Are people afraid to go vegan?

Sally

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My friend asked me to tell her about being vegan, but not to tell her anything that might make her give up meat. It made me wonder whether people are afraid of finding out about the abuse of animals because they might find they are affected by the knowledge, and are scared of having to deal with a change in lifestyle.

When I went to the Viva Roadshow there were lots of graphic posters outside which were quite off-putting. Someone in the audience of one of the talks mentioned that perhaps it would be better to put up less intimidating posters to engage people so they come in out of curiosity, and then they could be encouraged to go vegan in a much more positive way. The chap giving the talk just nodded thoughtfully and moved on to the next question.

What do you think?
 

gab

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I think that we live in a world of misinformation. Moreover, the vegan movement is not very good at advertising itself - most people I talk to imagine that vegan means you eat green salads, so they are like 'yuck, I could not live like that'.

Funnily enough, I do not like greens myself - I thrive on fruits and starches :)

I would like to see more vegan food cuisine being advertised, it is more colourful, tasty and healthy than the meat dishes.

But different messages appeal to different people, some may want to try vegan because of the graphic messages, others because of health reasons, others for ethical/kindness reasons.
 
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Jamie in Chile

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I have my doubts about the graphic messages and wonder if "come and try some delicious vegan treats" and then you hand out a leaflet "why vegan" (again ungraphic) with it which does mention politely some issues on animal ethics.

I also suspect that using animal pictures could be done more powerfully without showing abuse/blood etc. A picture of a dog and a pig (both looking happy) that says "Pigs are more intelligent than dogs. When will be learn to love all animals the same?" could be just as effective as animal rights activists that stand showing gruesome images. (Not my idea of course, I am paraphrasing this from something else; I can't remember where.)

I just wonder if gruesome images are off putting, and not making you think. But, I am not sure. And I have never actually tried it (yet).
 

Jamie in Chile

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I had this idea that you could set up a stand selling vegan food (needs to be two of you) but offer some for free to anyone willing to take you on on a public debate where the others in the queue listen. You could put up a sign advertising the debate offer.

The person getting the free food would be a meat eater who has to defend their meat eating, and it would be done in a light way. You could also have some information about the reasons for veganism written up on a board visible to people in the queue for the food, and hand out "why vegan" leaflets in the queue.

I would keep it light. Nothing about murdering or concentration camps but just some strong, polite moral arguments and not pushing for anyone to accept them in the moment, but just so that they go away and think about it.

I doubt you would get many people talking about trickier arguments like iodine deficiency or grass farmed beef land use efficiency, I think most of the arguments could be done positively.

If you are giving your time for free, then you can sell the food for the cost of the ingredients, so it would be competitive enough to draw people in.

You obviously need to be a good cook, so I couldn't do this on my own.

Do we think this would work?
 
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Sally

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My friend argues that some animals are treated well so it's alright to eat them. I can't seem to get across the message that exploitation of any living creature is wrong. We don't eat people, we don't farm them, we don't keep them as pets, we don't breed them for testing harmful chemicals on, we don't keep slaves for work anymore, so why is it okay to do all this to animals. It's a basic principle of morality and there are no levels between right and wrong. We do not need to live this way.
 

Mariah

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Most definitely YES.

I agree with what @gab said. There is a lot of misinformation. I too thought that going vegan means going on green salads. That was really off putting. But only after I had a long chat with one of my vegan girlfriends is when I understood that going vegan doesn't mean that I have to give up delicious food.

Now in my 4 week journey I've found so many delicious recipes. They taste even better than the non-vegan food.
 

Sojah

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It depends, here in Brazil, BBQ's are very popular and ppl love it, also the country produces a huge amount of meat. Here most ppl tend to ignore on purpose the fact that we are destroying forests and so many Eco-systems just to farm meat. there are many ethical and political questions too. The Lobby made by the meat industry, the advertisements with happy cows being happily executed etc etc... I was talking to some friends about my choices and when I was about to explain how they breed, feed and kill these animals, they just asked me to stop because they simply didnt want to know otherwise they'd be disgusted next time they order a juicy beef. So I guess ppl chose to ignore it and keep the fantasy that it's not an animal in their dishes but some industrialized men made stuff that's born on supermarket fridges. Guess ignorance is a choice after all...
 

bratvada

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Some people don't read books. I remember years ago I was talking about veganism with my brother. I said i do it for the animals. He said 'f**k the animals'. I was a bit shocked. Recently I found out he does not read books. That explains to me why he is so bland to talk too. You need to read books to find out all the good stuff.

I think being vegan threatens him, but he probably has no clue about health benefits or the horrors of factory farming. Why would you if you just ingest mainstream media. Perhaps his own innate wisdom tells him that vegan is a good path, but perhaps it scares him.
 
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