What did people think about you being a vegetarian? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-21-2008, 05:00 PM
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I'm not officially a vegetarian myself...just a person who avoids meat....

I'm sure if I said to people I was a vegetarian it would be very awkward and feel strange, I would also get really fed up with explaining why; which I would certainly feel obliged to do...and in such a way that portrays me as doing the right thing for the right reasons without seeming (too) preachy and self righteous over my meat eating friends and family...well friends and direct family I couldnt care less about, if I sound overly righteous but relatives and so forth...telling them 'I cant eat your food,' and THEN explaining why would make them uncomfortable to say the least...

Also I have a vegetarian GF and in some ways this actually makes things 10X harder and more awkward! Because it will seem to everyone (including her) that its because of her that I'm cutting out meat, when it isnt one bit...but I hate coming across as a doormatt

Has anybody else been in a similar awkward situation? Plz share your experiences with other people on becoming a vegetarian!
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#2 Old 05-21-2008, 06:04 PM
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Some people probably think I'm nuts (but don't say it to my face), some admire me (and say it to my face), some may feel threatened by it, but, generally, I've had positive experiences dealing with people. Probably the most uncomfortable part is their thinking they have to accomodate me, and me knowing that they have to accomodate me. I don't feel preachy or righteous at all, because I made this choice for me and not for other people, and I don't judge them for making a different choice than I am. The good part about coming out and saying you are veg is that some people are really interested in cutting down their meat consumption, even if they don't want to cut it out, and you can share recipes and information.

I had some awkward times at the beginning, because I also did not say I was veg, just that I didn't eat meat. It is much easier for me now.

I don't see anything wrong with the way you are doing things now. It sounds like you don't want to eat meat, but don't want to publicly commit yourself to being vegetarian. Why not leave things as they are? But, I wonder, if you seriously don't want to get served meat, and you don't let others know about it, you may repeatedly find yourself in situations where you are wondering how you can get around eating the meat that is on your dish in someone else's house, meat that your host has specifically and specially prepared for you.

And never mind what anyone else thinks about your GF influencing you. Basically, it really isn't any of their business until and unless you decide to explain yourself to them. Let them think what they want. (They will, anyway.)

"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 05-21-2008, 07:29 PM
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I generally don't talk about it unless asked. As there really is no reason to make a giant declaration. Most don't even notice. My family kinda just went along with it and finally have decided to accept it. Occasionally I get the "Who told you to do that?" or whatever, but I just sit and stare at them until they get uncomfortable. Though I must say I was shy of calling myself a vegan until about a month ago.

As for what to say, sometimes less is more. There is a time and a place for the big explaination. A simple, "It's my choice" generally gets people off my back. In situations where someone else is making your meals, tell them before you even agree to go that you won't be eating the meat. Sometimes people get offended as they think you won't eat their food, as there is something wrong with it. Offer to bring a dish or dessert with you. And don't expect them to make something different for you. If you're polite about it, in my experience, more often than not, people will want to try to accomdate you.
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#4 Old 05-21-2008, 08:56 PM
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I don't feel a need to explain myself. I don't find it awkward at all. People eat all kids of ways these days. I've never had a rude comment, and really don't care if I get one. Maybe it's being over 40 and a "B"............
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#5 Old 05-21-2008, 09:44 PM
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My family's approach, rather than try to talk me out of it, was just to wait 'till I gave up. Only, I didn't give up, and it's seven months later, and now they've realized I'm in to deep to talk me out. I have no doubt now they're simply not saying anything because they're plotting...Always plotting....
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#6 Old 05-22-2008, 05:32 AM
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Some people are surprised, some aren't...That's basically it, for me.
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#7 Old 05-22-2008, 07:04 AM
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when i first told my friends that i had become vegetarian at 15, 1 of my mates actually laughed at me - harsh! and when ever family come round that i don't often see they're always surprised that im still veggie.

im never bothered by what others think/say about it though. im proud to be veggie
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#8 Old 05-22-2008, 07:06 AM
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On the whole, I've noticed (not to take anything away from females who are compassionate enough to be vegetarian) that people as a whole are less questioning and more empathetic towards girls who choose to be vegetarians; as it makes them cute, ethical and kind etc :P

On the other hand with me (not to whine but I know this for a fact) I'll get bombarded with silly questions like

'are you becoming a hippie'

'Whats the point in being vegetarian it wont save any animals'

'why dont you just eat fish'

'Its dead so why dont you just eat it'

Is it some religious ritual

and because I love to work out and so many people still dont believe that you can get the right amount of protein without meat (amino acids are amino acids DUH), I'll get told millions of stupid things about how not eating meat makes you weaker with shrinking muscles or whatever bs
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#9 Old 05-22-2008, 07:33 AM
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I'm fast becoming vegan (from being vegetarian) and I've had reactions ranging from 'What the hell, WHY?!' to 'Ooh that's cool, can't argue with that'.
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#10 Old 05-22-2008, 08:18 AM
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I've had mostly positive responses and some curiosity, my folks were fine with it and have tried a lentil casserole I made and liked it.

I have had the odd person who thinks you can be vegetarian and eat fish and one of my mates is convinced it's a high fat diet as "veggies eat tons of cheese", which I gently corrected him on.
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#11 Old 05-22-2008, 08:27 AM
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I had mostly neutral reactions to my becoming veggie..my Dad is veggie, he was actually surprised! When I became vegan, again mostly neutral...but my sister gave me a lecture on how I am being 'selfish' (WTF?) as it makes it 'too hard' for people to invite you round...

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#12 Old 05-22-2008, 06:51 PM
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I get different reactions...ranging from "oh, I could never do that, good for you", to "Your making no difference", to "God put animals on earth for us to eat them".....the latter is mostly used, because I am a christian, so people think bringing God into it is going to "knock some sense into me". Right.

I usually only tell people if necessary. I avoid the topic.
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#13 Old 05-24-2008, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Ilurvebroccoli View Post

I get different reactions...ranging from "oh, I could never do that, good for you", to "Your making no difference", to "God put animals on earth for us to eat them".....the latter is mostly used, because I am a christian, so people think bringing God into it is going to "knock some sense into me". Right.

I usually only tell people if necessary. I avoid the topic.

Yea, religion is not a reason NOT to be a vegetarian! That makes no sense at all!

Okay, so God did make animals that we can eat but God didnt make battery farms nor did he leach all the land water and fuel from the earth which is what the meat industry is doing. Oh and God evidently chose to give us the ability to make meat free meat and protein filled non meat products!

I'm a Muslim myself and Islam definately doesnt advocate vegetarianism; but it does demand (I suspect Christianity has similar rules right? I'm no expert but I know they're some rules regarding kindness to animals):

-That an animal is only to be killed for food if its been properly looked after with space to live in, good food etc and it has to be killed painlessly; this in itself rules out about 90% of animals that are farmed nowadays

-The earths resources specially water,have to be conserved; 1000+ years ago the meat industry wasnt really even an industry and certainly wouldnt drain the earth of fuel, land and water like it does now; so if anything I use this point to show that (indirectly you might say) religion actually promotes vegetarianism, or at least eating less meat; added to that most religions have a 'no gluttony' rule somewhere or other; which would certainly condemn the thousands of people who'd wantonly kill hundreds of animals just to die of heart failure
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#14 Old 05-24-2008, 07:21 AM
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I've tried to look into vegetarianism and religion and it seems to me that vegetarianism is the "ideal" diet within religions. I know the Bible makes mentions of it, but you'll never hear a Christian meat-eater admit it!

Anyway, I was one of the few lucky ones who had a good experience when becoming vegetarian, and then later vegan. I live in the suburbs of Washington D.C., and this are is VERY vegan friendly. In fact, I would say most (probably 90%) of my friends are either vegan or at least vegetarian. We have a ton of vegan restuarants around the area. We also have bakerys, grocery stores, etc. So it was a smooth transition for me. I think the positive experience is one of the main reasons I stuck with the diet and a big reason why I will stick with the diet the rest of my life. At first my parents weren't very supportive, but now they barely eat meat themselves!
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#15 Old 05-24-2008, 04:33 PM
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My sister gets defensive. She accuses me of being a tree hugger, but like its a bad thing?! I think she buys into the sterotypical vegetarian, and thinks thats what Im becoming.

My mom (being a mom) was like, OMG make sure you get enough protein!!! My husband is very supportive, but we dont talk about the reasons behind my new meatless life (because he doesnt want to give up meat at all for any reason)

I always kinda feel like Im inconveniencing people, because they panic and think they have to cater to my needs, when its really not necessary.

But people have been good about it overall.
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