Hello from a newbie

Vegans and non-vegans alike are welcome.
Post an intro here first to have your account authenticated by a mod, then you'll be able to post anywhere.
Even if you're here to lurk, please drop a short intro post here to let us know you're not a spammer so you aren't accidentally deleted.

Forum rules
Please read the full Forum Rules
Post Reply
User avatar
ishmael
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:41 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Hello from a newbie

Post by ishmael » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:58 am

Hi :) sorry if this is too verbose but it's my first chance getting to talk about my veganism.

I was directed here by the description box of Unnatural Vegan's videos on youtube. I recently found her channel and, coupled with a desire to make vegan friends (I have literally none) and expand my knowledge, felt compelled to participate.

I was vegetarian for 9 years before going vegan at the beginning of 2018. I have a history of disordered eating with previous attempts at veganism motivated primarily by efforts to lose weight rather than ethics or morals. (This was basically a raw diet, not a diverse or balanced vegan diet.) I don't recall any "aha!" moment as being the catalyst for turning me vegetarian. It was just part of growing up and beginning to think for myself, getting outside the bubble of youth and familiarity that led me to understanding there was no difference between my domestic animals and the animals on my plate.

I am an extremely emotional person and so have purposefully avoided watching a lot of the documentaries/films that I see recommended by vegans. I'm scared, to be honest, of how affected I will be by the footage, or any more explicit information than I already know. (This makes me feel terrible to an extent, like I am so privileged as a human that I can turn away from the graphic horrors of factory farms and the like, and piously eat my plant-based meal while animals continue to suffer. I feel like I should "suffer" too by subjecting myself to images/films and let my emotions destroy me but I have a long history of mental illness and am terrified to knowingly go down that road.) And I don't feel like I need any more reasons to be vegan. I'm here ethically. I feel no desire, or temptation, to consume or use animal products. I recently saw someone mention the "what if you were stranded on a desert island and there was only a beef burger, no other sources of sustenance" query, and in my mind I thought, "guess I'll die then." As far as I'm concerned a beef burger isn't a form of sustenance. Animals aren't an option. I'm not condemning anyone who would choose survival, I just want to be clear about my personal feelings.

Like my turn to vegetarianism, my turn to veganism didn't have a specific catalyst, it was just a long-time coming. There was a growing feeling of hypocrisy whenever I ate yogurt or cheese, or bought hygiene products that were likely (definitely) tested on animals, and eventually the nagging feeling in my mind became overwhelming self-loathing and I had to ask myself, "why am I still doing this?" So I stopped doing "this" and started to feel a little better about myself. But because I pointedly avoid a lot of the hard facts it's difficult for me to say anything to anyone about my veganism.

A co-worker recently inquired about why I'm vegan and we had a small but interesting exchange. When I explained "I don't want to consume any sentient beings," he countered that he sees all life, including plant life, as sacred, and so obviously humans need to kill something in order to survive, so why are animals any different, it's a circle of life, it's all energy, etc etc. Maybe this sounds like old hat to veteran vegans and you've heard this many times before but I honestly hadn't and I didn't feel comfortable challenging his world view. Because I choose not to watch documentaries or read books about ethical veganism (although I innately consider myself an ethical vegan) I don't have the cold, hard facts with which to debate people. I feel very lacking and like a "bad" vegan. Although I've alleviated the personal quandary regarding consumption of animal products, I find myself unsatisfied because I can't compel others to consider adopting a similar lifestyle. I always said things like "I'm not one of those vegetarians/vegans," the stereotypical rabid vegan who is going to throw paint on a fur coat or publicly shame someone for eating a burger, but the feeling is there - not to throw paint, per se - but to help others see an animal's right to life. I feel like I've handicapped myself in this regard and hope to educate myself on this forum.

As I mentioned previously I have no vegan friends, only one who is vegetarian, and I've started to feel kind of lonely to be honest. Not just physically/emotionally but psychologically, if that makes sense. I feel alone with these very strong feelings I have. Veganism has become quite a defining part of who I am but it's something that no one around me is empathetic toward or wants to talk about.

Maybe this is a little dense for an intro but these are some of the things that have brought me here seeking a community. I hope to meet people who can challenge and educate me, and help me be a "better" vegan.

Minos
Junior Member
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:49 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Reducetarian
Location: Czech republic

Post by Minos » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:44 am

Hello ishmael, welcome to the forum :)

I'm also here because of Unnatural vegan and her videos :)
I am an extremely emotional person and so have purposefully avoided watching a lot of the documentaries/films that I see recommended by vegans. I'm scared, to be honest, of how affected I will be by the footage, or any more explicit information than I already know.
Does it even matter? Those are supposed to "open eyes" and convince people to eat less meat / go vegetarian / vegan, but you already made that transformation. As you said, you don't need any more reasons to go vegan, so why torture yourself. Especially, when you are compassionate an emotional.
A co-worker recently inquired about why I'm vegan and we had a small but interesting exchange. When I explained "I don't want to consume any sentient beings," he countered that he sees all life, including plant life, as sacred, and so obviously humans need to kill something in order to survive, so why are animals any different, it's a circle of life, it's all energy, etc etc.
The point is, we don't need to kill animals to survive. We have a choice. We can choose plant-base diet and be perfectly healthy.
Because I choose not to watch documentaries or read books about ethical veganism (although I innately consider myself an ethical vegan) I don't have the cold, hard facts with which to debate people. I feel very lacking and like a "bad" vegan. Although I've alleviated the personal quandary regarding consumption of animal products, I find myself unsatisfied because I can't compel others to consider adopting a similar lifestyle.
You are not. Animal cruelty is not the only reason to go vegan. Learn more about others., for example: health benefits, environment and long term sustainability...

User avatar
ishmael
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:41 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by ishmael » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:22 am

Thank you for the welcome, Minos!

I appreciate your understanding about not wanting to watch films about animal cruelty. I guess I am a pessimist and assume people think the worst of me - like I'm only here for the easy part of veganism, ie loving animals without having to face the gross realities behind factory farming, etc. And I want to do the most I can for animals. A part of me wonders if I were to force myself to watch those films, could I become that "better" vegan I want to be (even if it might destroy me psychologically)? A vegan who can debate and convince others to become vegan as well?

To that point I think I will take your advice. While the only reason I may personally need to be vegan is compassion for animals, that isn't and probably won't be the reason for many others. If I can't bring myself to watch those films and do that research, I can educate myself on all of the other reasons to be vegan. This is what I'm here for - engaging in discourse so I can learn from other's perspective. So, thank you for taking a minute to read and reply. I really appreciate it :)

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9467
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:45 am

You've definitely come to the right place to work on your arguments, and it's awesome that you're motivated to do that now. :)
I agree there's no reason to have to watch those disturbing videos.

Welcome!

User avatar
ishmael
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:41 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by ishmael » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:18 am

Hi brimstoneSalad, thank you for the welcome! And thank you for the encouragement. I'm happy to be growing and learning. The more I do, the more I realize how small my life experience has been all these years. I don't want to live in an echo chamber. Even if the things I've held fast to all these years end up meaning nothing to me now, if I've learned something valuable that changes my opinions, I consider it a positive experience.

User avatar
Jebus
Master of the Forum
Posts: 2010
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:08 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Jebus » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:58 am

Welcome Ishmael. Please explain to your co-worker that plants do not suffer like farm animals do. Some plants may react to stimuli but they do not sense pain in the way humans and other animals do.
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
2.Watch Cowspiracy (Environment)
3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

Kaz1983
Newbie
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:27 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Kaz1983 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:44 am

Jebus wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:58 am
Please explain to your co-worker that plants do not suffer like farm animals do. Some plants may react to stimuli..
So does my iPhone.

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9467
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:47 pm

Kaz1983 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:44 am
So does my iPhone.
As does a pile of baking soda react to the stimuli of pouring vinegar on it. I think that was his point. ;)

Kaz1983
Newbie
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:27 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Kaz1983 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:59 pm

ishmael wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:58 am
Hi :) sorry if this is too verbose but it's my first chance getting to talk about my veganism.
That's okay, my wife is the same - she gets upset when she hears any slaughterhouse footage etc etc or heated debates talking about what goes on it slaughterhouse.
I was directed here by the description box of Unnatural Vegan's videos on youtube. I recently found her channel and, coupled with a desire to make vegan friends (I have literally none) and expand my knowledge, felt compelled to participate.
What's some online debates on YouTube, some a really good as they touch on a lot of the topics you will come across.
A co-worker recently inquired about why I'm vegan and we had a small but interesting exchange. When I explained "I don't want to consume any sentient beings," he countered that he sees all life, including plant life, as sacred, and so obviously humans need to kill something in order to survive, so why are animals any different, it's a circle of life, it's all energy, etc etc. Maybe this sounds like old hat to veteran vegans and you've heard this many times before but I honestly hadn't and I didn't feel comfortable challenging his world view.
Take a look Thur this .. it will help bigtime... anyways it has every argument you need for tons of questions who will expected to answer hahhaa
https://www.carnismdebunked.com/

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 34 guests