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Vegetarian Tribalism

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Posted:     Post subject: Vegetarian Tribalism

I have noticed an undercurrent of what we may call "tribalism" in our community -- that is, "my kind of vegetarian is better than your kind."

I recently recieved a message through Vegetarian Passions -- the first ever. I'm not sure what his motivation was, but the entire content of the message was to imply I'm not a "real" vegetarian because I eat cheese, and to tell me I shouldn't eat honey. Is that what Vegetarian Passions is for? So we can feel better about ourselves by telling others why they aren't as good?

I know I can sometimes be guilty of this, too -- I do sometimes look down on people who approached it as The Gradual Vegetarian, because going "cold glurkey" was easy for me. But isn't this kind of judgmental attitude part of why we get so little respect from meat eaters? As often as I complain about meat eaters trying to talk me out of being vegetarian, shouldn't I consider whether they are just doing what vegetarians have done to them?

We all have our own reasons for being vegetarian. For you it may be about animal rights; for me it may be about the environment; and for the third person over there it may be about personal health. Does that make one of our reasons "better" than another's? Aren't all three of us accomplishing the same ends, even if our reasons differ?

Live was I ere I saw evil
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