I accidentally ate meat!

Alyssa

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I need some urgent advice. I was on the school bus with my friend, who offered me some chips. After about 10 minutes of us sharing the chips, she read the ingredients and saw the chips contained chicken fat. She yelled it out so everyone on the bus heard. I was beyond ashamed and embarrassed and she really made things worse. Everyone kept calling me 'meat eater' and saying that I'm not a vegetarian anymore! This all happened yesterday afternoon, and I have to go back to school today. I'm afraid people on the bus are going to tell other people. It was just an accident. What do I do?
 

hopeful

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Hi Alyssa,

It's not your fault. It was an accidental thing that could happen to anyone. You are still the vegetarian you were the day before this happened. You didn't do anything wrong.

Regarding people telling others... I would hope they wouldn't say much, as they would hopefully have other things to talk about. However, realistically, they might. BUT, your reaction could impact their reactions. I would recommend trying to play it cool as much as possible. I don't know if that will work, but it seems like when something upsets someone, it becomes more interesting for others to discuss sometimes. I am socially awkward, so I don't have any tips on what to say. (Sorry about that.) But I would probably lean in the direction of not making a big deal of it (to people at school) and it will probably blow over pretty quickly, if it hasn't already.

Alyssa, you didn't do anything wrong. A few chips (or a bunch of chips one day) with chicken fat that you didn't even know was there doesn't mean one bad thing about you. You are doing excellent things for animals and for the environment by being vegetarian. Some chips one time do not change that. I know I have made mistakes before (though no one talked about it to my knowledge - how frustrating it would be for people to do so). Would I be freaking out? Yes, I admit it. But you can hold your head high knowing that you would not intentionally eat something with chicken in it, or any other meat. For the records... Who puts chicken fat in chips anyway?! I have never heard of that!

I hope you feel better. I can see why this bothers you. It sounds really upsetting. But you have nothing to be ashamed of. Good luck at school tomorrow. You can do it. You've got it!
 

Alyssa

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Hi Alyssa,

It's not your fault. It was an accidental thing that could happen to anyone. You are still the vegetarian you were the day before this happened. You didn't do anything wrong.

Regarding people telling others... I would hope they wouldn't say much, as they would hopefully have other things to talk about. However, realistically, they might. BUT, your reaction could impact their reactions. I would recommend trying to play it cool as much as possible. I don't know if that will work, but it seems like when something upsets someone, it becomes more interesting for others to discuss sometimes. I am socially awkward, so I don't have any tips on what to say. (Sorry about that.) But I would probably lean in the direction of not making a big deal of it (to people at school) and it will probably blow over pretty quickly, if it hasn't already.

Alyssa, you didn't do anything wrong. A few chips (or a bunch of chips one day) with chicken fat that you didn't even know was there doesn't mean one bad thing about you. You are doing excellent things for animals and for the environment by being vegetarian. Some chips one time do not change that. I know I have made mistakes before (though no one talked about it to my knowledge - how frustrating it would be for people to do so). Would I be freaking out? Yes, I admit it. But you can hold your head high knowing that you would not intentionally eat something with chicken in it, or any other meat. For the records... Who puts chicken fat in chips anyway?! I have never heard of that!

I hope you feel better. I can see why this bothers you. It sounds really upsetting. But you have nothing to be ashamed of. Good luck at school tomorrow. You can do it. You've got it!
Thank you so much. It really means a lot to me to have reassurance that I'm in the right. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day this write this to a stranger. You've madfe my day 10x better.
 

hopeful

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Thanks for saying that! I appreciate it. Glad to help! :)
 

Vic M

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Don't worry about it. It was a mistake. I know people that have been vegan for 10+ years and not knowingly ate something that contained an animal product. Keep doing you. If those kids start saying things just ignore them, don't let them get to you. Negativity sucks, keep your head up and good luck tomorrow!!
 
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Veganite

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Welcome to the forum, Alyssa!

As hopeful also said, it was totally accidental. That can happen to just about anyone.

The main difference here is you did not make a conscious effort to eat chicken fat. You very much inadvertently consumed it. Things like that can happen to anyone, and it does. It doesn't make you any less committed to your vegetarian lifestyle.

Sometimes the most inconspicuous foods can contain animal ingredients and/or its byproducts. It really does pay to be suspicious of everything you aren't 100 percent sure about. Even things like re-fried beans, which most people assume are vegan and safe, often contain animal fat (lard).

One thing I do, myself, whenever possible, is scrutinize labels to prevent such disappointments. I realize you didn't have that option. I'm sure many of us would've done the same thing in your situation. Would you do the same thing next time, or do you think you learned something from this, and would ask before consuming next time?

At the end of the day, we're supposed to learn from our experiences. I'm sure, at the very least, you learned something about chips today.


*
 

veganDreama

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Hello and welcome!

I'm sorry the other kids are giving you a hard time but it's not your fault if you accidentally ate something fried in Chicken fat. Since most chips are fried in vegetable oil you weren't to know these particular chips were different. It doesn't Make you any less vegitarian then it did before.
 

Sho

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I don’t know being vegan or vegetarian to me isn’t about what other people think. I think this story is hilarious honestly. First off school buses are big and it sounds like this “friend” isn’t really your friend. I don’t take food from people.
 
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Jekyll40

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If this ever happens again, stick your fingers down your throat and regurgitate over the "friend". That will probably shut her up.
 
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Sally

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Hi Alyssa. Don't feel bad, I went to a talk at a vegan festival and the chap said that it is almost impossible to be completely vegan as there are hidden animal products in so many things. So don't feel a failure. You must be influencing your friend as she is trying to undermine you, perhaps she thought that would be enough to stop you being a veggie. Don't let it happen, use this experience to make you stronger. It's better to be a veggie than an carnivore any day of the week. Why not go vegan? Step it up a bit. ;)
 

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