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 Post subject: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Warning: long! Back story: I met my partner's uncle for the first time the other night. This is someone who visits once every five years or so- not someone local;and my partner hadn't seen him in quite a few years. He came over to our house, barely asked my partner how he was and focused on me. Within the first five minutes of meeting him, he asked, "So, why are you vegetarian?" I gave my standard explanation of "For health reasons, my family has high cholesterol and diabetes so I'm trying to eat healthier." This usually is sufficient for most people, but not this man. He replies, "Don't you even eat eggs? They have no cholesterol eggs! You're vegan???" I said, "Well, yes, I learned more about the cruelty that goes along with and I avoid animal products whenever possible." This usually disarms most nosy people. But, no, it went on. And on. Here are a few gems from the 45-minute interrogation:

Him: Well, the cows' udders will explode if you don't milk them!
Me: Actually that's a common misconception. The cows continue to make milk because they are continually impregnated. For example a woman's breasts don't explode if she stops nursing, she might be uncomfortable, but the body stops making milk eventually.
Him: Did you just compare a woman to a cow??!! That's anti-feminist!!
Me: Uhh...what??

Him: Oh yeah, all the lesbians are into being vegan, like Ellen and Portia.
Me: ...confused silence...

Him: Well, there was an experiment where scientists cut into trees and they measured a high pitch noise, like the trees were screaming!!

This was in response to my opinion that animals can feel pain, fear, etc and that I don't believe plants can feel those things, hence I'd rather eat the plants. When I asked him where he heard about this experiment, who conducted it, if it was published, he dismissed me with, "Well, we all know God put the animals on the earth for us to eat." I knew at that point there was no sense in trying to defend my beliefs.

I thought we were done, but then he moved onto pointing at my nose ring, and other piercings and saying "What's with this? Ah, you're 26, I get it" <snicker> He also said how he looked me up on Facebook and said that I photograph well, so does that mean I'm ugly in person?? He also looked at pictures of me and my sister, and said I'm much prettier than my sister. Creep-tacular.

I was so angry, and felt judged, and felt like I was 15 again. I have a pretty long fuse, but I wanted to ask him about being divorced and how he reconciled that with his Catholic beliefs. Or, offer to show him the piercings that aren't readily visible and ask if he wanted to discuss those as well. I felt like he was rude and intense right from the get-go, and I was polite and articulated my beliefs well, and he didn't let up. Ah well, got my first omni attack out of the way. Now I know how to prepare for next time! Sorry for the length, thanks if you got through the whole thing!

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Dead by dawn
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Sorry, he sounds douchetastic. Most people will not verbally attack you that way, so you might have gotten your worst encounter out of the way, anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:15 pm 
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yeah, i don't think i'd even categorize that as an omni attack. you just got d-bagged. instead of catching up with his nephew he spent all his time grilling you about various things, after lurking your fb account no less. dude is just a creeper, and i'd consider upping your fb privacy settings.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:16 pm 
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I'm sorry you had to deal with that. Some people are just stupid, awful mustards. This guy sounds like a prime example.


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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:26 pm 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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WOW. what a turd (I would have been tempted to mutter "well, I can see why you're divorced! real charmer you are.". You did the right thing by not losing your cool. It makes you the better person.
My boyfriend and I have had to deal with his great uncle every christmas for the last couple years we have lived out east. We are both Vegan and have careers in creative industries. We have to listen endlessly to him rant about how weird us being Vegan is and how unhealthy it must be (even though we have had almost perfect health since going Vegan). Then we get the Jobs rant. "When I was your age I was working. I mean really working. If all the computers in the world crashed tomorrow, you people wouldn't know what to do with yourselves." We just get through christmas because we are there for Tom's Grandma. We went early this year to get more time alone with her before he showed up. Ha.
Dealing with the dick relative you only have to see once a year is something you just grit your teeth through and hope you come out the better person. Feel your pain.
BUT! the facebook comments he made to you kinda go too far. ew. Why is he checking out your sister?!


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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:36 pm 
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VeggieKillah wrote:
Him: Well, there was an experiment where scientists cut into trees and they measured a high pitch noise, like the trees were screaming!!


My partner's mother brought this one up when we were over for Christmas. We were just sitting down to eat, and she says 'I saw a scientific study on TV where they determined that plants feel pain'. Boyfriend got a little defensive over it, asking what point she was trying to make by saying something like that unprovoked (she insisted it 'didn't mean anything'), and I just blew it off with a dramatic 'TV science said that? It must be true, TV science is the most legitimate kind!'.

Anyway, it sounds like you handled it all well. No need to get defensive about it and stoop down to his childish level. Being rational and polite helps to address the 'vegans are irrational radicals' mentality.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Erinnerung wrote:
VeggieKillah wrote:
Him: Well, there was an experiment where scientists cut into trees and they measured a high pitch noise, like the trees were screaming!!


My partner's mother brought this one up when we were over for Christmas. We were just sitting down to eat, and she says 'I saw a scientific study on TV where they determined that plants feel pain'. Boyfriend got a little defensive over it, asking what point she was trying to make by saying something like that unprovoked (she insisted it 'didn't mean anything'), and I just blew it off with a dramatic 'TV science said that? It must be true, TV science is the most legitimate kind!'.

Anyway, it sounds like you handled it all well. No need to get defensive about it and stoop down to his childish level. Being rational and polite helps to address the 'vegans are irrational radicals' mentality.


I have actually had a few people bring this up in front of me and I want to know where this screaming tree thing came from!


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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:49 pm 
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ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:
yeah, i don't think i'd even categorize that as an omni attack. you just got d-bagged. instead of catching up with his nephew he spent all his time grilling you about various things, after lurking your fb account no less. dude is just a creeper, and i'd consider upping your fb privacy settings.


I agree with all of this. Also, 45 min is way longer than necessary. I would have ended the conversation, left to use the bathroom, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:08 pm 
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wow, what a dbag! that's a really shitty situation. that guy really sucks!
where was your partner during all this?

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:09 pm 
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Sarah-Jane wrote:
Erinnerung wrote:
VeggieKillah wrote:
Him: Well, there was an experiment where scientists cut into trees and they measured a high pitch noise, like the trees were screaming!!


My partner's mother brought this one up when we were over for Christmas. We were just sitting down to eat, and she says 'I saw a scientific study on TV where they determined that plants feel pain'. Boyfriend got a little defensive over it, asking what point she was trying to make by saying something like that unprovoked (she insisted it 'didn't mean anything'), and I just blew it off with a dramatic 'TV science said that? It must be true, TV science is the most legitimate kind!'.

Anyway, it sounds like you handled it all well. No need to get defensive about it and stoop down to his childish level. Being rational and polite helps to address the 'vegans are irrational radicals' mentality.


I have actually had a few people bring this up in front of me and I want to know where this screaming tree thing came from!

Wasn't Screaming Trees a band from the 90s?

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:46 pm 
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Mark Lanegan's band.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:49 pm 
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Boo that's awful. I'm sure everyone finds at least one of those relatives at some point. This guy is a special kind of D-bag.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:54 pm 
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Its for evenings like that the HoveringDog invented Omnivore Bingo! You could have made a full bingo with added points for douchebaggery.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:42 am 
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monkeytoes wrote:
Wasn't Screaming Trees a band from the 90s?

I was thinking the same thing. I saw them in concert once. "I nearly lost you there!"

Back to the story...yes, a complete jerk! A good book that I'd recommend (if you haven't read it already) in dealing with people like this is "Living Amongst Meat Eaters" by Carol J. Adams. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:39 am 
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That sounds like a medley of all the horrible conversations I have had. I am sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:18 am 
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WOW that is horrible. I'm sorry you had to deal with that jerk. But hopefully that's the worst confrontation you'll have, and it sounds like you handled it super well! What does your partner think of this uncle?

On the screaming trees thing.. it's something I've heard tossed around before too so I tried to find an answer, but when you google it you either get a) the band Screaming Trees, or b) a bunch of yahoo-answers type pages that are like "They did a study!!!!1" The only even remotely reliable hit I found was good old wikipedia:
Quote:
In the study of paranormal phenomenon, plant perception or biocommunication in plant cells has come to mean a belief that plants are sentient, that they experience pain, pleasure, or emotions such as fear and affection, and that they have the ability to communicate with humans and other forms of life in a recognizable manner. While plants can communicate through chemical signals, and certainly have complex responses to stimuli, the belief that they possess advanced affective or cognitive abilities is not supported by scientific research. In contrast, those in the parapsychology studies community believe they do.


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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:39 am 
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I think that this study was someone who got drunk and was in the woods with a knife. Which, you know, is totally legit.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:05 am 
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Ellen and Portia: all the lesbians in the world. There are only two.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:13 am 
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I hate it when these things are so unprovoked. I never push veganism so I don't appreciate it when I get attacked about it. What keeps me sane throughout all of the douche-bag encounters is the people who respect my choices and are genuinely interested in the motivations behind veganism.

You were totally awesome for keeping your cool. There was obviously no point with this guy. He was going to be a dick no matter what and making it more heated would have probably given him more satisfaction.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:25 am 
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pandacookie wrote:
Ellen and Portia: all the lesbians in the world. There are only two.

Like Noah's Ark?


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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:36 am 
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Sorry you had to go through that, it sounds pretty awful and he sounds like a total shiitake - and creepy to boot. Hope you can avoid him in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:45 am 
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I like to carry medals with me wherever I go. That way, instead of half an hour of stupid bullshiitake, it goes more like this:

Douchebag: "So you're vegan?"
Me: "Yeah."
Douchebag: "We have canine teeth!"
Me: "You win!"
Douchebag: "What?"
Me: "You win the conversation! Congratulations!" (Pin medal to his chest, hum national anthem while saluting.)

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:51 am 
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just mumbles wrote:
I like to carry medals with me wherever I go. That way, instead of half an hour of stupid bullshiitake, it goes more like this:

Douchebag: "So you're vegan?"
Me: "Yeah."
Douchebag: "We have canine teeth!"
Me: "You win!"
Douchebag: "What?"
Me: "You win the conversation! Congratulations!" (Pin medal to his chest, hum national anthem while saluting.)

Yes this is my approach. Like the Seinfeld approach to Izzy Mandlebaums. "Okay, you're better than me!" Because some people just have an insatiable need to be "better" than you and everyone else so just let them have that phony, fawning acknowledgement so you can all move the fork on.

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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:32 pm 
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just mumbles wrote:
I like to carry medals with me wherever I go. That way, instead of half an hour of stupid bullshiitake, it goes more like this:

Douchebag: "So you're vegan?"
Me: "Yeah."
Douchebag: "We have canine teeth!"
Me: "You win!"
Douchebag: "What?"
Me: "You win the conversation! Congratulations!" (Pin medal to his chest, hum national anthem while saluting.)


Excellent!


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 Post subject: Re: My first verbal omni attack- a rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:39 pm 
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BFH wrote:
pandacookie wrote:
Ellen and Portia: all the lesbians in the world. There are only two.

Like Noah's Ark?

More like Sappho's Canoe.

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