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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

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I am not a new vegan, but it has been two years and I am still having a hard time dealing with family and some friends when it comes to living a vegan lifestyle... I'm wondering if I am alone or what... I am sad to say I do not have a strong support network when it comes to this and I am hoping people may be able to shed some light on their experiences, or how they tend to deal with un supportive people

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  • Martial.Epicurus's avatar
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    Posted by Martial.Epicurus at 02/12/13 06:09:22

    I can really identify with your sentiments. When I first switched I had no idea how many people would ostracize me. The worst part is that people ALWAYS have to ask why. It's been almost 4 years for me and I still can't figure out how to answer because usually the person asking isn't going to get it. Some people may understand the logic and just not subscribe to it.

    I think the best way to win people is health and weight loss. I think now that vegetarianism and veganism are becoming touted as healthy lifestyles, there's a bit of a fad that's developing. Now when people hear I'm vegan they say I'm healthy or disciplined. People always say they respect it for some reason. Bill Clinton went pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan,whatever he is today, Mike Tyson gained so much weight then went vegan and he looks great, same with Al Sharpton, Chaka Khan, etc.

    A lot of athletes have been going vegan lately too (Arian Foster, Amare Stoudamire, Salim Stoudamire, Timothy Bradley, CM Punk) so the argument about being small and unhealthy can't be used.

    Just know you're not alone. I've gotten snapped on (in multiple languages) about why I should be eating meat. Some people really do take offense to it. I think it's because in a way it makes them reflect on their own beliefs and culture, background, etc. It's sad because it's the same type of thinking that keeps people eating unhealthy foods that are passed down. I think it's best for us to just live and be proof of what works.

  • Taylor Hill's avatar
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    Posted by Taylor Hill at 05/16/13 21:01:17

    Well I don't really understand your situation. Are people bullying you? Are people ignoring you? Or is it YOU that is alienating people.

    A. If people are bullying you then you need to tell someone.

    B. If people are ignoring you then that's on them so let them be stupid and move on with you life.

    C. If it's you that's turning against people. Then you need to do some self searching if not praying.

    My story is B. and C. there were some people who acted weird when I told them and I gave the FK U and stopped talking to them. As for C. I once had an attitude towards people who ate meat. I thought I was better than them. I deleted everyone off my phone and Facebook and said " I will only talk to vegetarians. " that was the most lonely 3 weeks I had ever had. I got so depressed and angry. I said some of the most hateful things you could imagine. I then realize I was becoming the opposite of what I wanted to be. I want peace among all Gods creatures and here I was being hateful and hurtful. I then prayed and talked to my family about it and I figured out that you can only be you. You can only change you. We were all born with free will and the gift to make our own choices. Some choices might be selfish ans hurtful but we still are allowed to make them. Love people for who they are because nobody is perfect and if they claim to be then they have more issues than I have time to talk about. Point is as long as you are being loving towards all creations then you are doing your job. Not everyone will agree and some might even be mean about it but THAT is on them. Not you. I hoped this helped.

    Feel free to add me if you wish to talk more.

    Good luck and I wish you well. =)

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    Posted by happycowgirl at 05/17/13 08:49:02

    The key to success lies in one's attitude. Specifically, that being vegan or vegetarian is YOUR choice. You are not forcing it on anyone else. Your being vegan has nothing to do with them. You need to make sure you're sending this message to your friends and family. It's all in your attitude.

    Meat eaters often feel threatened by our choice to eat cruelty-free (b/c it makes them confront their own cruelty, but that's another conversation). When you make it clear that this is YOUR choice, it's about YOU not them, it often removes this threat and they relax. When they don't feel threatened and defensive, they don't feel they have to attack your choices. The next step is usually acceptance of the fact that you're veg*n. Then the meat eater will often come around and, over time, eat more like you.. sometimes going veg*n themselves.

    The above tips will work wonders for dealing with friends and moms, dads, siblings. If you do not have support from your significant other, that's another story entirely. Especially if you are living with them, things get real tricky. Still, there are easy guidelines to follow.

    First, make sure your significant other understand that this is YOUR choice. You are not forcing it on them in any regard. (Again, remove the threat). Next, as this is your choice and they love and support you, make it clear that you expect them to support your choice. They do not have to agree with it. You are not forcing your beliefs on them. It is YOUR choice. But you expect them to support your decision and respect you. Finally, and here's the tricky part, you need to set boundaries and don't break them. When you are living with a meat eater, it gets complicated... do you cook meat for them? do you allow them to cook meat in the house while you're home? do you allow them to store meat in the house at all? who does the shopping? do you purchase meat for them? You need to decide what you feel comfortable with and what works for your situation. I suggest that you do some soul searching and decide what you truly feel okay with, set your boundaries and ask that they be respected.

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    Posted by FullyAmber at 05/17/13 14:39:56

    No one in my circle of family or friends is vegan. For self-support I watch vegan related documentaries, read health/vegan books and browse related websites often. This way, I give myself consistent reinforcement for my health and lifestyle choice.

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