Best friend now carnivore

Amytomatojuice

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I feel devastated- which I know is ridiculous.
I’ve been a strict vegetarian for the last 29 years- my friend 26 years.
She had been a strict vegan for the last 6 years. I’ve admired her so much for it. I have tried going vegan but have struggled. Always went for her for advice. She’s been my best friend for 16 years - she s like a sister. Our ethics are the or so I thought!
She has announced she now eats meat. Not just a bit of chicken now and then but full on meat for every meal! She’s been posting pictures on Instagram of lamb heart, liver, kidneys. She’s been making gelatine sweets. Using cream made from animal fats. Going in about how she wasted her life and health being vegan. Saying how vegetables are toxic!!

it’s ridiculous but I’ve been crying this evening. I feel like I’ve lost my best friend. I feel like we’ve nothing in common.
How on earth could someone do a 360?
I literally don’t know what to say to her. I feel a bit heart broken.
 

silva

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I can't imagine! Has she gone through some trauma? I can't imagine being blindsided by something like that!
I'm not that strict- I mean if I find I've had something with gelatine, or honey or even dairy I get a bit upset, but meat??? Bizarre! I last bit into chicken when a taste test food was mislabeled as a veggie blend and bile just surged up my throat and I had to spit. That was before I knew what it was!!! To eat meat? To get past the sight and smell? Not even going into the fact that it's the flesh of someone caged and killed!

I have no words.

I'm not normally one to be so judgemental, but I don't know what I'd do. I can only think there's something very .... wrong.
I think I'd just stay away
 

StrangeOtter

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This must have been something that has been brewing inside her mind for a long time now, maybe years but she hasn't been able to talk about it. Maybe because she has feared judgement, or because she has been too proud to ask for help. It creates a lot of pressure to be held on a pedestal. Maybe this is why it came as a surprise.
I don't think that she upload those graphic images to be mean, I think she is insecure and looking for validation, which I guess she gets since she continues with the uploads?
I don't think you have lost your friend, only the image that you had of her has been changed and that is difficult to bare.
It's so hard to truly know anyone, even trying to know oneself is impossible.
I'm not taking sides here, but I'm trying my best to understand this situation.

Take care of yourself first. If that means to get some distance for a while (from instagram at least), I think that could help both of you. But I wouldn't advice you to ignore the situation and escape from it completely. You could for example tell her honestly that you are suffering and are asking for help, maybe via text message if talking face to face causes too strong emotions.

This is very difficult and I don't know if I'm of any help. It's good that you have confronted your emotions, those are completely normal and entirely okay to have and to process. It's good that you try your best to process them before talking to your friend.
Hopefully everything goes well.
 
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Jamie in Chile

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Hi, very sorry to hear this.

Can you explain a little more, was the first you heard of it when you saw things on social media and you haven't spoken yet?

If that's the case, you are going to have to speak to her at some point. Contact her only when you are feeling calm and not emotional.

But don't put if off for weeks either. You are going to have to speak.

I suggest avoiding commenting on social media or discussing by message and instead speak by phone where you can learn more from tone of voice and so on than just the words.

Try and begin the call/meeting with a normal positive open greeting and chit chat, and then talk in a questioning way, and calm and neutral and let her talk. Aim for her to be speaking more of the time than you, at least in the early part of the call.

If I had a friend in that situation, I'd be tempted to say that I don't agree with her decision, but talk about the act, while reaffirming your love and friendship for her. You can criticise the act if you want, but not the person.

This kind of advice is always limited by how little I know about you, her , and the situation. So sorry if it's not relevant for your situation. Good luck.

PS She is going to likely tell you that veganism was bad for her health. This may be true, or a lie, or an exaggerated excuse for meat. It's always hard to tell which one it is.

To understand whether it's true or just an excuse, you can ask her if she is willing to see a vegan nutritionist, assess her diet, take blood tests etc. But perhaps don't do that on the first call/meeting, depending on how it goes.
 

KLS52

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Something similar happened to me. The person who got me started with going vegetarian and then vegan a year later, went back to eating meat.
What’s different for me in this case is that she did suffer a trauma. She had just separated from her husband who was an alcoholic and later died at the age of 51 due to complications from alcoholism. She herself is an alcoholic and suffers from bipolar disease and ADD. She goes through periods where she can barely take care of herself and get through a day. I just can’t pass judgment on her for that, however disappointing it was when she went back to eating meat.

I like and agree with Jamie’s advice.
 

Tom L.

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@Amytomatojuice I'm sorry this happened. I know lots of folks try out vegetarianism and decide (relatively soon) that it's not for them; sometimes they have another go at it and this time stay with it. But it would make me sad too if a close friend had a turnaround like that.

I admit that non-vegan or non-vegetarian foods can be a concentrated source of certain nutrients. And to most people, they do taste good. I didn't stop eating them because they grossed me out- I found the cost to animals unacceptable. But I had always liked vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts too- so giving up some foods I had always enjoyed still left me with a lot of tasty, nutritious things to eat.

Your friend appears to be really going overboard with foods of animal origin. Many nutritionists who don't have a problem with either eating meat or going vegan, so long as the diet in question is healthy, might not advise what your friend is doing. I don't know why she's taking that path, or what you should say to her.
 
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