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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I am a baby in the vegetarian/vegan/raw world having only started a few months ago... I've never been much of a meat eater except for junk food and always liked to think of myself as an animal rights advocate... after the realisation that I was a huge hypocrite in this area (haha)
I immediately knew I had to become vegetarian...
The change itself wasn't so hard given I had never really eaten much meat prior but the effect it seemed to have on the people around me was the most surprising... now don't get me wrong I expected some backlash but I really thought the people closest to me would be more supportive. My partner didn't really seem bothered about the change, except he had no-one to eat junk with anymore haha... his mother kept asking me daily if I wanted meat products and when I would remind her, she'd say something along the lines of "Oh you're still doing that then..."
My father being a fisherman insisted that being a vegetarian meant I could still eat fish... and then I was of course told "I could do it if I could eat fish" and then "really? No fish?"
My cousin whom is like a brother to me informed me that it was a "faze" and that I'd get over it...
My best friend and her partner have continually asked "but don't you like meat?" Every.Darn.Visit...
All that aside I've enjoyed being Vegetarian... and recently decided to have 2 days a week raw/vegan, no particular reason other than I'd already stopped dairy products after learning about what happens to dairy cows and their calves... (I love cows btw... so this was a big no no)...
But I've realised recently that I've been feeling very lonely since becoming a vegetarian.... my partner refuses to have meals with me now... leaving me to cook and eat by myself... my friends don't invite me to dinner anymore...
And just this morning (one of my vegan days) I suggested to my partner that I make him sorbet for breakfast (my new favourite breakfast) and he tells me that he feels like he's dating a completely different person... that he finds it hard to accept and remember that I'm vegetarian... that it's a turn off that I don't eat meat anymore....
Now my partner was the one person I thought didn't really mind the change as long as I didn't force it on him (which I never did. Never once did I mention his eating preferences.) So in the sense that he didn't mind, I thought I had that one shred of support... but now... I don't know any vegans/vegetarians... I used to love cooking for people and myself, now no-one wants a bar of it... I just don't know what to do... I just feel very lonely now...

If you have any advice at all please send it... I'm sick of feeling like this and would appreciate the support xx

I hope you're all having a fantastic day :)

Responses (9)

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    Posted by Avatar_ak at 08/10/16 15:36:19

    hello, i am avatar and i know how you feel now.i am a vegetarian born in a hindu family.the problem i face now is most of my friends are eating meat with me as an exception.altough the place i live has millions of vegans so i still dont have much problems.i even dont smoke,drink alcohol or do stuff like an average guy.and yepp i also feel lonely many times.
    but answering to you,being a vegetarian is a biggest gift i have .it has taught me how to be a kind person,how to love animals,and even everyone i meet say that you are a very nice human.i know how hard it is for you to resist meat,but always think that you have a strong will power which makes you superior .and if you feel alone ,just ignore the feeling,thats only thing you can do,altough time will teach you somehow.also you can talk to me,other vegans here .happy to help you anytime.

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    Posted by VeganVegabond at 08/11/16 17:12:10

    one thing that has worked for me: when I eat out with omnivores - most friends and family - I will use happy cow to find veg friendly places so I know there will be something for me to enjoy.

    This does require me to take the lead on planning - which is not something I was used to before turning to an all plant based diet several years ago..

    On the cooking front - the same is true I find things to cook that I can make both vegan and not - it's humorous to when my kids - carnivores who I make beef burgers for and lentil quinoa for myself and partner (also a vegetarian)...

    This is an obvious tension - because like you I'm a strong supporter of animal rights...And am horrified by the industry...

    But this choice was also deeply personal and frankly I'd be hypocrite to alienate friends as I have only turned to a plant based diet very recently...

    I try to respect the personal journeys of every person. I honestly believe plant based cuisine is the best most delicious on the planet and so am gushing enthusiasm when people ask...The typical response is either "So wonderful your so happy" and even "Wow, can you pass on recipes or recommend steps to make the changes you have made"...

    The key is realizing YOU are taking this journey and it is a very very happy time...Share the love, don't judge, and be prepared sometimes to sacrifice for friends and family - if it's a dinner party where I know there won't anything to eat - I'll eat ahead of time - which is always followed by "why aren't you eating are you okay?" And that's when I launch into my personal journey and profound joy I've experienced as a vegan...They see the dramatic weight loss and I tell them about all the health benefits I've experienced so that helps too...Although, truth be told, my parents are worried their 45 year old son is too skinny!!!

    I've said enough but I'll mention one other crucial step I made for myself and also as a way to more skillfully talk to people about veganism with judgment or guilt: I found a personal physician who is also a vegan. He is incredible with advice about supplements etc etc - it is a profoundly different doctor-patent relationship - much more on equal footing, sharing, and discussing prevention v. reactive medicine...If possible, and I think it is increasingly so, I would recommend finding a doctor who is a vegetarian or vegan...It's been enormously important for my own lifestyle change

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    Posted by VeganVegabond at 08/11/16 17:22:09

    FYI meant withOUT judgment or suit, of course

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    Posted by ChiaChild at 08/14/16 09:35:37

    I hear you! Hang in there! Be true to yourself! Take care

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    Posted by Jaiprem at 08/14/16 14:48:48

    Great topic, SadVeggie. Let's see if we can improve that situation so you have to change the adjective in your screen name. ;)

    I've been mostly vegetarian for eight years, went hardcore veggie a year ago, and made the jump to vegan about two months ago. Everyone in my life could see this progression happening. Everyone. But somehow, once I made the commitment to veganism, it was like I became the bad-guy at meal time--even after being very clear that I didn't expect anyone to change their habits to suit mine. After all, it's my commitment, not theirs. They didn't let me off so easy.

    My wife said that I shouldn't expect her to change any ingredients, nor would she limit herself to 'vegan-friendly' restaurants. (A side benefit is that she introduced me to the app she had been using for years to help us find veggie restaurants, Happy Cow!) What's worse, at mealtimes, she now teases me about food, which never happened as a veggie! And she's hardly the only one. I took my family to a hibachi restaurant last week (they're omnivores), and the chef refused to take no for an answer during his show. I ended up with literal egg on my face (and he ended up with a modicum of gratuity).

    Here's my survival trick/tip: Gamify your life. I've found it to be the perfect mental solution, because I already know I'm personally winning. When I can walk away from exotic cheese or great ice cream, point for Jaiprem. When I can work with a restaurant kitchen to prepare foods the way I need them, point for Jaiprem. When I come home from the store with vegan groceries, point for Jaiprem. You get the idea. There's no actual scorecard except how I feel internally. What's funny is that all the people close to me who have been ribbing me for turning vegan, are now asking, "What's your secret to losing weight, having more energy and focus, and generally being a happier person?" I guess they recognize that I'm winning the game, too.

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    Posted by WhatDoYouEatThen at 12/31/16 09:39:52

    1st off, good for you for going veg

    As long as you are doing it for yourself (your own reasons), own it.

    I envy you having the opportunity to discover the veg options out there at all the places you'll go with other people (non-veg)

    resources like Happy Cow will help you find options to recommend when the "where do we eat" question comes up

    when people bug you about your choices remind them how they don't like licorice, or anchovies, or olives .. you don't bug them about their choices (well I assume you dont)

    Have fun and enjoy being veg, this is without a doubt the best time to be !

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    Posted by Lisaveg17 at 09/26/17 03:33:27

    I am sorry you are feeling this way! I just went vegetarian a couple of weeks ago so it is new for me and now thinking of going vegan too after hearing about the dairy cows. My parents didn't get it too much at first, my dad doesn't at all and my mom does support me, but my sister doesn't, I have a friend who is pretty much vegetarian so we chat at times. I do agree you feel a little different from the people around you but it is so worth it! good cause and maybe one day they will come around too! Hope you feel more support soon from your boyfriend and family. You are doing a great thing!

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    Posted by VictoriaMcSwain at 09/28/17 19:39:29

    I'm going through a similar situation. I just want to send you some happy thoughts and good vibes. It will get easier! Stick to it. Try going a Meetup or local Facebook group and just start an event!

    Good luck!! I know it can be tough, but you got it 🐮 ❤️

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    Posted by ForestNymph at 10/01/17 07:01:59

    Hmmm....your partner doesn't sound supportive at all...I think it's better if you're with a meat eater that they start eating more veggie meals rather than refusing to eat with you, which sounds emotionally abusive. Saying that it's a "turn off" that you don't eat meat is kind of weird and manipulative, no wonder you feel lonely.

    I understand that you feel alienated by a lot of people in your life, but frankly I wonder if the core reason you feel so lonely is that you're in a relationship with an unsupportive romantic partner.

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