Why are some people offended by Vegans?

Austria
March 14, 2007 6:07pm CST
I've gone vegan recently and upon informing my friends, some of them seemed to take it very personally. When I tell them why I do it, they try to talk me out of it and see it as an attack on their own diet and morals. And I'm wondering why that is. Are they just living in denial about where their meals come from and don't want to be faced with reality? Any insight?
5 people like this
7 responses
@cerium (691)
14 Mar 07
Denial about what??? If you decided to be a vegan yourself, there's nothing wrong about it, but if you criticize them for not being vegans, then I can't blame them. You made your choice, but that doesn't make you better. Personally, I see nothing wrong with eating every kind of food.
1 person likes this
• Austria
14 Mar 07
Denial about where the food comes from. Everyone likes to think their steak comes from a happy cow, a cow that lives outdoors and has a nice life. I have friends who don't want to talk about where meat comes from because they are too sensitive, that's what they say, not me. I myself when I ate meat, know that I wasn't willing to look at where meat comes from, I mean really look at it. Go to PETA.com and watch the videos and such. Once I went there I couldn't eat meat anymore and maybe they are upset because now they have to think about their own dinner. I simply state that I am against the way animals in mass farm factories are treated and that I won't eat meat anymore. I never say to them they should be vegan too. But apparently just my choice to be vegan rubs people the wrong way. Yes I am passionate about it, but I never tell people they should be vegan.
1 person likes this
@cerium (691)
15 Mar 07
I respect your choice, but I don't agree. Animals do eat each others, that's how nature works. Also, what about that poor tomatoe that you eat? What about the flowers that you buy? And also what about insects? Do you kill them, or do you enjoy their company? Do you know how many insect was killed so as you will be able to eat a good banana??!! I am not trying to convince you with anything, I just reply to your comment.
1 person likes this
• Austria
15 Mar 07
It's not just a matter of eating them, even killing them, it's how they are kept. The mass production meat factories that "process" aka kill the animals are horrible places for the animals. It's sanctioned abuse. It's no better than concentration camps in my book. they melt the chicken beaks off, the chickens are in cages so tiny that they can't move and their claws grow around the wire. Milk cows are impregnated to keep milk production going, the calves are takes from them right after birth and 'used' for veal in a short few months. When they are moved in trucks, it's not a cushy heated one, their skin freezes to the metal of the trucks and at the slaughter house they are pulled off with poles and chains, and their skin is ripped off. Animals can feel pain, they can miss their young they can get sad. They may not be able to verbalize their agony and hell, but they definitely have to indure it in the factories. Really it is the mistreatment of the animals that should not be tolerated by any civilized society. And maybe I do judge people who choose to say I don't want to know about that, I like meat. Everyone should have to take a good look at where the meat comes from. If you still want to eat meat then, fine, but at least have a look. make an informed choice.
1 person likes this
@kate1356 (697)
• United States
14 Mar 07
That seems weird that your friends would be offended by your becoming a Vegan. Is it possible you have tried to convert some of them over to your new lifestyle..and maybe that is why they feel attacked? I am not a vegan but I respect for people who make the choice to be one. I worked with a girl once (who was vegan) and she had zero respect for my choice not to be vegan. She would yell "moo moo" whenever I would eat a hamburger at lunch in front of her. I think there needs to be respect on both sides. (I'm not trying to say that you don't respect your friends.. maybe they could have misinterpreted something you said :) )
1 person likes this
• Austria
15 Mar 07
sometimes when we talk about food and I state that I don't eat that food because it has eggs or milk in it.... that's all I say and I can tell by the look on their face that I said the wrong thing again.
1 person likes this
@kate1356 (697)
• United States
15 Mar 07
It seems your friends don't respect your being vegan. I think it is horrible that they make you uncomfortable about your lifestyle choice.
1 person likes this
@jricbt (1455)
• Brazil
14 Mar 07
I don't know your friends or you so it will a very small help, if any help at all. First, are you acting like a preacher trying to convince them than vegetarianism is good, and the truth or anything like that? Because many vegans are worst than some fundamentalists, trying to convert people to their ways. Also , they may have had some bad experience like this and now are reacting based on this bad experience. For a start , would be it.
1 person likes this
• Austria
14 Mar 07
I never said I was trying to convince them. They ask me why and I tell them why. that's all.
2 people like this
@jricbt (1455)
• Brazil
16 Mar 07
As I said, they may be reacting based on bad experiences with other Vegans they knew in the past.
1 person likes this
@polachicago (19143)
• United States
17 Mar 07
It is very simple. People who eat meat think that it is ok, because "bible said it is ok” or they can't break old habit. Inside they feel guilty.
1 person likes this
• Austria
17 Mar 07
Could very well be. I think one friend in particular feels guilty, but grew up being told that the woman cooks meat for her man. She also is the one who said more than once 'oh your poor husband, he doesn't get any meat.' and I told her 'if he wants some he can go to a restaurant I'm not telling him he can't eat it. I just won't be the one cooking it for him.' Maybe she wishes she had the conviction to do that as well and takes it out on me.
1 person likes this
@Denmarkguy (1845)
• United States
14 Mar 07
Not sure if it's insightful, but I do have a couple of ideas. First, a lot of people are "invested" in their friends being "a certain way" because it (in part) supports their sense of reality. When you suddenly become vegan, you're in essence "poking at their reality" and perhaps they feel a little insecure about their own choices... basically, YOUR choice of a healthier life is (indirectly) "forcing" THEM to take a second look at their own choices... and a LOT of people just don't like that... so they take the "easy way out" and become critical of the change. It actually doesn't have much to do with "being vegan" and a lot to do with "changing." For example, when I told married friends that I was getting a divorce, they responded as if my choice was an "attack" on their values. Second, ignorance probably plays in. They may have some preconceived notion that vegans are "weird militant tree huggers with attitude" and that's what you have become. Basically, they don't really UNDERSTAND, so they attack the mystery, rather than learn about it. I am always reminded of comedian Eddie Izzard's "bit" on being a transvestite, when he was in school. He describes school mates (jokingly) as saying "Let's beat him up! He used a word we didn't understand! And then he beat us at Scrabble with it! Beat him up!"
• United States
17 Mar 07
Thanks for the "best response!" Hope your friends loosen up a bit.
1 person likes this
15 Mar 07
I think its because they feel guilty because they don't have the strength of mind to do it themselves. Just relax they will get used to it soon.
1 person likes this
@brimia (6588)
• United States
14 Mar 07
I think many people are in denial about where their meat comes from. I think many have been brain washed too into thinking animal products are necessary for health. My husband and I have seemed to have "offended" his mom and grandma and my mom by becoming vegan...it's very strange...I'm not quite sure of the reasoning.
1 person likes this