So, I recently started a new job at a church and through the normal ‘getting to know you’ type stuff, the topic of “why are you a vegan?” obviously comes up a lot. Usually during meals. This made me really focus on my “vegan elevator speech” or whatever you want to call it. Basically, a one or two sentence statement that qualifies or explains the reasons why you do what you do. Mine goes something like this:
God gave man dominion over the animals. Animals are one of God’s creatures that we are to love and respect. I do not want to support an industry that tortures and mistreats animals.
There, that’s pretty much a light summary of what I believe. Of course this is usually followed up by one or two notorious questions:
“So if you don’t eat meat, how do you get protein?”
“So I can understand not wanting to kill an animal, but what about cheese and eggs? Nothing dies for those.”
This is good reinforcement for you as to why you believe in being vegan and also can be used as a chance to spark conversation with people who would never think to consider where their food comes from. Also, for new vegans, this might serve as something to hold on to so that when confronted, you have something to say that will, hopefully, knock their socks off.
So here is my question for you guys:
What is /your/ vegan elevator speech? and what are the most common follow up questions?
Here is Part 2, as promised. (Part 1 here) Friend posted this a couple weeks later, and then I commented on it. Let me know if my arguments make any sense!
Let me start by assuring you that I never come to conclusions on an issue–never toe a moral line–without an almost excessive amount of deliberation, and even then, my mind is never fully made up. That is why I love discourse like this between two people who can civilly debate in the hope that both will come out better than they started.
It is for this reason that I’ve decided against my original idea of posting a contiguous essay (the first draft of which clocked in–unfinished–at over 11 pages), because I do not simply want to be seen as trying to bury the issue in words. I’d much rather argue fairly brief, focused points that I hope will garner response, which, in turn, can be responded to.
I also have to say that, though we disagree, I have incredible respect for your position. It really is nothing short of courageous to be empathetic beyond the realm of your species. I consider myself an extremely open-minded person and have always found it easy to empathize with those of other genders, races, cultures and religions, but the extra-species gap is one I haven’t bridged.
I do want to state that my perspective of our species is not grounded in any sort of us-and-them morality. I very much understand your closing point–that we as humans are animals. But at the same time, we both know that we as humans are far removed from anything else in the animal kingdom. Which is how I’d like to begin. Continue reading
I posted the following as a note on Facebook a while ago. It was around the time that in California, Prop 2, a VERY modest farm animal welfare reform passed, but Prop 8, a ban on gay marriage passed as well. It’s not the most well-designed and thought out piece on the issue. It was really just a quick expression of my feelings, so please pardon any incoherence. Here it is…
November 6, 2008 –
My friend, whom I have known since I was about 3 or 4 years old, sparked quite a bit of conversation this morning with his status….
And don’t get me started on how, in California, animal rights apparently outweigh human civil rights.via Twitter
I wouldn’t call what those animals got in return for the passing of that proposition “rights.” Just a BIT less horror and discomfort in their short, tortured lives for the overfed gluttons of this country. Even if you do endorse the exploitation of animals, don’t you believe that they somehow deserve at least a little less inhumane treatment?
Perhaps you aren’t implying you are against what Prop 2 did, but I don’t think you can compare the two propositions – since Prop 2 really didn’t give those animals any rights. They are still innocent, emotional, sentient beings who remain prisoners and cannot live their lives as they will.
But I do think that’s crazy that the human civil right to which you refer got overturned.
I guess as we treat our animals, so we treat our people we feel are sub-humans.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not for more animal rights and less human rights. I am for more human AND animal rights equally.
[personal comments removed]