Hello everyone!

I've been vegetarian for 17 years and vegan for 7 months. I know the topic of vegetarian/vegan criticism is often debated here, but I need advice.

My family doesn't have a problem with my choice of being vegan, except for my father and grandmother. If I'm sick, my grandmother immediately thinks it's because of my diet and she criticizes it.My father thinks he has a very ecological lifestyle, but eats meat three times a day (and I'm not joking!). He is difficult for him to accept my diet. He keeps saying that my food is disgusting and it's very annoying. As for me, I never criticize his diet and I am always respectful, even though sometimes I'd like to talk to him about the impact of meat-consumption on the environment. Soon, I'll have to spend a week with my family (we're going on holiday). I need advice. I'm a sensitive person and it's very hard for me to handle the criticism. 

Thanks very much ;-)

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While my family puts up with me going vegetarian / near-vegan, they will still worry that I'm not consuming enough food on a daily basis (considering I'm labeled as the most active member of my family - including extended members overseas) - the mindset still lingers of nutrients/protein within meats that I supposedly haven't fully replaced - their evidence is my constant exhaustion. My exhaustion is from never sleeping well - College really had distraught my brain into an overdrive sequence that won't ever idle out.

My bigger critic source has been more so amongst friends (both Local / College alike), where big time meetups/cookouts/BBQ involve handling the majority of bodies. Some are fully supportive, some get it - but don't get it, leaving a noticeable bulk come off with the undertoned "Whats his problem?" vibe (I think its due to they haven't seen me in a while - coming off as a "When did this come about?!". The bigger criticism is actually more-so the fact I don't drink at all these days - especially coming from a booze-hound university. It was only recently I broke ties with ALL carbonated drinks + alcohol, during a major detox regiment - started in January, that I ended up sticking out (well past duration period planned of 8wks).

These criticisms are not frustrating, as other ones come my way which were far worse. I'm just numb at this point

Criticism will come throughout life - it involves envy / underlying jealousy, or a lack of knowledge / ignorance to subject (from the offender). Worst case scenario, if this is what constitutes your day in/out mockery - this IS petty. So appreciate this little fault, while your other qualities keeps in full bloom to those around you.

Hi Elma

I know what you mean.. and it an be very tiring.. however for some reason it seems that being vegetarian just rubs some people up the wrong way, I sometimes wonder if its because on a deeper level they react because we are showing them something that they do not want to see- that it is not necessary to kill animals for food.. I have been veg for over 25 years but I am still always amazed when people take offence that I am vegetarian and think its ok to be critical and disrespectful- however, I often find that these kinds of people have may such trigger points, and its more about their own issues.. so the upshot of it perhaps is to just let it bounce off you- a bit like with toddlers when they are in a strop... you know its not really you they are angry with..

depending on your relationship with them perhaps you could explain to them that you find these comments hurtful and agree to let each other be..?

and if all fails one of my friends used to say, imagine them in their underwear- that usually puts a smile on one;s face... good luck with it.. 

I'm definitely not an expert on this topic. But what I try to do is stay calm and not lose my cool, because that always just makes things worse. If your family thinks your food is "gross", just tell them that you disagree and that you are not attempting to force anyone to eat your food so you would appreciate if they would just let you enjoy whatever food you see fit. If the problem persists, maybe just say you'd prefer not to discuss it any longer and ignore further prods.

I'm a sensitive person to Elma and I know how aweful this can be.

You can't change anyone that doesn't want to change but you can lead by example. I find that the non-agressive approach always works best. Just slipping in some facts about the health, environmental and animal welfare benefits of a vegan lifestyle when talking about the subject with others is enough to get them thinking a little about their choices.

It can take time for change to occurr (if it does at all). All you can really do is live the life you want to live and allow others to do the same.

Maybe this will help you :) http://www.flexyvegan.com/videos/confrontations-with-others/

Best of luck.

Just know that you know what is right both for you, the animals and the environment.
You can't argue with someone that refuses to listen. You'll only waste your time and air.
Do yourself a favor and be happy with the choices you have made and are making.


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