I've made the decision go vegan. It's been 4 days meat/egg/dariy free and I don't miss it one bit. TKD truely changed my views on meat and I'm truely excited about it . I've been doing very well with the exception of when I've shared my excitement with friends and/or family I get come negative reactions. My best friend said it's a phase that she'd be surprised to see me still doing this in 2 weeks and my husband said it was just weird. So from the two people that I depend on the most to encourage me and support me, I feel let down. I feel alone in my journey with no one from the side lines to encourage me. I still plan to stay the course and I am very thankful for this site as this is the only place I have where I don't feel so alone.
It's really frustrating when people are jerks about you doing something positive with your diet. People are just rude about things they don't understand very well. They also make a lot of assumptions about vegans that just aren't true. If you stick to it, your friends and family will see it's not just a phase. They'll also see that your health will improve and that you still eat awesome, delicious food.
I'm not very confrontational, so I usually just laugh it off when someone makes a negative comment about my veganism, but it definitely bugs me! At the end of the day, though, I know that I'm doing what's best for me, animals, and the planet. That makes me feel a hell of a lot better than my friends approval of my diet would! Good for you for acting on your convictions - you should be very proud of yourself!
Seriously, I'm having the same exact trouble you are! That's what is so great about this site; you can get the positive encouragement you really need. It's hard for people to not look at you and think you're a complete weirdo when they aren't really as educated about the cause as you are. And it can be even harder when you try to take time to explain it to them, but they don't want to listen. But what you're doing is to benefit your body and spirit, and you should feel absolutely proud of yourself for taking the step to become vegan! I meet criticism just talking about going from vegetarianism to veganism, so I'm having trouble even thinking about making the change. Hopefully they'll come around and be able to understand and support your choice soon. But even if that doesn't happen in the near future, don't forget that you are not alone and that you have made a wonderful, healthy choice for your body and mind! Good work!
Amy - I totally support you!! I too feel very alone and I feel like everyone is waiting for me to slip up so they can say, "I told you so" It's like they want you to fail for some reason! My husband is supportive to a point but then he gets this attitude like I am trying to change him. I get excited and want to share with my friends but I think they feel that if they learn something then they have to change. I love this sight because I feel uplifted and I can share how a recipe came out without feeling like I'm going to be made fun of. If I discovered a new beer and shared it, everyone would be all over it.
It is amazing how brain washed our society is. When people asked me about my diet and I tell them I'm Vegan, they ask me "where do you get your protien? Aren't you worried about osteoporsis if you don't drink milk? What is so wrong with eating meat and dairy?" and the list goes on and on. When I tell them about the research out there and the harmful effects of meat and dairy on the product their response is, "I bet some vegan book told you that. All that stuff in there are lies." I have never felt so attacked in my life. I don't attack people for eating meat. I don't even try to tell them about veganism until they ask me about it. I do wonder what it is about being vegan that scares people?!
I think it is important to have the support from all of us in this forum. This is truly amazing. I truly appreciate everyone's support out there!!!! And all of you know I SUPPORT YOU!!!!
Have any of you heard that vegetarian or vegan diets/lifestyles are promoted by people with "health food interests"?! That's what my mother muttered repeatedly when I became vegetarian 26 years ago. Since then, I have listened to comments about protein deficiency (I guess I get my protein from the same place as the cows get theirs.), I'm "asking for" osteo (maybe I will, maybe I won't), etc. etc. She ultimately realized that I'm very healthy and happy and has since even been know to "brag". (Your grandchild wants to be vegetarian? My daughter has been one for years.)
I totally agree that it sucks big time when the very people to whom one looks for support, lash out with criticism. Ignore the voices of the many and listen to your inner voice. I think it helped that I never made a big deal about my diet. Never preached. Enthused only to open/like-minded people. Never tried to convert. Didn't take the comments seriously - I realized that my diet threatened the beliefs with which many people were raised and scared them.
Having said all of this, I would like to step it up and become vegan. Don't know that I'll get much support from my boyfriend which is a bit of a worry. He became vegetarian at home (eats meat sometimes when we go out) about a year ago. He has come to love the versatility of tofu. We both like cheese - get it from a specialty shop. Yum. Still, I know I'll feel better once I get past the cravings if I give up dairy... Blahblahblah! I need to take my own advice! lol
My parents live in rural Georgia and they LOVE to make fun of me. So instead of constant defending, I just give them more to laugh about. I will intentionally call them up and tell them I'm feeding my son tofu slices and how delicious the setain picatta was! They have no idea what I'm eating so there response is eeewww!! Then I get to laugh at them.
My plan...as recent convert...is to give as much information to those who dare to judge me. If I cannot speak to them I will send them excerpts from studies or articles. Just as they probably don't want you to tell them how to eat, they should give us the same courtesy. I am choosing to not be "super-sized". How can anyone make fun of, or not be in support of a choice to live healthier, and save the planet one meal at a time. I still have conflicts in my own head because of all the advertisements and conflicting information. Sometimes it is hard to know what to beleive. But I am going to trust my body to tell me what I need. As I learn, I will make adjustments. Cheers!
Just be patient Amy - patience and your own positive example are the two things that will get you through the tough phase of living vegan in a society that does not always accept our choices. As a vegan of over a year, I encountered the exact same negativity and ignorance when I made the choice to begin abstaining from any animal products. I felt so alone, because I didn't know anyone else who was vegan, and the only reactions I would get from loved ones was confusion or aggression. It was a scary time, but leading my own example and being patient enough to stay the course has helped not only me, but so many people around me incorporate veganism into our daily lives. For example, a girl I've been friends with on and off was incredibly closed-minded and judgmental when I first went vegan. One year later, it's a much different story -she just told me she has been meat-free for two months! It's amazing the impact we can have if we just continue to spread the positive message of veganism. I still have moments when I feel sad - I see a lot of people consuming dairy, and I just want to yell at them, "It's not made for you! It's for the cows!". But in those moments, I think about the amount of influence I have had over my family, friends, and even strangers - and it helps me to keep going. And the best part? You have a network now of friends and supporters online at The Kind Life. Just stay true to yourself, believe in what you are doing, and people will come around. And if they don't? Then they probably aren't the kind of people you want in your life anyway. Good luck to you on your journey!
I have been a vegetarian since i was 14 (i'm 31 now) and a vegan since oct. i felt like the vegetarian thing was relatively easy, though i did not meet another veg til college. But veganism is a whole other thing. I get made fun of and ridiculed but I feel enlightened. Everything I have read and read continues to tell me i am doing the right thing. for animals and for my own health. be encouraged there are others of us out here understanding what you are feeling. i say let your health speak for itself! take care of yourself and people will begein to realize there is "something" to this way of eating. www.orangeandgoldandgreen.blogspot.com - follow me if you'd like, writing about it keeps me motivated and encouraged