Someone I know becoming vegan.. problems - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-03-2010, 11:13 PM
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Soo long story short. I have a "friend" who became vegan, which is totally cool and all! I'm very happy and I told her she can ask me questions about what she can eat and I'd be happy to help. I even told her she can try some of the vegan stuff I eat and buy @ the store.



The problem is.. one of our other friends is pretty conservative and doesn't really support veg*nism. For this reason I don't talk about ANYTHING involving veg*nism or animal rights to her. I actually try not to talk about veg*nism at all to omni's or when omni's are around, even if they're friends. I respect other people and I do my own thing, I don't really feel the need to spread my veg*nism. (Not saying that its bad to or anything, someone's gotta do it - but I prefer not to).



My new vegan friend doesn't understand that constantly talking about veg*nism in front of omni's is kind of rude and that if she needs to ask me questions or if she wants to talk about veg*nism she should come see me personally. She often states facts about meat or about how eating meat/dairy hurts us, the environment, animals and how we're not meant to consume those products in front of my other friends and they don't appreciate it. It kind of makes me look like an a-hole... She's also not my best friend by any means, we're not even close really...



I don't know how to deal with this. I'd prefer not to confront her directly.. but that's probably the only way. I don't bring up discussion of veg*nism when omni's are present (unless they start it) and when she asks me about something in front of omni's I answer kindly, but also quickly in order to close the topic. I don't want to offend her and think I don't support her veg*nism.. but also this has to stop. As we all know, omni's often feel uneasy or even offended when veggies talk about such things.. some omni's are even insulted just being present with a veggie.. I'm generally a peaceful person if you wanna call it that and I don't like to start arguments or be the cause of uneasiness in other people. Like I said, I do my own thing, and try to respect other peoples choices, including the choice of being omni..



Any advice? Thanks!
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#2 Old 03-03-2010, 11:19 PM
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I wouldn't. It's her life, her mouth, her decision. I'd be very upset, offending, and appaled if someone tried to tell me what I can and cannot say. It's no body's business but hers. You can say "I'd prefer not to discus this" or "Yea, it's bad but how do you feel about *insert unrelated topic here*"

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#3 Old 03-04-2010, 02:39 AM
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If it were me and I was trying to keep things light and not make waves, I'd probably ask her in a jokey way whether we should be talking about it in mixed company. Or I'd turn to the other people and ask if they mind us discussing it now, or would they prefer us to talk about it later. They might say they don't mind. Sometimes meat eaters are interested in hearing more about veg*nism. If they say they don't mind, you're good to go.



I like LyricGaia's second suggestion, too. That should give her a hint, and if it doesn't, you'll already be talking about the other topic.

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#4 Old 03-04-2010, 04:01 AM
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If she doesn't want to adopt your "code of silence" that's up to her. If she feels compelled to talk about Veganism, then so be it. If it costs her friends then she may or may not change what she chooses to say or she may not.

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#5 Old 03-04-2010, 04:32 PM
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I really appreciate the input so far guys, I respect honest opinions so thank you



Quote:
Originally Posted by LyricGaia View Post

I wouldn't. It's her life, her mouth, her decision. I'd be very upset, offending, and appaled if someone tried to tell me what I can and cannot say. It's no body's business but hers. You can say "I'd prefer not to discus this" or "Yea, it's bad but how do you feel about *insert unrelated topic here*"



I never really thought of it this way, I guess I'm being too selfish or maybe I'm being a meany butt haha. I didn't really plan on just going up to her and saying "hey don't say that" I couldn't do that to anyone.. I guess I was just asking for ways in which to make things less controversial. I don't want to be arguing about veg*nism with my friends every time we get together.



Quote:
Originally Posted by New England Vegan View Post

If she doesn't want to adopt your "code of silence" that's up to her. If she feels compelled to talk about Veganism, then so be it. If it costs her friends then she may or may not change what she chooses to say or she may not.



Thats a good point. I could always just ignore it and let the pieces fall where they may. Thanks!
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#6 Old 03-04-2010, 05:08 PM
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Sometimes people don't know that they are bugging other people. I think I'd tell her that some of your friends are getting annoyed, if they are.

Then she can decide to keep annoying them, or not.
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#7 Old 03-04-2010, 05:18 PM
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i think next time she does it i'd just say "hey, why don't we chat about that a bit later on our own? - we don't want this lot feeling we're trying to sell veganism to them! " in a jokey lighthearted way. then later on i'd say "hey, i hope i didn't make you feel brushed off earlier, its just that i know so-and-so doesn't really feel comfortable with the subject, and sometimes peeps get a bit peeved and feel like we're trying to convert them if we talk about veganism a lot- plus its probably not that interesting for them to listen to us yapping on about tofu nonstop. that doesn't mean i don't wanna help you at all- but i don't wanna have our enthusiasm do their heads in either. why don't we go out for coffee/arrange to chat about it on msn every 'week/month/second tuesday and have ourselves a little vegan meetup?"
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#8 Old 03-04-2010, 06:12 PM
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I know I wanted to talk about it a lot when I first made the decision to go veg, but I didn't. I talked myself down as much as possible, because I knew I'd only fuel peoples attitude that veg**ns are pushy, self-rightous bee-tchs! As time went on, and it all became more second nature for me, I found I didn't have that need anymore. I could joke, let things slide, or just roll my eyes. I realized my acceptance of my friends not jumping in with me was as important to them as there acceptance of me. I think the impulse to talk nonstop about it is more a reinforcment of your new decision for yourself. Like a pep talk.

Let her know that she doesn't have to "change" just because shes changed her lifestyle. Just sharing new foods does more to win people over than any chatter. Remind her that even omnis eat veggie dishes- I've learned so much from omnis that are better cooks than myself. Health is a topic you can talk about without ever stating you're veg.

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#9 Old 03-04-2010, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglare View Post

The problem is.. one of our other friends is pretty conservative and doesn't really support veg*nism. For this reason I don't talk about ANYTHING involving veg*nism or animal rights to her. I actually try not to talk about veg*nism at all to omni's or when omni's are around, even if they're friends. I respect other people and I do my own thing, I don't really feel the need to spread my veg*nism. (Not saying that its bad to or anything, someone's gotta do it - but I prefer not to).



My new vegan friend doesn't understand that constantly talking about veg*nism in front of omni's is kind of rude and that if she needs to ask me questions or if she wants to talk about veg*nism she should come see me personally. She often states facts about meat or about how eating meat/dairy hurts us, the environment, animals and how we're not meant to consume those products in front of my other friends and they don't appreciate it. It kind of makes me look like an a-hole... She's also not my best friend by any means, we're not even close really...



I don't know how to deal with this. I'd prefer not to confront her directly.. but that's probably the only way. I don't bring up discussion of veg*nism when omni's are present (unless they start it) and when she asks me about something in front of omni's I answer kindly, but also quickly in order to close the topic. I don't want to offend her and think I don't support her veg*nism.. but also this has to stop. As we all know, omni's often feel uneasy or even offended when veggies talk about such things..



So why are you more concerned with shutting her up so as to make meat eaters comfortable than you are with letting her speak her truth? Why are you such a strong advocate of the status quo, when that involves such intense cruelty to animals? What if you were one of those animals on a factory farm...what kind of advocacy would you hope for? In human terms, if you were in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany, what would you hope for from people on the outside who knew about your plight? Should they just go along with the status quo, and never mention their knowledge or concerns to the other Germans, so as not to offend? Are your relationships so shallow that they can't handle a little controversy? Do your friends have such a thin grasp of who you are that if someone else speaks, that they're going to blame you for it? Why do you think people who are participating in an immense system of brutality (10 billion land animals are factory farmed each year in the U.S. alone) should be protected from the truth?



Actually, she's the kind of friend I wish I had had when I was an omnivore. I actually had a good friend who was a vegetarian who never once spoke to me about it, and I hardly even realized she was vegetarian until after I educated myself and it dawned on me that she was one.



Not that speaking truth about something one believes in isn't sometimes uncomfortable, but if she's willing to put herself out there, more power to her.

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#10 Old 03-05-2010, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post

I know I wanted to talk about it a lot when I first made the decision to go veg, but I didn't. I talked myself down as much as possible, because I knew I'd only fuel peoples attitude that veg**ns are pushy, self-rightous bee-tchs! As time went on, and it all became more second nature for me, I found I didn't have that need anymore. I could joke, let things slide, or just roll my eyes. I realized my acceptance of my friends not jumping in with me was as important to them as there acceptance of me. I think the impulse to talk nonstop about it is more a reinforcment of your new decision for yourself. Like a pep talk.

Let her know that she doesn't have to "change" just because shes changed her lifestyle. Just sharing new foods does more to win people over than any chatter. Remind her that even omnis eat veggie dishes- I've learned so much from omnis that are better cooks than myself. Health is a topic you can talk about without ever stating you're veg.



This is what I'd recommend. If you're uncomfortable, just tell her that she doesn't need to talk about it all the time.

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." -Sirius Black
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#11 Old 03-05-2010, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by auroraglare View Post

It kind of makes me look like an a-hole...



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#12 Old 03-07-2010, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
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So why are you more concerned with shutting her up so as to make meat eaters comfortable than you are with letting her speak her truth? Why are you such a strong advocate of the status quo, when that involves such intense cruelty to animals? What if you were one of those animals on a factory farm...what kind of advocacy would you hope for? In human terms, if you were in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany, what would you hope for from people on the outside who knew about your plight? Should they just go along with the status quo, and never mention their knowledge or concerns to the other Germans, so as not to offend? Are your relationships so shallow that they can't handle a little controversy? Do your friends have such a thin grasp of who you are that if someone else speaks, that they're going to blame you for it? Why do you think people who are participating in an immense system of brutality (10 billion land animals are factory farmed each year in the U.S. alone) should be protected from the truth?



Actually, she's the kind of friend I wish I had had when I was an omnivore. I actually had a good friend who was a vegetarian who never once spoke to me about it, and I hardly even realized she was vegetarian until after I educated myself and it dawned on me that she was one.



Not that speaking truth about something one believes in isn't sometimes uncomfortable, but if she's willing to put herself out there, more power to her.



While I agree with your points, it's been pretty obvious where I've been that the preachy approach doesn't work to change most people. Seeing videos, hearing statistics over and over can just make people raise their defenses and get the complete opposite reaction.

I've found that by staying who I've always been with people, slowly adding bits and pieces of how I've changed, and what I've learned, has had a profound effect on them. I make sure my lunches are appealing, always offering to share. When health is discussed I offer advise to try. I don't just say "you should go veg**n", instead I'll suggest green smoothies, or why veggies can offer more available calcium, or red tea is good for high blood pressure. I take the indirect route.

Fact is, most people that need to preach it weren't veg all that long. Even from the opinions I've read from people here, the veterans don't seem so controlling.



OOPS! Irizarys quite the veteran huh? Sorry

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#13 Old 03-08-2010, 01:31 AM
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I don't know, I talk about veg*nism around omnis a lot. They have NO problem talking about eating meat around me so I don't know why they should care about me talking about not eating it. I don't force anything on others but I'm not shy about stating my position either. I don't see it as a problem as long as everyone is respectful.

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#14 Old 03-09-2010, 08:12 AM
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My mom went vegan because of me talking to her about it and having her try my food. I told her early on that she should be prepared to get the typical questions and comments like "But where will you get your protein??" and "But the cows will EXPLODE if we don't milk them!!" I told her what I would say to those, and said that sometimes it's best not to talk much about veganism around people who are clearly not receptive, or to engage with people who just want an argument and aren't going to change their opinions anyway.



She got in a few arguments from not taking that advice (that's fine, she can do what she wants!) and then decided that she would be a little more suble, bringing up veganism when people seemed receptive. She's already had friends borrow books of hers and look into it.



I don't think it's a bad idea to give that sort of "disclaimer" when someone goes vegan. Just like an "Oh, and just so you know..." when you're already on the topic. They just need to be prepared to be confronted and know how they feel like dealing with it.
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#15 Old 03-09-2010, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post

While I agree with your points, it's been pretty obvious where I've been that the preachy approach doesn't work to change most people. Seeing videos, hearing statistics over and over can just make people raise their defenses and get the complete opposite reaction.

I've found that by staying who I've always been with people, slowly adding bits and pieces of how I've changed, and what I've learned, has had a profound effect on them. I make sure my lunches are appealing, always offering to share. When health is discussed I offer advise to try. I don't just say "you should go veg**n", instead I'll suggest green smoothies, or why veggies can offer more available calcium, or red tea is good for high blood pressure. I take the indirect route.

Fact is, most people that need to preach it weren't veg all that long. Even from the opinions I've read from people here, the veterans don't seem so controlling.



OOPS! Irizarys quite the veteran huh? Sorry



I agree with you. Although I understand the points of Irizary's (and respect them) I feel they're a bit harsh... I'm not trying to support meat or meat-eaters, thats not my goal here. But would you want to constantly argue with all your friends and family about omni vs. veggie every time you see them? All I'm trying to do is keep the peace. I like the "lead by example" approach more, and find it more affective compared to just talking about how animals are dying for food all the time. If I were an uncomfortable omni being engaged in conversation on the topic of veg*nism, I wouldn't want to be around people that bring it up all the time. Even as a veggie I can understand that. And if every veggie is preachy all the time, what does that say about veggies? We have a bad enough reputation as it is...
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#16 Old 03-10-2010, 01:33 PM
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Maybe she will calm down with it after a while.



I know its great to inform people, but a lot of the time, talking about it all the time, meat eaters will take offence, and that doesnt really work, they just view you as self rightous.
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#17 Old 03-14-2010, 02:30 PM
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I'd just say "No one else wants to hear this." It's like when a couple starts making out right in front of you, you don't really want to see that, and it's rude of them in public. It's a good analogy, actually, I think. Like, if a couple kisses or hugs, holds hands or shows affection, that's okay, but if they start making out disgustingly and prolongedly, that's not cool. Similarly, mentioning your veganism, eating vegan and declining animal products and otherwise being vegan is fine, but when you shove it in other people's faces, they'll be pissed off.
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#18 Old 03-14-2010, 08:33 PM
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I am a Yakker Some People arent....let people do what they are comfy with.
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#19 Old 03-15-2010, 01:06 PM
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I think its great she is passionate about it. But tell her to be careful, omnis people can take it in a bad way. Tell her to be a joyful vegan and to live by example and tell them about it when they ask about it.
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