my friends and family had questions and thought it was weird at first, but are now all overwhelmingly supportive -- they simply cannoot deny how much weight my husband I both lost, how good we look or how healthy we have become. The more time that has gone on many of them ave joined us.
It's important to stay strong and be true to yourself. I always remind myself in situations where I'm being picked on "what is right is not always popular and what is populars almost never right"
Yeah, I agree it's definitely not a good idea to fight people on veganism. They already have an idea in their head that can be good or bad. If someone brings it up, I'll talk about it and provide information, but if not I'll usually not push it. It's funny how you can really turn people off about animal rights stuff in general. I originally thought everyone would want to help animals, right? Not always the case. I have found it's always best to lead by example instead of trying to preach because that turns people off. I've lost about 10 lbs. since going vegetarian and now vegan and people have noticed. I always tell them it's because I went vegetarian/vegan. Another thing I've learned is you cannot argue with a hot bod. Just can't.
I understand how being Vegan can be difficult. I live in an area where everyone hunts and eats meat and dairy. Its weird to eat healthy and even weirder to not eat cheese and drink milk and now that I don't eat animal products I am just strange. I feel like I am from another planet. My husband is a big hunter but understands my choice. He doesn't like it but lives with it. I do on the other hand shy away from going out places because of my lifestyle and choices. I don't get invited to nearly as much as I used to because people say well we don't know what you would eat. I laugh and always say you know fruits veggies, grains, beans. Those sorts of things. My family understands to some degree but friends and acquaintances just don't get it. I am glad Alicia has this website set up. I feel slightly more empowered in my choices now. Thank you Alicia! Yeah I am finally not totally alone!
I can totally relate to your situation. My husband is in the Army and from Texas (think :BBQ). The way I handle being a Vegan is to not make a big deal out of it. No matter WHERE you go to eat there is almost ALWAYS something on the menu you can nibble on! And, if you're joining people at their home, asking if you can bring something is just good social etiquette... never rude! Just don't make a big thing about the fact that what you brought is Vegan... just let the others taste it and rave about how delicious it is while you smile inside knowing they're eating a Vegan dish! :)
Being Vegan/Vegetarian is something to be proud of. Just make sure not to "preach" about it unless asked and stay strong knowing you're making the right choices for you and for the Earth. :D
I can relate to what you are saying! Every one of my friends and family (except one friend who moved away!) thinks that I am crazy to be a vegan. I recently went out to dinner with my boyfriend and his parents, and he and his parents kept asking me if I wanted to sample their meat dish or baked good. I politely declined and later asked my boyfriend if he told his parents about my choice. He said, "No. Give it a few weeks and you'll be back to eating meat and dairy." I was offended and told him that it was a choice I had made after many long months of research and transition. I got away without talking about it because we went to Indian food and an alternative baker, both of which offer vegan friendly options. My friends and I used to bake together frequently, but they stopped inviting me, declaring, "We don't know how to bake vegan things." It is so frustrating! The only people who don't give me a hard time are people in the health food stores and restaurants. It is so weird how the people I know seem personally offended when I say I went vegan. I barely talk about it except when they offer me something with meat or dairy in it. Then, I just say no thank you, but it usually turns into a discussion about how there's no possible way I wouldn't want a hersheys bar or some ice cream. I think I just need to give people time to get used to it. I will keep bringing great vegan food to parties and start getting over my shyness :). I'm so glad for this website though! It's awesome!!
Oh Evie - wow, you're gettin' it from many sides, I'm sorry. Sounds like for them, only time and them seeing that noooo, you're not going back is gonna have a chance at persuading and educating them. Just hang on to things like here, and maybe talk to some of those supportive people at the restaurants - don't look now, but you're expanding your community and support system already! You're doing all you possibly can. :)
Thanks Karen! Don't worry :). I don't live with my parents anymore so I only deal with them when I go home. I'm lucky to have vegetarian housemates, so that's a plus! Also, the health food store employees now know me as the nice vegan girl who bakes delicious things for them, and they'll often save new products for me or order something special or give recommendations. So, I have a support system in an interesting place, I suppose, but it's there! It pays to be a nice, unobtrusive vegan LOL:). Yeah, dealing with the boyfriend and friends can be hard, but at least the people in town are in my corner! And the people on this website! Just wanted to make sure I didn't complain too much :). Thanks for the support!!!!
Evie - you could have your friends over and bake vegan goods for them to show them how simple it is because it's a shame they're no longer including you. Or you could just bake for yourself and enjoy the results! :)
I remember when I first started telling people I was vegetarian (and now vegan), the first thing people asked me was "What are you going to eat?" I told them I eat veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, etc. It's really all the stuff we should be eating that is healthy for us. It's funny how our country's way of eating is sooo revolved around meat and dairy. People literally think they'll starve if they don't eat meat or drink dairy!
I love the responses here and yes it is difficult. I love the idea of food being at a celebration or bringing people together, but as soon as they see me not eating their cheeseball at christmas time, I get lectured how I am missing my protein & it turns into a huge discussion that ends in everyone against me as if Im a freak. I tell them I work with a nutritionalist & know how to get my proteins. I think it's rediculous to judge people based on food choices, but it happens. I grew up being around hunters who feel that meat is the main focus in a meal. I feel sick when I think of all the meat I grew up on and I often wonder if that's how I got my brain tumor. I love this site!!