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What advice would anyone have for vegans that want to talk to omnivores in such a way that one draws them in, or wins their sympathy/support, rather than pushing them away?

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I try to just be understanding and not judgemental.  If  you come across as negative it will turn them away. 

I remind myself of the time that I didn't give a second thought about the use of animals, for food, entertainment, whatever - it helps to understand how ominivores are most likely framing animal use in their mind.

I think ethical vegans need to understand as best we can, the foundation of why we think animal rights, antispeciesism, or animal protection are important enough issues that we speak out about it to others. That's information that can be found right here on ARZone, and if you find anything that's not here, just add it to the site. Ethical vegans should also be clear in our mind about the difference between welfare, humane treatment, and what that means in different contexts - for example, humane treatment of a severely injured animal on the roadside is not the same as humanely farmed meat. 

excerpt from

Rules to Live By

[Carol] Adams provides us with the following rules of thumb for living among meat eaters:

  • “Assume your needs will not be met in any meat-eating context –airplanes, foreign countries, private homes, restaurants. Always have a backup plan when eating out.
  • Don’t let any rudeness spoil your experiences. Respond to offensive behaviour courteously, according to the rules of etiquette, and move on
  • You have the right not to answer questions you are asked and to stop a conversation that makes you feel uneasy
  • Don’t talk about vegetarianism at a meal if people are eating meat. Learn the art of deflecting attention.
  • Volunteer to bring something whenever you are invited somewhere.
  • Channel the negative energy into the positive. The constellation of negative emotions associated with blocked meat eaters – denial, guilt, defensiveness – can dissolve in the presence of positive energy. As one vegetarian explains, “I love hearing the word ‘vegetarian’ from the lips of those who are not! They are rehearsing it for the future.
  • Remember that following a vegetarian diet is always an affirmation of wholeness. Bring that sense of wholeness to your interactions with meat eaters.” (Adams, 2003; pp16-17)

Adams admits that by suggesting the above she is asking vegetarians to “exhibit a moral, emotional and spiritual maturity that is quite demanding” and, as we know, nobody’s perfect. But following the guidelines above can make interactions and relationships with meat eaters much more enjoyable and our world a lot easier to live in.

This article originally appeared on the Animal Rights Advocates website. Animal Rights Advocates Inc. (ARA) is a volunteer-run not for profit animal rights organisation based in Perth, Western Australia that campaigns for the abolition of animal exploitation.



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