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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
sigh. so, i used to eat fish but decided to go vegan not too long ago, and i had a post some time back about my bf being unhappy with it. now he's fine and we're fine, but tonight we were out having dinner with friends and 2 of them found out tonight about my veganism cos i have not seen them for some time. one, out of honest concern (i could tell) told me it's unhealthy and i should think about it seriously again. i insisted fish feel pain but he said no. whatever. i know he cares and all, but i hate having to explain my decisions over and over. the other friend, irritatingly, pointed out a 'tofu steak' on my menu to me and said "right? tht's wht u can eat right?" and after a second, i realised he meant to say tht i had only ONE thing to eat (not true!!!) because he followed by saying "DON'T!!!". i was freaking annoyed with that and i told him not to do that, tht i did not like it. i sounded stern and i did not feel nice saying it like tht, but i was getting pissed. look, i don't know. how did u guys deal with ppl challenging you on your veganism when u made the transition? i am not about to back down and convert back, but i am so tired of all this bulls**t. i think ppl are a bit more concerned because they think i am thin, and those who know my history are worried cos i used to be anorexic. but WTF i am not doing this as a way to go back to being sick! i honestly feel bad about eating fish, and hell i never liked eggs and milk anyways!
 

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Oh, I'm sorry, jacfong <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> I guess, you should probably just stop explaining. If people bring it up, just point out that, if they'd like, you will email them some sites or tell them they can learn about it on the internet or pamphlets, and that you'd like to just enjoy the day/evening or whatever and don't feel like getting into it. That will probably stop them. Don't argue with people or attempt to explain yourself, as if you have to, you know what I mean? Once they put you on the defense, your case looks weak. Besides, it seems like it ruins your evening! Just smile and say you don't feel like discussing it.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck.
 

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I've approached this problem a few ways:<br><br><br><br>
-I've put together a sort of "FAQ" of the most common questions I keep receiving from family and friends. I distributed it to all my close family members, and when anyone asks me "What's wrong with milk" or anything of that nature, I just say "Tomorrow I'll bring you some information on that." If you want, I could send you a copy of this.<br><br><br><br>
-I too, am very thin, 'recovered' from an ED. Many people express concern over this. They think that I'll wither away on a vegan diet. Depending on the person I'll say one of a few things. I might point out that I've gained 25 pounds on this vegan diet. I might even go so far as to break down for them how many calories and how much protein I've had today.<br><br><br><br>
-When people make comments like, "Yea, but you can't get anything to eat here." I'll say something like, "you're right, but let's stop by Taco Bell so I can pick up some nachos and guacamole." I think it's good to remind people that a vegan diet doesn't restrict you from some good old junk food.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by jacfong</i><br><br><b>i hate having to explain my decisions over and over.</b></div>
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Stop. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone. It's your life, and its none of their business. Stay confident and like the others said, tell them if they are really interested in it you can recommend some books or websites. Also, give yourself a rule that you won't talk about it over food. That's always the worst time.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by jacfong</i><br><br><b>sigh. so, i used to eat fish but decided to go vegan not too long ago, and i had a post some time back about my bf being unhappy with it. now he's fine and we're fine, but tonight we were out having dinner with friends and 2 of them found out tonight about my veganism cos i have not seen them for some time. one, out of honest concern (i could tell) told me it's unhealthy and i should think about it seriously again. i insisted fish feel pain but he said no. whatever. i know he cares and all, but i hate having to explain my decisions over and over. the other friend, irritatingly, pointed out a 'tofu steak' on my menu to me and said "right? tht's wht u can eat right?" and after a second, i realised he meant to say tht i had only ONE thing to eat (not true!!!) because he followed by saying "DON'T!!!". i was freaking annoyed with that and i told him not to do that, tht i did not like it. i sounded stern and i did not feel nice saying it like tht, but i was getting pissed. look, i don't know. how did u guys deal with ppl challenging you on your veganism when u made the transition? i am not about to back down and convert back, but i am so tired of all this bulls**t. i think ppl are a bit more concerned because they think i am thin, and those who know my history are worried cos i used to be anorexic. but WTF i am not doing this as a way to go back to being sick! i honestly feel bad about eating fish, and hell i never liked eggs and milk anyways!</b></div>
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I never got challenged on my veganism, at least not on the level you describe, so it's hard for me to relate. But I would suggest you start educating yourself enough to be able to shut these people up with facts when they won't respect your right to choose. And damn right it's your right to choose, so don't feel bad about being firm. Just stay healthy, and take your strength from the knowledge that you're doing this for the right reasons.<br><br><br><br>
Best of luck to you.
 

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i found the best approach was to really educate yourself on vegan nutrition. try the book becoming vegan. that way if people say anything you can easily answer plus you can turn it around and ask them if they are getting enough calcium or omega fatty acids and what have you.
 

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Being an outspoken vegan is important. But be smart, and do what every successful combatant has done since "The Art of War" and....<br><br><br><br>
Pick your battles.<br><br><br><br>
If the situation is inconvenient, don't get into the fight at all.<br><br><br><br>
A discussion with omnis, surrounded by omnis, in an omni restaurant, with no back-up material (books, internet), when people around me are about to eat meat and are eager to attack/ridicule me I think qualifies as inconvenient.<br><br><br><br>
You should know that you can NEVER "win" in such a situation. Meaning, you won't convince / convert anybody here. The next step then is to cut off any chance for "damage" done to you.<br><br><br><br>
Say something along the lines "I don't discuss my diet while eating". If they ask why, say "because it never ends pretty". See if they respect this. If not, this should give you a good insight about them and their respect for you and I hope you won't be sitting with them together again anytime soon.<br><br><br><br>
I find that being a healthy, happy vegan bursting w/ energy, compassion and knowledge sends much more positive signals (towards both critics and any potential veg*n material) than any single discussion in some restaurant.<br><br><br><br>
You shouldn't waste much energy thinking about and preparing for hopeless situations. Concentrate on the big picture! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I certainly agree with having information to back up your decisions.<br><br>
I wouldn't waste any engery arguing about it. Instead, if they ask Qs, answer them, and thank them for their interest and concern. Plus, explain that being vegan makes you feel well both physically and mentally, and that you would prefer not to argue about it.<br><br>
Most omnis (especially friends) aren't out to bash veggies, they just don't have all the facts and so understandably, they may have reservations about your choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thank you everyone, i feel better just having some kind words of support from you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> i have been reading on veganism but mostly just on web sites, maybe i should get the book janette suggested, which i am sure will have much more info. i agree that i should not discuss my diet at a meal cos yes, it really does spoil the mood!<br><br><br><br>
charity: thank you for the offer. i would love one of your pamphlets! would you like to email it to me?
 

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I want to add, if after telling them you don't want to argue over your diet and you want them to respect you choices, they still challenge you, well maybe they aren't 'friends'.<br><br><br><br>
I say this bc like Epski, I rarely face this situation bc I can't imagine my friends being that way.
 

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i've found that i no longer announce my dietary choices to people unless i absolutely need to. usually i don't.<br><br><br><br>
for isntance, in the situation that you described, if you or someone else hadn't mentioned it, your friend woulnd't have looked at the menu and been weird about it. He would have ordered and you would have ordered, any they probably wouldn't have noticed that it ws even vegetarian. i've found this to be the case most of the time in my life.<br><br><br><br>
most people don't notice. and if they ask, say, i can get you some information about it if you want. And that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi,<br><br>
These people have all given you excellent advice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
Here in the US, there is a book caled 'The subversive vegetarian", which has a lot of tactics for dealing with omni's. Perhaps it would help you, too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I've stopped explaining myself to people. I've gotten tired of answering the same questions to the same people over and over. I just tell them, I don't bug you about what you eat so you don't bug me about what I eat. I don't make a big deal out of where we eat or anything. If they all want to go to Mc Donalds and clog their hearts with greasy ass food fine, I'll just order a salad.<br><br><br><br>
I like the idea of refering them to some websites though. Thats a great idea. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I usually say something like this:<br><br><br><br>
"Well, I think its unhealthy and unnatural to suckle the teat of another species."<br><br><br><br>
"Well, I think its gross and unhealthy to consume the dead rotting flesh of another being"<br><br><br><br>
"Thank you for your concern. I really appreciate it. I believe that we have a right to disagree and to believe in different things."<br><br><br><br>
As long as you are healthy, educated, and content, there should be no problem.
 

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Sometimes it's best to just agree, but still make a point.<br><br><br><br>
Huh? How do you do that?? Well, for example; at a debate tournament with my school, I was sitting at a table with the part of my school's debate team that weren't debating, eating some soy yogurt. It is well known to my team that I am vegan. One person looked over at me (someone who likes to poke at people and be mean) and says "But meat tasts good!" Forgetting the fact that there are many meats who's tasts I never enjoyed, and thinking about how I could make him happy, I replied something to the effect of: "Ya, meat does tast good, I never said that I didn't like the tast of meat, but that's not why I'm vegan."<br><br><br><br>
In this way, you agree with what the person says, but you still make it clear that you are still happy with your decision to go vegan. Here are some replies to basic concerns:<br><br>
Concern Reply<br><br>
Health Yes, I do have to worry about health to some degree, but I would also<br><br>
have to worry about health as a meat eater.<br><br>
Tast I agree that some milk/egg/meat/fish products tast good, but I also love<br><br>
how not I can eat foods that I never would have tasted before, such as<br><br>
________<br><br>
Price I will eather pay with money- wich comes and leaves- or with my health,<br><br>
wich I am stuck with for life<br><br><br><br>
You can think up some more yourself, just try to come up with witty ways to agree and disagree at the same time... it's quite simple (my combacks above are weak, because, well, I'm bad at that type of stuff)
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>CharityAJO</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I've approached this problem a few ways:<br><br><br><br>
-I've put together a sort of "FAQ" of the most common questions I keep receiving from family and friends. I distributed it to all my close family members, and when anyone asks me "What's wrong with milk" or anything of that nature, I just say "Tomorrow I'll bring you some information on that." If you want, I could send you a copy of this.<br></div>
</div>
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I really like that idea. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
I did something similar with my family, it can sometimes really help people to read explanations. Provided you don't have to convince them that the source isn't biased or lying.
 

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I feel for you. I have never really had anyone challenge me in such a way. But I often change the focus of the discussion from diet to freedom, if I think the people are actually anti-veg. Most people do believe in person freedom, the right to make your own decisions, right or wrong. Your life, your decision etc. With people, I think, are more sympathetic I usually will discuss the topic. But exactly as Oatmeal says you need to choose you battles.<br><br><br><br>
I also think you need to be a bit stronger as far as where you go to eat with friends. I am the only vegetarian in my circle of friends, but if they want to go to certain restaurants they go without me. Even my wife after she gave birth to our 3rd child wanted to go to a steakhouse, I said no problem, go with you friends and tell me about it when you get back. I usually try to get my friends to go to ethnic restaurants, as there is usually a wider choice of meals for me.
 

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I'd just like to point out to you guys that this thread is over 2 yrs old, and the OP has probably resolved the issue.
 
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