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Christian Vegetarian Association Presents:
Take Heart!

The Very Bad Vegan

Agnes L., a vegan who writes a blog called "A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise," shares her views about being a vegan among meat-eaters, and how to share her choice of diet without alienating others or alienating herself. She believes that hard-core veganism, the kind that would seem overly-demanding to an outsider, such as someone not eating a veggie burger that was cooked on the same grill as a meat-burger, would actually do more damage to the movement that helping it. According to Agnes, if meat-eaters view veganism as unattainable, then the chances of others to adopt a plant-based diet are pretty slim.

To read the full article please search online for: A Very Bad Vegan

Please share with us what your view is on this subject (hard-core vs. flexible vegan), and your opinion could be on one of our next Take Heart! issues. Thank you!

Comments: Thank you to all those who wrote regarding this article titled "The Very Bad Vegan". Here are some of those comments:

- Speaking as a very bad vegan myself, I totally agree with Agnes L. I personally believe that flexibility and incrementalism will always win more people over than hard-line rigidity. In fact, if I am invited to someone's home for dinner and they are serving meat, I will generally eat what they are kind enough to serve me rather than make an issue of it. Convincing people to change their eating habits takes time and requires a healthy measure of common sense in my view. ~ Scott

- About Agnes' issue with the kind of vegan exactitude that puts off outsiders, yes, I agree that it is much important to give a positive and cheerful message to outsiders than to maintain purity from any trace of animal products. And the most important quality--the greatest of these--is love.

When there is no outsider at the table in a restaurant, I think it is all right to ask the wait-person if a certain dish contains a given animal product; one can always do it courteously, with a smile and thanks for their trouble, underlined with a handsome tip. ~ Gracia Fay

- Yes, I will eat a veggie burger that has been cooked on the same grill as a meat burger. I don't mind a bit.

Personally, hard-core vegetarians and vegans were a major reason it took me so long to become a vegetarian myself. I've know people who were vegetarians less then a year, and already they were treating those around them like scum of the earth for eating meat. I know someone else who said they would rather kill a human being then eat a piece of meat. People like that made me shut my eyes and ears to any information on the environmental, ethical, and health reasons to become a vegetarian.

Then there were others, like my mother, who was vegetarian (now vegan), and was so with kindness, and understanding. That's how I've tried to be as a vegetarian. Going out to dinner with friends I've been asked, "does it bother you if we order meat?" Who am I to say what they can and cannot eat? I wish no one ate meat, but everyone needs to make their own decisions. The more flexible and understanding we are, the easier it is for others to at least be open to hearing our reasons. ~ Cara

Your question and comments are welcome

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