Community: Forum: Wisdom & Spirituality

Wisdom Forum

I've been a vegetarian for over 4 years now and I can't look at people that eat meat the same way as before I turned into a vegetarian.

My closest friends, my parents and all my relatives are meat eaters and I started despizing them for their ignorance and cruelty towards animals. I tried to talk some sense into them but it was a waste of my nerves. Many hide behind their bible (apparently a book that has all the answers).

I know I was like them for most of my life but nobody had to convince me to become a vegetarian. If you care to listen, if you open your mind, you can't ignore all the cruelty around you and you'll remember that you still have a heart.

How can you look at these people without being desgusted? Can you still show them respect and be friends with?

I dont think so! The only solution would be to make new friends. Find people who share the same values and ignore the rest? But what if you live in a small town, where everybody is a meat eating freak and you can't get out of it because of your financial situation?

I'd like to know how you guys are dealing with such issues.

Responses (11)

  • wzrainbow's avatar
    Report Abuse

    Posted by wzrainbow at 10/10/12 00:17:50

    I am in the same situatiion, I am in China in a city where chicken broth and "Just a little meat" and veggies fried in pork fat are considered vegan food.
    I have the sme feelings you do towards people who eat meat, and I did start to see them in a different fashion. howver i find that most people, when we're together would eat vegn food because they feel somehow uncomfortable or embarrassed to eat meat in fornt of me. i don't try to push them just show them buy example how awesome is to be vegan.
    also i cook sometimes, and then everyone just eats vegand and most important they enjoy it.
    I hope you canfind some like minded people in your area,
    Good Luck

  • Longdrive's avatar
    Report Abuse

    Posted by Longdrive at 12/30/12 03:21:53

    Baban78: What an interesting question. Up until the age of 13 years I resented my father for effectively force feeding me meat via his intimidation. I feared him. I was appalled by his occasional brutality yet somehow I still loved him. With the passing of many years I look back, long after his death, and now honestly see the better sides of his character which at the time were largely overlooked. I forgave him, just as equally I now forgive my own ignorance. Whilst I am the last person to ever profess to know any universal 'truths' life has taught me personally that whilst we live in a society that attempts to brainwash us that we all possess equal potential and opportunity such is far from being the truth. Although we are all inextricably linked together we incarnate as individuals, bringing to each incarnation our earlier experiences and growth. For some they may have had many previous incarnations, yet learned little. For others it may be their first incarnation yet their spirituality is golden. Whatever each of our backgrounds is, no two backgrounds are ever the same. Consequently, although we may each have unlimited potential, our pasts are influential on who we are and what we can realistically achieve within each incarnation. Let me assume that you accept this proposition (yet there is no reason why you should) in which case please consider this: Assuming that someone was spiritually advanced, and this partly manifested by him / her loving all forms of life and adopting a vegan lifestyle. (And even that is far from being cruelty free). That person then meets a meat eater (and many are extremely caring individuals their meat eating aside) and wonders how to react to that person. The vegan's initial reaction may well be one of repulsion. But, within seconds we are all capable of controlling our emotions. What next? Continue to feel resentment, protest, possibly even condemn? The vegan reflects…….he loves ALL life forms…………..humans, carnivores, possibly even rats and mosquitos! All well in theory, but let's assume that he still can't put his revulsion aside. He reflects and thinks that we all have the same life choices so why would someone choose to be an exploiter? Of course he is right, yet we all have veins of imperfection running through us and in some cases the vegan's may be greater than the meat eaters. What we eat being only part of a much wider picture. The answer possibly lies within the philosophy of 'forgiveness' (of both others and our reaction to them) which is a philosophy which involves much more than that possibly superficially patronising word suggests. So, we look to our own behaviour rather than the behaviour of others. The answer we discover by reflection and searching our own souls.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by GaPTrixie at 12/30/12 14:58:25

    Sorry, I don't know what to say. We make up a very small percentage of the population. About 2%. I had a friendship with a vegetarian but it didn't last very long. It's hard, and sad, being so alone. People say you can always make a difference but the truth is, sometimes you can't, and all you can do is forgive, and ignore. There is a fine line between forgiving something unforgivable, like animal abuse or making friends with someone who works at a butchery. Sometimes we look at the worlds problems and we just want to quit or hide in a corner, After all, the people telling us "to go on, and it will get better" are probably meat eaters themselves.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Gabriella251 at 05/23/13 15:57:59

    I understand your feelings, but I look at them by feeling sorry. I once was in the same position. You can tell someone something but it has to take them time to understand what was truly meant. Before being a vegan, I had vegetarian friends. When they would say something related to not eating meat, I did not really understand. Since I had not truly looked into it or had a care, it was irrelevant and just words to me. This is how meat eaters are, they truly don't understand, and they don't want to because it risks their prized possession.. meat.

  • StephenS's avatar
    Report Abuse

    Posted by StephenS at 05/23/13 22:02:02

    I try not to judge - have hopes that some will come around. But in the end - I too have trouble interacting too much with meat eaters. I couldn't (& Haven't) ever dated a non vegetarian. Don't go to eat at places that serve meat, and truthfully - keep myself fairly "Tribal". That Tribe being the veggies:)
    I find the hardest thing to believe is when I meet other veggies that have significant others who eat meat. For me - that would be just like dating a rapist or torturer. Extreme I know - but truthful.

  • DC1346's avatar
    Report Abuse

    Posted by DC1346 at 05/25/13 23:12:03

    Abraham Lincoln once said, "A house divided itself will not stand."

    If you insist on differentiating yourselves from others, you're bound to find fault with everyone around you. You'll find yourself thinking that you don't like person X because he's non-vegan and you don't like person Y because you disapprove of her politics and you don't like person Z because that person's spirituality differs from your own.

    I think the world would be a much better place if we were more tolerant and understanding. For those of you who feel the need to convert others to veganism, you'll get a lot more interest with sugar instead of vinegar.

    Be kind. Be understanding. Be a positive role model for the vegan lifestyle. Avoid being judgmental or condescending. Refrain from pointed comments or nasty looks if you're sharing a meal with non-vegans at a restaurant.

    You won't convert people if you feel compelled to glare at them and/or to offer unwanted lectures. Behavior like this will only alienate you while undermining your cause.

    As GaPTrixie observed, vegans only form a very small portion of the population ... so alienating people with hostility will only harden attitudes against veganism.

  • crisafugate's avatar
    Report Abuse

    Posted by crisafugate at 06/27/13 09:23:11

    I look at meat eaters with compassion because they simply don't understand. Yes, I also used to try to teach them, but to no avail. So, I don't try anymore. People simply do not want to listen when they are being preached at. I think the best way to teach them is through example. Although they are not vegetarian yet, I have seen changes over time.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by The Hammer at 01/13/14 23:01:14

    what an interesting topic, i think that many vegs feel or did feel the same.

    Coping with meateating society, eh ? Basically society is a hole in the ground. You can despise the meateaters but it won't make a better society nor spread veganism.
    I think, it is not the meateater we have to change, but ourself. If we change ourself, instead of feeling repulsive at meateaters LOL, which is very easy and actually makes us feel oh so good, we have to learn and accept that meateaters are just like us, human beings. The challenge is to have regular friends (non veg) and just like friends do, listen to them AND talk to them about yourself which includes your veganism.
    It is Give And Take, for us vegans, how to deal with our non veg friends and fellow people, and for the non veg people to similarly listen to us when we talk about veganism.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by blackcat182 at 01/15/14 10:25:53

    I can understand the feeling of being frustrated that other people don't feel the same way as we do…..but I love my family and friends and could never be without them. Having being veggie for 20 years and vegan for 8 months, i would have a seriously lonely life if I chose to cast out all those who do not have the same ethics as I do. I'd love it if everyone I knew went veg but it's just not going to happen. The best I can do is show them how tasty vegan food can be (which I do by making them cakes!) and hope that little changes may happen in time. I have had friends switch to soya milk and non dairy butter simply because they liked the taste when they tried it, I consider that to be an achievement :-)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Technicality at 01/15/14 14:58:19

    Be humble.

    Remember that we all have flaws (even you) and everyone is in different places in life.

    living a cruel free life, no matter how you try, is not possible.

    Death and violence is as much a part of existence as life and kindness.

    Do the best you can do, leave your mark, because only you live your life.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by kvandervegan at 01/16/14 08:39:34

    To baban78: I think we all have been in your shoes and felt the same way, and wanted to scream at the top of our lungs at the world at what they were doing. It's hard being a minority and pushing for something that you know will bring so much good to the world, and when the other 97% of the population seems to be ignorant. All I'll say is that your lifestyle is a part of you, and your true friends and family will embrace you and all parts of you, and never make you feel uncomfortable. In short, they will respect your choice and allow it to be a part of their life. I've lost a few friends along the way because I chose not to let their negativity into my life. But everybody has a choice. Unfortunately, for the time being, slaughtering animals and eating meat are legal, and until they're not, you need to allow those around you to make their own choices. But a true friend and someone you want in your life will allow you to make your choice too and embrace it with you. Humans used to think it would be crazy to let a woman vote, or think it was normal to have human slavery. These things are in the past now, as I hope one day eating animal by-products is too. I hope this helps.

Keep HappyCow Growing Strong!

I would like to support