Posted as part of VeganMoFo (The Vegan Month of Food) 2014 When vegans are around, things get a little tricky – for all of us. Sometimes non-vegans get defensive or hostile because they think vegans are telling them their food choices are unethical. Sometimes vegans are! And that comes across as self-righteous and snobby.
So, I’m using the Vegan Month of Food – a month during which vegan blogs are celebrated and aggregated in one place – to provide some easy tips for non-vegans and vegans to use, so we can all get along a little better. As the old saying goes, “If you can’t say anything vegan, don’t say anything at all.”
“SEARED FLESH,” “DEAD ANIMAL,” ETC.
Vegetarians and vegans, please stop saying this to meat eaters.
I don’t know. It’s not like those terms are accusatory or anything! That was sarcasm. Listen, fellow veggie-heads, I get it. You want people to understand what they’re eating and that it’s horrific. You want them to change right now, because you changed and now you’re on the other side of knowledge. You no longer want to use purposely soft words that aid us in hiding from what we’re eating. I get it.
But guess what? In order to have an effect on someone else’s viewpoint, you might have to be (gulp) nice to them. I know it sounds horrible, but it’s true. There’s even research that tells us when we position ourselves as allies instead of enemies, our advocacy is more effective. So, instead of saying, “Do you know you’re eating seared flesh?,” try saying, “There’s a lot of cruelty in the farming industry and they don’t want us consumers to know about it.” Whoops, I’m supposed to give you alternatives in the next section. Let’s go!
What are some alternatives?
- “There’s a lot of cruelty in the farming industry and they don’t want us consumers to know about it.” (Yeah, I repeated it)
- “I used to eat meat too until I did some research into how animals are treated. We’re on the same team, friend. Let’s learn together. I love you.” (follow up with a hug, if you’re so inclined)
- Don’t say anything at all.