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Rabbit
10-21-2007, 08:57 PM
You're at a party, or out to dinner with people, and someone finds out you're vegan and asks, "Oh, why?" I feel like there have been lots of variations on this theme, but I didn't find a thread in the FAQs that addressed this directly. What exactly do you say? In 30 seconds or whatever, without being unpleasant about it, but at the same time being honest and giving people good information, how does your spiel go? I feel like I always end up rambling.

"Oh, you're vegan? Why?"

LesMiserablesLove
10-21-2007, 09:43 PM
For ethical reasons. But there are also many other reasons like environmental and health.

I used to say more; however, I have learned that people may ask "why" but they don't want to know. They don't listen. If they really want to know, I figure they will ask beyond my simple response.

Mahk
10-21-2007, 10:07 PM
Four words: "I don't kill animals."

Kat
10-21-2007, 10:19 PM
Sometimes I just go "Eh, why not?"

Other times I go a little more in depth with "Well I spent a summer working at an animal sanctuary for farm animals, and after I learned about what the factory farming industry is like, I was really grossed out and decided I didn't want to have anything to do with it."

I don't usually give more details unless I'm pressed for it.

Miso Vegan
10-22-2007, 01:25 AM
"For every reason there is, and no reason not to."

seitanicvegan
10-25-2007, 12:46 PM
The uber-condensed version: "I did some research."

The slightly longer version: "I read a news article that applied to me personally and made me very upset. So I did a bunch of research, which made me even more upset. Knowing what I know now, being vegan is the only option for me."

I could present the immense epic version, but I think you all know how that goes. ;)

ETA: Sometimes, when I'm not in the mood to answer this question (again) or when the person asking has questionable motives, I just say: "It's a long story."

downwithapathy
10-25-2007, 02:14 PM
I love this idea for a thread! At a party, I'd probably give a short reply like "Lots of bad things go on in the farming industry that I don't want to support, and also there's environmental stuff." If they wanted to hear more, I'd give them a longer spiel... which is what I need help on. :D Right now, I do a little ramble with lots of "um, so..." between thoughts. I'm better with some people than others. :)

Dandelion
10-25-2007, 02:25 PM
depends on the sitch.

my hippie one is:
"cuz i believe in peace"
i fly that one at the summer hippie festivals

my default one is:
"we don't need to eat animals to be healthy so there's no need to put them through that misery."
or such/etc.

my new one is:
"cuz eating animals is stoopit"
:D

bumblebee
10-25-2007, 05:49 PM
"Well, when I was 10, my parents took me - a city kid, to live on a farm, where I saw first-hand what happens to animals on a farm."

or "Because it's trendy"
Which I heard Kevin Nealon say in an interview.

mountainvegan
10-25-2007, 06:18 PM
It depends on who’s asking and the situation, but it ranges from a somewhat dismissive comment like “for moral reasons” (which usually shuts people up) to a more direct comment like “I don’t eat animals for the same reason I don’t eat humans” (which usually generates surprise and more discussion).

If I think they are worth the effort of more explanation and it’s a reasonably appropriate time and setting, I’ll make the more direct comment. If I don’t think they’re worth the effort and/or it is not a good time or setting, I’ll make the more dismissive comment. If they follow up on the dismissive comment, I go to the direct comment.

Generally, people don’t ask me why I’m vegan. I think they’re afraid to ask for various reasons.

ETA: I should add that I sometimes reduce the surprise of my more direct comment with something like “it may surprise you, but I don’t eat animals for the same reason that I don’t eat humans…” This is followed up by something like “like us, they want to live; like us, they feel pain; like us, they feel pleasure...”

michiganveganchick
10-28-2007, 10:45 PM
"For ethical reasons" or "Because I know what an animal has to go through to make it to my plate."

If they're not asking me not out of curiosity, but trying to instigate an argument, I just answer, "A personal choice" and leave it at that.

lizzapearl
10-29-2007, 03:55 PM
Like SeitanicVegan, my standard response goes something like this:

After doing some research on what goes on in the meat and dairy industries, I decided that I didn't want to support them in any way. There are a lot of other reasons, but that's the main one. Also, since going vegan, I've felt so much better and had more energy; it's been a great change!

Then I leave them be, to think about how tired & achy & sniffly they are ... ;)

Chijou_no_seiza
10-29-2007, 04:14 PM
...a more direct comment like “I don’t eat animals for the same reason I don’t eat humans” (which usually generates surprise and more discussion).

Oooo I like this, I think I'll try it one day (hope you don't mind!).

LesMiserablesLove
10-29-2007, 05:14 PM
Originally Posted by mountainvegan
...a more direct comment like “I don’t eat animals for the same reason I don’t eat humans” (which usually generates surprise and more discussion).

I like this. The only qualm I have is that the person could become huffy and claim vegans care more about animals than humans. I hate when they claim that!

Emiloid
10-29-2007, 06:28 PM
I like this. The only qualm I have is that the person could become huffy and claim vegans care more about animals than humans. I hate when they claim that!
Yeah, seriously! I mean, they apparently don't understand how hard it was to give up eating people. Man!

Miso Vegan
10-29-2007, 07:12 PM
Bwah!! Emiloid, you always make me laugh. :D

Mahk
10-30-2007, 01:05 AM
For awhile I used this one:

"Meat's made out of dead animals!" :o

Am I the only one that thinks that's funny?
Kind of like, "Soylent green is people!"
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7337916824508782941
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8317705748700830155

Dugan
10-30-2007, 01:01 PM
"Meat's made out of dead animals!" :o


I like that. It's amazing how many people experience a disconnect between what's on their plate and the fact that it was once a living creature with its own goals that had nothing to do with feeding us.

justbek
11-27-2007, 06:47 PM
I love reading these. My favorites are definately "I don't eat animals for the same reasons I don't eat people"

I generally mutter that its mainly ethics, followed by health, evironment, and a whole host of other reasons. I do this even though I want to ask them why they eat carcasses.

My disclaimer, just to put it out there, we are slowly weening ourselves to vegan. We feel more likely to succeed that way. So I only currently answer for being vegetarian.

CauseXaXRuckus
11-27-2007, 08:12 PM
Usually I say "for environmental and personal reasons", and only elaborate if people ask me to elaborate. I haven't been vegan for very long yet, I started making the transition at the end of August and didn't get serious 'till the end of September, so I haven't had many people who ask me questions.

What I don't like is when you tell someone your reason(s) for being vegan, and they say something to the effect of "well, that's not a valid reason". :mad:

bekah-chan
11-28-2007, 01:20 PM
Bahh, yeah, I hate when people dismiss all of the reasons you give. Usually just because they're in denial, too..


Anyhow, it really depends on who is asking me, and the situation:

1. For someone who is actually serious and a potential veg*n: I tell them the usual "for ethical reasons mostly, but also health, environmental, and many more reasons" and typically give a little more detail and give them resources (and talk about how easy and good it feels to go veg)
2. For someone who is just trying to bother me: I usually tell them "for ethical reasons" or simply "because", depending on if they're really partially serious deep down or if their only motive is to be annoying, argue, etc.. I figure if they don't have a good reason for asking I don't have a good reason to give them a good answer.. and I don't want to deal with their crap.
3. For people who have no idea about veganism and are asking because they are curious as to what it's about: I won't go into great detail with them but I usually go a little bit further than "because of moral/health/environmental issues" and tell them why I first became vegetarian, then vegan, which in most cases makes them think about these issues, which is a good thing. Sometimes they will blow it off but others take it to heart and maybe even end up doing their own research, and so on.

Flo
11-28-2007, 01:43 PM
my new one is:
"cuz eating animals is stoopit"
:D

Love that one!

mountainvegan
11-28-2007, 02:03 PM
If I'm feeling gentle and easy or if it fits the situation, I like George Bernard Shaw's "Animals are my friends; I don't eat my friends."

ahimsa
11-29-2007, 01:33 PM
For awhile I used this one:

"Meat's made out of dead animals!" :o

Am I the only one that thinks that's funny?
Kind of like, "Soylent green is people!"

:laugh: I used that line too! Except I would just say straight out
"It's made out of PEEEEEPLLLLLL !!!!" Probably only tried it once or twice. I thought it was funny too, and it did get a few giggles, but most people didn't get it. (People gotta brush up on their retro pop culture!).

I also used to do a mock-Cletus:
"Critters?? Nuh-uh! I don't eat no critters. "

I don't really have a spiel, there's just too many different situations. Most of the time it comes up in a context where I'd be very uncomfortable going into any details, so I usually just say "ethcial reasons" and try to leave it at that.

I'm working on something to the effect of:
"My life is so abundant / peaceful / free of violence, and knowing how much the animals suffer, it just seems unthinkable that I could choose to sustain myself on the pain / death of defenseless / innocent / captive creatures. It feels like it's the least I can do."

I can't quite pull that one off. It still feels too stilted, and probably would be seen as confrontational in most situations.

Milkweed
11-29-2007, 03:30 PM
As a good catch-all, I usually say soemthing to the effect of "I'm vegan because I think it's ethically, nutrionally, and environmentally responsible." Sometimes I feel like I'm reading from a script (a poorly written one, at that) when someone asks me to go into detail, but...it's hard to be spontaneous when you feel put on the spot. Plus, I always feel like I just might be the only vegan they ever meet and I don't want to blow the opportunity by being confusing or self-righteous. Ah, such responsibility!

nauthiz
11-29-2007, 03:56 PM
I've been thinking of switching to something pithy and harsh: "I believe harming others merely for my own enjoyment is wrong."

Chijou_no_seiza
11-29-2007, 05:37 PM
I've been thinking of switching to something pithy and harsh: "I believe harming others merely for my own enjoyment is wrong."

great, but I think you should add "harming And/or killing"!

:D

bekah-chan
11-29-2007, 06:38 PM
milkweed, i feel exactly the same way!
i always feel like i'm reading a script too, which makes me feel like the person is going to totally tune out and think i'm just spewing out a bunch of facts that i read and that's all i know :(
i also agree about thinking you're the only vegan they'll meet and ruin your chance. that's always pretty sucky.

nauthiz
11-29-2007, 06:58 PM
great, but I think you should add "harming And/or killing"!

:D
Do you mean to suggest that killing an animal doesn't harm it?

:D

Chijou_no_seiza
11-29-2007, 07:00 PM
Oh yes I do agree in fact. :D

I am thinking "harm" is such, and maybe too much, of a *polite* word for murdering and then consuming.

Fernando
12-06-2007, 09:22 PM
1st I do not need to kill an animal to feed myself.
2nd Cholesterol clogs your heart.
3rd I do not need to kill an animal to feed myself.
4th Dairy provides acidic properties to your body, which needs alkaline to fight it... and the body pulls up calcium from your bones to do the trick.
5th I do not need to kill an animal to feed myself.
6th With an animal product-free diet, humans last longer and more healthy.
7th I do not need to kill an animal to feed myself.
8th Being vegan makes you have a lot of energy.


This is a small list about the advantages of being vegan. Oh, maybe I forgot to say this... I do not need to kill an animal or promote cruelty to feed myself

herbi
12-07-2007, 10:54 PM
I am thinking "harm" is such, and maybe too much, of a *polite* word for murdering and then consuming.

True, but...
I think I often say something like, "Because I don't want to hurt anyone if I don't have to, and I DON'T have to in order to live my life, so why would I?" (I don't really have a set spiel, so no exact wording or anything, but that's the gist...) (I also frequently say something like, "I used to really love meat and cheese, but when I went to school for my pre-vet degree in Animal Science, I learned a lot of stuff about the animal agriculture industry that really disturbed me, and I don't want to be a part of that or support it in any way, especially because I'm a vet tech-- I don't want to take the money I worked hard HELPING animals to earn, and turn around and spend it on something that will HURT animals!")

I think by saying "hurt" and not "kill", I head off the "But milking a cow doesn't kill her" response, but mostly, I think it's easier for people to hear a gentler message. Accusing someone of being a killer/murderer/whatever almost guarantees that the words will never make it from their eardrum to their brain, but they'll probably let "hurt" slip through and nudge them. I hypothesize that it's also more relatable to them - none of us has been killed, very few of us have killed; it's all so very abstract. Everyone has been hurt (and done some hurting, intentional or not), and we all know that it's Not Nice. People are not stupid-- they already know (in a vague abstract intellectual way) that in order to eat the meat of an animal, you have to kill the animal. But a lot of them don't really think about the fact that this whole process isn't just some sterile inoffensive "oops, they're dead now!" thing, that the animals are actually HURT. Lots of people think it's OK to kill an animal for food, but very few people profess to be OK with hurting them first.

That's my opinion, anyway.

Mahk
12-07-2007, 11:35 PM
Herbi, some good points there. I may change my "I don't kill animals" to "I don't harm animals." The "but they don't kill cows to get milk" argument indeed disappears and if they say, "how does milking a cow harm it?" it's easier to launch into the:

-they are killed at a fraction of their natural lifespan, when they no longer make milk, and are turned into hamburger.

-are kept in a nearly perpetual state of forced pregnancy by artificial insemination, called "rape" if they were humans.

-have their male offspring killed days after birth to make rennet, or worse yet enslaved in a crate-like stall, unable to even turn around, fed a diet that causes anemia and are then killed while still infants to make veal.

Still think there's no "harm" being done to them?