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At the end of August I'm moving into a new appartment with a new room mate who I met through a university-run room mate matching network. My parents and I went out for a cookout with her family at their home. While we were there, talking about things, planning, etc, my dad brought up the fact that I'm a vegetarian. For some reason, I was moritified. Granted, I might be the first vegetarian these people have met in their lifetimes (They live 45 minutes upstate of Pittsburgh in a former mining town). For dinner they served italian sausage, barbeque chicken, the most mayonaisey, eggy potato salad I've ever seen and corn on the cob (good thing I like corn!). Still, it occurred to me that I shouldn't feel embarressed about being a vegetarian just because they suffer from poor nutrition.<br><br>
It got me thinking. Sometimes, when I first tell people I don't eat meat, I'll say things like 'well, i don't really like meat' or 'i don't do meat' or 'i'm pretty much a vegetarian'. I don't know when it happened, but somewhere along the line I started sugar-coating being a vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
Does anyone else get anxious when you know you have to tell someone (who is very opinioniated or old-fashioned) that you're veg-n? What do you do when you're a guest is someone's home and they don't have anything veggie?<br><br><br><br>
Just wondering if it is just me or if all veg-ns eventually feel the stress of omnivorous disdain?
 

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mmmm hmmm. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"> I always cringe when I have to tell someone I'm veg. I think it may be due to the fact that I think they'll think I'm this wierd tree hugger and will try to shove pamphlets down their throats.<br><br>
there's always that akwardness right after, but then they're usually pretty accomodating.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MarrakeshXpress</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What do you do when you're a guest is someone's home and they don't have anything veggie?<br></div>
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I always bring one or a couple dishes that are vegan when I goto someone's house for dinner. Usually a fruit platter, bread and hummus, maybe a pot of mixed vegetables, mashed potatos, etc. It also helps to have a meal before going so you don't end up eating your entire fruit tray<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
You shouldn't sugar coat anything. Be proud of your descisions and let everyone know. You just might run nto some people who have always thought about going veg*n, but never had someone else for support.<br><br><br><br>
If someone is too closed minded to accept your choice, let them know they are being rude to you. And if that doesn't work, kick them in the face like Daniel from Karate Kid<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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The omnivores' disdain is the hardest part of being vegetarian for me. I don't sugar coat it or hide it, though. When it's necessary to mention my eating habits, I take a deep breath, brace myself, and then mention it. Then I deal with the omnis' comments the best I can.
 
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i know its not fun, but i try and be as chirpy and calm and non 'weird' as i can when i mention my vegan-ness to people. yeah, they often get a bit flustered and odd about it -i guess in the same way as they would if i declared that i had a minority sexual orientation, or different political or religious leanings than they are used to. i think that things that are new or different or unusual to people makes them think and assess your and their own values, and sometimes that leads to discomfort and a feeling of weirdness.<br><br><br><br>
i hope that if i come across as not being a weirdo, then next time they meet a vegan they'll think 'he'll/she'll be alright, no panic, jen is a vegan too and she's not a weirdo, and if we're eating, know i can feed him/her this, this and this.'. we can but hope, anyway.<br><br><br><br>
hmmm. people in the uk seem to be way cooler about it than canada though, i've found, i think its cos there are more veggies generally over there statistically, and i live in a very 'tree hugging cosmic hippy' area over there. here i've found people tend to flap a bit more, or get more defensive and come across as if they feel judged, and i feel more reserved about broaching it.<br><br><br><br>
my bf's relatives are the only canadian people i've had to broach my diet with so far, and while they don't judge, most of them seem to have only grasped the allergy aspect of my food restrictions, and get in enough of a flap about that, (i bring my own food everywhere, and choose to for my own safety, but they feel a bit defensive about it and comment on it, and try to make gluten free things available (like cheesey nachos) and jokingly suggest that if all else fails i can munch on the lawn, without really understanding/recognising that it goes futher than that) that i haven't yet chosen to elaborate on the fact that out of the big list of things that i don't eat, some things i don't eat because i can't, and others because i won't.<br><br><br><br>
its tricky- but don't feel ashamed of your choices.
 

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I noticed a HUGE difference when i went vegan after being vegetarian for three years.<br><br><br><br>
People accept vegetarianism, they see it as normal, you can still go anywhere to eat and be okay.<br><br>
Veganism on the other hand, not so much. People's eyes bug out, they peg you as some freak and you're on the out, instantly.<br><br>
I generally don't mention the 5 letter 'v' word unless someone flat out asks me. Also, I watch how I say things.. I found when talking about what I will eat and won't eat I would be saying "I can't eat" when really "I won't eat".. so i've been catching myself on that.<br><br>
Most of the time i decline foods politely and tell people i eat plants. hahaha, that seems to be less of a shocker.<br><br><br><br>
I find the hardest part for people to get is that i don't eat **** out of a box/can/package, etc. They're just "what do you eat then!?!" and then they think i'm deprived and crazy.<br><br><br><br>
Oh, people.<br><br>
They usually come around once they see i'm human like them and ask me questions and I always love to answer.
 

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I've never had any problem with this. I always boldly tell people I'm vegetarian. I don't mean to cut down other approaches, but I think if you proudly tell people this, they'll respect you and vegetarianism more. After all, you're certainly not wishy-washy in your dedication to V-ism, why act like you are?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Jim Gagnepain</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I've never had any problem with this. I always boldly tell people I'm vegetarian. I don't mean to cut down other approaches, but I think if you proudly tell people this, they'll respect you and vegetarianism more. After all, you're certainly not wishy-washy in your dedication to V-ism, why act like you are?</div>
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I agree. I think people ar more prone to question you or even harass you if you don't sound confident about your decision.
 

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yes. i have even had 2 friends stop talking to me because of it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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Most of the time I'm happy to tell folks I'm vegan and try to make them at ease with it. But every now and then if it's a work-social situation where I don't want to be burdened with the endless questions about it from people I don't know and will most likely never see again, I just say I'm not hungry or my doctor told me to cut out the fats and so on. There's a time and place for it, though.
 

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I find this hard too, but way harder when I'm not feeling confident about it - like when I'm jokey or apologetic about it. When I just take a breath and state the facts, I seem to get a bit less flak. I'm new at telling people I'm vegan, so I haven't had much experience with it yet (and not everyone has been nice about it) but I've been vegetarian so long I don't even notice anymore.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck! "Vegan Freak" wrote it, and I think it's true: being confident in your v*ism seems to be the best approach.
 

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I don't but then I've never had anyone attempt to challenge me on it. I suppose people may think I'm going to get preachy if I say it but I don't so I don't pay that close attention.<br><br>
I always felt uncomfortable eating meat. Always. I was always acutely aware I was eating a dead animal body and it always kind of grossed me out. Since being vegetarian I finally feel comfortable with what I'm eating. I won't let someone else's discomfort and defensiveness be projected on me.<br><br>
Let's face it, no one is uncomfortable or defensive because *I* will only eat vegetables and fruits. They're uncomfortable about what *they* eat and try to push that on me. Every omni I've met who is comfortable with their choice is neither defensive or uncomfortable when I tell them mine.<br><br>
Mary
 

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ooh how sad you have lost friends over it .. honestly probably for the best if they would let something like that get in the way ..<br><br><br><br>
i often find myself justifying right away .. i am vegetarian .. but it is okay if you are not .. almost always follows immediately ..<br><br><br><br>
i have spent so much of my life wanting to make all the people around me happy which is why i cook meat and why i say things like that .. i tell you i am soo sick of trying to make people happy though .. i understand you can't convert everyone, but lately i have been feeling like i should at least try to explain myself better .. it doesn't always go over well, but i feel better not just saying "that sounds good" when a friend talks about a meat dinner or whatever ..
 

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Like HoodedClawJen said, I think in the UK people are more laid back about it (I live in England). I've never felt the need to sugarcoat, play down or justify my veganism. I don't bring it up unless I need to, like if I'm out for a meal with a group of friends and one asks me why I'm not ordering a burger like everyone else, I'll just say "I'm vegan." and they'll either just nod and carry on with what they're doing or they're quite interested.
 

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I haven't lost any friends over it, that I'm aware of.<br><br><br><br>
In fact, I'd say I've made some of the best friends someone can have BECAUSE of it.<br><br><br><br>
It does make things a little awkward socially with people I don't really know, but oh well. I'm not ashamed in any way of my choices, I believe 100% that they are the right choices and the right way to live. If someone has a problem with that (and no, I don't try to "force" anything on them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"> ) it's their problem, not mine.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>TeresaAnnaMae</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I noticed a HUGE difference when i went vegan after being vegetarian for three years.<br><br><br><br>
People accept vegetarianism, they see it as normal, you can still go anywhere to eat and be okay.<br><br>
Veganism on the other hand, not so much. People's eyes bug out, they peg you as some freak and you're on the out, instantly.<br><br>
I generally don't mention the 5 letter 'v' word unless someone flat out asks me. Also, I watch how I say things.. I found when talking about what I will eat and won't eat I would be saying "I can't eat" when really "I won't eat".. so i've been catching myself on that.<br><br>
Most of the time i decline foods politely and tell people i eat plants. hahaha, that seems to be less of a shocker.<br><br><br><br>
I find the hardest part for people to get is that i don't eat **** out of a box/can/package, etc. They're just "what do you eat then!?!" and then they think i'm deprived and crazy.<br><br><br><br>
Oh, people.<br><br>
They usually come around once they see i'm human like them and ask me questions and I always love to answer.</div>
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When I was a vegetarian, I got the odd "You're losing out on nutrition" talk, but after the first month it really died down. Being vegan, it seems like everyone thinks I'm about to end up in the hospital.
 

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I want to agree with what other people have said about the UK being veg-friendly. Perhaps if I was vegan I would get more flack for it, but lacto-ovos are quite common here, and if I say I'm vegetarian most people don't bat an eyelid. A couple of people have been shocked/defensive, but not many.
 

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Aww <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/"> I'm like that too - I cook food for people I'm fond of, and I've had a few refuse because they didn't want my "rabbit food". Just ate it for myself then <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sunny.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sunny:">
 

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You conciously make a choice to not eat certain things, and are criticize by those who make no concious choices, but merely follow the herd. That's what you get for thinking.<br><br>
LOL<br><br>
Others opinion's are not important, only one's opinion of oneself.
 

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The only relationship I have had that was strained by my veg*nism was with my ex. We were living together when I went veg and he felt like I was rejecting a large part of our life together, like I was judging him when he ate meat and that I was going to get ill and wind up in the hospital. He also refused to consider compromising when we would talk about raising kids and what we would feed them. Our relationship ended due to this (and some other stuff).<br><br><br><br>
The rest of my friends and family have been nothing but supportive. Some of my co workers don't understand it, but they have never said anything out right negative too me, and I have enough people saying they are proud of my decision and eating habits to cancel out any of the negativity.<br><br><br><br>
I was also very lucky with my family, 2 of my cousins were vegetarian for years before I was, so they did all the breaking in of the parents and grandparents for me. (I really need to thank them for that)!
 
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