Last night I went to a going away party. Its the first time I have been to a big gathering since I went vegan a month and a half ago. Everyone was standing around together and one girl blurts out "' So I hear your a vegan now". And of course everyone looked at me like I was some sort of weirdo. Why is it that people look at a vegan lifestyle as a freakish thing. And of course the whole night I had to hear about how boring I was because I wasn't drinking. Are these people really my friends, or is it just that they feel uncomfortable that I am changing my life for a healthier lifestyle?
it does suck, and is very common - they are just uncomfortable - most people seem to respond with derision to those who do not share their every view....I think because in some weird way maybe they equate you not drinking with you judging them and thinking that they are WRONG for drinking, you not eating meat/dairy with you judging them and thinking they are WRONG for eating meat/dairy. And maybe its possible that people become uncomfortable because they might think that in changing your lifestyle, you also may be considering changing your friends - if you would have been dancing on the table naked if you WERE drinking, then I agree with your friends - you are boring when you don't drink! but my guess is you were no different then normal - they just felt self-concious and perhaps afraid that the sober you would think the drinking them were acting like idiots! Give them time to get used to the new (improved!) you - my suggestion would be to not get upset and just deflect their comments with humor and a smile, and when the one jackass in the crowd tries to get you to debate your lifestyle (there is always one!), just come up with a sweet, smart ass, funny comeback delivered with a smile. I refuse to argue or debate my lifestyle choices and have found after a while no one cares what I eat or drink because they don't feel I am judging them or think I"m better (even though I AM....and I DO!!!)
I don't know why labelling has to come into play at all...It is funny usually people comment if they are uncomforatble or really want to know more. If they knew more about the lifestyle of a vegan then maybe they too would want to go that root - just too scary for many people. Don't worry you aren't alone; just think they are missing so much of all the benefits you have!
I agree- I can tell you one thing I was suprised to see. I went to college at LSU (ie. drinking capital of the world), was in a sorority, went to every football game, tailgated, etc. My Dad, who is very clever and knows how strong willed, although he calls it "hard-headed", I am bet me that he could 'not drink longer than I could not drink'.... Well, I never seem to pass on a dare or a bet- so I said "your on!". He LOVES his single malt scotch (as everyone in my family does, myself included) so I figured he'd cave in about 15 minutes. Well, 8 years 4 months and 23 days later I lost the bet while laying out on the Beach and decided I was done and really needed a Corona Beer. Long story not-so-short is that the entire time I was in college when my roommate would tell people- "Oh, Ashley can drive home- she's not drinking". No one ever believed her. They all just assumed that based on my being fun and out with them all the time that I did. So now I have tried really hard to reach back to that time and remember that it isn't whether or not I drink, but just how people perceive my attitude about it. Also, I will say in my 30's the "babysitting of the drunks" isn't such an issue as it was when we were all 18-23. THANK GOODNESS! Best of luck & I agree that making the vegan diet or lifestyle as light-hearted & humorous as possible makes everyone much more comfortable. If I can steal from a fellow kindlifer- she said "Don't get me wrong! I will kick a puppy... I just wont eat one!". I can't imagine after the shock wears off that many people will counter that with much else.
People are just judgemental of things they don't understand and are not ready to understand! I have had some ugly remarks toward me so far, but look at it as, "If they only knew what I know or feel what I feel!" Most of the people who are passing judgement on me are the people I'm watching count to see how many points of junk they can eat in one day! They are eating 3 point ice cream cones, frozen and processed dinners for 5 points, and other heavily processed stuff until they reach their max points for that day! The odd thing is that everyone wants to taste my food. They pass some crazy comments, but there are always forks coming my way to taste what I have prepared! LOL! Feel good about what you are doing and let that goodness shine through to motivate others!
People feel threatened when you exercise your personal choices...It should not matter to your friends or acquaintances what you put into your body.
Last week at a work event, I declined to sample the appetizers going around. My boss made some under her breath, rather passive aggressive comments about my passing up the food. She then wanted to discuss my choice in front of people..."why dont you eat cheese exactly?" she asked. I simply said "that i wasnt interested." period.
I think you will find that whenever you challenge the status quo (out loud or privately) you will meet some resistance....
Just remember, the status quo is boring and you have chosen an enlightened path.
I'm going to a family b-day get together where live lobster is on the menu. Personally, seeing them bound and stacked one on top of the other at the store, breaks my heart.
I'm trying not to impose my feelings and beliefs, but how to avoid the strugglings creatures in the vat of ice or fridge, and then the boiling...........I , no doubt, will be taunted. Any suggestions???