Veggie in a Carnivorous household
Posted by strawberryfields at 10/04/2009
ok. .. so for years i have been trying to go all veggie. i don't like eating meat. but everyone in my house is carnivorous. and when i try to introduce all veggie meals i feel like i'm in the old Wendy's commercial with "where's the meat?" does anyone have any support/tips for dealing with this situation? they are my family. . and i do have to live with them.
If they continue to deny take heart in knowing at least you are taking steps to end animal cruelty, clean the environment, and reduce world hunger. Besides, chances are you'll outlive them, or at least stay younger and healthier while they rot and decay.
I don't go to family dinners anymore. I don't need to watch or pretend to condone their cruel and compassionless gluttony, especially when they know better.
As Mark Twain said of animals that kill: "... he does not inflict pain for the pleasure of inflicting it - only man does that." Your family has a choice and what people choose says a lot about who they are. People eat meat for pleasure, not survival.
i think it's more that they are afraid of change than anything. since my family is farm stock. . they have met their meat. besides, my family is not the kind you can force into change. all i want is to not get a bunch of flack because i want to be veg. what other ppl do is their business and choice. if by my example they see that i am healthier and happier then great. . maybe and hopefully, they will change too. i am hoping to just show them that their are so many things that you would never even miss the meat in. like spaghetti or chili. ( imust say i did make some progress with the meatless chili. . everyone loved it and baby bell mushrooms chopped real small give a great texture)
what i want is just some inner strength. because where i live. . .not just who i live with. . .happens to be a hard area for anyone who chooses a veggie lifestyle. you'd think i grew a second head. it's the culture here. and most ppl are very stuck in their ways no matter if they are right or wrong. i just want as much support in my goal of showing them how good veg can be.
As to my family, they will never get it - like you say "afraid of change." They even have the nerve to preach to me how I am ruining my health. I often have to remind them that "I'm the only healthy one in the family so why should I take your advice." All these years while they continue to gain weight, develop health problems, and turn into couch potatoes I stay young, thin, and energetic. An old expression seems to apply - living well is the best revenge.
Focus on your beliefs, ending animal cruelty, and setting a good example. This is where I've always gotten my inner strength. People may be too stubborn to admit it but they recognize health, compassion, and conviction in others. When they get insulting it's often because they can't face their own doubts or guilt and we remind them of this just by us being who we are. But stay strong and be what you believe.
I think about this quote whenever I feel discouraged: "Only one-third of the colonists supported the American Revolution. The abolitionist movement never numbered more than about 100,000 - a tiny fraction. As one historian points out, 'Five percent keep saving the world.' That's worth remembering." Remember too, we are the future and more everyday, especially kids, are joining.
"Strawberry Fields Forever! Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see."
Well, I do think that if what others do is actively contributing to the destruction of innocent beings AND the environment AND my tax dollars, then I think it is my business. I liken eating meat to child abuse, so I don't respect that choice...why does this make me out to be a radical?
Personally, I try to avoid the subject. "I just prefer to eat this way","I prefer the taste", "I feel better". This not only gets people off your back, it intrigues some, and most importantly, it saves you from getting involved in fruitless (no pun intended) discussions with people who are simply ignorant of the facts. One gets tired of explaining things to people who still think the world is flat.
In your case particularly this seems like the way to go, because your family has had some time with this issue and still can't see it. Shut down the argument by refusing to go there. When they see you won't take the bait, eventually they will get bored and drop it. And if they don't, you can say, "Look, I don't tell you what to eat. Who's intolerant around here?"
When I do bother to go into this with people, I take a strict health approach FIRST. I firmly believe in appealing to people's self-interest. It is logical and normal that people ask, "What's in it for me?" Besides, once you stop eating animals for health reasons, it is almost inevitable that you wind up embracing the other reasons too (environment and preventing animal cruelty). But if you start out with those other reasons, you, the vegan, will simply come across as sanctimonious. I think this is the number-one thing that hinders veganism. We must studiously avoid appearing holier than thou if we want to reach people.
I strongly recommend a book called "The Rave Diet" by Mike Anderson. It was recommended to me by Dr. Flora Van Orden, Ann Wigmore's righthand person for years. Here is the link: www.ravediet.com/reviews.htm
This is by far the best argument for a vegan diet I have ever encountered. The book is well-written and interesting and get this: comes with the most mind-blowing DVD, called "Eating". It is utterly life-changing. It lays out, step by step, why eating animals destroys our bodies (causing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, to name the big ones), destroys the environment, and of course destroys animals. I have shown it to a lot of friends and they have converted on the spot. Including my 83-year-old former cattle rancher father. It truly is like taking the truth pill in the Matrix.
The book and DVD costs 20 bucks, but you can buy three copies for 30 bucks... a clear sign of the author's earnest desire to spread the word.
Another angle is the big business/ big pharma angle. You have to be careful with this to avoid seeming a nutcase. But if you can cite specific examples of how these industries deliberately stand in the way of things that would make us healthy (and reduce their profits), you might make a few people see the light. "I don't eat meat and dairy because I'm not a sucker". Rave Diet touches on this at several different points in the DVD. (By the way, Rave Diet also comes with many easy recipes so that you can start eating vegan right away).
So my advice is try to avoid the subject, but if pressed, show them the Rave Diet DVD. Relish the stunned silence afterwards.
And take heart in this famous quote:
"All great truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer
Good luck! ;-)
I'm quite proud of myself, so you should be too. Just stand by what you believe in and persist in it. :)
if you have a meal idea say somehting like .."hey im cooking veggie suprise tonight! anyone like some?"
if not, let them cook their own meal. easy.