Monday, May 10, 2010

acceptance, or not.

I'm just curious how many of you have a "fun" time dealing with people who don't accept your lifestyle choices- particularly vegetarianism, or diet choices based on eco-consciousness.

It's only been about 6 months since I stopped eating meat, and I feel like I'm constantly being questioned on why I make the choices that I do. The other night, someone put milk in my tea, and I had literally just decided to start making the switch to non-cows milk. I still drank it, but of course the question is asked, "well, why did you decide to stop drinking cow's milk?" When my lighthearted comment about soy beans not feeling pain like cows do wasn't good enough, I threw out the greenhouse gas debate. I was then told to "check my sources". No thanks, I'm not going to change my mind regardless of what you think. The thing is, I have multiple vegan/vegetarian friends. No one questions them, but I guess every time I take my diet one step furthur towards being animal or eco-friendly, I have to go through the process all over again!

So, how many of you have to field irritating questions like this? How do you respond? I'd love some non-confrontational ways to brush off the topic! Should I just say I don't want to explain myself? Ask them why they eat meat? I'd love your input :)

Namaste, Callah


Eco Yogini said...

oh i can relate (but not about food, about other things... like the environment). Just yesterday I was asked rather abruptly "WHY would you make your own yogurt???" my response: "do decrease my plastic consumption". end of story.

I think people are sensitive when it comes to food choices because often the vegetarian-vegan has made those choices based on moral concerns. Thus implied that the person who IS eating meat is a "bad person" (even though YOU may not judge or feel that way about a meat-eater, or even have said anything along those lines- I do believe that it is the impression omnivores get).
I say this, not to justify their attack on you, but to explain why so many omnivores feel like they need to question vegetarian-vegan choices. Perhaps they are feeling themselves judged.

My thought- you can look at it two ways- an opportunity to educate or an opportunity to "let go".
When it comes to feminism for myself especially, using moments when people seem to be defensive about my opinions-views, are not the best times to try to help people grow. It's a time when they are feeling defensive and not open.

So, usually I just let it go.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, my advice would be to simply say: "it's a personal choice" if they push you could suggest that perhaps if they are curious about vegetarianism they can look at "these" sources.

If they really push (which has happened with me and feminism) I usually just say: "I'm ok with the fact that we disagree. maybe we can chat about this another time?"

Vegan Burnout might have some really fantastic insights- she's always been so graceful and eloquent when she comments on my blog :)

Good luck!

♥ Callah said...

That makes SO much sense. I am sure I am unintentionally making it seem like I am judging- I can totally see it now, oops! I'll have to make sure I'm conscious of how my answers are being interpreted. Thanks so much for your input :)

Juliana Crespo said...

Callah, I'm not vegetarian or vegan, but we do get some people who question us because we eat local and organic; for the most part, it seems as though the people who question us are either curious or insecure about their own food choices. We explain to them why we eat this way, but only when they're genuinely curious and not on the defense. So take it in stride and try not to let it bring you down. As long as it works for you ... that's all that matters!

♥ Callah said...

Thanks for the input! It's so interesting to hear about other "lifestyles" that get flack from other people. I will try to get less defensive myself about it!