Join Date: Mar 2016
My father is against my decision to be a vegan.
He thinks it's fine for me to care about animals, the environment, and my health, but he doesn't think me going strictly vegan in social situations is going to solve any animal rights or environmental issues and he thinks that if it's for health, I shouldn't avoid small amounts of animal products if I'm served any.
I guess I would be fine with not being too picky if I was served truly just tiny amounts of animal products, but he's also against me voicing my veganism, so it's likely that unknowing servers will enthusiastically give me steak, pork dishes, fillets of fish, etc. and he wants me to not make a big deal out of it and eat it gratefully. He doesn't want me to tell people around me that I'm vegan because he thinks it will damage my social life and my relationships with others.
He says that just by saying I'm vegan is insulting to everyone at the table who eats meat because I'm pretty much saying that what they're all doing is wrong and I'm right and better than them. He also says that by not eating a meat dish that someone thoughtfully made for me or cake at a special occasion, I am hurting the people who intended to feed me or celebrate with me.
He says he thinks it's good that I'm against factory farming and the environmental damage of animal agriculture, but he says I should not avoid animal products that are served to me because that doesn't change anything. Instead, he says I need to join activist groups, study environmentalism, save energy in other ways, and actively protest against factory farming and not passively just avoid eating animal products.
But then he says I shouldn't go preaching to others about being vegan because it makes others feel bad and I would be hurting people and ruining my social relationships. And then he says he's not saying this because he feels insulted, but he's worried that others will hate me because of my veganism and he cares about me so he doesn't want this to hold me back on opportunities that develop from human interactions over dinner, parties, etc. He keeps saying "I'm against it because I care about you. It's for your own good."
We kind of came to a conclusion that I would eat animal products if I was served any in a social setting, but I can be vegan at home and I can avoid ordering meat, fish, or dairy when I have the choice. However, I know we are both not satisfied with this solution. For my father, I know he doesn't think that this "extreme" lifestyle is worth any of my time or effort, and there are other better ways to go against animal agriculture or environmental damage. For me, I want to be able to tell others I'm vegan and spread the message, and I'm willing to risk some human relationships because I know that the people who matter to me most will accept my decisions. I also don't want to have to eat animal products when I'm served them because I kind of think they're gross now (mostly beef and pork, some dairy and eggs, but maybe fish doesn't gross me out that much yet). Or at least I would like to have the chance to tell my server that I am trying to eat vegan so they could at least try to accommodate my needs (if it's not possible or if it's extremely troublesome, I think I would be willing to suck it up and eat whatever).
Even though I'm extremely annoyed by his disapproval, I am actually not saying all of his points are incorrect. Many of his arguments seem quite valid to me, and I'm even starting to feel that being vegan is maybe not worth it.
What do you guys think? Should I not be vegan if my social life is on the line? What if I'm invited to dinners with non-vegans that may possibly connect to future business opportunities? Should I prioritize making others around me feel comfortable and happy over carrying out my vegan practices? Is not eating animal products that I'm served not going to change anything? Should I join activist groups instead?
|disapproval , family , social situations , Vegan|