My sister-in-law keeps making snide comments and bringing up the subject of veganism anytime she is around me. I am vegan and so are my kids. She is having a birthday party and just sent me a text asking if we are still going to eat her "non-vegan" cake even though it is "bad for us". I don't know how to respond. She is a recovering alcoholic and we don't serve beer when she comes over. Just because we "choose" to make a healthy lifestyle choice why does she insist on challenging it all of the time? I do not push this lifestyle on others and rarely talk about it because of opposition. How do you handle snide remarks?
I usually just say that I understand that not everybody understands it or agrees with it, but theres a need to respect it. Just tell her that you wont be offended if she makes a non-vegan cake but that she can't be offended when you and your family doesn't eat it. Maybe tell her it makes you feel uncomfortable when she makes comments like that, ask her if you eating vegan has in any way offended her? just remember the nicer and more open you are to her the nicer and more open she will most likely be in return. But there are sadly some people who it is beyound their capablities to understand this lifestyle because it's admitting that most of what you thought you believed in is false, and thats scary and people want to desperately hold on to that.
After much agonizing I ended up going the route suggested by Timothy. All the suggestions were fantastic. I realized that the issues between my sister-in-law and I are probably long running and the "vegan" issue is just new ammo for her. She seems to think we are in a competition that I am not competing in . I am not confrontational and the thought of having to sit down with her and talking with her about the issue was keeping me up at night. Finally I decided to make other plans and spent the day picking raspberries and apples with my children and making delicious vegan cobblers. We had a ton of fun and I felt a million times better. Thanks for everyones suggestions and I think they are all great for different situations. I am sure I will be faced with this more in the future.
I have a similar situation with some of my husband's family. Recently we (and other family members) were visiting his grandparents' house. When his brother was talking about his high cholestrol and his doctors recommendation for reducing it, he talked about cutting out all red meat and eating more vegetable. His grandmother (all world German) mumbled, "but you need meat" as she sat next to me. She mumbled it, I strongly assume, because she was sitting next to me and knows that I do not eat meat or dairy. I felt like saying, "are you even listening to the story? His body is DAMAGED because of meat." Ugh...it just makes me annoyed.
I half expect this kind of response from older people because some are just so set in their way that there is no chance of changing their mind. Only if their own doctor tells them will they believe that being vegan is the best health option. It is still frustrating though.
As for my sister-in-law (who is my brother's wife), I noted a rude comment on her facebook made by her sister stating: "happy birthday, go ahead and eat chocolate raspberry cake without me. I'll get over it!!! LOL". It is amazing to me that they read so much into it because I actually never said one word. I simply told her that I forgot that I already had plans that day. I know I made the right decision to not confront her because she would just continue the fight. Now she has to ponder her words, actions, and behavior. As far as she knows I was never bothered at all.
I would just like to say that since I became vegan (in march 2011), and have read the China Study and several other publications, I can almost no longer watch humans eat. People that do not recognize their behavior as unhealthy, in my opinion, are just not intelligent or willing to learn something new. I think with veganism there comes an aire of superiority...and I am okay with that!
I agree with not being able to watch most people eat these days. My stomach actually does a flip flop when looking at certain foods. I was trying to explain to my dad why I didn't want to eat cake with milk and eggs in it so I used the analogy that it's like eating cake made with toilet water. I think he finally understands how I feel.
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