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 Ethical choice

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jordan

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PostSubject: Ethical choice   Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:06 pm

Hey guys, I have a difficult choice... more or less to do with ethics. My martial arts club is trying to raise money to fund athletes to compete in an international amateur martial arts tournement. One of the fundraisers is a steak night, and I am expected to sell tickets. I feel bad if I sell tickets because for every ticket I sell it is another piece of flesh that is going to be devoured. Even though I won't consume any meat there, I am still supporting the meat industry by encouraging other people to do so. But on the other hand I feel bad not selling any tickets because then I am not helping out my fellow athletes to compete. Either way I am doing something bad, and I can't really think of any middle road that makes both sides happy.
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Court

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PostSubject: Re: Ethical choice   Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:08 pm

I would find this an extremely frustrating situation. Could you talk to them about that they will get more customers (and more money) if they provide a vegan alternative? Would this be acceptable middle ground?
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jordan

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PostSubject: Re: Ethical choice   Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:51 am

That would be nice if there was a vegan alternative, but it wouldn't really work. Cattle farming is really big where I live, so everyone here loves to eat their red meat. A lot of people laugh when I say I have become vegan, saying remarks like "you better eat some meat or your going to get sick" or "your already skinny enough, why are you cutting out meat?" Most people just can't imagine a meal without meat. Even mentioning substitutes like seitan, tempeh or tofu makes people cringe.

"Steak Nights" are a very common fundraiser here that most bars offer for relatively cheap. I don't think they would be flexible and offer vegan meat.

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Pete
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PostSubject: Re: Ethical choice   Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:15 am

That's a tricky one! I live in Brighton in the UK (has been called the veggie capital of Europe) & so we are more likely to be asked "Should we add a meat option" at fund raisers like that (we don't Very Happy ) - If you feel you can't sell tickets you could offer an alternative, you could get yourself sponsored doing something extreme like a skydive, or funny like throw the water bombs at Jordan, kind of stuff - that way you could sell the tickets to doing that, still raise money, but like as a side event at their event, or as just part of the fund raiser. Otherwise the only other options are to do it, or not to do it, depending on how bad your conscience is about it. You could think "Well they are undoubtedly going to eat meat with that meal anyway", or you could think "I just cannot be involved with this". I would certainly still enquire about meat-free options anyway, you could make it personal & say "I don't eat meat, but would love to come along as well, is it possible to have a option I could eat" that may get you a food in the door with a little vegan food, or even "Could I bring along a vegan option" might be a possibility, see it as a chance to vegucate them a little (by example, not preaching), you'd have to get/make awesome vegan goodies mind you to get their mouths watering!
Sorry I couldn't think of a definitive answer for you mate, it's a tough call.
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jordan

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PostSubject: Re: Ethical choice   Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:57 am

My descision is to join them and let them know ahead of time not to cook a steak for me. I doubt they would have any vegan meat, I'll just load up on potatoes and veggies. Unfortunatly when people eat out here a meal consists of a tiny lettuce salad (no deep greens, or peppers, usually just a little tomatoe) a heap of potatoes and a massive hunk of meat. No one really eats lentils or beans or soy or any kind of veggie meat. Grocery stores only have one brand of tofu (if they even carry it) and all their beans are canned. To get any dried legumes I have to go to a specialty or bulk food store. In the entire city there is only about 4 or 5 asian or middle eastern supermarkets, and they all are really expensive. Everyone here eats red meat and potatoes... even eating lots of chicken and fish seems strange to some people here.

There are other fundraisers that don't involve food too, but unfortunatly there is lots of BBQs and steak nights that all involve meat. I have nothing against going to those events and eating my own food, its just when I have to sell meat or tickets that get meat that I feel bad. They could not sell veggie burgers and seitan steaks because I would be the only one eating that lol.

I just feel so ostracized when I eat out with other people. They always look at me strange when I order a "salad" or "veggie burger" and bombard me with questions trying to convince me to eat meat.. At least I'm a good cook and make most of my own food so I don't have to eat out all the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Ethical choice   Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:05 pm

One study I read very recently was the importance of having a support system in place, so maybe you could put out feelers, see if you can't find others in your area who share you eating habits (it's harder finding eating AND training habits similar to ours-that's tough in many areas as vegans into exercise are a minority of a minority),there could be a local veggie group or something that goes out for eats, maybe they even do charity stuff with a more veggie flavour (vegan potlucks are pretty good, you can charge people a donation to come along & you don't even have to pay for food as it's a potluck! This is assuming you find local veggie/vegans!).
If there isn't a group & you have the interest maybe you could even form one in your area. I bet there must be a few people who don't eat meat at least, you just don't know about each other.
Anyway, interaction with like minded people seems to be one of the factors that keeps you vegan or veggie, so keep that in mind. If that's not possible at least use the internet to develop some virtual interactions (like here for example), as although it's probably not as good as having real friends, in the real world, it is still a community that might help when times are tough.
If you're interested here's the abstract of the study I just read about vegans, veggies & x-vegans & x-veggies http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22387715?dopt=Abstract
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Court

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PostSubject: Re: Ethical choice   Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:07 pm

Personally I found having support around me immensely helpful when I transitioned from lacto-vegetarian to vegan. I was living with an ovo-lacto-vegetarian, a vegan, and an omnivore at the time, so it was an interesting houseshare kitchen.

The vegan was very helpful (as I think she knew I was getting curious about veganism) and would always offer me some of her tasty creations like vegan cheesecake (YUM!) and cakes, etc. I try to do that to people now. I offer them something I've cooked and then when they compliment me I tell them its vegan. I thinks its a very non-confrontation and helpful way to get others eating more vegan foods.

It must be very frustrating to live where you do. Maybe try to think of yourself as a vegan pioneer/missionary for your area? Laughing

Do you have any veggie or vegan friends in the area at all?
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jordan

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PostSubject: Re: Ethical choice   Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:16 pm

Many of the people at my yoga studio are vegans, or at the very least lacto-ovo. I'm pretty new to yoga myself, so I don't really have any close friendships with these people, but I have found their presence very enjoyable. Sometimes there are some events that I go to and even a potluck once with my yoga studio.

My immediate family is pretty supportive though. When I come out to eat they try their best to accomodate me. Although I felt pretty discouraged when I first told them I no longer eat eggs or milk, they then went on about me being nutrient defficient. My brother is pretty knowledgeable in nutrition since he does wieght-training too, and has taken a nutrition course- he supports me.

I have no problem with trying to fit in or be pressured. I have never been afraid to go against the grain when I want change. This whole issue is really not too big of a deal anymore since I could find other ways to be supportive. And for social events I would just tank up on salad if no "vegan" dishes are availabe and make sure to eat something sufficient before hand.

Currently I am pretty much a full "vegan." The only eggs and milk I eat are when I eat out or go to my parents or grandma's. It's hard since eggs and milk are in many baking products and used in cooking. But I don't buy any eggs or dairy when I shop, and I never cook it for myself when I'm at home.
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