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The Vegan Relationship Survey


Vegan Joe
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http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0905/S00450.htm

 

The Vegan Relationship Survey; A Study Of Vegans

 

In later 2008, 750 people united in cyberspace to respond to a Vegan Relationship Survey conducted by M. Butterflies Katz (www.veganpoet.com) Here is a summary of the questions and findings. The overall conclusion of the survey is that there is no stereotypical vegan There are abolitionists, raw-food vegans, straight-edge vegans, Jain, Christian, Jewish, and Atheist vegans, and so on. Vegans think differently on different topics. To see the complete survey and the bountiful assortment of quotes from responders the world over, see: http://www.veganpoet.com/SurveyResults/Results.html

 

Vegans cited location and education as the biggest factors determining the reaction their veganism elicits from others. Responders from the United States agreed that typically now the general population is conscious of the word ‘vegan’ and what it means. The survey revealed some often humorous quotes in response to the question: ‘How do people you know or meet react towards your veganism?’

 

The great majority of responders answered ‘no’ (for various reasons) in response to the question ‘Do you date only vegans?’; many said because it limits the pool too much or they don’t ever meet vegans. Others felt dating is a good way to educate non-vegans. Some thought dating non-vegans was fine, but they would not get seriously involved with a non-vegan. Others are happily married to non-vegans, while others opened up and revealed their great difficulty in living with a non-vegan spouse. As was seen in many of the questions, there was a diversity of thought on this question.

 

With the question: ‘Would you object to being romantically involved with someone who is not vegan?’ the responses boiled down to three categories of responses: Yes, they object, No, they don’t object, or they could be with a vegetarian; but not a meat-eater. The recently converted vegans tend to object less than the long time vegans, in many cases. Many of the responders who did not object were actually not totally vegan themselves, I noted. Just a few responders identified themselves as vegan-sexual.

 

There was a bit of a “Fun Break” with the question: ‘What is your sexual orientation?’ The majority of the responders, by far, were heterosexual; same as in society. There seemed to be a generational divide in this question. Older responders answered “Man and Wife” or “Normal” while younger responders said “Equal opportunity”. Perhaps this question didn’t have much relevance to veganism, but it had some fun answers!

 

Surprisingly, many responders answered ‘no’, ‘not at all’ and even ‘definitely not’ to the question ‘Does being vegan influence how you relate to others?’ More than half of the responders said yes, though. Most responders felt they could be closer with vegans; that there’s an immediate bond, and choose the company of other vegans over non-vegans. The word ‘judgmental’ was seen A LOT with this question, as vegans are often perceived by people as elitists or acting ‘holier than though’. Many vegans explain that they can’t help but being judgmental towards non-vegans, but most of them keep those judgments to themselves and are kind to all.

 

Some responders said they would not associate with persons involved in blood sports, hunting, rodeos, circuses, slaughterhouse workers, and some won’t sit at the table with meat-eaters. Many responders eloquently explained their feeling of isolation or alienation from society, while others consciously choose to be a part of society in order to influence others. Plenty of responders explained that becoming vegan has made them a kinder, gentler, more compassionate and better person towards all human and non-human animals. Some vegans are careful in their approach so as to dispel the stereotype of the preachy, condescending vegan.

 

There were plentiful good responses to the question: ‘Is your veganism directly related to the influence of a relationship?’ Many of the responders came to their veganism from a relationship’s influence (whether it be a parent, sibling, spouse, lover, friend, child, activist or a non-human animal.) But even more said they made the choice all on their own or that they ‘self-educated themselves’. Numerous responders mentioned their relationship to animals as the major influence. Others said it was their relationship to the planet, to logic, to the Great Spirit, etc.

 

A large percentage of survey responders were influenced by books and DVD’s rather than a relationship. It became apparent just how good books and educational materials are at spreading the message. Frequently mentioned materials were: John Robbins’s books, especially DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA, the books: SKINNY BITCH (Rory Freedman), THE CHINA STUDY (T. Colin Campbell), MAD COWBOY (Howard Lyman), and VEGAN FREAK. Also mentioned were the films, EARTHLINGS, THE PEACABLE KINGDOM and THE WITNESS (Tribe of Heart) as well as the video, MEAT YOUR MEAT (P.E.T.A.). Other responders mentioned influences like P.C.R.M. (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) and S.A.F.E. (Save Animals from Exploitation) or attending animal rights workshops/camps by organizations like Farm Sanctuary or P.E.T.A., etc.

 

Another question that was related in that many of the same titles/authors were mentioned was, ‘Have you influenced others to become vegan?’ Here we saw an array of thoughts from ‘It’s my life’s mission’ to ‘I don’t try anymore’. Some responders feel so judged and ridiculed when trying to share the facts, and have thus become quiet about advocating veganism in society. Many let books/DVD’s/ literature/websites do the speaking for them. Many believe just being an example is the best approach. Numerous responders shared their disbelief in people who won’t listen or won’t change, even after hearing about the horrific conditions animals are subjected to. Once again, we see the overall conclusion, there are vegans and there are vegans. Quite a few responders said they had not converted a lot of people (or any) to veganism, but have influenced them to make more ethical choices, or to be vegetarian, at least.

 

Survey responses to the question ‘How are your friendships with vegans different to your friendships with non-vegans?’ ranged all the way from “I don’t have non-vegan friends” to “they are not different; and it’s absurd to think they are.” Some thoughts repeatedly heard were:

 

1) Sharing meals with vegans was much easier; eating with non-vegans is difficult or impossible for some vegans.

 

2) You can talk about animal rights issues or vegan food & shopping, but non-vegans would just roll their eyes at you.

 

3) ...

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  • 2 weeks later...

interesting... I will take this survey right here just because im bored. ok

 

Q - Do you date only vegans?

i dont date currently or for awhile so , no

 

Q - Are the vegans you know healthy?

i dont know any vegans, although my old girlfriend was a vegan, yes she was healthy

 

Q - How does your parents/family feel about your veganism? Has that changed over time?

they dont understand it. They try and convert me alot

 

Q - How do people react when they learn you are vegan?

i asked a nurse this and she kept telling me i had to drink milk

 

Q - How do you meet other vegans?

this site hehe

 

Q - How do you describe the extent to which you take your veganism?

i dont eat meat or use animal byproducts because , why kill an animal when you really dont need to. And i dont support companies which are cruel to animals, ie: dairy , eggs , other animal products

 

Q - Is your veganism directly related to the influence of a relationship? Have you influenced others to become vegan? How?

i may have influenced some people to think about it , and i continue to try to.

 

Q - Are there any activists or celebrities that have inspired you?

i have seen lists of vegan celebrities , so pretty much all of them!

 

Q - Has becoming vegan changed your relationship to animals?

sure, I had always considered myself an animal lover but something was wrong. now i feel like im more on the same level as they are.

 

Q - Does being vegan influence how you relate to others?

sure, it just makes me think about why they consume what they do. Are they just ignorant, do they not care? what? I try not to be judgemental though.

 

 

Q - Would you consider being romantically involved with a non-vegan?

it really depends, i would have to think about it.

 

Q - What is your sexual orientation?

(bi)sexual

 

Q - Do you know any vegan children/people from birth?

no

 

Q - Are your friendships with vegans vs non-vegans different?

i dont have any vegan friends but Im sure there would be that one thing in common.

 

Q - Do you live with other vegans? What is their relationship to you?

Do you live with any non-vegans? How is that working out?

i live with some non vegans , they try to be open minded with me , as me with them. But they dont fully understand and sometimes get argumentative about it lol

 

Q - Do you have any vegan pets?

i feed my dog meat, can u really feed a dog a vegan diet?

 

Q - When did you become vegan?

around the time of my first post here

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I feel a bond with vegan athletes especially vegan strength athletes because I've never met one in my area.

 

I do NOT feel a bond with dirty flaky hippie bohemian punk rock anarchist vegans who look anorexic.

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  • 1 month later...

Q - Do you date only vegans?

I prefer to date vegan girls but vegetarian chics are cool too

 

Q - Are the vegans you know healthy?

I only know a few, but yes they are healthy. I do know a few unhealthy/overweight vegetarians though.

 

Q - How does your parents/family feel about your veganism? Has that changed over time?

they have stopped with their omnivorous proselytizing but they still don't really understand

 

Q - How do people react when they learn you are vegan?

while grinding cheese on my salad my friend says "he is vegan" and the waitress says "is that like pagan?"

 

Q - How do you meet other vegans?

this website, local vegetarian group

 

Q - How do you describe the extent to which you take your veganism?

I don't eat animal products and I don't wear anything with animal products... I haven't checked my multivitamins yet to see if they are vegan (they probably aren't) but I don't take them very often.

 

Q - Is your veganism directly related to the influence of a relationship? Have you influenced others to become vegan? How?

i may have influenced some people to think about it , and i continue to try to. yea that is a good answer

 

Q - Are there any activists or celebrities that have inspired you?

i think moby is vegan and he is pretty cool, I look up to vegan athletes more

 

Q - Has becoming vegan changed your relationship to animals?

I became vegan for health benefits and for environmental sustainability/responsibility but I have definitely become an animal lover and activist now

 

Q - Does being vegan influence how you relate to others?

yea it makes me judgmental

 

 

Q - Would you consider being romantically involved with a non-vegan?

I could be with a vegetarian girl but nothing less

 

Q - What is your sexual orientation?

straight

 

Q - Do you know any vegan children/people from birth?

no

 

Q - Are your friendships with vegans vs non-vegans different?

I have a handful of vegan friends and I enjoy being around them much more than my other friends; not just because they are vegan, but most vegans seem to be environmentalists and are also usually open-minded and make for great conversation

 

Q - Do you live with other vegans? What is their relationship to you?

nope but it sure would be cool

 

Do you live with any non-vegans? How is that working out?

I visit non-vegan family and friends often... I try not to talk about it unless they bring up the subject

 

Q - Do you have any vegan pets? (lohungfong, dogs can be fed vegan diets... but cats cannot)

I have an algae eater fish and he is vegan I think... although sometimes I think he steals the other fish' food which isn't vegan

 

Q - When did you become vegan?

almost 2 years ago.... veggie for 3 years prior to that

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