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Defensive Omnivores

Why does everybody get so angry when we talk about plant based living?

This question is a hot topic among vegans and plant-based whole foods people all over social media, right now.

I am not new to this phenomenon. I teach and write about Law of Attraction, the belief that one’s attitude basically tunes in the things they experience, like a radio dial tuning in a station. If you want to change your life, I teach, you have to change the dial, that is, your attitude. (That’s a broad oversimplification. For more on this visit The Bliss Blog.)

Inevitably, when I discuss this philosophy with people who don't follow it, one or two people will feel empowered to improve their lives while the rest feel blamed for everything that’s wrong with theirs. The latter sometimes feel defensive and they tend to lash out.

Sadly, I’ve never learned to keep my mouth shut. I am a seeker. I am a student. I've spent my life searching for answers to my myriad questions about life, humanity, politics, religion, philosophy, and health. I have an insatiably curious mind. And when I learn something new that excites me, especially when it feels like the answer to one of life’s big questions, my first instinct is to share it with everyone I care about.

I don’t just learn things. I learn them and then apply them and by applying them, elevate my myself and my life to a new level. And I want everyone I love to be able to do the same.

So I share with the attitudes of excitement and joy, the way some people share thoughts about a great movie they've seen. Not with the intent to convert, but just with the intent to share this great, new-to-me information.

Our friends' reactions

I am finding I get the same reactions when I talk about getting off animal proteins. Friends and social groups have a range of defensive and even argumentative responses that can sometimes feel like having cold water blasted into my face.

So what do we do?

Whatever we do, we must not be quiet for fear of upsetting or offending others. We have the right to speak our truth. I feel like it's more than that. I feel like we are called to share what we've learned as a service to our world and our species. When it comes down to it, this is part of what we're here for. To learn things through our unique experience that can then be shared with the whole of us.

Also, I do not believe in being quiet. Ask anyone who knows me. If people were quiet about the benefits of a plant based lifestyle, I wouldn’t be here writing this blog right now.

But we should keep in mind that people have to come to this on their own. They have to be ready. When they’re not ready, they literally cannot hear us. We are playing on a different channel than the one where they are currently tuned. I can’t crank 98 FM up loud enough to be heard by someone who has their dial tuned in to 620 AM. It just doesn’t work that way. What people believe about themselves, even if it sounds like a bunch of misconceptions to us, is real to them. Literally, physically real. And therefore true in their experience.

We must put our truth out there as often as we can, but resist arguing back and forth when the inevitable responses come from almost everyone we know. Don't share with a goal of converting the masses. Share from the sheer joy of this lifestyle and then let it go. Know in advance that only one person in a hundred will hear you. But for that one person, it can mean everything. And for all of us, too.

One person going vegan can save 1100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forest, 10 pounds of C02 and 1 animal’s life every single day.

Time will eventually bring all of us around. Even when I was still eating meat, I predicted, and still do, that future generations will look back with horror and disbelief that we actually ever did that.

Sooner or later, everybody is going to have to give up animal products because the planet just can’t sustain them. It will no longer be a choice.

Hugs! Mags

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