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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For years my mother was obnoxiously picky with her diet... and mentally ill to boot. One minute she would eat bacon the next she was screaming because grilled veggies had touched a pork chop.<br><br>
Because of her pickiness I swore I would never be a difficult eater.<br><br>
So here I am, vegan. I was semi forced into it due to health complications (temporary), but have since chosen to continue the lifestyle. I don't know yet if I will stay 100% vegan, but I certainly won't be eating tons of dairy either.<br><br>
Anyway the point is, did anyone else feel guilty? I feel like I am making life difficult for my family and friends. I know its silly but I hate to inconvenience people especially when they try to do something nice (my in laws are elderly and cannot fathom what vegan even means).<br><br>
Also how do you deal with family dinners / holidays? I am usually the family cook because I have been a hobby chef for a while. Do you still cook non vegetarian / vegan dishes and just make stuff for yourself?
 

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I don't feel guilty about my dietary choices. When going to a restaurant, we just have to choose one that has vegan options. On holidays, my family makes the food items that can be vegan to be vegan (stuffing, veggies, mashed potatoes, cakes, etc). No one gripes about it, so I guess I'm lucky. But then again, they also know I'm stubborn as a mule and if the ticked me off, I wouldn't go anymore.
 

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The only thing that has me worried right now is a friend of the family just moved back to our area. My family cooks a Sunday lunch every week and they know what to do and what not to do to make vegan food. Well, this friend wants to cook Sunday lunch once a month now. She doesn't understand what vegan means and I don't know if she'll cooperate. I may have to start missing some Sunday lunches.
 

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Hey Izzy. Personally, I couldn't care less about the inconvenience it causes(if any). Nobody should have a problem with you seeking a healthier/more compassionate lifestyle.<br><br>
I enjoy cooking, myself. I don't cook omni or veggie meals for anybody, though. If they want me to cook, I can make them something tasty that doesn't include animal products <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> For holidays, I usually cook my own meal and sit down to enjoy with the rest of the family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for everyone's input. I'd be interested in hearing other thoughts on the subject.
 

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Vegan for primarily ethical reasons here. Most of my family has gotten used to me saying no when I don't want something they offer (aunt frequently offers poultry, fish, dairy, and egg products). I do not feel bad for saying no. My parents and brother have got the vegan thing down and don't even offer me anything containing animal products anymore. If I'm hosting and cooking, it's vegan or nothing. If people don't like it, they can bring their own dish to eat like I do when I'm going over to their place for the holidays. If they don't want to accommodate me, I will accommodate myself with my own food or I'll eat ahead of time. Holidays shouldn't be all about the food anyway, it's about spending time with family or friends and trying to enjoy their company.
 

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I don't feel bad about being vegetarian (I'm not vegan), because I make it a point to not be a burden on others. If I go to a friend's house for dinner, I just mention to them in passing that I'm a vegetarian, and they usually accommodate me - because, that's what friends and loved ones should do!<br><br>
If I'm hosting a dinner, I'll cook up some meat if someone brings it over, but I understand not all vegetarians/vegan would be comfortable doing so. I typically would rather have someone else do the meat cooking, and usually someone is more than willing to do so.<br><br>
Otherwise, I just politely decline, and refuse to elaborate on why I won't eat meat at the table. Nothing is more awkward or mood-killing than talking about why I don't eat meat when my friend has prime rib on their plate. Not the place for it. If they want to discuss meat, we can do it over drinks after dinner.<br><br>
Just do what you're comfortable doing without overstepping yours or others boundaries. If you feel alright being around meat for a big family dinner, than do so - people will appreciate this. If you don't feel comfortable, express this to the people in attendance, but don't make a big deal about it.<br><br>
Here's to you making the switch, though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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When I prepare meals for my large extended family here, they eat what I eat, and generally don't notice that we have had a vegetarian or even a vegan meal. When I go to family gatherings at their homes, I always take something that I know my son and I will be satisfied with if that is our only dish. While I never have asked for anything special, they are really coming around and providing more and more options every time we get together. Best wishes!
 

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I felt like my lifestyle choices were an inconvenience as well. What I soon realized were some key words, "my", and "lifestyle". If the way I lived my life actually caused no distress to others except for the fact that my healthier, and ethical choices challenge their indoctrinated ones, then I'm sorry, their loss, not mine.<br><br>
You'll get used to it. As for people in this thread saying inconveniencing others is the reason keeping them from going vegan, poor excuse. Go watch Earthlings again and get back to me.
 

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Many people can't conceptualize what vegan food is! They may have a pasta dish of veggies, beans, with a oil and vinegar dressing and don't think "hey, this is vegan!"<br>
I suggest always bring a dish to share. Don't fuss, don't point out it's vegan-ness. Just make things you know people are comfortable with. You should eventually find you've started a trend!<br>
Instead of saying, or labeling, "it's vegan", use meat, egg and dairy free. Sounds more aligned with food allergies. People take to health concerns easier than the touchy subject of animals.<br>
Other times it's others who fuss over you. I've been to cook-outs to be suprized by them buying Boca burgers for me. I have to breath deep, and smile, and am so happy by their thoughtfulness I don't think of how much I don't like Boca!<br>
Don't feel guilty as long as you're not trying to convert everyone. You may find some good conversation about food starts by learning new things! How many omnis have baked cookies without eggs? Or a pudding with almond milk? I swear they'll be happy!
 

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I wouldn't consider veganism to be picky eating. Keep your mind focused on the reasons you chose to take an unconventional route and stick to your guns. Dig in deep and endure the hardships for the first couple of years and things will get easier and more natural for you as time goes by.
 

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I am a bit of a hobby cook/baker. I never ever make anything unless it is vegan. No exceptions whatsoever. My friends and family know that and don't seem to mind 99% of the time. So whenever I go to some sort of gathering involving food I make something and bring it along, everyone knows and accepts it will be vegan. It has almost always been very well received. Having said that I make a huge amount of effort to make it acceptable to omni's who aren't used to vegan food.<br><br>
My friends have accepted me for who I am and recently I went to a bbq. Traditionally not the most vegan friendly affair. I provided my own sausages and everyone else supplied their own meat. Everyone also bought one assigned item to share. I was assigned dessert as I am known as a good baker. My friend supplied bread, she bought a vegan one. My other friend made a salad, she is new to my veganism and did her best to make it vegan forgetting at the last minute and put cheese cubes in it. She also supplied bbq'ed vegetables specifically because I was coming.<br>
Because I knew she had made a lot of effort to make the salad vegan I happily picked the cheese cubes out. They were rather large and so easy to do so. Not a big deal.<br>
My friend's husband made a huge amount of effort to keep my sausages and the veggies seperate from the meat. I never specifically asked them too but thanked them graciously for doing so. He used seperate tongs and used tin foil for my stuff.<br>
I must add the two hosts are two of the biggest meat eaters I have ever met in my life and partiularly of red meat. So that is why this was particularly new and different for them. they rose to the challenge beautifully.<br><br>
So all in all. I think most people are extremely willing to accommodate. And as long as I provide some simple suggestions (they didn't think to put veggies on the bbq as they have not done so before) most people are more than happy to try new things.
 

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I think, if you give them enough warning about your dietary habits, you should be fine. Especially if it's allergies (that's how I read the opening post, anyway). I've been semi-forced into veganism due to allergies (not mine, but another family members), and the dietary habits of other people (it seemed simpler to make things vegan for everyone then one special thing for one person, singling them out, but that's just me). There's a lot of good recipes, blogs and cookbooks out there. Good luck with everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Last night my husband came to me depressed after reading an eco version of popular science. They discussed how many dead zones are in the sea and that they predict if jothing changes soon by the end of our lifetime the ocean will no longer be able to sustain any life. After we had a long talk, I realized that I have nothing to feel bad about. I have made a choice to take care of my health, live by my morals as well as do more to support our ecosystem. What's to feel bad about that? I shouls feel proud and thanks to all your input and that conversation, I really do feel proud that I am following my conscious rather than what's popular. Thanks everyone.
 

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Gosh Izzy, I'm sorry about your mother. I can relate to a difficult mother.<br><br>
I'm not a picky eater myself. I'm grateful to have never experienced hunger, no matter how simple my meal may have been. So I'm happy with what I have.<br><br>
Remember because you are a vegan doesn't mean you are an inconvenience. And if you will be doing holiday cooking, you can wow them with your veg cooking. I'm sorry I don't have much advice since I don't have all that much family and there are no holiday get togethers. Not any more. If you are stuck at a non-veg function, you may just have to eat what is available (veg of coarse!) Asking that something be kept veg for you certainly isn't asking for too much. Such as no whip cream on my fruit salad or no cheese sauce on my veggies.
 

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Our society needs people who are comfortable in being who they are. By living life on your terms you are doing your friends a family a favor by helping them stay open and accepting of differences. Or if they are closed, then you are helping to move them to a place of acceptance. Challenging the system is good, because it brings about new ideas that allow from growth and discussion.<br><br>
For people who are stuck in life, this kind of opening of the mind is uncomfortable, but think of it as a bit of mental stretching. If you lay in bed for months your muscles atrophy and the first time you walk it is difficult and painful, but with practice it gets better. Our brains are the same way, if they are uncomfortable with your choice, its because their mental/social selves have atrophied from living in a society of consistency and sameness. By being who you are, you help them regain (or for some maybe learn for the first time) that it is OK to be different and expand their thoughts and experiences to include someone who chooses a different diet.<br><br>
I encounter this on a regular basis where I am, a surprising number of adults here have not been more than 60 miles from their home their entire lives. At first they are very uncomfortable with my differentness, but with time and patience and acceptance they usually come around.
 

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Yes, very much so. Especially when people do go out of their way to try to accommodate you and whatever they've produced doesn't meet vegan standards, or vegetarian standards if you're veg.
 

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I've been veg*n for 2 and 1/2 years now, and most people i eat with are used to my diet. Though, i feel bad when going out w/ my boyfriends' family, b/c they fuss so much about making sure there is something for me to eat. It's really sweet of them, but makes me feel bad/embarassed for all the attention. I really don't have a problem finding things, just the attention it brings to others makes me feel guilty.<br><br>
I went to a bbq w/ my boyfriend, first time meeting his good friends, and though they promised veggie burgers on the menu, they somehow thought i'd eat turkey... lol. I was fine snacking on the fruits and veggies they had, along w/ the sides, but they were soo fussy about "are you ok, are you eating enough?" all that.
 
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