Sunday, October 2, 2011

VeganMOFO-2

Following on from my last post on my journey to veganism today's post will be discussing my friends and family's reactions to me going vegan- positives and negatives.

I think that this is something that can be overlooked (well I didn't expect it anyway) and if we can be mindful of others when letting them know/discussing our choices things will go a lot more smoothly. This isn't to say that its all bad- definitely not! but somewhere along the line you're bound to come up against some stupidity (would you eat human meat? was a good one from hubs boss)

I shall share the reactions of two of my close friends, my husband, father and aunt...a little bit of variety for you so you get a general idea of my experiences.

Friend number one flipped- her family are cattle farmers and she took it as a personal insult, then promptly got her mother on the phone to try and convince me I would die without meat. Needless to say she needed a little cooling off time and our friendship has never been quite the same.

Friend number two simply said- so how is that any different to what you eat now? I don't think I've ever seen you eat meat anyway. Gotta love her.

Hubs was cautious but understanding- his father was vegan and the abrupt shock of him coming home one day and completely changing had a lasting affect. He's been wonderful through my journey, he's an occasional omnivore but 99% of the time is vegetarian, the only thing in our house that isn't vegan is his vegetarian cheese. I could not ask for anything more- he's read/watched anything I've asked and we have discussed food/animals for hours.

My father was aggressively concerned. We had many a screaming match about it, many tears were shed and I felt like a child again. After many many many attempts to get him to read my research on the vegan diet we came to the agreement that if I talked to a nutritionist/doctor/dietitian that he would leave it alone. So I found a vegan nutritionist and registered dietitian and got her to draw me up a diet to keep him happy. He has accepted my choice but still continues to bring up anything he finds on the negatives of a vegan diet... today it was iron. I choose to believe its him caring about me and we get along fine.

My aunt thinks there is something seriously wrong with me, she is also under the impression I will die without animal products and am just a thorn in her side. My family is Italian and the love for food runs deep. She pulled my husband aside last time we were over and tried to get him to talk to me about it, I believe it comes from love but when she's unwilling to discuss it directly with me its a little hard to fix.

I brought these yummy salads to Christmas last year- 
... sorry about the red bowl- they're in mixing bowls because they were the only ones that were big enough!
We're not really a traditional Christmas kind of family, its Australia in summer- so it really too hot for a roast! salads are a much better option.

This year I've finally convinced my father to have Christmas at his place! it only took 13 years. So guess who's cooking? Yep moi! :) I'm cooking all vegan all yummy Christmas foods  and hoping to get my family to enjoy them with me again (last year went well, they asked for the recipes but there was meat there too).. and since Christmas would apparently be ruined without meat dad will most likely end up getting some roast chickens from the shop... I'm still trying to convince him they need to be free-range organic although who knows how that will go down, the last time we had this argument I blocked his way to the cage eggs with the trolly.

So there you have it- the reactions to my decision to change my diet were varied, some were easy as pie and others made me want to pull out my hair but dealing with others reactions generally comes down to three things- Respect, Knowledge and Concern. Respect others and trust that they will do the same for you, educate others if they are willing to listen and accept that any negativity will be coming from a place of concern not hatred. 

Have you had any interesting reactions to any big changes you've made in your life- positive or negative?

All the best xxx
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2 comments:

  1. I'm often reminded of an Ani DiFranco lyric, "It seems the people who actually like me won't allow me to say no." - Like, wouldn't any of your friends or family members want the best for you?
    When I became vegan, my mother didn't resist but she was worried that I would lose too much weight or become vitamin deficient. These days, her fears are pretty much quelled.
    But bringing delicious food is usually a good way to convince people that you know what you're doing!

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  2. OMG! Crazy reactions!!! My folks were very cool with me going veggie when I was little and then Vegan over a decade ago. Hubby & I didn't hang out with that many peeps, and also, many were at least okay with vegetarian so vegan wasn't much further. Good for you though, for becoming vegan in a much more traditional family, with some Italian roots!! And yes, bringing yummy food seems to be a fun way to interact. I think all the celebs and movies now are a really good thing, as now it is MUCH less weird to be vegan, and think people think too, that if people like Bill Clinton are doing it, that it may have SOME merit.

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