I recently friended a girl on Facebook – someone I’d met a few times through The Social Worker. I knew she was vegan before that, but I did not know that she’s the kind of person to post vegan propaganda on her feed all the time.
Just as an aside, I was vegan myself for two or three years (and vegetarian for a few years before that). I’m a believer in animal rights. But I also believe that you can’t change a person’s mind about something unless they want it changed, and I think it’s inappropriate to attack other people’s choices out of the blue (especially when they’re kind of a captive audience, like coworkers or a friend you’re having lunch with) so I didn’t preach. Most people I encountered in my daily life had no idea I was vegan at all*. If someone found out that I was vegan and asked me why, I’d give them as much additional information as they seemed willing to handle. Mostly I’d just say “because I think the farming industry treats the animals badly and I don’t want to be part of that” and only go into specifics if asked. It always bothered me when people acted like all vegetarians and vegans are automatically “preachy” and holier-than-thou, because I’d never met one of that sort in person and I wasn’t one myself. If anything it seemed like the omnivores would seize on my vegan diet as an excuse to preach to me.
Anyway, yesterday this girl posted a link to an article about the badness that happens in egg production, and captioned it “straight out of their assholes and onto your plate.”
I have no patience for juvenile bullshit like this. I really don’t. There are tons of genuinely perverse and horrible things about farming and eating eggs; you don’t have try to make the idea unappealing by pretending eggs come out a chicken’s ass. Also, I half wondered if this girl really did think chickens squeezed out eggs through their colons, and further wondered why anyone would believe the information she posted if she was so clearly confused about the basic way an animal’s body works. I guess when it comes down to it I do think people should be educated about factory farming so that if they continue to eat animal products, it’s an informed choice. But the way to educate is not through shock tactics or juvenile stunts. It’s by saying “Hey, here are some things you should probably know” and presenting the facts.
So I commented on Preachy Vegan Girl’s link: “I think you are misunderstanding some fundamental things about anatomy.”
And she snarked back, “I think consumers are misunderstanding some fundamental things about egg production.”
Alright, then. She knows that eggs come out of a chicken’s vagina (or…I think it’s called the cloaca in birds?). She’s just trying to be deliberately shocking, and making herself look stupid in the process.
I was tempted to explain to her that she wasn’t helping her case by being all facetious n shit, but her vegan-related posts are always just so adversarial that I’m sure she would assume I was trying to shut her up rather than make her arguments more effective. She’s normally the sweetest girl you ever saw, but on this one subject she is apparently kind of insane. So I just stayed quiet and adjusted my settings so that her posts don’t appear in my feed anymore.
With her adversarial, “everyone-who-dares-defy-me-is-just-a-damn-dirty-animal-hater” attitude, though, it would almost be sort of fun to get into it with her. I can quote all the same factory farming facts and stats that she can; maybe more (I was pretty hardcore back in the day) and I have reasons for being an omnivore that would be difficult – if not impossible – to refute. It would be kind of nice to let this bitch know that yeah, sometimes people care about animals and know all the facts but we have to be omnivorous anyway. It’s not always black and white.
Update: …Huh. Google tells me that a chicken only has one hole in its backside, which emits both eggs and poop. So Vegan Girl was half-right.
*Until some kind of communal food thing happened.
“Hey, there’s pizza in the break room! Are you gonna have pizza?”
“No, thanks. I’m good.”
“But why not? Why won’t you have pizza? There’s free pizza!”
“Nope, that’s okay.”
“WHY WON’T YOU HAVE PIZZA? ARE YOU THE ENEMY OF ALL THINGS GOOD AND FUN? WTF IS WRONG WITH YOOOOOU?!?!?” (Okay, they didn’t use those exact words. But the tone was clear enough.)
“I…just don’t eat meat or cheese.”
“But why not?!?!?”
And then I’d tell them I was vegan, for animal rights reasons. And 99% of the time, the person would barrage me with a bunch of hostile questions that basically forced me to defend my choice.