Let me start off by saying that I am vegan. I have been vegan for 17+ years for moral/animal advocacy reasons, and I am vegan 4 lyfe *flash cool-looking hand sign.*
I appreciate your message of nonviolence and environmental stewardship. I get it.
Now, having said that, let me now say this:
You're doing it wrong.
Now, I know this is going to piss a lot of people off. And, of course, this message does not apply to all vegans-- there are a ton of amazing vegans out there who don't portray any of the habits I am about to describe. But please, I ask you to read this with an open mind and maybe take a step back and see if maybe this might pertain to you in some way, and if perhaps it might make you rethink a few things. That is all I can possibly expect, and I appreciate your time.
So, here we go.
You are not going to win many friends by shaming them for their own eating habits. I know that before I went vegan, having people cram animal slaughter videos in my face did nothing but traumatize me, and trying to guilt me for my decidedly nonvegan ways actually pushed me away not only from being vegan, but from associating with other vegans (and to this day, I do not have a lot of vegan friends, although I have a few).
If someone has expressed an interest in cutting down on meat, that is something you can applaud. It is not something you need to tear down, telling them it isn't enough. For them, it is a big step, and one that does make a difference. Embrace it-- don't criticize it. I know that my journey started with cutting out lobster, then red meat (after years), then chicken (again, after years), and finally going vegan (once again, after years). You know what made me go vegan? I didn't understand why eggs and dairy were a moral problem, so (quite tentatively), I asked some vegans about it. And what they said was, for me, the absolute best thing anyone could have said. They said, "go do some research and tell us what you find." So I did. And that research, that I did on my own terms, was what did it for me. I thank those vegans.
Please don't make up facts. Documentaries such as "What The Health" have, admittedly, created some (likely temporary) new vegans. But it did this based on half-truths. This is a great article explaining this. It is quite possible, and preferable, to argue your points using valid science and factual evidence rather than cherrypicked science and pseudoscience. There are some great reasons to go vegan. You don't need to make shit up.
And, while we're at it, don't make up words. Some guy was fighting with nonvegans on a forum, antagonizing them and calling them "carnists." Dude. You only made yourself look like an idiot, and no one is going to take anything you have to say seriously. There are much, much better ways to explain your point.
I love being vegan, and I love what being vegan stands for from an animal and environmental standpoint. It makes me sad to see vegans work against themselves in an attempt to prove a point. Do it civilly. Do it with class. Do it with FACTS. And cook them something amazing (or take them to a amazing vegan restaurant, if they are willing). You'd be surprised how far that can take you.
Now, that being said:
You're not off the hook.
Telling me my food is gross or "needs meat," joking that a baby cow "looks delicious..." yeah, that's not winning you any friends, either. And many of you are just as guilty of spreading nonfacts and propaganda. I'll get into that in more detail another time, but just realize that all that antagonizing behavior I just chided vegans for-- you're plenty guilty of it, too. Check yourselves.
If we all could just calm down, check our facts, and try to understand and accept each other, life would be a whole lot more pleasant. Maybe I'm being a bit naive, thinking that this is a possibility. After all, we are living in an age in which it is all too easy to troll each other, shame each other, and grab whatever "facts" suit us off the interwebs.
But a girl can dream, right?