I like being vegan and I try to keep it low key so....

Dougrus

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Why is everyone (friends/coworkers) always trying to talk me out of it? I have my theories but would like to hear your experiences and how you fair with it.
 
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SapphireLightning

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I think it is mostly because you are reminding them of something they do (cause animals to suffer) but wish wasn't true. My (now estranged) mother asked me why I went vegan back in 2013 and before I got past one sentence she was like "OK I don't want to have to change" and left the room. All I had said to her was "Well they do horrible things to the animals, so I don't want to be part of that", well not even that much as she interrupted me after the word don't.
 

MoreGreens

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No one cares what you do to yourself... smoke, booze, drinking pop... but go vegan and everyone is so concerned about your nutrition intake and are you in a cult now? Ridiculous stuff. It's a reflexive defense mechanism for them. People who are super fit get a lot of the same about crap about over exercising or becoming addicted to exercise.

The average person doesn't like change. They want to be right about how they're living and not to have to think about unpalatable things such as what happens in slaughter houses. And, Americans are a lot more removed from the farm than they used to be. I've met grown women who didn't know ham was pig's buttock... They were mystified so I explained where all the 'pork' they were eating came from on the animal. They thought of their meat as ham or bacon not pig.

In the end, I think it comes down to people being selfish and not wanting their shortcomings exposed. Even if you say nothing to them about what they're eating, they are acknowledging on a subconscious level that you're living better than them. They want to protect their status quo at the cost of you, animals and the environment.

If someone tries to change my mind, I call them on it. I straight up say, 'I'm not going to let your guilt and confusion stop me from doing what I know is right.' It's one of the reasons I use the chronometer religiously, too. If they ask/judge me about my nutrients, I'm handing them my phone and stopping that BS before it starts.
 

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I've posted at least two articles on this subject. And I think I can remember a few other good ones.

It might be my own personal opinion, but since my opinion and many writers seem to agree on the motivations, I tend to give this theory the most credence. With that said, there are many non-vegans and the ones who are unaccepting probably do have a variety of reasons.

My opinion is that vegans make non-vegans feel guilty. They know eating meat is wrong, but they won't stop. We, vegans, are proof positive that they could if they really wanted to



 

shyvas

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I've posted at least two articles on this subject. And I think I can remember a few other good ones.



That editor got sacked for having written that article. Moreover, it was just as Waitrose were launching a huge number of
plant based products in their stores.
 
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Emma JC

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I think the best way to discuss is to have your reasons why very clear in your own head first. For some it is health, for some it is the animals and for some the environment and for others it is a combination of them. For me it was health as the impetus and now it is for all three.

Many try to talk you out of it because they are truly uninformed, as many have already mentioned, and truly believe it will be bad for your health
and it is necessary to eat animals and/or their oozings.

When I first told my sister she said "oh, I didn't know you cared that much about animals", huh? we are from a family who always had pets and loved them dearly.... Caught of guard I answered incorrectly and said, " oh yeah, well it is about our health". I should have addressed the animal issue right away and instead wasn't prepared.

What are your theories?

Emma JC
 
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Dougrus

Dougrus

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Thanks for all the input friends...

Guilt, guilt, guilt and misinformation...absolutely my thoughts....

One particular friend group I have had an especially hard time with. Before I went vegan, I was quite into meat dishes and procuring feasts for our gatherings. They have always known me this way...and like all of you have said there are a few things at work as they tease:

1. Im new to it. They think and keep saying, that I will soon be back. Its a "phase" or w/e
2. They feel guilty like you all have touched on as they see a person that was recently a meat eater, like them, give it up and visibly enjoy the new lifestyle. That makes them uncomfortable.
3. Misinformation- They think of vegans in a certain way and I dont fit that stereotype...Also, they have not investigated the nutritional facts around the issue and spit out all kinds of unsubstantiated facts (soy dangers, micro-nutrients, protein nonsense etc).

One of my buds, who has been a chef for over 20 years , responded with "whoa you must be drinking a ton of protein shakes" to which I responded the legume pasta I had last night has as much if not more protein than a serving a meat...to which he said, "you are going to eat all that pasta after you lift? You need real protein." SMH

@Emma JC Yes, I always lead with the reason I started. Health. If they press, which they usually do, I just say well, I am a pretty big animal lover as well. They rarely want to go too much further because I think most people know deep inside if you break it down on a fundamental philosophical level its a tough argument to make that it is totally ok to eat a pig or a cow or a chicken and flat out immoral and even illegal to eat a dog. I call it the cuteness scale in my head. Though to be fair most people do admit that cows are cute so....?

@MoreGreens I love your point about how people do all manners of harmful things to their bodies and it is socially acceptable and even encouraged. But when you try to something good for yourself and the planet, you are ridiculed?

@SapphireLightning They, like me as of fairly recently, find it very easy to put it out of their head. You are right that it is simply threatening for them to have to think about it.

@Lou Yup. They dont like that we are doing it because they have to look at their own habits!.

Overall thanks for the input! I think it will continue to get easier as I get more time under my belt. I feel that at least for the people immediately around me I can just be an influence by demonstrating how good I feel, how fit I become and how positive the change is.
My family on the other hand has been very supportive. Although not fully vegan yet, they have been slowly turning the corner. Drinking my almond milk, eating my vegan dinners without feeling the need to add any meat protein etc. I would say my wife has basically stopped eating meat at home. I think she gets sushi at work etc, but she is coming around naturally.

Oh, sorry about the wall of text...
 

SapphireLightning

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Almond milk? Egads! Don't let the carnists hear about you drinking almond milk, or you will never hear the end of how almonds are destroying the world (even though it takes twice as much water to produce cows milk as it takes to make almond milk).
 

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When people ask about my veganism, I usually say something like, "Yeah, so far, so good". I say it in a very low-key voice.

If they ask more questions, it's often safe to assume that they are threatened by the topic. I usually answer again, in a low-key voice, "Yeah, it's been good so far. It's kinda like politics or religion though - it's not something that I usually talk about." That provides a soft landing to the potential argument. But, it also arouses their interest.

Those people will remain keenly aware that you're a vegan. They will notice that you remain healthy. They will notice what you're eating, and occasionally (secretly) find your meals appetizing. They will notice that you're still a "regular guy".

Without discussing it with you, they will try eating some meatless meals themselves. I see this at my office - someone brings back a Carl's Jr. Beyond Meat burger for lunch. Someone brings beans from home. Someone brings a dish that contains tofu - meat, too, but I assure you that the person wouldn't have added tofu if not for his curiosity.

It helps if you look a little younger, too. There are several other men my age (50-ish) at work, but I have more hair, and no gray hair. Among them, there are health issues - cholesterol, high blood pressure, a back problem,. When people are discussing these health issues, I just don't have anything to mention.
 

MoreGreens

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Almond milk? Egads! Don't let the carnists hear about you drinking almond milk, or you will never hear the end of how almonds are destroying the world (even though it takes twice as much water to produce cows milk as it takes to make almond milk).
Look at you spreading vegan propaganda! Next you're gonna tell us quinoa can be grown outside of South America. 'Everyone' knows vegans are starving Peruvian orphans as they highhandedly destroy the world with their exotic imports just like only almonds are totes dehydrating California. It's part of the vegan agenda! 😉🤣
 

David3

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Here's a good (and short video) about responding to people's discomfort with your veganism. Very smart stuff.

The speaker is Dr. Doug Lisle. He's a psychologist - he works at Dr. John McDougall's vegan events.

.
 
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MoreGreens

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When people ask about my veganism, I usually say something like, "Yeah, so far, so good". I say it in a very low-key voice.

If they ask more questions, it's often safe to assume that they are threatened by the topic. I usually answer again, in a low-key voice, "Yeah, it's been good so far. It's kinda like politics or religion though - it's not something that I usually talk about." That provides a soft landing to the potential argument. But, it also arouses their interest.

Those people will remain keenly aware that you're a vegan. They will notice that you remain healthy. They will notice what you're eating, and occasionally (secretly) find your meals appetizing. They will notice that you're still a "regular guy".

Without discussing it with you, they will try eating some meatless meals themselves. I see this at my office - someone brings back a Carl's Jr. Beyond Meat burger for lunch. Someone brings beans from home. Someone brings a dish that contains tofu - meat, too, but I assure you that the person wouldn't have added tofu if not for his curiosity.

It helps if you look a little younger, too. There are several other men my age (50-ish) at work, but I have more hair, and no gray hair. Among them, there are health issues - cholesterol, high blood pressure, a back problem,. When people are discussing these health issues, I just don't have anything to mention.

I love that you brought up the looking younger thing. I've been nagging my husband for years to stop dabbling in meat. I finally got him onboard and after less than two weeks, he's all "I think I look younger because my lines around my eyes aren't as obvious. I have so much more energy." Ha!
 

Emma JC

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Here's a good (and short video) about responding to people's discomfort with your veganism. Very smart stuff.

The speaker is Dr. Doug Lisle. He's a psychologist - he works at Dr. John McDougall's vegan events.

.

I agree mostly with the low key approach and I don't agree with lying about things like not knowing where my protein comes from. I have spent a ton of time to educate myself on the whys and wherefores and whatnots and howtos so if people ask and they are actually interested then I will tell them and if they are still interested then I will suggest the various documentaries and books and websites and YouTube videos. From then on I do not bring up the topic unless they do.

Emma JC
 

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Why is everyone (friends/coworkers) always trying to talk me out of it? I have my theories but would like to hear your experiences and how you fair with it.

Here are some of the reasons I've come across:

1. They feel threatened. If too many people adopt it, there may come a point eventually where we tip the scales and their animal products may be vastly more expensive or even unavailable (consumer point of view). Producers feel threatened because they will lose sales, may have to switch careers. Both groups are afraid of change.

2. They are envious. To be a vegan takes courage sometimes especially when everyone around you, and so many things around you (especially in western/industrialized societies) put animal products on a pedestal. It sometimes means being a social outcast depending on one's circles. The envy and even resentment can stem from the simple fact that you have removed yourself from the herd, something they may not have the courage to do.

3. They are ill-informed/mis-informed. Where do you get your protein? Where do you get your iron? Being vegan means taking a ton of supplements just to get by etc.

4. They have to face the fact that in the face of successful/longer term vegans, the bs they cling to to eat animal products is destroyed. Shame at having been duped.

5. They have one or a number of diseases, are used to getting pity for these diseases and telling themselves lies about their diseases that make it comfortable not to change. I just saw this on FB TODAY. A relative posted an informative video showing the root cause of many diseases and what cures it, and some relatives respond (on their own pages without being direct) with basically the equivalent of " It's not my fault, numerous doctors said this, I'm taking my meds and this is the best I can hope for" . They don't want to change, they don't want to admit they've been duped, they don't want to take some responsibility for their actions over many years and they don't want to discipline themselves in a world where they will be perceived as different. Basically, they are acting like cowards.
 

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People also hate change. My mom had a conniption fit when I went vegan. She was fine with my being vegetarian, but when I went vegan, she was all like, OMG, what am I going to make when you come to visit? That was 13 years ago, and she has adjusted nicely. She challenges herself with finding tasty vegan meals for when I visit.

I also had two friends who actually stopped inviting me to dinners for a while because there would be dead flesh there. They have since adjusted as well. Not everyone will, but going vegan seems shocking/drastic to them.

I agree with others that it's a defense mechanism as well because it forces them to consider their own practices, and I think they really know deep down that they could do without animal products if they really gave it shot. A lot of times, they just don't want to, and our choices force them to consider it.
 
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My friends say that I would be the perfect main attraction at the zoo if I signed up for the ignoramus display. They promised I would get three free meals a day and housing. I said, "I would love to live at the zoo. But, I think the meals are vegetarian and not vegan."

They said, "We completely understand because ignoramuses are vegan."

Maybe a redneck vegan ignoramus is such a rare specimen that I could never truly qualify as low key.
 
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