Who doesn’t find people telling them what to do annoying? Here’s something people who don’t eat meat commonly say:
I’ve been saying for a long time that it’s weird some people are anti-vegan and try to argue against it. That’s like saying “I’m pro-cruelty, pro-heart-disease, and anti-environment.”
It’s not just people who don’t eat meat. People who eat meat have different reasons but the same amount of judgment and telling people what to do. It’s not just food either. People in all areas, when they feel they’re right and others are wrong, impose their values on them.
If your goal is to influence others, trying to impose your values on them usually motivates them to resist, feeling “No, you’re not right. I am. You’re wrong”—the opposite of your goal.
Talking that way only shows that you don’t understand them and that they have different values from you. If you want to reduce cruelty, heart disease, and harm to the environment, you can be satisfied with changing only your behavior, in which case, enjoy your self-righteousness. if you want a greater impact, you’ll do better influencing others, which means understanding they have different values. If you want to influence them, thinking and acting that way will undermine your attempts.
People have eaten meat in every culture in the world since before history. Animals all over the animal kingdom eat other animals. Trying to impose your values on others — which is the overwhelming majority of people — will only lead them to ignore you or even react contrary to you and your goals.
You don’t have to agree with someone to understand them. At least acting like you understand them will give you a chance at influencing them.
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