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  • Clif Grant

When people aren't vegan...yet!

Updated: Apr 14

(by Clif Grant)

A woman and a man in their late teens or 20s sitting on a wooden bench. The woman is gesturing as the man listens.

Being an ethical vegan prompts defensiveness among ‘not yet vegans’ by forcing them to face their failure to act on this moral issue. They already know that animal exploitation is cruel and unnecessary. The fact that you've changed your behaviour because of it and they haven't makes them uncomfortable. People dislike having their everyday choices questioned from an ethical perspective and their guilt manifests itself in several different ways.


They include:


Moderation: 'I don’t eat much meat.'

Anger: 'Stop forcing your beliefs on me!'

Hostility: 'I'm going to eat this flesh right in front of you.'

Mocking: 'You look like you need a good steak.'

Bad jokes: 'Bacon though!'

Shooting the messenger: 'Vegans are too extreme and militant!'

Anecdotal Evidence: 'I tried being vegan once but I got sick.'


Every single one of these is a defensive response...common when entitlement is challenged.

Our default position as advocates should be that people are are good at heart, and interested in morality and justice. Yes, they may try to annoy us or make stupid, sarcastic comments. The trick is to see each one of these as an opportunity being offered to you by someone who is more engaged in the subject than you may realise!

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