Loved ones who try vegetarianism and quit or never try it at all - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 06-29-2012, 08:21 PM
 
blakeln's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2

I NEED some advice for how to deal with people you love trying out vegetarianism then quitting (or never trying it at all). I became a vegetarian 7 years ago when I was 11 and a vegan about a year ago and (obviously) my life is completely changed for the better because of these decisions. The only thing is, especially when I became vegan, I became SOOOO passionate about it as I'm sure a lot of us have experienced. But it's been getting to a point that I think may possibly be affecting my relationships with some of my friends and family.

 

Because veganism is so awesome and healthy and eyeopening and just overall liberating, I really want my friends and family to share this with me. I would present the idea in such a way that was not preachy or so I'd like to think, but really showed my general investment in their own happiness. Lately, some of my loved ones have made the decision to try out vegetarianism because they are inspired and feel motivated! Such as my mom, my good friend, and my little 7 year old sister. When this happened I was soo happy for them.

 

What has ended up happening with some of them though, with the 3 people I just mentioned in particular, is that they tried out vegetarianism and then some months or some weeks later they lost their motivation, their finding it inconvenient, the friend and I lose contact, some of their friends and family make fun of them, etc, and they stop vegetarianism completely with the idea "Okay, I can say I tried it now." 

 

And then, here's the problem... instead of being respectful of their opinion and their views (which I know is the right way to go), I get SO DAMN MAD. Like, when I hear the news, either primarily or secondarily, I feel my blood start to boil and I get really down because I start having thoughts like "How could they? Do they know how harmful that is?? Who convinced them to change?? Do they even care about animals at all? I can't believe they saw the light and now they don't! Do they realize this could stop them from being fat?"  and you can imagine some other things I was thinking, some things pretty cruel. And then I feel like I failed. I feel like I didn't correctly spread the word of veganism. I take PERSONAL OFFENSE to it. Sometimes this makes me want to not see them anymore, or throw all the meat out of the fridge out of resentment. I know, crazy and psychotic right?? (I never did these radical things but I thought about them which is a problem in itself.)  

 

Why might I be taking such personal offense to this? I know that anger and resentment is never the right way to spread a peaceful idea. So does anyone have any tips for how I might deal with situations like that in the future? I still wish they would share that diet with me. And I still feel resentment and anger when I look in my mom and sibling's refrigerator and I see hot dogs, chicken wings, bacon, etc and sometimes it just makes me sick.

 

And does anyone have any tips on how to present veganism/vegetarianism to a loved one or a friend just in general?

I appreciate it, thanks everyone.

blakeln is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 06-30-2012, 02:53 AM
Super Moderator
 
Werewolf Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 14,328
Aww, I know how frustrating it can be when the people you care about don't get on board and go veg*n even when you're so passionate about it hug.gif

This just reminds me of that old expression, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. In the end you can suggest things to people, but you're really only in control of your own actions.

For a lot of people changing all at once can be hard, I think it's great that your family/friends were willing to give it a shot at least. Don't give up on them, keep leading by example and be ready to offer advice if they ask. Over time they may decide to try it again and find it sticks. You're a positive influence in their lives and you're proof that vegans can be healthy and happy, that's a great thing smiley.gif

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
Werewolf Girl is offline  
#3 Old 06-30-2012, 05:42 AM
gherkin
 
Blobbenstein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 3,664
Someone posted this on this forum a few years ago:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010847

apparently vegetarians have different types of brains to omnivores. Vegetarians react differently to images of animals being hurt.

So you may never change the eating habits of some people.


Perhaps it isn't completely their fault. They just have faulty brains.grin.gif

Blobbenstein is online now  
#4 Old 07-01-2012, 02:15 PM
 
itwasatrickpie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cardiff, UK
Posts: 8

I wonder if people who stick with veg*nism tend to be those who feel they discovered/decided it for themselves based purely on the ethics, without any element of social pressure.  (Which means you have to be quite cunning when trying to influence friends & family)

 

I was listening to a vegan podcast recently - either Red Radio or Collen Patrick Goudreau - where a woman was convinced to resume eating meat by a doctor after a spell of bad health, and painted a colourful picture of her eating her first chunk of beef in a few years, sobbing, surrounded by her encouraging family. Then it turned out she had largely gone veggie under a mix of social pressure/inspiration from an activist friend, in a way not too dissimilar to how she was convinced to resume eating meat by her doctor.  It rang true that life decisions made under social pressure tend to be more transitory than those made based on principle, and some people are more easily led than others. Though I'm naturally stubborn and tend to resist doing anything under social pressure!

 

I'm not inclined to think that some people simply have less capacity to make ethical decisions based on their response to the idea of veg*nism alone.  I think we all have many battles to face in life, some ethical, some just about getting by in the world, and we all pick our battles.  I became concerned with the environment at an early age and this has shaped my life since, but there are people who work hard and make sacrifices for other ethical and social issues who I don't think any less of for being meat eaters.  No-one has the capacity to mentally engage with and act on every horror that accosts them in life.

 

You've saved some lives and helped the environment even if they only briefly went veggie, you've introduced them to the idea which may grow on them, you've done it with minimum pressure, there really is nothing more you can do!  Letting it diminish your friendship will not help any animals, or either of your happiness. I think unhappy people are less inclined to make ethical decisions as well - the fewer life battles you face the more mental energy you have to engage with ethical battles. smiley.gif

itwasatrickpie is offline  
#5 Old 07-05-2012, 12:20 PM
 
LadyMetal87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 186

It is frustrating when you try to educate people. Take my dad for instance, I try and tell him about dairy and why I don't have it, but he never believes me when I tell him about how cows only produce milk when they have calves.

 

It does make me angry and affect our relationship, because I see it as plain ignorance. I understand how you feel


Nothing is more sexy than compassion
LadyMetal87 is offline  
#6 Old 07-05-2012, 01:49 PM
 
Bright Bird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 642

It can be pretty difficult.

 

I have some relatives and friends who seem like they'd be perfect for living a veg*n lifestyle, but for some reason or other, decide not to. One of them has told me before how much he wishes he could live a truly peaceful life. Kindness towards all things, just to live and let live. Most of the time, he practices this, even taking the time to move bugs off the sidewalk so they won't get stepped on. At the same time, when I offer him something vegan that I've made he'll just shake his head and say that he couldn't do without bacon.

It's baffling.

 

I've also known some people close to me who were trying out a vegan diet and had been asking me for recipes and meal ideas. At one point, they asked me why I made the decision to go vegan. I tried to share a few of the things that really inspired me to make that choice: compassion, a desire to live a kinder life, and some of the more eye-opening things, such as Earthlings. The reply I got left me feeling a little floored.

"Yeah, it's mean. I know all that. I meant a real reason."


"[-]But caging them, killing them, eating them was unthinkable. We were creatures of the same world."
-Animorphs, #18

Bright Bird is offline  
#7 Old 07-05-2012, 01:57 PM
Super Moderator
 
Werewolf Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 14,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright Bird View Post

It can be pretty difficult.

I have some relatives and friends who seem like they'd be perfect for living a veg*n lifestyle, but for some reason or other, decide not to. One of them has told me before how much he wishes he could live a truly peaceful life. Kindness towards all things, just to live and let live. Most of the time, he practices this, even taking the time to move bugs off the sidewalk so they won't get stepped on. At the same time, when I offer him something vegan that I've made he'll just shake his head and say that he couldn't do without bacon.
It's baffling.

I've also known some people close to me who were trying out a vegan diet and had been asking me for recipes and meal ideas. At one point, they asked me why I made the decision to go vegan. I tried to share a few of the things that really inspired me to make that choice: compassion, a desire to live a kinder life, and some of the more eye-opening things, such as Earthlings. The reply I got left me feeling a little floored.
"Yeah, it's mean. I know all that. I meant a real reason."

People can be so selfish and apathetic, it blows my mind dizzy2.gif

At least not everyone is like that, yeesh.

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
Werewolf Girl is offline  
#8 Old 07-17-2012, 11:40 AM
 
Jorjor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: California
Posts: 326

Unofortunately not much you can do. Keep in mind theres nothing more off-putting to a omni than a pushy veg•n.  If anything, nagging it will push them away from veg*nsim rather than draw them to it, So who knows, they rekindle their interest, but getting upset about it won't do much. People will do what they want to do and you really have no control over that.

Jorjor is offline  
#9 Old 07-18-2012, 04:58 PM
Zelda Freak
 
Jennifer C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Rainy Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

Someone posted this on this forum a few years ago:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010847
apparently vegetarians have different types of brains to omnivores. Vegetarians react differently to images of animals being hurt.
So you may never change the eating habits of some people.
Perhaps it isn't completely their fault. They just have faulty brains.grin.gif

Wow, what an interesting study. Thanks for posting it. 

 

As for people not going veg - I pretty much ignore it, because there's no way around it. My brother and sister, my two closest family members, have never even tried to go vegetarian, even though our mom raised us vegetarian on and off. Both siblings (and all my other family members, minus my son) are meat eaters and it's a little annoying because they'll post pictures of steaks on Facebook. But, it's not like I can un-friend my siblings. 

 

I doubt anyone in my family will ever quit eating meat, no matter what I say. Still, my family does respect my choice, which makes it easier to deal. Like if I go to dinner at my brother's he'll cook meat sure, for everyone else, but make an extra vegetarian something for me. At big family gatherings everyone but my son and me are eating meat, but also, again, there's always food for us to eat. I don't nag them about meat because they don't nag me about vegetarian food. 

 

Sometimes I do kind of daydream about what it would be like if everyone in my family was veg though - that would be pretty cool.


~ Jennifer
 
* Find VeggieBoards: FacebookTwitter + Pinterest
* Find me: Twitter + Facebook + Pinterest
Jennifer C is offline  
#10 Old 07-22-2012, 02:13 PM
 
Patty J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Federal Way, WA
Posts: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

Someone posted this on this forum a few years ago:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010847
apparently vegetarians have different types of brains to omnivores. Vegetarians react differently to images of animals being hurt.
So you may never change the eating habits of some people.
Perhaps it isn't completely their fault. They just have faulty brains.grin.gif

 



This makes me feel a little better. I've been feeling like a complete failure because both of my kids are eating meat again. My daughter decided to become a vegetarian when she was 6. After she moved out (the first time) she went pescatarian. Now she'll even eat things with chicken or beef broth. I tried to get her to watch Earthlings and she flat out refused. My son was 4 when he chose to be a vegetarian. By junior high he was eating meat again. I did get him to watch Earthlings (he's now 24) and his response was, "You've given me some things to think about, but basically the film is just an emotional argument - those don't work on me." .....

 

"Just an emotional argument" ???? PROOF that animals are being tortured is "just an emotional argument' ??? WTF ???

Patty J is offline  
#11 Old 07-22-2012, 02:32 PM
I ♥ Vegan Guys ◕‿◕
 
4everaspirit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

Someone posted this on this forum a few years ago:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010847
apparently vegetarians have different types of brains to omnivores. Vegetarians react differently to images of animals being hurt.
So you may never change the eating habits of some people.
Perhaps it isn't completely their fault. They just have faulty brains.grin.gif

 When I was younger, I was okay, though not thrilled with (I knew in the back of my mind that something was off) with sending a cow to slaughter. It took a friend to show me the "real" animal cruelty videos of what goes on behind the slaughter to really understand and have an emotional break down. I wouldn't say people who are apathetic to animals can't become so. I used to stomp on bees when was younger. I got enjoyment out of it too. Veganism changed me. Now I wouldn't dare to do such a thing to a beautiful being of life. Though, I'm sure, for some people, they simply won't ever care or be open to caring.

 

@ patty j...wow o.O You'd think the emotional argument would be enough. Maybe he's possibly in denial?? I can't imagine someone watching earthlings and not even having a second thought. Maybe he needs to experience what it's like to be on the other end of the stick in some situation for once? Most people that have been through tough things have an easy time sympathizing with those who gone through similar tough things.


"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
4everaspirit is offline  
#12 Old 07-22-2012, 02:46 PM
I ♥ Vegan Guys ◕‿◕
 
4everaspirit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,173

I think I have tended to find, that everyone who knows me, simply refuses to go vegan, almost on instinct o.O. I dunno, they want to know why I'm vegan. I give them all the good stuff, pamphlets, videos, my experience, take them to vegfests, but they refuse to even try it @_______@. I have a relative who is slightly interested in animal concerns and asked me why I was vegan. I briefly told her and she told me she understood as it had been talked about at college classes and one of her instructors was a vegetarian too who liked to talk about animal concerns. I gave her tons of info that she could look through because I thought that maybe learning it for herself would have a better impact than me just telling her all the details.

 

Needless to say, she had no problem ordering meat at restaurants afterwards. Then again, I think she hadn't read all the information yet. She better read it, because I didn't give out all my good stuff for nothing. @_@

 

I think the farther people are from me, the more open the are to going vegan O_____O I think people's mindset that know me is that "oh, she's vegan. I don't want to turn out like her because then it would show that she influenced me." *sigh* :'(


"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
4everaspirit is offline  
#13 Old 07-22-2012, 02:53 PM
 
runnerveggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,555
We really can't expect to change anyone's behavior until they are ready to do so. Any of you have loved ones who smoke, drink too much alcohol, are sedentary, or eat unhealthily? How effective is it to harp on these things? I can tell you from personal experience that you can't get someone to quit smoking until they decide they are ready. And those are behaviors that are actually detrimental to the person themselves, unlike eating animal products (at least in moderate amounts).

You'll have to decide for yourself how vocal you want to be about your ethics, but you will save yourself a lot of frustration if you drop the expectation that anyone is going to change because of your actions. Accept the people you love as being imperfect, and continue to be a source of information and inspiration to those who might become interested in change.
runnerveggie is online now  
#14 Old 07-22-2012, 03:08 PM
I ♥ Vegan Guys ◕‿◕
 
4everaspirit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

We really can't expect to change anyone's behavior until they are ready to do so. Any of you have loved ones who smoke, drink too much alcohol, are sedentary, or eat unhealthily? How effective is it to harp on these things? I can tell you from personal experience that you can't get someone to quit smoking until they decide they are ready. And those are behaviors that are actually detrimental to the person themselves, unlike eating animal products (at least in moderate amounts).
You'll have to decide for yourself how vocal you want to be about your ethics, but you will save yourself a lot of frustration if you drop the expectation that anyone is going to change because of your actions. Accept the people you love as being imperfect, and continue to be a source of information and inspiration to those who might become interested in change.

 

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” This is similar to what I live by.  I'm not going to not be vocal about veganism because the animals don't have a choice in having their throats slit and their skin being scalded with burning water, but people do have the choice to live a more compassionate lifestyle.

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
4everaspirit is offline  
#15 Old 07-22-2012, 03:43 PM
 
runnerveggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4everaspirit View Post

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” This is similar to what I live by.  I'm not going to not be vocal about veganism because the animals don't have a choice in having their throats slit and their skin being scalded with burning water, but people do have the choice to live a more compassionate lifestyle.


It's your choice if you want to be preachy and alienate yourself from all your friends and family. I don't think that is what your quote is emphasizing. If you treat people as they could be, wouldn't that mean respect and compassion? Not judgement and criticism. How successful has your strategy been?

I prefer to be more subtle - bring delicious vegan food, emphasize that it's easy and healthy to eat vegan when it comes up. I am not shy about the fact that animals suffer and that they should not have to die for my food, but I don't bring it up over Thanksgiving dinner. It's a shame that most people have this habit of seeing food animals as things rather than beings so ingrained that it is very difficult to change both thoughts and actions.
runnerveggie is online now  
#16 Old 07-22-2012, 03:53 PM
I ♥ Vegan Guys ◕‿◕
 
4everaspirit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post


It's your choice if you want to be preachy and alienate yourself from all your friends and family. I don't think that is what your quote is emphasizing. If you treat people as they could be, wouldn't that mean respect and compassion? Not judgement and criticism. How successful has your strategy been?
I prefer to be more subtle - bring delicious vegan food, emphasize that it's easy and healthy to eat vegan when it comes up. I am not shy about the fact that animals suffer and that they should not have to die for my food, but I don't bring it up over Thanksgiving dinner. It's a shame that most people have this habit of seeing food animals as things rather than beings so ingrained that it is very difficult to change both thoughts and actions.


I think you are unfairly being judgemental and criticizing me. I think you may have a false idea of how I act. Simply me being vocal does not mean I'm alienating anyone. I may be preachy but I try to do it positively. I DO treat others with respect. I never call anyone a murderer or or tell them they they are apathetic towards animals. I don't bring stuff up over dinner and if someone asks me over dinner I tell them I will let them know afterward.  I'm pretty subtle, but I can be vocal is someone gets me going. You have your own way of approaching situations, I have mine, though it's similar to yours. Either way, it doesn't mean different approaches can't work. I simply stated my experiences with people around me and family members. Is that so bad?

 

I have experimented with only mentioning it once and never again, like that relative I gave my info too, and my friends who hear it from me quite a lot. Neither situation has won over anyone, so maybe it's just the people and their own ways of life. I can make a biased judgement and say the same thing about your approach. Maybe you need to be more vocal and not sugar coat (though I pretty much sugar coat quite a bit). How successful has your strategy been, hmm?

 

Let's not quarrel over minor differences in ways of approachment (it could just be the people blank.gif).


"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
4everaspirit is offline  
#17 Old 07-22-2012, 08:10 PM
 
runnerveggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,555
I have been getting tired of your argumentative replies every time I suggest compromise or a more restrained approach. If I misunderstood your meaning, it was because of persistent contrariness. You didn't actually describe your approach initially, which now does sound reasonable and not so different from mine. You just said you refuse to keep quiet due to the suffering of the animals, leaving me to think that you might be preachy and obnoxious.

I'm not sure why you were so contrary regarding my first post - I never told anyone to keep quiet. I just think it will help with the OP's frustration if they stop expecting people to change.
runnerveggie is online now  
#18 Old 07-22-2012, 08:50 PM
I ♥ Vegan Guys ◕‿◕
 
4everaspirit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

I have been getting tired of your argumentative replies every time I suggest compromise or a more restrained approach. If I misunderstood your meaning, it was because of persistent contrariness. You didn't actually describe your approach initially, which now does sound reasonable and not so different from mine. You just said you refuse to keep quiet due to the suffering of the animals, leaving me to think that you might be preachy and obnoxious.
I'm not sure why you were so contrary regarding my first post - I never told anyone to keep quiet. I just think it will help with the OP's frustration if they stop expecting people to change.


I get tired of feeling like you are on a high horse always trying to make jabs at others' lives but not reflecting on your own. Now, if I'm wrong about what I say, and you aren't like that I apologize. I also apologize if I did not come across clearly and that caused a bit of misunderstanding. But I also get tired of having to super clarify myself because it seems people like to make others the worst out of their words, even if it's far fetched, leading to why I believe some have a superiority complex going on with wanting to feel like they are the better person, and hence why I get a bit testy. There was probably misunderstanding on both parts. Let's agree to disagree if we can't come to a census and move on.~

 

And yes, frustration would subside if the op stopped expecting people to change, however, sometimes having expectations for people can make them want to live up to them. (I know that happens to me sometimes with other people) Though I have found that less and less common with our "I'll do what I want" society.


"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
4everaspirit is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off