Vegan friends won't accept newly turned vegan girlfriend

Brian W

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You make some good points Brian. I admit that I do try to convince people to watch educational videos showing the reality of animal suffering, but I don't force them. If I was forcing them, I'd be tying them up and literally making them watch with a gun to their head, I'm not doing that so... I've also said that I'm not going to ask my girlfriend again to watch Dominion (even though I think she should).
When I wrote my post I thought I was in the thread about teaching veganism in schools. Dominion was mentioned there also, that's why I said the bit about forcing people. My bad - I'm sorry. :blush:
 

Lou

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You make some good points Brian. I admit that I do try to convince people to watch educational videos showing the reality of animal suffering, but I don't force them. If I was forcing them, I'd be tying them up and literally making them watch with a gun to their head, I'm not doing that so... I've also said that I'm not going to ask my girlfriend again to watch Dominion (even though I think she should).
Have you seen Clockwork Orange? or read the book?

Do you think the Ludovico Technique could be applied to Carnists?
 

silva

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You can be vegan just because you believe using animals as commodities is stupid. You don't even have to particularly like them
You can be vegan because raising animals for food is one of the top contributors to climate change
If you never participate in activism beyond writing letters and changing how your friends and families cook you can do more to advance veganism than ones who protest and ridicule
 

Lou

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several well known vegan authors, activists, and influencers have suggested that just being vegan is not enough. (I think Peter Singer was among them but I can't find the reference)

Anyway the basic definition of veganism is:

“Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation of non-human animals, which extends beyond dietary considerations to the avoidance of all forms of animal abuse, including harm to their natural habitats.​


Animal Liberation Front (ALF) Founder Ronnie Lee and campaigner Tony Harris think it needs to be amended with:

“It includes a moral duty to actively oppose all forms of animal exploitation and to encourage and educate others to become vegan, with the core aim being the eradication of speciesism.”​


The Vegan Society spokesperson, Dominika Piasecka said,

If we restrict the meaning of a word too much, we run into the danger of excluding thousands of people from being able to use it, which would in turn make them unable to inspire others to adopt what they may now perceive as difficult to attain.”​

IMHO, All good points.
 
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Mufflon

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My weakness was trying too hard on a moral basis to do something I wasn't enjoying. Once I learned to enjoy making and eating plant based meals day by day, giving up animal produce became a lot easier and far more sustainable. I would never in a million years recommend forcing people to watch such videos. It is neither a good thing or a helpful thing to put people through it.
Good point.

White knuckling all the time because "morality" feels like kind of a miserable existence. It might explain though why some people need to be on the high moral horse. The feeling of superiority makes white knuckling more bearable. This applies to other things that include "white knuckling through" as well.
 

vegan89

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Good point.

White knuckling all the time because "morality" feels like kind of a miserable existence. It might explain though why some people need to be on the high moral horse. The feeling of superiority makes white knuckling more bearable. This applies to other things that include "white knuckling through" as well.
I think about ethics when I make food decisions and I'm not miserable at all. A lot more people in society would be vegan if more people paid greater attention to the ethical consequences of what they eat.
 
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Mufflon

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We have different views and methods with the same outcome. I guess we should maybe simply agree to disagree.

*shrug*
 

Brian W

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I think about ethics when I make food decisions and I'm not miserable at all. A lot more people in society would be vegan if more people paid greater attention to the ethical consequences of what they eat.
I'm glad it works for you but the point is, not everybody is capable of functioning like that and we sadly can't afford to be idealistic all the time when considering these issues. We need to understand that human beings are all different and we can't make presumptions about their motives or their ability to sustain a vegan diet on the basis of how we, ourselves, function. There may even be some who can never be vegan for medical reasons and we will need to accept that. I suspect that, to some degree, you have always enjoyed plant-based foods because all creatures, ourselves included, are hardwired to seek foods that we enjoy. Not everybody finds it easy to enjoy a fully vegan diet. We need to try to unite our ethics with our sense of taste enjoyment in order to make it work for us individually. Educating people about how horrifying the animal agriculture industry is, is one thing, but we must also somehow educate people about how enjoyable vegan food can be and about the possibility of reductionism as a first step if cold turkey is too difficult. Humans are far too complex a species for a single, one-size-fits-all simplistic solution.
 
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vegan89

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I'm glad it works for you but the point is, not everybody is capable of functioning like that and we sadly can't afford to be idealistic all the time when considering these issues. We need to understand that human beings are all different and we can't make presumptions about their motives or their ability to sustain a vegan diet on the basis of how we, ourselves, function. There may even be some who can never be vegan for medical reasons and we will need to accept that. I suspect that, to some degree, you have always enjoyed plant-based foods because all creatures, ourselves included, are hardwired to seek foods that we enjoy. Not everybody finds it easy to enjoy a fully vegan diet. We need to try to unite our ethics with our sense of taste enjoyment in order to make it work for us individually. Educating people about how horrifying the animal agriculture industry is, is one thing, but we must also somehow educate people about how enjoyable vegan food can be and about the possibility of reductionism as a first step if cold turkey is too difficult. Humans are far too complex a species for a single, one-size-fits-all simplistic solution.
There are a lot of things in this comment I'd agree with and also many things I'd like to question and argue about. However, the OP says his girlfriend is already vegan... so the question of whether there is some small % of people who are unable to go vegan seems irrelevant to this thread.
 
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maxvegan1988

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Update: My girlfriend told me on the phone today that she feels ready now and wants to watch Dominion when we meet this weekend. I was taken aback by this and after considering the different views expressed on this thread, I felt a little guilty that her decision might've been influenced by my previous constant urging and she's doing it to please me. So I dismissed it a bit and tried to change the topic but she brought it up again, until I told her that she really doesn't need to watch it in order to show her commitment to veganism. She insists she wants to, so I then told her that she doesn't have to this weekend and should take time to think about it as you can't unseen it, as well as telling her she doesn't have to watch it with me, but she says she wants to watch it with me there. It's her birthday on Sunday and I have something nice planned that doesn't involve animal activism. I hope she doesn't bring it up on Saturday. Normally I'd be all for if it was someone else interested in going vegan or newly vegan but feel differently now regarding her, which might sound hypocritical. I don't know, maybe I don't want everything in our relationship to be based on animal rights activism, especially when she wasn't into that part of the vegan lifestyle when we met and still really isn't. I feel happy that at least she saw the truth and became vegan and also fully supports the work I do regarding animal rights. I guess I have to learn to not feel so guilty about enjoying some of my free time alone and time with her doing other things unrelated to animal rights.
 
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Brian W

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so the question of whether there is some small % of people who are unable to go vegan seems irrelevant to this thread.
My apologies for treating a forum thread the same way I would treat a natural conversation. In future I will try to avoid asides when I speak to you.
 
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VeganRachel

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You are fortunate to have someone you can relate to. you seem opposites and she complements your roughness
with lace. Maybe she is a message to soften your attitude and find another way to reach humans with your
message. cheers from a 20+ year vegan who has never and will never watch "Earthlings", I know what goes on.
I also look forward to a wonderful girlfriend who I can relate to.
 

Ydobon777

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Sounds like your " friends " are very problematic here ... this isn't a way to talk about someone they don't know, it's truly shocking... great things i don't have any friends and deal with that horrible stuff.
 

bEt

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Once I learned to enjoy making and eating plant based meals day by day, giving up animal produce became a lot easier and far more sustainable.
This is a good point.
Motivation alone won't always get us where we want to be.
We need both motivation and a realistic way to turn that motivation into action.

(I think this forum and a lot of other places help people help each other do that.)
 

Rory17

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I’ve been vegan for 7 years now and I’d say I’m fairly hardcore and vocal with my views often accused of making non vegans feel intimidated. I’m 100% ethical vegan, for the animals and I spend a fair amount of time in activism work, going to vigils, protests etc. Over the last few months I have been dating someone whom I never thought I’d feel attracted to. Firstly she wasn’t a vegan to start with, is 16 years younger, into spirituality, yoga, health etc (things that make me cringe). She’s charming, lovely and beautiful as opposed to my cynical, miserable and uncouth self. At first I felt annoyed at myself for falling for her charms but she did become vegan and she brings out my more sensitive side when dealing with others. The problem is that most of my friends don’t like her. They think she has the potential to be a distraction to my activism work. They look down on her and subtly mock her when she is always sweet to them, cooking for everyone, before, after activism events, social gatherings etc. Another reason they don’t accept her is because she refuses to come to vigils as she says she won’t be able to cope and because she refuses to watch Dominion etc for the same reason. She is a passionate cook and has started a blog and YouTube channel encouraging people to adopt a plant based diet for ethical, health and environmental reasons. She believes this is her way of doing her bit for the cause. I just feel so frustrated that every time we are in the company of my friends or fellow vegans I associate with, there is a lot of animosity and bad feelings. I hate to admit it but she does make me happier and helps me feel less angry with the world, which I think is better for my activism work. I’d hate to lose her but I’m worried that other people are trying to do just that. I feel bad when she gets upset but in all honesty I would like her to occasionally attend vigils with me. Any advice appreciated. Thanks
You need to do what’s right for you both. I get that it is important to you that you associate with the other vegans. However, I would also suggest that you stand up for her and give them the ultimatum; it’s either be nice to her or you guys (you and the other vegans who are mean to her, not your girlfriend) don’t hang out together anymore. It would also be good to ask her opinion on this matter. You need to let her stand up for herself as well.
You can also say to the other vegans that what matters is that she is now vegan and that she does care about the animals and/or the planet, and that she is willing to do something to help. You can also tell them, assertively but kindly, and not rudely, that she is very nice to them and you won’t stand for any rudeness or hostility towards her.
 
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