Well, I've been veggie for just over a year and decided to take the plunge and go vegan. I found it hard at first but quickly realised how easy it was to exclude meat from my diet! Health wise I haven't had a cold, flu etc since.. happy days :-)
And so after much research I am now vegan, feeling fantastic and I'm enjoying cooking up yummy meals! But, I'm having some real trouble with a few friends and family especially my Dad. Im not preaching about being vegan or really bringing it up in conversation but I've been getting really negative remarks about my choice of lifestyle.
Not so long ago my Dad told me it was all stupid nosense going vegan (rich coming from someone who has high colesterol and had just eaten a big steak for dinner!) and I was being ridiculous.. I'm so frustrated, he wont listen to why I want to do this as does one of my girlfriends :-(
Have any of you had the same problem, I don't know how to get them to listen to my side of the story? Any help at all appreciated!! :-)
My dad also has the super high cholesterol and high iron. I haven't spoken to him for over two years (for many reasons, not because I'm vegan!), and last year when I went vegan my brother told me he told my father and he laughed. So I know how you feel. It's so frustrating. Especially since he would gain so many benefits from living vegan! He has a hobby-farm and eats all his own meat that he raises. When I still lived at home he ate beef everyday for dinner (lots of times lunch too, and had pork at breakfast) in rediculous quantities (think half a plate full here).
I think the best piece of basic advice any vegan will give you is to stick to what you believe in.
From my experience having to defend my vegan lifestyle, make sure you educate yourself. This has proven to be effective for me. I find that many people approach the idea of veganism with a degree of ridicule, but it really helps if you can present them solid facts and well formed beliefs to them, as opposed to the one lined cliches of vegetarianism and veganism such as: "I don't eat anything with a face." Although it's a good reason for us vegans, many non-vegans use phrases like that as fuel for mockery (unfortunately). If you're able to convey that you've put a lot of thought into your decision, I find most people are able to accept it easier.
There are many good books and films out there, including Alicia's book and Food Inc. which has been talked about a lot of the forums here lately. Of course there are many others, as well as lots of great blogs online and the forums on this website!
I've had a few people use phrases like you mentioned, I've treid to explain my reasons but a lot of them just turn away and say "whatever". That's fair enough, they are ridiculing me but don't want to know about my vegan lifestyle so just goes to show they aren't interested... So I will stick with what I believe in and leave them to their own ideas, maybe they'll have a change of heart when they see how fantastic I am getting on!
Really, thank you for your help! Im off to buy some more books to steer me along!
Dublin is home to one of my favorite vegetarian/vegan restaurants, Cornucopia. It's on Wicklow St. just off Grafton St. I go there when ever I visit Dublin. Maybe u can take your dad there or bring home food from there so he can try, it is delicious.
So glad you were able to take away something from my advice. As far as your friends go (ridiculing you and such), it really does get better the further along you go. I think it is because they do see how fantastic you look and feel, and that it isn't just a phase of such.