Day: 2, IRL support: 0 - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 10-02-2017, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 3
Day: 2, IRL support: 0

This is long, I'm very sorry, I guess I had stuff to get off my chest. I hope you'll stick with me.

I've dabbled in vegetarianism for a long time. Went through a vegan phase in my 20's. (I'm now in my 40's) I have a fierce love for animals and hate for how they are treated. I've educated myself some on it, binged the documentaries, etc. I'd say I comfortably became about 90% vegetarian and cut out milk for several years now. My hold out was that I didn't mind eating meat if I knew it came from a source that didn't torture their animals. I know there are also health benefits but that hadn't been a major factor for me. I started getting especially bothered about chickens and eggs, I saw the videos/footage, cut out chicken all together & if I bought eggs I made sure they came from the super expensive brands that guarantee happy free hens laid them. This was working ok for me, I called myself a "picky meat-arian" for my eating choices as a joke but discovered there is a legit term "flexitarian: a person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish." It basically goes on to mean that a flexitarian eats or does not eat according to what they are compelled to.

The turning point came when I was with my mother and she was buying milk. I offhandedly remarked "Milk is bad for you" she says, why? I was a little taken aback, surely that can't be a complete surprise. I told her I'd put together some information for her and get back to her. As I was researching how to support my statement to persuade my mother I started persuading myself instead. Why was I still eating other dairy when it's all bad for you and comes from tortured cows? That's when I decided to make a better effort and wanted to try eating vegan for one week. I figured that was a short attainable goal. Maybe I'd feel better physically, maybe I'd lose some weight and definitely I'd feel better about not eating suffering animals & their products. If it went well I'd continue with it. I planned out some meals, bought groceries & told people of my plan.
I found out I have no support whatsoever. Ironically the person who is the least supportive, my mother, is the one who unknowingly started me doing this. She thinks meat and dairy is healthy, a necessity(her Dad was a butcher), tells me I won't get my nutrients but I've challenged her on that, she keeps calling my food "vay-gun" on purpose she even told me so. My Dad, shortly after being told, offered me some chicken salad stating I could just pick the chicken out. My best friend who's obsessed with cheese and bacon un-invited me to dinner after I told her b/c she said she wouldn't be able to deal with that. My other best friend who's a vegetarian, the one person I thought would understand and support me, has said absolutely nothing after several of my texts about what I was doing.

So I'm doing this alone. It's a struggle as it is, I have so many questions and doubts so I hope to get the support I need here instead.
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Last edited by BlueShells; 10-02-2017 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Grammar is our friend.
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#2 Old 10-02-2017, 03:05 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
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Hi. I hope you are well. Congrats on making reductions and trying veganism. You are right to do what you do. Trust me, history is on your side. I have thought this over and done so much research on it, reading books, articles, debating on forums and the arguments for veganism (whether mostly vegan or strict veganism) are overwhelming, especially the ethical arguments, and the defences of meat eating so poor. Keep educating yourself, learning more, reading books, going online, watching movies, whatever it is that you do, and you will become only more and more confident that you are right.

I can remember writing to a friend over a year ago to explain about what I was doing, and I got no response, and have not heard from him since. It can be dispiriting.

However, you do seem to be in a more lonely situation than me. While I have no vegetarians or vegans in my closest family, they are more accepting at least.

You need to understand that people will take what you are doing as an implied criticism of them, whether you intend it that way or not. People need time to adjust in my experience. Avoid directly criticising them and don't bring the subject up too much at first.

If someone asking you to pick out the chicken upsets/bothers you (which of course it probably does!) you need to address it and politely explain that you prefer not to have to do that.

To deal with your friend who de-invited you, you could say that you understand that you won't come, and suggest that you bring your own food for future invites so that they don't have to prepare special food for you. Eventually he/she may come around a bit more.

To your other best friend, I suggest if they don't answer the texts, you pick up the phone and talk to them after a while, or go and see them face to face, but about something else. Wait for them to mention the veganism which they probably will and if they don't you can leave it until another time when it comes up.

These are just suggestions and I hope they are good ones but these are always difficult calls so please consider carefully if they are right for you. I don't know you or your friends so they may not be good suggestions. Good luck!
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#3 Old 10-02-2017, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 3
Thanks I appreciate your feedback. Regarding my friend and the dinner, I was puzzled why that would be a problem, I told her I could supplement my own things like cheese & there were a lot of things I could eat. I think people hear the word and get freaked out. Funny thing is her daughter is vegetarian and was briefly vegan so it shouldn't be that difficult for her.
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#4 Old 10-03-2017, 11:38 AM
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Maybe things will get better with time. My niece in law was telling me about 2 months ago that she can't go vegetarian because her Mom won't allow it and fast forward a month and now she has been vegetarian for I think about about a month so farand her Mom has accepted it now and bought her veggie burgers.
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#5 Old 10-04-2017, 03:32 PM
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Location: California, USA
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It's been 10 years and I think it's finally sunk in for everyone that this has been a permanent change for me. I don't blame them. I can be fickle in a lot of things. Fortunately, this hasn't been one of them. I think that when I started my vegan food picture blog that was the turning point. Everyone I know followed it, and it helped them visualize what I was actually eating, and everything looked appetizing.

I tried going vegetarian a few times in my 20s and my grandmother has openly hostile. I couldn't help but laugh, and that would upset her even more. She lived in Texas. She asked me what I was going to eat if I wasn't going to eat meat. You're supposed to put meat on everything in Texas. I said spaghetti. She made it... which was nice of her... but then put two pounds of ground beef in the sauce. I told her when she bought the meat that I wouldn't eat it, then I told her again as she was frying it, then again when she put it on the table. Then she started to cry, saying that I would tell my parents that she was trying to starve me and none of the grandchildren would be allowed to visit her ever again. She was something.

One time, she asked me to drive her to Popeye's fried chicken, which I did. She didn't want to go through the drive up, which was unusual. She was 90 years old at this point and needed help walking, but she insisted we go inside to order. When we got inside I understood why. She thought that if I smelled the fried chicken and saw all the pictures of the different meals on the menu, that would convert me back to eating meat.

Then we got to the cash register and she was reading the menu to me. There was a growing line behind us. I kept telling her there wasn't anything on the menu I would eat and she should order whatever she wanted. She kept at it, "If you put the chicken on a biscuit with some coleslaw, you won't know the chicken is there." It took me a bit to realize she had no intention of ordering anything for herself. The trip to Popeye's was a spur of the moment missionary trip to get me to convert back to meat. I apologized to the cashier, took her arm and guided her back to the car. It was inconceivable to her that someone would voluntarily not eat meat.

I relate to family members not being supportive.
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#6 Old 10-05-2017, 01:42 PM
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Very interesting post, thank you for sharing your experiences.
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