Friend looking to become vegetarian

fuzzy logic

Newcomer
Joined
Dec 14, 2021
Reaction score
44
Location
Sydney
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
Hi all,

I was buoyed today when a friend told me she was inspired by my journey to become vegan, and while she doesn't think she can do that, she is going to try to go vegetarian (she currently eats meat). I am very excited about this, it will make hanging out together with food a lot easier and I generally think it's a major step in the right direction. I know her husband is not going to be supportive of this (and she will still have to cook meat for him). But I would like to create as supportive environment as possible to make the transition easier for her. What things did people say or do for you when you were transitioning that helped?

I should point out that I didn't put any pressure on her to switch, it's a decision that she made on her own. But none the less, a decision I am grateful for.
 

Emma JC

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Reaction score
8,185
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
There are 3 different aspects of veganism that are prevalent and different people have different reasons for making the lifestyle change.

1. for the animals
2. for the environment
3. for their health

I knew about all 3 and yet it was health that made me make the final leap and it is the animals and the environment that keep me motivated.

Maybe find out which aspect is most important to her and then encourage that.

Emma JC
Find your vegan soulmate or just a friend. www.spiritualmatchmaking.com
 
OP
OP
fuzzy logic

fuzzy logic

Newcomer
Joined
Dec 14, 2021
Reaction score
44
Location
Sydney
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
Thanks for your reply :). Her reason for want to become vegetarian is animals, it's definitely the animals. I will do what I can to encourage her to look at this aspect, although she is very adverse to any realistic information about what goes on because she says it makes her very depressed and she can't watch. I did send her a link to Animals Australia (for a Kinder World) because it is pretty sanitised. And an ad from them helped me decide to become vegan. It also links to recipes which she asked for, so that is helpful. I did tell her I would give her a vegan cookbook I have as well, so she has some ideas about what to cook for herself.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,906
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Maybe find out which aspect is most important to her and then encourage that.

Absolutely.
IMHO, its the health aspect is the easiest to encourage. The health aspect also seems to be the the thing that works best in converting spouses. I think you don't even have to say anything. Just get them to watch What the Health or Game Changers together.

The environment aspect is also pretty easy to encourage. The thing is that many "environmentalists" still haven't realized that the most important thing that they can do as an individual is to Go Vegan. Even in the documentaries sometimes veganism is barely mentioned or added as an afterthought. Again you may not have to say anything but promote the watching of Cowspiracy.

Again, IMHO promoting ethical veganism is tough. It is super easy to be perceived as preachy or superior. And the documentaries aren't much help. Earthlings and Dominion are like horror movies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC
OP
OP
fuzzy logic

fuzzy logic

Newcomer
Joined
Dec 14, 2021
Reaction score
44
Location
Sydney
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
Yeah, you are probably right that the health aspect is likely the easiest to encourage. It helps that I have lost a bit of weight since going vegan so she is encouraged by that. And yes, there are other health benefits as well, I should watch those myself and brush up so I can help her. Environmentalism holds no sway with her really.

An yes, ethical veganism is very tricky. She is an animal lover, can't stand even fictionalised violence towards animals in video games for example, but she has had a bit of blind spot when it comes to her consumption of animals. I don't know how to explain that fully, but here we are. So, I am really glad she has decided to change the way she eats.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,906
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Thanks for your reply :). Her reason for want to become vegetarian is animals, it's definitely the animals. I will do what I can to encourage her to look at this aspect, although she is very adverse to any realistic information about what goes on because she says it makes her very depressed and she can't watch. I did send her a link to Animals Australia (for a Kinder World) because it is pretty sanitised. And an ad from them helped me decide to become vegan. It also links to recipes which she asked for, so that is helpful. I did tell her I would give her a vegan cookbook I have as well, so she has some ideas about what to cook for herself.
I posted the previous reply before I saw this newest one.

I was thinking more of what can be done for the spouse.

Anyway, one good thing about people motivated by ethics/animal rights is that its more like an on/off switch. you get it or you don't. Its also more of an internal thing. So no further motivation is necessary. I think mostly it's the nuts and bolts of the lifestyle where people could use a little help. The cookbook is an excellent idea.

Also since animal rights is not just about what you eat, maybe a more general book. I think the first book on veganism I read was Living Vegan for Dummies. Also, The Idiots Guide to Plant Based Nutrition is a great book.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,906
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
... but she has had a bit of blind spot when it comes to her consumption of animals.

Ahh... the best book that is on THAT topic is
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
by Melanie Joy

If you haven't read it, buy it, read it and lend it to her. Or maybe get two copies and read them together.
Dr. Joy also has a lot of videos, including a TED talk on YouTube.
 

David3

Forum Legend
Joined
May 19, 2016
Reaction score
2,309
Age
53
Location
California, USA
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
People are more likely to stay with vegetarianism when they feel that it's a powerful inner decision that they've made themselves. If you encourage her too much, this may reduce her feeling of personal empowerment.

I think the best thing to do is eat your most delicious vegan foods when you're around her. She will then continue to see how satisfying veganism is.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Emma JC and Lou
OP
OP
fuzzy logic

fuzzy logic

Newcomer
Joined
Dec 14, 2021
Reaction score
44
Location
Sydney
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
People are more likely to stay with vegetarianism when they feel that it's a powerful inner decision that they've made themselves. If you encourage her too much, this may reduce her feeling of personal empowerment.

I think the best thing to do is eat your most delicious vegan foods when you're around her. She will then continue to see how satisfying veganism is.

Ok, thanks, I will try to bear that in mind. We have been looking at vegan recipes, and discussing what to cook, so I think that will go well.
 

Tom L.

Forum Legend
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Reaction score
3,496
Age
70
Location
New York State capital district
Lifestyle
  1. Strict vegetarian
Thanks for your reply :). Her reason for want to become vegetarian is animals, it's definitely the animals. I will do what I can to encourage her to look at this aspect, although she is very adverse to any realistic information about what goes on because she says it makes her very depressed and she can't watch. I did send her a link to Animals Australia (for a Kinder World) because it is pretty sanitised. And an ad from them helped me decide to become vegan. It also links to recipes which she asked for, so that is helpful. I did tell her I would give her a vegan cookbook I have as well, so she has some ideas about what to cook for herself.
Your friend's reason is the same as my own. My health is important to me too, as is the environment, but I think I might have been able to consume small amounts of meat without ill effects. Or maybe not; I'm not going to try to find out because that little experiment would definitely not be healthy for the animals I love.

But as for what anyone said to move me toward veg*ism... If anything made me veg, it was the animals themselves. I was fortunate to know a vegetarian gentleman/neighbor as a child, but everyone else I cared about ate a normal (omnivorous) diet, although they have been either supportive or neutral about my going veg.

E.T.A.: I don't know if graphically, explicitly violent or disturbing info about what humans do to animals is effective in converting people. It wasn't a factor for me- quite the opposite: I found it disturbing when people tried to argue that they could respect and/or love animals, even if they were meat eaters or hunters. Insofar as it's unlikely the whole world will go veg anytime soon, maybe it's better that people make a halfhearted, half-baked, half-***ed attempt to extend animals SOME consideration. I just thought that not only were people not levelling with me- they were insulting my intelligence (and this was when I was about 10 years old, although I didn't go pescatarian until I was 16)
 
Last edited: