Ethical Vegetarians/vegans: how can I start talking to meat-eaters without getting angry?

I have been vegan for about a year now, and I am certainly NOT the "preachy, self-righteous holier-than-thou" stereotype that many meat-eaters attribute vegans and vegetarians to. However, it seems that whenever meat-eaters find out I'm a vegan, they'll immediately start attacking my lifestyle; and for this it's hard not to get angry, even if they're family or friends. They'll immediately start telling me that veganism is 'unhealthy' and 'unnecessary', saying that animals are inferior to humans and therefore deserve to suffer and die etc etc. I'm so sick of hearing this EVERY TIME I encounter a meat-eater. Is there any way that I can handle these people? And if any of you have found a way to speak to meat-eaters, how do you go about it?

Updates:
3mo The most retarded argument I've heard people use is "Hitler was a Vegetarian." Even if he was (which he wasn't, he ate meat), I could just as easily argue "well Donald Trump is a human. So that means we're all like him." It's so stupid.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • If they're the ones attacking you, just defend yourself. They say it's healthy, ask them how? Ask them to back up what they say. Typical arguments would be lack of protein, absolute trash. If they say animals are inferior to humans, tell them humans are animals. Or just tell them to watch vegan gains and let him get angry for you. I don't know it's hard to not get worked up when people attack something you care about and typically the ones that attack you are the ones that feel threatened that you're doing something better than them.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • For this reason, I try not to bring attention to the fact that I'm vegan. I can definitely relate to this and it sucks. If they bring it up in a rude way, then I think it's absolutely okay to defend yourself and state facts (calmly). It's probably more effective to use health facts, rather than talk about the cruelty that goes on in the meat and dairy industries.

    For example, I always get, "BUT WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN FROM?" I tell them you can get all the protein you need from plant-based foods, such as spinach, brocoli, kale, black beans, and lentils.

    Ultimately, I just try to emphasize that I feel great on this lifestyle and leave it at that.

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    • 3mo

      Yeah especially since there are people who already know the cruelty that goes on and simply think its worth the price, like me

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    • 3mo

      Yes me too, I simply state that I don't eat meat if at a restaurant and offered some, etc. But unfortunately this is inevitable, and people go straight towards the defensive slant when it slips out.

    • 3mo

      Yeah, I've mostly gotten past my ASD but one thing that I can't get past is eating certain vegetables,
      Otherwise I'm pretty much completely functional,

What Guys Said 6

  • It's happened to me a few times. I know how to deal with them. If they start preaching to me, whether they're friends or family, I impolitely tell them to keep their opinions to themselves. I don't need friends or family like that!

    Result, still got all friends. Still got all family. No one mentions it again. Peace!

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    • 3mo

      Yeah, why keep these people around when they aren't going to respect you or your life choices?

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    • 3mo

      What's plan B? I usually use facts and logics to calmly explain why I choose this lifestyle, but they tend to go on the defensive and deny deny deny.

    • 3mo

      I tried the logical approach first. When that didn't work, I told one "friend" to keep his 'effin' opinions to himself. It worked. We're still good mates, and he's never mentioned it again. I tried a similar tack with relatives, but slightly more politely. That worked as well.

  • Keep you mouth shut about veganism and don't talk about it around us because we don't want to hear it and be respectful. Do that and you'll be golden and we'll show you the same courtesy.

    saying that animals are inferior to humans and therefore deserve to suffer and die etc etc.
    LOL my friend rarely anyone say's that I live in a town full of hunters and meat eaters and we love animals, and none of us think they deserve to die, but it is just the natural order of things, predator and prey, sometimes the animals are prey and sometimes we're prey for the animals, it's how life goes.

    Also FYI wild game that you hunt and kill in the wilderness is leagues more healthy then any fruit or vegetable you can eat due to the herbs and plants the animals consume and the meat is the leanest there is with almost no fat and about 2-3 bits of it will completely fill you up. ( just wanted to put that out there )

    Also humans are omnivores we never have been nor were we created/designed to eat an all vegan diet. We were created to be able to eat anything and to survive on a balanced diet of various types of foods. Veganism is simple a choice.

    ( this is a test by the way, how will you react? will you get mad, compile a logical argument or yell? or change the subject? )

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    • 3mo

      No, I'm just laughing at your ignorance. I've heard all your arguments before, and I'm tired of using facts to negate them. Go on living your life, this question wasn't addressed towards you.

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    • 3mo

      Articles don't mean sh*t, pardon my language. For every article in favour of meat based on science I'll give you an article in favour of a vegetarian diet, based on 'science.' So don't even try that on me. I think you'll find that, while Yourofsky is definitely very outspoken and passionate, he doesn't lie. All that he says are logical facts, so you can't possibly refuse to observe his viewpoints because of the way he goes about saying them.

      Btw: this shouldn't turn into a petty argument but you said "since you are going to be a bitch about it", which clearly denotes you calling me a bitch. If you didn't mean that then use a different conduct of language.

    • 3mo

      Alright have fun with that, and typical you refuse to look at anything that defeats what you say in that way you folks are all the same even though you try to be different.

  • Why do you feel the need to tell people you are vegan to begin with aside from you just saying you don't want to eat meat in case mof a BBQ or other meet-up?

    Do your thing, do it because you think it is right and that's it. The moment you start going on mission to evangalize new vegans you lost already, because people are annoyed by that. And that's pretty much the key reason why peopel can't stand vegans anymore - because you are like religious missionaries into everyones face.

    And if you really don't want to argue then say it as it is. "Hey, I respect your lifestyle choice, so please respect mine. If you can't, then we should stop this conversation right away". Be the bigger person.

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    • 3mo

      I don't tell people I'm vegan. They usually just see me avoiding the meat at a restaurant etc etc and they ask.

  • Well, the best way to fix it is to just eat meat haha

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  • Jeez im sorry. If your friends are doing that to you, then they aren't your friends.. You have a right to get mad about that. Just as i get mad when a vegan/vegetarian attacks me for eating meat.. Again.. Really sorry people can be such a** Holes..

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  • Respect that it's their personal choice, Remember you cannot force your views and lifestyle on others... I am vegetarian too

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    • 3mo

      Did you read the whole question?

    • 3mo

      Oops I didn't... well you can always ignore them, I mean of they can't understand about animal rights I think they need some introspection not you. So you should remember that it is their problem not yours

What Girls Said 7

  • Just tell them that its your life style choices so you can agree to disagree, its non of their business- not their body.

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  • That's a shame that people have to be so rude sometimes. I would just say "Hey, I don't tell you how to eat, so please don't try to tell me how to." I am a meat-eater, but I honestly don't care about anyone's diet as long as they don't try to force it on me. That also means that I don't try to force mine on anyone else.

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  • You could be sarcastic, "is that so", "tell me how you really feel", "and that involves me, how"... Just stuff like that helps with dealing with people that you don't care about their opinions. If you're really that upset, stop talking. Let them know that you're done with the subject. There is no reason to live your life always arguing.

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  • It's your lifestlye. Tell them that and tell them to respect that. Everyone is clogging their arteries in some way shape or form and no one seems to complain about it. Ignore those idiots. I'm sorry for your experience with them

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  • I am vegetarian, but people are in general very open minded here even if they eat meat. They may ask the reason why you became vegetarian, but its well accepted now (in Belgium)

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    • 3mo

      Well I'm glad it's so open-minded where you're from.. You're lucky!

    • 3mo

      Come and live here :-)

  • thing is.. you dont really need to talk about it, I dont see why your eating habits would be a conversation topic, so just try to not talk about it and if the topic does come out just be like, yeah im a vegan lol I can't see a problem with it, u dont even have to give ur reasons, i dont think people would attack u if u say u are a vegan.
    different things work for different people. you do you

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    • 3mo

      Yeah the thing is I try to avoid talking about diet altogether, because the problem is that if it somehow comes out that I'm vegan, a huge percentage (from my experience) of people come out and attack me. It may just be the close-minded society I grew up in, but I'm sick of it!

  • why do you feel the need to push your agenda onto others? when I was vegan I didn't tell people, I never tried to convert others.

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    • 3mo

      What? When did I say I push my agenda?

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