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So I've often told myself that I can effect more positive change through being a happy, healthy role model than by lecturing or criticizing. I wonder, though, if that's just a cop out. I know that even the gentlest lectures often make the other party go on the defensive, but I can't help but feel that maybe I'm just avoiding conflict.<br><br><br><br>
Well, at a Chinese restaurant a while back, my dad actually tried some of my tofu and said it was good! My mom has been researching vegan dishes she can prepare for Christmas, and has been calling me up to tell me about all the tasty things she wants to try. The other night, my bff and I were chatting and he mentioned he was in the food court and "didn't want the same old stuff, so I had a veggie submarine."<br><br><br><br>
But it was last night, out with my super-carnivorous guy friend, when I was truly floored. He said he went out for lunch and ordered a veggie burger from Harvey's! I never in a million years would have pegged this guy as being one to try a veggie burger. It's kind of funny that people make it a point to tell me when they eat vegetarian (and I don't know that I'd ever recommend veggie burgers from Harvey's), but hey, it's something. I'm sure I could be more of an activist, but it's really heartening to see the influence I have on the people around me.<br><br><br><br>
So how about you guys? What changes have you noticed in the people you know since you went veg?
 

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I agree about trying not to lecture people, and only teaching by example.<br><br><br><br>
I was quite surprised to see some of my friends being influenced by my choices, and I think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that I do look healthy and that I don't preach to them in any way, so I don't come across as annoying. On the plus side, I'm told I cook well, so I guess that has something to do with it as well. A close friend of mine in particular used to eat meat almost every day, and for quite some time now has started, as he says, 'to be tired of eating meat very often', and also gets tons of organic products now, because he's seen me buy all organic and he thinks my food tastes good. His decision came out of the blue for me, and I was very pleasantly surprised. My family has also started to buy more organic products, which makes me very happy.
 

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Wow, what an awesome story!<br><br><br><br>
I have been lucky enough to have 'turned' my mom almost vegetarian. She is eating fish, but has cut all other meats out completely for many years now! My dad is still a huge meat eater, but through my humane animal efforts my parents only buy free range eggs and milk now. And my dad uses veganese instead of mayonaise. They have also started using olive oil in all of their pasta and veggies dishes instead of butter. I was vegan for four years while living with them, and I think they just got into a habit of making things and trying things that were vegan or more animal friendly... some things went to the wayside, but some things really stuck, and my parents are creatures of habit so I felt pretty proud!<br><br><br><br>
I encouraged a boyfriend to turn vegetarian in high school and he still is as far as I know... My boyfriend now is a hard nut to crack.. We've been together for over two years and lived together for a year and he is still a hardcore meat eater! I mean, has to have to daily dose of a hunk of pork, chicken, or beef or else he gets bitchy... hehe.. well, he does. Anyway, I haven't turned him veg, but he is always willing to try anything vegetarian, and he eats a little more healthy.. I just have to keep trying.
 

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I totally am one of the "show by actions not words" sort of people.<br><br><br><br>
I don't volunteer information unless asked, but I always encourage or answer questions.<br><br>
I never get sick and that alone has impressed several of my friends (who have endless allergies and are ALWAYS getting the latest bug to come along...) and though I'm not a poster child for a healthy vegan diet, I have lost a considerable amount of weight since going vegan, (which is a GOOD thing in my case) and this has also made quite an impact on family and friends.<br><br><br><br>
So that, and a lot of yummy cooking have helped convince a LOT of my friends to eat a lot less meat, and a couple to even go vegetarian, (none to actually go vegan).<br><br><br><br>
I think it's VERY cool to see people around me actually reducing the amount of animal products they consume, in part because of MY choices.
 

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I've yet to see an impact on some of my friends, but the ones I went backpacking with I'm sure ate less meat on the trail because more veggie food was available because I was there.<br><br><br><br>
My younger sister went vegetarian 4-5 years after I did. She swears it had nothing to do with me, but I'm sure it didn't hurt for her to know it's possible to live and be a vegetarian. And to live in my parents' house while vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
Several of my friends are so... anti-faux-meats, anti-soy, anti-anything-not-meat-or-potatoes that if they ever claimed to have tried it, I would kiss their feet.
 

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I am contacted often for weight loss and fitness by mainly omni women. I of course recommend a fitness plan and vegan diet. I have never had anyone bulk at the idea. Change through role modeling is a good approach.
 

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I totally agree that you should lead by example - otherwise you just end up annoying people.<br><br>
If someone is going to turn veggie, they need to make the choice on their own, not because you've been bugging them to do it.<br><br><br><br>
I used to be in a veggie society and there were a few members who were into pestering people until they turned veggie, but all that means is that people won't stick at it if they don't truely believe they are doing the right thing, and will probably go back to eating meat behind your back because they were only giving it up to shut you up.<br><br><br><br>
One of my friends has recently turned veggie after being a real "meat man" and I really think it's because he's see me and my sister get on so well not eating meat and he's realised that meat isn't necessary. We never once pestered him and it paid off!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/pibo.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":pibo:">
 

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My mom's eating far less meat now because of me. I told her about the negative health effects of it, and she's expressed concern over animals treatment in factory farms. I hope I can turn her into a vegetarian!
 

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My husband went veggie because of me! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/broccoli.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":bobo:"> Although, I have to admit I did "push" some information on him. He wasn't terribly receptive to it, and finally I slipped the COK vegetarian starter guide in his work bag. A week later he announced to me that he had read it and he was going vegetarian, with plans to go vegan eventually.<br><br><br><br>
We have tried to be peaceful and lead by example, and that's what we've done the past few years. I love to cook and I always cook the tastiest meals for people when they come to our house. We see my parents a lot and my mom often cooks an entirely veg dinner when we come over. My dad will often order a vegetarian dinner when we are at a restuarant, too. However, recently after we watched Earthlings we had a feeling of "enough is enough!" and we emailed Meet Your Meat and Earthlings to my parents. (I started a thread about that in the Vegan forum). It hasn't turned them veg but my mom is "looking" for more humane sources of meat. Which is a good thing, I suppose.<br><br><br><br>
It's really hard to know how to be the best advocate for the animals. For the most part, we try to be cheerful about our vegetarianism, eating delicious foods and living a healthy and happy life. But on the other hand, I feel like the stuff that happens in large-scale farms is bad enough that people just need to know!! How can I know all the stuff that goes on without telling everybody I know? I feel constantly stuck between a rock and a hard place, on one hand wanting to share the information, but on the other hand, not wanting to alienate anyone and push them AWAY from veg*nism. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/worried.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":worried:">
 

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My husband announced that he'd like to go back to his diet again at the start of the new year.<br><br><br><br>
I couldn't be happier. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/broccoli.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":bobo:">
 

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For the longest time (3 years), I've kept my vegitarianism on the down-low. My fiance and I agreed that it's just too difficult to explain our reasons for being vegetarian. Every time we try, people usually cut us off to talk about how much they LOVE meat and how they could NEVER stop eating meat. Then they usually proceed to list all of their favorite meats and how they could never see themselves giving it up.<br><br><br><br>
But I've recently found my voice, after all of these years of avoiding the food conversation and trying not to upset or offend anyone. For me, my voice is my blog. There, I can write exactly how I feel about being a vegetarian, and the challenges I face on a daily basis. None of my friends or family members really read the blog (although most of them know it exists, so I'm not hiding anything anymore!), which I'll admit makes it easier for me to be vocal about my perspective.<br><br><br><br>
And who knows, maybe it will make a difference for someone who reads it. Maybe I really CAN change the world, one bite - and one word - at a time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Celina
 

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I think the key is to deal with each person individually - if you think they are genuinely interested, by all means tell them about what goes on on farms and the like, but if you think your words will go in one ear and out the other (or worse, start an argument) then save your breath for those who are more open minded.
 

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I think being a role model works a lot better than lecturing.<br><br><br><br>
When I became veg, some people around me felt like they had to change how they ate too, so I made it quite clear to them that I was the veg, not them, and I didn't expect them to change what they ate, and I acted like I didn't at all care what they ate. Well, one of my friends has cut down on meat, another has eliminated red meat and milk from her diet and started using tofu, and my husband only eats animal maybe one day a week, maybe less, and makes me buy him tofurkey for his lunch sandwiches because he doesn't like turkey and ham deli slices anymore.<br><br><br><br>
At restaurants, friends/family often just get what I get because if not, they say mine looks better than theirs. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
It's kinda neat, because I really didn't expect anyone to change because of me. It's funny seeing how much effect we can have on others without even trying.
 

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I have family members who are vegetarian now, after years of watching us be vegetarian. If I had tried to persuade them, you know they never would have done it. But since they came to it on their own (of course, seeing and tasting all our great food didn't hurt!) I think its more bound to stick ;-)
 

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I think I'm changing the way some of my friends think. They're around me on an almost daily basis and we always seem to end up eating something when we're together, and it's surprised them just what I can dredge up from the most unseeming of places. I think people don't consider going vegetarian or vegan purely because they think it's too hard to find things to eat but at last I'm proving my world wrong!
 

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yay! This is a great thread. I am big on the idea of leading by example rather than lecturing others. Many of our friends have started eating less meat and many gone vegetarian over the last year or so. They have influenced us and us them.
 
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