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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there guys,

I joined the site because I am really sick of the abuse I get from people who find it so insulting that I am a vegetarian. I find that it is the hardest part of actually being a vegetarian. I don't miss meat I just get sick of small minded people who seem to take offence to me not eating meat.
Do you guys have any responses to people who question you on your ethical choice to not eat meat?
Thanks
 

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I've been pretty lucky. I have had the typical questions about protein and "how in the world do you do it?", but nothing rude or offensive. Family can be the hardest, because they are used to you being a certain way, and changes of any kind can be threatening. But generally they come around over time, too. Just keep your sense of humor, pack your pb&j, and enjoy being true to yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh that's awesome. I find it so hard to not get worked up about it but you're right I really just need to look past it and see the funny side in it. Thanks
 

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People can indeed be very nasty. I have always been fussy when it come to eating so I guess being vegetarian would just be one more thing for them. BUT I do always get remarks about what I eat, how much I eat, critized. It can really get you down.

I actually started cooking now and preparing meals since becoming vegetarian taking pride in putting all the right nutrients into my body but also lost weight and can already hear them say : oh so you lost a lot of weight you dont eat meat so what do you eat?

Most people did notice how good I look now and I just answer : I gave up meat and are looking and feeling great.
 

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I wouldn't say I've ever had "abuse" from anyone over the years, but I still do get asked ridiculous things like, "You must eat very little if you're vegetarian?" or "I heard vegetarians are lacking in vitamins!"
or of course the old favourite, "You eat fish don't you?". It's amazing how people still manage to come up with inane comments. I have been asked why I don't eat meat, and I just say that I've always been very fond
of animals and I could no longer justify eating them!
 

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I've been lucky too. People don't really ask or comment about it, but sometimes I will get the odd ''you know animals will still be killed don't you?"" or ''people won't just stop eating meat, because you don't eat it..''.

Strange how some people can get so offensive about it, in my experience people who say negative things like that, are those who wish they could do the same, or deep down know they are wrong.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brontë View Post

Strange how some people can get so offensive about it, in my experience people who say negative things like that, are those who wish they could do the same, or deep down know they are wrong.
Agreed. One meat-eating client gave me a hard time about it over a business lunch (highly unprofessional of her), then later I found out she was an "animal lover" -- she had pictures of pigs all over her office! I have a feeling my food choices stirred up some cognitive dissonance for her that she'd prefer not to have experienced. It's funny how just by being present and being vegetarian, you can have that effect on someone.
 

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"Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves." - Bertrand Russell

That's why people seem insulted by your vegetarianism.

By not eating meat, you're basically telling them that what they're doing is wrong. And when confronted by that kind of reality check, it feels much safer for people to comfort and reassure themselves by tearing you down than it does to challenge the ideas they've been taught all their lives and face the fact that what they're doing really is wrong.

The moral of the story is this: f 'em. You're doing the right thing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbivorous B.I.G. View Post

"Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves." - Bertrand Russell

That's why people seem insulted by your vegetarianism.

By not eating meat, you're basically telling them that what they're doing is wrong. And when confronted by that kind of reality check, it feels much safer for people to comfort and reassure themselves by tearing you down than it does to challenge the ideas they've been taught all their lives and face the fact that what they're doing really is wrong.

The moral of the story is this: f 'em. You're doing the right thing.
^This

Don't let them grind you down, or get to you.
 

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I hear ya BonMae, my family makes fun of me ALL the time, saying mean things, rolling their eyes, telling me it's stupid, etc. My husband and I actually got into a rather heated "difference of opinion" I told him I shouldn't have to eat meat if I didn't want to, but I still have to cook for him and our two teenaged boys. The people I work with are actually more supportive, several even asking questions and expressing interest. A few have decided to cut down on their meat consumption, and two of them even purchased a few cookbooks that I had got that they liked enough to order their own, so that's a positive. Just be true to yourself, people can say stupid things, mostly out of ignorance. Everyone has to decide for themselves what to eat and what not to eat. This is a great site, full of advice, support and encouragement.
 

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It may be helpful for you to use a social networking site like meetup.com to meet some local vegetarians or animal activists. By having like minded people in your life, you can have someone to lean on and share your frustrations with.
 

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The nastiest people I've encountered when it comes to my diet are my siblings. Sad, isn't it? They make jokes about tofu being nasty, jokes about hiding meat in my food (they haven't actually tried it), jokes about my being a hippie (not even close to true), and squeeze the blood out of their steaks to try to get a reaction out of me. Sometimes they name their meat while they're eating it - Bessie the burger, Wilbur the hot dog a la Charlotte's Web, etc.

They just want a reaction, so I don't give it to them. They get a half smile, and I keep eating my food. I'm a fairly new vegetarian - 4 months - and I figure they'll have to get sick of it eventually. This approach has worked with bullies and losers ever since I figured it out in high school. If you genuinely don't give a crap, in time they move on to a better target.
 

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I never had really rude people towards me (just the annoying ones). but i feel a bit angry when some make fun of suffering animals or don't care at all
 

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Some people are nasty. The best thing we can do is be the best shining example of vegetarians we can be. And not be nasty back.
 

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i have been lucky. i didn't get any flap from my family. a little from a few at work but i just let that roll off my shoulders.
no one has actaully been mean to me about being vegan.
 

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Here's two of the best practical pieces of advice I can offer after seven plus years of being meat free.

1 - Don't volunteer the information that you're vegetarian too liberally or in too many social situations. It's not something that needs to be thrown around at every available instance. Sometimes people will figure it out and sometimes it would be impossible for them not to notice. I'm just saying there's no reason to ever introduce yourself as one or to talk too much or too liberally about it in some environments, especially places like work where it might create conflict that's hard to escape.

2 - Don't be defensive or overly emotional when the discussion does come up. Be confident and honest about your reasons. If people are mature and open minded you may want to continue the discussion. If not, you might want to move on to another subject. Don't appear to be unsure or afraid of people's ignorance or misunderstanding. Empower and educate yourself as much as possible on the lifestyle you're living, so that you can defend it better and more honestly. It's gotta be a proactive lifestyle if it's a lifestyle worth living. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You've given your diet more thought than most of your detractors have.
 
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