Internet, games and apps Life

Vegan thinks she knows why people hate her, she’s wrong

A few days ago, Alex Miles posted a blog on Elephant Journal called “The Underlying Reason Why People Hate Vegans”. In it, she claims she found out said reason. Sadly, she’s wrong in her analysis. And the reason she’s wrong, is exactly why I hate SOME vegans.

The vegan argument

The smell, the sound… pure heaven

Basically, her argument is based on the concept of cognitive dissonance. I am gonna be lazy, and quote her explanation:

 

“Cognitive dissonance is a scientific theory that was developed by Leon Festinger in 1957. It suggests that people have a strong inner drive to hold all of our attitudes and beliefs in harmony with each other, so that we can avoid disharmony, or dissonance. The second part of the process is what we do to maintain that harmony.

When we are faced with information that conflicts with the beliefs we already hold, one way to mend the dissonance is to go to great lengths to find information that supports our original beliefs, which results in us achieving cognitive consistency.”

So as an example (one which I got when I first learned of the concept): A person believes that good people don’t eat chocolate. At the same time, she believes she’s a good person. Yet, she ate chocolate a few minutes ago. This causes a conflict between “I am a good person” and “Good persons don’t eat chocolate”. This is cognitive dissonance, which is solved by rationalization: “Good people don’t eat chocolate, but I didn’t eat in 5 days, and there is no other food available anywhere. Even good people don’t like dying from hunger, so it’s okay I ate this chocolate.”

Alex Miles then argues she’s seen it so often. In her view, people justify (*) eating meat. She then comes up with a couple of “arguments” people apparently use. Admittedly, they’re pretty lame arguments. She then throws in a few remarks about how animal husbandry is cruel and inhumane (which it often is), followed by “It can be so difficult to accept something as ‘the truth’ when it goes against something that we have previously and still currently believe to be true.” Now, that last statement is so true, it’d almost hurt. Just not the way Alex Miles intended it, I guess.

She continues that people who eat meat are afraid, aren’t open, don’t want to listen to her reasoning: “instead of being open to how people perceive situations” (*)

Why the Vegan is wrong

Can you imagine anything more delightful? (Photo: Pexels)

The whole argument of Miles hinges on this concept of Cognitive Dissonance. Speaking for myself, I can safely say there is no such thing as cognitive dissonance. Let’s look at some more words from Miles:

“Many factory farmed animals are brutally and forcibly artificially inseminated (raped) so that they can reproduce, therefore, when demand reduces, the need to force them to reproduce reduces/ends. Not only that, the lives they live are filled with extreme emotional, mental, and physical abuse—not a life that many of us would choose to be born into and quite literally hell on earth for the animals.”

Do I know about what’s wrong in agriculture? Yes. Do I eat meat, eggs? Do I drink milk and wear leather shoes? Yes. Cognitive Dissonance? Nope. Because unlike many vegans, I have no fundamental problem with the idea that animals are bred and kept for human consumption. I do, of course, have some issues with some of the less civilized ways of agriculture. But not every bit of meat comes from an abused animal. The chickens in my yard probably have a life which is better than mine. And when it is time for them to go, the never even see it coming. Should I have some issues with this? Nope. OK, I confess, the first time I slaughtered a chicken, I had to go past a psychological barrier, but one who eats meat, shouldn’t shy away from the necessary steps towards it, right?

So if I don’t experience any cognitive dissonance, why do I hate SOME vegans? It’s quite simple: some vegans are trying to push upon me a belief that I do not belief in. A belief, quite frankly, that I think is utter bullshit. They speak of “Specyism”, when I make a difference between people and animals. Nice bit of framing, trying to compare me with a racist who thinks whites are superior to blacks, which means it’s okay to have slaves. Miles: “We are all sentient beings, sharing this planet with other sentient beings—many of which cannot talk. Some of us are a voice for the vulnerable (*), and some of us cannot hear that voice as anything other than a rant that denies or challenges their beliefs and opinions.”

Thing is, being sentient doesn’t make you the same. Animals are not people. Period. Now look at that last sentence. If this isn’t someone thinking their believes are superior to that of others. If this is not someone who has a 100% solid belief that her worldview is the only possible worldview, then I don’t know what is.

And THAT is why I hate vegans. Because SOME of them are pushy, preachy and simply annoying. Why? Because they simply cannot understand that someone can know all their arguments, and still be capable of enjoying a nice little steak. Preferably from an animal which has had a decent live.

On the other hand, there’s one thing I can agree on:

Miles: “When someone tells us that they hate us, they detest our views, what we stand for, what we believe in, or that we are wrong and they are right, the healthiest thing we can do in those moments is to remain calm, reminding ourselves that they do not actually know us enough to hate us—they just hate the fact that our opinions differ from and challenge their own.”

I guess that works both ways 🙂

Bonus track: Is Miles trying to solve HER cognitive dissonance?

beef

Beef, delicious beef (Photo: Pexels.com)

I cannot help but wonder, is Miles perhaps battling her own cognitive dissonance? Something like “Good people don’t use animal products” + “Most people aren’t vegan, some of my friends aren’t” –> “Most people aren’t good people”, which might be conflicting with a positive attitude towards humanity? I don’t know, but I just had to write this bit to get it out of my system. Otherwise, it’d probably keep me awake tonight.

(*) Noticed these little stars? Each of them indicates an example where I feel that Miles is presenting her opinion as a fact, or where she’s making the exact error she’s accusing others of.

2 Comments

  • August 16, 2017 - 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Hi, we are entitled to our opinions and the lifestyle that we choose to live, but we should not force upon others what ever the subject may be.

  • August 17, 2017 - 11:49 am | Permalink

    Thanks for putting everything in perspective! Great contrast of opinions regarding veganism 🙂

  • Leave a Reply

    Powered by: Wordpress
    %d bloggers like this: