It is common practice from narcissistic individuals to accuse vegans of being part of a brain washed society or religion. This means one has two options:

A) Defend veganism and by doing so proving in the mind of the accuser that vegans are brainwashed and will always defend veganism no matter what. Like the old tactic "you have a problem and not admitting it is part of the problem"

B) don't defend veganism and leave them the full power to initiate their smearing tactics

Smearing tactics are when someone makes assumptions to depict someone else with a bad stigma. For example, "vegans are psychopaths who let their children die because of an unhealthy diet", or "Vegans are awfully judgmental who don't respect anyone."

Another tactic used is the old witch test: you either confess and die or don't confess and die anyway. In the case of veganism it plays like this: "Vegans are malnourished and delusional because their brains lack the needed nutrients."

In this case, everything you say is invalided because apparently your vegan brain is always wrong. If you ate animal products your brain would work correctly.... But you don't.

So my question is, in a political context, how does one defend veganism from manipulation tactics?

  • What do you mean in a political context? (I've only discussed veganism with friends/family or debated veganism via Discord or Reddit.) – adamaero Jun 23 at 22:34
  • Just disengage. They won't be convinced and on average they fail to convince others. – henning -- reinstate Monica Jul 2 at 18:52
  1. You could question them. "What am I brain washed about?" Probe into the specifics. The devil's in the details ;)
  2. You could draw comparisons to other movements, either historically or contemporary.

For the 'smearing tactics', continue to ask what they are talking about:

  • For instance, "What vegan parents let their children die?" (The one case I heard about, it was a sensationalistic news article about parents who only fed their infant applesauce, water and something else. Idiot parents cut both ways.)

  • "What were you judged about?" (There are many different outcomes for how they initially answer the question.) There are extremists in every movement. A few bad apples doesn't mean we should generalize to blanket statements.

  • "What nutrients does a vegan diet lack?" (Look into the top nutrients people fret about.) Then go into how either fortified foods can be eaten or vegan supplements taken.

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