Do you get ridiculed for your veganism? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-25-2013, 09:19 PM
 
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I am 14 male, and it never takes long for everyone else at my table to notice the suspicious lack of meat in my lunchbox. It starts with "Huh, anyone notice that he never eats meat for lunch?" and then "Oh god, he must be a stupid vegan. We need to convince him that if he doesn't meat, he will die early!" But, the majority of my school has to take medication daily at the nurse and has high blood pressure, so they're probably jealous that I haven't been to the doctor for anything besides a checkup (and one time 2 years ago when I thought i had strep throat, but it was probably just a cold)

 

They always connect it to my germophobia. "He has a bad immune system because he doesn't get vital nutrients from meat!" I live in texas so it's worst here. Maybe i'm just scared of germs because I DON'T WANT TO GET SICK. You can't build up an immunity to salmonella, e. coli or norovirus, not even if you have a hercules immune system.

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#2 Old 04-26-2013, 08:38 AM
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Yes, I get laughed at by my own family members and I'm 28yrs old. I can only imagine how it is at 14!!  When this happens I remind them about how healthy I am, (and they're not), how slim I am (and they're not), how much more compassionate I am, and then as a slam dunk I remind them that I'm a scientist (and they're not!). 

 

Anyway, the only way to do this is to not let stuff get to you. I know it's difficult, but in my opinion, it's worth it. I rather have people make fun of me, while being healthy and a good human being than have people think I'm completely "normal" while being ok with torturing animals and being sick!

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#3 Old 04-26-2013, 09:18 AM
 
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14, vegan and living in Texas - I can imagine that's tough.  Just calmly stick to your ways, don't get defensive about it or react too much to their ridicule and when they realize they can't get a rise out of you, they'll move onto something else.

 

I'm 38 and live in the SF Bay Area - and no, I don't get ridiculed at all.  Usually people react more with admiration.

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#4 Old 04-26-2013, 09:59 AM
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I didn't when I switched, but I can imagine how hard it would be for a 14/male in Texas.

I would poke back at them, but I'm a bit confrontational.

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#5 Old 04-26-2013, 10:25 AM
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No but I'm positive a lot of that has to do with your age. When I was 14, any weird "idea" I had people would make fun of me for. I always loved to read and was always reading books my peers would never dream of reading. I was reading "Moby Dick" at lunch one day and my best friend started questioning me why I was reading it and even though I was answering her questions, she had this look on her face like "I just don't get it and I'm not going to try to get it and you are just being weird". I was 14 when I started dating a VERY unpopular guy at my school. I mean....bottom of the barrel unpopular. He was also not attractive. But we had fun together. Probably would have been better as friends but whatever. LOL  I got sooooo much crap for that it wasn't even funny. You just have to hold your head up high and stand up for what is right. Even though that guy and I didn't work out...it wasn't right that people were so horrible to him. He was a crack baby...literally. And he had some social and cognitive issues. I was able to see past that and I wasn't going to let anyone tell me I shouldn't be friends with him or date him.

 

I'm 29 now and I get questions about my veganism, but rarely any snide remarks. Sometimes my step-dad pokes fun but I know it's just that...making fun. He's a good guy.

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#6 Old 04-26-2013, 10:25 AM
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This is something I have been dealing with lately myself! 

 

First my co-workers here at work, then my mother, then last night an old friend from college called from out of the blue.  He had mentioned something about shooting and killing animals, and I was just like "Umm, I know I wasn't before, but just to let you know, I am vegetarian now and don't want to hear about that kind of stuff, it makes me sick".  And it went from there.  First thing out of his mouth: "well, you know, you are cutting 20% off you life span as a vegetarian".  Of course, I had to say, "no, that is not true, vegetarians live longer on average then meat eaters".  Then it went on from there and got more heated.  I finally hung up on him.  I am sooooooo sick of EVERYBODY arguing with me about it!

 

Fact is, I KNOW I am doing the right thing.  I don't care what kind of redicule I am getting from others, I have to stand up for what I believe in, or I will fall for anything.  Why do they care what I choose to eat?  It matters to them none! 

 

And I am 35 and live in Kentucky.  I am glad that it has finally become old news at work.  Just be patient.  They will get bored with it after awhile.  Just remember how much redicule Jesus got for doing the right thing, in fact, he was murdered for it!  Luckily, us veg*n's don't have to worry about THAT.  Stick to your guns, it is hard, but it will get easier in time.

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#7 Old 04-26-2013, 10:56 AM
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I think it has to do with being male. 

 

I get crap all the time from my family BUT I don't get as much vegan hate from my friends as my BF does from his "friends" and co-workers. They rail on him day in and day out. The whole manly muscled man deal comes up a lot, among other things. It was the worst the first month, but it's ongoing. I'm actually shocked he's stuck it out, because I've never seen someone ridiculed for their diet like this.

 

Overall, I think his co-workers have made fun of just about every single aspect of vegan there could possibly be, including telling him he's being controlled by me (a "girl"), since I was vegan first. That's actually hilarious because I never, not one single time, asked my BF to go vegan. It's all on him. 

 

I still get made fun of though even though I'm not a guy, but it's a different breed of being made fun of. All day last Thanksgiving one of my family members said, "Vegan is french for weird" like one million times. Wow, that was fun. That's just the tip of the iceberg too. I like being vegan, but it's made me a bit angry at other people. I'm learning to block it out. It's frustrating though. 

 

Good on you for being a young guy and sticking to your vegan values! 


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#8 Old 04-26-2013, 03:00 PM
 
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Well it's not like i get ridiculed to the point of suicidal thoughts, my school is more tolerant than texas average because it's diverse, whites are probably the minority here (i also get some slack because I am persian, people assume it's either because I am muslim, or i'm asian and i conform to the herbivorous asian stereotype)

 

I think once my generation starts to have health problems as a result of their toxic childhood eating habits, awareness will go up. Who knows why they are going all "You will get sick and die in your 30s because you are vegan" when they are the ones that have to go to the nurse every day to take blood pressure pills?

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#9 Old 04-26-2013, 03:44 PM
 
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I never got ridiculed from my family or friends but I spent the first 5 years of family dinner hearing 'Can't you just pick the meat out?'

I made lasagne one night (vegetarian not vegan) and the self-confessed carnivore had licked his plate and was half way through his second helping when I told him he was eating Quorn, not beef lasagne. His reply? 'Oh, that's why it tasted so weird.'
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#10 Old 04-26-2013, 10:26 PM
 
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Some. More so in jest (and lack of awareness) as opposed to actually intentionally trying to insult me. For example, I participated in a garage sale today and after closing up everyone decided to go have hot dogs and chips. They teased that I could eat a bun and chips. I joked that that hardly makes a meal. I got the response "well, you're just gonna go home and eat grass, so what does it matter?"

Mostly light hearted teasing, and not really knowing about the amazing vegan dinner I'd make.

But then again, I'm 30. And most of the people I surround myself with are no longer in the "I have to hurt you if you are different from me" stage of life anymore.
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#11 Old 04-27-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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People don't understand that being vegan isn't all about sitting down and eating a boring bowl of broccoli by yourself. Donuts are vegan too.
 

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#12 Old 04-27-2013, 01:38 PM
 
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I think a lot of people would be horrified if you told them the pasta and sauce they had just eaten was vegan, or that pizza and chips are vegetarian.  It's just silliness really.  Not many people outside my close family, boyfriend, and friends really know much about what I do and don't eat.  Someone at work was in hysterics at the idea of rice milk, he told me that milk only comes from cows.  So I just try not to talk about it.  Easier that way, for now! 

 

It must be tough, as everyone has said.  The age, the fact you're a guy, and the fact that people tend to be freaked out by those who don't eat meat.  You're doing what makes you happy though, and that's what is important :)

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#13 Old 04-27-2013, 05:23 PM
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This speech might be overly done but I want to remind you that middle and high school kids are mean in ways you won't have to deal with afterwards. It is a very difficult time for anyone at all different but looking back it seems like no time at all. The hardest memories I have to deal with are not from being picked on, but from the times I compromised my morals and did things i knew were wrong in order to fit in. Believe me, that is worse in the long term than some silly kids picking on you because they are self conscious too. Hang in there.
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#14 Old 04-27-2013, 10:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susannah View Post

I think a lot of people would be horrified if you told them the pasta and sauce they had just eaten was vegan, or that pizza and chips are vegetarian.  It's just silliness really.  Not many people outside my close family, boyfriend, and friends really know much about what I do and don't eat.  Someone at work was in hysterics at the idea of rice milk, he told me that milk only comes from cows.  So I just try not to talk about it.  Easier that way, for now! 

 

It must be tough, as everyone has said.  The age, the fact you're a guy, and the fact that people tend to be freaked out by those who don't eat meat.  You're doing what makes you happy though, and that's what is important :)

 

That never made sense to me. I always thought about doing an experiment when my friends come over, we eat pizza for dinner, but use vegan pepperoni, and don't tell them. Wait until they say "Mmmm, this is good!" and then reveal that it is vegan.

 

Also there are good parts of being a guy too. Such as, it is more socially acceptable for a male to ask out a female first, with no repercussions.
 

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#15 Old 04-28-2013, 04:29 AM
 
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Not really. Sometimes people will ask the usual questions, but it's mostly just from curiosity. Otherwise if anyone really says anything it's to say they don't eat a lot of meat... I think some people worry about being judged. There's probably been times I've gotten some ridicule for it but I can mostly only remember people being cool with it. Guess I'm just lucky. There was one night I remember my grandmother going on and on though about how I can't possibly get enough protein or fat or that I must have an eating disorder rolleyes.gif but it wasn't a big deal. My mom defended me so I didn't have to say a thing and it was just that one time. Oh and my grandpa would make comments here and there sometimes, but he did that even before I became a vegetarian since I've always been a picky eater and he was the type to say to clean your plate.

 

Some of the ridicule you're getting might be because of your age or even possibly because you're male and while I would like to say you won't have to deal with it as an adult, it's likely you will. On the upside, as an adult it's a lot easier to meet like minded people and choose to spend your time at places where people are more veg friendly. So things should eventually get better.

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