The Animal Activist Handbook, Part 2: Snappy Comebacks
Having covered the basics of remaining calm and being confident while answering questions about animal advocacy and your decision to go vegetarian, we now move on to part two—answering the slightly strange questions! Some people may ask such questions because they want to mock or insult our choices, but always remember that others may have a genuine interest but little knowledge, so we should always give the best answer we can to promote vegan living.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid these questions so far, then we hope your luck will hold out. But the chances are high that at some point, you will be put on the spot—so here are a few standard approaches to dealing with a few of the most common questions:
- 1. Don’t vegetables feel pain? Why don’t you care about them?
Variations of this are probably the main challenge you will be faced with on a fairly regular basis. The best course of action is not to enter into a long debate about whether or not vegetables feel pain (as the questioner really doesn’t care about that—they just want to watch you get flustered), but instead stick to a simple, “I know for a fact that animals feel pain, so I choose to be vegan.” This deflects the question back to animals’ suffering, which is a topic your meat-eating cross examiner is likely to be less comfortable with!
- 2. But if we all went vegan, there wouldn’t be any animals. Is that what you want?
Let’s be honest here—life on a factory farm is no life at all. We aren’t doing animals any favors by bringing them into a miserable existence during which they will be confined, tortured, and then slaughtered. For anyone who still can’t understand this, ask them to watch “Meet Your Meat.”
- 3. But you’ll die if you don’t eat meat and dairy products.
This isn’t really a question at all, but it is one that I personally cannot let slide without comment. And, of course, the best example you can give to disprove this is … YOU! You are living, breathing proof that eating animal flesh and other animal products and byproducts is completely unnecessary.
- 4. Why don’t you help humans?
There’s an easy answer to this. Going vegan helps animals, the environment, and humans all in one go. In this way, animals, humans, and the environment are interconnected—we all stand to gain by not harming animals.
And, of course, vegans do care about humans, and that’s why we want to educate everyone on all the benefits of a vegetarian diet. You can’t change everyone’s mind, but you can give sensible, logical answers to even the most irrational of questions. And you can always be proud of the fact that you are willing to speak up for animals.
Posted by Claire Fryer