bit of leeway.
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary and those that don't.

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    cobweb
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    It makes your heart bleed for them, doesn't it, Bunny? . This boy, when he came into our house, he saw the fruit bowl and went over to it, all excited. He said "is that fruit real?". He couldn't believe when i said he could pick whatever he liked from it, bless him. Someone told me later that his mum used to send him to school with a packet of sweets to eat on the way for his 'breakfast'. That makes me so mad, i bet it would have been cheaper to buy him a banana .

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    Tottering Bunny's Avatar
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    It makes me mad too! (Perhaps this is what we all have in common?!) My eldest girl (age 7) asked me to put extra in her lunch box as there was a little girl who came in to school with only one slice of bread. It was one of those difficult things - on the one hand I wanted to encourage such fantastic behaviour, on the other hand I can't afford to feed more than my own three!

    When I go to Aldi (cheap Alpro desserts!) I often see people with trolleys full of crisps, sweets and crap, all moaning about how much food costs. Food?!!!!
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary and those that don't.

  22. #22
    cobweb
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    you know i think we've got it, Bunny, perhaps what all vegans have in common is the justice thing - wanting things to be 'just' and right, and caring when they're not.

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    Sluggie's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote vava View Post
    is the way you feel about cruelty to animals the same or different to cruelty to humans Sluggie - nosey me
    Pretty much the same, I would say, although I probably have a slightly stronger emotional reaction towards human victims, especially children. My feelings towards the perpetrator would be no different if the victim was human or animal.

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    我看得懂 mariana's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I also remember being really upset as a child when people tried to kill bugs. I remember once my friend was over playing in the yard with me and she wanted to kill the ants on the sidewalk and I got very upset and started crying but finally was able to convince her not to. I also remember fighting with my dad quite a bit because I was scared of spiders when I was little and so I asked him to take them out of the house and not kill them and he always wanted to squish them. Sometimes we'd fight for an hour but in the end I'd always win...seems he could have saved a lot of time by just taking them outside when I first asked!

    Bunny, I know what you mean...sometimes if I hear bad news about a crash or attack or something it takes a long time to get over it...makes it hard to read the news sometimes.
    Quote Bunny View Post
    This is a very interesting thread!

    I have always liked animals a lot. I was never cruel to insects - I was frightened of a lot of them . I can remember making a home for a wasp in a toothpaste box and being very sad when it died the next day anyway.

    I am also very empathetic towards humans. I am often called a "do-gooder bleeding heart" (as if it's a bad thing) because I try to see the good in everyone. If I ever hear of a car crash or anything where people have been hurt/killed I find it very hard to forget about it. I will brood over it and feel terrible for a long time.

    I have always been like this as far as I can remember. I have always felt things very deeply and always seen every side of a story. It makes for a difficult and sometimes painful life! :P

  25. #25
    BlackCats
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    I was always very sensitive as a child and got upset really easily about anything horrible I saw on TV like an animal being hurt in a film or something. When I was a child I remember seeing a bit of the film Platoon where the soldiers went into the village and shot the pig and feeling so ill and upset (although I wasn't vegetarian until I was 17.)

    I always get so angry and sad whenever I read anything about abuse to animals or children. I was with my friend the other day and she was talking about her neighbour who is in her forties but has the mental age of a 12 year old and she says 'I love you' when she says goodbye to my friend on the phone and it made me feel so upset. I also get really sad if I see an older person on their own and I wonder if they are very lonely. I just am very sensitive to most things and it bothers me that I am, I would like to be more detached. I also don't like appearing that way to my omni friends as I would like to appear more scientific about why I am vegan, for the environmental and health reasons. I don't like giving the impression that I'm vegan because I love cats and I don't want to eat and abuse animals because they are cute.

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    Karma Junkie vava's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote BlackCats View Post
    I also don't like appearing that way to my omni friends as I would like to appear more scientific about why I am vegan, for the environmental and health reasons. I don't like giving the impression that I'm vegan because I love cats and I don't want to eat and abuse animals because they are cute.
    and yet this is probably one of the traits they most admire in you......
    even perfect isn't perfect - Rubyduby 4th July 08

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    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I'd like to think we have respect for all life in common as vegans. I see animals as beings who have just as much right to be here as humans do.
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote Sluggie View Post
    I don't have much of an affinity with animals (never kept any as pets, never wanted any). I don't think you need to be an animal lover to deplore cruelty towards them.
    I totally agree. I love animals but i dont want any myself. I like seeing other peoples animals but thats about it these days. When i lost my cat i wanted another but i decided its less heart breaking not having any. My husband doesnt really like animals, he respects they have a right to life as much as we do but he has no desire to share his life with animals.

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    BlackCats
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    Quote vava View Post
    and yet this is probably one of the traits they most admire in you......
    (Thanks.)

    I know what you are saying Puffin, I'm not sure I could have a dog as a pet again as they are so loving and it would devastate me if it died. I think that is another reason why I don't think I could have children, I don't know how people cope if their child has leukemia or something even worse happens to them. I just think it's easier to not open yourself up to be hurt more, although it's probably quite a pessimistic attitude to go through life with.

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    puffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I totally understand what your saying BC. It is hard enough being a parent when they have a temperature and i cant imagine what it must be like if you have a really ill child. Fortunately most children never get seriously ill, they just cause stress cus you worry so much about them

  31. #31
    Pearl
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    I bought my children up to love and respect animals (Ive always been animal mad) and I found it very upsetting a couple of months ago when a close friend phoned them up in tears because his dog had died and they really didnt have any sympathy for the boy at all, let alone the dog.

  32. #32
    Stu
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    Quote cobweb View Post
    what i think is fascinating is that 2 children in the same family can be so different, so i don't think it can be all down to 'learned behaviour'.

    there's only a year between my brother and i but we are quite different. I remember getting really upset as a child if i found a dead Bee, and i was always drawn towards animals, whereas my brother was always a little wary of them.
    It doesn't matter how close or how similar a pair of people (e.g. siblings) are. It can take just one single event in a person's life, to affect the way they look at things forever. No matter how close two kids are in their upbringing, they will both experience plenty of different events in their lives.

  33. #33
    cobweb
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    yes, i see what you mean, Stu, although it still seems to me that we are born with the beginnings of a personality, as babies are so different.

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    Cake Fairy Cherry's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I absolutely agree Cobweb, that people have a personality/potential for certain skills and ways of thinking from the very outset. It's so hard to separate the effects of 'nature' from those of 'nurture', particularly when people usually learn a lot of their behaviour from people with the same genes as themselves. I still think it's mostly learned though.

    Quote Stu View Post
    It doesn't matter how close or how similar a pair of people (e.g. siblings) are. It can take just one single event in a person's life, to affect the way they look at things forever. No matter how close two kids are in their upbringing, they will both experience plenty of different events in their lives.
    Quite. It's scary, isn't it? Most of the things that I'm good at or interested in I can trace back to an event in my childhood.

  35. #35
    Prawnil
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    Veganism was not the obvious conclusion to my feelings and ways as a child. I'm very sorry for that.
    I had very little affinity for animals, and was the kind of teenager to bitch bitterly about vegetarians. I cared for a hamster and a rat growing up, and loved them, but I would do things like pick my sister's fish out of the bowl, and killed countless insects deliberately. (Apparently nothing fascinated and pleased me more, as a baby and toddler, than squatting watching ants, without disturbing them - but as I grew up I started to kill them.)
    I have a heavy memory of, very young, using the front wheel of a bicycle, sharing holding the handlebars with a neighbour boy, to kill tiny little frogs on a driveway. It was savage & completely deliberate, and the moment it was done, both of us ran like hell to our parents to tell them what the other had done, absolutely hysterical about what we were responsible for. It just screams out for pop-psychoanalysis.

    Later, I went through a phase of carrying a plastic cow about on a string. I was way too old to be doing that at the time, by most standards. During it, I was in a Wild Jacks steakhouse in america. The seats were prickly cowhide, there were full sized cow models dangling above the bar, and the walls were covered in cow-killing paraphernalia. I burst into tears and wouldn't eat the meat (I had macaroni cheese. It tasted like absolute crap.) but I didn't turn vegetarian. My parents' "reassurance" is probably the reason, and I doubt an unusual one for disturbed children.

    Vegansim followed a distinct change in character during a period of isolation from other people, their ways & opinions (so a social weakness was probably a barrier of mine). I started to spend time to revere the thing that had "died to feed me" before eating it. The absurdity and disgraceful nonsense of that situation came suddenly and clearly.

    I believe all humans have the capacity in common, but that the mound of inherited(by any means) crap to be mined through to find it, the means to, and the trigger to start, are all muddled to different degrees. I feel as though I grew into crueler thoughts & actions, then snapped out.

  36. #36
    Making changes Est's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I've always had a strong affinity for animals and people. My brothers and I refused to speak to one of our aunties for years as children because on a visit to our house she saw our "pet" slug, Charlie , in the garden and cut him in half with a nearby spade She didn't know he was a special slug (!) but she shouldn't have been killing animals in our garden anyway. I still feel angry with her about it, 21 years later!

    I'm very sensitive to others' feelings, whether human or animals, and like Bunny will brood about bad events for a while afterwards. I can't watch anything at all violent (even silly stuff in kids' films) because I get such a strong feeling of horror and emapthy with what it must feel like. If I see something by mistake, I feel ill for days afterwards.

    In fact one of the things that it proving most useful to me as I get older is an awareness of my energy and how to "protect" it and control it. It's helping me to balance my feelings so I can use them more constructively for action and not just internalise everything.

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    Karma Junkie vava's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I am wondering if 'overthinking' is one of the things we all have in common. We think repeatedly and deeply about stuff even when we don't want to!

    I find I roll things around in my head again and again until I shout at myself to stop. I find that method of stopping repeated thoughts is quite effective but it means that you have to be able to realise you are doing it and also that what you are doing is not constructive and in certain circumstances it can be actively destructive.

    I have asked many people if they think it is possible to stop thinking - sometimes i get puzzled stares. I don't think it is possible for me to stop thinking which is why I value time asleep - it is a refuge from my thoughts. I am still thinking when I go to sleep and I am thinking before I wake up.

    I have been told many a time that I am 'too sensitive' - this is mainly in response to conversations I have had with people - I run the conversation through in my head again and again wondering if I said the wrong thing etc. Fortunately this is less prevalent now I am older and hopefully wiser and the medication helps as well!
    even perfect isn't perfect - Rubyduby 4th July 08

  38. #38
    cobweb
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    ^ totally spot on with me, too, Vava.

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    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    And me!
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I did feel empathy with animals and living things as a child... except my little brother!
    No guru, no method, no teacher

  41. #41

    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    My mother says I ate cockroaches when I was a baby, apparently she found one squirming in my mouth one day. Apart from my attraction to insects, I did have a strangely comfortable relationship with animals and I still do.
    With ash in my mouth

  42. #42
    Ready to rock vercimus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I was always terriblly cruel to insects as a kid, and I suppose I just never made the connection between a living cow or pig and beef or ham until later. I devoted my life to helping people before I was vegetarian, and I still feel deeply for those less fortunate than us, but I've extended that compassion to animals as well after witnessing something I won't go into. I love my dogs, they're both really cool guys that needed a home, and even though they'll die eventually, at least they had a loving friend and a full belly. Damn it now I'm crying, and I'm supposed to be this manly bearded guy that listens to metal lol

    And yeah I can totally relate, vava. We' re not overthinking though, everyone else just isn't thinking enough

  43. #43
    BlackCats
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    Quote vercimus View Post
    And yeah I can totally relate, vava. We' re not overthinking though, everyone else just isn't thinking enough
    Haha, good point.

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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I can relate to a lot of you. I too was and am very sensitive.
    I also overthink things. And nothing gets me truly mad, except injustice.
    I have always had a strong fove for animals. As a child my parent killed their own animals (chickens, turkeys, rabbits,...) and brought a beloved pet to a shelter, drowned mice,.... You name it, quite a farmer's mentallity. And those were all things that deeply, very deeply hurt me. I caried the hurt with me for a very long time.
    I became a vegetarian age 13.
    And I will tell you that the way my parents deal with their pets is now totally different. It is not totally the way I would like. But it proves to me everybody can change
    Meditaion helps with overthinking for me

  45. #45
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    you know i think we've got it, Bunny, perhaps what all vegans have in common is the justice thing - wanting things to be 'just' and right, and caring when they're not.
    I think if there were one defining feature of my character a desire for justice would be it. before I could even talk a boy blamed my sister for something he had done to try and get her into trouble (sister is 2 years older than me, boy was 3 years older than me). Because I couldn't talk I just pointed at him and backed him into the corner shaking my finger at him, he ended up crying!
    I am so hung up on the potential for justice in the world that I really want to call my child Justice if I have a daughter, so much so that even if it is a boy he might get justice as a middle name!

  46. #46

    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    I remember my brother doing chicken impersonations when I was about 4. It was when we went to bed and he had no clothes on he pretended to be the dead chicken we had eaten. Pretty much around that time I had a dream where my family got cut up into meat chunks by giants (luckily I was magical and could put them together again) so I got the relationship between animals and humans pretty early but I think not knowing there was an alternative to eating animals, until I was 16 and had a veggie Hindu friend, I found it difficult to rebel against my parents. I also decided aged 11 to try and love everyone even if I found it difficult to like them (I have Pollyanna tendencies) I wasn't a great animal lover as a kid though. I couldn't understand why adults went soppy over cats but ignored their kids. Now I have cat freinds I can understand the attachment which makes it even harder to understand how so many people call themselves animal lovers and yet are happy to ignore the cruelty their lifestyles inflict on animals.

    I am like a few peeps on this thread and have a tendency overthink things (great for problem solving - crap for relationships) and used to cry if other kids got told off, so pretty empathic I guess.

    BTW Cherry the image of you patting flowers is the cutest!
    'Spring will soon pounce [like a floppy kitten]'. Whalespace.

  47. #47
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote veganlinda View Post
    Now I have cat freinds I can understand the attachment which makes it even harder to understand how so many people call themselves animal lovers and yet are happy to ignore the cruelty their lifestyles inflict on animals.
    I find it really very hard to understand too. I have an aunt who tells me all the time what an animal lover she is - but she still eats them. It would be better for her to tell me that she loves some animals, but not others. At least that would be closer to the truth.

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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    +1

  49. #49
    made of jam Aims's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do we have in common?

    Quote Roxy View Post
    It would be better for her to tell me that she loves some animals, but not others. At least that would be closer to the truth.
    So so true. That bothers me a lot as well. When my sister says things like that I sometimes say "you love the cute ones" (though how people don't find cows and pigs cute is beyond me.. I saw a chicken on one of those vet/animal hospital shows last night who was such a cutie too).

    Can totally relate to everyone mentioning how sensitive they are. Over-thinking things (or obsessing is how I usually look at it) sucks. I think apart from the aspects of this that drive us crazy, there's also good things though: the ability to sincerely take into account how other people are feeling, basing decisions on that is a nice thing to do.

    Token weird childhood insect story that pops to mind: flicking an ant on the coffee table one day, and then seeing it sorta wriggling around in a painful way made me feel SO guilty. So for some reason I decided it needed to be in an "incubator" which I fashioned out of a torch ... (yeah, not a lot of logic in it really) and then tried to nurse the ant back to health by offering tiny breadcrumbs and a few bits of sugar. I think the ant ended up doing ok? Probably it wasn't really injured too badly in the first place, maybe just a bit stunned, and it came right on it's own.

  50. #50
    Karma Junkie vava's Avatar
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    even perfect isn't perfect - Rubyduby 4th July 08

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