This weeks question of the week has been one of the hardest for me to come to a firm opinion on. I have read all our posts both for and against the vegan movement and I have learned a lot from you all about the reasons for why so many people are quite upset and fed up on both sides of the fence. On the one hand vegans are up in arms about the state of meat production around the world and especially in countries like the USA where for example pigs are reared in spaces so small that they cannot even turn around, and are pumped full of synthetic chemicals that make them grow fast and plump. These pigs are imprisoned in a perpetual state of torture, and many cannot even stand up properly due to the effects of these chemicals used to fatten them up. That is just the tip of the iceberg, and most of it is hidden from plain view. On the other hand meat eaters are upset and have lost patience with people (vegans) who are aggressively protesting and judging meat eaters because they feel they have every right to make their own choices, and if nothing else do not deserve to be harassed for doing what is considered quite normal.
After much deep thought and deliberation I have come to my conclusions, at least this is how I feel today and that opinion may change. The question to me is, when IS is OK for us to get angry about something, and when are we justified in judging others or being aggressive about something that we feel is not OK. Is the vegan movement doing itself any favours for people to march into restaurants and protest making a huge scene and really putting peoples back up even more? Is it helping the cause to judge and criticise others for their choice? If I ask meat eaters the answer seems to be a firm NO, and if i ask a vegan then the answer is that it is totally justified because of how bad things are and that the only way to initiate real change is to be aggressive and take a firm stance on the matter.
So, after much deliberation I think my stance goes something like this. First of all, most people who eat meat, and cheap meat in particular are for the most part oblivious to what is actually going on. I believe that if people really knew the full scale of the problem and life long torture of most farmed animals that they would make different choices. Those choice may not be to be give up meat altogether but at least to choose meat that is ethically sourced. Sure it cost more, and yes i realise that many people can barely afford to even buy the cheap stuff, but is that a justification for continuing to support what I can only call the tragic and unacceptable way that animals are farmed. IT doesn’t have to be this way, and with enough pressure things can and will change. Big business react to consumer demands, and will make changes only when we stop buying and supporting their products. So how do we get everyone on board with that. Well education would be a good start, and the vegan movement should in my opinion make a concerted effort to spread the truth through whatever means they feel is appropriate. For some that will mean none violent, none aggressive action such as posters, debates, petitions, lobbying for changes in the law etc, and for others who really are SO upset that may also mean taking more aggressive steps. I cannot really say that I oppose this, even IF it makes many people angry of uncomfortable because drastic times call for drastic measures, and its fair to say that things have never been worse for the animal kingdom. If there ever was a time to get all up in people faces about this, this would be it!
I dont really want to shove horrible examples in peoples faces, but at the same time I feel i have to, so here is an example of why i say this. Worldwide, more than 50 billion chickens are raised and slaughtered annually, that is an incredibly large number! Chickens are sociable, intelligent animals with their own emotions and personalities. Through the 1950s, even chickens raised for eventual slaughter were kept in traditional small coops of no more than 60 or so birds, with free access to the outdoors; they could nest, roost, and share space according to their natural behaviour. But modern large-scale farming practices ("factory farming") give chickens no opportunity to behave according to their nature. Quite the contrary—the reality of the life and death of factory-farmed chickens, both those raised for meat and those used to lay eggs, is shocking. Nowadays Broiler-chicken facilities tend to be extremely overcrowded, with tens of thousands of birds crammed into a single closed broiler house. Each chicken is given less than a square foot of space, so hardly any floor is actually visible. Chickens living in these stressful conditions will peck and fight with each other, which has led chicken producers to the "solution" of debeaking chicks shortly after they hatch in order to minimize damage. This debeaking process, like much else in factory farming, is run assembly-line fashion, without anesthesia; the chicks are placed beak-first into an apparatus that quickly cuts the tips off the beaks with a hot blade. It is impossible, in such an atmosphere, to maintain health and cleanliness. The chickens" excretions pile up, and the resulting ammonia fumes become so strong that they burn the birds" eyes, and blindness results. Reports from observers say that birds with "ammonia burn" rub their eyes with their wings and emit cries of pain. Chickens are exempted from the USDA"s Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which mandates that animals be rendered insensible to pain before being slaughtered.
As bad as conditions are for chickens raised for meat, they are even worse for birds in the egg industry. There are about 300 million laying hens in the United States; of these, some 95 percent are kept in wire battery cages, which allow each hen an average of 67 square inches of space—less than the size of a standard sheet of paper. Excrement falls from the top cages to the lower ones, causing the same "ammonia burn" problem as in the broiler houses. A sad side effect of the egg-production industry is the wholesale destruction of male chicks, who are useless to the egg industry. These chicks are not used in the meat industry either, because they have not been genetically manipulated for meat production. Male chicks are ground up in batches while still alive, suffocated in trash cans, or gassed. The hens live like this for about two years or less, until their bodies are exhausted from the stresses of constant laying and their egg production decreases. At that point, they are shipped to slaughter to be turned into animal feed or sometimes human food or are simply discarded.
Does this not make your blood curdle? It does mine as this is just the TIP of the iceberg. SO with that in mind, is it ANY surprise that passionate vegans are SO angry? I think not! I totally get it, and whilst i do understand why they are so hated right now for pushing this issue, i believe the time has come and it is necessary. If it makes meat eaters angry, or uncomfortable then so be it, that is what is needed. The meat industry is like a horror movie and those who cannot help but be angry about it are beautiful souls with good hearts and are here to protect BILLIONS of sentient beings in whatever way they can. This to me is really quite justified when there is no violence used, but only words and images, it is actually quite a peaceful act of protest. SO whilst it may be annoying or uncomfortable for people to be challenged on this, i have to say that I actually support it.
That is my view, but i realise that many of you wont share it. I would only imagine that those who don’t share this opinion have never seen first hand what is happening. SO with that in mind here are the answers of everyone who has posted on this weeks question. There is a mix this week of different opinions, and well worth taking the time to read.
Thank you to all who took part this week, it was an engaging question and one that has surely sparked quite a lot of debate!
Why is there so much hate against Jehovah Witnesses?
It is because they come to your door, get in your face, and challenge your beliefs with an air of superiority.
Why is there so much hate against Vegans?
It is because they come to your place, get in your face, and challenge your beliefs with an air of superiority.
Vegans also have a very flawed view of the world and life.
And worse, they have a very flawed view of dietary needs.
Now, those last two sentences will make most Vegans see red.
Veganism isn't so much a diet as it is a cult.
It is a radicallized splinter group that broke off from the Vegetarian religion.
Before I start Id like to say that i was brought up eating meat and only meat.. i barely ate a vegetable or fruit until I was 21 years old when I visited India for the first time and decided to not eat meat during that 5 month journey as i was told its easy to get ill.. It was quite liberating to learn how tasty vegetables could be when cooked with some good spices! After that I was a 100% vegetarian for a few years, and today I eat meat about once a month or so. I am also MOSTLY vegan and eat dairy fairly rarely, usually involving a pizza like I did today for lunch. OK so with that out of the way here we go!
To be (a jerk) or not to be (a jerk)...
I am not sure if writing about jerks is a good way to start my weekend or not but my mind decided screw it! we're doing this. @eco-alex made an interesting question for this week in the ecotrain about hate and anger towards vegans, the full questions is: "Why do you think there is so much hate and anger toward Vegans, and why are those who eat meat so threatened by the notion of giving it up?". He had some pretty bad experience with meat eaters and what is surprising, my experience is completely different, I had terrible encounters with vegans and vegetarians. Maybe 10% (big maybe) of all of those that I have met so far have been "normal" and not either aggressive or angry. I guess there are jerks on both sides...
let me state the obvious. Vegans are not real human beings. They possess some kind of self awareness and ability to rationalize ideas in a way that most of us can not.
Let me further elaborate.
We all know that bacon is one of the healthiest foods on earth. Even one piece of bacon is enough to induce feelings of happiness, well being and satiety.
This, along with the knowledge that good vibes = good healths, leads us to believe that there is something special, possibly even magical in the bacon molecules.
While I am not a chemist, one could assume that they have fewer free radicals or potentially an extra electrolyte or two. This may be the reason that bacon is, undoubtably the most tastiest food on earth.
This is something that I have witnessed in my own home and family. Well I would not say actually that there was hatred but yes there was ample amount of criticism and sarcastic attitude.
Around 3 years back suddenly one fine day my Son who was 19 then decided to go Vegan. When he informed this to me, I was very much surprised and taken back because he was such a big foodie that he would do anything for food. Meat and Seafood is something his meal would not complete without it. So when he informed this to me I was in a state of shock and could not believe it. I thought it must be again one of those age related spur out which would fizz out soon. He gave me this heads up in the month of Dec and said I will start from the month of Jan. He sounded very serious and I have never discouraged him to do anything. He has always had my support in whatever he has wanted to do so I decided that I will support him in whatever way I can. In those days I was shuffling between India and Muscat very often so we decided we will get a good Tiffin service for him who will serve him a variety of Vegan food and healthy stuff. We did enough of search and luckily found a good Tiffin service for his Vegan diet. So his journey began. I was shocked looking at his will power, because for that young a age and so much fond of food this was a very big decision.
So last week we had a very easy, open ended question, but this week, well this week we are back to a very controversial one. Thank you @eco-alex for keeping us on our toes. I am sure that I will probably end up annoying or upsetting someone, which I really do not wish to do, but this is just the nature of how these things go.
When we talk about other people's life choices, we are being judgemental of them and for some they really see that as an attack on their person. Where lets face it, in this insistence it is the animals that are being attacked, that are being manipulated and killed. But hold on, I really didn't want to start on the wrong foot.
Oh gosh. What a question from @ecotrain this week. I am kinda terrified to touch this but here goes ....
The question: Why do you think there is so much hate and anger toward Vegans, and why are those who eat meat so threatened by the notion of giving it up?
Seventy per cent of the world"s population is now eating less or no meat, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData. In Canada, a recent Dalhousie University poll reported that 7.1 per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians, while 2.3 per cent identify as vegans. source
Things are changing on the food scene. People are becoming more mindful of where their food comes from.
From my experience, here in Canada vegans do not generally face much wrath. A lot of restaurants cater to vegan diets and it is commonly accepted as are a wide range of other dietary choices and needs. Vegan protesters however, they get a bad rap, and honestly, I think they've earned it.
Why do you think there is so much hate and anger toward Vegans, and why are those who eat meat and dairy so threatened by the notion of giving it up?
Personally, in what I have experienced, I don't feel much of an issue on this for me.
I respect peoples diets and what ever reason they choose to remain with those diets. Whether it be because of animal rights issues, or because of a health condition like being Celiac or perhaps they've chosen a Ketogenic diet to move to a different fuel source for the body.
Well, I'll confess that it may not be so difficult but is very complicated issue for sure.
I wanted to read answers from some non-vegan peeps. Anyway, before I get that opportunity, let me try to put some of my thoughts on it here.
My answers and opinions will be largely based on my personal experiences. That means in Indian cultural context as I don't have any experience of other cultures.
Do vegans make non-vegans angry?
I don't think so! I'd say, generally speaking, all humans have compassion and empathy in their heart though to a varying extent.
We often see some aggression and rude behaviour in online conversations on Social media platforms against vegan messages. Although these are from few people comparatively, those are very extreme ...to the extent that they put some vegans into severe depression. But this is generally not true in face-to-face personal interactions.
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