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Why Animal "Abusers" Aren't Concerned with Offending Us
- abuse - offend - alienation -

Comments by Stephen R. Kaufman - 8 November 2001

 

Maynard asks me: You're asking us to be inconspicuous or conspicuous? to pull our punches?

My response to Maynard:

I think we can be both gentle and conspicuous.  Hitting people on the head with our message works for some people, but many recoil defensively.  T-shirts, occasional mildly provocative questions and comments, and other activities can gently prod people towards thinking about the faith implications of their diet.

I would like to add a comment to my response to the person who put meat on a Christian vegetarian's plate.  Generally, people do such things for several reasons.   For example, they may feel that a vegetarian threatens their self-image as a "good Christian," and they desire to belittle the vegetarian in order to maintain their own self-esteem.  However, there may also be an element of humor that (while not totally dedicated to fun) is still "humorous."  Perhaps, rather than put people on the defensive (as my response above might), it would be better to give them the benefit of the doubt.  We could identify the most positive motivation possible, and say something like, "A lot of people like to kid me about my diet.   I like kidding around with people too.  But, vegetarianism is very important to my Christian witness, and I'm worried that all the jokes may make it seem like vegetarianism is a silly, frivolous choice.  What do you think I should do to make it more clear how important this is for me?"

Steve

(d-3)

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