Dealing with others.

krysdyl.boren

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I'm a vegetarian that lives in Texas and on top of that I work with allot of elderly people for long periods so when mean time comes around I have my own that I bring but it never fails that someone will offer me their food and when I try to decline I feel rude so sometimes I'll tell them I'm vegetarian or am eating a vegan diet depending ( I'm in a slow transition). These people look at me as if I just said something blasphemous I try and be polite and I really hate all the attention it gives me. So I was wondering how you guys deal with these situations.
 

Jamfingers

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It sounds to me like the real issue for you is not so much explaining your diet, but worrying too much about hurting other people's feeling or coming across as rude to them. Instead of mentioning the diet - because talking about veganism to die hard meat eaters is hard enough already - maybe you should just focus on politely but firmly declining with a smile. You don't owe anyone an explanation beyond 'no, thanks'. Then perhaps down the road as you get more comfortable with this position you could start introducing your diet into the discussion.
 

Ev Lundy

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I actually live in Texas also. I understand how you are feeling, I mean people looked at me like I was some sort of unholy creature when I just suggested that we raised awareness for factory farms for an NJHS project. A few people have confronted me over the fact that I just wanted to be vegan (see the forum I just posted and please reply). So in short I understand that most Texans are bible-thumping meat eaters that will tell you that it is an "unholy perversion of the natural order of things" to not eat our "God-given meat". What I've gotten really good at is fixing people with a stare and asking honestly, "Why should I have to eat meat?"
If they reply with some sort of bible referencing reply, I say (this doesn't work if your sarcastic), "Oh yes, please show me where in the bible it tells me I have to eat meat, I don't remember seeing that."
 

Daya

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Sometimes I get anxiety when I even imagine telling people I'm vegan. Reactions go from positive to neutral to me being an 'obnoxious vegan' and being difficult to even worse than that - I met someone who started verbally attacking me without me even saying anything apart from the fact that I was vegan.
It's unbelievable. Unless it's family or close friends, I say I'm allergic. I'm only allergic to idiocy though.
 

gab

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When dealing with others I found that it is best to be honest. Initially there will be ridicule (so stay strong), but the novelty of ridiculing you goes away after a while if you stick to your guns. I find that to be true with most things in life that are seen as outside of the norm.
 
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fzjohnson

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Take heart. You go home at night to your self, not them. You live with your own sense of peace about the good you are doing, not them. The anxiety you are feeling should hopefully disappear the moment you walk into your house - a calm oasis of no cruelty, your sanctuary.

Right now there is a deluge of anti-vegan videos, images and news reportings (eg. mountaineering achievements & sad deaths being linked to veganism).

I don't know why vegans are being targeted by seemingly regular kindhearted people. It is quite odd. It is costing me in relationship terms as I unfriend orthorexic omnivorous friends to give myself some time out. Is it because they are posting so many images of their non-vegan meals they feel more invested in meat eating, and then feel affronted by anyone who might post their vegan dishes? I really don't get it ...

I understand that many of the videos are 'just for laughs', but this is with emphasis on the 'many'. I'm a tolerant person with a great sense of humour, but I've kind of stopped laughing ...

So perhaps in friendships and workplaces we all just need to gently apologise for offending anyone and back off. Perhaps this showing of 'good grace' is more effective than the activist's ire? What do you think? Abstaining from meat is graceful. Angry anti-veganism is not. Sometimes I think showing grace is the most effective because it magnifies the contrast of behaviour. Good people tend to stop when they feel ugliness in their behaviour. And this usually causes self-reflection. If we can all get to the 'reflection stage' quicker then perhaps this is better for all?

Any thoughts, anyone?
 
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Safay

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Oh the joys of " coming out" as a vegan! It does make it hard if you live in a place that isn't as open minded as most other places. While I live in Ft. Lauderdale , a rather huge melting pot I am still faced with ridicule. I find that the best response is to not feel embarrassed by your choice. Just tell them it works for you and you're very happy with your decision. Even if you load them up with solid facts about your choice it's a waste of your energy because no matter what they will still find a way to back up their eating habits. I usually am open if they have legitimate questions and a real interest but when I can tell they just want to argue ( usually because they feel guilty deep down inside ) and go head to head in a debate I shut them down.
 

Bluerice

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People will be annoying to you no matter where you go.

It's just the way of humanity to stare at anything different with ridicule and contempt... General human behavior declares them to always try to mock something about another.

Even if you'd say you are on a "Health Diet", they'd make fun of it.
It's just humans being humans... The reason we are Vegans to begin with, is to not join their brutal tendencies.

Learn to embrace it... You are different.
You work on moral concepts that are completely alien to them... For them, to care about animals is like caring about the well-being of dust.
They just don't give a damn, and they'll find it weird that you do.

So... Don't take it hard, it's best to just say you are under a strict diet, instead of trying to explain what "Caring" means.

They'd be offended by anything too... For them, it holds no concern why you refuse, it's just that they perceive everything as personal... For, aside from themselves, they can't really think of anything ells.

Even if you were allergic, and it would have killed you if you had eaten it... It'll still offend them.