Living Among Meat-Eaters

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Living Among Meat-Eaters

Carol Adams wrote a book several years ago called Living Among Meat-Eaters: The Vegetarian’s Survival Handbook, which I haven’t read. But I hear it’s a really good guide to dealing with all those pesky and annoying meat-eaters we have to live with and deal with everyday.

Many of us haven’t always been vegetarian and have friends who are meat-eaters. For those of us who are activists, this can get very stressful.

Maintaining a relationship with someone who doesn’t share the same values, the same morals and ethics, can be extremely challenging. Especially when we have focused so much on those issues in our own lives and are actively working to change public opinions about animals.

Here’s the one piece of advice I have for these situations: have a sense of humor. A really big and all-encompassing sense of humor. Laugh at everything. The suffering of animals is serious business, but I’ve found that humor is the best way for me to deal with other people.

Meat-eaters like to joke around about eating meat. Often I think that this is just their way of defending themselves. One time I was at dinner and one guy was making jokes about meat, which I laughed at. A few days later I found out that he was going to be vegetarian. You never know. Being serious and taking offense to what meat-eaters say and do just allows them to remain defensive. Laughter opens and lowers barriers.

Laugh. Laugh a lot.

[Thanks Andrea for the idea for this one. Sorry it wasn’t a better post!]



July 26, 2009 at 12:23 am

Tough situation. I had a meat-eater friend ask me tonight if I would feel uncomfortable if he ordered meat at a restaurant. I said that no, I wouldn’t, and that I feel my role is more to educate people about the food industry rather than judge their choices, but I would have loved to respond: yes – go veg and here’s why. I have however asked friends to change their minds if they order veal.


July 26, 2009 at 12:28 am

Well, I wish I could do that, Glenn, but I’m a serious person. I agree with your point about laughter, but I can’t just make myself do it. Sometimes I’m in that mood, and things go fairly smoothly, but I have never been able to maintain that mood for more than a few rare weeks.

I want that book by Carol Adams! Another great one is Adams’ book The Sexual Politics of Meat. That’s been helpful to me in dealing with meat-eaters, so I wasn’t surprised the book you mentioned was by her.

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