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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a vegan for around six years now, and clung pretty tight to my ideals for the first few years. Over time I started to level off, trading my comfort levels in order to maintain friendships. I couldn't allow myself to feel upset over meat at the table, or else I would have no tables to sit at.<br><br>
It's been a few years and everything is getting to me again. Friends and family all consume flesh, and I feel tormented within. I ache for these creatures.<br><br>
My question is, how have you reconciled your ideals and your social interactions? It seems to be a choice between smothering the ideals or living alone. It's not a choice I really want to make. Have you made this choice? Do you live in the tension between the two?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mountainhugger</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2898274"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My question is, how have you reconciled your ideals and your social interactions? It seems to be a choice between smothering the ideals or living alone. It's not a choice I really want to make. Have you made this choice? Do you live in the tension between the two?</div>
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- make vegan friends<br>
- eat at vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants<br>
- be honest with nonvegans (tell people you'd prefer that they refrain from eating animals in your presense)<br>
- arrange social interaction with nonvegans over nonfood activities (go for a hike instead if dinner, have coffee instead of lunch)<br>
- find mental distractions when you're faced with situations that trigger strong emotions (for example, daydream about winning the lottery)<br>
- get involved in effective activism (a positive outlet/redirection for negative emotions that can have a huge positive impact. For example, start leafleting at a local college one day a month)
 

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Good advice, I'll take it.. if only to look as healthy as ElaineV looks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"><br><br>
I got hellishly deep dishy issues with being vegan and the social.. (but just dropping by for now like talking at the bus stop, my bus has arrived so to speak.. Besides I'm on mobile phone.. Dropping in again later though.. Not that I got much advice but we'll see how goes depending on how ideas pan out here in respect of who-be-ever..)
 

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Having a large group of friends is probably over-rated (at least I hope, cause I've been forced to give up on it).<br>
Find just one vegan friend (in my case, it's my Wife) who doesn't stop talking. Then it's like a whole group of friends in just one person ( I mean, at least your alone time will be worth it's weight in gold then)
 

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I just ignore it. I know this is terrible advice but my family will not go vegan or even TRY vegan food. I considered it a step in the right direction when they stopped telling me to eat meat.<br>
Given the mentality of my family its not a surprise that it doesn't bother me when my friends eat meat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>vegansarawr</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2900343"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I just ignore it.</div>
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This has been my current response.<br>
When I mention anything to my girlfriend (who is non-veg) she gets upset that I'm upset over meat. I don't even have to be a militant vegan to upset her. If I look downcast because some meat product made me think of everything, she acts like I just offended her somehow.<br><br>
*edit: By downcast I mean a look of mourning, not full out despondent depression.
 

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I just switch off to it.<br><br>
i have to because there's always some birthday, anniversary or celebration of some kind involving friends or family that has food as a big part of it.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mountainhugger</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2898274"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My question is, how have you reconciled your ideals and your social interactions? It seems to be a choice between smothering the ideals or living alone. It's not a choice I really want to make. Have you made this choice? Do you live in the tension between the two?</div>
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It's something that i have been thinking about a lot. I am not a social person to begin with, and then I turned vegan and after that a stopped drinking alcohol. So now I feel like the odd one out in most social situations. Luckily, my best friend is vegan as well, so I have some support there at least.<br><br>
When it comes to family dinners, I really don't even think much about the fact that there is meat on the table. I just cook my own vegan food and eat with the others. In the beginning I was more disturbed by it, but now I feel like I have landed in a place where I feel that others will do what they want to do, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I don't accept meateating really, but I accept that people need to come to the conclusion that eating meat is wrong on their own. They know where I stand with things and I surely don't hide my opinions, but I avoid getting into confrontational arguments at the dinner table.<br><br>
I'm about to start a new education and I'm a bit nervous about the new people, the social situations, having to explain that I'm a vegan and that I don't drink... I have no idea how it's gonna go, but if I don't meet people that I click with, I will have to be alone. I've had some terribly ****ty people in my life, and I have finally come to the conclusion that I rather be alone than with the wrong people.<br><br>
So basically; I accept meateaters as friends, but if I feel that someone wants me to conflict my ideals in order to fit into the group, than I'll just have to suck it up and be by myself.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>_charlotte_</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2913064"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
It's something that i have been thinking about a lot. I am not a social person to begin with, and then I turned vegan and after that a stopped drinking alcohol. So now I feel like the odd one out in most social situations.</div>
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I know exactly how you feel...add atheism in a geographical area that's extremely hostile to non Christians and it complicates my social life even further. I seriously have to be very careful to not volunteer certain information or I will almost certainly get into some kind of unwanted verbal sparring match, and regardless of the fact I didn't start it or the fact the other person was being ten times more belligerent than me, the rumor that always gets spread around is how that militant atheist/vegan/sober guy was preaching and looking down on everyone else and how he doesn't want anyone to have fun. The status quo can be extremely insecure about some of their lifestyle facets to an absurd level, especially here in the Bible Belt.<br><br>
You should count yourself lucky that at least you live in a more intellectually developed country than I do. I've seen footage of Swedish kids who are more open minded and intelligent than some American adults I could name.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Josh James xVx</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2913145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The status quo can be extremely insecure about some of their lifestyle facets to an absurd level, especially here in the Bible Belt.<br><br>
You should count yourself lucky that at least you live in a more intellectually developed country than I do. I've seen footage of Swedish kids who are more open minded and intelligent than some American adults I could name.</div>
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That's true, I guess. Of course there are certain people who are very closed-minded in their thinking here to ( I have encountered a few), but I do count myself lucky... Sweden is a pretty easy place to be vegan in.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mountainhugger</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2898274"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My question is, how have you reconciled your ideals and your social interactions? It seems to be a choice between smothering the ideals or living alone. It's not a choice I really want to make. Have you made this choice? Do you live in the tension between the two?</div>
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I definitely live in tension between the two. Either way, someone generally feels bad. Usually, it's me. I feel like I'm betraying the animals by not speaking up for them. I really think I am (it's not just a feeling, in other words). Other times, I'll bring it up, talk to the person about it. Often this is easy, because they bring it up themselves (whether it's family, friends, or strangers I happen to be eating with). I'm pretty honest and straight-forward about what I believe in. This makes me feel better, generally, although there's generally a feeling of disappointment, depression, rage, etc. depending on the person's response. I've never had anyone look down at their food and say, "You know what, you're right, I can't eat this anymore." Even if they're sympathetic and agreeing in principle, the fact that they keep eating, as though this is merely some abstract philosophical exercise of some sort, breaks my heart. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br>
I honestly just feel that I can be friends with people who think animals' rights don't matter, or who don't believe in AR, without bad feelings. It's definitely something that puts a major strain on a friendship for me. If I say nothing, during a meal for instance, I feel like a hypocrite, am betraying the animals, etc. I often do choose this nonetheless, but I always do it with guilt, unhappiness, etc. So for me, I think part of my own moral development is going to be to find the courage to always be able to speak my mind, to risk losing acquaintances (because anyone who quits being my friend for what I have to say isn't really my friend at all). So for me, ultimately, while I currently live in tension between the two, I think the right choice is to live by my convictions, to act from that, despite the social consequences. If that means living alone, so be it. Except I really don't think it needs to, because there are others out there who feel just as we do, and if we have the courage to live by our convictions, to say what we mean, I believe we'll be helping create a world with more people who believe as we do.
 

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I always just ignore it because there's really nothing I can do. Whether you act like an antisocial nutcase or politely not cause a huge stir over it, they're not gonna change. In fact, they're probably more likely to change if you just don't act all crazy about it.<br><br>
Maybe it's bad advice, but I get along just fine ignoring it...
 

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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/2908679"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
A book that's been GREAT has been "Living Among Meat Eaters."</div>
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I second this recommendation.<br><br><b>Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian's Survival Handbook</b> by Carol J. Adams<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FLiving-Among-Meat-Eaters-Vegetarians%2Fdp%2F1590561163%2F%3Fpf_rd_mnb%3DATVPDKIKX0D34%26pf_rd_stb%3Dcenter-2%26pf_rd_rat%3D0817NMRY4ZRQZM6P18TH%26pf_rd_t3r%3D101%26pf_rd_ptd%3D470938631%26pf_rd_ied%3D507846%26tag%3Dbuaazs-20%26pf_rd_ptd%3D470938631%26pf_rd_ied%3D507846" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Living-Among-M..._rd_ied=507846</a>
 

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Joe, that books look interesting. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Thanks for recommending it...<br><br>
Very few people seem to agree with me on this one, but I think my own position is that it would be best if we acted in a way that's honest and respectful of the situation, of what is happening. For instance, if we were at a dinner and the host was serving human meat, we would expect people to be upset. We wouldn't hesitate to show a little emotion. Similarly, I think what would be best is if we all started saying exactly what we thought, felt, etc when we see cow meat, pig meat, etc. Shock people, stir things up. People need waking up...<br><br>
The other day I was my mom was talking about veganism and I said, encouraging her, that she and my dad were doing much better, at least with me here. They were consuming far less meat, etc. That day or the next, she makes burgers. Then pork chops. I suspect that, sometimes, encouragement can go the wrong way like this: people think they're doing "good enough", and sometimes they even reward themselves with meat, etc.<br><br>
So I changed my tune and said something like, "Well, so much for eating less meat, 'eh?" She defended herself and we talked about what I just said above, I believe, about people rewarding themselves, etc. It's been a few days and - besides cooking meat for my grandmother, who'd run away to the home before giving up meat - she hasn't prepared any meat dishes for herself, I don't think...<br><br>
I think this is a broader issue in our culture, not just with regard to diet. We seem to think that encouragement is always the way to go, and we're so scared of discouraging people that we don't dare criticize anyone for anything. I don't think this is helpful at all. I think sometimes criticism is deserved, and in cases where people are contributing to animal exploitation with their choices, I think they should have to face that criticism. I don't believe that people will crumble under the pressure or be totally turned off from the cause, if the criticism is delivered correctly. It doesn't mean they'll change overnight, but it can be about starting a process...
 
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