I'm not what to do... regarding family and friends

Kasimir Maras

Mar 8, 2019
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  1. Vegan newbie
I've read somewhere that you have to decide to be either a quiet vegan or speak your mind type vegan. The only issue really is that sometimes speaking your mind can be confused with aggressive and looking for an argument.......

At first I disagreed, I said to myself "nahhhh I don't see why you can't tell people how you feel and expect that others don't see it you being aggressive or rude"

Fast forward to today, I have realised that what you eat is such a hot topic around the dining room table.. especially if you're sharing it with others...... I know it's coming and it's starting to really annoy me! I mean I get that some people are generally curious and genuinely want to know why etc etc.... other people just want to interrogate you again...

Yeah I'm not sure what you doing.

I pretty much have said to myself that I have 2 choices

A. Be quiet about it.

My wife wants me to do this, you know so I do not create too much chaos etc etc .. see her family is back in the Philippines but she definitely lets them know if she's upset! (we live in Australia)

B. Let people know how I feel.

This is what I want to do. I just don't care what everybody thinks and I just can't be bothered making sure I don't offend any one person -there are 10 people after all.

For me every single time the topic gets brought up I have to bite my tongue but on the other hand I don't want my wife to get upset with me and I do generally think she wants me to have a good relationship with my family.

I'm honestly not sure what to do or in this case even how to approach the situation.... tbh I'm just sick and tired of all this.. can anybody?
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Dr Doug Lisle has some great vids on YouTube regarding this topic.

Root cause, people are feeling inferior and are trying to bring you down to their level. The best response is to give them nothing to think you are better than them.

Q: How can you not eat a cheesy pizza?

Rather than A: dairy industry is meat industry, pigs are treated horribly and I don’t want to clog my arteries!

Try something like A: I try my best not to for health reasons, not sure how long I will last, I will probably fail in future. But just seeing how it goes for now.

Sure the first response is correct and you will probably never fail, but you have not taken the superior stance so they have nothing to respond with and the conversation will diminish quickly.

I hope this helps :)
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I pretty much have said to myself that I have 2 choices

I disagree. Or at least I don't think those two choices are all there is. I think you could say choice A is 1 on a 1 to 10 scale.
Maybe a good metaphor is a ten-speed bike. Sure some people just have one-speed bikes. But those of us with ten speeds choose the appropriate gear for the terrain.

For instance, you are at the dinner table with people who already know you are vegan and have heard all your arguments. The best gear is number one. ( maybe zero. shut up and bite your tongue - saying stuff has no purpose in this setting)

You find out (just making this up on the fly) that your next door neighbor is going to a puppy mill to buy a puppy. The best gear is number 10. Go home, print out articles and pictures. Hold his nose to them.

You are at lunch at work and someone asks you if you would like to try some of their homemade yogurt. Go to gear 2. "No thanks, I don't eat dairy."
If they roll their eyes shift to 7. "Sorry, I have had my quota of blood, pus, growth hormones, and antibiotics for the day."

The issue or difficulty with this is if you are so well informed that you can shift to 10, it's sometimes hard not to. *

I loved bPTs response. another good video to watch is just about anything by Melanie Joy. I was just reminded of her a few days ago and her take on advocacy totally informs my personal philosophy.

To be honest, i have to mention that I have trouble staying in the lower gears. I have yet to figure out (at least on a personal level) when "accommodating" becomes "enabling". Or you could say I fear that accommodating can be mistaken for enabling.

Final thought: I have a favorite fictional character who has a saying. "Never miss an opportunity to befriend and to teach. I find those good words to live by

*this is where my metaphor breaks down. On a bike, the terrain dictates the gear. You just aren't' getting up that hill in the top gear. In advocacy, IMHO, it's easy to slip into the top gear.
Okay you're both saying the same thing thing but differently.... I appreciate both opinions BUT yeh I was being to black and white... I can see that now......

Life is like a 10 speed bike anyway BUT in saying that I believe this "actions speak louder than words" but I'm newish to all this but always am hearing the same old opinions....

Anyways as I've got my point across -I haven't let people walk all over me- things might be better going forward... no need to be overly defensive.
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I agree that it's not a straight choice. It's a scale. You can speak up some of the time, but not all. You can speak up firmly "I don't believe in killing animals for food" or less firmly "vegetarian for ethical reasons".

I think you should speak out, but politely, and not excessively. With your wife's family, perhaps take a more gentle tone out of respect to them.

That is what I try to do although in practice I often don't say a lot.
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