How to balance compassion?

Sproutskies

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Often when txting with my dad I find that there are these moments where he's either a bit naive or talks to me as if I am the same person he raised.

Mostly when he slips and says that he "went to a steakhouse" or "had fried chicken the other day". I just ignore it 9/10 times. This time was tempted to send the full slaughterhouse operation to him. Was thinking that it would just alienate and create more distance.

Instead it felt more fitting to send him this picture of a pig. I'm sure it hit him at least a little bit because you can clearly see the pain and the anticipation of death. This life reduced to just a number like what you would see from the holocaust.

Hard to balance compassion vs wanting to smash over the head with truth. Went with what my heart was saying. He just responded back that it was veggie dim sum.. which knowing him is probably a lie
 
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Emma JC

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it must be more of a challenge to balance compassion when you become vegan in your twenties

I had over 50 years of not being vegan so I do have more patience with my family and friends as but for the grace of goddess and a few years, there goes I.

Maybe the key is not to take it personally... if he lies to you about having something vegan, when you suspect it wasn't, then he is trying to make you feel better and that is interesting. There is always 'history' involved in these issues and trying to show compassion to him is just a vital as showing it to the animals, imo. Lead by example, be kind and whether he chooses to eat vegan or not is not a reflection on you.

Emma JC
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Lou

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@Emma JC's answer reminded me that the vegan forum has dealt with this a bunch of times.

try using the search function and find some of the threads on this subject. Try putting in "friends" or "family" or "non-vegan" in the search box. I just did and found a lot of threads. Check some of them out. There may be one that resonates with you.

I think your best resource might be Dr. Melanie Joy. She is a social psychologist. Her book, Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows, an introduction to carnism, is worth reading. She also has a bunch of YouTube videos. And a Ted Talk.

This video is a good place to start. And its really short


I included more links in this post

 

Humble Carrot

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Some people are set in their ways and will not even think about anything outside their reality. I understand your frustration. However, I think you should shower your father with even more love. This unconditional love that you show him might open his eyes to what you see. They say love can conquer all. I believe this.
 

Danielle

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it's a realization that people won't change no matter what, even if they've seen the abuse towards animals. It's heart breaking to watch other people see the same thing you do and not want to change. No one had to convince me that eating animals is wrong, it's something I've felt since I was a little girl.
 

Sproutskies

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He is a really loving person and does not want to intentionally bring these things up. We were talking on the phone about his trip to Vegas more recently and it was back to a normal father son relationship. He does have a good level of respect for me so I guess it would help to not get emotional and say send him something too shocking. Secretly have a desire to suggest and brainwash over time. Compassion is the better way.
 
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Lou

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it's a realization that people won't change no matter what, even if they've seen the abuse towards animals. It's heart breaking to watch other people see the same thing you do and not want to change. No one had to convince me that eating animals is wrong, it's something I've felt since I was a little girl.
People do change. They change all the time.
Children are more compassionate than adults or at least they are more in tune with it. Although I don't remember how I felt when I read Charlotte's Web, I have seen lots of kids give up bacon right after they read the book . Dr. Joy actually discusses children and compassion in some of her books and videos.
I didn't become vegan till after I turned 40. And it wasn't as if I just heard that bacon comes from pigs. For most of us it's a process. So maybe for some of us it's easier to relate to carnets when we can still remember being one.
 

vegansurveyor

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I have friends who eat meat as well. I don't try to persuade them as I don't expect them to understand, but when they ask me why I'm a vegan, I do explain the issue of cruelty to animals in slaughterhouses, how male chicks get killed in the egg industry etc. I realize that I can't change their minds on this or many other issues, sadly.

For people who might be willing to listen, consider asking them why they eat meat to understand what you should be arguing against, and try to get a sense of why their eating meat is more desirable for them than keeping the animals alive (perhaps they don't believe them capable of suffering or bearing a soul).
 

Rory17

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Hello,
Please just remember that, although he may be a car IAR, he is still a sentient, human being, and he is still your father. As such, he deserves compassion, too. You can love someone and have compassion for them and still strongly disagree with what they do. The kindhearted, moral wife of a murderer might still love her husband even though he is a murderer!
Absolutely, you should promote veganism to him a lot (but not so much as to turn him off of the idea), but do so with compassion.
I am a passionate animal rights person, and my family still eat meat. I hate it. I so wish they wouldn’t. It’s disgusting and cruel. I still love them though, even though we may not always get along. I still love them all very much.
Maybe get him to watch “Earthlings”? He might find that too graphic (I know, typical non-vegan, they don’t want to see animal slaughter, but they’re more than happy to pay for it for their bacon and other meat, ensuring the continued existence of brutal animal slaughter and cruelty on their behalf. If they didn’t pay for it to happen, it would happen to slightly fewer animals, thereby sparing their lives). In that case, maybe get him to watch something like “Live and Let Live”, some of Bitesize Vegan’s videos (lovely Emily and lovely Ooby. RIP, Ooby), Earthling Ed’s “Every argument against veganism debunked” and other speeches, James Aspey, Joey Carbstrong (my favourite vegan activist) and even vegan-related movies like “Charlotte’s Web”, “Free Bird” and “Babe”, if he likes/doesn’t mind children’s movies.
My name is Victoria Salter. I am currently writing a book that is currently entitled “Why You Should Go Vegan”. It is full of information, opinions, advice and pro-vegan arguments debunked. Please keep an eye open for it. If it gets published, and you happen to come across it, please get it and have him read it. I would like for at least some of the proceeds to go to a vegan advocacy group/s and an animal sanctuary/sanctuaries.
It is also advisable to meet people where they’re at when trying to convert non-vegans. For instance, your family member/friend/co-worker/boss might be an “animal lover” who adores dogs and/or cats and supports rescue. In that case, you could ask them things like, “Would you ever want for a dog or cat to be shot in the head with a bolt gun and then slashed across the throat, or put in a gas chamber where they scream and then slashed across the throat?” And then explain that those things are done to cattle and pigs in slaughterhouses. You could also ask, “Would you ever eat a dog or a cat?” And, “Morally speaking, how is eating a pig, a cow or a chicken any different than eating a dog?” You could also try, “What makes it “okay” to bolt-gun, gas or electrically stun and then cut the throat of a pig, a cow, a chicken (etc) and not (insert their companion animal’s name here)?”. You could also try sending/showing them videos and articles demonstrating how intelligent, caring, loving, playful and cute cattle, pigs, chickens (etc) can be, perhaps, in contrast with sending/showing slaughterhouse and farm abuse footage and images.
If the person is into environmentalism, you could bring up the environmental side of veganism and how bad eating animal products and their production is for our planet, and how even organic meat, egg and dairy farming is bad, how they can reduce their carbon footprint by going vegan, how many environmentalists are vegan and how much land can be saved by eating a vegan diet. You could try showing them “Cowspiracy” and getting them leaflets on the environment al effects of meat, dairy, eggs and fishing and how going vegan can help the planet.
If they’re a nature lover, you could try telling them about how overfishing is having a terrible effect on marine and coastal wildlife, how marine wildlife are killed as bycatch, how much rainforest and other natural habitat land is destroyed for meat and dairy farming, how crows, foxes, wolves, coyotes, rabbits and badgers are killed by farmers/because of animal farming, how switching to vegan could help them save more wildlife habitat (and, therefore, more wildlife) and how farmed animals have just as much right to live as wild animals (it’s not their fault they’re domesticated. It’s not their fault they were born into a domesticated species. They still have feelings. They originally came from wild animals. You could even mention the Aurochs - the wild cattle! You could also mention jungle fowl (wild chickens!), wild turkeys, wild geese, wild pigs/hogs, wild sheep, etc).
If they’re really worried about their health, or if they’re really health-conscious, or if they have a specific condition/s that can be healed by veganism, you could talk about the health benefits of veganism. Look up online about the health benefits of veganism and show them the results. Also, get them to watch “What the Health” and read books about the health side of veganism.
If they’re really into cooking or baking, talk about how most non-vegan “foods” and cakes (etc) can be veganised! Buy them vegan cookbooks/baking books. Get them to watch vegan baking/cooking videos. Cook delicious vegan food (in particular, vegan versions of their favourite non-vegan “foods”) to try and convert them.