At the beginning of my pescy eating journey I joined a F@ceb**k group for vegan beginners. I hoped it would be a place to find great recipes, learn about other peoples’ journeys, and be encouraged and inspired. And, for the most part, my involvement has been positive.

But there is a definite dark side to these kinds of groups. People can be downright cruel and abusive. There are those members who love answering questions and discussing issues in a friendly manner. Then there are those who will make you feel like an idiot for asking questions and who can’t discuss issues without arguing, labeling, and judging. It’s like preschool without a teacher to mediate. At times the threads get so long and off-topic that you forget what was being discussed in the first place. Basically, there’s always drama.

Why do we always have to judge others? No one takes the time to remember that opinions and world views are formed over a lifetime. Often we have no idea what experiences influenced a person to develop a particular view. Yet we don’t ask questions or take a moment to say that we don’t understand. We just dive right into disagreeing. Do we not realize that this tends to add bricks to walls rather than opening windows and doors?

I try to stay away from the drama. If I do respond, I think about what I’m going to write for a long while. I may write a huge response and then delete it before actually posting because I don’t want to add fuel to an already out-of-control fire. I guess what I’m wondering is why can’t we nurture conversations rather than picking sides and building arguments?

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