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Hi all, I've recently had a friend turn to vegetarianism (a few months ago), and I've noticed several changes in his attitude and was just wondering if you guys could clear some things up for me....

He was never big on eating red meat or fish really, and had some bad episodes with chicken as well that prompted him to try life without meat products. At first he was very convenial about it, saying that he was enjoying his new diet, but still remaining open minded to his friends about their own dietary choices. As time went on though, he became less and less understanding. After a few months he completely admonished us for eating meat and told us that it was "wrong" and people "weren't meant to eat meat." We can ignore the physiological evidence that humans were meant to eat meat (our type of teeth, and eye positioning), my main concern is that he is all of a sudden high and mighty and looks down on everyone else as if we were heathens all of a sudden.

Not only that, but he's now gotten further into the not eating meat. Now he's taken himself off of animal by-products such as cheese and eggs, and says that it's not right that we eat and use animals for such purposes.

The worst part is that this is all completely hypocritical, since he still does very little in the way of reducing wastes and takes part in polluting our atmosphere by using a vehicle and countless electronics, which, in great parts contributes to the deaths of many animals.

So basicaly he's distancing himself from all his friends and close ones with his new way of life, and we don't know what to do?
 

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I have read that its a phase people making the switch go through and that they settle down after a while.

You guys are not bugging him about it without realising? (I ask this because my sister is really over the top about it being a stupid decision and blah blah, and as soon as I retaliate and try and tell her my reasons for doing being veg in her mind I am all of a sudden trying to force it down her throat, I wouldnt mention it if she hadn't).
 

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Good on ya for coming here and asking questions to try to understand your friend. Many folks won't do that, so cheers to having good friends like you.

First, anytime someone embarks on a new way of life, especially when it's connected with their morals, it's natural to want to let other people know about the change. Your friend may have been uncomfortable talking about it at first, maybe he hadn't firmly decided, whatever. Have you sat down and listened to him and his reasons? If he doesn't think you're listening, this may be his attempt to share with you. Even if you have no intentions of becoming a vegetarian one day yourself, it's probably a good idea for the sake of the friendship to hear him out at least once.

As far as him being hypocritical, come on. Nearly everyone who believes in reducing their impact on the planet isn't doing everything they possibly could. That said, one's diet has a bigger impact on the number of animals killed than the amount of trash he produces or the car he drives. Think about it... most people eat three times a day. How much do you throw away each day? Hmmm.

If you think you do better than he does at conserving resources through fuel-efficient vehicles, recycling and limiting electronics use, offer him a challenge. You'll go vegan for a week, and at the same time, he'll cut down his lifestyle to a certain place on the environmental friendliness scale. Up to you two to decide what the deal is. You both might be surprised.

Some of us vegetarians have had non-vegetarian friends abandon us, too, so please don't let your friend drive you away. You can likely come to an agreement. Maybe you'll agree not to eat meat around him if he agrees not to lecture you about factory farming. (I would love it if any of my friends made that deal with me.)
 
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