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Veggie in a Carnivorous household

strawberryfields
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.

Responses

shearwater
shearwater10/05/2009 15:49:26
Do you have to live with them? Just kidding. Many who kill animals as their diet of choice drown themselves in a sea of denial rather than face the pain they cause. So show them a video. PETA's "Meet Your Meat" seems to have changed a lot of minds about what's for dinner. If they object say you also object to watching them kill innocent animals. Even if it doesn't change their minds they may at least understand.

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.
strawberryfields
strawberryfields10/05/2009 20:11:07
i agree that ppl eat meat for "pleasure" and not survival. we weren't meant to eat meat. plus cooking meat and handling raw meat can spread so many bacterial diseases. if it isn't cooked properly it's just as bad. if you can't eat it raw .. it shouldn't be eaten at all.

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.
shearwater
shearwater10/06/2009 15:47:11
I live in PA too so I know what you mean about this being a hard area. We're one of the most pro-hunting states in the US. When I went veggie 22 years ago I was questioned all the time by people who didn't even know what vegetarian meant. Then I went vegan and had to educate everyone again.

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."
ThunderHeart
ThunderHeart10/20/2009 16:59:52
I'm sure if you made comfort veggie foods and homemade breads and rolls your family would be okay with it. You don't have to make a big deal out of it. If you do all the cooking in your house you've got it made. Pasta with marinara sauce (or crumbled soy meat for meat sauce), baked eggplant, Bush's vegetarian baked beans with sliced tofu dogs, seasoned rices, veggie kebabs, sweet potato pie, hummus with pita bread, garden burgers with all the trimmings and french fries. There a ton of things your family would love to eat. There's no reason to approach it from an animal cruelty angle or make them feel guilty for having eaten meat in the past. Just remind them it will lower their cholesterol and most of the time it is cost effective, so it will stretch the budget. Good luck, sweet heart, you are an angel.
mmuqtasid
mmuqtasid10/30/2009 19:08:57
Oh no, being around those that will tempt you when you yourself are not that stromg yet is not good. You need to find your support in your area to help you with this dilemma. You may be able to locate friends here or on meetup.Find people that think like you. They may be next door.
Jenoe
Jenoe10/30/2009 20:46:36
I know where your coming from. I too live in a household with meat eaters. I became vegetarian awhile ago and I love to cook and could spend all day in the kitchen fixing lovely vegetarian dishes. Which I did, and received a lot of "where's the meat?" questions. I experienced the same "pressure" about not eating meat. Once I stopped "pressuring" them about eating meat, I made my declaration that I will not eat meat BUT, that I would fix them two meat meals a week. At those meals, I would make my own delicious vegetarian dish. My daughters would always want to "taste" my food because it was so appetizing to them. This has made my life so much easier. Yes, I do wish I didn't have to prepare meat and see them eat it. But they do not give me a hard time anymore, and I do not harp on them. I love them and hope that my living example will eventually catch on. My husband will NEVER stop eating meat unless he gets amnesia and I tell him he's a vegetarian.
Randiberto
Randiberto10/30/2009 21:31:15
I became a vegan after reading "The China Study". Possibly your family will be more open to health logic.
jennybe
jennybe10/30/2009 22:06:29
I'm going on a limb here and addressing two things that I've heard so many times: 1) "what other people do is their business" and 2) as long as you respect others' choices.

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?
Lourdes
Lourdes10/31/2009 00:19:56

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! ;-)


happykat27
happykat2711/01/2009 07:20:12
^^^ i agree. i think it's best not to try to convert anyone.
shearwater
shearwater11/01/2009 10:10:37
Not try to convert anyone? Slavery lasted so long in this country because even most of those who believed it was wrong refused to speak out. But at the same time you don't have to argue, nag, or be overly aggressive (or start a war) to bring about change. Take a stand, stick to your principles, set a good example, but never never acquiesce or worse, agree to participate in something you don't believe in - such as preparing meat meals. Provide a healthy meal, be part of a peaceful solution or alternative, but if animal killers insist on eating meat let them prepare their own meals. Change comes about slow enough as it is. We don't have to help them.
sunfeet
sunfeet11/04/2009 06:16:49
I became a vegetarian when I was 14. My family aren't vegetarians at all, even now ( I'm 19 now) . At First my mum objected but after awhile she cooked my meals separate from my family's. It got to the point where once in a blue moon, they eat vegetarian meals too.

I'm quite proud of myself, so you should be too. Just stand by what you believe in and persist in it. :)
harpy
harpy11/10/2009 14:27:11

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.

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