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WACKYGRL Posts: 322
12/1/08 10:49 P

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My dad kind of thought it was a phase with my "hippy college ideals", but he never seemed to mind.

I do have a friend who can't talk about food without mentioning meats upon meat. Even when I did eat meat, it was never like that anyways. Its kinda of funny tho, because everytime she starts in on it its "well I know you don't eat meat but" and goes on to tell me about whatever it is. Then she'll ask me if I think that sounds good! I usually just change the subject. =)

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SALLYS_DAD's Photo SALLYS_DAD Posts: 13
12/1/08 7:41 P

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This was the first family get together (over Thanksgiving) in over 2 years where meat was not pushed on me. My mom even made sure there were plenty of sides (9) so that I would have plenty to eat. My wife is a vegetarian too but we allow our 4 year old meat occasionally but she prefers her veggies.

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TERESA56082 Posts: 47
12/1/08 7:28 P

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Annette81,
My Dad always told me that people hate what they fear or feel guilty about. The people in your family probably know that eating the way they do is not a good choice, but they tell themselves they need to eat like that to be healthy. Your life is proof they are kidding themselves so they have to find another excuse not to change.

TERESA56082 Posts: 47
12/1/08 7:25 P

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I get a hard time about "forcing" my children to be vegetarian, the irony being that my son is the food police at our house and points it out if I slip up on label reading.
My Mom was telling me it was wrong to refer to meat as "animals" because I was influencing his decision when we were at her house for Thanksgiving. I was explaining to my son why he should avoid one of the dishes being served.
I told her it was my job to influence him and it was no different than her telling me to eat what she served and go to church when I was a child. Besides, isn't calling it "animals" the truth?

ANNETTE81's Photo ANNETTE81 Posts: 207
12/1/08 5:27 P

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haha, i take back what i said about my vegetarianism being accepted.
apparently my dad's side of the family is not real hot on the idea...

i was at thanksgiving, and overheard the conversation in the other room, "oh yeah-she's gone crazy! one of those radical PETA loving people, what an extremist."

jeesh.

i just brushed it off, but was really surprised at the hatred they had in their voices. i had nothing but great experiences at work and the other side of my family...haha, apparently dad's side isn't as accepting.

oh well, such is life.

**"it's not about motivation...it's about dedication. treat your body as you would treat your job, seriously." ***


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JOANIEGRANOLA's Photo JOANIEGRANOLA Posts: 213
12/1/08 5:13 P

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That's just absolutely not true. That advice is usually from people who either don't want you to be a vegetarian or from people who just don't understand the vegetarian way of life.

One of the first cookbooks I bought was PETA's Please Don't Eat the Animals. It's a good cookbook because you can use fresh or canned ingredients (most recipes call for canned stuff to make it easier for you, but I prefer to change the recipes to fresh ingredients).

One other cookbook that I find very useful is the Nutritional Yeast Cookbook. Nutritional yeast has vitamin B (I think) and it has a cheesey flavor. I've found some very good recipies in that book since I've decided to stop eating dairy.

One of the cookbooks that I plan on getting in the future is called "Cooking Everything Vegetarian" by Mark something-or-other. I just saw it in Barnes and Noble yesterday (and it surprises me that I can't remember his name -- it's thick and has a green cover and is $35). I was very impressed because he tells you HOW too prepare and cook fruits and vegetables, which is one of the hardest things about becomeing vegetarian -- after 10 years I STILL don't know a lot about preparing fruits and veggies for inclusion in recipes.

I have a lot of other vegetarian cookbooks, but I haven't used any of them regularly to say whether or not they're good.

Lisa :)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


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DMATT35's Photo DMATT35 SparkPoints: (25,036)
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12/1/08 3:36 P

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I am new to the Vegetarian diet and have been told by family and friends that you can't get a balanced healthy diet without animal products.

Any suggestions on Vegetarian books I can read that talk about a good healthy Vegetarian diet without animal products??

Debbie Matthews


"Your life is a mirror of the dominant thoughts you think".............Buddha



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SPARKPIXIE's Photo SPARKPIXIE Posts: 88,521
12/1/08 2:40 P

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At first my family thought it was just a phase I was going through. They kind of made fun of me a little bit, saying stuff like "Who ever heard of a fat vegetarian?" Well, going vegetarian helped me lose 86 lbs! (Although, unfortunately, I've gained it back and am working on losing it again.)
I have friends who are hunters and they sometimes act like they expect me to hold up a protest sign or something. They're always surprised that I don't pick on them for eating meat. We all make our own choices in life.
Its hard because I'm the only vegetarian I know! I see vegetarian products like Tempeh in the store, and I don't even buy it because I don't know how to prepare it. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed, but I know I'll never go back to eating meat.



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BONITABUNNIE's Photo BONITABUNNIE Posts: 12
12/1/08 2:24 P

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This is ALWAYS an iteresting topic!
In my experience I think I've been quite lucky! As a child I grew up in a house that served bacon and eggs for breakfast, turkey sandwiches for lunch, and chicken/pork/steak for dinner. Well when I was 15 I started researching how slaughterhouses opperated and all the chemicals and hormones that are pumped into the animals that become our food. Anyway, that was it! I haven't eaten meat in 8 years! My parents were really weirded out at first, they thought I was in some strange teenage phase that I'd grow out of. Ha! But I met my boyfriend 4 years ago and to my total shock he and his ENITRE immediate family were veg also! Wow! I was surprised cuz the only other vegs I knew were my friends from animal rights groups. So, at first it was a hard transision, but I am so happy with my choice and I know I'll never go back. yay!

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BUGGIE726's Photo BUGGIE726 SparkPoints: (0)
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11/25/08 8:29 P

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Work is pretty understanding. I'm more open with telling everyone I'm vegetarian if they offer me something and they're reactions have been pretty much, "oh you're veg? Wow. Cool." My other job I just avoided the meat dishes they would offer and say I wasn't hungry. More often than not even though I had told them they would always seem to "forget"

Edited by: BUGGIE726 at: 11/25/2008 (20:29)
**~~June~~**

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams
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LIZHAVEY Posts: 25
11/25/08 11:14 A

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I've been vegetarian for almost four years, but hated most meats prior to that, anyway, so it was no big surprise for my family. I grew up in a small town in Illinois and live in a small town in Georgia now, and eating out is largely problematic...there's no way I could survive veganhood in communities like these. My dad still asks if I'm doing the "vegetarian thing" on a pretty regular basis, but my little sister recently moved in with my partner (he's not truly veggie b/c he eats meat occasionally) and she has adapted to the in house veggie lifestyle quite well. My mom is also very accepting of it, because it helps her think a little more about the food she eats and the values of it (she's also trying to lose weight).

In the community, I get a lot of different reactions. Most people are curious how I can survive with no meat, whereas others wonder how they too can become vegetarian. I try not to worry too much about what others have to say, though, and just do my own thing. I am really happy that the new Thai place opened up this summer...now I can eat out and eat something other than pasta or pizza:)

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JOANIEGRANOLA's Photo JOANIEGRANOLA Posts: 213
11/24/08 7:00 P

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I live in Connecticut, and I think the vegetarian diet/lifestyle is just starting to take hold in this area. My husband has always been very supportive of my choices; I've even been able to get him (he rarely eats vegetables and fruits) to eat some of the vegetarian dishes that I make (with or without "fake meat").

When I first became a vegetarian in 1996, my family thought I was going through a "fad" and my co-workers were extremely mean (they would often taunt me with meat products or comment on how gross my food looked). In 2004 I went back to eating meat, but felt guilty because I had very strong beliefs about why I was a vegetarian. The only people in my family who were surprised that I started eating meat were two of my sisters (one who recently became vegetarian herself). Otherwise, my family all thought I should be eating animal flesh anyway, if I felt the desire.

I have since gone back to being vegetarian (this year) and am trying to eat as close to a vegan diet as possible. While I think it's easier for me now than in the past, it's still not all that easy. My vegetarian sister is glad that I'm vegetarian again and we're trying to get our family members to eat better and give up meat one or two days of the week.

I've found that now more of my coworkers are vegetarian -- there aren't as many who are mean. Friends are the same -- they're understanding, but some of them still grill you as to your motives.

I have always had to bring food with me to functions with family or friends (with the exception of one married couple -- they ALWAYS make something special for me to eat). I've gotten used to it, and will either eat before I go or bring something for others to try. I usually end up bringing home what I brought to share; I've gotten used to that over the years as well.

I wish more of the United States were like California, which seems to be one of the pioneers for the vegetarian lifestyle and saving the planet. I also wish that we could adopt some of the cultures from other countries where we treat the Earth and its inhabitants with respect.

Lisa :)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


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STEPH606's Photo STEPH606 Posts: 343
11/24/08 7:48 A

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I am a new vegetarian, moving towards vegan, and my husband is very supportive. My mom is supportive, but always asks how I am going to get enough protein. It is funny that a lot of us seem to have similar reactions from people, especially when someone says a dish is "vegetarian" but it has chicken or turkey. It is kind of funny to eat with my family, I just bring food with me when I go just in case....

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11/23/08 9:47 P

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I think the mainstream still thinks it's not normal to not eat meat. Look at all the commercials out there. You never see a Boca commercial.

**~~June~~**

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams
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RUNNINGPRINCESS's Photo RUNNINGPRINCESS Posts: 155
11/23/08 8:11 P

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My sister accepted my vegan choices fine, but my mom argued with me (at first) and then slowly came to accept it. Now she's proud of me. :)

I don't know why being a vegetarian or a vegan is such a big deal in today's society, it's a perfectly normal decision.

You're all laughing at me because I'm different. I laugh at you because you're all the same.


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LADYMURASAKI's Photo LADYMURASAKI Posts: 1,590
11/19/08 10:47 P

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I've been to a couple of functions where there weren't any vegetarian options, but for the most part, my friends and family are fine with vegetarianism. My fiance is vegetarian, and my parents have become pescetarians.

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11/19/08 10:20 P

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Calliope, that's what it's like here in Texas too. The place I worked at before would put bacon in everything. I was limited to really sparse salads, french fries, and cakes and cookies.

**~~June~~**

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams
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DEECAFFEINATED's Photo DEECAFFEINATED Posts: 3,227
11/19/08 3:09 P

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No one I've come across thinks a thing about it but then again I don't talk about it very much. No one at work during lunch even noticed for a long time. Friends have had me for dinner and never noticed. I agree with some other posts - my choice, my responsibility. There's usually plenty to choose from and I keep powdered protein powder in my purse so I can ensure I have at least that for emergencies.

The only one that is a problem after 10 years is my mother in law - every time we're there for dinner she makes what she wants and then 'remembers' with surprise in her voice - 'oh that's right - you don't eat meat'. I just smile and think of a bad Everyone Loves Raymond episode! Not to worry - I pull out my protein powder and ask for juice.

-:|:- Dee -:|:-
Joy is a state of being regardless of our circumstances. Find a way.

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CALLIOPEDAK's Photo CALLIOPEDAK Posts: 3,242
11/19/08 12:34 P

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I've been very lucky. I'd flirtted with veg'n off and on since the 80s, so it wasn't a total surprise when I finally went that route for good.

My family always makes something for me when I visit, and when lunch is ordered in work, the boss always makes certain there's something nice for me.

Even had a friend's father make veggie chili for me when they had a huge group of folks over for dinner. I was grateful, but a tad embarrassed that they went to so much effort for just me.

I do get teased some, but it's all in good fun. No one ever tries to make me feel bad, and I tease right back, too.

The only group that has difficulty understanding is my students. If the subject comes up, they just can't understand what I can eat if I don't eat meat. It is an urban school setting, and, I will say that a kid wanting to eat school lunches would be pretty darned miserable eating veg'n. Literally nothing remotely resembling a main dish comes without meet here (Indianapolis).

Callie
LEENIEB's Photo LEENIEB Posts: 1,148
11/18/08 2:05 P

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How funny I just read this. I just got back from going over the T-day meal with my MIL. She is cooking this year so I asked if I could prepare some dishes to help her out. So we got together and she was telling me what her daughter and aunt were bringing, she wanted to make sure we were able to eat them!! My mother, however, is not so accepting. She trys to be. She constantly tell me to have chicken broth if I have a cold. I usually buy Amy's frozen dinners while we are there(she trys to pay for them, I don't let her) so I guess accepting is not the word I want, she just doesn't remember. Whenever I go to a gathering, I always bring a dish or two. I don't expect anyone to accomadate for me. We hardly eat out, when we do, we go to places that we know have options. OR if it is a new place, we check out the menu first.

♥¸.•*¨)♥-:¦:- ♥~**♥~.•*´¨ ) ♥
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.•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨) ♥



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LIONSIMA's Photo LIONSIMA SparkPoints: (11,432)
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11/15/08 11:34 P

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I have been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for almost 15 years. I started for health reasons, now the ethical part has become important, too (although, having read both Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Pollan, I might be tempted by the kind of chickens they talk about - if they were kosher). My DH went along from the beginning because he was concerned about my health (I have ulcerative colitis and was very, VERY sick). In the beginning he ate meat out, but after a bad experience in a restaurant he went totally veg, too. The funny thing is that he is now as ethically committed to it as I am. He was such a meat and potatoes kind of guy (well, he still eats potatoes!).

My family are far away so not an issue, but when we visit they adapt to us and make us comfortable. When I go to a party or something I do not expect anything, if I'm invited to someone's house for dinner I do tell them and they always make sure there is something we can eat - what kind of host would not???

I don't have to deal with making meat for visitors because we are observant Jews and my kitchen is completely dairy - it would be a violation of Jewish law to cook meat in it, so nobody expects it.

Funny story - we have friends we always share Passover with (BIG meal - think Xmas dinner with special ritual touches). The first time they came over for a vegetarian seder, they ate beforehand because they thought they wouldn't like the food and would just eat a little to be polite. LOL, they gave themselves stomachaches from eating too much, and never did it again. When we go to their house, they have meat for themselves and other guests, but take pride in finding things for us!

As to restaurants, we generally go to vegetarian or dairy restaurants, we can always find *something* to eat. The dietary laws are more of a restriction for us than the vegetarianism.

When we lived in the Netherlands, Mikiio, vegetarianism was well-accepted, at least in the cities.

Just another view point ...

My weight is in kg, not lbs. I'm not anorexic! Just too lazy to do the conversion 8-).


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JACKIEDENISE Posts: 116
11/15/08 9:01 A

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I think I've said it before but I think vegetarianism appeals to everyone on some level, even if it's burried deep. I'm a teacher, and I never talk about my eating habbits with my students but I've had lots of times when kids have had that realization that meat is animals, and they think it's gross.

Last night I went to a cook-out and brought my bean burgers along. I had a few snarky comments, and being a bit shy, I made some comments back (all in good fun), and it helped break the ice a little. I kind of like being a bit of an odd ball.

A couple weeks ago I got a flu shot and didn't feel well for a couple of days, and my mom was sure it was that I needed some protein. But, oh well, there's always going to be something for her to be motherly about until the end of time.

My husband doesn't like it but he's used to it. Even before I went vegetarian we had difficulties because he only likes to eat about 5 things, so cooking dinner has always been a challenge. We like going out to eat anyway. Everyone's happy!!!

MOONLIT's Photo MOONLIT Posts: 1,572
11/14/08 9:36 P

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I've been vegetarian for over 12 years so everyone who knows me is use to it. I am lucky to have a family that is excepting even when they don't agree. My mother has expressed how she just doesn't get it but then she let it go. My oldest sis did go vegetarian before me so that helped as well.
I think mostly they have seen that I am healthy and so are my kids so I can't be harming us and they are ok with that.
As for friends my best friend went vegetarian soon after I did and everyone else just accepts me for me.

Now my in laws...that is a different story
I hear crap all the time from them but not to my face. However now my hubby is vegetarian as well so they get to deal with him.
I have been called a tree hugger by my bil and he thought that was an insult! Ha! I'm proud to be a tree hugger!
I hear comments from my fil that my sil will come to Thanksgiving dinner at my house IF we have REAL TURKEY. So my hubby calls her and says well YOU can bring the turkey because WE won't be making any.
So she is bringing the turkey for her and my fil.
Then they will eat my vegan meal and tell me how good it is! Go figure!
Oh well I think just the thought of not eating something dead scares these people. Even if they like the other non-dead sides better.
So they get passive aggressive and I just make my husband deal with them. In the end it all works out.

Can't please them all so I'm not going to let it get to me.

moonlit

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BUGGIE726's Photo BUGGIE726 SparkPoints: (0)
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11/14/08 7:04 P

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That's cool about your dad Giant. Sounds like him giving you a hard time is really his way of telling you he's proud of you.

**~~June~~**

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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11/14/08 6:51 P

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Most of my jobs were fine. For a while I even worked for another vegetarian. When I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken people kept sneaking up on me when I was on break. They were sure that I must eat meat and they thought that if they kept spying on me they would eventually catch me eating a piece of chicken. A Korean gentleman I worked for never quite caught on to my being a vegetarian. When I got caught at work he'd get me a sub sandwich and he always got me meat no mater how many times I told him I didn't eat meat. My last job was at a university and since a number of foreign students were vegetarian people were used to it. Where I work now I'm the only vegetarian I know of but at get-togethers they usually think of me. When they got beef and chicken fajitas for a party they got a few lbs of portabella mushroom fajitas for me. They usually do pretty well.

My dad still gives me a hard time about being a vegetarian even after 28 years but a few times I overheard him bragging to other people about my dedication to eating a healthy diet; he just can't admit that to me face ;)

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11/14/08 4:56 P

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I know, it's something to see the blank stares at FF places. I usually order extra veggies. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. Last time I went to BK and did that I got extra alright. The whole entire freaking onion. LOL. Thank goodness for breath mints. That always seems to be the consensus among non vegs. "Just pick the meat out and it'll be fine."

**~~June~~**

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



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POTRIDGE's Photo POTRIDGE Posts: 5,167
11/14/08 4:26 P

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HAHA BUGGIE!!! I had the same problem with my MIL. She made a sandwich with roasted chicken and when I said I couldn't eat it with the meat, she opened the sandwich and pulled off the meat leaving the roasted juice and veggies left. When she handed it back to me and I said no thank you, she said "What??? The meat is gone. it's fine" I find non-vegs very funny sometimes!

DIET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD!!!!

We are constantly creating our "karma" or destiny through our intentions, thoughts and deeds in this moment. It is achieved through countless deliberate acts of selflessness.

It's hard to be happy with others if we are not happy with ourselves.

Just keep on moving and you'll get there.


If you ever want to feel good about yourself, go out and help someone else!


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CRITTER.HAVEN's Photo CRITTER.HAVEN Posts: 83
11/14/08 1:28 P

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I have had mixed results from family and friends. Most support it but others like to make comments. I just let it bounce off me. Like a few have commented below, prior to going to a restaurant, if possible, I review the menu ahead of time to ensure there is something for me to eat. As DMK1249 said, “I don't get 'pissy' at restaurants but I do expect servers to be able to answer questions about their food...if they don't know the answer, I expect them to go ask the chef.” I have found that most restaurants are usually accommodating.

As a person who loves to cook for family and friends, I do draw the line at purchasing meat for them. They know I am a vegan for ethical reasons and, thus, aware that I refuse to purchase meat products. I have never had anyone refuse and invitation to dinner at my house and they are always “looking forward to see what I have prepared.” When I accept an invitation to someone’s home for a meal - if they do not already know - I tell them I am a vegan and offer to bring a dish. I do not expect my hosts to accommodate my choices but find that typically they do so of their own free choice. I am usually seated the furthest from the meat dishes and some of my hosts like the challenge of preparing something I will eat. Although there have been a couple of situations... in one instance, the host told me that the dish she made had no meat in it whatsoever but after eating it, I became ill and found out that although there was no meat in the dish it had been cooked with meat in it and another dish had been cooked with beef broth. Since that instance, and hopefully without offending the hosts, I make polite inquiries as to the ingredients. It can be a touchy question, but because my system cannot tolerate any meat products, it is one I have to ask. My mother calls herself a vegetarian but I have to disagree (in my mind) because she eats all seafood, dairy and eggs and she gets snippy with me because she thinks I am wrong not to serve meat to my guests and that she is not going to go out of her way to accommodate me – okay, but she will go out of her way to accommodate meat eaters??? She says, “I am a vegetarian but I buy meat and serve it so there is no reason you shouldn’t do the same.” I usually have to bite my tongue so as not to snap off a reply that will piss her off. I gently (blood dripping from the corner of my mouth) remind her I am a vegan by choice for ethical reasons and the purchase of meat goes against my ethics.

My co-workers tease me and call me a tree hugger because of my eating habits, animal rescue, recycling, etc. but they are always willing to be my guinea pigs when I am creating or trying a new vegan dessert or bread. I am hoping that by sharing my food and the reasons why, it will make them stop and think about what they are putting into their bodies. One of them has actually started eating red meat only once a week and incorporates more vegetarian meals into her diet. She has also been kind enough to warn me in advance if she will be reheating fish in the microwave. That smell is enough to knock me off my feet!

It has not always been easy though. When I lived in NE Texas, my husband’s friends and family ridiculed me, made extremely rude comments and called me a freak or a hippie. I just considered it the “good ol’ boy” mentality when it came from them because other people I met in Texas, although not interested in adopting the choice themselves, they did not ridicule me.

BUGGIE – I have done that at a FF place! When I ordered it sans meat and mayo, I received a blank stare and silence! LOL "Hamburger all the way – hold the hamburger and mayo!" Basically, you get a bun with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles.

ANNETTE81 - Grandpa is a winner!

(Oh gosh! That was rather long winded - sorry!)

Edited by: CRITTER.HAVEN at: 11/14/2008 (13:30)
Mahatma Gandhi said so well, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."


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BMSALYER's Photo BMSALYER Posts: 981
11/14/08 10:58 A

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ANNETTE81 - Oh! I love your Grandpa! Go Grandpa! How awesome! I've had that burger incident happen too, so I know how you feel!

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do." --Edward Hale

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. --Helen Keller


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BUGGIE726's Photo BUGGIE726 SparkPoints: (0)
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11/14/08 10:53 A

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I was in a ff burger place that is usually pretty good about making me a burger sans meat without any issues. One day I went in and ordered my burger, got it, sat down, opened it up to see how many pickles they had put in cause I ordered extra and they never seem to actually do it, and there was MEAT. Ugh! I went back up to the counter and told them I had ordered it without meat. The girl took it back to the cook and I watched him try and take the meat off and give me back the burger. I made him make me another one.

**~~June~~**

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams
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YMYSELF's Photo YMYSELF Posts: 793
11/14/08 10:49 A

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Some points to remember:
1. There is India - where a large percentage of people are vegetarian and they are healthy and strong.
2. Many protein sources - lentils, beans, soy which are great in fiber as well. Good for diabetics and good for the intestines!
3. Thanksgiving can be really fun with other foods too! There was turkey and potatoes because there wasn't anything else for the pilgrims to experiment with ... the dishes can be endless and delicious!
4. The body as a fetus, naturally, craves fruits and vegetables; babies are trained to digest animal products...the body is not capable to digest animal product at any given time.


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ANNETTE81's Photo ANNETTE81 Posts: 207
11/14/08 8:40 A

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My experience has been great so far!
I am one of three vegetarians in my department at work-so that's nice.
The only person that hasn't been completely on board is my grandma. She went as far as sticking a burger (cooked very rare), in my face and saying, "la la la...don't you want it? yummm....meat!"
weird.
Thanksgiving will be interesting with her-but I'm fine with it now...my grandpa actually comes to my defense usually, so I don't have to say anything. Last time, when the burger incident happened he said, "Well, you know grandma-that my heart doctor says EVERYONE should be a vegetarian, because it's soooo good for you-and that meat actually does a lot of harm to your body!" ---I was shocked! Yeah grandpa (he never stands up for himself...kinda lets people walk all over him).
Every restaurant I go to in my city has a lot of veggie options, too. Rock on.

**"it's not about motivation...it's about dedication. treat your body as you would treat your job, seriously." ***


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TAADEJA's Photo TAADEJA Posts: 23
11/14/08 8:26 A

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i would like just tell you my experience:
i was in helsinki (finland) and my bf took me out on lunch so we went in on place and i asked if i can have some vegeterian menu and then woman on service said that no, but she can give me noodles with chicken and i can take this meat out myself emoticon

Non sum uni angulo natus, patria mea totus hic mundus est.
LIV2RIDE's Photo LIV2RIDE Posts: 6,211
11/14/08 7:12 A

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This is such an interesting topic. My DH has been supportive of my dietary changes from the beginning. I'm also very lucky to have a good friend who also eats a vegan diet. So I have a lot of support from her. My co-workers, friends and family all make comments, jokes and just generally don't get it. My sister is the most supportive in my family. When we have a family dinner either out or at her house she always looks for options for me. My mother doesn't understand why I can't let it go "just for one day". Maybe that's why she has been on every diet out there since I was a child. My dad rolls his eyes when he finds another ingredient that I won't eat. Last weekend it was sugar. Ultimately I don't really care what people think or say. If they don't like the way I eat then they can look the other way or not eat with me. One of our friends that we spend A LOT of time with gets embarrassed at restaurants when I ask questions about how things are prepared.

I have to agree with another poster that I don't expect people to cater to my diet. I don't get mad when there aren't things at parties that I won't eat. I also don't expect restaurants to have veg*n options either. I do however expect them to know how things are made and not to try to pass something by me when they think I won't notice.

Kelly


Kelly

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I am a new vegetarian and what I hear is "Where will you get your protein?"


Patricia

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TAADEJA's Photo TAADEJA Posts: 23
11/14/08 2:13 A

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hello! Im new in the team! Im very happy on this kind of "programme" exist "vegeterianism/veganism". usually people always repeating how red meat is important and you will get sick if you dont eat and your body wont work in right way, etc.
Im vegeterian myself since i was 11 (now im 23). I must say i didnt have any problems with health or blood. It was totally my desicion to become a vegeterian and parents accepted this very good and they were supporting me in this! Problem was in school, becuase teachers didnt let me vegeterian lunch or snacks. They were also telling to my parents how unhealthy my desicion is. I decided for being veg just from one reason - animals! Im also activist for animal rights.
Some people cant accept this and also becuase im activist they think im tottaly rebel.


Non sum uni angulo natus, patria mea totus hic mundus est.
_VALEO_'s Photo _VALEO_ Posts: 12,328
11/14/08 1:33 A

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I read all your messages and thank you for sharing.
I can so relate to your experiences.

To answer myself the question I asked, I would say, my partner never questioned my choices. He has been very supportive, even if when we first met we were both omnivores.
My father and my brother didn't get it first and made some jokes, but then they asked questions, from now on, I'm the one in charge of any family lunch or diner we might have -besides, my father after his heart attack doesn't eat meat anymore (only fish from time to time), so having a vegetarian meal is fine by him. My brother can understand that I don't want to eat meat and fish, but not eating some cheese because of rennet (we're a cheese nation) is unthinkable for him, he said to me once that I'm a "fundamentalist".
I don't think my mother would have gotten it, she was a real cook and she might have taken it personally, and thought she failed with my education.

When I say to someone who invites me that I'm a vegetarian, their answer is often "oh well, so you don't eat meat, we'll have fish" *sigh*... I have to explain most of the time what vegetarianism is and the differences between vegetarian and vegan too, and also answered the inevitable questions arisen about my health "Yes, I'm fine".

Concerning the co workers I had in Germany: I had the inescapable jokes with my French colleagues, then after answering their questions, they all accepted it and when we went out they always tried to pick up a restaurant where I could eat something -one of them decided to be a vegetarian (I was not trying to convert anyone, but my answers to his questions and links to the documentaries he asked me made him realize the cruelty committed on animals). One of my French colleagues offered me chocolates for my birthday, and she knew that I don't eat gelatin, she carefully checked all the ingredients, I know that if I had a nut allergy people would do it naturally, but I thought it was very respectful and I really appreciated she took time to read the ingredient list.
I had no problems at all with my British, German or Italian colleagues, they all got it and never made a joke.

I come from a country where vegetarianism is not very well-known, we are only 2% (total population: 61 millions) facing the "French gastronomy" and the cheese industry.
Some of the French vegetarians I know told me they had problems with their doctors, I might be lucky but when I "came out of the closet" with my GP and my endocrinologist, to my mere surprise, they approved it, and my endocrinologist wishes she could have more patients with such an healthy diet (even if my first motivation was not to eat better or healthier).
In the UK, it's very well-accepted, even at school, where you have a choice to have a vegetarian meal or not. Berlin is the most friendly-vegetarian city in Europe (the number of vegetarians is the highest in Europe).

I think the jokes, as you all said, are inescapable, like a normal reaction when you are not familiar with something and it questions your own food habits.
Questions are inevitable too, and it allows to demystify what vegetarianism is... But sometimes I wish those who question me could give a break and let me enjoy my meal!

Edited by: _VALEO_ at: 11/14/2008 (05:50)
Valerie

"To do is to be" - Nietzsche
"To be is to do" - Kant
"Do Be Do Be Do" - Sinatra



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WACKYGRL Posts: 322
11/13/08 9:44 P

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I haven't ever really had any problems, except last christmas with my step mom where there was meat in everything (even rice!), and she'd conveniently forget. Even when I cooked my own food she'd get mad and throw it out. The only other thing I thought was odd was once having a discussion with a friend of mine about how if I have children they'll be raised vegetarian, at least at home. She flipped out about it, saying that I would forcing my choice on them. It's a choice to eat meat or not eat meat, so I wouldn't I be making the choice for them either way?

I also apparently exude hippy vegetarianness. Random people that I've never talked to about food before will ask me if I'm vegetarian. Besides that I occasionally get some good natured teasing, but for the most part people are respectful of my decision.

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POTRIDGE's Photo POTRIDGE Posts: 5,167
11/13/08 6:24 P

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My family (mostly big eaters and not at all healthy in my opinion)still, after 10 years, make rude comments to me. The worst is when I do occasionally get sick, they always say "If you ate meat, you wouldn't get sick." ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

DIET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD!!!!

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It's hard to be happy with others if we are not happy with ourselves.

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DEVONLYNNE's Photo DEVONLYNNE Posts: 933
11/13/08 6:14 P

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My boyfriend is really great about it and supports me all the way. My family is pretty good also, although I know my mom wishes I would just eat "normally". I always offer to bring things over and have things to keep so I can eat something, and I don't expect people to cater to me. It's my choice, so I can deal with it. I may soon be living with my mom again, so it'll be interesting to see how she reacts to how I eat every day. In Southern Utah there isn't as many people who are veg as in the north. In SLC there are lots of choices and a large number of vegetarians/vegans, of course, it has a much larger population as well.

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SIMONEGUITARD's Photo SIMONEGUITARD Posts: 551
11/13/08 6:07 P

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Here in Arizona it is probably 7-10 ratio on people that are Vegetarians..There are tons of vege/vegan restaurants...My family accepts it and my husband is a meat eater, but always makes a salad for me, or eats at places we both can get what we want...Very supportive...



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I live in the south, Texas to be exact. There is one vegetarian/vegan restaurant that I hope doesn't go under cause I love that place. And maybe 1 or 2 deli's that cater to vegetarians. Other than that it's mainly fast food and bbq joints. My family was supportive of me last time I was vegetarian. They ribbed me about it and joked, but it was all in fun. I haven't said anything about it to them this time because I never see them, just talk on the phone. My roommates are awesome with it and even eat veg meals with me. Nobody at my former job really understood, but they didn't try to make me eat meat. Just kept telling me about the meat specials in the employee lounge. The new place I'm at has tons of vegetarian items in the store that I can buy for lunch and eat. They've got a salad bar to die for. Much better than the other place where salad items consisted of lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, and pickles.

**~~June~~**

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams
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BMSALYER's Photo BMSALYER Posts: 981
11/13/08 3:13 P

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That's just what I do too. I am hosting three different holiday events at my house for various groups of people and I am serving a ham at all of them. I don't like to make it, but I do realize that I'm in the minority and I would like to make them as comfortable in my home as possible. And when people go out of their way to accomodate me and make something vegetarian when I come to their house, while I'd never expect it from them, I'm very appreciative of their thoughtfulness.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do." --Edward Hale

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. --Helen Keller


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BRRRANDI78's Photo BRRRANDI78 Posts: 121
11/13/08 3:10 P

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I used to have the hardest time at work. Eating is a social thing and is often the way we used to court clients and potential clients. It is also the way company big wigs like to make the smaller peeps feel special: take them to a fancy dinner, or whatnot. It certainly didn't make me feel special to have to defend my lifestyle to each and every one of them.

My family has been a mixed bag.

I think that non-vegetarians have a problem with vegetarians on the basis of one of two issues: 1) like someone previously mentioned the non-veggies probably have issues with their own eating habits and want to sabotage ours (make us like them) in order to feel better about their poor choices, or 2) they think we're picky eaters and don't allow for the validity of our personal reasons. It's either wilful or subconscious naiveté.

"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep." - Robert Frost


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DMK1249's Photo DMK1249 Posts: 5,339
11/13/08 2:43 P

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This is so interesting..

First, if I go to a new restaurant, I check the menu out ahead of time to ensure there is something for me to eat. I don't get 'pissy' at restaurants but I do expect servers to be able to answer questions about their food. I expect them to know the answer to 'Is the Tomato Basil soup made with beef stock?' And if they don't know the answer, I expect them to go ask the chef. It is not any different than when I used to ask if there is dairy in a product because my daughter is lactose intolerant. It's their job to know their product.

As for what I serve to my guests -- I like my guests to be as comfortable as possible in my home. If I didn't feel that way, I shouldn't invite them in the first place. So I do accommodate their decisions, even if it means serving meat. And in return, although I don't expect someone to accommodate my choices, I appreciate the people who do take my choices into consideration and treat me accordingly.

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JULIELSA's Photo JULIELSA Posts: 366
11/13/08 2:21 P

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People just don't get it. Do I question their decision to eat meat? No. Do I make fun of them because they smoke? No. Being a veg'n is a personal decision that doesn't affect anyone else so I don't understand why after 19 years they still tease us. They all think they are funny. Hey, Julie, want a steak? That's the comment that my brother and mother still make. However, my DH's family is more understanding and they are even willing to eat some of the veg'n meals that my hubby cooks. There have been more than one occasion where he will make something, put it on the table along with the other food and my Bro-in-law will say that it looks really good, can he try it. Next thing you know, we are invited to a gathering and asked to bring that same dish. I've come to the conclusion that people are just ignorant and clueless.

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GROOVYKARMA1 Posts: 321
11/13/08 2:07 P

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Well, my husband tries to tempt me,it doesn't work. My son-in-law is always making comments like "what you need is a Big Mac and you'd feel better". He'll make this comment during a conversation I am having with my daughter. You see I have severe arthritis and other medical conditions; which has nothing to do with whether or not I eat a Big Mac! Which I Never have and Never will. He thinks the route of all my health issues is that I am a vegetarian; he knows because his mother says so. LOL
When I go out to buy groceries I am often asked questions by the grocery store checker; with a positive response. In public it is well received and
I find restaurants go out of their way to accommodate. Doctors are very positive and embrace the healthier lifestyle. The only negative responses I have found derive from the older generation that is 60years and older; and their admiring youngsters.

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11/13/08 1:41 P

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at first for me not so well. People would try to do sneaky things but now most people accepted. For the exception of my co workers who don't understand what NO MEAT means. (LOL they try to to tell BUT its a turkey sandwich thats not meat).

Recently just to not have to justify my choices I just say oh I can't eat that I'm allergic. It seems to work.

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INDYENNE's Photo INDYENNE Posts: 570
11/13/08 1:33 P

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I do agree with Folliage. It is a choice and yours only. I can always find something to eat, even if it's not the healthiest at the moment. I will not force anyone to change their menu just for me. When they do come to my house, I do not cook meat for them and they're cool with that choice.

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FOLLIAGE's Photo FOLLIAGE Posts: 325
11/13/08 1:22 P

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I don't expect other people to cater to me. I made this choice, and that's what it is--a choice that I have the luxury of making.

I kinda hate vegetarians or vegans who get all pissy about restaurants, or their friends and family, or whatever, not going out of their way to provide special food for them. I find it really obnoxious, plus it gives me a bad name.

There's a difference between "acceptence" and "sanctioned" or whatever. No one tries to force me to eat meat (though many suggest it), but no one has to make two meals so that I can eat either.

I became vegetarian at 12, and was the only one in my family, and the only one of my friends and school mates. (And there were no Muslems or Jews or others with 'special diets' either.) I learned to cook for myself, and to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. If I'm eating at someone's home, I'm not going to make them feel bad for not cooking veggie--I'll just eat the rolls and the peas or whatever.

I also got braver at restaurants--even if they have nothing on the menu, many places will make you a dish, or you can just order all the side vegetables and a potato or whatever.

I guess this is kind of a sore point for me. My mom used to try to trick me into eating meat--cooking something and saying there was no meat in it when there was, etc. *That* is refusing to accept it. Some good natured ribbing and some "ok but I'm not cooking special food for you" isn't unaccepting. Maybe it's not particularly accomodating, but...eh. If I know someone has a dietary restriction, I might shape my meal around that, but if four people coming to dinner have four different things, frankly, that's their problem. *shrug*

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BMSALYER's Photo BMSALYER Posts: 981
11/13/08 1:14 P

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When I first went vegetarian, I faced a lot of issues with my family, but now that its well over two years, most of my famaily have accepted that this is a permanent thing and are more than willing to accomodate me at family dinners.

My DH was wonderful and supportive right from the beginning, since he saw how sick I was from eating meat and how much better I have been since then. (I was having trouble digesting animal proteins and became sick quite often after eating meals.) Since becoming a veg, I feel so much better. Our household eats mostly vegetarian meals now.

Other members of my family are still weird about it. My step-father firmly believes that the reason I'm cold all the time is because I don't eat meat...you know, because its a well known fact that meat will "stick to your ribs" or some such nonsense. Also, recently I've faced some health issues (degenerative arthritis) and my brother called me the other day to tell me that he thinks this wouldn't be happening to me if I started eating meat again! Really? Because apparently eating meat will somehow keep the joints healthy? Oh dear....

I do have some male friends who are totally flabbergasted that I don't eat meat. The make fun of me all the time and try to "trick" me into eating things. It's all mostly a joke to them and I play along and don't take offense. It really doesn't bother me. I'm healthier than I've ever been in my life and I'm happy. Who cares what other people think, right?

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do." --Edward Hale

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. --Helen Keller


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YMYSELF's Photo YMYSELF Posts: 793
11/13/08 12:14 P

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Well, growing up as a vegetarian in New Jersey was not fun. Even 7 year olds were rude and crude!
It never mattered to me that they made fun of me, I brushed them as being ignorant. The only places my family would go out to dinner was the pizzeria and the only thing we would order was a plain pie. It's not until the past 10 years that the choices are better.
And even now colleague are a bit thoughtless when we go out to lunch at work. They would choose a Basserie to go to and tell me that there is always salad! Oh well! I either decline or fill up on the salad.


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MEGAFEE Posts: 416
11/13/08 12:09 P

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I get a lot of mixed reactions. My mom is awesome about making sure that I have options when she hosts family gatherings. My grandmother is terrible--she knows I don't eat meat, but I'm usually lucky if I can eat anything other than salad at her house. My in-laws are slowly getting it, and I can usually have a few sides. At their Labor Day picnic, they even got me some Boca burgers.

I get mixed reactions at work, too. There, I'm actually one of 4 vegetarians, so pot-luck type affairs always have options. We stick together--when I make chana masala, I always make extra and bring some in for a couple of my co-workers. But my boss always forgets, and if she orders out for a holiday lunch, there are never any veggie options.

It can be tough, but it's always worth it.

Fortune favors the bold. --Virgil





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WILLBOYWONDER's Photo WILLBOYWONDER SparkPoints: (33,440)
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11/13/08 11:37 A

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Not well at all. Most of the meat eaters I have encountered are quite rude and inconsiderate. Over time they clamed down but it took a while. They make jokes, sometimes invite me to gatherings serving only meat dishes. I usually take my own food when I go places, even when visiting people who are more accepting. It was hard at first, but we all have made an adjustment.

~~ Will ~~

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11/13/08 11:34 A

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I have no problems at all.

"No, no, you''re not thinking; you''re just being logical." - Neils Bohr


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11/13/08 11:22 A

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I have been veg'n for almost 9 years now--basically my entire adult life. When I first went veg, my family didn't get it and they probably thought it was a phase. But now, they know it's here to stay, and I've taught them a lot about it. They accept it, they're more inclusive of me (like making sure there's food for me at holidays, etc.), and generally, it's a non-issue. In fact, you could say I "converted" my sister and mom to it as well.

However, there are always "jokes" and I let them joke--I just don't let it get to me, and I know it's not malicious. I think that people who are truly uncomfortable with vegetarians are uncomfortable with themselves, because it makes them question their own practice or makes them assume that every vegetarian looks down on them.

Great topic--should bring up some interesting discussion.

Nicole



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DMK1249's Photo DMK1249 Posts: 5,339
11/13/08 11:16 A

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Mikiio, I used to live in a rural area of Upstate NY and it was very difficult. This is an area with a high number of hunters and I was subjected to ridicule every time the subject arose.

I think it is becoming more accepted though.. especially in urban areas. My daughter lives in Manhattan and she has so many more choices.

My younger daughter was the first vegetarian in the family and my mother gave her a very hard time. She didn't cook anything for her for YEARS.. we would sit down to dinner at my parents' house and literally the only thing my daughter could eat was the salad. The mashed potatoes were made with milk and the vegetables would be covered in gravy. It was very hurtful. But my mother has come around and now even makes two varieties of stuffing -- one inside the turkey and one dish with absolutely no meat products.

I don't understand why people take an individual's decision to be a vegetarian so personal. If I said I didn't eat peanuts, it's not an issue. If I say I don't meat, everyone has an opinion and needs to challenge it.

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_VALEO_'s Photo _VALEO_ Posts: 12,328
11/13/08 10:51 A

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I wonder how your vegetarianism is accepted by your close family and relatives, your collegues, persons you might encounter?
Is it well-accepted in your country/state?

PS: sorry for the mispelling in the tittle, I can't edit it.

Edited by: _VALEO_ at: 11/14/2008 (02:25)
Valerie

"To do is to be" - Nietzsche
"To be is to do" - Kant
"Do Be Do Be Do" - Sinatra



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How Much Fat Do You Eat? 8/21/2014 10:33:38 AM
What are some good meat substitutes? 11/21/2014 9:22:38 AM
I know a lot of this is junk food - but it's great 10/17/2014 5:42:56 PM
How to know if your weight loss has slowed? 5/1/2014 7:22:22 AM
New website & APP 11/25/2013 1:37:59 PM

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