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Discussion Starter #1
This is more of a vent than anything else. I've only told my immediate family about my vegetarianism. I was planning on (maybe) telling my grandmother this Tuesday when we went out to dinner. Out of nowhere this morning I just remembered that we were invited to my uncle and his girlfriend's house tomorrow.<br><br><br><br>
To skip a long backstory, their relationship is serious but this is only the second time any of us (including his parents) have met her. We all really want to make a good impression. I think this would be a very bad time to bring up my vegetarianism, but what choice do I have? I will feel awful declining her food. I will also feel really bad if I get up the nerve to say I'm veggie and then a controversy erupts, when the evening is supposed to be about them. I planned on telling everyone at a quiet time, and certainly not at a big family gathering where tensions are already going to be high.<br><br><br><br>
I guess I don't have a choice one way or the other. I just feel kind of stupid that I put it off so long.
 

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I would definitely try to tell the hosts ahead of time, so they will not be surprised. You could offer to bring some food (a main dish) with enough for everyone to share so they don't have to try to figure out what to make you.<br><br><br><br>
Telling your family can be a little scary, but if you don't make a huge deal out of it, then hopefully neither will they. I would avoid discussing your reasons for not eating meat right at the dinner table. It's usually much better to discuss when people are not chowing down on dead animal (If they are going to be) And remember, you don't have to get too specific on why you decided to become a vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I don't think being a vegetarian ought to be something that will make a 'bad impression'. If you have time, you or maybe someone else in your family should let your uncle and his girlfriend know in advance, and could offer to bring some food if they like and if it will make things easier for them. If not, perhaps you could make some food to take with you (maybe something you can share), and say you brought it because you forgot to let them know you were vegetarian and thought it would be better to bring something rather than expecting them to find something for you to eat with no advance warning.<br><br><br><br>
You say that 'tensions are already going to be high' - if there are other issues going on then it may mean that people will be too distracted with those to worry about what you do/don't eat, so hopefully it shouldn't cause problems. And if you don't tell your relatives now, the next lot you visit will expect you to eat the meat they cook, so it might be for the best if you do it soon. Although it is scary telling people that you no longer eat certain things, at least once they all know you won't have to deal with telling them again.<br><br><br><br>
Hope this makes sense, I'm a bit tired... Good luck!
 

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I try to be as casual as possible, treating like you expect them to think it's just a totally normal thing. Let them know, but reassure them that it doesn't have to be a big deal for them and that you are not asking them to do extra work. "Oh, and another thing, I thought I should let you know that I'm vegetarian, so let me know what you are planning to serve and let me know if you have any questions about what I do or don't eat. I usually do fine eating a lot of side dishes when I'm a guest, and sometimes I bring a little something to share. Would that be ok?" And then once you get menu discussion out of the way, there really is no reason to bring it up again.<br><br><br><br>
If you build up a lot of tension around it, people might take their cues from you as to how to respond. It really doesn't need to be the center of attention by any means. Just remember, act casual.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's over now and it went a lot better than I expected. First of all, the tension I expected was not there, so I was worried about nothing. My uncle's girlfriend is really cool, and we got along well.<br><br><br><br>
I didn't bring anything for myself, because I can't cook, and I didn't call ahead to warn her because a) I didn't have her number and b) by the time it occurred to me that "hey, we're going over there for <i>dinner,</i> there might be food there!" it was really too late for anyone to change their plans. So I figured I'd just play it cool.<br><br><br><br>
And after all this worrying, she served something I would have declined when I was omni (a filet mignon-like thing wrapped in <i>bacon</i>). I could refuse it and no one would be surprised. So that's just what I did, and then my lovely brother pipes up "She's vegetarian now!" My grandmother was shocked for like a minute, but no one else said anything. Except for our host, who first asked if I wanted chicken (nope), then pizza (better, but I was fine with the side dishes).<br><br><br><br>
Later during the visit, she told this story about how her dad once decided he wanted to eat one of their chickens. The whole family stopped talking to him, and when he eventually butchered and cooked it, all five of them got up from the kitchen table and left him there. I think I'm going to like her just fine.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Thalia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I try to be as casual as possible, treating like you expect them to think it's just a totally normal thing...<br><br><br><br>
...If you build up a lot of tension around it, people might take their cues from you as to how to respond...</div>
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(I realize the original issue has been resolved, just wanted to comment on these becaue they're such good thoughts.)<br><br><br><br>
I so totally agree with Thalia here.<br><br><br><br>
And this applies to so MANY things, not just telling your family about vegetarianism - People react how we EXPECT they'll react - because they DO take their cues from us... it really is the rare person who can totally hide their emotions, contrary to what we ALL think we can do...so if we're anxious and uptight and worried - that's exactly the reaction we'll get from others. Pretty simple.
 

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I guess I don't get what the big deal is but my family is pretty open about things like this...one day I walked in and said. I'm vegetarian and they started buying me boca stuff...I guess different families tho.<br><br><br><br>
I hope everything works out.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>*Courtney*</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I guess I don't get what the big deal is...</div>
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You have an understanding family. Lucky you.<br><br><br><br>
If you had to go through what many people do, it could be a VERY big deal..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My family has been very good about it all too. I'm just very shy and I'm scared of rocking the boat and suddenly being the center of attention. It's all paranoia; I have a great family.<br><br><br><br>
I really did expect more of a reaction from my grandparents, though. Although my grandmother is an animal-lover, she's also an omni and tends to think that doing anything out of the ordinary (and by out of the ordinary, I mean things as 'crazy' as joining the track team) is ridiculous. And my grandfather didn't say a word, and he's horrible about food. Normally, if I don't take a sample of everything being served, he'll take a piece off his plate and put it on mine.<br><br><br><br>
However, as annoying as my family can be, I knew I'd be better off than many people on these boards. They may not always understand me, but they accept me. I'm very lucky.
 

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I wasn't trying to be rude. I guess I do have an understanding family. But my point is....its not like you are telling your parents/family you are gay....that on the other hand is a little different then telling them. You don't eat meat. *shrug*
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>*Courtney*</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I wasn't trying to be rude. I guess I do have an understanding family. But my point is....its not like you are telling your parents/family you are gay....that on the other hand is a little different then telling them. You don't eat meat. *shrug*</div>
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I think for some people, someone deciding she doesn't want to kill animals means that she's suddenly a crazy tree-hugging hippie freak. And she's going to die of malnutrition all the while lecturing you on your eating habits.<br><br><br><br>
Maybe. That's just what I get from the Internet. I've yet to meet anyone in real life who's really shocked by it (although I have met several homophobes, so that's a pretty good comparison).<br><br><br><br>
Wow, my OP is really sounding kind of hysterical. I guess I was just really worried about messing up that dinner party.
 

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No I totally get it. because now anytime I go to eat everyone looks at me and is like what do you want. They don't get I can find something anywhere I go basically. so I understand <3
 
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