October 20th Speaking Vegan Workshop
Q: You really think you can stop where the world is heading?
- No, but we can only do what we can as individuals.
- Be the change you want to see in the world.
- The fate of the world is not decided, so why not try to do something about it.
- If you can help even a few individual beings that is everything for them.
- Yes, that is why I have made the choice to be vegan and address how my choices affect other issues.
- Even if I can’t change the world, I can still make a choice to not be cruel.
Q: How do you cope? If I believed what you do I might kill myself.
- Family, friends say they could make those choices or face those things, but don’t believe they could cope with the awareness.
- Activists need emotional support from friends and community. Motivation to continue can be the act of giving oneself to something beyond themselves.
- Focusing on positive things; videos, music, websites, facebook pages.
- Spend some time removing negative things from daily experience, people who post traumatic videos or images, change settings on Facebook so video’s don’t play automatically.
- Educating people about vegan rights and the experience of being vegan.
Q: Come to our turkey dinner. Bring your Tofurky.
- How to deal with invitation to family gatherings where animals are served.
- Some people choose to avoid all non-vegan gatherings.
- Some families compromise and are willing to host vegan gatherings.
- Often, awkwardness comes from non-vegans bringing up vegan politics when vegans are trying to not bring it up to avoid awkwardness.
- If people apologize, response may be that “I’m not the one you should be apologizing too, that animal died for your meal.”
- It doesn’t feel good to just say ‘That’s okay” in response to those who apologize for eating animals at a shared table.
- Invite others to try what you are eating.
- Sometimes need to be upfront that “I don’t feel comfortable being somewhere that there is meat.” Own the experience, this is non-confrontational.
Q: Animals don’t have souls. So why should I care?
- What is a soul? First need to understand what a soul is to deny it from another being.
- Our relationships and understanding of other animals may lead us to question what the inherent differences between “us and them” are?
Q: Why are you so judgmental?
- We all make judgments about the actions of others. Violence against animals is no different.
- It is not judgment. It is representing the interests of others. Having empathy.
- Turn the question: What would happen if we did not make judgments?
- Not actually being judgmental, just expressing our own ethics. Other people often judge themselves in juxtaposition to this.
- Say that it is the status-quo that is problematic, we need to be willing to make changes that matter.
Q: What about indigenous cultures? Do you want to change them too?
- Colonial food systems must be recognized as inherently exploitative.
- Tradition can show respect for animal’s life and death.
- We are not fighting against indigenous culture. We are trying to change western culture.
- However, the concern about the welfare of animals in all communities, indigenous or not, is worthy of moral consideration; as is the emotional consequences of killing animals in any context.
Q: The ‘Protein’ question.
- There is ample evidence that you don’t need to consume animals to get more than sufficient protein from plants.
- It is generally accepted that North American’s consume too much protein, especially from animal sources.
- Most vegans haven’t worried about protein ever.
- Important to have a diversity of protein sources, like any diet.
Q: How do you date if you’re vegan?
- It is a struggle to find single people who share our values in a small community.
- Dating sites; ask for only vegans or perhaps open minded vegetarians to contact.
- Don’t go into relationships with the expectations to change people.
- Can be difficult if you transition while in a non-vegan relationship, and the other person doesn’t want to make change.
- Falling in love is powerful stuff, can be a great time to make positive change together.
Elevator pitch: You have one chance to convince someone to go vegan in a few words. What do you say? Go!
- I’m a feminist, I extend my values to other animals because they are morally worthy individuals and supporting violence against them is against my ethics towards any individuals.
- We should leave the animals alone. Period.
- It is a matter of holding ourselves accountable for our actions towards others and the violence done to animals by our choices. It is an expression of our strength to not need to consume animals. It is not a loss if you love yourself enough.
- I feel better psychologically and physiologically to not consume animals. I can’t imagine eating animals that I know suffered so much.
- If I was the animal, I would want to live. John Rawls: Veil of Ignorance.
- Guilt vs. Shame: Guilt is more powerful motivator than shame.
- I don’t support violence against anyone. Using powerful language.
- I don’t think animals should be in pain or contribute to a system that puts them in pain. I also want to reduce my ecological footprint.
First Speaking Vegan Workshop
Question : You’re Vegan? But humans have always eaten animals.
- Humans have a sordid history and there are many things we no longer do because we find them ethically reprehensible. This applies just as much to our relationship to other animals.
- Examples such as slavery or women’s inequality are no longer acceptable in society. History is not static or linear, it is changing and can be whatever we want to make it.
- Humanity has no static definition.
Question: Isn’t it hard being vegan?
- Tell personal stories about how veganism has been a positive experience. Own it.
- Oreo’s are vegan. So there.
- Eating veggies, grains, fruits make you feel healthier, and have more energy.
- For some people it is hard and we need to acknowledge that. Encourage them to take their time and be comfortable with their decision. It does not have to be all or nothing if someone is struggling. We need to be compassionate to non-vegans too.
- Not having a supportive and accepting community or social network can be the hardest part. Looking for and reaching out to find others and be involved in that community can make a huge difference.
- If I think about what the animal has to suffer to be on my plate, for me it makes the decision easy.
Question: What about humane meat and free range eggs?
- There is no humane way to kill someone who doesn’t want to die.
- Would you call the same treatment to another person “humane.” If not, how can you call it humane to treat other animals that way.
- If killing them is humane, then go to a slaughter house rather than a petting zoo to educate yourself and then consider if you feel the same way.
- What does the word “humane” actually mean?
- Why do you want the meat you eat to be humane? If you are concerned about their well-being why are you willing to have them killed if it is not necessary for you to live?
- Chickens are not born to produce for us. Eggs, are from the body of another being.
- In the bible; people often quote the passage that God gave humans ‘dominion’ over all other animals. However, dominion comes from the latin ‘domini’ which refers to they who are master of the house and the master has a responsibility to run their house responsibly.
Question: What about clams and oysters?
- This can be a tough question because people don’t believe that these creatures feel pain.
- Sometimes it is enough to want to do the least amount of harm and not want to worry about the specifics.
- Look up scallop eyes, they’re awesome.
- The farming of scallops and taking of them from the wild for mass consumption damages the environment.
Question: What are your views on hunting?
- Hunting is not acceptable in any recreational way, for sport, or for trophies.
- There is no need for people to hunt for food in many areas of the world, where there are an abundance of alternatives.
- What about First Nations hunting? Well, there is no one First Nations that can be contextualized as accounting for all.
- We are not out to address the important colonial question of the imposition of colonial white values on First Nations cultures. Rather, we want to address the specific ethical questions regarding the killing of non-human animals regardless of culture, First Nations may have concerns within their own practices as well that we need to listen to and take into account.
- If talking about it being better than not taking part in the factory farming system. It may be less harmful in some ways, but that does not change the fact that the animal has their own life that they don’t want to give up.
- When people say they feel at peace hunting out in the wild, they may actually just being enjoying the outdoors. There are other activities that may be just as satisfying outside such as photography and they don’t take a life.
- I live in a place where I don’t need to hunt to live a healthy life. I might feel differently if I didn’t, but I do, so I don’t make excuses for killing others to feed myself.
Question: What about owning chickens?
-It’s a great responsibility to take care of other animals, it is a type of power over an animal and a type of ownership. Looking at animals as pieces of property
- If the chicken can come and go as it pleases than that should be okay
- Explain that taking care of chickens is not easy and can be a stressful experience
Question: How did you justify going vegan to your family?
- Cook them food
- Discuss all of the great food you eat
- Emphasize other aspects of veganism such as environmental or health concerns
- Pick your battles but do not be ashamed or hide your heart
- It is critical that we do not allow people to make us feel afraid
Question: I choose to eat meat, that is my personal choice.
- Personal Choices end when others are harmed
- that is a selfish statement as you are not the only one that your choices are affecting
Question: Do you think vegans are better than other people?
- Morally or ethically yes
- Perhaps more responsible
- Vegans are behaving better in the same way that people who aren’t making homosexual or racist remarks are.
- We don’t think we are better, we are just trying to do less harm
- Open to try and liver better in all ways