My parents are 'almost vegetarian'* themselves, so it wasn't difficult for me to switch, and my mother pretty much stopped cooking meats in dinner altogether. Even thanksgiving was turkey-free (although it was much easier to pull off since family was all out-of-state)!
I never got a speech or an awkward discussion about it like most seem to, and ultimately my parents are very supportive, and both recognized I was making a moral decision, and wasn't hopping into some poorly planned fad diet or joining some cult. In fact, I really honestly credit my mother and her teaching me to be aware of the way we treat animals for my conversion in the first place. She's a very kindhearted woman and I am proud to say I take after her in a lot of ways (not to imply my father isn't just as great of course). They also accept that I'm atheist as well, and they're so open-minded and even-tempered about things I almost find it a pity I'm also not gay. :/
That was a joke, insistently, so don't be offended. Besides, they really would be amazing and supportive parents for a gay child. I also really need to find a better word than 'conversion'. Sounds a little cult-like. Anywho:
My friends are a different story. While none of them are abrasive about it (well, none of 'my' friends, anyway. My wife's bunch of 'my-friends-by-default' aren't as nice about the issue), but the closest thing to a veg*n friend is a great buddy of mine who actually went from hardcore 'carnivore' to pescatarian. I've had both my closest friends essentially say "Never in a million years." Being that I don't associate with unintelligent people, this makes things exceptionally frustrating. Nutrition isn't exactly Rocket Surgery.
I didn't even *work* with one, and I worked in a vet with a strong animal rescue record. I did unintentionally guilt the local animal rescue coordinator (back) into it...
If I were a spiritual man, I'd figure this was Karma, though. In High School I was an adamant omni and convinced a friend of mine, who was raised a veggie, to try a ham sandwich. (Please don't hate me too much for that, since part of it was encouraging him to seek new experiences outside of what his overbearing and overstrict hyper religious family had in store. It was a symbolic ham sandwich!)
*=What I mean by "almost vegetarian" is that is that growing up, while we did eat meat it wasn't at every meal, and wasn't typically the focus of the dish. Most of our meat came from fast food or some other restaurant (we did eat out a LOT though, faaaar more than we ever should if only for economic reasons). So they were (and still are, sadly) not vegetarian, but the vast majority of their diet is vegetable-based.
"I've seen a monkey evolve into a man,
I've seen a man devolve into a monkey,
I've seen a junkie redeem himself with help, and
I've seen a wealthy man melt into the snow and blow his credit on a decongestant."
- Sage Francis