My really close friend and I just went to Mexico for a week (cancun). The choices were OK for vegans there, but I did cheat occasionally when there was NOTHING for me to eat. I accidentally ate a tablespoon or 2 of chicken broth, and being vegan for 2 years and not having meat for almost 3, I have been a little sick the past few days.
My friend constantly says that she "doesn't get the dairy thing" and no matter how in depth I get about the factory farming, animals, and of course all the health reasons, she basically says that she doesn't want to miss out on life. She constantly talks about food, mexican food her family makes especially. But when I talk about why I choose to not eat meat and dairy, she says "its just food, chill out." Just food. Just what people starting from cavemen have relied on to live. What we rely on to live. What fuels us, determines how we live, and when we'll die. We are what we eat, right?
Keep in mind, she is very petite, never exercises, eats whatever she wants, and is 1/2 mexican. She says that she will NEVER in 1000000 years become vegetarian/vegan. Also, we are both 14.
At the airport today, she got a wendy's hamburger, which doesn't usually bother me at all when people eat meat around me. I can usually ignore people eating meat/fast food, I've never been one of those really fussy vegans who freak if someone is eating chicken that is sitting next to them. But I felt really angry at her for some reason, don't know if it was the stress of being at the airport, sleepieness...whatever. I was pissed.
I'm not trying to convert her to vegetarianism, but how do I explain to her why I do it and not make her feel bad about eating meat? Or, to other people in general, how do I explain my ethics without insulting them? Thanks!
Good for you for sticking to your guns! Honestly i dont think you should have to keep explaining your choice, she was right about one thing , live YOUR life! Wich is exactly what your doing by choosing to be vegan, an awesome choice for you and the world! She's your best friend and she should support your choices just as you are trying to support hers. Good luck!
I really don't like it when people shine a big light on my vegan eating habits. They can be rude and ignorant and make me very uncomfortable. So, for that reason, I don't comment on omni eating habits. If I am asked a direct question, or feel like someone is genuinely interested in making this change, then I am happy to share information. Its a shame your best friend doesn't share your passion for veganism. But unfortunately, neither does most of the population. So just keep on doing what you know in your heart to be right. Maybe your good habits will plant a seed in her brain,...maybe not. Either way, you can be proud of your behaviours.
All the best to you. I wish I had discovered this way of life at 14. Keep your head up.
I do not criticize people for eating meat in front of me as long as they don't throw it in my face. I agree with Kim that I don't like when people do the same to me about being vegan. If you try to tell her that you don't want her eating meat around you, you take the risk of ending your friendship because she seems pretty adamant. But maybe that is a risk you are willing to take. Good luck!
You are going to have a lifetime of friends eating meat in front of you, so you may just have to get used to that. All I can say is live by example. When I was a teen I got in some HEATED fights with friends over my vegetarianism. We have stayed friends and all mellowed out as we got older, but these same friends that debated me as teens are now coming to me for health and diet advice in their late 30's because they all have health issues and I have stayed healthy. So your friend may say never now, but that is hard to do when you are 14. Show them how great you are living and some friends may come around, it may just take 20 yrs :)
@Dolores, I didn't mean that I was really disgusted by her for eating wendys, it is her life and food choices. I think it was because I was having a bad day, it was at the airport and I hadn't slept much, etc. But I'm vegan, and its kind of a given that I'd be annoyed if someone ate fast food in front of me, just because of how I'm used to living. But I usually never say anything to omnivores.
@Dani A, I mentioned that because her family (in mexico) has always cooked with a lot of cheese, milk, and meat. She thinks of food as fun, as well as a comfort. So do I, but we think in different ways. To her that is cultural, and if she gave that up it would be like missing out. I, being Greek, find that just because I miss out on Lamb, mousaka, spanikopita, its not really missing out because I'm living how I want to live. She doesn't really enjoy cooking and she brought up the point that being vegan is 'fitting' for me because I like cooking so much. She says that for her, having her family cook traditional mexican meals, and also being able to have tacos and tortas on the streets of mexico is very important and she wouldn't be willing to give it up for anything.
I think you just need to relax. One thing I absolutely hate is militant people with opinions that are shoved down my throat. I am a pagan and also have different ideas and values and opinions of how I want to live my life - and cannot stand it when other people think they have the right to tell me how to live my life. And you know all those other people think they are right, too.
I live my life how I think is best and NEVER preach to anyone about anything. It is against my moral code, because I don't want to be preached to. If someone wants to have a discussion about religion or politics or food, then I will discuss...but I have never told anyone to stop what they are doing, or live their life differently because I think its better.
I don't preach to my friends and family about what they eat - I don't care if we are out and they order meat or we are at a party and there is meat - that's their choice. Just like it's mine not to eat it. You will find that if you respect other people and their boundaries, then they will respect yours. I've had many occasions when someone realizes I'm a veggie and then is so upset and apologizes that they are eating meat, or whatever - and I just tell them, its ok! I don't mind, its your choice, just don't force me to eat it!
Just be true to yourself and have a firm grasp on your morals and respect other's choices and morals...and if you do that and find that you don't get respect back, then maybe you should have a different circle of friends.
I know everyone's telling you to let it go, but maybe you were just venting, and in that case I say, vent away! Some peopl can let stuff roll off their backs, others need to vent to feel better. If you're a venter, then do it, it's healthier than holding it in. On to your friend . . .
It sounds like either you both talk a lot about food, or she talks a lot about it (from your point of view). Either way, unless you're better after venting, it may be time for a conversation. Something like mentioning to her that both of your food choices are important to each of you, but maybe it's time to agree to disagree, because you're just never gonna agree and it's time to let it go before one of you gets too upset about hearing about it from the other. If it's her constantly talking about her family's food, as you say, then it may be time to gently ask if she could not mention it so much, as you find it upsetting. She may be talking about it a lot without realizing it, or you may be extra senstitive - so think about it.
Finally, I will say something that's unpopular, but somewhat along the line of Michael Pollan and sustainable eating. I actually don't think that everyone's food choice is personal; not when we live in a world where it has ever- increasing local and global consequences. People's choices are making them ill, causing increases in healthcare that we all pay for; and people's food choices are leading to environmental degradation, again, which we all pay for. So in a sense, no, the decision of people to get in that line at fast food joints isn't personal and all up to them, not when the aggregate effect is impacting our entire country and not just leading to their own death. However, getting in their faces about it won't help, so I don't, but I do what I can without being totally hands-off, it's up to them, and all that.
Too long, sorry - but my last piece of advice: defintely don't get visibly upset with people when things like this happen, it just doesn't help. And trying to talk about it with people who just don't care doesn't help either. So just keep doing the best that you can every day to be healthy and vegan, and take your passion and channel into something, like a school or city group that's focused on veg*nism (or start one if there isn't one!), or volunteer at an animal shelter. Just do something to be active. I think that can help with feelings of frustration about all the people you know who aren't more mindful of what they're eating, because that's an awful lot of people and you could drive yourself crazy.