Gaslighting is a psychological ploy used by sociopaths, narcissists and other toxic types to bully and control others by convincing them their ideas are senseless, their emotions invalid…in essence that the target is simply unacceptable as is and needs to conform to the dictates of the toxic bully in order to be accepted by the “superior.” Either that, or the target deserves silencing, confinement, elimination, etc., meaning to be securely “under the thumb” of the toxic bully to his/her benefit…or out of the bully’s way, as in locked up or dead.
Gaslighting’s purpose is to turn someone into a psychological puddle of jelly, to the benefit of those directing the game.
We see those “vegans” who’ve submitted to the sociopaths in increasing numbers as of late, in the likes of tone-policing activists far more outraged at “unacceptable” behavior by other vegans (preachiness, being moralistic, whatever) than they are over animal suffering and slaughter. Actually, these “vegans” are most often not in the least bit concerned with people’s treatment of animals and are only “plant based” for health or other such acceptable reasons. They see their tolerant, “loving” selves as the plant-based darlings of society. While ethical vegans see them as the malicious pawns they are. They are the well-used enablers of anti-vegan gaslighters.
In “Gaslight,” the 1944 mystery-thriller film, a woman’s husband slowly manipulates her into believing she’s insane by playing tricks on her and terrorizing her in their home with lights dimming/brightening, mysterious footsteps and so forth. She’s constantly told these are only in her imagination, no one else sees/hears them. He also convinces her she’s a kleptomaniac by having valuables disappear with her as the only suspect. The aim is to have her flip out and be put into an asylum, or perhaps drive her to suicide. This is all for this sociopath’s great financial benefit in the end, he thinks. That’s all I’ll say here, to avoid spoiling the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it.
Now, how do anti-vegan activists (AVAs) use gaslighting techniques? Let us count the ways:
Vegan is depressed and angry regarding animal farms, slaughterhouses and all the rest of the deplorable subhuman mess and expresses him/herself about it obsessively, passionately…even, God forbid…judgmentally. (Would anyone accuse a child advocate of being “obsessive” or “judgmental” against child abusers? I think not. Isn’t speciesism just wonderful?) Well anyhow, in response to animal activists/vegans “acting up”…
AVA breaks branches, chest pounds, paws the earth, and hisses at heartbroken person:
- You are only depressed and angry because of your deficient diet, not because of anything we’re doing!
- You sicko…you anthropomorphize dumb animals, you think they feel pain and have needs like we do. Ha ha, you idiot!
- You’re a judgmental, self-righteous, sanctimonious, preachy POS, and everyone hates you!
- Your over-the-top love for animals is a sickness! It’s only because you don’t have the people skills it takes to have a proper social life.
- You think a lion wouldn’t eat you because you’re an animal-rights wing nut?
- Only emotionally immature idiots oppose our using and killing animals!
- You favor animals over people, since people cannot survive without using/killing animals. You anti-human scum!
- No one else feels as you do, the rest of us are strong and mature and content with the natural order of things.
- No one cares about your vegan cult or what you have to say!
- You are a bully, crazily trying to force everyone to adopt your awful diet, therefore you’re a horrible person!
- If you don’t like our world as we’ve made it, why don’t you just kill yourself? Loser!
- Nothing is wrong with society and our norms, it’s you fringe nuts that are deplorable, not us!
- No one but you few fringe nuts is vegan, and there have never been any vegans of any benefit to humanity or the planet, and there never will be.
- All of your protesting, whining and crap is for nothing…no one will ever listen to you. Your life’s “passion” is just so much wasted trash! Go away!
- How crazy are you anyways…will you go out to the African plains and tell lions they must be vegan?
- We understand nature and the food chain and proudly sit on top of it all, while you’re just a bleeding heart moron…why don’t you just die?
- Why can’t you be like these good vegans who accept and love everyone’s food choices and who are thus, cool? Not insane and hated like you!
- 99.9% of people are against you…that should tell you just how wrong you are! (This one despite the fact that it’s more like about 50% oppose us now and about 10% are with us as vegans or nearly so, up from less than 1% in the 1980s. But yet, according to the gaslighters, vegans are still less than 1% of people. Our denied growth explains why the backlash of late has become so much more common, loud and vicious.)
There are more varieties to be sure, but those are some of the more common I’ve seen out there on the web, where vicious cranks feel free to anonymously hiss and bellow out their toxicity, unfettered. Ah, the joyous pleasantries of being gaslighted by society’s henchmen and women, aren’t they lovely? Just one of the many fringe benefits of being “smug self-righteous privileged SJWs.”
Some anti-vegan thugs behave this way in person, in public, bolstered by their fellows’ behavior on the internet. I say, either put them down scathingly, cleverly and thoroughly, even if with a touch of humor and a pitying hug; or look at them quizzically and cringe/smile at their nutty rudeness; or get away from them and avoid them from there on out; or simply glaze over and ignore, meaning go “autistic” and construct a “wall” against them. The last three are what I’m best at. I’m not so good with mean, clever insult diatribes.
In the case of anti-veganism, gaslighting techniques are well used to bury inconvenient truths, and keep them buried. This serves to hold veganism back from spreading as widely and quickly as it should, since whether the vegan succumbs to it or not, “normal” people see something undesirable happening and want no part of it…not on the vegan’s side anyways. They’d rather covertly/silently side with the bully and simply continue to enjoy their burgers, steaks, cheese and such, while “pitying” (disliking or hating) vegans for being such oddballs and targets of abuse, not to mention the “terrible deprived diet that makes them crazy.” That’s normal folks’ human intelligence and compassion at work right there…impressive, isn’t it?
How do I suggest we deal with gaslighting?
Deal with it (or not) in any way you see fit after understanding what’s happening and operating from inner strength and a firm resolution not to be bullied by nasty people. It’s not for your benefit, after all, to rise above such attacks and “win”…it’s for the innocents, the animals. This is a war of words and ideas, and our winning in the end will get us the huge backing of the mainstream…to phase out and shut down the slaughterhouses and the rest of the vileness. So don’t let these malevolent people get the better of you. To start with, you don’t need to engage with them at all. Clever dismissals serve well to stop them in their tracks and free you from the miserable waste of time in “debating” with them for days on end. But sometimes engaging and winning is quite necessary and needs to be done well. The destructive misinformation AVAs spread should be challenged effectively and defeated whenever possible.
If AVAs do on occasion “win” by being relentless in the malicious, vulgar behavior, to compensate, do some more creative and constructive work to help the cause of veganism, i.e., be proactive instead of reactive. Get the message out to decent people rather than fight some more with the venomous. Be immune to the psychological games used by these people. Remember: It’s not for your own sake, it’s for the animals and the future growth of veganism, for the eventual end of this animal ag & slaughter-based, thus insane “civilization.”
YOU direct things, don’t allow yourself to be that pawn in the gaslighter’s sick power game. Such people have no right to even attempt to squash your good will and invalidate your passions, and they need to be seen as the malicious ruiners they so want to be. These narcissists and similar types are sick people behaving as domineering mouthpieces for a sick society. So take control of situations, don’t let them make you sick. And be proud, not ashamed of being considered crazy by such a society.
Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
And this, along with much else, is deeply, disturbingly, sick and evil human behavior: