I feel like I always have to go out of my way to make everyone comfortable about my diet. It's such a constant issue. My friends ask me if it's ok if they order meat and i feel bad saying no, but honestly it grosses me out and makes me want to avoid meals with them. How can they not get what they are doing, the cruelty they are supporting?! it makes me angry at them but I don't want to come off as angry or guilt-trippy so I say 'live and let live' but...I really believe in animal rights and that it is the higher path and truly the 'kind life.' Anyone else struggle with this? I want to be proud, not ashamed that I am the person others have to work around at meals...
I don't really care if someone has meat around me for some reason, its just not allowed in my house! I think its great that your friends are asking - how considerate is that? I dont' think anyone has EVER asked me if I mind if they eat meat....maybe then I would feel like saying YES! That being said, almost 100 percent of the time I go out with friends to eat, we go to a vegan restaurant. I do dictate where we can/cannot eat most of the time, and it can be uncomfortable but over the years I have come to the point of thinking tough! I want a good meal and I"m gonna get it! if your friends are willing to go out of the way to make you comfortable I say you are lucky and don't worry about being the one who "dictates" the dinner choices! Be gracious and let them know how much you appreciate their understanding and use their willingness to eat veg for you as a chance to get them to start to LOVE veg!
Each person is accountable for their individual choice. I'd just enjoy their company and not worry what's on anyone else's plate but mine. Best you can do is set an example. They'll pay more attention to your actions than your words. I always think it's funny cause I'm an ex-drinker, and people always ask me if it's okay if they drink in front of me, as if the mere sight will send me reeling! I imagine your friends have a similar idea that somehow they're making you uncomforrtable by indulging. And if you're eating a particulary kickass vegan meal out, get them to try it, so they see how yummy dining can be, even without a carcass:)
I kind of touched on this in another post. But I believe that if you want your choices to be respected then you have to be respectful of the choices of others. Just try to remember that not everyone is at the same place you are right now. I think it's great that your friends care enough to try to be considerate of you feelings. It's not your job to make people comfortable about your decisions, but you don't want to go out of your way to make them uncomfortable either. The other night at work, my co-worker wanted to order pizza but remembered that I was "doing the vegan thing" and said he could just go to the cafeteria. I told him we could order, i googled,found the vegan options at domino's (thin crust, no cheese) and we each ordered what we wanted. He was very kind and said that if they wouldn't accommodate my order, we could just forget it. I agree that the best way is to set an example. My co-worker thought what i ordered looked and smelled really good. He also enjoyed the vegan doughnuts I brought as a treat on another day.
If I got mad at everyone who ate meat around me I would be a very miserable person b/c 98% of the people I know are not vegetarians! Save yourself the stress and headache and don't worry or judge others so much!
Part of the reasons that vegans get a bad name is because people assume that we all feel superior to them because of our food choices. I try to advocate to people that this is absolutely not the case, and I would never dream of telling my friends what to eat. The best you can do is be an example, and people will make their own choice. Nobody likes being criticized or told what to do, so that is not the way to influence people.
I run into this quite often with one of my friends. Finally the other night, she said "do you think that you are special and belong to some special club or somthing because you are vegetarian?" Well, I get it now, she is jealous of my, I don't know, willpower? I'm not sure that the right word. Its just another thing in a long line of jealousy issues she has with me. Anyway, anyone else who I eat with or go out with totally respects it and honestly, they don't really care. They eat what they want & I eat what I want. People who are angry with YOUR choices usually have some sort of issue with themselves, it has nothing to do with you. I don't know if this helps you at all. Just my two cents!
I chose to go vegan because of some health issues that I was experiencing. I also love animals and do not support the cruelty that they endure. If anyone ever asks me about my lifestyle and diet choices, I will answer all of their questions, but never criticize their decision to eat meat. What I don't understand is why I am always being criticized for being Vegan. If one more person tells me, "Meat, poultry, fish and dairy are all important food groups on the food pyramid. If being Vegan was healthy, all doctors would tell people to become Vegan. What you are doing is so unhealthy.." and so on and so fourth, I might just explode. I never know how to respond in these situations cause I feel like my answers are never good enough . I am not sorry for my decision on what I put in my mouth, but I feel like I'm in front of a firing squad. Any advice on how to handle the criticism?
My advice is don't argue. What does it really matter what they think? Is it going to change your choices? Live by example and glow with vegan vibrancy and lightness! Their criticism comes from fear. Don't buy into it. Cheers!