Ben in SoCal
I suppose you could say, "I don't mind if you order the steak if you'll watch this short video first." Then show them a copy of "Meat Your Meat" or "Farm to Fridge" on your tablet/phone.
Sad to say, but most people really don't want to hear about it. Like Pollan's opening lines from "Food, Inc.": Don't tell me where my food comes from because then I probably won't want to eat it.
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When I am in a group, I alternate between giving a fact about animal abuse and simply staying quiet, for the exact same reasons as you. If I say things in a joking manner, I can get away with saying more!
What is very frustrating for me is, I have T-shirts that are vegan T-shirts and I would love to wear them to the grocery store, but I have to buy for the family, and I am the only vegan. They have improved their diets quite a bit since I went vegan almost four years ago, but still hold on to what will enable them to eat their favorite foods. It does not pay for me to argue, so I sadly purchase products for them and never get to wear my T-shirts.
Most of my activism is done by researching and writing or outside of employment or family.
This is indeed a dilemma and one I too have been in agony over for decades. Regardless of how gentle and amicable I am while admitting to being vegan, it seems many individuals are sensitive and quickly alienated themselves from me. Many possibly feel guilt of their very own personal kind. Who knows, either way, I tell people that until I'm world dictator I can't force anyone to do anything against their will (when they ask if I'd mind if they order a murdered animal). I always tell people it's like Alcoholics Anonymous. People have to find their own path. I'd love to help if they want to explore and know more. I find it extremely uncomfortable being at the same table as those who are consuming dead animals. I frequently refuse invites in order to avoid this. I also make the comment to individuals who happily declare they "just can't give up meat" by saying "murder isn't delicious". This is another comment that I've noticed easily alienates individuals. Too bad. With age, I feel a certain license now to do some alienating of my own.
Lots of good comments above, agreed that it is an 'ethical dilemma' and I am convinced that what we say to non-vegans about animal suffering at dinner time is mostly just going to alienate them and make them resentful. Change comes slowly, vegan numbers are growing but it may take decades (if were still around)to see a real turnaround in significant number of vegan diets/lifestyles in the human population.
Setting an example by showing compassion may be the best we can do. I am very thankful to those who lead a vegan lifestyle
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