Family members don't seem to have empathy for animal suffering

Anonymous1502

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I showed my cousins 12 and 9 where their bacon really comes from and explained what is going on and that pigs have feelings as they are sentient beings and that they are very smart.They watched the video and didn't seem one bit effected.They thought it was ok to kick the pigs, electrocute them, keep them in furrowing crates etc.I really struggled to watch the video I only endured it with the intent of perhaps changing their mind about eating meat.I am quite upset by their reaction I remember as a child adults used to scare us not to talk to strangers for example or not to smoke and that worked well.
 

JeliRose91

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I'm not sure what exactly you're looking for while posting, if it's for advice on what to do about their reaction or if you just wish to vent. Either way, I completely understand where you're coming from. At their ages, I don't think it's quite set into their minds just yet that suffering is real and it could happen to them. What is empathy anyway and why does it take some longer than others to understand the concept of it? To me, true empathy is when you can put yourself and your feelings beyond yourself and try to truly and personally imagine what someone else's suffering feels like from their point of view. Sometimes these jarring videos just don't get through to people, maybe what they need to make the change isn't to see animals suffering but to see their own loved ones suffering and put it in to a view point where it could be them and their own one day. For example, a good friend of mine lost her child months after being born, it wasn't until that great loss in her life that she started to put herself in the shoes of the animals and what it must feel like to them when they have their young stolen from them only moments after being born.

I truly believe your heart is in an amazing place and you are doing so much good for the animals, the planet, your health and your generation, being vegan isn't easy and it takes quite a while to build up thick skin to the negative comments from others, the disdain toward going vegan for others themselves and just in general hearing from so many people that they could "never do it." BUT... you know what? you're one of the millions of people, probably even safe to say BILLIONS of people who are taking a stand toward a cruelty free way of life and if you simply lead by example, one day your nephews may follow in your foot steps.
 

Anonymous1502

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Thank you for your reply :) Hopefully one day they will come to the same realisation as me.Perhaps they are too young to connect the dots and truly understand what is going on.When you grow up eating meat it is very normal and to suddenly be told that what you have been doing for all these years is terrible we try to ignore the truth because it is easier to do so then realise that you are the one who enabled the meat industry and other animal industries.A lot of people in my family have this idea that if I have 1 slice of cake nothing will happen of course nothing will happen to me but to the animals it will and as long as there is demand there will be supply.Or another excuse I hear is this cube of chocolate has so little milk inside it is practically not there.
 

Emma JC

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One of the vegan activist that I watch on YouTube is Earthling Ed and he is one of the calmest and most rational that I have seen. He is almost scripted, in that he knows where he wants to end up and he asks people a series of leading questions that help to get them/him to that place.

If you take some time and watch some of his videos you may be better equipped to deal with situations like this and feel that you have done all that you can do. He is always respectful and yet doesn't back down. A lesson in salesmanship for sure.

Emma JC
 
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Mom2vegan

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I think we're all at different places, spiritually. Some of us can see/feel things others can't and I wonder if it's true that we're reincarnated over and over, and learn things each time. People who can't emphasize just might be "young souls" who need to be reincarnated a few more times.....

Your family members may not have reached the spiritual place where they can empathize with animals, but look how far humanity has come in general. Less than 100 years ago people enjoyed attending hangings, thought enslaving other human beings was OK, and actually sold the children of their slaves. When I was a child in the 70s and 80s, racism was a very "normal" thing. It wasn't long ago at all that people didn't bat an eye at dogs being kept tied up all the time. Veganism was considered extremely abnormal when I was a kid. Humanity had just reached the point where we recognized that people of other colors had feelings just as real as people our own color. We were taught that animals did not have feelings at all just instincts, and that anything they did that appeared to show feelings was really just them showing their instincts to survive and reproduce.
 

Tadpole

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Being confrontational and going for the shock factor doesn't sit well with many people. If they are young and are still developing their view of the world, positive role models are definately more influential.
I'm believing more and more in the concept of looking beyond animal suffering alone and seeing a wider picture of how humans can cause suffering to ALL living entities. To me this extends to whole ecosystems, individual trees, waterways and any natural factor that humans find a way to exploit for their own benefit...
I think a holistic way of thinking is the way forward to eradicate suffering and minimise the negative impact we have on the earth.
 

Forest Nymph

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Honestly I think a lot of the responses here are silly. Normal people get upset if you hurt a dog or cat, and only disassociate from farm animals due to socialization. So it's possible your cousins are being abused, and I mean that sincerely, because they're old enough to empathize with baby pigs, they're Charlotte's Web and Babe ages and frankly beyond, usually it's easier for children to empathize with mammals than fish or sometimes even birds.

It's ALL SOCIALIZATION. There's no such thing as a young soul unable to empathize with animals. That's called a psychopath.

I wonder about narratives of masculinity and power in your cousins household and how that factored into what may have been a boyish attempt at being macho, though inside they were bothered by it.

There are entire civilizations of people who are religious vegetarians. It's not because they're never racist or they're old souls, it's because they're socialized to empathize with animals from birth.

Indigenous people also "naturally" understand environmental science and care more about the earth than middle class white people. Because they're magic? Nah because they lived close to the earth for ten thousand years and still socialize their children to respect the planet and other animals than humans.