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My best friend is pregnant with twins and shared how she was going to have milkshakes because they "order" them for pregnancy. I said something about how I really wished she would watch "Forks Over Knives" or read "The China Study" because dairy is really not good for you and I was concerned about her and her babies. She came back saying how she felt judged by her food choices often and we just have to agree to disagree, which to me means she is not interested in hearing anything other than what the mainstream nutritionists say. I find it so difficult to not say anything when I care so much about the people I love....how can I keep my mouth shut when I know things they don't know about how horrible the things they are eating are? How do you share things without coming across as judgmental? My intention is to let people know things they might not know, not to make them feel bad! I am obviously terrible at this...any suggestions? I feel like she is so mad at me now and I don't even know what to say back because I feel like I was just trying to help. I get so tired of having to justify myself all the time, being the odd man out, being the one that everyone has to work around if we go out for food...this is definitely the hardest part of being vegan.
Sorry that turned into a rant...I'm just so frustrated, and I didn't sleep at all last night because of this.
Food is so emotional for women! Men too probably, but I know that in my house (all women) we get all defensive about food, especially because so many of us are aware of justice and health issues but food is where we allow ourselves to "let loose". Sigh.
I think sharing from my own perspective, what *I* do, and why I do it, is the best choice, and if people want to ask why, great! Otherwise, I leave it at that. Veganism is still far enough out of the mainstream that people usually will ask you questions. I feel for this gal, she is pregnant and probably everyone tells her what they think about what she eats, the hours she works, the shoes she wears, whether she should color her hair, use a cell phone, play baby Mozart.
Just remember that non-violence to people, the planet, and animals all goes together in a seamless whole. Non-violence sometimes means overlooking something that the other person is not ready to hear... yet...
I bet if you apologized and explained that you, too, know what it feels like, "having to justify myself all the time," and that you didn't want her to feel that way, you might have a good sharing. Just share as you walk together or watch a TV show... not over snacks!!! Or make her a calcium and iron rich green smoothie with soy yogurt and offer it as a peace offering.
Hang in there!
The Vegan Nun
This is the hardest part, I agree!!! Maybe just back off for a bit and talk about other things for a while. Don't let it upset you too much .... we can only control our own choices. Some people just don't want to hear the truth.
Pregnant with twins! Your friend is likely overwhelmed with hormones, emotions, excitement and FEAR. She will be joyful and exhausted, and just struggling to keep her head above water for the next couple of years. Now is not the time she needs to be talked into a lifestyle shift. She knows you have that information, and when she's ready to hear it, she'll ask. Until then, all you can do is lead by example. All the best!
Thank you all!
Everything is fine now, I apologized and agreed to stay out of it, unless she comes to me. It is hard, though, when we eat so many meals together (I just moved across country to be close to her and now I'm so glad I'll be able to help with the twins!), she loves the food I make, and she knows so much of what I've shared in the past, but seems to kind of ignore that info and keep eating the same things on her own. We've talked for years about this issue, long before she became pregnant.
Anyway, I do feel really bad about adding to her stress, as that is the LAST thing I want to do...I saw it as trying to help her avoid future possible health issues for her and her babies, but I guess she is not ready and may not ever be. *sigh*