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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love when I can't make my own food choices on whether I can or cannot eat meat. It's so great. not. They're like... "You can have just a little meat--it won't hurt you". or...We'll have to sit on you and force you to eat it (isn't that illegal?)...and then I get lectured on how these animals "are made to be eaten" by freakin 3 different people. I just want to scream "SHUT THE HELL UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE!!!" What the hell don't 'they understand about "I don't want to eat meat"? WHAT PART OF THAT DONT THEY UNDERSTAND????? Sorry.. I am so angry right now..and I am venting. I hate when people lecture me like I'm a little kid, like I don't know the difference between this and that. I also hate when people tell me that I'm going to do something, like I'm really going to do it (ie: eat meat). I made a freakin choice FOR MYSELF--it's not like it's freaking hurting them any.. And then the make ME feel bad because they're like... "well we bought this chicken for you-- and now you're not gunna eat it?! " Holy hell, you bought a freaking freezer full--I'm sure it's not for me. I wonder if I'm even posting in the right forum...I dont' really care right now.
I think I'm going to go starve myself. Just kidding. I'm just venting.

Wow that felt a little better.

 

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i'm sorry to read that you are so frustrated, but often remember that people are venting their fears onto you. . .and it's not as personal as it may seem.

If you're new to being vegetarian (i dont know!), then this is a common thing in the beginning, which makes it all the more annoying, because you're still working things out! ACK! but, it does get better.

Also, i found that the simple phrase of "I do not wish to discuss my dietary choices with you, nor hear your opinions about it" works very well. Be "snobby" as i've been called (also "bitchy" and "bossy" are common, but not related to vegetarianism. It's because i'm honest, sometimes without much tact, and because i'm assertive about my needs, desires, and ideas about the proper way to handle things.).

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yeh, it is fairly new. The hard part is....I live with these people. So I could probably use that phrase a million times and they still would try to convince me otherwise. I'm still trying to make them respect my choices though...sigh..hopefully someday they will


thanks for your reply though.
 

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You sound like you might be a kid still. Big enough to make your own choice, but still a kid. Some parents have a hard time knowing when to turn things over to their children, particular decisions they feel may negatively impact their health. It's because they love you, when all is said and done.

A lot of teens (are you a teen?) living at home have to deal with this, and it's very hard to get around it. You're going to have to make a very strong case to them that you've researched all the facts and you'll be fine. In fact, if you can make the case that it's actually healthier, and that most kids your age are already on their way to an early grave because they eat too much meat, sugar, and processed foods, they may start to respect your thought processes.

Older people are always going to think they know better than you. They've been around longer, they think they've learned some things... The burden of proof that they don't is on you. So, don't get discouraged! Do your homework. Put together a paper, if you have to! If you can present yourself the way school is supposed to teach you to present yourself, you might convince them (who knows? they might join you), and it will help you develop your argument to others, and the skill to argue other issues later on down the line.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
lol..actually I'm 21. I live with my boyfriend and his parents, and I'm in college. That is the sad part. Sometimes, it's hard to open people up to new ideas. The phrase "as long as you don't think about what they do to the animals, then it won't bother you as much" is cliche. I'm sorry, but if I put that phrase with human references...ie: as long as you don't think about those children in poverty-stricken countries, then you don't have anything to worry about...

I dunno. Change is hard for others to accept...and obviously, some people think that just because they've lived one way for a long time, then in effect, it is the right way...and any change to that would be perilous or too dramatic to accept. Oh well..I will trudge on..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
21? yup, still a kid
You don't grow up until 24 (out of university and have a job that screws you over).

You need to talk to them with the same respect you want to be shown. It takes time and, for some people, there will never be enough time. You have to find the happy medium between being assertive in your beliefs and not taking yourself way too seriously.

Good luck
 

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yeah, well, you're in a double pickle. The first pickle is that you live with others who do not share (or do not respect, or fear) your ideas/choices. The second pickle is that this involves someone else's parents who, essentially, help care for you (roof, at least, right?).

These parents are the authorities in the house, and they have authority over you (albeit limited ultimately). BUT, unlike with your own parents, you don't have as much recourse (ie, ability to offend them).

I have that problem with my in laws. I have to *really* think about what i want to say and how i want to say it and when--before i say anything. most things have to come from my husband in order for them to be heard.

For instance, my husband continually reminds his mother that i do not eat meat or dairy--not even fat free dairy. For some reason, she'll make a meal and say "it had fat free cheese on it!" i told her that i do not eat dairy because of lactose intolerance, not because of fat. Also, i do not eat dairy for ethical reasons, which has nothing to do with the fat content. If i did eat dairy, it would be the kind with all the fat in it, because it is less processed, and therefore, healthier for you. This went over her head in a breeze. The next dinner--the same scenario.

Finally, whenever my husband and i are heading over there, he asks about the menu. He says: be sure that all of the veggies are dairy free, so that we can eat them (he no longer consumes dairy either)--that means no cheese, not even fat free cheese. Whenever i say it, i might as well be talking to the trash can.

it goes for many other thigns too: my job, my body, my choices regarding my sexual preferences and health, my choice in music even. I can state something, at some point, and unless i'm "sweet and demure" in the giving of the information, and i'm very very very specific about terms, it doesn't go over. They see me as being stubborn or silly or "she'll grow out of it when she realizes how much she needs to be a woman/wife" and so on (they have some IDEAS--lemme tell you). It's crazy.

So, i can't just yell and that and say "you people are completely assinine. How often do i have to bring this information over so that you can understand/accept my choices? how often do i have to repeat myself? why don't you leave me the hell alone?

Yeah, i did something like that once: "I disagree with that statement" (i said)--and it went over like a lead balloon. They were so upset, started yelling at my husband about me--his dad threw something at him (my inlaws are sitting on mountains of rage covered by proprieties). it was pandamonium.

I know it's not like this for everyone (like my husband for instance), but even he is careful about my parent's sensibilities. He knows he would be more easily forgiven by my parents than i would be by his--but we are seriously black sheep, and we're the "good kids" by external standards. It's the drug addict/alcoholic couple that they really ally with for some reason. Although, my MIL holds a great deal of shame in the following two facts:

1. my sister in law, one year older than me at 28, is not yet married, and

2. she is not a grandmother (and i don't want to have kids any time soon).

I was at a craft show today where my FIL was showing his bowls (wood turning), and my MIL was there. An old neighbor of theirs--who is just about four years older than my MIL, was there. Her youngest, at 30, a year younger than my husband, is expecting his first child. THe woman's older children (up to age 35) all have children. She very nicely asked if my SIL was married. My MIL answered "no" and had a twinge of pain/shame in it. Then, the woman asked if we had any children. I answered "no" and ryan said "we need a breather. the wedding was a lot of work"--the woman laughed and was pleasant enough. But MIL was really shamed. It was bizzarre. Something i need to figure out.

Anyway, that's just an unrelated story, but i think it kinda poses some of the same ideas. We really don't know where our inlaws, or others, are coming from. I mean, my MIL is ashamed of us and herself because we don't have children. She kinda takes it out on us--like "why aren't you ready?" and "X is younger than you and has two kids" and so on--but it's not *our* issue. It's hers. I *know* that i'm not ready for kids--just as you *know* that you don't want to eat meat.

And i don't know how to help you. Other than--try to figure out something that works. Or simply ask them to stop--and ask your boyfriend to help you. If he'll at least be "on your side" you can be a united front against the harassment. This is what my husband and i do. He saw what i saw today at the craft show. We've been puzzling it the whole time since we got home. Ok. not the whole time--we did do something else--but still, a lot.

What we've found is that we need to be a united front with them. Not like we're at war, but sometimes we're bracing for avoiding conflict that is inevitable. Every time we're with them, it's some comment about our inadequacy causing them some shame. Again, their issue, but the blame and comments and things really frustrate and hurt.

at least we're sorta in the same boat, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The case against meat is fairly stronger than the case for it. The meat industry is rancid and vile, meat consumption is not economically efficient, and its bad for the environment, not to mention your health. If you wanted to get biblical aginst meat you could also do that as well. There is alot of educational tools and support in your favor. Educate yourself and use your words to get those people off your back. The more knowledgeable you are about the subject, the more serious people will take you..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yah, we are kinda in the same boat zoebird. I really don't want to say anything that would "offend" them...ie: anything about her cooking. They are nice and all, and they do more than enough for us...but when my opinions change..it's like..."what the hell is wrong with you?"...but...sigh. I asked my bf to help support me in this...and right now I don't know if its a yes or a no.......To me, it's not a big of a concept to get over...but apparently, if I don't eat meat, I will shrivel up and die from lack of nutrients. Well, I told them that soy nutrients had a lot of protein, and that soy could replace any meat/dairy product in the recipes. I even downloaded a 24 page guide for soyfoods for heaven's sake! I'm trying to educate myself as much as I can about the farm factories and the things that go on there. I forced myself to watch the commercial at the mercyforanimals.com website, and as well as the Peta video (narrated by Alec Baldwin) that made my cry .. a lot... And yeah, for some reason they keep throwing this on me like I'm trying to diet even though I said I was doing it for the animals (& they even know I love animals). I think the main problem is that they don't consider farm animals "animals"...they consider them food, like a lot of people do, and even I used to think so.

I may be daring and show his mom the peta video...but I don't even know if after THEN, would she even start to see my point of view (plus she might get pissed and say "that's gross" and keep the same feelings).

Maybe if I act depressed enough..they will leave me alone about this. and since tonight is the night they are "making me eat" chicken...hopefully they may change their minds...

my "mil" (soon to be) isn't as ...i guess stern is a good word...as yours zoebird, but I do kinda know how you feel. In fact, my bf's parents compared to my parents are like a couple of wild flower children...in comparison...my parents are very strict. But hey...at least even my mom can accept my decision.
 

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They are making you eat chicken? That is plain disrespectful, no matter what your relationship to them is. I'd have problems with one person forcing someone to eat something they didn't want to even if it was for merely taste preference reasons, let alone ethical ones.

I lived with some people like this once, too. I became veggie when I was about 15 or so, and my parents were pretty supportive about it, very down on me eating right and getting all my nutrients, but ok with it as my personal point of view. (Acutally, my mum has even gone semi-veg since, after watching me these past years). When I was 16 I moved in with my sister and her partner who treated very disrespectfully over it, saying I was "very selfish" for being a vegetarian, and that I had no right to be vegetarian while living at home or with them. They even boasted about how "dumb" vegetarians where because if you hid chicken stock in thier food, or cooked their potatoes in meat juices they could not tell. (Then wondered why I was suspicious of some of the things they fed me
}
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kristadb

You don't grow up until 24 (out of university and have a job that screws you over).

SCORE!! I'm a grown up!!

wait a second... this bites...

its unfortunate how a lot of people can't just learn to mind their own damn business. I'm trying to sort out whether it actually gets better with time or you just stop noticing stupid people as much.

Could you try sitting down w/ your bf's parents and telling them that you're upset by the way they're treating you? Let them know that you appreciate their trying to feed you, but you do not eat meat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yeah, I wish I could. But it just doesn't seem to get through to them...their argument is..well if you ate it before, you can eat it now...or...don't think about what they do to the animals...or...you can eat some meat, but we're not forcing you to eat a lot ::rolls eyes::...i mean..it's like they think they have so much to pile up against my argument (which in fact, it shouldn't be an argument in the first place)..I'm assuming they know how they are treating me..and that I am miserable about it...but that they think I will "live through it". Or maybe that it's just some phase I am going through...who knows. The main thing that bothers me is that they think that "thinking about the animals" is a silly notion..and that they are "meant to be eaten".

and then..to make it worse...they rag on me for I swear 30 minutes straight on how I should really factor in that one person (me) not eating meat won't make a difference in the farming industry. Well, all I have to say to that is...at least I'm making an effort. One person more is one person stronger. Plus, they sit there and give me all these examples on how there are "free-range" chickens, and healthy farms for these animals...well where the hell do they think they will end up eventually??? I mean..I want to burst out and yell..but I can't...so I'll just post it
 

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I was thinking about this last night. I managed to find two hours and two miles away from other people last night, and I thought to myself:

"One person alone cannot make a difference, but one person, being part of a group of people can make a difference."

Kinda hard to fathom really. I also thought out a lot of issue surrounding myself, and i thought that in this world, apathy is the worst thing. It is because people will accept the what hing are, even if they aren't good, because they feel they won't or can't make a difference. I've decided that I will try my personaly best to make a difference to this world, and try to make it a better place, and although I probably won't make a difference, at least I can say I tried. (I think this is what you're saying, which is great, BTW)

Back to the issue with the parents, my parents were resistant to me going vegetarian aged 12. They resisted at first, trying to get me to eat meat, and i resisted, so they left me to it, thinking it was just a phase, and didn't relaly give me a lot of support. But now they know it's not a phase, they're very accomodating.

Whatever you do, don't burst out and yell. Be polite and eloquent. That's the best advice I can give really. Also, I'd advise that you check out www.vegetarianteen.com They have plenty of great articles, a few of them delaing with parental issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks for the insight ( I like your signature btw pastor). Yeah, I would never yell...partly because 1. I never disrespect my elders (even sometimes, I wish I had) and 2. I'm extremely quiet...and keep mostly to myself..which is probably why I like to write and draw so much.

And hopefully, someday I will make a difference--or we all will. I don't like to be regarded as a "flower child" or viewed as one just because I love animals and get extremely upset over people littering...but it is true...it seems as though the world lives on euphemism, and is willing to cover up awful realities with USDA labels.

Peace
 

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melafina:

The harder part is if your boyfriend, soon to be husband i guess, doesn't support you. And then you have some hard questions. If he doesn't support you in this relatively simple to work around dietary change--a choice for your own body, as well as mind and spirit--will he support you in other, possibly more important decisions? He may disagree with your choice, but that doesn't mean that he can't support the decision that you make.

My husband is an omnivore and very supportive. He even listens when i rant on about not having kids ever, and then hears me goo about having them when i'm fertile. But either way, he says "i support either decision, even though i do want to have kids." etc. It is part of his job to support me, and it is part of my job to support him too! THis would be a deep question to have to answre, because it calls into question *a lot* about your relationship. Scary, huh?

With your in laws, i think that being emphatic is a good idea. I would also go ahead and give them the information that you have. Not necessarily the videos, but at least the information. And you can say to them, you don't have to agree with me, i'm not asking you to become vegetarian. I just want you to understand my point of view and the choices that i'm making. I'd also like you to stop trying to convince me to eat meat. I choose not to, and you should respect that choice, just as i respect your choice to eat meat.

Ryan's parents don't do well with this sort of thing. They're not good listeners, and even worse, they're horrible processors. Theyre nice, but they don't have strong analytical minds. TO them, every little health article is "true" and they're not very discerning about how to apply information. THey simply "Go with whatever anyone else is going with"--so they don't do their own research and come to their own conclusions. doing this would lead into the dangerous world of being your own person and potentially "going against the flow" of what "normal people" and "respectable people" do. If you just stick with what everyone else does, what respectable people do, then you're good. If you go against that flow, then you're "bad."

So, giving my in laws an argument like that may not work. But, it may work with yours. I don't know. And, i would bring it up the next time that they bring it up. Have the materials ready--give them to your future in laws.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Melafina

lol..actually I'm 21. I live with my boyfriend and his parents, and I'm in college. That is the sad part. Sometimes, it's hard to open people up to new ideas. The phrase "as long as you don't think about what they do to the animals, then it won't bother you as much" is cliche.
Melafina I really feel for you being stuck in this situation. You have every right to feel angry. These people are not respecting your decision and even worse they are just being plain ignorant by telling you to ignore the suffering of animals.

But, you have a fairly major problem that is difficult to get around, and that is the fact that you are living in their house. Basically this means that they can and will, continue to say these things to you if they feel like it and sadly there's not really a great deal you can do about it.

It's got very little to do with your age either. Based on what you've said here, IMO the problem with you BF's parents is more of a territorial issue. You've come into their house and even though you are a quiet person who keeps to herself, just by being a vegetarian you are sending them subtle signals which they are interpreting as a threat to their way of life and morals.

I believe that you're unfortunately in one of those situations where trying to open people up to new ideas is a waste of time. Because of the way your BF's parents think, there's very little chance that you will change their minds or get them to respect you. So IMO, you've got 2 options. You can either put up with their behaviour and learn to let it not bother you.... or you can move out and live with someone who isn't uncomfortable with vegetarianism.

What concerned me more than anything in your post was the fact that you said that your boyfriend was also joining in on hassling you over your vegetarianism. This means he doesn't respect you either! He certainly doesn't have to agree with your decision but he should support you, especially in front of his parents. If he wont do this then it's probably time to get another BF who will.

Perhaps you could try and talk to him about all this and come to some sort of resolution or compromise.

Best of luck Melafina
 

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Agreed that you should have a lot of knowledge to arm yourself with. Knowledge is Power.

If that doesn't make them get off your back and let you alone, tell them there's sh*t in the meat. That oughta do it.
 

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I have been lurking on the board and reading this site for a while. Where do you all live? I have never had these encounters. I have never had anyone give me a hard time about being a veggie.

Lawd when that day finally happens.
 
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