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 Post subject: The time has come for me to retire from the activist scene
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:05 am 
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Stegosaurus

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There is this guy who recently became vegetarian in my building. He says that he is vegetarian for health reasons. He has a labrador retriever whom he bought from a breeder ( :evil: ). He takesd ecellent care of his dog, buying him expensive meds giving him home cooked meals, walking him and taking him swimmimg more than most people do, etc. etc. He really does love his dog. yet I spent an over three hours debating with him about the ethics of veganism.


He says that he totally does not understand how vegans can say to "animal lovers" that they arent really animal lovers if they et animals. He doesnt get this. According to him, you can love animals and still eat them. :?: :? :roll: :evil: He thinks we vegans have NO right to tell people that they DONT really love animals if they eat animals. he says that "love" is a feeling and who are we to tell people what they feel or whom they feel it towards.

EDITTED TO ADD: Then when I asked him whether he thought that an abusive man who raped and abused his wife constantly, but claimed at the same time to love her - I asked him if he thought that this claim would be absurd (since I see it just as absurd when meat eaters who support the rape and murder of animals call themselves "animal lovers"). His response was: "If the husband thinks he loves her, then he loves her. LOve is a feeling and there is no right or wrong. Abuse and rape cannot amount to love in YOUR mind, but it is love in his mind. And there is no universal truth that says that rape and abuse cannot be love. It is all subjective - a matter of opinion and semantics."

THis is the first time in the many debates that I have had with animal eaters that I met soembody who refused to concede that "RAPING A HUMAN IS WRONG" no matter where you are or who you are. If a country or a culture thinks that raping women or children is "ethical" then I would say NOT that they are wrong "in my opinion", but that they are WRONG PERIOD. End of story. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To be fair, this person is OPPOSED to raping humans. He thinks it is wrong. But he thinks it is wrong "in his opinion". He does not believe that there is a "Truth" about the wrongness of rape.

Then he tried arguing that we should be targetting young people and teaching them about how food animals are raised and kills because "you cannot teach an old dog new tricks." That people of his generation (350 have meat eating so ingrained in them and how he was totally raised to love chickens and at the same time eat them and therefore....what? I dont remember the rest of his point.

He also says that human beings are superior by far to all other creatures, and that certain creatures (presumably the bigger cuter ones) are superior to certain other creatures whom are superior to insects, etc. He says that he would have no problem sacrificing billions of animals if it cured human diseases. He says that vegans are angry and that they are hostile and that it is ineffective to use shcok tactics to get through to people. He says that I had no right to stick animal rights stickers in the elevator of my building because that was a violation of the privacy and the space of other people living in that bulding.

he says that it is custom and tradition to eat animals and that people have been doing it for so long that you cannot expect people to change overnight by viewing a documentary or reading a brochure.

I havent felt this frustrated with anybody in a long time. I am saddened, depressed and devastated that soembody who loves his own dog to death and such little sympathies for animal rights and can be so speciest. I am disappointed that this person, who loves his dog, would go back to eating meat in a second if health factors were taken out of the vegetarian equation.

I am frustrated with myself for getting so frustrated. I just wish that everybody felt the urgency and saw the moral urgency and imperativeness of veg@nism.


This is a man who lets his dog drink out of the nasty toilet and then has no problem kissing his dog right on the muzzle. AS much as I love animals, and as much as I am non-speciest, I think that is DISGUSTING. How can somebody who doesnt mind kissing a dog that just drank from a toilet be such a FLAMING speciest?

MY dog would have access to fresh, HEALTHY water- not nasty toilet water.

anyways i am just rambling sorry if this makes no sense but i am very depressed, saddened and just feeling hopeless for animals. I feel that the task before us is an impossible one and that we are fighting a losing battle.

Then somebody goes vegan for the animals sake (and health) and their is a small glimmer of hope that justice for animals will one day be a reality...but that seems so far away. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

I feel that I may have to exit the activist seen. Not because I dont love animals, but because I love them. I feel that I am too passionate and that this has grown to be counterproductive. I am not helping animals anymore - I am hurting them. I think they would be better served if I retire from activism.

sorry for the rambling but i am really upset right now :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:


Last edited by compassionategirl on Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:52 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:31 am 
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Gorilla
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dont let one bad apple ruin the whole orchard. there are so many brains to pick, continue to inform and alert. youre great at it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:33 am 
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Elephant
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Hey CG!

:(

I'm sorry that you feel so sad at the moment. I know exactly how you feel. I've been through this kind of depression, frustration myself and it often threatens to come back.

You have to keep in mind that people are egoistic and irrational.
Egoistic means caring for themselves and the ones they love, whether those are their family, friends or pets. The bigger the heart of one person is, the bigger is the circle of people/creatures included in his/hers compassion. Some include the whole nation, some all humans, some creation. But everyone thinks of her/himself first.

To this guy, his dog is like a family member. He loves it. Most people love their families or someone, but that doesn't mean they care for other humans - like the millions in other countries!
To you and me that's a contradiction, but those people don't feel compassion for others they don't know.

I have stepped back a bit from activism myself for some time, as it IS frustrating, and i felt that i can only promote veganism when i'm positive and energetic and optimistic. Now i'm getting back to it a little, but in different ways. There are many ways to be active for changes, changes in politics, ethics, common understanding. If you think you need a break, take one. It is important and not selfish to care for yourself.

Stupid, and stubbornly stupid - and proudly stupid! - people are everywhere. Don't let them bring you down too much, or for too long! YOU are a great person! :)

Love and peace,
Alex
:)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:57 am 
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Stegosaurus

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Daywalker wrote:
The bigger the heart of one person is, the bigger is the circle of people/creatures included in his/hers compassion. Some include the whole nation, some all humans, some creation...
Love and peace,
Alex
:)


So true Alex. And thanks for your kind words.

And thanks Toph to you too.

I would only exit activism though if I thought that I had become a liability to vegan outreach. If I thought I was still helping animals with my mouth, then I would continue to do so no matter how stressed I was. But I am saddened because the realization dawned on me today after I had this exhausting futile conversation with this person: I am no longer an effective animal advocate. Perhaps I have grown too impatient, too jaded, to disillusioned with people's insensitivity toward innocent non human creatures, too passionate about the cause. I am RIGHT (about veganism), but not effective. There is a difference, and the animals need us to be effective, not just right. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

I just wanted to say that I have all of you, my friends, in my thoughts and prayers, and I pray that you continue to have the strength to continue fighting for animal rights, that you find the right words, at the right time, to effect maximum change in minimum time, that you inspire compassion, that you reactivate dormant merciful spirits, and that you all stay safe and healthy.

The animals need us so badly. :cry: :cry:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:54 am 
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Manatee
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It sounds to me like you need a hug to feel better, if I could I would give you a hug.
If you are sick and tired of arguing with people whom think people are superior to animals, tell them about the indian tribes in Argentina that are forced to move out of their rainforest becouse it is needed to grow soy for the meat production animals in Europe. And tell them that it is a waste of food becouse you need 7 lb of plantfood to get 1 lb of meat, and during the conversion process 90% of protein 96% of the calories and 100% of the fibre are lost, and this isn't exactly solving world hunger :(

I have noticed that you can have long discussions about whether or not people are supposed to eat meat and stuff like that, but in the end it is all about if you care, don't care or are affraid of admitting you care.
So keep on doing what you think is right, and keep a possitive lifestyle, this will eventualy give you happiness.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:53 am 
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The guy's not ready / willing to listen to you about veganism. Fuck him. And by 'fuck him' I mean 'dismiss him'. Remember that the world really is made up of people like him, and so coming into contact with one of them and hearing their horrible views on animal cruelty shouldn't really bring you down that much. It is really frustrating that that's what everyone seems to be like. But you need to get on with your life in a positive way regardless of being surrounded with people like that.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:17 pm 
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Elephant
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Sounds like that guy is full of moral relativism crap. People like that will go on endlessly about how "rape may seem wrong to you, but it doesn't seem wrong to the rapist, so who are you to judge..."

You know the truth - rape is always wrong, murder is always wrong, etc.

Just ignore that guy, he's an idiot.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:19 pm 
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Elephant
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I've learned that sometimes the more you try to change someones mind the more stubborn they will be. We already know that people get very defensive about the subject of veganism. Sometimes, for myself i just have to end the conversation, because i get upset while the other person just gets amused or really doesnt care at all...I've accepted i cant change peoples minds, I can merely plant a seed.

But you can't let this guy deter you from something you are passionate about. You give the animals a voice. And whether or not this particular person is listening, somewhere, someone is. If that makes any sense. Keep your chin up nat. <hug> :(

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:28 pm 
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Elephant
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Don't give up Nat. It sounds like you just need a break. Take a step back for a little while, regain your emotional equilibrium, then ...when you are ready..... step back into the fray. You are fighting an emotional and mental battle with omnis and you need your strength. We know there is stress in campaigning, so don't be afraid to rest up.

I think alot of people find the need to "lean back" when they are passionate about something and are frustrated when they feel they have not made any progress (I know I do).

Be good to yourself...take a nice long bubblebath.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:19 pm 
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Stegosaurus

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If it wasnt for you guys, I would have gone insane a long time ago.

Please know that I draw on the resolve and the commitment of each and every one of you on this board. I draw on your positive energy and it is what gives me the sanity and the fuel to keep fighting the good fight.

Thanks guys so much for being there for me. And hugs right back to all of you.

I think I will take that bubblebath right now and soak the disappointment away amidst a whole bunch of bubbles.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:30 pm 
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Elephant
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I totally meant to respond to you yesterday! Crap! Hope your bubblebath is delightful!

I'm always amazed at your passion and assertiveness! It's refreshing and beautiful. I attempted to be as forward as you are when I first became vegan 6 yrs ago...I encountered ALOT of the same attitude you encountered with this man - including my family (yes, my family who grow teary when they see roadkill while in the car driving to BoogerKing)! It was devasting and heartbreaking and it really left me feelling isolated and depressed. In fact, I was suicidal at one point because I continued to encounter that ignorant attitude with regards to animal rights and anarchist thought. In order to overcome the depression, I had to step out of the activism circle for a while to avoid the rejection I felt everytime someone was "unable" to understand my views.

Keep speaking up! You are an incredible person with an amazing heart! I believe in everything you preach. So AMEN, sistah! :D

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:31 am 
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Manatee
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A lot has been said, and they are all so right! I also know how you are feeling.

Somebody told me not to waste my time with people who do not want to listen. Let them go and focus on somebody else. If out of 10 or 20 you find one person that is willing to go in this direction change has begun and will make it's way!

We are all so different and maybe one person who does not seem to understand it now will understand it at another point in his life. Maybe not. And it might also be that another person comes by and gets right to him, where it was impossible for you. But that also works the other way round!

As Daywalker said, I also think that there are so many ways to be active for veganism and the animals.
And you might not know, what big differences you have allready made, allthought a conversation seemed "not effective" to you!

You are essential for the animal rights movement!
K-oz


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:26 am 
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Rabbit
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I have an exboyfriend who believes exactly like that. He was (I guess he still is I don't really keep in touch with him anymore) vegetarian/ mostly vegan for health reasons. And believes that human beings make up our own theories of right and wrong. And it is all relative/ cultural. What is right/wrong to one person may not be to another. He said to me that we all make choices and we suffer consequences for those choices it doesn't necessarily mean the choice whatever it was is right or wrong per se. If I kill somebody then I choose to face the consequences for that choice prison/death penalty. Who is to say whether taking that life was right or wrong. Was the person a threat to me. What were the circumstances etc. Who is to say at what point the taking of the other person's life becomes okay.
As far as animals were concerned consuming animal products were just unhealthy (comparable to smoking crack) and if one chooses to practice such then their bodies pay the price.
I don't how people who have no concept of right and wrong can have healthy relationships. I couldn't with that person - it was very frustrating.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:46 am 
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Renecarol25 wrote:
I have an exboyfriend who believes exactly like that. He was (I guess he still is I don't really keep in touch with him anymore) vegetarian/ mostly vegan for health reasons. And believes that human beings make up our own theories of right and wrong. And it is all relative/ cultural. What is right/wrong to one person may not be to another. He said to me that we all make choices and we suffer consequences for those choices it doesn't necessarily mean the choice whatever it was is right or wrong per se. If I kill somebody then I choose to face the consequences for that choice prison/death penalty. Who is to say whether taking that life was right or wrong. Was the person a threat to me. What were the circumstances etc. Who is to say at what point the taking of the other person's life becomes okay.
As far as animals were concerned consuming animal products were just unhealthy (comparable to smoking crack) and if one chooses to practice such then their bodies pay the price.
I don't how people who have no concept of right and wrong can have healthy relationships. I couldn't with that person - it was very frustrating.


What an idiot. People who claim to have no morals are usually lying. However, if they are telling the truth, that's a ridiculous way to live. You'd be stealing off people all the time and being an asshole when you could get away with it. If everyone behaved like that, the world would be even worse than it is now. At least most people have some morals.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:34 pm 
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He believed getting past preconceived ideas of right and wrong was like becoming 'enlightened' and me being someone who had some moral relevance was just 'unenlightened.'


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