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Old 04-19-2011, 07:51 AM   #1  
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Default Anyone else felt like that?

Hello people!
Almost a year ago I decided to start a healthy lifestyle and reach a healthy weight (I am currently still overweight). I sat down and thought seriously about what is truly healthy and what isn't, I researched, I asked... I got very controversial answers in some thing, straight forward ones in others.

More water, less fat, less salt, more veggies, more fruits, less sweets... these pretty much were the same whoever I asked and wherever I looked.

But despite what is healthy I discovered I also carried a very old and very subdued guilt when it came to my diet. I grew up with lots of animals around me in the prairie of Greece and in my studies again I see animals every day and work with them (or on them)...
I am not an activist when it comes to animal rights and no-meat diets. My hopes are humanity will discover a way to create tasty meat protein in vitro without the need of animal birth and slaughter. But I know animals can hurt, remember and fear. I know farm animals do not hunger in my country and up to slaughter live sheltered lives, but I feel that an animal dying so I can eat flesh just to be overweight and one step closer to disease and death is a no-win situation for both sides.

I don't tell anyone else I don't eat meat and when I am invited to a dinner where I can't decide what I eat (thankfully that happens rarely) I eat whatever the host cooked. When I once mentioned it, people begun acting defensive as if I judged their own lifestyle and I pretty much ruined the mood...

As I said before I am not an activist. I actually do not like it when people try to persuade others to change their lifestyle or judge them on it like some religious food dogma. I am not sure if hiding it all together is the best thing either... I mean it is part of my character and a serious decision I made about my life.

So does anyone else feel the same?
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:26 PM   #2  
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When you are invited to others homes do you eat meat? I hope you do not feel forced to do that.

I don't consider myself an activist either. The information is out there for people. Most people will do what they want and ignore what they want.

I'm sorry you are having these issues when dining with others. You don't however have to defend yourself or your life to anyone. I've put up with grief from co-workers because I'm vegan. I'm quiet about it but some find out. My response is usually "it's personal" or silence. I refuse to get into a battle with them.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:13 AM   #3  
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The problem is I only became vegetarian 8 months ago and nobody believes me. They automatically think I just don't like their cooking or even worse, their company anymore.
So I eat meat when someone has cooked it, as little as I can without offending anyone. For some reason everyone can smoke cigarettes or drink like seven beers at dinner, or mention how they used to smoke pot and stuff, but I mention not eating meat and everyone's head turns annoyed. It is as if this has become my "vice" in their eyes.
I never ever told someone else to stop eating meat or eat healthier... it is frustrating.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:37 PM   #4  
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Default Being Vegan

I became vegan about two weeks ago, and my biggest challenge is convincing people that I am serious. They think that this is just a fad, when in reality it is a lifestyle change.
I tend not to tell people outright that I am vegan, but when I am invited over to dinners/parties, I just chose foods that fit my lifestyle. I haven't been met with defensiveness from other people yet, but I expect this is something I may face.
Just stay strong and do what you think is right! If it makes you feel good and it isn't hurting anyone else, then I see no problem!
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:53 AM   #5  
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I don't smoke now, but was a smoker for many years; trust me, you get some incredibly evil looks for that particular bad habit.

You should absolutely not feel pressured to eat meat if someone serves it to you. Focus on the positives of the meal instead: "No thanks, I'm going to pass on the ribs--but the roasted corn and that eggplant look amazing, I think I'll just double up on those." If someone pushes the subject (which they shouldn't if they're polite, but we all know that people aren't always unfailingly polite ), keep your positive, non-judgmental stance and say something like: "I'm trying some new things with my diet so I'm going to pass on the ham, but that just leaves more room for your delicious potatoes/collard greens/spinach/asparagus."

I'm not vegan or vegetarian--very much an omnivore, in fact--but I feel for people whose dietary habits get questioned. It's not polite to take too much notice of what another person eats, even less polite to deliver a lecture over someone's food choices--and that goes for everyone. Unfortunately, so many people have brushed up against militant, unpleasant food critics who have finger-wagged about their fat content, carb content, meat products, milk, wheat, fish, or what have you that they have forgotten that it isn't polite to turn around and subject others to the same treatment.

The people who get hostile about vegetarian or vegan diets are rude; meet their rudeness with mildness and change the subject if you can manage it. It's what I do when someone tells me my burger is murder or that the wheat bun will kill me or that the true danger is the genetically modified tomato on there.

Maybe if enough of us do that, finger-waggers of every variety will realize that dinner parties are vastly more pleasant when conversation is about how tasty the food is instead of how this person or that person should eat.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:24 AM   #6  
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Yep, I understand how you feel. I've been eating less and less meat the last few years. (I'm not a vegetarian, for sure, I eat meat 4-5 meals a week.) We had a farm when I was a kid, and we were raised eating a lot of meat. My mom still raises her own chickens. I really don't think that I could raise an animal and butcher it and then eat it. The whole thing just grosses me out a little more as I get older. As far as eggs and dairy go, if they are raised the old-fashioned way (as my mom does), truly "free-range," and organic, the animals live long, well-cared lives. If everyone only ate the occasional animal product, there wouldn't be the need for the horrible meat-producing processes that we have now, and people would be much healthier for it, too.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:28 AM   #7  
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You're acting as if your decision to be vegetarian is somewhat shameful, apologising for it, and not even daring to call yourself vegetarian, which I find sad. Be a vegetarian. It's a good choice, and it's yours, not other people's. Eat what you like. Politely inform anyone who is going to be feeding you in advance, and if you think they won't manage to rustle up anything you can eat, then eat something before you go and/or take a snack with you.

I've been veggie for most of my life, and I always tell hosts before I go to eat with them. Some aren't quite sure what they can cook for me, in which case I help them. A few make mistakes (which is really fun with lactose intolerance), and a very few (always family so far) don't bother to do it properly (e.g. fishing out most of the bits of chicken from a soup and then presenting it to me as veggie soup - this hasn't happened since childhood). The majority are absolutely fine. I consider that anyone who is preparing food for other people has a responsibility to cater to the dietary needs of their guests, whether those are based on religion, ethics, allergies, food intolerances, or strong dislikes (no point feeding fish to someone who isn't technically allergic but will start retching when they're near it). I would never make food for a large group of people which included nut products, for instance, as nut allergies are relatively common and can be extremely dangerous. It's common courtesy.

In my experience, vegetarians or vegans who start being aggressive to other people about their food choices are far, far, far rarer than meat-eaters who are rude to vegetarians. Thankfully, these people are in the minority on both sides, and it's not about their dietary choices, it's about their being naturally rude people who will pick up whatever subject they fancy and use it as a weapon. I just wanted to point out that this reputation vegetarians have for all being aggressive proselytisers (is that the word?) is unwarranted and always brought up as part of veggie-bashing. After all, no one considers it acceptable to say to someone, "You're black? I met a really rude black woman once! I bet all black people are rude like that! You're going to be rude to me, hey?" There is no reason why this behaviour should be remotely acceptable with any group of people.

Last edited by Esofia; 07-24-2011 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:53 PM   #8  
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I became vegetarian 8 years ago so I was 20 and still living with my parents. They thought it was a joke and even made bets on how long it would last. In the beginning people would constantly ask about my reasonings. I would go into in-depth explanation and wasted a lot of breath debating with people. I've come to realize that all that is pointless. People will do what they want to do and believe what they want to believe. Now if someone asks I just say, "It's what's right for me."
Going to family events was pretty awkward at first. I live in East Texas, lots of bar-b-q & fried chicken. I got a lot of crap from some people, but eventually they came around. I hardly ever get comments about it anymore and my grandma even calls me beforehand to ask if I'm coming so she'll know to make something vegetarian. Don't feel forced to do something you want to do just to spare someone else's emotions. If they're hurt by the fact that you won't eat their cooked carcass, that's an issue they have, not you. They'll eventually come around and, though they might not ever understand it, they will come to accept and maybe even respect your decision. It's not for other people to understand, though. Try to keep that in mind. I promise you that it will get easier. Just give it time.
Kudos on your choice to cut the animals out of your diet!
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:02 PM   #9  
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I've been a vegetarian for 15 yrs. I still get the jokes, "Mmmn this bacon is so good, wanna a piece? Mmmn pig." And all that. I just roll my eyes. Most people know I don't. I won't eat meat to please anyone. It was my choice to stop and I stand by that. My family eats meat and I have no problem bc it is their choice. Don't let anyone intimidate you. Just nicely thank them but tell them you don't eat it and go for the salad.
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