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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi gang,<br><br>
I'm putting together a video series that deals with the transition to vegetarianism. Right now I'm writing a specific section on how to deal with criticism and social pressure, both direct (peer groups) and indirect (mass media, commercials, tv shows, etc.).<br><br>
I have my own ways of constructively dealing with these issues, but I wanted to throw out the line and see if you have any specific ways of doing so. I'm taking the approach of positive and constructive responses to people eating meat; it disgusts most vegetarians I know, but we don't always have a good response -- not only to other people, but how to feel about it and exist in a mostly omnivorous world.<br><br>
Thoughts and opinions?
 

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The best thing to do is disconnect yourself from society and any of your friends who criticize you.<br><br>
Sarcastic remarks and belittling may also speed up your separation from society. You may want to join some kind of hippy commune, but ultimately that'll mean you become part of some weird vegetable eating cult.<br><br>
Alternatively, just don't worry about what others think and keep smilling. (But don't smile TOO much, because then you'll be veering into cult-like behaviour.)
 

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It's taken me a year to gain enough confidence to do this, but I've gotten really good at shutting people down when they try to be *******s about my vegetarianism.<br><br>
A few days ago, I posted a link about delicious veggies burgers on my Facebook. It included NOTHING about slaughter methods, why people should go veg, or animal rights. It was just "oh here are some tasty veggie burgers" but apparantly that was enough to offend some omnivores who left rude comments. I just responded with "I'm just not really a fan of where meat comes from, and that's my decision to make. If anyone would like to debate the merits of eating meat, I invite them to do it on their own Facebook page." If they continue, I'll just unfriend them.<br><br>
That's pretty much what I do in real life, too. I'm certainly willing to have discussions with people about why I'm vegetarian, but if they just want to attack me, I just say "I don't need to justify my personal decisions to you" and walk away.
 

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State your case and leave little openings for issues. Be firm.
 

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I emphasize that I've made my choice and they've made theirs.
 

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Smile! Positivity goes a long way and perception is everything when dealing with people. Smiling while talking about the benefits of vegetarianism will get you a million times farther than frowning or acting disgusted with meat eaters.<br><br>
Even if someone is attacking your beliefs and being rude it's better to be the one who is calm and smiling than letting them see they are getting to you. Plus, it's really hard to argue with a person who keeps looking more and more amused the more you insult them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SeitanWorship</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2847808"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
It's taken me a year to gain enough confidence to do this, but I've gotten really good at shutting people down when they try to be *******s about my vegetarianism.<br><br></div>
</div>
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When I meet people like that, I like to do the exact opposite and get them to really open up with their ignorant, misinformed bull****, then hit them with logic until they begin to get that look on their face that says "I think I might've ****ed up and don't know anywhere near as much about all of this as I thought I did." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>BenjyPortnoy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2847409"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Hi gang,<br><br>
I'm putting together a video series that deals with the transition to vegetarianism. Right now I'm writing a specific section on how to deal with criticism and social pressure, both direct (peer groups) and indirect (mass media, commercials, tv shows, etc.).<br><br>
I have my own ways of constructively dealing with these issues, but I wanted to throw out the line and see if you have any specific ways of doing so. I'm taking the approach of positive and constructive responses to people eating meat; it disgusts most vegetarians I know, but we don't always have a good response -- not only to other people, but how to feel about it and exist in a mostly omnivorous world.<br><br>
Thoughts and opinions?</div>
</div>
<br><br>
I'd recommend <a href="http://www.veganoutreach.org/advocacy/family.html" target="_blank">this article</a>. I've found some of the advice useful. It mostly involves conflicts with family members but it has good advice from seasoned vegans.
 

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ive just said to people its my desision not theres, and it has nothing to do with them. A few of my friends are like oh god now your even more fussy to cook for when you come round. my dad doesnt think ill keep it up. my colleuges (sp?) tell me well done.<br><br>
one of my friends is convinced ive turned veggie to loose weight...and doesnt beleive me when i say thats not the reason. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"> So i just said its not up to you what i eat and what i dont eat... and leave it at that.
 

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I'm only in the process of going vegan, but I was veg before. I didn't tell people about it unless I had to, in restaurants etc. It's not because I'm ashamed but because I don't like discussing it because you always get some person who thinks they know better and that just annoys me so much that its easier not to discuss it. If it did come up and they started ragging on me I'd tell them I hadn't made any comments on what they were eating and I asked them to refrain from criticising my diet. Of course it depends on the sort of comment they made. If it's a "where do you get your protein/calcium/iron" type comment then I'm happy to answer those and they don't actually annoy me because the stupid meat industry spreads the myth that only animal foods contain protein. Any respectful question that indicated genuine interest and curiosity I'd be happy to answer and even debate. If its something silly or confrontational I would give the standard "leave me alone" response.<br><br>
Of course this doesn't work if you want to promote the veggie lifestyle, but I'm more of the lead by example type.
 

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I never really "promote the veggie lifestyle" thing to anyone.<br><br>
Where I come from, my entire family and all my friends, even just acquaintances, are all omnivores. I've never got into an arguement with anyone about it<br>
though I have had many questions over the years. I don't mind answering sensible ones at all, but I suppose when you hear for the umpteenth time " But you eat fish don't you?"<br>
or "I heard it's not healthy being a vegetarian!" or "Your diet must be so limited!" you can get a bit fed up. Also when you go to restaurants and there's nothing on the menu<br>
but salad; when you're at a party somewhere and the omnis all get fed first and when yours eventually arrives, it's cold and you find there's Parmesan cheese all over it anyway!!<br><br>
All these things and more are sent to tax us I suppose.<br><br>
Over the years, noone has ever actually said anything to my face, but knowing them as I do, I always get the sneaking suspicion that they consider me simply crazy. They are usually hushed<br>
into silence and you can see the wheels turning as they forcibly smile.<br><br>
It ain't easy being a veg*n!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the input, guys. Some really great responses here -- I've taken them into account while writing this section of the video series. Much appreciated!
 

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I play it low-key about my veganism around people I'm just meeting, and people usually don't figure it out untill we do lunch or something for the first time and they can see my eating habits clearly. But then I am in much better shape than ever because of it and I'm glowing so much more than ever, so I credit that to veganism, and then unless they're 100% closed-minded we can usually have an intelligent conversation about it.
 

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厚黑学, i.e. Thick Face Black Heart.<br><br>
Focus on my goals (including but not limited to being vegetarian) and ignore anything and everyone that is not relevant to achieving them. If they stand aside and run their mouth, whatever. Ignore them. If they get in my way, destroy them :p
 
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