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Our Lunch Date With Sandy
Authored by: Admin on Tuesday, November 27 2012 @ 12:18 AM CST

I'm pretty disappointed that Mickey Z. has misunderstood my earlier comments as personal criticisms. My observations were menat to be general and to address those vegans who ny person whould characterize as being overzealous. That was part of my criticisms, whereas I was also talking about general priorities in relief work (or even Food Not Bombs).

Based on my experience over the years as an activist and as a regular person, I haven't run across anybody more overzealous, annoying, angry and self-righteous as *some* vegans. I've known people from a great many political persuasions, religions and cultural backgrounds.

In my book, it's over-the-top to be angry and judgmental towards people who have the same politics and support your activism and beliefs. I've been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for over 23 years. Some of that decision was motivated by food politics, specifically the farm crisis of the 1980s and my general awareness of organic and sustainable agriculture. I've been supportive of activists doing animal rights, even if I don't fully agree with everything argued by those activists. I've posted dozens, if not over a hundred, articles on animal rights and animal rights activism here on Infoshop News over the past 15 years.

Yet, this is never good enough for some vegans. For them, it's all about conversion. It's all about adherence to a strict moral and dietary code. My beliefs, practice and activism are not good enough. I must be guilted and chided into becoming a vegan.

I've always been about showing and setting an example. Certainly, people have a right to share their opinions and arguments.

Personally, I am not a vegan and will never become a strict vegan for the following reasons:

1) I enjoy dairy and egg products in my diet. Currently I'm eating a more vegan diet than ever, but only for health reasons. But I will never give up pizza.
2) I don't respond well to cajoling, pressure and the like

3) I think that meat and animal products will always be a healthy part of the human diet. Animals are also part of a healthy farm ecosystem.

4) Abuse of animals in research need to be reformed and avoided as much as possible, but I can the need for animal use in extreme cases.

5) Factory farming needs to be eliminated.

6) Our agriculure system is too meat-focused and that contributes to pollution, poisoning of our bodies and climate change.

In other words, personally I'm more on the same page than most people out there.

Our Lunch Date With Sandy
Authored by: Admin on Tuesday, November 27 2012 @ 12:29 PM CST

"After choosing to completely ignore the facts I presented about climate change, human health, workplace justice, etc., the scope and breadth of your retort is this: 

Some vegans really annoy you and make you feel guilty thus, without citing a shred of evidence, you believe that the use of animals in labs, farm eco-systems, and your diet can all be a good and necessary thing.

I'm not ignoring any facts! I'm an activist on all of these things, which everybody knows. Been an activist on these things for more than 25 years in fact. As I stated earlier, my decision to become a vegetarian in 1989 was motivated in part because of concerns over factory farming, corporate agriculture, pollution from farms and contamination of our food supply.

My point remains: vegan zealots (not most vegans) aren't going to convert people, or even awaken them to these issues, if their approach is so hardcore that they spend their time trying to get somebody, such as myself--who is well acquainted with *all* of their arguments-- to personally change my diet to veganism.

I have mostly personal reasons for not becoming a vegan. How hard is it to respect that? I do enough to not eat meat and ligten my footprint on the planet. Go spend more time going after the capitalists responsible for this mess.

There is plenty of evidence that animals are an important part of a farm ecosystem. I'm sure there is some medical research out there that requires animal subjects, but I doubt that animal research is necessary for the most part. Animal products are a good and healthy part of my diet because they are yummy and my body has been designed through millions of years of evolution to use those products.

Just for the fun of it, let's replace the word "vegan" with a word like "anarchist" or "feminist" or "non-racist" and then re-consider this statement of yours: 

"I am not a vegan and will never become a strict vegan (because) I don't respond well to cajoling, pressure and the like."

Exactly my point! People who know me know that I'm not the type to hector, cajole or do whatever to turn people into an anarchist, feminist or non-racist. I'll make my arguments, but I'm know that an over-the-top attitude, which *some* vegans employ, is counter-productive. People have to make changes on their own terms.