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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I hate to inconvenience people and have only within the year broken the news to my parents, friends and close accointances that I don't like meat and refuse to force myself to eat it anymore. This came to no surprise to anyone who knows me quite well because they all know I eat very little meat and the meat I eat is always picked at last. To say the least, they took the news quite well because it isn't a 'choice' per say, like being a vegetarian is a choice. I don't quite agree with their logistics but whatever.

I am now faced however with trying to break the news that I am going vegan. I have been wanting to become vegan ever since I have heard of the of it a few years back. The idea of completely removing animal products is brilliant in my eyes. My reasons for becoming vegan are not entirely animal rights, although it is a large part. I am a very health oriented person and believe we can do without animal products. I don't want to go into any more detail because I know I will end up in a rant!

I just want to know if anyone has any good advise on how to break the 'vegan news' to family members and close friends since well... some of them seem to find it a rather ridiculous idea and that they have to bend over backwards to feed me if I go over to their place. I enjoy a salad or simple grilled vegetables but they seem to think it's an insult to serve a guess such a thing. Help!? How do I break the news without inconveniencing them and not completely removing myself from eating with people I enjoy the company of?

Responses (5)

  • Martial.Epicurus's avatar
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    Posted by Martial.Epicurus at 02/12/13 06:28:44

    Glad to hear that you were able to come out and consider going even further. I was just denying food for weeks before I told people, "Uh, so I think I might try being vegetarian?" You're right, vegan is usually even harder for people to understand (esp. if you include honey).

    I always mention that women produce milk, goats produce milk, cats produce milk, and rats produce milk...so why cows? I don't really suggest that because people tend to have a strong reaction from it.

    Honestly, most people don't live in the world of milk, eggs, meat. They live according to dishes. Milk, at least with the people I know, is used on cereal and with cookies. That's it. People don't think about milk if it's actually in a product, they're thinking of the product. That's why I always tell people specific products to drive the point home (ice cream, cheese, sour cream, butter, etc.). Because people think about specific products and meals, if you show them that you eat meals that are tasty and nutritious (and usually much cheaper) it'll take attention away from the fact that there's no animal products in it.

    Have a list of foods that you can eat handy because you WILL be asked, "well what are you going to eat?" Good luck!

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    Posted by IngridV at 03/31/13 16:02:20

    well it is definetely really difficult to deal with.
    what I did first was to take in charge the meal.. and little by little they got use to. my older brother is still having angry defensive talk , but except him everyone is really open to it.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 06/20/13 06:46:03

    Instead of presenting your decision as something that you've decided to do as opposed to eating as your family does is confrontational, no matter how polite and courteous you are.
    Instead try saying, "I read this book (or article) that says...". Doing this takes the heat off of you. And it also might get them to look at that book or article. People are more likely to believe an "expert" stranger than a friend or family member. It's also important to back up your decision with sound facts and ideas.

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    Posted by sophiskippy at 06/21/13 07:48:51

    Break the news? Why do you make it sound as though you've done something bad? It simply is. You just tell them you've chosen to be vegan. Period. Your choice. If you were telling them THEY were going to be vegan well then I might understand this a little better, but we're all in charge of ourselves and our own choices. So just say it. I don't always elaborate on why I chose to be vegan and I won't bother to argue with those who want to fight me about it. I will have an intelligent conversation with anyone who is simply curious and not defensive. Those people who seem to want to fight about my way of living seem to just be making up excuses and defenses for their own. At the end of the day I don't know why some people are so concerned about what I do or do not eat...although I wish the whole world would go vegan, I don't judge anyone else. People have to come to vegetarianism and/or veganism on their own. As you point out there are many reasons why one might make this choice--we all have to do so for our own reasons. If you family wasn't surprised by the fact that you went vegetarian, I doubt they'll be surprised when you tell them you've gone vegan. Don't sweat it. And if bothers you that they'll have to make something special for you when you visit just take something along for yourself so they don't have to worry about it, or don't eat at their place at all. Any good friend or family member should respect your choice when you are their guest--whether they agree with you or not.

  • DC1346's avatar
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    Posted by DC1346 at 06/24/13 15:00:43

    You are what you are. People can accept this or not. I don't think that being vegan is a big deal. The only time this has ever came up is when I try dining with friends. This has been challenging because I live in a rural area that has no vegan restaurants let along vegetarian.

    Being vegan isn't the same as announcing that you're a serial murderer ... that you've been running a Ponzi scheme that has bilked thousands of little old ladies out of their life's savings ... or that you've decided to become an international terrorist. Errr ... you're not, are you? Just kidding.

    Really though ... who needs the drama? By making a point of announcing that you're a vegan, you are potentially laying the ground for confrontation i.e. Why are you a vegan? Do we (your friends and family) have to be vegans also? Are you judging us (your friends and family) who are not vegan?

    My personal attitude is that of live and let live. I choose to be vegan. My colleagues, neighbors, friends, and family choose to not be. I don't criticize them. They don't criticize me.

    It's no big deal.

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