I have fully embraced veganism in my own home. I still consider myself a flirt, as I am learning more about how to buy vegan products and cook vegan foods. The other day I didn't realize it, but I accidentally bought pasta that had egg whites in it. So silly stuff like that...
Anyway, I have been flirting for a month and eating vegan the last two weeks of that month.
But I don't know what to do about being a guest in someone's home. I live in the rural midwest, and no one even knows what veganism is here. My husband and I eat dinner every Sunday night with our friends. We alternate weeks for who cooks. I guess I decided that I would cook vegan for them on our week, but I don't want to force someone else to cook vegan for me...
And other random times friends invite us over for dinner, for example this Saturday. We're not close friends, either, and I just don't feel like I have the right to tell them they have to cook vegan for me, especially when they probably have never eaten a meal with out meat and dairy!
But this bothers my conscience, especially because the main reason I want to be vegan is to reap the health benefits. Will I still be getting the benefits of being vegan if I eat a non vegan meal like twice or thrice a month?
I completely can feel your pain. I am in the midwest as well and my family and friends are very supportive but they don't even really understand what I'm doing. I've been doing this since october and I have decided that when with friends, family, or even some restaurants, I may eat non-vegan. I often eat fish at restaurants here b/c that is often the only choice,other than meat, and I personally have decided fish is ok for me. When my family gets together it's steak, burgers, brisquit, (sp?) and sides, but usually with cheese, chicken stock or dairy in them. For three months I did it straight vegan but I started to feel a bit alienated and people would say :I want to have you over but you don't eat anything... " or I would just eat a plain salad or crudites. I got tired of that and decided I'd go all vegan at home, and just decide on a case by case basis otherwise. I responded to a likewise comment on here before as this and didn't feel much support. many said they wouldn't do something they didn't believe in to make others happy and such, but... I don't feel that way. I think when people are in big vegan friendly cities it's easier than they realize and it's much harder for those of us who don't even know a vegetarian, or have access to ANY restaurants. I think you'll still be reaping the benefits and totally understand where your coming from. We're doing our best, and we don't have to follow any rules!
I am also in the midwest (Ohio)!! Although I find it easy to vegetarian I find it very hard to be vegan when out. At a BBQ I can just bring my own veggie burgers and I usually bring my own side dish anyway. But forget about restaurants, there is never anything to eat for vegans! Plus, I have kids, and as we all know in small towns in the summertime the only thing to do is go out for ice cream. Of course there is nowhere to get vegan treats, and I don't want my kids to miss out on summertime memories, so I take them to get ice cream. We can't just always sit in my yard and eat vegan ice cream. It's not always realistic. So i just continue to be a vegetarian and try to be vegan as much as possible. We all try to do the best we can!!
Thanks for the support! Just getting that message out in the open helped me to vent and feel better about myself. After posting I was going through a lot of emotions, and ended up sending my friend an email (the one we eat with every week) about my veganism and stance. I basically told her that I would eat whatever they fixed us, but that I am chosing to be a vegan at home and would appreciate if they cooked vegan or vegetarian for us. She responded very lovingly and said she would do her best to cook vegan! So that made me feel a lot better...
I live in IL and find some of the same issues when I go out to eat at restraunts. I just recent;y realized that you have to ask alot of questions and I have also found that if you call ahead and ask someone about the menu they are real willing to make you something. When I go to friends homes I always ask if I can bring something. I try to explain that I don't want to put them out, that they should cook for everyone and I can bring my own entree and a couple sides. I also bring a dessert. so far no one has been offended. When I go to my sisters, she is my ex in law and I'm closer to her then my own brother, she tells me what they are having and has me bring some of my items. Its really nice when your family and friends are supportive. Good luck and remember don't forget to ask lots of questions! :)
I live in Austin, TX, where I would say is pretty darn veg friendly. However. I think it is easier to go out to eat here than at a friend's home. . . because of all of the crazy thoughts on vegetarians/vegans and not wanting to put someone out who has worked so hard on a meal. I always offer to bring dishes but I understand it is still hard. I was feeling gulity alot when I first started this journey when I would slip up or whatever. Now I realize it is not about "rules" but about making the best/kind choices at each moment. Good Luck! You are already doing an amzing job :)
Ok, so I am back from my friend's house after dinner. BTW, she has celiac so everything we cook for eachother already has to be gluten free. I gave her a copy of a gluten free & vegan cookbook, and she made us pizza pockets from it! They were soooo amazing!! It's from the Flying Apron Bakery in Washington State. I was so excited, they were very gourmet and delicious. I did feel kinda guilty and selfish for everyone else having to eat "my way", but hey, they were so tasty who could complain?
On the flip side, I also went to that dinner the other night at a friend's house, there was a big group. They made a turkey dinner...I don't even enjoy that meat...but I ate just a small piece and loaded my plate up with salad, veggies, and bread. I feel like that went well, like I didn't offend anyone and nobody thought I was weird.
I just don't feel like explaining veganism to everyone I meet and having to deal with their prejudice and meat-lovingness. Ya know? If they ask or are sincerely interested, I will talk with them. But I'm not gonna go around and pick at people or have them do that to me. It's a personal choice.
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