Posted by lmzeigler at 03/02/10 20:36:14Hi Zelda,
I'm sorry to hear that happened to you. Stick to your guns and be proud of the compassionate choices you are making! As time goes on, some of these people may surprise you. When I first went vegan I had co-workers say horrible things, and I was truly shocked at the hostility I was receiving. But over time I've noticed that a lot of those same people have begun experimenting with vegetarianism and veganism. I certainly can't take credit for that, but I do think it helps for them to be around a vegan and see that I'm a normal person (and that I often have the best lunches in the office!)
Posted by Hannah Banana at 07/12/10 09:22:44I'm really sorry to hear that you've been treated like this, it's so sad that people repeatedly behave with such hostility towards vegetarians. I've been reduced to tears twice and had countless frustrating conversations which people (mostly men for some reason) who for some reason seem to take MY PERSONAL CHOICE as some sort of threat or offensive act! I don't understand it at all. I don't preach to people and I try not to get involved in the "why I became a vegetarian" conversation unless specifically asked, just to avoid these kinds of situations, however, there seem to be so many people who just wont let the subject drop until they feel like they've proved that your decision/lifestyle is "stupid/irrational/un-natural/unhealthy" or all of the above. Why do people find it acceptable to treat vegetarians with such disdain?! I'm am not hurting or affecting any of the people who attack me for being a vegetarian, so why are they so aggressive about telling me I'm wrong? I joined this website because I wanted the chance to talk to people who wouldn't judge me for this decision or make fun of me for doing something with my life that means a lot to me. I wish I could understand what these people's problem is. The really sad thing is that people always ask me "isn't it hard being a vegetarian?!" Well yes it is, but not because it's hard giving up meat, because it's hard to be accepted. Its so difficult coping with the constant prejudice, teasing and superior attitudes of some non-vegetarians and sometimes it even makes me consider just eating meat to get people off my back.
Posted by AndyT at 07/13/10 00:22:50Zelda and Hannah,
I am also sorry to hear that - my personal belief is that this has a lot to do with having a bad conscience. Of course, every normal-thinking person knows that animals are not treated nicely. However, most choose to ignore that knowledge because they value the taste of a burger or steak more than having a clean conscience. Problem about consciences, however is, that they tend to nag at you when nobody's listening (even if you choose to ignore them). It is the one thing that you normally can not hide from, because it is in your head.
But the same thing that happens when you catch people at making a mistake is that some of them will then lash out at others verbally or try to ridicule others - either to shift blame away from themselves or simply to pacify their own guilty conscisnce. I know that I always had a bad conscience when I heard about vegetarianism when I was still eating meat, some 20 years ago. I did not try to denigrate others, but I usually kept quiet about the issue, knowing that my own lifestyle was not ok (at least not to myself, deep inside).
This belief makes it a bit easier for me to endure ridicule of others.