Living in a meat eating family - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-29-2014, 05:01 AM
 
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Living in a meat eating family

All of my family eats meat. I have been vegetarian for 13 years and vegan for 3. Up until earlier this year I would make non vegan food on request for family functions. They all claim to love my meat lasagne. The last time I made it my cousins told me it was really good and for the first time in my life I felt bad about that. Why couldn't I, a vegan, make a vegan meal that tasted good for my family. Skip ahead 6 months and my Dad and his wife asked me to make a lasagna for their dinner party. I agreed if I could make it veg and she was cool with that. When i set it out my cousin said I was trying to trick them and I told it was a roasted veg lasagna - with no cheese (she is lactose intolerant) and she didn't even taste it. Then later in the evening she asked if she could feed the lasagna to her dog (she had forgotten to bring dog food). I asked why she wouldn't use the meat - she said it was easier to mush up the lasagna. Why did this upset me so much. I know my cousin loves me and if I told her how much this upset me she would apologize. She has done stuff like this to me before.
Honestly - I think this is my issue. I get upset about how people treat me and I don't address it. I get very emotional about this to the point where I can't speak about it.

Has anyone else experienced this. How do you deal with it?

P.S. I could point out that almost everyone else ate the lasagna and of all the items on the table (three other meat/fish dishes) that was the one that was most eaten.
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#2 Old 12-29-2014, 08:19 AM
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So your cousin would not even taste the lasagna - but she was perfectly ok with giving it to her dog, this in spite of the fact that it probably contained ingredients toxic to the dog (garlic and onions and maybe other things too). You say she forgot the dog food and I'm sure she did - but, was she genuinely, honestly looking for something to feed the dog and your lasagna was the best choice available (hard to believe), or did she see this as a convenient "bonus" way to kick you in the teeth while saying "Oh, but my poor wittle doggie, I can't let him go hungry, see I'm not really insulting you because I *have* to feed *him*!!" Really, she would poison her dog to insult you, when there was meat available??? In the non-Vegan world, some people consider it the ultimate insult when food is so "gross" that it is only fit to give to their dogs. Personally, I would not have allowed her to do it. I have been known to take food away from people who insulted it without even tasting it (I made a special carrot cake for a lady's birthday some years ago - she turned her nose up when she saw raisins in it, turned her back on it and ate the store-bought cake instead so I packed it up after serving myself a piece - didn't regret it for a second, either!). I think you ought to tell her how offensive her behavior was, and call her out on the "oh I have to feed my poor wittle doggie" act, which I have to believe was a farce. She will keep on doing this if you let her.

And take it from me: you will only find it harder to cope as the years go by. I have the same problem as you, in this regard. I have had a very hard time dealing with conflict because of my past history of abuse, but what I've found is that it is easier to just face people right off the bat than let it go and let them insult me over and over again. Hurts like the dickens to confront them - but better that than to let them hurt you like the dickens three times a year for the next 30 years. I probably sound like a hard-core b**** about this, but as I am getting older, I am just so sick of people bullying those of us who are least able to cope.

As for the rest of your family - give them the "old" lasagna recipe since they like it so much, and in the future, stick with that roasted veg lasagna. It sounds like they enjoyed it, as well they should!! But you will have to draw the line yourself, for not making meat dishes. They will not draw the line for you.
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#3 Old 12-29-2014, 09:07 AM
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I have had limited communication with my family for years because this is exactly the kind of crap they pull (that or outright starting fights). I tried to confront them, tried to explain and reason with them... their minds are closed and padlocked shut. I don't even judge them for eating meat or want/care if the go veg, but they very strongly judge me for not eating it. Of course that wasn't the only issue, but it was probably the one they felt most comfortable being total you know whats about. Quite frankly, I just reached a point where I got fed up and dropped off the familial radar so to speak. Though I'm guessing you are probably still wanting to stay in contact with your family?

Who is the one hosting these get togethers and do you have to bring lasagna every time? I would let them know that except holidays (throw out the compromise) you'll be bringing vegan dishes from now on. Reassure them you'll be sure to make them super delicious things everyone will like. Save the meat lasagna they all love so much for special occasions, and bring other dishes (one of which may well become a new favorite) to the regular dinner get togethers from now on. If I had a family who knew the meaning of compromise, that's the kind of thing I'd do.
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#4 Old 12-29-2014, 06:58 PM
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I get that it's hard to address these problems when they arise, but I think addressing it might be the way you stop this sort of thing from happening again.

Tell your cousin how much her actions hurt you. Then, if she does it again, you can say "Hey, I thought I'd told you this hurts my feelings, please stop acting this way". You don't have to be confrontational, but you do have a right to tell someone when they're acting inappropriately to a degree that makes you feel uncomfortable, especially at a family gathering.

I usually just ignore people like that though. If they're not willing to have a conversation, or be respectful, then there's no point me wasting my energy on them. In the end, if I don't respond, they're the ones who look like loud mouthed jerks.
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#5 Old 12-30-2014, 03:51 AM
 
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Thanks

Thanks for the suggestions, replies and sharing. Tiger Lily - I agree with both of your suggestions. sometimes, I'm too tired or hurt to address the issue at the moment but I know that is the best approach to handle it when you're hurt. You're second approach is even better. I need to remember to not take things personally. It really has nothing to do with me how they feel about me making a vegetable lasagna or vegan anything. It doesn't matter if they accept me or not really. I am who I am and I'm definitely not going to change to please them. So I need to be learn to love myself more than I care about their reactions to things that I do. Like you said - It really truly isn't worth my energy. Thank you for that.
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#6 Old 01-26-2015, 06:36 PM
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Don't ever feel obligated to cook food you personally wouldnt eat, try making something vegan and not mentioning that its vegan, sometimes telling people its vegan is a dividing point and just hearing the word makes them not want to eat it. They will eat it and enjoy it without even thinking about it,
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#7 Old 01-26-2015, 11:51 PM
 
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Ya I'm married and my husband eats meat. I've been a vegetarian for about 3 months.... My husband respects that, but he still forgets I am sometimes and will offer me a bite of his food, then I'll have to remind him. I told my mom and siblings and nothing really happened... I just told my day I'm eating really healthy now (which is true) and I'm just cutting out certain things (which is true). He was raised so differently that he will have the hardest time "getting" it. But he doesn't really need to "get" it. I was just telling my husband that if someone has a problem in with my new diet and life choices, they need to get a hobby and seriously stop worrying about other people.. Since changing up my diet 3 months ago I've lost about 10lbs which I'm really happy about. I've been feeling so incredibly good and healthy. I've also told my really close friends I see all the time, and they didn't care. I just wish I had a vegetarian friend... All of my friends est meat in basically every meal. The only problems I've run into are with my in-laws. Half the time, I just don't care if they are going to disagree with my diet and choices and then the other half of the time it really gets to me. I wish they would just stay out of it like my family does.. But my in-laws are naturally more open, blunt, and always speak their minds. This past weekend, one of my in-laws basically started shouting at me saying I shouldn't change up my diet, etc. I just told her im sorry I don't want to eat crap anymore and walked away.. I need to learn to not let it bother me I guess. It stinks because I just like to get along with everyone. I don't like to argue or start stuff. But lately I've found myself getting pretty defensive when it comes to people telling me how to eat. I mean, I'm 22 years old...
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#8 Old 01-27-2015, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by priceiswong View Post
Ya I'm married and my husband eats meat. I've been a vegetarian for about 3 months.... My husband respects that, but he still forgets I am sometimes and will offer me a bite of his food, then I'll have to remind him. I told my mom and siblings and nothing really happened... I just told my day I'm eating really healthy now (which is true) and I'm just cutting out certain things (which is true). He was raised so differently that he will have the hardest time "getting" it. But he doesn't really need to "get" it. I was just telling my husband that if someone has a problem in with my new diet and life choices, they need to get a hobby and seriously stop worrying about other people.. Since changing up my diet 3 months ago I've lost about 10lbs which I'm really happy about. I've been feeling so incredibly good and healthy. I've also told my really close friends I see all the time, and they didn't care. I just wish I had a vegetarian friend... All of my friends est meat in basically every meal. The only problems I've run into are with my in-laws. Half the time, I just don't care if they are going to disagree with my diet and choices and then the other half of the time it really gets to me. I wish they would just stay out of it like my family does.. But my in-laws are naturally more open, blunt, and always speak their minds. This past weekend, one of my in-laws basically started shouting at me saying I shouldn't change up my diet, etc. I just told her im sorry I don't want to eat crap anymore and walked away.. I need to learn to not let it bother me I guess. It stinks because I just like to get along with everyone. I don't like to argue or start stuff. But lately I've found myself getting pretty defensive when it comes to people telling me how to eat. I mean, I'm 22 years old...
Hi there,

Please just try to ignore negative comments! You are doing the right thing and in time they may see that...Or they may not, but irrespective of this you are living a more animal friendly lifestyle and that is the important thing
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#9 Old 01-27-2015, 06:00 PM
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hey, if they are open and blunt maybe you can try being open and blunt too? I've this defense that I use. If you want to know why I avoid meat, go and watch "earthlings". usually doesn't get them to watch it though
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#10 Old 01-27-2015, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rasitha.wijesekera View Post
hey, if they are open and blunt maybe you can try being open and blunt too? I've this defense that I use. If you want to know why I avoid meat, go and watch "earthlings". usually doesn't get them to watch it though
If someone eats meat then they should know what happens inside a slaughterhouse!
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#11 Old 01-28-2015, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeganYogi View Post
All of my family eats meat. I have been vegetarian for 13 years and vegan for 3. Up until earlier this year I would make non vegan food on request for family functions. They all claim to love my meat lasagne. The last time I made it my cousins told me it was really good and for the first time in my life I felt bad about that. Why couldn't I, a vegan, make a vegan meal that tasted good for my family. Skip ahead 6 months and my Dad and his wife asked me to make a lasagna for their dinner party. I agreed if I could make it veg and she was cool with that. When i set it out my cousin said I was trying to trick them and I told it was a roasted veg lasagna - with no cheese (she is lactose intolerant) and she didn't even taste it. Then later in the evening she asked if she could feed the lasagna to her dog (she had forgotten to bring dog food). I asked why she wouldn't use the meat - she said it was easier to mush up the lasagna. Why did this upset me so much. I know my cousin loves me and if I told her how much this upset me she would apologize. She has done stuff like this to me before.
Honestly - I think this is my issue. I get upset about how people treat me and I don't address it. I get very emotional about this to the point where I can't speak about it.

Has anyone else experienced this. How do you deal with it?

P.S. I could point out that almost everyone else ate the lasagna and of all the items on the table (three other meat/fish dishes) that was the one that was most eaten.
Yes with my mother all the time. It makes it very difficult to address the problem because it's someone you care about. My mother has a very strong character and we are very different and argue a lot and when she has nothing else to say she starts crying in order to make me feel bad and stop defending my point. That is emotional blackmail
Ashwani likes this.

it takes guts to be gentle and kind
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#12 Old 01-28-2015, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MozIsMyShepherd View Post
when she has nothing else to say she starts crying in order to make me feel bad and stop defending my point. That is emotional blackmail
Oh dear that is naughty of your mum to do that!
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#13 Old 03-25-2015, 07:06 AM
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Eat vegan. ANd cook vegan. Or do not help your family with cooking.
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