Negativity

rogerjolly

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A person might become vegan because of ethical reasons, health concerns, environmental considerations or some combination of the three. Whatever the reasoning I am certain we all think of ourselves as having made choices in a very positive manner.

But is this how we are perceived by others?

“Vegetarians don’t eat meat.”….. A negative.

“Vegans don’t eat eggs.”….. A negative.

“I don’t see why vegans don’t use honey.”….. A negative.

In the supermarket isle our foods might be described as non-dairy….. A negative.

I wonder if there are ways in which non-vegans (see how I have cleverly batted back the negative ;)) can be encouraged to use positive language about us.


PS

Atheists have a similar negativity problem in the public perception of them.

“Atheists don’t believe in God.”….. A negative.

Even people attempting to be fully inclusive refer to “those of all faiths and none.”….. A negative.

Being both an atheist and a vegan I suffer a double whammy. Hey ho. :rolleyes:
 
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Plant Muncher

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Vegans are seen as problems for others that is for sure. They don't know how to react to someone that is different than themselves in a fundamental way. My son's girlfriend has a mother that spends days baking cookies as gifts for everyone she knows for Christians, and she is damn good at it. The cookies are amazing. My guess is that her self-worth is bake into those cookies at some point in the process.
The other day I was told that she spent a good deal of time completely consumed with worry about what she was going to do this Christmas now that I am vegan. Clearly, my choices have had a negative impact on her and I'm sure the only way to save her from this dilemma is to tell her that I broke my commitment to veganism just for her cookies. Although, I can certainly see telling her that line of nonsense to make her feel better, I can't see ever actually eating her cookies or anyone's cookies for that matter.
I see a negative interaction down the road when she hears that I don't actually eat her cookies but told her I did and I feel that I am setting myself up for this interaction way, way in advance. I have made it very, very clear to everyone I know that my dietary choices should not impact them in any way. I don't insist in specific restaurants, I don't force them to cook me special foods, I always tell them that I will find something to eat or I simply won't eat and I still end up feeling like I have negatively impacted some people's lives with my choices. Maybe it is just inevitable?
Negativity from others has never had much of an impact on me personally. I grew up with the most negative father that ever existed and I learned early on that you can let people with negative personalities affect you or you can simply dismiss them. I swear that I could write an entire book on negativity and remain dispassionate. These days, I lean more towards being equanimous with regard to other people's negative attitudes. I think that is all you can really do in the end. Thank goodness I have a very supportive wife, a lifelong vegetarian and willing vegan.
 
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rogerjolly

rogerjolly

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Although, I can certainly see telling her that line of nonsense to make her feel better, I can't see ever actually eating her cookies or anyone's cookies for that matter.

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave

When first we practise to deceive!"

Here’s hoping, in an effort to understand these weirdo vegans, she doesn’t start searching forums on the internet! :pensive:

Roger
 

Mark Mywordz

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"Atheists don't believe in God"?
No, Roger. God does not exist. So what's to disbelieve?
 
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rogerjolly

rogerjolly

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No, Roger. God does not exist. So what's to disbelieve?

Yes, Roger. No, Mark. If you would like to look again at my original posting you will see that I was referring to public perceptions. Ask anyone aged from 10 to 110 what atheists are and it is a racing certainty that the response will be, “Atheists do not believe in God.” ….. A negative.

Keeping smiling and hoping we can take this silly world of ours not toooo seriously, I remain your bosom buddy fellow atheistic vegan,

Roger.
 
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Plant Muncher

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I find that Christians etc., are just as secure in their beliefs in God as Atheists are in their non-beliefs in God. How could either group really know? They can't. So both Atheists and Christians are basically the same as each other, only their belief systems are different, not the ferocity and adherence to their beliefs. An absolute belief, no matter the focus of that belief, is still an absolute belief.
 

Jamie in Chile

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Veganism IS a negative. You'd struggle to write a definition of veganism without using any negative words.

Talking about compassion and loving animals and feeling healthy and fit is one way to make the narrative more positive?
 
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rogerjolly

rogerjolly

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So both Atheists and Christians are basically the same as each other

Your comment brings from the dark recesses of my mind a line (I think by Dominic Behan) which goes something like: “Catholics are devout, Protestants are staunch, Atheists are convinced but Agnostics are just not sure.”

Anyway, when I first mentioned atheism in this thread I intended it to be a mere aside, drawing a parallel between the negativity expressed towards it and towards veganism. I didn’t intend it to develop into a topic that was perhaps out of the ball park for a vegan forum. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I will try very hard not to mention atheism again.

Roger.
 
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rogerjolly

rogerjolly

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Hi Jamie,

Veganism IS a negative

I wonder if, in a reversed world where vegans were the substantial majority, any non-vegans would be referred to in the negative.

Talking about compassion and loving animals and feeling healthy and fit is one way to make the narrative more positive?

I think you have that spot on!

Roger.
 
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Plant Muncher

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Your comment brings from the dark recesses of my mind a line (I think by Dominic Behan) which goes something like: “Catholics are devout, Protestants are staunch, Atheists are convinced but Agnostics are just not sure.”

Anyway, when I first mentioned atheism in this thread I intended it to be a mere aside, drawing a parallel between the negativity expressed towards it and towards veganism. I didn’t intend it to develop into a topic that was perhaps out of the ball park for a vegan forum. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I will try very hard not to mention atheism again.

Roger.
Amen! :)