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Hey Vegans, Don't Be Jerks: Why It Helps No One to Judge Their Food Choices


Society & Culture  (tags: activists, freedoms, ethics, culture, diet, vegans, Omnivores, society, interesting, humans )

Carrie
- 250 days ago - alternet.org
Really, I'm not judging you. But I often find it necessary to establish myself as "not a threat" to meat eaters. I also occasionally bump up against militant vegans.



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Comments

Mary T. (321)
Sunday April 20, 2014, 4:08 pm
Thank you Carrie for the article; rarely talk about food with people here on Care2, too many people get upset because of the food one person enjoys.
 

(0)
Sunday April 20, 2014, 5:45 pm
Everyone has a right to their opinions on diets just as people have the right to shut their ears off to those opinions. I am a vegetarian and don't like to talk about my diet specifics unless asked. But I have had meat eaters including some medical practitioners criticize my diet choice, which is never appreciated. Bottom line, we all need to do what works well for us, our bodies, our environment, and our personal beliefs.
 

Birgit W. (152)
Sunday April 20, 2014, 6:14 pm
Everybody should just eat what seems to be right for them. Thanks for sharin.
 

Elizabeth M. (68)
Sunday April 20, 2014, 6:21 pm
I believe that we all have choices to make in our lives. I read an article here on Care2 just a while ago, that mentioned that vegetarians were finding it harder to go home on special occasions, as many in the family were not vegetarian and served meals with a big turkey or ham, roast beef or fried chicken, and how easily they became offended if partaking in all or most of meal was not done. The way I feel is that it is your family, and you could offer to bring a couple of vegetarian dishes to the occasion and of course I don't think your Mother is going to have a fit if you told her your reasons for being a vegetarian. I do agree with Mary T even though I blabbed on about vegetarians. (I have a daughter who is one) But my husband will never change, he is a meat & potatoes type of guy, and at his age he should do what makes him happy.Thanks Carrie.
 

Evanola Davis (83)
Sunday April 20, 2014, 7:47 pm
Diet choices are no different than religious choices. Everyone should be entitled to their own choices without being condemned by others.
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (283)
Sunday April 20, 2014, 9:23 pm
I agree with Judy
 

Ruth S. (298)
Monday April 21, 2014, 5:08 am
I hate when people try to tell me what I should eat, it is my choice to eat what I feel right with, I am a Vegan and I am very proud to be one!
 

Dawn Mason (113)
Monday April 21, 2014, 7:59 am
I agree Ruth!
 

Val R. (254)
Monday April 21, 2014, 8:51 am
Mary - I agree with you - some things I just don't mention here.

Evanola - totally agree with you and everyone - I don't judge people by what they eat, wear etc... we are individuals here on tis planet

Ruth if you are proud to be a Vegan - go girl go - you have every right to be proud.
 

Lona Goudswaard (78)
Monday April 21, 2014, 11:16 am
Thanks for bringing some balance to Care2 on this subject. I wish we could have more of these articles by authors who believe that "Everyone should become more open to honest conversations about our food without judging one another or becoming defensive about being judged."
 

Barry B. (26)
Monday April 21, 2014, 3:35 pm
Speaking of which, I'm getting a bit weary of that Care2 pop-up that appears every time I change pages commanding me to swear to become a vegan!!
 

Kathleen R. (138)
Monday April 21, 2014, 4:01 pm
Interesting article. My choice is vegan but I am not jumping up and down on a soapbox to push my views. I have heard comments criticizing how I choose to eat.
 

T M. (0)
Monday April 21, 2014, 7:03 pm
Thanks Carrie. The vast self righteousness of many vegans and their unending boasting about how wonderful they are, as opposed to how destructive and hateful the rest of us are, has, I'll bet, turned more people off the subject of meat consumption than anything else. I've yet to see an online vegan who didn't imply or openly claim that they're the only ones who care for animals and the environment. We need a discussion of levels of meat consumption, we need to get rid of factory farming, but calling people 'murderers' isn't the way to do it. And I wonder what kind of person feels the need to go around calling everyone else 'murderer'.

@Syd H, while I don't disagree with your conclusion I could point out the destruction of the environment caused by all those soy farms being planted to make soy products for vegans. Is that better? Animals can be grazed, without destruction, on land that is unsuitable for crops (without massive intervention). That's how it's done in my country. I've also yet to hear any convincing argument why eating eggs, milk and honey is inherently wrong (as opposed to particular ways in which producing these might be wrong).

 

Diane L. (110)
Monday April 21, 2014, 8:23 pm
" I am not vegangelical to people I meet, but I will tell you that many have been opposite with me yet I do not see anyone telling the carnivores to back down from their righteousness (especially here on C2). :( ".............strange, coming from someone who claims she is NOT vegan, and has never judged anyone else for their dietary choices. I also find it strange that someone who is NOT vegan would even refer to those who are not as "carnivores", since anyone capable of reading a dictionary knows that a carnivore is someone who eats ONLY meat, and those of us who are not vegan also eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries and grains. The word is being used to criticize and insult those who have a different P.O..V., and it's pretty obvious from the fact that this member is the only one accusing others of being "self righteous", it's pretty much being hypocritical.

Thank you, Carrie, and everyone else who believes as I do, regardless of what they do eat or do NOT eat, it's one's individual right to do whatever they feel is right for them, and not judge anyone else for being "otherwise".
 

Robert B. (58)
Monday April 21, 2014, 8:47 pm
I never make an issue of it when I eat with someone or a group that does not know I don't eat meat. If I'm offered meat I simply say "no thanks, I don't eat meat". That's the end of the conversation, unless the other person asks why. I only give my reasons for being a vegetarian if asked. I never push it or make an issue of it.
 

Dianne D. (462)
Monday April 21, 2014, 8:50 pm
When you point fingers, you have to look at how many are pointing back at you.
 

Lynda H. (99)
Monday April 21, 2014, 10:20 pm
I liked that article: I wish more people had a balanced attitude like that. I was a vegetarian for decades, and while I don't believe I was ever 'militant' I believed I was doing the right thing trying to convince people not to eat meat. I was the worst advertisement for vegetarianism - obese, hacking cough, constantly sick, no energy etc but I clung to my principles, until I was forced to face reality.

I've come full circle, and I know where these militant vegans are coming from and how they feel, and how easy it is to be self-righteous and mean. I've also encountered some pretty obnoxious attitudes from meat eaters. Live and let eat: set a good example of tolerance and respect.
 

Inge Bjorkman (147)
Monday April 21, 2014, 11:38 pm
There are no choices, visit a slaughterhouse
45 years of veganism and without diseases and bad conscience.
Let all live, animals also.

Feel The Love
 

Dimitris Dallis (9)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 3:48 am
Nice article, nice story you brought us Carrie, and so nice comments :)
Personally I eat meat, but I don't like it or want it in daily basis. And I am so against animal factories (and I don't consider that "meat" as real anyway)
I don't understand neither accept people who tell you what to eat - or to drink, smoke, dress, think, behave...
 

Lloyd H. (46)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 6:38 am
Thanks for the article. Unfortunately just as with the Christian Taliban of America the sane ones tend to keep quiet and the rest are the ones pushing laws that amount to dietary restrictions onto those whom do not believe the same as they do.
 

Syd H. (48)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 7:15 am

You know, I was a bit leery of coming back in here to see how the conversation would go.

Nice of you to come in Diane and illustrate for me exactly what I mean about the anti-vegan crowd here at C2.

~~
".............strange, coming from someone who claims she is NOT vegan, and has never judged anyone else for their dietary choices. I also find it strange that someone who is NOT vegan would even refer to those who are not as "carnivores", since anyone capable of reading a dictionary knows that a carnivore is someone who eats ONLY meat, and those of us who are not vegan also eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries and grains. The word is being used to criticize and insult those who have a different P.O..V., and it's pretty obvious from the fact that this member is the only one accusing others of being "self righteous", it's pretty much being hypocritical."
~~

Diane, you do not address what I said about the plight of animals, health, cruelty, environment, society, economy but instead go for the personal attack on things you've entirely made up about me. I have never said to you that I am vegan, nor have I said that I am not -- because my diet does not change the reality of the issues around animal consumption in this world. It simply does not.

Can you not see Diane how hypocritical (with an emphasis on critical) you are with your accusations of righteousness about others?

To modify a comment I made elsewhere, the world simply cannot support the current animal agriculture methods and so either the world will see an end to the consumption by imploding and wiping out both animals & humans, or there will be a reduction as there simply is not enough earth to supply everyone at current levels with better -- let alone best -- methods.

Makes sense to find ways to reduce now and find other alternatives including vegan whether for the sake of the animals, health, environment, economy, society, or simply as a way to avoid supporting the likes of Monsanto & friends which profits off the GMO feed consumed by the vast majority of the animals eventually slaughtered (and they are all killed in the end even on the smallest and most humane commercial dairies & egg operations).

Sure would be nice to see one of the vegan bashing gang acknowledge that...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/opinion/kristof-the-unhealthy-meat-market.html


Nor Diane, have I ever said I do not, nor never have judged someone. Anyone who says they do not is lying. Simple as that. You are completely making up things about me but regardless, it's all just stupid semantics and distracts from the reality that animal agriculture is quite destructive and destroying the world we all live on while the way the politics and industries are set up I have to subsidized it so you can get a better deal on it so consume even more.

Were it so simple that you just pay the real costs, but then it's still a living being which suffers and is killed for momentary enjoyment. How does everyone here feel about eating dogs, cats and horses? What about raising your own dogs for dinner? I'm not advocating that either, but it sure would be nice to have people actually give some consideration to what they do and why.

Really, if it's everyone's right to eat as they wish, then why do we care about how pets such as dogs, cats, horses are treated including how someone feeds their dogs? Or indeed if the dogs are the dinner? What does it matter? How is it we can confiscate someone's animals but then go have a steak dinner?

http://www.care2.com/news/category/animals

http://www.care2.com/find/site#q=vegan+dog


As for the "carnivore" use (most people do understand but let's go with "Carnist" from now on http://www.carnism.org/) (or does it really bother you that much?) and just the idea that I am vegan or not... it's simply semantics and ridiculous nitpicking derailing a real conversation. Word games! English is and always has been fluid and changing.


~~

As for the questions of TM, I think it's quite comically ironic that the comment blaming all vegans, every last one of them online claim to be the only ones who advocate for animals or the environment, came in just after at least two who say that's not who they are. It's also *not* a statement I made, nor have I ever.

Perhaps the blame is not in the vegans being self-righteous (as some no doubt are as there are some in every group vegan or not -- can we not all see that?). Maybe it has to do with righteous defensive postures...

Defensiveness comes from some insecure belief, deep-seated and unrealized or not, that perhaps we are doing something we might not ought to be. Perhaps that's something that should be explored rather than dig deeper down in misguided beliefs throwing it off on others (talk about abdicating your power)


As for soy farms, you do realize the absolute vast majority of soy is grown to feed animals who will be consumed? Less than 6% of the world's supply of soy is consumed directly by humans and the vast majority of that is in processed foods (which more non-vegans eat simply because most of those product are not vegan "foods"), and ironically in meat as a filler and not by the world's vegans.

Same goes for corn. What is not turned into ethanol is fed to animals with the direct human consumption mostly being non-vegans in processed foods that largely are not even vegan.

But animals do also eat GMO alfalfa and canola, and more:

http://www.care2.com/news/member/491567770/3759483

http://www.care2.com/news/member/491567770/3763126

As for what is happening in Australia... it is not immune either. Just because we see a few animals outside does not mean that there are not thousands, millions more packed away out of sight for each in the sun. It's insidious:

http://www.voiceless.org.au/the-issues/factory-farming


Okay, and to answer the questions about eggs, dairy and honey... well, I'm not sure why it's always up to "vegans" to answer these questions. We are living in the age of the internet and google is our friend. We are all capable of looking these things up ourselves. It's what I did before I gave up animal products and indeed what pushed me down the road because once we learn, accept the truth of things, we cannot help but change if we have any sort of compassion for either animals or humans who suffer greatly whether working in the assembly line or by having their property values plummet with an unbearable stench and constant fly infestations when a CAFO moves near. In fact, there are numerous reasons to selfishly look out for our own best interests by making changes.

But to take it seriously, you do all owe it to the beings who provide for you to bear witness to what they go through for your plate.

So, to start watch, "Fowl Play" which conveniently is available free online.
http://www.fowlplaymovie.com/

For the others, I don't necessarily recommend everything said, or the way it's said but it's a start to understanding the why questions:

Honey:
http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

Not to mention that a great deal of the honey consumed in the world either is laundered or not even honey:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/science/honey-laundering-the-sour-side-of-natures-golden-sweetener/article562759/?page=all

Personally, I do eat honey I can get directly from farmers I know who treat the bees well but a point was made in the first link that honeybees actually displace local pollinators so limit diversity (I do not however eat California almonds that are not at least organic):

http://www.care2.com/news/member/491567770/3763165


Dairy, what do you want to know? From a health, or a compassion, or an environmental standpoint?

For compassion it's because a cow generally has a natural 20 year lifespan while a female would naturally calve once every other year or less depending on conditions, maybe less often. In dairy the girls are artificially inseminated every year because one, she has to have given birth to produce milk and her supply naturally drops off after about 11 months so she is given a month off to heal her teats which otherwise would burst from stress and then she's back in it. All the boys who are born are killed within a year if not much sooner to become veal or calfskin. The girls are put into service to replace their mom and aunties, but because the dairy is too valuable for human consumption the girls are separated from their moms then given milk replacer which is made from the blood of her aunties. This is legal but exposes the calf to Mad Cow so even if the cow is not completely spent at the age of 4 to 5 she is culled before symptoms of Mad Cow show up (that doesn't mean she does not have the prions though) to become hamburgers and cheap frozen meals.

All the baby cows are separated quickly from their mothers and put in very small solitary pens.



Eggs:

Basically it's the same with eggs. The boys are ground up alive, or suffocated under the weight of their brothers while the girls go into service at 5 months when they start laying and then killed enmasse at 18 months before they naturally ease up on production to make way for the next generation.

So none get out alive even if the direct result is not dead flesh; indeed the product drives the deaths of them all, but not until they've put in service. For that reason, so-called vegetarian products can be even more cruel than eating beef.

But, we have not even touched on the living conditions of any of the animals and it's atrocious.

Nor have we explored the intense suffering of humans in the chain.

It's all there on the net.

However, here's a start:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/poultry/

http://www.hrw.org/news/2005/08/02/meatpackings-human-toll



If you do not see it, it is because you are willfully blind to it. :(


So yeah, I challenge each & every one to find out the truths; turn into it, even when that means reading/watching things that do not agree with your deeply held beliefs. If your beliefs are so infallible they will survive the test.


 

Syd H. (48)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 7:53 am

Oh, sorry TM... meant to also challenge that idea that animals can be put on land not suitable for crops because that's bunk too.

Most domestic animals came from Europe but now are all over the world on land that was never meant for them, and certainly not even in the small numbers -- compared to Confined Animal Factory Operation (CAFO) amounts -- that graze so are very destructive to the land and the watersheds. Again, that's stuff that is online. But also, if the recent altercations in Nevada are not enough to get people het up about how we subsidize the grazers then we might take a look into why we pay so very much for pine nuts:

http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/gone-native/Content?oid=931212 (3rd story)

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/19/cliven-bundy-nevada-blm-libertarian


Further, whether grazing or not, those fields need to be protected from other animals so much of the wildlife from wolves, to mountain lions (or lions in Africa, tigers in India), bears, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, etc, as well as prairie dogs, wild horses, and more are taken out to protect and leave prime food only to the livestock taxpayers subsidize.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/04/allan_savory_s_ted_talk_is_wrong_and_the_benefits_of_holistic_grazing_have.html

And this one talks about how field crops have to supplement grazing:

http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/forglvst/overgraz.htm

There's much more but the gist is that about well over 95% (some even say 99%) of the world's livestock are raised in factory conditions so that would still limit what people can consume.

The truth is that livestock "farming" is causing the destruction of vast amounts of diversity even among the livestock.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130527100624.htm

Who wants to accept responsibility for the loss of the monarch, or any of the multitudes of unknown species disappeared in the Amazon because bacon tastes so damn good?!

 

Lynda H. (99)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 7:27 pm
Perfect example of what the article described and advised against!
 

Shan D. (49)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 8:39 pm
Nice to see how the OP (original poster) asked people not to judge, and I come here and see some people posting the same old judgmental, self-righteous "I'm better than you" crap.

How's this for balance: I had a banana muffin for breakfast. I do not know where the ingredients came from (apparently some muffins are not "vegan"; I had no idea that some muffins contain meat) and I don't really care. I've got leftover pizza in the fridge, that has pepperoni, sausage, tomatoes, and cheese. I enjoyed the muffin and I intend to enjoy the pizza.

So there you have it. Balance.

 

Diane L. (110)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 8:46 pm
Aaaah, Syd, I must have poked a nerve......or two, or three..........maybe a dozen considering the length of your two novels all directed my way? Must be nice to be so perfect as to be able to criticize everyone you don't agree with or who doesn't agree with you and remain "blameless". Please let the rest of us know how that works.........how do we gain that status to become so "holier-than-thou" to be able to point fingers at everyone else while claiming we are the ones being judged.

Syd, for one who says they are "vegetarian" and yet eats honey, I suggest you look up the meaning of what it takes to be vegetarian. I know you don't care about words or group "titles", but if you choose to apply labels to others, then you need to be prepared to be included in a "group" yourself.

ALL of your accusations concerning the consumption of meat, poultry and dairy have been addressed dozens, if not hundreds of times in these discussions, so not sure why you are dredging them all up yet AGAIN, while ignoring the fact that those of us who do not claim to be vegetarian, nor vegan (myself, Lynda, Dale, Lona, and many others) have constantly posted our opinions on CAFO's and the evils of factory farming.........explained in minute detail about how one can be other than vegan and do more for preserving the environment than someone who merely comes into blogs such as this one and preaches to others and criticizes them for THEIR choices. Even some of those who are vegetarian and vegan have specifically stated that they do not do such things and agree with the article as posted by Carrie (whom I believe is neither vegan, nor vegetarian herself) and that we are wrong to judge each other for nutritional paths.
 

Inge Bjorkman (147)
Wednesday April 23, 2014, 5:10 am
It's not about judging, it's about everyone has the right to their lives!!!!

Love
 

Syd H. (48)
Wednesday April 23, 2014, 10:02 am

Ah Diane, what nerves do you have that keep you coming in to poke again and again with personal jabs instead of having a real conversation. You are the one defining what I say as accusations and taking it personally. If you aren't bothered by how you eat then why get so offended by anything I write? And why does what others say or claim have to have any bearing on what I say or do or think? I stated my opinion and you engaged me with some highly critical and completely made up statements about me when nothing needed to be said at all. Why is it that you find it okay for others to say what they believe only as long as it agrees with you?

 

Lynda H. (99)
Wednesday April 23, 2014, 7:04 pm
I woke up to find this PM in my inbox from Syd H:

“Really? You think I am a jerk? Please point out to me where I have been jerky? Or is it that we are not allowed to have the conversations because anything that goes against what you believe or do is being a jerk?”

***

OK, since you asked:

1. Sending an aggressive, confrontational PM,
2. Posting, as a first comment, a 4709 character/746 word essay,
3. Posting a second comment of 10,088 characters - 1,772 words, followed by a third post of 2,276 characters,
4. Cutting and pasting long sections from other irrelevant articles,
5. Preaching veganism on a topic that is not about veganism (it’s about being a jerk about veganism).

There is a tone, an attitude that conveys the message “I am better than you: you are either ignorant, so I will lecture you - or; you are wilfully bad/wrong/cruel and I therefore have the right to criticise/despise/condemn you”. Anyone who does this, for whatever cause, reason, platform, religion, politics, status, race, lifestyle, sexual preference, DIET, etc., is a jerk.
 

Carrie B. (318)
Wednesday April 23, 2014, 7:31 pm
Obviously someone didn't read this article or comprehend the meaning! Sorry about that Lynda and anyone else who has been targeted.
 

Diane L. (110)
Wednesday April 23, 2014, 7:38 pm
Oh, Syd..............not only can you not comprehend the article as posted by Carrie, you seem unable to comprehend what I posted as well. I never said I was offended by you...........I am more amused than anything. I "keep coming in here" only to post my P.O.V., which is my right to do, same as you, and if one wants to "count" comments, this is my 3rd. Yes, I addressed you (in general only) because the first post you made was to copy and paste part of a comment made by a C2 friend of mine and I found it hypocritical, coming from someone who claimed they were subjected to insulting, while at the same time were doing exactly that. I disagreed with what you stated and that is my right. I didn't even address you by name at that time. Then you posted 2 or 3 extremely lengthy novels, one of which was directed entirely at me, using MY name several times. If you don't want to be "poked", then stop POKING everyone else. See how that works?

You say that I have come in here to "attack" you (absolutely not) and that I have no desire to have a "conversation". Well, since it's impossible to have one with you, then that may be partially true, but ALSO since the subject actually is being judged and ridiculed because of being vegan (or not), then my comments have absolutely been on topic. I think others would say that IS having a "conversation".

NOBODY attacked you until you attacked them, and I didn't attack you, period. I copied & pasted a very short section of your first post which I found to be untruthful. I never posted a single "made up" anything. Please provide even one example of anything I said that was "made up". I said and this is absolutely verifiable, that I find it hypocritical for someone who is not vegan (your words, your explanation, YOUR clarification in several past C2 discussions) to say that they were the subject of any attacking for being vegan or that being vegan was the only way to go in order to address anything. As Carrie has pointed out, it's an individual preference that is our own to make, and nobody has a right to judge or insult anyone else for their decision. Nobody has ever attacked YOU for being vegan (since according to you, you are not vegan), nor for being vegetarian, nor for being breathetarian, nor for being whatever group you want to associate yourself with. The only thing I or anyone else here has criticized you for is being rude and disrespectful to others. I have no clue if that is a result of what you eat or don't eat. Frankly, my dear, I don't "give a darn".
 

Diane L. (110)
Wednesday April 23, 2014, 7:45 pm
Thank you, Carrie. I guess it must hurt to think you've tried to post something to promote "peace" amongst members who become "at odds" with each other over what seems to be an unnecessary thing and in doing so, stirred up the "wrath" of those who it was meant to "calm". Kind of like trying to feed a neglected, starving animal, only to have your hand bitten. Maybe not a good analogy, but you "get my drift".
 

Carrie B. (318)
Wednesday April 23, 2014, 8:12 pm
Thanks Diane, ~ and my apologies again to Lynda and anyone else who has been attacked because of the views they posted here.
 

Allen O. (197)
Wednesday April 23, 2014, 8:54 pm
Why all the hate? No wonder good people are leaving Care2!
 

Lynda H. (99)
Thursday April 24, 2014, 7:03 pm
Allen O, if all the good people leave the ship, all that’s left will be the rats.
 

Latonya W. (83)
Friday April 25, 2014, 11:25 am
wow the comments on here r mind blowing and even a little insulting. I am a pescatarian as of now and I think this was a good honest article..and no matter what one does or how much or how little they indulge something is better that nothing..everyone has to make some kind of effort for the sake of animals..less meat is something, only organic farm raised lovingly is something..everything counts..
 
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