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Old 10-04-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
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Default Dealing with people about being vegan/vegetarian

Hi everyone!

Im new to this forum. I wanted to ask how everyone deals with people who have a problem with them being vegan/vegetarian. It seems here in Iceland that its normal to be vegetarian and people probably wont make a big deal about it, but being vegan is seen as very strange and restrictive. I have been vegetarian for about 15 months and have recently decided to become vegan, and people seem to think that dairy and eggs are very healthy and helpful for weight loss. I really try to not advertise that Im vegan, but sometimes its unavoidable. Like when I go to dinner to peoples houses or to restaurants. I just really hate debating with people about veganism and would just like to be a vegan in peace

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Old 10-04-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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I would just tell them you understand their concerns but have got it taken care of. I think people will always have something to say but it's how you respond to it that matters. As long as you are healthy what does it matter to them if you don't eat eggs or cheese or milk anymore?
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:33 PM   #3
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I have people in my family who don't understand my vegetarianism, but a lot of times I think it's because people think you're going to try to convert them. I just say it's a personal choice, they can eat the way that they want to and I won't comment, and I ask them to please extend the same courtesy to me. Good luck to you.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:52 PM   #4
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You could try saying you are allergic to those products, or just say dr's orders.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:47 PM   #5
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For both dairy and eggs there are a multitude of reasons a doctor would restrict the consumption of them (lactose sensitivity, cholesterol issues) that you could use as a buffer.

However, I'd also recommend picking a copy of the kind diet, Alicia does talk about these such things. One of her recommended responses is to ask about the essential amino acid they are concern about, as ALL are available in vegan food sources. (and b12 is as easy as taking a multi).
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:45 PM   #6
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ummm killing animals is cruel..."how would you like it if some species killed you for food" (just recently became VEGETARIAN, was a die hard meat eater for most of my life)
ummm hellooo cheese is bacteria and milk comes from a COW (that's gross...never really have been a fan of milk..yuck)

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Old 10-07-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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When people find out I'm a vegetarian, they automatically assume that I am judging them for eating meat. I think that's why they get defensive and start attacking my choices and saying it's not healthy. I've been dealing with it for awhile. I come from a very traditional Italian family and not eating meat is almost sacrilegious to them.
I don't know why people make such a big deal out of it. My response is always. I don't comment on what you eat, so please don't comment on what I do. That usually shuts them up.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:32 PM   #8
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I can relate, I've recently become a vegan (1st week! but I was vegetarian for 2 years in high school and tried veganism my first semester in college). This time around I wanted veganism to be a forever commitment and I've found myself avoiding the topic with others.

My body doesn't digest animal protein very easily, if I'm eating a lot of meat or dairy I put on weight very quickly and have serious digestion issues. So my new approach is to just say "I feel healthier this way and it's what works for my body" so far people have responded positively to that.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:56 PM   #9
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Hi there! First, I am not vegetarian or vegan, but I have an adult daughter who is vegan...and she is married to an omnivore. My adult son is a chef. We have amazing holidays when we are able to get together and we all pitch in and everyone seems to find plenty to eat. There are a lot of foods my daughter can eat that I also enjoy. And my son is an amazing cook and has really helped me broaden my horizons about food, especially vegetables.

I guess my point is that we can all get together, even when there is food involved and nobody has to justify the way they eat. Nobody should have to. Restaurants are a tough place to get food for any special needs diet. And why would you go to someone's house to eat if you know they are making steaks and mac and cheese? Wouldn't it be better if you invited them to your place to eat and then just make food that you can eat that they'll enjoy too? If you expect them to cook something different than they would usually make, then you are in effect trying to get them to change...and they probably don't like it anymore than you do...

I usually do my entertaining at home these days, and my friends all know I am low cal and low fat and more whole foods. BUT...I cook food that is so delicious they can't tell which is "diet" and which is just good food. By not making a big fuss, there's not much discussion about how any of us should be eating. We are all free to just enjoy. I do let them bring dessert and then my hubby can have junk and it doesn't stay at my house to tempt me.

I would think you could use my examples to be able to eat the way you'd like, make them happy with the food you're serving, and just have a great time.

Best of luck!

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Old 10-11-2010, 08:24 PM   #10
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I've been vegetarian for 8 years and vegan for a couple... but i've never got used to deal with people about it. i really prefer to keep it to myself and my close friends. I just hate those talks about why i'm a vegan and the usual attacks (even if they're masked by a friendly tone)... and though i dont mind, I dont like people making jokes about it all the time... and this goes for young people. most older people i know just dont understand nor accept it... I guess southern europe isn't the most accepting place in the world for vegetarians yet, though i find restaurants staff always caring.

What should you say to them?
At the beginning, a vegetarian has a strong will to solidate his position and view, and so he's got an urge to answer all questions and enroll in all discutions.
Years passed, I just give evasive answers to those who won't understand my point of view... "ethical and health reasons... let's talk about other thing".
The only ones i seriously answer to, are those who really show interest in this way of living.
Talking about such theme can be often compared to talking about religion... it is usually an inrational discution and can easily turn ofensive... when dealing with someone really bad tempered, i just make a joke about it to get me of the discution like: "the only meat i like is the human one, too bad i can't have it, or i wouldnt be a vegetarian"... fact: when u disturb people they are less likely to bother you with purgatory questions.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:27 PM   #11
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I think it is hard for people to wrap there minds around vegetenariasm (sorry if i butchered that spelling) and veganism. Most of society was raised that a good meal was your meat, vegetable, starch and a dairy, and that has been ingrained in society. I think people make fun or criticize people who choose a vegan or vegetrian lifestyle because they don't understand it. I eat meat but I have no problem at all preparing a vegetarian or vegan meal if I know a dinner guest of mine is vegetarian. I will ask questions so I know exactly what they do eat and don't eat, if a friend of mine is vegan for ethical reasons I won't serve any meat or eggs and i make sure not to use chicken broth or anything else that has meat or dairy by products in it. If they are doing it for health reasons, I may just serve fish and with the vegetables and stuff.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:47 AM   #12
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People generally fear the unknown... I would try educating them in a non-holier-than-thou kinda way!
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:55 AM   #13
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Im not vegan, but I am vegetarian. When people ask me about it, I usually say I just dont like the taste of meat. Which I dont really...but there are plenty of other reasons why I'm vegetarian. I just don't see the point in telling people every reason.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:06 PM   #14
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I've been vegetarian for a few years, but I don't really advertise it either unless asked. I have quite a few friends who are vegetarian/vegan who are ridiculously vocal about it, telling other people why it's the "right" choice, etc. and from what I've seen, that's the main reason people have a problem with the lifestyle. If you just make it clear that this is your choice, no you do not want to debate it, and no you are not trying to shove it on anyone else, you just want to be able to eat how you want to eat, it should be fine.

I was actually on a date the other night, happily chatting and eating a veggieburger while he ate a steak, and he started talking about how much vegetarians/vegans annoyed him! And then he was shocked when I told him I was a vegetarian, because I hadn't said anything at all about it, and started asking if I care he was eating a steak. So I said, "Do you care that I'm eating a veggieburger?" and that was that. :P
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:33 PM   #15
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"Different" scares people, or at least annoys them. I'm an omnivore in the truest sense of the word - I'll try almost anything (and not just once. I love a lot of foods that I hated at first-taste).

I tell my friends and family "I'd rather have a horrible food experience than a boring one." It's no doubt, why I've had a weight problem all of my life (even as a kid, I loved trying new foods, although with very conservative-palated parents the opportunity didn't necessarily come up very often).

I do wonder if there's a genetic component to food adventurism (I was adopted).

But back on topic, you would think that no one would give me a hard time about my food choices, but they do. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "Eww, you're not really going to eat that, are you?" or "You eat such weird stuff," or "is there anything you won't eat?"

When I host a party, I always choose buffet style and like to include a wide variety of foods, so almost anyone can find something to eat at my parties - and most people can try something they've never had if they want to. Most people appreciate it, or at least find the more unusual items humorous, but there always seems to be someone who feels the need to declare how "disgusting" unfamiliar dishes are, even to the point of saying that they've lost their appetite because of the appearance of an unusual dish (I'm not serving sheep eyeballs, by the way - at least I haven't yet).

I don't know why it's so natural for people to critique other people's food choices. I have to admit, I've caught myself doing it too (and not just to retaliate). Not long ago, I commented to my mom that I didn't understand how she could eat the same food day after day after day, and not be bored. And she commented back (not that I haven't heard it a thousand times before) that she couldn't understand how I could eat such weird **** as I do.
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