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Anti-Vegetarian? Why?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

This is a touchy subject to some but what the hey; we're here for

discussions right?

Question:

Why do you feel so many people are anti-vegetarian? What points do you

bring up to folks that don't understand your choice? gtd

post #2 of 18

I was a vegetarian for 20 years so I'll add my input   For me it seemed that a lot of people would go defensive.  As soon as they found out I was the V word it was if I said all their behavior was wrong, wrong, wrong!  I wasn't out to change anyone else or judge for that matter, but apparently because the decision to not eat meat touches so many issues it was a political & spiritual statement every time I picked up a fork.

My diet is mostly vegan now but there have been times when I've had fish or chicken.  I wasn't a healthy vegetarian for so long.  Can't live on pasta and cheese without turning into a blimp, so now my goal is balance.  It's not everyone's choice but it works for me.

post #3 of 18

People get defensive because they know they're wrong, and they resent the fact that you made them think about it.

 

A parallel example: a young mother I know got a really hard time from her parents for breast feeding her baby. Not only did her parents find it uncomfortable to be around, they almost seemed offended that she was doing it at all. This seems strange on the surface, but if you think about it... back in our parents' day, they didn't know as much about the benefits of breast feeding and so fewer mothers did it. Now that we know better, these folks don't want to feel guilty that they raised their kids wrong. It's a decision they made long ago and they can't undo it. All the more reason to try to dodge the guilt.

 

Similarly, no one wants to be reminded that a cute furry animal lived a short life hunched in a dark cage and was then slaughtered with a bludgeon just so you could enjoy that lambchop. The guilt of this image multiplied over an entire lifetime can be too much to take on. The mind rejects what it can't digest, just like the stomach.

 

It is stupid to be mean to people who are making an effort with their own lives, just because you don't want to face your own guilt. 

 

FWIW I am not vegetarian but I respect the choice a lot and try to eat less meat all the time. 

post #4 of 18

Yeah I think it's a bit of "I bet you think you're better than me" complex, because vegetarianism is generally about giving something up for moral reasons.  And then there's a lot of PETA basically trying to guilt people into becoming vegetarian, which reinforces this complex.  Personally I admire vegetarianism and also try to reduce my own meat consumption, but PETA's campaigns really piss me off.  Trying to guilt trip people is not the way to convert them to vegetarianism.  In my opinion PETA does a lot more harm than good.

 

I think the other aspect is machismo.  Vegetarianism is viewed as wimpy and eating meat is viewed as manly.  So you get some guys trying to feel all macho by making fun of 'sissy vegetarians.'

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Good points.

I was speaking to a lady today about sausage, (sounds strange I know)

and I mentioned the fact that the "casings" are the intestines.

"Really?" Gross; I don't want to hear it."

Somewhat typical of some meat eaters. They don't want to acknowledge the

source.

Back in the 80's I worked at a meat packing plant; thankfully not the killing floor,

but I saw enough as an inspector to end my appetite for meat for many years.

What turned it into "forever" for me was video's I saw on the news and the web.

(Dang that new fangled gadget)   We need a LOL smiley!

Ok, I'll say it. Mercy.

That's my reason.  

post #6 of 18

dana, PETA has done a lot of wonderful things but the media loves to focus on the outrageous.  Any help for the animals scores in my book, but I have yet to join PETA so I guess I'm not totally sold either.  Guilt seems to be a rare emotion these days.  Maybe that's why they strive for more nudity.

greentea, right, there are a lot of people that would not be able to kill their own food but lucky for them they don't have to think about it.  My wake up call was watching a program on Chrissie Hynde when I was 17, but even prior to that my parents had a hard time feeding me meat.  My dad griping about how I should be thankful for pricey steak and I'm gagging at the table.

I think perhaps vegetarians have a more sensitive or compassionate personalty (no, no not sissy Why is compassion deemed a weakness by so many people?) towards animals because I'm sure there are people that are disgusted by meat packing plants but still love their pork chops.  My aunt runs one of the largest turkey farms.  Nice woman but when she talks about the turkey its a product not a living thing with feelings.  The one time I brought of cruelty with her she assured me they were very stupid.  There's definitely a lack of something..maybe on either side.  lol

post #7 of 18

I'm not anti-vegetarian, I think people should do what they want to as long as it doesn't bother me with it. What I do mind are those that preach at me, whether it's their life-style, their religion, or their political philosophy.

 

We have a friend that is a vegan. She comes to see us once a year and stays three days. She is nuts but we don't mind that so much as her insistence that her way of life is the only correct way. Then there are her conspiracy theories,: thank God she only stays three days!

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey, Timetrvlr-aren't you a transport from treehugger? Nice to see you here too.

It can be daunting for sure, especially now (as a vegetarian) shrimp are off my list and eggs too.

(But those for peace of mind more than anything)

But when they come for my green tea or coffee, there's gonna be a fight.

And I'm not calling you a saint here, but you have a lot of tolerance for putting up with someone for

3 days you don't agree with.

You must have a scout merit badge in your background somewhere.

post #9 of 18

Sometimes I just turn off my hearing aids and mumble replies when expected.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Funny that no one mentioned the "emissions" aspect of the choice. It's not all just the moral issue.

 

Cattle "emit" a lot for one thing, The growing of their feed uses massive amounts of water, the cattle

themselves drink massive amounts of water, the trucks to transport them to market use massive

amounts of diesel. (more emissions)

In other countries, they are cutting down rainforests so they can have room for their cattle.

People don't realize the true cost of having that ham sandwich or that steak for dinner, and how

many extra tons of junk their consumption is putting into the atmosphere.

 

"Cattle-rearing generates more global warming greenhouse gases, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than transportation, and smarter production methods, including improved animal diets to reduce enteric fermentation and consequent methane emissions, are urgently needed, according to a new United Nations report released today.

“Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems,” senior UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official Henning Steinfeld said. “Urgent action is required to remedy the situation.”

Cattle-rearing is also a major source of land and water degradation, according to the FAO report, Livestock’s Long Shadow–Environmental Issues and Options, of which Mr. Steinfeld is the senior author.

“The environmental costs per unit of livestock production must be cut by one half, just to avoid the level of damage worsening beyond its present level,” it warns.

When emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9 per cent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.

And it accounts for respectively 37 per cent of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and 64 per cent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.

With increased prosperity, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year, the report notes. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 1999/2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tonnes.

The global livestock sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector. It provides livelihoods to about 1.3 billion people and contributes about 40 per cent to global agricultural output. For many poor farmers in developing countries livestock are also a source of renewable energy for draft and an essential source of organic fertilizer for their crops.

Livestock now use 30 per cent of the earth’s entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 per cent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock, the report notes. As forests are cleared to create new pastures, it is a major driver of deforestation, especially in Latin America where, for example, some 70 per cent of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing.

At the same time herds cause wide-scale land degradation, with about 20 per cent of pastures considered degraded through overgrazing, compaction and erosion. This figure is even higher in the drylands where inappropriate policies and inadequate livestock management contribute to advancing desertification.

The livestock business is among the most damaging sectors to the earth’s increasingly scarce water resources, contributing among other things to water pollution from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and the pesticides used to spray feed crops.

Beyond improving animal diets, proposed remedies to the multiple problems include soil conservation methods together with controlled livestock exclusion from sensitive areas; setting up biogas plant initiatives to recycle manure; improving efficiency of irrigation systems; and introducing full-cost pricing for water together with taxes to discourage large-scale livestock concentration close to cities.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?newsID=20772&CR1=warning

post #11 of 18

Why are people anti-vegetarian? Well that depends. I personally am anti-vegetarian NOT because I felt guilty or wrong for eating meat, but rather because many vegans I know or hear about are elitist snobs who act as if everyone should respect them highly for their life choices. Of course this isn't across the board, and many vegans are just vegans because they want to be and don't try to force it on others or act better than others.  Rolex Replica Replica Watches Replica Watch Rolex Replica Watches

 

Vegans still annoy me personally because I like eating everything and anything. Street food is my passion and I love discussing food, but with a vegan, it just turns into an argument. I especially dislike vegans who use the arguments of "saving animals" and how we should treat all animals equally as humans and blah blah. Vegans like that I spite by just eating even more meat.

 

If you want to be a vegan because you believe it's more healthy or because you believe you're saving the world by your actions by cutting down carbon emissions and whatnot, whatever. Just don't preach at other people about it, keep it to yourself.

 

post #12 of 18

There are a significant number of vegetarians (especially vegans) who are very self-righteous, judgemental, and moralistic. Moreover, these people, while in the minority, are extremely vocal about their beliefs and their moral superiority to meat eaters. It's the same way with religious fundamentalists. There is a very significant, very loud population of fundamentalist Christians that are also self-righteous, judgemental, and moralistic. People think that these minorities represent the movement as a whole because the majority of people who are vegetarian, or Christian, are unassuming and don't push it on anybody. Because of the vocal minority, the public has a generally negative impression of us all. As a result, all members of either group, deserving or not, are subject to the criticism that should only really be levelled at a small number of us. So, blame PETA, and I'll blame Jerry Falwell.

post #13 of 18

I think it's ironic when I see vegetarians wearing leather shoes, rocking leather purses and wallets, and sitting in leather seats... and enjoying veggies fertilized with dead bodies. 

post #14 of 18
Yeah, I have some vegan friends, and they can be very vocal about their beliefs, which can be annoying. But mainly I respect them for their opinions. Unless a vegan is just straight-up judgemental and abrasive, that is a little different than just being outspoken.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahilal View Post

People get defensive because they know they're wrong, and they resent the fact that you made them think about it.


This is dead right. Also, if they thought about it seriously, they'd have to stop being lazy and pay attention to what they eat instead of just shovelling whatever tastes good into their mouths (though we all do this to a degree, vegetarian or not). smile.gif

post #16 of 18

Anti-vegan nosense, I never met someone whos anti-vegan

post #17 of 18
True. Being anti vegan doesn't make any sense.
It's is a touchy subject and I've met some people who were laughing at me for eating my vegetable salads.
On the other hand we all talk about life food isn't it? Almost anything we consume has been somehow alive. smile.gif
post #18 of 18

I have many close friends that are vegetarians, and I totally support it for environmental and animal cruelty reasons.

 

However, I believe the act of killing is sacred and the acknowledgement of what is being sacrificed for your life is enriching. I believe eating meat is important who we are as humans and also whatever cultures you identify with.

 

I grew up in China when I was little, and a few times a year, my grandmother would come back from the market with a chicken for us to kill and prepare in our own kitchen. It was always a kind of celebratory thing. Meat was scarce back then, and when my parents were my age now, they had to live through a time where their neighbors were starving to death and they were lucky to get meat a few times a year. Even now, when I visit home, my dad will buy a live fish from the market and prepare it at home.

 

I think its a damn shame that people don't want to face the death and dirt that comes with slaughtering an animal. If you can't deal with that then don't eat meat. But I think it's a problem to not be exposed to the reality of life, that animals die when we eat them.

 

If that's impossible for people to stomach, there's probably something wrong with the way you're treating your animals (which is the case in the US especially). Everyone knows an animal raised properly, well fed, happy and healthy, is most delicious. Why would you want to be eating anything else?

 

Whether or not you're a vegetarian, I think the most important thing is to be informed about what you're eating, and truly appreciative of all of the energy and labor that's gone into bringing that meal to your table. Even if nothing has died to feed you, how often do you think about the farmer that has tended to your veggies. When I eat meat, it keeps me humble.

 

There are vegetarians that are very aware of what they're eating, because of their dietary restrictions, but there are also vegetarians that aren't. A lot of people assume omnivores are that way because they are just doing what's easy, what they're used to. That's probably mostly true, but every time I eat meat (which is not very often), it's a conscious decision.

 

I believe that, to deny death, is to deny life. Without death, how can we appreciate the life that once was.

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