Family/friends support - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-21-2008, 05:44 PM
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I was wondering how do your friends and family react to the fact that you're vegetarian?

I'm actually really lucky. Although no one in my family is a vegetarian they all enjoy vegetarian food and like to eat healthy. My sister eats mostly vegetarian food just because she likes it so much (she actually used to cry when my mom fed her soup when she was little because my mom wouldn't feed her fast enough).

Also my mom is really sweet about what I want to eat. Since I don't live at home anymore (moved away for college) whenever I go visit she calls me several times to know what I want to eat and to make sure she makes all my favorite meals. She just likes to pamper me

What about you?
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#2 Old 09-21-2008, 07:08 PM
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your mom does sound really sweet. it's nice when the family is accepting. i'm lucky too, i think. when my kids cook for me, they go out of their way to make sure i get veg food, and will either eat veg or make a whole separate pot of something for me. my hubby had a hard time at the beginning, because suddenly we couldn't just walk into any restaurant, never mind share our food. but he is great now, and will call ahead, special order for me, etc. as for my friends, they are all supportive, but some probably think i am a bit of a pita to eat out with when it is a shared meal.

"Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity." Â George Carlin
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#3 Old 09-21-2008, 07:52 PM
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Seriously, none with my family. My brother is understanding, but my parents - otherwise lovely people - *still* give me s*** for being a vegetarian after 2 1/2 years!!!!!!!!! I see them fairly often, and go over for a weekend at least twice in a month and I'm guaranteed to get a lecture about how I'm being stupid and how it's going to do nothing for my weight (FACT: I've never weighed more), etc. etc. It drives me nuts. I think they're finally letting 'sleeping dogs lie' when it comes to this, but they couldn't have been more unsupportive if they tried (actually, I'm sure that's not true). I'm guessing cultural background has something to do with it as they're from the Balkans (but then again, so am I) and I'd venture to guess that veg*ns constitute .001% of the population there, and that would be the Christian Orthodox monks.

My SO is veg*n (hey - she converted me), so that's very, very good. Most friends are accepting & not obnoxious, few are veg*n themselves, but my best friend is a pretty big jerk about it.
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#4 Old 09-21-2008, 08:07 PM
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I got lucky too. My parents are really supportive. My dad is retired from the Army and he has access to the commissary and they have the best prices on the vegetarian foods and he always picks stuff up for me and brings it to me since I'm too old to still go on base
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#5 Old 09-21-2008, 08:25 PM
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I'm lucky, as well. And I have to say, I feel very sympathetic to those who don't have anyone, or barely anyone, to support them. I imagine it must be hard at times. :/

My mom buys be special foods, vegetarian/vegan food stuffs. And my sister's don't really 'care'. It doesn't make any difference to them, really. It's my way of life, and they have their own way of life. My family doesn't eat a lot of meat to begin with, so it's not really different. I usually have a different meal than my family, or mine will be 'safe', while they have meat in theirs.

And my outside family, some of them forget sometimes, though I've been a veggie for 10 years. x_x

But it's different to them. So I guess I understand, but, eh. x3

(I feel I said 'different' a lot in there. xD)

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#6 Old 09-21-2008, 08:44 PM
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I think that's why we are on here right! Support! And it's great to talk w/ people w/ the same passion!

My sister actually decided to go veg with it's been awesome while I've been home for the summer to have someone to talk about it with, go grocery shopping with and so forth. I've heard the jokes and all that from other people, at work and what not, but it doesn't bother me. It does get old though with my parents....Dad will be eating steak and have to proclaim "MMMM this is SO good"....EVery meal. Not cool. And when I eat at their house, they're not accomidating so to speak. (you can pick it out right? NO. I CANT.)
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#7 Old 09-21-2008, 09:23 PM
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yea it's good to get support here, but I have had people be rude and nasty too. Especially when going out with a group of people and trying to find a place we can eat I always get the it's not my fault you don't eat meat and yadda yadda yadda. Or when you haven't seen people in a while and they give you the look and ask if you were still vegetarian. The funniest is don't you wish you can eat this!!! I laugh because it's not that I can't eat it I just choose not to!!
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#8 Old 09-21-2008, 09:29 PM
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My mum is really supportive but the rest of my family are indifferent.
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#9 Old 09-21-2008, 09:35 PM
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My mom was not supportive in the beginning. She thought I was being foolish, and while she somewhat supported cutting back on meat, she didn't support cutting it out of my diet completely. It was actually pretty difficult for a while.

I've been a vegetarian for just over 2 years. My sister is 14 and became a vegetarian shortly after I did.

Now my mom only cooks vegetarian meals, and the only time she eats meat is if we're with family and she feels pressured to eat something they made. If we're at a restaurant she always orders a veg*n meal.

My extended family is not very supportive. My Grandma asked my sister the following when she refused to eat pea soup that had ham in it: "God says it's okay to eat meat. You don't think you're smarter than God, do you??"

My mom is anemic and my aunt said "I wish you'd eat red meat..."

The only part my mom and I disagree on now is dairy. She thinks it's very necessary. She'll say things like "I need my dairy!" as she pours a glass of milk. I say "No, what you need is calcium. Vitamin D. Not milk from a cow. That's gross."
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#10 Old 09-21-2008, 10:18 PM
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My sister was pretty supportive of it, my mom was fairly supportive, and my dad couldn't have cared less (though he does the 'mmmm, meat' thing a lot). My best friend is Russian, and it was beyond her comprehension (though she's accepted it now). As for the extended family, they tease me a bit but they don't really have a problem with it. And my grandma was really upset because my cousin went vegan a few years ago and got really sick from poor nutrition (she ate almost nothing the whole time and what she did eat wasn't healthy). So she was convinced that the same thing would happen to me! But my mom stepped in every time she said it (until she finally accepted it) to say, "Oh god, mom, you know Claire! She looks up everything! There's NO way she would have done this without reading about it for weeks. Don't worry!" That made me happy! The one thing my mom wasn't supportive of was when I said I planned to go vegan. Though I can't eat dairy anymore anyway, so really it's only eggs and honey... but being vegan didn't work out when I moved to Japan anyway 'cause I can't, uh, read anything...

As for people in Japan, my supervisor at work has been really good about it - making sure I know what snacks have what in them, making sure I'm not served school lunch, etc. And the other English speakers teaching in this area always help find something I can eat when we go out (since my Japanese is almost nonexistant).
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#11 Old 09-22-2008, 04:04 PM
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I'm very lucky. My family has been very supportive. But I'm wondering how they will react at Thanksgiving this year. My husband and I always host it and this will be the first year there is no turkey. Should be interesting! My dad supports me all the way, but he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Oh well, no dead birds allowed on my table.
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#12 Old 09-22-2008, 04:35 PM
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My family is supportive of me wanting to eat healthier and to treat animals nicer. They are not supportive of my sympathy with AR. They'll listen when I talk about hormones in factory-farmed meat, and they'll listen when I talk about the horrific methods in most factory farms, but if I say anything remotely close to "All meat consumption contributes to animal suffering" they shut me out. They may even get mad.

*shrugs* It's kind of the opposite when I talk with my sister who is a vegetarian. She's a junk-food and convenience-food-atarian. I can talk all the AR I want with her, but say anything like "If you cooked this in your kitchen, it would be tasty and healthy" and she'll snort and remind me she doesn't cook and doesn't care how healthy it is.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#13 Old 09-22-2008, 05:32 PM
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My family is NOT supportive. Or I should say my immediate family, anyway. My mom HATES the fact that I no longer eat animal flesh. My brother mocks me at EVERY meal. Luckily, I live an hour away from them at college, and I rarely go home. My grandma, whom I spend much of my time at home with, thought it was weird/strange at first, but she loves learning new recipes to cook for me, and she even enjoyes eating them too! There's no way she'd completely give up all meat, but for my sake, she rarely eats it around me.

I have three vegetarian friends, none of which I eat with consistently. If we have a cookout or something, the four of us take veggie dogs or burgers and lots of yummy veggie side dishes, but other than that, we never eat together, so that doesn't really help.

All of my other friends are cool with it, I guess. I mean, what can they do? Some of them make fun of me; others are just curious as to WHY. They never say anything too bad, and when/if they do, I make a smart comment back about the dead animal carcass they're consuming (I HATE that argument, and I even hate hearing fellow vegetarians using it, but if it comes to push and shove, I WILL defend myself!)
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#14 Old 09-22-2008, 09:06 PM
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I am Lucky....My Family and Friends are Very Supportive...with cooking and eating and such...but they dont get my association with Peta or Many other AR organizations.
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#15 Old 09-24-2008, 05:01 PM
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My mom (my only immediate family) has been hardly supportive. She thinks it's stupid, and though she occasionally tries to get stuff I can eat when I'm home, it's more likely than not that she'll suggest food options without regard to veg*anism (usually in the form of fast food places that have little to nothing of substance for me).

Of course, when I recently told her I went vegan, that was another opened can of bees. Some of the choicer responses I've posted in the Stupid Things Omnis say thread, but "You aren't going to eat honey? That's ridiculous" bears repeating. So yeah, yay for support there.

My friends on the other hand are much better about it. They're almost always willing to shift plans toward a place with a good veggie option and willing to order pizza without meat and whatnot. I was very impressed a few weeks ago when we were ordering pizza and the person who was going to order it asked what I liked. Another friend then reminded her that half meat half veg wouldn't work for me, something I had forgotten to tell her. So I at least have some decent support there.
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#16 Old 09-24-2008, 10:46 PM
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It took my family a while to warm up to the idea. At first it ALWAYS had to be a topic of conversation, a constant debate. It was something they just could NOT comprehend.

Fortunately, as time passes they have become very supportive. I think they just needed to see that it wasn't a phase or something, and that I was serious about my choices. My mom was the most resistant to the idea - and after almost 1.5 years, she is finally fully supportive.

Every time I visit her she gives me recipes she has found in magazines or cookbooks. When she goes to restaurants she orders veggie meals, just so that she can phone me later and say "that place on X street has a really great veggie burger!"

There are always veg options at our family gatherings now, which was a struggle for them in the beginning. It's nice that they've come around
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