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hey everyone, im new here to this site and also to being a vegetarian. the question i have is how do you deal with family who dont approve or support your decision to be meat free? the thing i hear a lot is "you need meat to get protein." well obviously i know meat isnt the only way to get protein. but some of my family are worried about me. thinking im making a bad choice. when i present them my reasons for being vegetarian, i hear excuse after excuse. like not all factory farms mistreat their animals, you can get cancer from anything, the chemicals they put into the animals cant be that bad because we have been eating them for years now, milk is good for you...and the list goes on. it just cant be my choice and accept me, im always met with opposition. how do i deal with this???
I feel you.
My mother made fun of me all the time in the beginning.
Many family members did, and many did not understand.
I ignored it mostly, and stuck with it.
Now they have become more accepting - so it just takes time for them to get used to it.
It's hard to deal with family and friends, they do not understand and get worry.
I think you just have to keep your beliefs, you know there are a lot of good reasons for having a vegetarian diet.
I was hard for me, because i come from a really carnivore country, but with time they will understand as it happened to me.
When i became a vegetarian 10 years ago, my whole family was worried. But as the time went, they all were whitnesses of my health changes. Then they all became vegetarians too, as they saw those changes.
I hope i've lifted your spirit,
Sorry about my poor english
thank you both for the advice. i think it will be difficult for a while but its just hard when you hear stuff like this from those closest to you. time will tell i suppose!
Thnks Gabriela!! :)
I'm having this problem as well. I find it very offensive when they joke about eating meat (quote my father "I'd eat a whole pig- haha"), it's so barbaric and dumb. I admit even though I have eaten meat back then I now disrespect meat eaters to a certain degree. Especially the ones bragging about it and making fun of me. I just can't help but think how uneducated these people are. Anyone else feel "more intelligent" than those meat-lovers at times? I still love my father, but I can't help it.
Update: My family has changed a lot. Especially my father. They all support me now and when they do try to make a joke I'll snap back at them ^^
Mine are passive-aggressive. One minute they want to help me shop and stuff, and make sure I am accommodated, but the next minute they are arguing about the diet in one way or another. But that's just my family; they like to belittle you in one way or another, I guess I'm glad it's just about my diet now.
My brother almost told me off when we went to lunch yesterday at the Winking Lizard. I had salad. He couldn't understand why I no longer eat wings, and told me that in the bible they were cruel to animals, and that they ate them. I'm hurt and bewildered. Some people just won't listen, and don't want to hear it.
Did you tell your brother to step into the Millennium? Who cares what may or may not happened a KABILLION years ago? I hope you were bewildered by his ignorance and inability to hold a decent argument. You are spot on when you say, they don't want to hear it....bygones and on with the NEXT :)
First of all, you are not alone. Second, remember that your family loves and cares about your well being, but they are ignorant and uneducated on the subject. Just like any life decision, they do not have to agree or understand but love and accept you the way you are. If they do not, it is then their problem and not yours.
The truth is they do not want to hear what you have to say, they just want to hear themselves talk, and you listen. I now simply answer there question with a question...Why DO you eat meat? I mean, in this day and age? They usually say because they" like it", and I simply say, "I don't"
I can almost GUARANTEE you the reason they eat meat has NOTHING to do with the nutritional value. However, that is always there ammunition when questioning us why we stopped.
If they are genuinely concerned, I know my mother was. You can educate them from there...I just learned Rock Seaweed has more protein that Beef, and is a pure amino acid. Complete proteins can be found in Soy and Quinoa. And most any combo of beans and rice will do the same.
Last and most difficult is not taking it personally. Even though it is directed at you and about you, it really isn't. It's global.
Then come here to vent and get the confirmation you need...Vegetarians have been around since the beginning of time, and we are not going anywhere :)
ALL factory farms mistreat their animals, end of. Even if all didn't, do your family actually check which farm the meat comes from and whether or not those people mistreat their animals? I doubt it. You can NOT "get cancer from anything", that's not how it works. The chemicals they pump into the animals won't do you immediate harm, you won't suddenly feel ill and get cancer. These things develop over time; it is because of these chemical that it's becoming more and more common for girls to start their puberty at the age of 8-9! Milk.. Sigh. It's almost impossible to convince people about milk actually not being good for you, they have been brainwashed to believe it for generations. Small amounts will not harm you, true, but the amount of milk western people consume these days is insane, same with meat. People refuse to understand that milk is NOT A) the only source of calcium and B) the best one.
I really feel for you, I had to go through this when I first became a vegetarian. My family didn't make fun of me, but it was obvious they all thought it was just a phase and that I would grow out of it. They questioned me about a lot of things, just like everyone, convinced that I'd struggle to get all the nutrients and protein etc without eating meat, but I was prepared. Before telling anyone, I spent months studying the subject area, making sure I knew the answer to every question that was likely to come up. Mind you, I didn't have internet back then, so I got books out of the library and read them. Obviously, this also helped me plan my own diet. I still have to defend myself when people find out I'm a veggie, these things really should be taught at schools or something.
All I can say is be prepared, do your research so you have an answer to at least the most obvious questions and misconceptions. Try not to take it personally, even if they get personal; if they refuse to listen and/or continue to ridicule you, ignore them. Ignore them and cut them out of your life as much as you can, those kind of people are not worth it. It's one thing to be ignorant but curious and willing to learn, but unfortunately more often than not the fact that someone's a vegetarian/vegan really offends the mixed eaters' personal beliefs and they'll try anything to prove you wrong. The pull all kinds of "facts" out of their arse with the sole purpose of beating you down, even though they gain nothing from it. Ignore those people, pity them even. There are mixed eaters who will listen and understand, while that may not change their opinion or affect them in any way, they'll respect your choice, since it harms them in no way at all.