Hi all, this is my first real discussion post, and I have a question for the vegfriend community.

Becoming a vegetarian hasn't been too hard in terms of transition to a non-meat dietary lifestyle, however one of the hardest parts about being a vegetarian is how meat eaters react to your decision and what is even harder for myself is the noticing the lack of empathy some meat eaters can have when it comes to animal welfare. For example, at my workplace (I work in a restaurant, which I cannot stand) the cook and I were having a discussion and my manager walked up and starting blabbing to everyone I was a vegetarian. It is not that I keep it a secret, if someone asks me I am more than happy to have a friendly discussion about my diet. I don't like telling everyone I meet just because not everyone is open minded and receptive, and I believe work is not really the place to get into a heated discussion about my lifestyle. The cook started talking about how vegetarians eat chicken and fish, so I politely corrected him on the terminology and definition and told him that chickens and fish are some of the most abused and mistreated animals on the planet. I offered to send him some videos on the subject and he then told me, and I quote, "I have already seen a lot of that stuff, it doesn't phase me". I feel my relationship with this person is now damaged, as seeing footage of mistreated animals changed me as a person. 

Does anyone else know what I am talking about? Are some relationships damaged between yourself and new/old friends because of some their attitudes towards animal welfare, or do you think I am just being melodramatic? How do others deal with this lack of empathy?

I would really love to hear peoples thoughts and opinions on the matter, but please try to remain respectful :)

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Yes I feel with you. As I became a vegetarian we had an invitation and my friend didn't speak with me because I refused eating the meatmeal she prepared. Wlas a funny evening without talking to me. Others say: you don't look good since you didn't eat meat; others are claiming eat meat and you will get in a better mood. The only person who isn't claiming about anything is me.I'm wondering why people are denying the pain of animals and the gruelty against them but I'm not here to convince my friends or even my family it's their choice what they want to eat. I also prepare meat for my family.And the most beautiful sensation- without trying ti convince anybody my daughter is now her 6th day meatless .She is also saying she doesnt know if she can stay a vegetarian , I answer you tried it and one day it will work and I'm proud that you tried it.

I think that as vegetarians we should a little more understanding as to why many people eat meat still. Just cause someone eats meat doesn't make them bad people, or heartless. And doesn't mean they don't care about animals. I think a lot of people eat meat cause people tell them they need it (which is false). So many people ive talked to say they could or would be a vegetarian but they need meat. Or it'd be unhealthy to not eat it. Or they need their protein. Which is so false. And you don't need to eat meat to get enough protein. Also, a lot of people don't really think about where their meat comes form, or deny it. It's not that they don't care. I used to eat meat, and I thought I needed it and it was just "the circle of life". But then I learned the truth about meat.  But sometimes it does make me feel a little alone in my vegetarianism. One thing ive found too is that meat eaters seem to be convinced they need meat in their meal! When I go out for dinner with non vegetarians I don't understand why they cant just have my vegetarian dish with me, they always feel the necessity to get a meat dish in addition. I'm not saying they have to eat vegetarian cause I am, but I don't get why they feel they need to get meat. You can just have a meal without meat its not a big deal just cause your not a vegetarian doesn't mean you cant have a meal without meat...

I used to be ignorant about vegetarianism too. So I get why people think those things. Most people are ignorant about vegetarianism.

 

That being said, I hate when meat eaters know about the bad stuff, but still eat meat. Or say, whatever im gonna eat meat anyways, it tastes good. That's just heartless and makes me sick. One girl watched food inc, and told me she still ate a hamburger afterwards. Like what....? How could you eat meat right after watching that video? I know some people later will still eat meat cause as I said they think its necessary, but saying things like "haha oh well it tastes good" is cruel

In my opinion, friends that support you only when you agree with them, have nothing to do with this word. Friend means that you're ready to talk about many subjects and it doesn't matter if your opinion is different, but you can always talk and understand each other. We were not born to please everybody, we have to choose the right people and they have to choose us.

In my case, I finished relationships with people who can't discuss normally sooner than we ever got to this subject. An adult person should talk with no offense. Otherwise it's your waste of time, waste of time even to think about it. ;) Just concentrate on work.

Sounds like the rude/crass responses involved are the more striking - it happens more so with people not aware of the mistreatment (or those that are legit apathetic). If you are already used to some lonely activities, sticking out vegetarian/vegan doesn't phase.


Says this lonely runner

I don't mind when people react like this (ie: like the examples you gave).  Why?  Because now I know.  I know how they are and I don't have to waste time on a friendship/relationship with them.  I can simply move on.  I don't care what people think of me.  If they can't handle my being vegetarian then they are simply weak people.

 I became a vegetarian, working on vegan, because of a vegan friend of mine. Since I became vegetarian, she has since gone back to eating meat, which really left me alone in a world of meat eaters. Certain co-workers of mine , who otherwise are pretty decent nice people absolutely infuriate me!! I said I knew too much about the food industry to be able to eat meat, and my co-worker said, I can imagine, but I love meat. Ugh...... Would love to have more contact with vegetarians/vegans.

I had a discussion with my co workers and asked them that if they witness the slaughter of their meat would they still consume meat. The room of six unanimously stated "no way could I eat meat if I saw them slaughtered" I was perplexed as the continued chomping on their chicken. I felt as though I was surrounded by mutant zombies and that I clearly did not belong.

ok I see this was posted long time ago but ya, I hear ya! Even when my father was alive, he did not like the decision and tried to make my son eat meat. It made us fight at least once. Sometimes I feel like I have to defend myself... other times I feel like no one cares. Its fine to have a steak at the Keg, or burgers at the restaurant but do they ever give it a second thought about the life, if you can call it a life, of misery leading up to a horrific death? No living being should have to endure that. Ive been off meat for 10 years now. My only regret is I wish someone put some sense into me earlier!!! I credit the internet which was in its infancy only 15-20 years ago, PETA and Sir Paul McCartney for setting me straight.

I hate when people make joke about my diet and it makes me sad to see that they really don't care about animal cruelty. 


I'm trying to distance myself from them, and my boyfriend as well. How can I be friend with murderers, or worst, be the girlfriend of someone who think that animals are raw material only.

Sorry for not being comforting :/ 

I feel so alone too :(

That´s why I stopped dating non-vegetarians

I absolutely feel the same way. I wish I could find more veggie friends!

I don't see any difference between meat eaters and Laden. The fact that Hitler was a vegetarian - where does that place the world? Animals being slaughtered for meat eaters to unapologetically gorge on, or Laden killing humans in the name of God, or Hitler mass-murdering Jews - what are the differences there? While meat eaters could care less for animals, as Laden could care less for the people he deemed deserve death, so could Hitler care less for the Jews. Meat eaters are loved and respected by their own, Laden was loved and respected by his own, so why should Hitler be completely scorned because he killed humans even though he loved animals? As bad a person Hitler was, I respect him for his vegetarianism (and to all the anti-Hitler fanatics - this does not mean that I support his barbaric actions). He is worth loathing; so is Laden; and so are meat eaters, for their individual acts of violence and unimaginable cruelty. No one is ever a total in any classification of life. We are all selfish in our own credence. We are all imperfect. There is no point damaging your relationship with anyone. These people are either uneducated or miseducated. They have something in common - lack of consciousness. And this is where their lack of empathy arises out of. They live in a kind of darkness. And what best you can do is light up a candle for them to show them the way. From there on you can hope for them to open their eyes and see the right path. Unfortunately many of them refuse to open their eyes just yet. But that only means that they miss out on what you want to show them. That doesn't mean you will stop lighting up paths for more people. You will light up more candles and you will walk further ahead. Perhaps momentarily pause to see if someone needs a nudge to go forward with you. You will not damage your relationship with anyone, for each damage you let cause, is an injury to yourself. There are too many people out there that you might end up damaging your relationship with. It is not worth it. These injuries might slow you down, which we can't afford. There are many more people in darkness that you can help show the light to. You can only wish and hope that empathy arises in the ignorant too. But eventually your job and my job is to spread this light of love and awareness...and empathy arising out of love and awareness.

More than that you cannot do. But then we all have free will, and the Universe has this flawless system in place to reflect upon us all that we do. What goes around, comes back around. Every time.

Love & Peace.

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