I'm new to vegetarianism. Overall I'm trying to get as many animal products out of my life. I'm loving it, the food is fantastic, I have more energy, life is great! 

The one thing I don't like is the constant conversations about why I should be eating meat. It's really annoying. Especially I get a lot of, "Well why don't you eat fish." My general reply is, "I don't eat anything that has a mama!" And I say it with a smile. 

What do you say when people give you crap about what you eat? 

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I used to argue a lot, but eventually accepted that most meat-eaters who are questioning you are not doing it from a place of respect, i.e. trying to learn about you but rather insulting you, being critical of your choice. There are some very good documentaries to watch. A good thing to do is just research a basic laundry list of what ALL meat-eaters say (like they have propaganda meetings and decide which stupid things to harass us with) and have a response prepared. It's good to research these arguments anyway. As a vegetarian or a vegan, your choices will be called into question a lot because I feel in today's society it is seen as very "controversial". Having ready responses takes the air out of their sails. Here is a good list of arguments a speaker took on (and I've been asked these same stupid things lol):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIkC4OJEx3c

His original speech is also very inspiring :) Someone shared him on here a while ago, and I just love this guy.

Thanks! I feel like a large majority of people are really just genuinely curious and very respectful and kind... oddly enough it's my family that is horrified I'm not eating meat. That's the hardest. 

Haha I see. Well that's good news :)! Good to be surrounded by more positive people. My family used to give me tons of crap too, my Dad would ask me if I was starting to feel "faint" all the time and I wanted to deck him lmao. After a time though when they see how it benefits you, I'm sure the results will speak for themselves! :)! I went off my thyroid medicine (my mom also has thyroid disease) and when she saw that she not only turned her opinion around, she wants advice going veg!

Wow that's really amazing! I'm so impressed! I have insomnia and really bad PMDD and I've seen huge improvements. Not to mention so much more energy. 

You and me both! That's so cool, we share the same experience with the insomnia. Go us :D!!

You are doing the right Sara. I did the same when someone asked me why I was a vegetarian. I just smile to them and said that I love animals, and I cant eat anything that feel pain. As time goes, now all my friends respect my choice as a vegan.

Thanks! I've found that people who I thought were going to give me a hard time have been gracious and understanding. And other people who I thought were going to be kind look at me like I'm nuts! Either way I do a lot of smiling and make vegan food for friends and family. Everyone raves over my vegan jalapeño biscuits.

The ones who are most resistant to our changing are likely to be our family members. As much as they love us, it is difficult for them to accept us making radical changes in our lifestyles. Family members, more than anyone else in our lives, tend to have a static picture of who we are, and we threaten their "status quo" when we make dramatic changes in our life choices. The best thing to do is remain calm, however passionate you may feel about your reasons to become vegan. Work on feeling and acting compassionately towards them, no matter how strongly you may react towards a comment or challenge, the main point of veganism is NONHARMING which means we MUST walk our talk and act compassionately towards ALL even if we don't agree with their viewpoint &/or actions. That might mean purposely backing down from a fight. In the meantime, cultivate your nutritional knowledge, and even better, cultivate your cooking ability. I realize not everyone loves to cook as I do, but for me, the BEST way to convert people to my way of eating/thinking,without really having to try, has been to create fabulous vegan meals where they are so consumed with the deliciousness of the food that they don't even realize they are not eating anything with animal products in it!! So cultivate your patience, your compassion, and your cooking skills, and focus on LOVE  :) and all will be good

What a great message, thanks Zakiah!

People don't really ask me.  There are a lot of Veggies in Nepal where I live.  Most meat eaters here respect vegetarians.

Back in the States I lived in communities where there was a lot of vegetarianism. In fact I moved to them so it would be easier for me.

But if someone did ask me, I think they were asking with curiosity, not bad intent or disrespect.  It depends on the asker.  People are not educated about it and that is why they ask.  Non-drug users often ask drug users why  they smoke or take drugs. Sometimes it is often also disrespectful because they focus on their own conception of it being bad for you rather than asking about the deeper reasons that someone has made a choice to take drugs.

I am not suggesting that drug use is healthy or good, because drugs often destroy to body if used excessively, but my point is that it is almost the same type of question and in both cases, the asker may not know how to look at deeper reasons and only ask at a surface level with some aspect of pride and disregard for your choices.  So it is better to address the type of ignorance they ask with rather than going into the proofs of a vegetarian diet, since they aren't always asking to know about all that.  But if they, then of course, the more info the better.

Sara I hope you stick with it.  A lot of people do it as a passing fad.  I think you have to have a commitment and belief system to support this whether it is for ethical reasons, planetary reasons or health reasons.  If you have those beliefs it becomes a part of who you are. I don't feel that I have to defend myself to anyone and if people are interested I try to explain my beliefs in a calm, clear non-defensive way so they can hear what I have to say.

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