We all have often faced a bit of a rift when there are disagreements with your friends or family, be it a debate over who is the best actor, sportsperson, car, bikes or the never ending one, iOS or android? It just doesn’t stop. Everyone has their own opinion and no matter the facts, they will still stick to it. So what about when you tell them that you’re a vegan?
This definitely will give rise to some of your friends/family turning into nutrition experts, plant advocates and purveyors of the ‘’caveman’’ way of living. But not to forget, this response is very natural. You’re kind of telling them they are wrong. So here are some tips that will help you live with non vegans.
Yes, I know my friends reading this will go ’’whaaa’’ and call me a hypocrite. It was hardly a week after I had finished watching some documentaries and I started updating my statuses to vegan activism quotes that I realised that I was getting into some heated arguments. I got questioned about it and got into unnecessary debates like how vegans kill plants and how a lion would not give a f*** about my diet and eat me. The thing is I was just angry. This anger was justified to me but not to them.
You should remember when people ask you about veganism or why go vegan, it’s probably because they may have never heard about it. This is an opportunity for you to spread awareness. Do not feel irritated to answer the same questions a thousand times.
I’ve also got comments about how weak I look and how thin I’ve got. I know that I fall in the right BMI and that I’ve never felt healthier. I can also manage to do a headstand and a crow pose. Definitely not a weakling.
But such comments can put you off. Don’t get annoyed. You can share your diet plan with them and trust me they’ll be shocked to hear how much you eat.
As the famous animals rights activist has said:
“Don’t blame and shame,
When you can educate and explain.”–James Aspey
Don’t preach to a disinterested group
I really had to control my urges of speaking while eating with friends or family about how their food landed up on their plates. This is where vegans can get annoying. Imagine someone describing their poop to you while you’re eating your lunch or dinner. Grossed out right?
There’s a place and time for everything. You cannot go slapping food out of people’s hands and shout ‘’meat is murder” everywhere you go. There’s a way to discuss about it and share knowledge.
However I do speak about animal agriculture and how the meat industry works if I’m asked about it. I remember once my sister asked me why I don’t eat fish. And I got into the details of how fish feel pain and misery which made her uncomfortable and asked me to stop. But don’t feel hesitant to share your knowledge about animal agriculture. Surprisingly many people do not know the standard practice.
Lesson learnt: Be polite and check with the person first if he/she is comfortable with the topic while they are eating a non vegan food item.
Set ground rules
I’ve always faced an issue with eating out at restaurants with friends. I know for sure that it is not going to be a vegetarian or a vegan one. In fact it is always a crazy seafood place or a famous place for grills. Luckily in India all restaurants have tonnes of vegetarian dishes that can easily be veganized.
So when it comes to splitting the bill I make sure I pay only for what I eat. And my friends are very supportive in that case.
At home, if your parents insist that you eat meat or dairy, tell them the various other sources of food from where you can get the same amount of nutrition that is available in meat or dairy. After all, they are just worried about your health.
Respect the person
You may not respect the food choices your family or friends make. But remember that you were just like them, nonchalantly eating non vegan food. Until there’s an internal change, you cannot transform a person.
All you can do is spread awareness and inspire others with your vegan way of living.
Feel free to share and comment.