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-   -   How not to feel like I'm putting everyone out by being vegan? (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/60-vegan-support-forum/210121-how-not-feel-like-im-putting-everyone-out-being-vegan.html)

Nietzscha 05-31-2016 08:08 AM

How not to feel like I'm putting everyone out by being vegan?
 
I've been vegetarian for almost 3 years, and have slowly transitioned to veganism for the last few months. Being just vegetarian in the South (North America) has been socially difficult for me. I work in a place where meetings are set up in restaurants (and no, I can't choose where they are since people higher up or from other agencies set the meetings up), and friends have trouble remembering not to put bacon on everything. I often have trouble feeling like I'm putting my husband out by having to choose where we eat and what we cook (he's always been the cook in my family, and he's an omnivore) based on me.

Anyway, I rant. My mom and dad are a whole separate issue. My dad shows his love through food. He has always been that way. He is also a 5-sticks-of-butter and steak-goes-with-anything kind of guy. I sometimes make weekend trips to see them, and now that I'm vegan, I'm not sure what to bring for a whole weekend to make my being there easier on them. My dad has the Southern hospitality of having to include everyone in what he cooks, and he'll have no idea what to make for me. In fact, I haven't even broken the news to my parents yet because of how badly I feel it will put them out. Isn't that crazy? Any tips for these kinds of feelings, or what to bring to weekend trips with friends and family?

LedBoots 05-31-2016 10:45 AM

Restaurants often have menus online, and you can figure out what to order ahead of time.

As far as the family goes, your husband will be the difficult one day to day. Sitting down and hashing out boundaries is the way to go here. Other family members, you have to suck it up and tell them. Bring food with you, learn to cook easy delicious vegan meals, and remember to laugh. Most of the stuff they say is idiotic. 😃

Nietzscha 05-31-2016 11:53 AM

Thanks LedBoots, and to the person I'm pretty sure commented earlier, but is no longer on here? I think I tend to worry way to much about other people. I'm supposed to be getting tested for depression/anxiety as soon as my doctor gives me a referral to a psychiatrist that will take my insurance. I'm sure my anxiety plays into a lot of my decisions on life. Also, my husband is actually one of the most supportive people, even if he doesn't quite understand my reasons. He has even made sure to watch for and point out non veg-friendly ingredients my dad would slyly put into his otherwise vegetarian meals. I still, however, feel like every time he wants to go out to eat, he has to forgo some of his favorite places or else he feels like I don't get enough good food to eat. Then I worry about making his life worse by my own choices, and so forth. We cook vegan at home (husband even makes this really delicious peanut/black bean stew that's to die for!), and you're right that most places can make vegan food, so I guess it's really just an issue of when I have to eat at family/friends' houses. You guys are right though, I can always bring my own food! :P Thanks for helping ease my anxiety. I find that social eating is the only time being vegan is difficult!

jessandreia 05-31-2016 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nietzscha (Post 3975713)
Thanks LedBoots, and to the person I'm pretty sure commented earlier, but is no longer on here? I think I tend to worry way to much about other people. I'm supposed to be getting tested for depression/anxiety as soon as my doctor gives me a referral to a psychiatrist that will take my insurance. I'm sure my anxiety plays into a lot of my decisions on life. Also, my husband is actually one of the most supportive people, even if he doesn't quite understand my reasons. He has even made sure to watch for and point out non veg-friendly ingredients my dad would slyly put into his otherwise vegetarian meals. I still, however, feel like every time he wants to go out to eat, he has to forgo some of his favorite places or else he feels like I don't get enough good food to eat. Then I worry about making his life worse by my own choices, and so forth. We cook vegan at home (husband even makes this really delicious peanut/black bean stew that's to die for!), and you're right that most places can make vegan food, so I guess it's really just an issue of when I have to eat at family/friends' houses. You guys are right though, I can always bring my own food! :P Thanks for helping ease my anxiety. I find that social eating is the only time being vegan is difficult!

Hi, that was me... It's great your husband is so supportive. When hanging out with friends on weekends, don't worry too much. It's just a couple days. Bring some food, and you can always go to a grocery store near you quickly and there will be more vegan food. Subway (the sandwich chain) has vegan options. The white Italian bread is vegan, and you can choose to put wherever veggies on it. Also you can make a vegan meal at taco bell.

I have anxiety (like, really bad, panic attacks, etc.), so I understand. While I personally never worried about what others think regarding me eating vegan, I do worry about other things. (Ex: I worry about whether people actually enjoy spending time with me).
I don't know what your reason for going vegan is, but if it's ethics, just remember that you're doing right by not contributing for animal suffering. Knowing that I'm doing right, really helps not giving a crap what others might think.

Vegan Dave 05-31-2016 04:49 PM

CONGRATS for your vegan decision. :)

The initial stage is awkward, but think about what it's about.....YOU, or other people?

What if you changed your religion, sexual orientation, etc.? How would they react?

It might be hard, especially in the South!!, but other people are gonna have to adjust to YOUR decision.

Years ago, a group of us went to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Everybody had seafood....and I had.........boiled potatoes.....the only vegan option.

Make your new decision an adventure. Make yourself happy. :)

It's not about them....it's about YOU!!!!! :)

Bitter Orange 06-02-2016 06:42 AM

I feel like that too, and not only about food. I feel guilty when people compromise some of their more conservative ideas to get along with me, even if I believe I haven't done anything bad. I think you have to switch from feeling guilty to feeling grateful, and remind yourself that you're not asking for anything irrational or far-fetched.

Nietzscha 06-02-2016 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vegan Dave (Post 3975833)

The initial stage is awkward, but think about what it's about.....YOU, or other people?

What if you changed your religion, sexual orientation, etc.? How would they react?

It's funny you say that. I made a slow change from conservative Christian to atheist while in college, and still identify myself as an atheist (albeit the word is still hard to say!). I HAVE NOT come out to my parents that I'm atheist. I seriously think it might kill them. So, I keep my mouth shut when they tell me why some of the things I do/believe about psychology (I'm a counselor) are anti-Biblical. I love my parents and talk to them a lot on the phone, but I guess the more I'm typing, the more I realize I might have a bit of a dysfunctional relationship with them, especially for someone who's almost 30! :P

As for the guilt, it's true, I struggle a lot with guilt. My husband always tries to point out when I express guilt over something I shouldn't feel guilty about! I think it's just part of my anxiety.

Vegan Dave 06-02-2016 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nietzscha (Post 3977425)
It's funny you say that. I made a slow change from conservative Christian to atheist while in college, and still identify myself as an atheist (albeit the word is still hard to say!). I HAVE NOT come out to my parents that I'm atheist. I seriously think it might kill them. So, I keep my mouth shut when they tell me why some of the things I do/believe about psychology (I'm a counselor) are anti-Biblical. I love my parents and talk to them a lot on the phone, but I guess the more I'm typing, the more I realize I might have a bit of a dysfunctional relationship with them, especially for someone who's almost 30! :P

Sometimes, some things are better left unsaid. :D


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