If you're asking what attitude is most positive, or what reasons to give are most inclusive and positive to the person receiving them, then my answers would be as follows. Each of the answers incorporates an "I'm doing this for myself" attitude which takes away the "You're an evil omnivore, I can't believe you step on animals" attitude.
- "I need to be vegan right now because I've recognized that respecting animals is a huge part of who I am, it's a part of my identity I'm discovering that I want to nourish... because I like that part of who I am and want it to grow."
- "I'm being vegan because it's important to me, I really care about animals. And I'm not knocking you guys, I just want you also not to knock me just because I think this is important. I need to do this because I don't feel good about me unless I do this, and it's important that I respect myself. And don't forget that I respect you to, even if I don't eat what you eat."
- "I don't eat animal products because of personal philosophical beliefs [or say religious beliefs]." - most people in a business environment won't go past that if religion or belief system is involved
(4)eating out with non-vegetarian friends,
- ahead of time you should make certain that where you're going will have options for you, or if you're okay eating before or after, drag them to somewhere you can eat while they wait for you after you've waited for them. Don't back down from how important this is to you. Being positive isn't about being disrespectful to yourself.
- this person should be told all the reasons, even the ones that sound hateful of others, of why you need to be vegan. It should be stressed that it isn't necessary for them to change who they are, but you do need to honor who you are as well. They should feel assured by the fact that you're married and that you love them so much that they aren't hated that they are just hearing your least rational thoughts because you want to share everything with them.
- Leave the topic of vegetarianism alone unless the conversation involves diet, food, animals, farming, etc. As you talk more and more about yourself, include that as one of the important parts of yourself. Don't figuratively wear a vegan button on your sleeve as if that's the most important thing in the world to you... because if it is the most important thing in the world to you, you may need to reevaluate your life--even people who helped free slaves in the South defined their own lives as being defined as including more than that.
- You should never say anything about your vegetarianism or veganism until after you are hired. It is important that being vegetarian not become a stigma upon a person or have the effect of casting us as a minority. When you are at work, make certain it becomes known that you are vegetarian or vegan and politely make certain that it is not forgotten at employee dinners, holiday events at work, or potlucks. And if it is forgotten, act like a professional and remind whoever is responsible for the food that you need to be given food that you can eat given your personal beliefs (or religious)... then don't eat what they gave you--they'll remember next time that you wouldn't eat because nothing was provided for you. Stay professional and don't hold grudges, try to keep a smile on your face.
- this is a very up in the air issue for me. For me, culture and respecting indigenous or native food traditions is of equal importance to me as the rights of humans or animals, it's two rights which collide in the instant of travelling to another country or region and being a stranger. I think strangers should respect their neighbors' customs. I feel very "Star Trek" about that. Even though Star Trek took place in a completely vegan society, they honored the traditions of the cultures they came across even if they didn't agree with them morally. I feel much kinship with the ethics of Star Trek, I wish they would write a book about its ethics.
- to answer the question, though, given my issue I would eat what I was given if there were no choices but take the most vegetarian choice if there were (this even includes human if I'm in a cannibal culture). Keep in mind that I wouldn't be eating at McDonalds or some fast food joint where I could get a salad if I was traveling. I would be in the heart of a people's home in some small village or historical city or such, knocking on people's door with a bottle of wine in exchange for a story.
- if you didn't have my issue, then you could say (hopefully you know the language), "I am allergic to meat and to milk and to eggs and to fish. If you have vegetables or pasta or beans or grains, I can certainly eat that, but my allergies prevent me from eating meat, milk, eggs, or fish." I would print that on a card in the local language and take it to every restaurant I ever ate in... making certain that the server took the card back to the chef so she or he could read it for her or himself. The card is very important. Perhaps have two cards, an "ALLERGY" card with foods you can't eat, and a "NOT ALLERGIC" card that has many foods you can eat.
(9) people who needle you about being vegetarian and won't stop
- This gets back to what I said before. Don't back down from how important this is to you. Being positive isn't about being disrespectful to yourself. If someone is verbally needling you about your personal beliefs, whatever they might be; if they are trying to disabuse you of your beliefs, then you turn around and you give them everything you've got. You give it with a smile and give it straight, not exaggerating, not lying, all the reasons you have for being the kind of vegetarian you are. And then you ask them, "Given that I know why I'm a vegetarian, and given that I don't insult you or your ethics, will you please stop insulting mine by belittling me?" Make certain they answer you. Depending on their answer and who you are as a person, respond as you will after that.