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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:19 pm 
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Sadly so many people give up their cats and dogs when they have babies. I kind of wish she would rehome the dog (not by dumping her at a shelter) because that dog deserves a better life.)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:10 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
Not so much a vegan peeve as an anthropocentrism peeve/WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH SOME PEOPLE? I should have known better than to click when I saw this on STFU Parents' FB page, because now I am basically blinded by incoherent rage. As one of the many, many, MANY people who are capable of loving animals and children (something obviously beyond the writer's limited powers of comprehension), I feel like this horrible person shouldn't have either. Apologies in advance for any fury-induced migraines that may result from reading this piece of selfish, shallow crepe.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/fami ... puppy.html


On the bright side, the (few) comments I skimmed were all mostly of the "the author is a horrible human being" vein. She just sounds like one of those people that only loves while it's easy and convenient. I'm sure once her kids hit the rough teen years, she will revoke her affection there too.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Ugh. A friend of mine posted that on facebook with a "ha ha!". And I KNOW he loves his dogs, so what the hell? Ugh ugh ugh.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:46 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
She just sounds like one of those people that only loves while it's easy and convenient. I'm sure once her kids hit the rough teen years, she will revoke her affection there too.
Yeah, it's just...what? Emotional laziness? Shallowness? I don't know, but I have three human children, two human stepchildren, a dog, and two cats, and I can honestly say that I don't love any of them "more," "less," or even especially "differently." I mean, obviously there are differences in what they do, how they develop, what we expect their futures to be like, etc., but I guess I just don't see love on that sort of sliding scale, or as something for which hierarchies are at all appropriate. And I think it's pretty shitty to "love" someone until someone else comes along and then kick them to the curb, especially if that someone is a non-human animal with no other resources, whom you've encouraged to love and trust you unconditionally. Betrayal sucks, no matter what species you're doling it out to, and that being the case, the author of this piece sucks. A lot.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:09 pm 
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Well, I often feel like since having L its really hard to have the space to manage caring for both cats, the dog and the toddler. There is only one of me, and someone is always touching me and wanting to be snuggled, and I don't always have the room to be there for everyone. All our animals are crazy loveballs - the cats are always underfoot and rubbing up against us for pettings and scritches, and Cuddles is just constantly wagging his tail looking for love. He is always right by me. I do take him for a long morning walk, which falls right into the period that L is at her best, so I am balancing both their interests, but it means I can't go for indoor events with L that I would like to go to, unless my husband can walk Cuddles. I do also try and make time for walks for just him and I, and he loves those so much. That said, when he knocks L over rushing to get out of the door or doesn't come when he is called, and I need to wrangle a 30lb toddler to run after him and get him back, its often just very frustrating. The other day, I was trying to manage the dog and L ran right under the swing set and managed to get hit by another kid by accident and so I was so upset at myself, but I couldn't be in both places at once.

I love my dog and L, but I am constantly present to my love for L in a way that I often am not with Cuddles. I think its a good reminder to slow down and take more time to be present to loving the animals as well. Heck, I probably need to take more time to be present to loving Brett as well.

I am not saying that the writer is right - I think Velvel deserves more love and its on her to find out how to treat him like a family member - just that I do understand where she is coming from and I for one, learned something from her story, so I'm happy she shared it. I don't like the headline, but it was probably designed for shock value anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Yeah, I have an elderly cat who was used to having one and sometimes two adult humans home most of the time. I would never give him up, and I love my cat and we've been together for 12 good years, but...dang, right now it's just me taking care of that elderly cat and a fairly active toddler and there are evenings where I just am done with being around other creatures. I'll be running on fumes, not wanting to hear any more crying or whining or meowing or be touched, and I'll have just gotten the baby to sleep and the cat will start meowing for his dinner and it doesn't matter how fast I try to get him his dinner he doesn't stop meowing - hell, sometimes he meows (loudly! he is the opera singer of cats! and the kitchen is right next to V's bedroom, which is my dumb fault, but it made the most sense that way) to tell me how much he enjoyed his dinner. And then, after three more cycles of get the baby to sleep before the cat wakes her up again, he climbs on top of me when it's 82^F and I just want to fly away.

So I get it, kind of. I would never harm the baby or the cat but in those minutes I just want to gooo. But of course I can't.


ETA: and since I'm planning on having another kid, I am definitely thinking that if my kitty passes away, and I hope that won't happen for at least half a decade!, it will probably be a long time before I adopt another pet. My parents waited from when their first cat passed away when I was two until I was almost eight to get another cat, and I can TOTALLY understand that.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:04 am 
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A 6 month vegetarian at work (who I am also sort of friends with) "confessed" to me that she ate chicken last night, because she was super hungry and she and her boyfriend couldn't find anywhere to eat at 10 PM last night. I'm not even sure what to say. I was more bummed than I would've anticipated.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
Not so much a vegan peeve as an anthropocentrism peeve/WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH SOME PEOPLE? I should have known better than to click when I saw this on STFU Parents' FB page, because now I am basically blinded by incoherent rage. As one of the many, many, MANY people who are capable of loving animals and children (something obviously beyond the writer's limited powers of comprehension), I feel like this horrible person shouldn't have either. Apologies in advance for any fury-induced migraines that may result from reading this piece of selfish, shallow crepe.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/fami ... puppy.html


Uggggggh.

I do have to say, I have advised people to not get an dog if they plan on having a kid in the immediate future on a number of occasions - but usually if they've never had a dog before. People who run out and get a puppy when they find out they are pregnant or a few months before delivery "so they can grow up together" are an extra kind of special. If you've never had a dog or a child before, why would you suddenly decide to have both at the same time. Do you never want to sleep again?

But saying you shouldn't do it because you'll hate your pet and that will be justified because you can only have enough love for your kids? What an asparagus.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:13 pm 
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Having 3 kids when she couldn't manage her life with 2 was irresponsible. She probably would have been fine if she stopped with 1, and would have been both a better mother and dog caretaker. She doesn't sound happy with so many kids either - I wonder what impelled her to act so irresponsibly and then not feel too embarrassed to whine about her situation?

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Jill wrote:
Having 3 kids when she couldn't manage her life with 2 was irresponsible. She probably would have been fine if she stopped with 1, and would have been both a better mother and dog caretaker. She doesn't sound happy with so many kids either - I wonder what impelled her to act so irresponsibly and then not feel too embarrassed to whine about her situation?
Yes - she doesn't seem especially thrilled with any of her dependents, animal or human. When I posted this on FB a friend (who is a single mom raising three kids on public assistance, along with several rescue animals) made the following response: "That woman has 3 children ages 4 and under...Clearly this woman was not prepared for the work that goes into having that many children so close together. The dog would be better off with another family and out of that woman's house. And so might her kids, who she seems to resent."

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:56 pm 
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It annoys me when people are so quick to say "Oh she should just rehome the dog." There are so many homeless dogs out there and its not like families are out clamoring for an older dog with health issues. It sounds to me like her dog gets vet care, shelter and food and some attention, and that is a far cry from being a problematic home (I think she is an ubershitty writer playing it for laffs - I don't think Velvel is in any danger of being drowned). We forget how tough it is for dogs out there. My Dad thinks it was irresponsible of me to adopt a dog while I was working, because his feeling is that dogs should be in homes where someone is home all the time - and while perhaps that may be ideal, my dog was on the "E" line at Brooklyn ACC and slated to be destroyed, and I am pretty sure that even if he doesn't get all my attention, its better than his other options.

And I tell people all the time not to get a dog while they have toddlers, because like Moon, people think that their baby should have a dog to grow up with. Which is super-cute, until they realize that a dog actually takes training, time and money, and then you have a two year old, unsocialized and neglected dog dumped at the shelter. Or you see parents for whom the dog is just another stuffed animal. I saw a family with a bichon puppy at the park, who was basically being treated like a teddy bear and swung around by the two daughters (3 and 5). He was shaking from fear and the mother did nothing about it, and got pissed at me for pointing it out.

I love my dog, but it is tough to balance the two. I feel bad that we miss a ton of the indoor events that Leela's friends go to, like story time and sing-a-longs at the library, but we have to walk the dog then. And I can never run errands on the way to or back from a dog walk because I can't safely leave the dog in the car or tied up outside, given the risk of heatstroke or being stolen and dogs are not welcome in most businesses, so I have a long list of errands I need to find time to do, which almost never get done. With a toddler, I just toss her on my back and go to the store. And Cuddles may be the easiest dog on the planet - besides a good walk once a day and plenty of vegan dogfood - he really doesn't even ask for much and I adore him. And Leela adores him and the two of them get along great and she feeds him, gives him snacks, brushes his teeth and loves being around him. But I can understand how it can get overwhelming to have a dog and a toddler, because often I am overwhelmed by the two of them.

If we are going to do animal related pet peeves here, I might post until my head explodes. Like about my neighbors whose dog got bitten, and they didn't feel like they had money to get vet care so they surrendered their pit mix to the shelter (where she was almost certainly euthanized) and then bought another puppy from a breeder, or the woman at the park who told me in tears that her dog got hit by a car and she didn't have money for vet care so it spent 5 days dying on her floor and she feels so bad but she didn't have money for a vet, or the people down the street whose dog lives in their garage all day with no sunlight and that still meets the NJ standards of care, my neighbors where the guy straight up told me that he gave away his dog to his friends who used her as a bait dog, or the jerk who breeds blue-nosed pitbulls and sells their puppies while telling me how much he loves his dogs and also that he would never trust a rescued dog (like mine) because they're all damaged goods.

Sorry, but Velvel really doesn't have it as bad as many other dogs out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
If we are going to do animal related pet peeves here, I might post until my head explodes. Like about my neighbors whose dog got bitten, and they didn't feel like they had money to get vet care so they surrendered their pit mix to the shelter (where she was almost certainly euthanized) and then bought another puppy from a breeder, or the woman at the park who told me in tears that her dog got hit by a car and she didn't have money for vet care so it spent 5 days dying on her floor and she feels so bad but she didn't have money for a vet, or the people down the street whose dog lives in their garage all day with no sunlight and that still meets the NJ standards of care, my neighbors where the guy straight up told me that he gave away his dog to his friends who used her as a bait dog, or the jerk who breeds blue-nosed pitbulls and sells their puppies while telling me how much he loves his dogs and also that he would never trust a rescued dog (like mine) because they're all damaged goods.
UGH. I think my head is going to explode just from reading that. So horrible.
Tofulish wrote:
Sorry, but Velvel really doesn't have it as bad as many other dogs out there.
I'm sure you're right that the author is just an astonishingly crummy writer who imagines that she's being funny. (Remember how whatsherface from Peas & Thank You was always "joking" about how she hoped their cat would run away or have an accident or something? Because I guess Jesus is cool with that sort of thing.) The thing that made me so angry, and to which I was reacting, is the apparently blithe assumption that the minute a two-legged family member enters the fold, any four-legged (or winged, finned, etc.) ones are no longer valued or even welcome because - DUH - animals are inherently less important and worthy of love, dignity, respect, or attention than people, right?! I get really annoyed at the way this idea is accepted in many quarters as being "obvious," "natural," or "inevitable," especially since it is not the case for so many people I know, myself included. And even if someone really does believe that the arrival of a child trumps the existence of all other existing creatures, they aren't doing their precious darlings any favors by modeling unkind, disrespectful, or thoughtless attitudes and behaviors towards others of any species.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:29 pm 
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It would still suck for a dog who was used to being the center of attention to fall by the wayside and get practically no attention or exercise. Surely he feels sad, and that is shitty, regardless of whether other dogs have it worse.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:38 pm 
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Oh I agree that that assumptions sucks, and it gives people the space to think that reaction is natural, rather than figure out ways to reconnect with their pets and find the love again. And OMG yes for modeling respect for animals.

But I also hate that whenever an animal doesn't have a completely ideal life, people are all like "REHOME ALL THE PETZ" like its a punishment for the owner rather than the animal. The truth is that there are way more animals than there are responsible homes, and we need to work to find ways to address the issues and have people keep their animals as far as possible. Surrendering a pet is not a good first option, and yet so many people go there so easily. It should really be something we do as a last resort after other avenues are exhausted. And we need decent spay and neuter laws so badly. In Austria the cost for a license for an unneutered dog is so high, and it incentivizes people to spay and neuter. Here, every breed association will fight tooth and nail against those sorts of measures, even though it demonstrably results in fewer abandoned animals and less aggressive animals. In NJ the max difference between licensing costs for neutered versus unneutered animals is $10 which is hardly significant.

When L had a cold, our pediatrician suggested that it might be a cat allergy and we should get rid of our cats. Obviously, we didn't and her cold healed and she is not allergic to the cats, but I could see that if other n00b parents were seeing a sick kid struggling to breathe, they might think that their only option is to surrender the cats. And then of course their kid would get better (because that is how colds work) and they'd assume that it was because their kid really had been allergic to the cats. So many cats get rehomed because of allergies and I wonder how many of those are necessary.

I love Pets for Life and their surrender prevention work. They can help you solve almost any problem. I'd love to work with this woman and help her figure out a way to love Velvel - figure out the grooming, figure out an easy solution for the walks (even if its hiring a dogwalker) and find ways to get her children more involved in caring for Velvel. I'm sure their whole family would benefit.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:08 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Surrendering a pet is not a good first option, and yet so many people go there so easily. It should really be something we do as a last resort after other avenues are exhausted.
I absolutely agree.
Tofulish wrote:
When L had a cold, our pediatrician suggested that it might be a cat allergy and we should get rid of our cats. Obviously, we didn't and her cold healed and she is not allergic to the cats, but I could see that if other n00b parents were seeing a sick kid struggling to breathe, they might think that their only option is to surrender the cats. And then of course their kid would get better (because that is how colds work) and they'd assume that it was because their kid really had been allergic to the cats. So many cats get rehomed because of allergies and I wonder how many of those are necessary.
I knew someone who got rid of her extremely docile dog (who had previously been her "baby," to the point where he was represented on her wedding cake along with the bride and groom) because he snapped at her son, who was about 4 at the time. The reason? The child had been trying to "unwrap" the dog, which turned out to be just what it sounded like. {{{SHUDDER}}} That dog was so chill that the only way he'd ever have snapped at anyone - and NB he didn't bite - was if he was being hurt. But rather than teach her kid to be gentle with animals, she sent a 10 year old dog away from the only home he'd ever known. Years later, she had a cat declawed rather than teach her daughter not to pick it up by the head, tail, etc., and gave another dog away because no one could be bothered to walk him. (Unsurprisingly, her children were perfectly happy to trade the dog - whom the daughter declared "a dork" - for a Playstation.)

This woman's fundamental disinterest in teaching her children respect for other living things resulted in them being, well, pretty awful people. By the time I ended the relationship (she'd been one of my oldest friends, but I haven't seen or spoken to her in almost 10 years) the son had sent not one but two of my kids to the hospital with head injuries, on two separate occasions. Both involved swinging a baseball bat without looking, and neither resulted in any serious consequences for the kid, even after my son was taken away in an ambulance asking the EMTs "am I going to die?" I only mention all this because there was a clear correlation between a lack of compassion for animals and a lack of ethical or (for lack of a better word) moral accountability. If we don't model kindness, gentleness, and respect, we can hardly expect our kids to learn them. The author of the Slate piece can't do much about having more kids than she wants, but I do hope she'll do everyone concerned a favor and refrain from adding more family members, of any species.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Of course it would be better to fix the problem with this woman. I hope it was just her writing style but it doesn't sound to me as if she has any interest in changing. As far as people utilizing Pets for Life - well, I'm at NYCACC at least once a week on various rescue related errands which often involves a lot of wait time in the lobby. I've been there for so many surrenders. Every time the person is told 1.you know there is a good chance that your animal will be killed here and 2.we can offer you help with whatever problem you are having - we have phone right there to call Pets for Life and they can provide you assistance with (x) problem. Not once in five years has this changed anyone's mind. Of course you can say they are already at the shelter and have made up their mind and she still has Velvel. And of course he's better off than many dogs. I still think he deserves to be in a home where he will be loved and valued and I don't see that woman doing anything to make that happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:41 pm 
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I'm not saying Velvel doesn't deserve better. Just that its a pet peeve of mine how fast people go to telling people to rehome the dog for problems, without suggesting exploring other options.

If she rehomed Velvel, she'd probably be relieved and happy, but things would be a lot less certain for Velvel. I have a few friends who treated their dogs the same was as the author describes - I think part of the problem is that its seen as "normal" for us to love our fourlegged family less once we have kids.

And yes to the fact that it models a lack of compassion and kindness.

As a side note, I often wonder though how easy it is to model compassion for animals in a non-vegan household, mostly because its a concern for me as my partner does eat meat (though always outside our home and not in front of our kiddo). We read about and have met chickens and other birds and I can't imagine teaching L that eating them would be okay. But then again, she refers to our vegan hotdogs as woofwoofs, because that is the sound dogs make, so maybe its not that hard a dissonance/distinction to teach. Not looking to offend anyone, just curious.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:00 pm 
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At this point my daughter does not get that the reason we call the soy nuggets we ate for dinner last night "chicken nuggets" is because some people actually kill and grind up chickens to make nuggets. I'm not so worried about the cognitive dissonance. She is not fazed by the term and I'm sure someday I'll think up a cutesy way to rationalize their being called chicken nuggets (chickens are little and cute, nuggets are little and cute?), and at some point we will connect the dots for her if she doesn't herself. We also had a lovely time petting chickens at Farm Sanctuary last week. She knows a chicken is this awesome friendly sort of bird who likes to eat out of your hand and chase you around and go wherever they damn well please.

While the author of the article above might be a crasshole, I'm really glad I didn't also have an animal to deal with when the kid was born (or now). I would not have been able to manage that situation and the animal would have suffered. But I know that about myself and that's why I've never had a companion animal as an adult. I would definitely not advise people to adopt animals around the time they're having children. That is freaking hard and they may not understand how hard it's going to be to manage all those moving pieces and demands on their time. I model kindness and respect to animals by not eating them. Not all of us have to want to cuddle dogs and cats on a daily basis (or like, ever, in the case of cats) and I say better to know if you're a cuddler or a not-cuddler before you take on the responsibility.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:03 pm 
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i don't think anyone teaches the distinction. i was raised in a home where meat was part of every meal, and we all had plenty of compassion for the animals we came into contact with. but it wasn't because we'd been taught to disregard the conflict, or to think of some animals as worthy of concern and others as good eats. my neighbors had chickens, but my mother didn't sit me down and say, "those are just like the ones in our freezer!" like a lot of people, we simply didn't give it that much thought. it's frustrating now to talk to people who refuse to think about it, but i remember how much of my life went by without it really clicking.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:41 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
I say better to know if you're a cuddler or a not-cuddler before you take on the responsibility.


Well, we are definitely cuddlers and love our dog and cats, but its still been really hard. Until I had a child I had no idea how hard it would be to coordinate meeting both the needs of the animals and a toddler.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:24 pm 
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acr wrote:
i don't think anyone teaches the distinction. i was raised in a home where meat was part of every meal, and we all had plenty of compassion for the animals we came into contact with. but it wasn't because we'd been taught to disregard the conflict, or to think of some animals as worthy of concern and others as good eats. my neighbors had chickens, but my mother didn't sit me down and say, "those are just like the ones in our freezer!" like a lot of people, we simply didn't give it that much thought. it's frustrating now to talk to people who refuse to think about it, but i remember how much of my life went by without it really clicking.


Yeah, I don't think we were taught a distinction, it was more implied? I mean, I met plenty of animals that I knew were for eating. We didn't raise chickens but plenty of our neighbors did including one of my mom's best friends and we ate there often enough to know that what we were eating was something they raised. But again, compassion for animals was definitely something that was part of life.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:50 pm 
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I've just read extracts from a book about an animal communicator (someone who talks telepathically with other animals) and I can't quite believe that after all she says in the introduction, she maintains that other animals exist to be eaten as part of a great web, and all we need to do is be thankful. Ugh.

Oh, and apparently the thousands of chickens that were killed when bird flu hit (some in horrible ways) planned it all as a way to escape humans at the time, but they were actually quite amused by it.

I just cannot stomach the idea that other animals are all out there supposedly sacrificing their lives to teach us humans some kind of cosmic spirituality and wisdom. Don't forget kids - cows only want you to look them in the eyes and thank them their spirit before you slaughter them mercilessly!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Hazel wrote:
I've just read extracts from a book about an animal communicator (someone who talks telepathically with other animals) and I can't quite believe that after all she says in the introduction, she maintains that other animals exist to be eaten as part of a great web, and all we need to do is be thankful. Ugh.

Oh, and apparently the thousands of chickens that were killed when bird flu hit (some in horrible ways) planned it all as a way to escape humans at the time, but they were actually quite amused by it.

I just cannot stomach the idea that other animals are all out there supposedly sacrificing their lives to teach us humans some kind of cosmic spirituality and wisdom. Don't forget kids - cows only want you to look them in the eyes and thank them their spirit before you slaughter them mercilessly!
Yeah, well all that stuff is just empirically C.R.A.P.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Ariann wrote:
I say better to know if you're a cuddler or a not-cuddler before you take on the responsibility.


Well, we are definitely cuddlers and love our dog and cats, but its still been really hard. Until I had a child I had no idea how hard it would be to coordinate meeting both the needs of the animals and a toddler.


Think about how much harder it would be for someone who was really not that into cats and dogs! Comparatively, Cuddles and Veto and Carlito have it really good. And your example is one of the reasons I doubt we'll ever have a nonhuman animal living with us again - I could not live up to what you do for your animals. There's "hard, but I am managing" and "hard and I give up" - I don't know that we can be that surprised that so many give up and should probably be doing a way better job impressing upon people the difficulty of the task before allowing them to adopt (or buy) animals.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan pet peeves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:03 pm 
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My pet peeve is tiny print and items without dairy that don't have an allergen label. Since I broke my glasses I've been having a hard time reading labels and twice now I've bought things that had no allergen warning (I can read bold letters more easily) but upon getting home saw dairy in the ingredients.

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