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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » READ-ONLY ARCHIVE » General Health & Nutrition » Social Issues Facing Vegetarians

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Author Topic: Social Issues Facing Vegetarians
Love-Life
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I have been a vegetarian for about four and a half years and I totally support it. I think it's an amazing thing to do not only ethically but environmentally and from a humanitarian standpoint as well.

But, since being vegetarian, I have encountered countless things that really prove the still-closed-minded-world we live in.

I have experienced friends who not only make fun of me behind my back for the nutritional choices I make, but blame me for making them feel bad for eating meat. Now, I don't force my views on people because it is a very personal choice. They simply tell me that because I am a vegetarian it consequently makes them feel like they should be as well. I really want people to respect my choices, so I should respect theirs.

I have also had hilarious experiences with fast-food joint employees (typically at Wendy's) giving me looks that say "Why the heck are you ordering a mandarin CHICKEN salad without chicken?" I honestly love going to restaurants just to see people's reactions. It always brightens my day.

And my mother, sister, and grandmother have been endlessly supportive from day one which really helped me stick with it and be happy with my decision.

So, I just started this board to hear what other vegetarians, vegans, or omnivores (or any other diet) have to say regarding the ups and downs. I have tons more stories, some that made me laugh and others that make me admire myself and others more than I thought possible.

[ 04-24-2008, 11:51 PM: Message edited by: Love-Life ]

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There is an upside to everything, sometimes you just have to turn it upside down to find it.

:-) Vikki (-:

Posts: 153 | From: British Columbia | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
iamfree
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I've been a vegetarian since I was 11, and people have had some pretty weird reactions about it.

I've had people who are nearly complete strangers lecture me about how I'm harming my body by not eating meat. Because, of course, humans NEED meat to survive. Some people have made fun of me, as is to be expected. One classmate of mine insists on yelling "Hey, that has dead cow in it!" every time he sees me eating something. Hilarious.

I became a vegetarian because I didn't feel comfortable eating animals, but most of all because I find industrial farming utterly inhumane and I refuse to support it. But even after patiently explaining this, some people find it astounding that I would do such a "stupid" thing. It really irritates me. After all, I respect peoples' right to eat meat. It's a personal choice, after all. I have never, ever made fun of someone because they choose a hamburger over tofu. Which is why I can't understand why someone would think it's ok to mock such an essential part of who I am.

Of course, not everyone is such a jerk. My friends and family are really supportive and go out of their way to include something vegetarian with every meal I share with them. My boyfriend has told me that he finds my vegetarianism incredibly noble.

So basically, you'll find a few intolerant people who will be outright rude about your choice, but most people are quite supportive. And of course, restaurants have really started catering to vegetarians, which is great.

Good luck!

Posts: 149 | From: Costa Rica | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Typical Young and Dumb Teenager?
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Well, Im not a vegetarian. I eat chicken, shrimp, turkey, and crawfish; that's it. However, that doesnt make me a vegetarian because I do eat meat!
The reasons for why I only eat these four kinds of meat are pretty complicating, but we wont get into that.


My family does not really support me; they all complain about why I only eat this and that, which I guess is why I dont completely stop eating meat. My whole family, besides my biological dad, hunts, and my biological dad eats nothing but steak and roast. I find hunting and eating steak and roast both unhealthy and disgusting, both mentally and physically.

My friends, however, arent unsupportive. I mean, they call me weird, which doesnt really bother me, but it's not just because of what I do or do not eat. I suppose its because I have OCD, which causes me to do strange things sometimes, I dont eat like a 'normal' person, and I can somtimes be completely random, but they dont treat me different from any of my other friends. They respect me for who I am, and love me no matter what choices I choose to make.

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Young and Dumb.
"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go." - Keith Urban

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Leabug
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I'm not a real honest-to-goodness vegan, but I am Orthodox Christian, and we fast for about half the year (on the strictest days, which seems to be most of them, lol, we can't eat meat, eggs, dairy, or oil), so for half the year I'm essentially vegan in terms of what I eat.

I haven't run into too much criticism or bias with regards to this, but my partner certainly has. His family isn't Orthodox, and they don't seem to understand why he fasts from certain foods. His family really likes to make jokes about the food, and I think they get to him sometimes.

But I totally get what you mean with regards to ordering food at restaurants- I've done the whole salad thing too ("I'll have the crispy chicken salad without the chicken, please"). Giving up oil seems to be one of the things that freaks out people the most, since it eliminates pretty much all foods that aren't just like, boiled or steamed.

The point of fasting, in my religion, is to live simply so that we may rid ourselves of distraction and so focus more upon God. I don't expect people to understand or agree with this, but I've certainly had my share of people who go "What, are you vegan or something? Can't you eat ANYTHING?" when they've eaten out with me.

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Lea

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Love-Life
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You know, the most annoying statement I get from people is "Wow, you must eat the same things over and over again, doesn't it get boring?"

I mean, I eat what I like, and I go through sprees. But that isn't because I'm vegetarian. One man said that to me, and I know for a fact he practically lives off a diet of cheese buns. So what's the difference?

I just think that people don't think about things they are saying, and it really drives me nuts. (At least nuttier than usual)

And don't worry Lea, we all support you no matter what you eat. It takes a lot of discipline and half the time, people just criticize us because they are jealous.

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There is an upside to everything, sometimes you just have to turn it upside down to find it.

:-) Vikki (-:

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hs123
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Well, I keep kosher. I dunno if yall know what that is, but it's a special diet that many religious jews keep. Now, I'm not the best at it.. But I try...

Everything I eat has to be supervised by a rabbi. This sounds weird but it's a lot easier than it looks. A.) The ingredients in the food must be kosher B.) The machinery it's made on must be kosher C.) The factory it's made in has to go monthly inspections by a rabbi...

I can't eat meat and milk together, and I have to wait 6 hours after eating meat to eat milk. We have seperate dishes for meat and dairy, seperate sinks... Seperate a lot of things...

It's complicated, but I won't get into it.

Like I said, I dont do it so well. Eating out at a non-kosher restaurant (aka one not supervised, not with kosher ingredients or machinery etc.) is tough.. Basically, I've resolved not to eat meat out, if it is unkosher- because for meat to be kosher it must be killed properly- in the most humane way, as to cause the animal the least amount of pain...

It's complicated, but really hard to do. I've also ordered things without meat, and people don't understand it. A lot of people don't understand that chicken is also a type of meat....

Anyways, it's really hard, so I get it... Eventhough a lot of things are kosher, there are some strict limitations on a lot of stuff, but when I ACTUALLY wait 6 hours in between meat and milk, I feel pretty darn accomplished.

So props to all yall who stick to your guns! It's hard, but it's a huge accomplishment.

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