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I'm with a guy who's not a vegetarian. I always thought that he wasn't that into meat and didn't have anything against me being vegan. But today he said something like 'you're pretty alone with your opinion' (meaning that nearly noone shared my opinion on the topic of veganism) I tried to convince him that there are many more like me and we ended up discussing the whole topic, he said it just wasn't natural to be vegetarian / vegan and we nearly ended up having a fight about it.
So I want to know: How do people react to your being vegetarian / vegan? Have you ever encountered a similar situation? And how do you react?
Thanks in advance!
Tell him to look her and see how many don't share you're opinion.
This is a topic close to my heart. My good friends know I am vegan (or as vegan as I can possibly be) but I don't share it with many people in my social circles. The reason is, I often get unprovoked nasty and/or stupid comments. One time, I kid you not, I was at a social event and I had a vegan dinner while everyone else at my table had chicken, beef, whatever. When asked by a stranger why I had a "special" dinner, I politely explained why. Well...I was met with critical comments including one lady who said..."I don't believe it that". Mind you...this was all unprovoked.
There have been other times when people who know I'm vegan will actually...I kid you not...try to "trip me up" at social events. I once had a dinner with sun dried tomatoes and this one guy was insisting ...to the entire table...that it was peperoni.
I have also learned that it is an issue in relationships. I have had very little success finding a female partner who understands my spirituality and health concerns. Once, I was at a dates sisters house who was serving shrimp. I chose not to have any and she said...on numerous occassions..."you don't know what you are missing".
Other issues like boycotting circuses or events that abuse animals are a non starter unless I am talking to someone of a similar mindset. I was dragged to a state fair here last autumn and I swear...I will NEVER go again because of the elephant rides and ponies not to mention the circus (which I didn't attend). When trying to expain it to my date...she JUST didn't get it. So...that relationship was destined for failure.
I guess what I am saying is...why don't people just mind their own business when it comes to anothers preferred diet and beliefs? I don't tell people I'm vegan but when, in that case, I did not have a baked shrimp, it was obvious that I wasnt having the main course...then I get hit with questions which pretty much ruins it for me.
So...I keep my beliefs to myself unless I am asked a serious question by someone who legitimatelty wants to learn.
I would love to share my beliefs...but I have learned that they are met with sarasm and criticism.
You are right...and BTW...it's a lady friend...but the point is still the same! ;-)
It is hard not to be defensive about being on a plant based diet when in fact it is such a better choice and a normal lifestyle. I feel it is extreme to eat meat and even worse HUNT. I cant wrap my head around someone who can mentally be ok with killing an animal, not to mention get it stuffed and/or eat the meat. IS that normal??? and if it is, that scares me.
Well...I agree. But I will tell you this...as much as I dislike hunting...I feel that people who buy meat in the nice neat little packages have absolutely no clue as to where it came from. To them, it's just a comodity like a bar of soap. I don't know what's worse.
Just another point about this whole topic...as you can see by my pic I am in a USAF flight uniform. I am SOOOOO non sexist but I have to tell you, I find that people are more "ok" with women being vegan moreso then men...especially men in uniform. VERY few of my fellow officers know I am vegan. Some of my cadets do but they dare not say anything. I swear though...I'll get a hard time from my fellow male officers if they knew. I have a hard enough time keeping my left wing political views quiet! :-)
My family's theory was, "I can NEVER give up steaks and burgers...". I asked them two years ago to watch Earthlings. They've been vegetarians ever since. My friends and co-workers, on the other hand, are argumentative and one is IN YOUR FACE antagonistic. One adopted the Meatless Monday routine in his lunches. I try to back off in my beliefs but it's very hard for me!
I find that I have no respect for anyone who has knowledge about the suffering and torture that goes on and can ignore it.
It was and is a bit of an issue with my family, more in the beginning. After being really sure about the choice it has never been an issue anymore with friends and contacts. To live with non-vegetarians is too much for me. Did it for a few months but it doesn't work. Food is too intimate and essential.
Most meat-eaters perceive it as a moral issue, as me looking down upon them and imposing an ethical choice on them which they are not ready for. But even this is shifting. I think more than anything it has to do with our inner world.
I worked in Pig-industry and became vegetarian because of it. Seeing a slaughter house in action is a humbling experience and quite revealing. The energy inside is so dense... When you ask people if they are willing to kill all the meat they eat themselves you normally cut the discussion short.
Bottom line the question is: are you already really peaceful, loving, caring or working towards it? I have lived in veg. retreat centers where not a single guest would ever complain about the food, on the contrary. Food made with love melts hearts and icebergs. Good luck with your friend... Things will shift, though some times it takes a bit of patience and endurance.lol
you can never have too much information to back you up, it is important to know why you do something. This video should help you, providing your boyfriend has an open mind to begin with
I mostly have positive reactions but I am also very steadfast in my beliefs and will not let someone walk on my toes so I perhaps have set the ground rules for interactions with me.
BUT I did struggle earlier on and I borrowed the book "Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian's Survival Handbook" I found it very strongly worded and almost anti-meat eater but it did offer a lot of anylitical views on why meat-eaters are so threatened by our decisions and how all meat-eaters are blocked vegetarians.
Now, taken out of context that seems/sounds quite preachy or rude. But think about it like this. A meat-eater eats meat because of any one or list of reasons. That is what blocks them from being veg. Whether it be they love meat, they think they'd miss it, they hate vegetables or they don't care about slaughtering animals. You list any reason and it is their reason. It's not to diminish their reason, simply to say that is what stands between them and being just like you.
Sometimes that helps deal with the negative reactions because I turn the tables on them, "So, why aren't you vegetarian?" and then knowing what blocks them helps me guide the conversation.
Steer the conversation away from your choices if you feel you're dealing with an "angry meat-eater" though, because it'll get you no where and just make you feel alone.
But seriously, get your hands on that book, it'll give you lots of things to ponder over and I do use a lot from it to help me deal with statements as you just described.
I am sorry your boyfriend would say that. That has to be hard. My husband and I have been together 6 years and he has been vegetarian now for 3 months. But prior to that when our daughter was born (3 years ago) we both decided she would be raised vegetarian with the right to chose for herself when she's older. The thing blocking him was the concern he'd miss meat. He sat and watched vegucated and and he's never looked back.
Hope any of that helps.