Random Thoughts On Dialogue

Everyone has their own way of thinking… their own philosophy on how life should be lived, how you should interact with other beings. Personally, I’m not interested in confrontation. I’d rather things be peaceful. Now that doesn’t mean that I won’t voice my opinion, but I don’t understand why people do that in a manner that is antagonistic. I think you can present your point of view without alienating your audience, even if you are passionate about your subject. (But you probably already know that if you’ve spent any time reading this blog.)

Tonight I was reading The Calgary Herald, and found this in the “Real Life” section:

My three grown daughters all became vegans in their mid-teens. They’re also animal-rights activists — I think they’re fanatics, refusing to celebrate Thanksgiving with us, with a “dead bird” (turkey) in our home, though I’ve prepared a tofu turkey for them.

My husband and I try to accommodate their diet and are sensitive to their activities, but they’re increasingly rude and ugly, condemning everything we eat, and that we kill flies and earwigs in our home.

First, let me state that I understand this is only one side of the story. But for arguments sake, let’s just assume this account is actually 100% accurate. I don’t understand the behavior of the daughters. What is the point of alienating their parents / other people? The parents are not vegan, but they do accommodate their daughters’ way of eating. Personally, I think that’s wonderful. The parents are preparing some vegan foods for the daughters to eat. Presumably they will taste those foods and, perhaps incorporate them into their food rotation. In any event, they are learning about a vegan diet. They are willing to try!

But what are the daughters attempting to achieve by being antagonistic to their parents? This type of behavior only gives vegans a bad name, and isn’t likely to result in anyone changing their thoughts. Typically, it results in people shutting down. Without a dialogue, there can be no change.

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