One of the largest issue that vegans and vegetarians alike have to deal with is non-meat eaters, most people do try to show meat eaters the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and expose the suffering in which animals go through so they can have their meal. However most do see veganism/vegetarianism as a personal choice, simply some people choose not to consume animal product, and others choose to consume those products, sadly though, a lot of meat eaters don’t accept it as a choice but see it as something to be made fun of, or that it’s difficult.
Many meat eaters will continually ask questions “where do you get your protein?”, “don’t you miss the taste of meat” etc etc. Personally I have no issues with answering these question, I’m happy to educate them on where I get my protein and that I’m positive it’s enough for me, and no – I do not and never will miss that taste. However, after people find out that I’m vegan and have asked me a million questions I do feel tired of having to answer especially when they have a demeaning attitude and look down on me for making this choice.
Responses to those who like to poke fun and then ask questions regarding being vegan in a not-so-polite way can easily be solved with replicating the answer to what you were asked with how that personal asked you. If I’m asked, “why vegan?” I’ll simply reply with a”why not?” giving the same vibe that I received from them, with the same tone in which they spoke to me in, usually it will be quite a shock as they wouldn’t expect the same hostility back so will be deterred from asking anything further.
Vegan and vegetarian seem to be a trigger word that sends people into a frenzy for insult and judgement, I find that saying “I don’t eat meat” or “I eat mainly plant foods” avoids a lot of tension. This is especially helpful if you’re offered a bite of food from a friend.
I’ve been at the end of jokes (even by friends in the past) about not eating meat, and I would take it light heatedly as to avoid an argument, but then I thought to myself, why should I take this? This is a choice that I’ve made and these people making fun of being vegan is basically making fun of an animals suffering and that doesn’t fly with me. So when people like to make jokes or tell you that your choice is stupid simply and politely respond with something along the lines of “I’m not telling you what to eat, its your choice, could you give me the same back?”usually they’d have no response to this, and it would end with them in silence hopefully realizing that they’re jokes and comments aren’t actually funny.
Another thing that I find helps is that you can freely admit that yes being vegan can be totally unhealthy, we can eat cookies, cakes, pizza and everything in between the only difference is that we have substitutes. So no, we don’t miss out and can indulge in junk food too – it’s not just salad. Vegan doesn’t have a limit nor is it a diet.
Usually meat eaters don’t get the point that we simply do not want to eat and like meat, so try to explain it with something they can relate to and easy to understand, you could say “if you had a sandwich that contained dog food would you eat it?” they will obviously respond with no, because its disgusting, right? So then you can simply say that, that’s how you feel about eating meat. This will gross them out but also help them think in a different perspective.
If you’re like me who had health issues related to eating meat/dairy (my stomach couldn’t handle eating meat or dairy so it made me incredibly sick) then simply say for health reasons or that you believe it’s whats right to keep it short and sweet.
Overall, the key is to stay calm and if you are asked about your decision on why you are vegan try to explain the best you can that not eating meat is a personal choice (like them eating meat is their personal choice) that you’ve made. Explain to them that you’ve done a lot of research, and found that being vegan is simply better for you, and for the animals. Nobody should make you feel bad about the choices that you make in your life because it’s your life and honestly none of their business about how you choose to live it. If they can’t accept it and there is no way to get your points across then I’d suggest just moving onward and upwards – you don’t need negativity in your life keep supporting rights, a healthy lifestyle and being a contribution to bettering the environment!
– Jade ♡