Vegan "coming out" stories - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-29-2009, 10:47 PM
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I have been avoiding the topic of veganism with my relatives in Italy because I wasn't sure how they would react and was still thinking about how I would bring it up. I was also worried about how I would handle things when visiting them (hopefully in a few months).

Now, I have nothing to worry about!! I am very close to my aunt and love her to pieces... I live on my own so she asked me what sorts of meals I cook for myself, so I finally told her I'm a vegetarian (and yep, that means no fish!!) and that I don't eat dairy or eggs either (I thought it would be easier to explain that way since I wasn't sure if she would understand the Italian term for vegan). I reassured her that I'm very healthy (and that this has been backed up by blood tests) and have hardly had any IBS issues since going vegan and gave some examples of what I eat. My aunt also has IBS so she was impressed! She said "Well, when you come here I'll make you lots of beans!" Aww, it was so cute...

She took it SO well! She didn't call me crazy or anything like that (unlike some of my "friends" here...) and said that it was all really interesting and that she was excited for me to visit so that I could show her new recipes and teach her new things! She even knew what soy milk was! I was so happy as I was quite worried about the reaction. I am really relieved and even more excited to visit now since I know this will be a non-issue. I plan to bring over recipes and help out with the cooking/pay for groceries too. I am also hoping to find a vegan Nutella I read about online!

Please share your stories of people reacting positively once they found out you were vegan!
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#2 Old 03-30-2009, 08:15 AM
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I personally don't know which was worse, coming out as gay or vegan! ha!

Actually i think being vegan has given me more grief with my family than being gay has (although that wasn't a walk in the park either!).

I got all the usual responses things like but animals were put on earth for us to eat... without us eating them we would be over run by them... but it is the natural way... we are carnivores... blah blah blah blah blah.

What is really annoying is one particular member of my family, i like to cook and bake a lot, and i do some damn good baking! Cakes, cookies, muffins, scones etc, and this member of my family refuses to even try anything i make on the grounds of that it is vegan.

Meh, haha, but most of my friends were cool with it, probably to do with a lot of them being like minded!

(dancing pineapple rocks)
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#3 Old 03-30-2009, 11:16 AM
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She took it SO well! She didn't call me crazy or anything like that (unlike some of my "friends" here...) and said that it was all really interesting and that she was excited for me to visit so that I could show her new recipes and teach her new things! She even knew what soy milk was! I was so happy as I was quite worried about the reaction. I am really relieved and even more excited to visit now since I know this will be a non-issue.

That's great!
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#4 Old 03-30-2009, 11:25 AM
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That's awesome, LongLashedVeg. I must say some of my friends have been great about my adopting a vegan diet. They send me all kinds of recipes and have often offered to dine out at vegan restaurants. Some of them also enjoy the challenge of "thinking outside the box," as one of them put it, when they invite me to dinner .
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#5 Old 03-30-2009, 11:32 AM
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I like the title of this topic, because I've always thought of my veganism as being my way of experiencing how gays live through the discrimination. I seriously don't understand why people discriminate against vegans...but then again, I don't understand a lot of things in this ****ed up world, like why people discriminate against gays, or kill animals to eat it, or kill humans for any reason at all! And the list goes on.

I told my DH I had become a vegetarian when we got a hefty gift certificate to a steak house restaurant. He didn't take it too well. Although at the begining he accepted it kicking and he's very supportive and enjoys more of my vegan cooking than I do!

Btw Spowle, I have someone at work who also refuses to eat any of my baked goods because they are vegan!! I am the cupcake goddess! My baked goods rock the world!! It hurt me at first that she didn't eat any of the treats I brought in, considering everyone else drooled on them and begged for seconds. But then I thought to myself...meh! I am so happy that she is refusing herself, and torturing herslf, while she denies herself of the yummy stuff I bring...watching others stuff their mouths full of cupcake goodness
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#6 Old 03-30-2009, 11:45 AM
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For good stories on becoming vegan, check this out:

My friends and family took it very well and they have all been very nice to me, letting me cook for them and enjoying my food. But the person I appreciated the most was my boyfriend who supported me with no question and is now vegan himself.
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#7 Old 04-01-2009, 04:46 AM
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This is such great news Longlashedveg!

If your relatives in Italy want to understand veganism better (in their own language), Veronica has a nice vegan blog here:

Its also full of great recipes.
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#8 Old 04-01-2009, 09:42 AM
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People refusing baked goods because they're vegan BLOW MY MIND. I think when they hear the word "vegan" their common sense (if they have any) shuts off and they instantly assume it must mean the stuff has something hidden and creepy in it -- fear of the unknown, really. When, in truth, it has no cholesterol, less/no fat, etc. I think, maybe, this is where culture plays a role -- I know my family back in Europe wouldn't bat an eye and dig in if I just told them it was "for lent" (even if it isn't lent), since they're used to avoiding animal products for that purpose. Another idea would be to just say "it's made without milk or eggs" -- which might confuse or put off some people anyway, but I think it's the word "vegan" that irrationally scares some people because they don't quite know what that entails. (Or they do and they're jerks. Their tastebuds' loss.)

As for me, I think my parents still believe it's a phase and it'll wear out (or at least that I'll settle into a vegetarian diet). My grandparents all take it a lot better, with only my grandpa occasionally asking about calcium and protein. It may partly be because they're much more used to the idea of lent, one time that religion works in my favor.
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#9 Old 04-01-2009, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kiran View Post

This is such great news Longlashedveg!

If your relatives in Italy want to understand veganism better (in their own language), Veronica has a nice vegan blog here:

Its also full of great recipes.

GRAZIE!!! I am going to check it out tonight.
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#10 Old 04-03-2009, 12:46 AM
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Great post!

I decided early on that I wasn't going to be pushy and try and convert other people unless they showed an interest in this lifestyle. I honestly think this has helped big time because I haven't made other people feel defensive (not that i agree with eating meat/animal products but I figure once they see how much healthier and happier I am they may give it a go!!). I had mixed reactions. All of which were the opposite to what I expected.

My boyfriend does all the cooking and he cooks me only vegan food (he's a big meat eater too so it means he eats more vegan food now!!). He's 100% supportive which is very lucky!!! He even calls ahead if we have dinners etc to check there is something for me!

My sister was horrified and tells me i look unwell and it's why i'm always tired (for the record i've had glandular fever and it's been way better since going vegan!). She wont eat any of my baking either (except when i trick her and say my boyfriend made cupcakes hehe). She has always been my number 1 support so i think she's just worried but is slowly coming around.

My parents were fine cos i was a vege for so long and they know i'm healthy and take care of myself. My boyfriends parents, I though would be annoyed about having to have 'special foods' etc for me but they make all vegan meals when I stay and think it's exciting to have new foods.

I'm very lucky!

My workmates are pretty good and always make sure there is soy milk in the fridge for my coffee hehe.

My friends however = half and half!

Funnily enough I found females more judgmental than males. No idea why this is, maybe it's just my friends /

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#11 Old 04-03-2009, 07:30 AM
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Men generally just say something like "I can't live without meat" and that's the end of the conversation. In saying that I do find women ask a lot of questions, sometimes in a nice manner and other times not. But mostly I find people are interested and intrigued by my vegan lifestyle.

My family don't really get why I'm doing it. They understand vegetarianism but not veganism, they don't see the point. They think my diet is VERY restricted and boring even though they always chow down on any cakes I make.

My boyfriend is unbelievably supportive, he's my rock. He helps me when I get a hard time for being a vegan, he makes me feel better about myself by reminding me why I'm doing it and that all that matters is what I think and I know I'm doing the best I can. His family are brilliant too, I live with them now. His two sisters are vegetarian and have been for YEARS so his parents are really supportive, kind and considerate with me.
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#12 Old 04-03-2009, 01:01 PM
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When I first became vegan, my family and friends assumed I was doing it to lose weight, but once they found out I was serious about it and had done my research they were more than accepting. My mom even went vegetarian, my brother ate a vegetarian diet for a few months, my friend went vegan for a week just to try it, my dad and bro often eat vegan meals with me. A lot of people I know will read labels before they offer something to me and have become pros at knowing what is and isn't vegan. Every time I visit my bro, his fridge is always stocked with foods for me, and he makes delicious vegan meals that we all enjoy. I think I visit him more for his culinary skills than to see him!

Even when I meet new people and the subject is brought up, most of the time they're very supportive and just whatever about it. They often have questions, but don't interrogate me.

It's nice when people are accepting and don't make things an issue or debate.
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#13 Old 04-06-2009, 07:56 AM
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I've found that most of my friends are genuinely interested in my decision, and are surprised that I have finally gone through with it. There does seem to be this idea that being a vegan is difficult and that you hardly get to eat anything, when it couldn't be further from truth, and people are surprised when you point this out. The main reaction I get from my veggie friends is that they couldn't live without cheese, hopefully I can persuade them that they can. It's been real easy so far (i'm only two weeks in) it's giving up cask ale (in the UK) that is the really difficult thing.
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#14 Old 04-06-2009, 05:44 PM
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My friends and family have been surprisingly supportive as well. My dad was pretty "whatever" about it, though he still thinks that eventually I'll just switch back to vegetarian. My mom was pretty defensive about meat at first (especially fish- she works in the fishing industry) but she's gotten used to it. Sometimes she'll even set aside some vegetables for me if she's making a stir fry.

My friends were even cooler with it than my folks. At first they wanted to know why, but once I explained it to them they haven't bugged me really. And they know it's not a phase- my friends Sean and Elliot were hanging out with one of their other friends and my veganism came up. Their friend was like "yeah, that'll last for about a week". Sean and Elliot were both like "No, she's not like that, she'll stick to it".

Unfortunately, I've also experienced the phenomenon of people not accepting baked goods simply because they're vegan. It completely baffles me. But as others have pointed out, it's their loss
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