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thoughts on a thursday


VeganDeVil
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Something unexpected has happened since I've become a Vegan.

 

I knew I would face a certain amount of teasing from friends and classmates, but I never expected the the word 'Vegan' to act as a sort of..... social filter. When brought up in casual conversation, it seems to set a wide divide between the friends I want to continue to know.... and the 'friends' I somehow never realized were intolerant, ignorant bigots.

 

People I have known for years and years, suddenly hostile and judgmental at the notion that I follow a specific lifestyle different from their own. And I wonder.... who are these people? Where are the friends I've loved all these years? And why am I suddenly the one seen as 'weak' and 'weird'? Why is there no re-examination of their own lifestyles, instead?

 

At first it was so disconcerting, just so upsetting to realize these people weren't who I thought they were. I lost friends, after all. Or rather, am in the process of losing unless they learn to respect me and my decisions.

 

But I've realized..... it's a blessing, this word "Vegan." Now, not only am I living a lifestyle that fulfills me, but I have a way of weeding out the people I want to have near me for the long haul. Kind, wonderful, compassionate people who aren't vegan (unfortunately), but respect and admire my diligence. F the rest of them.

 

Now I know who I am, and who I want to surround myself with. It's still hard, there is so much eyerolling involved in revealing I'm a Vegan. It gets old, and I find myself becoming overly sensitive to it and reacting irrationally to sincere curiosity. Man, I hope to make some Vegan friends in the near future. This forum is great, but actually having people to talk to and bitch to about a common lifestyle choice routed in such a deep sense of ethics and health would be so lovely....

 

This has been on my mind. Just thought I'd write it out.

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Wow. That sucks. I guess I was lucky. All of the people I knew in the past are still my friends. In fact I don't think any of them acted ignorantly. Although there is always that playful teasing that goes on between friends I still talk to a lot of them( Even though they no longer live anywhere near me since I had to move from there 3 years ago ) and of course we are still as close as ever( Despite the distance )

 

Ruining a friendship over something like that is no different then dumping a friend you found out was Gay, Turned Gay or switched a religion. Shit. It's no different from switching which brand of cereal you prefer.

 

The sad thing is. A lot of people can be like that. Humans are typically judgmental and stupid. There outlash could be a result from the shock of the news and information from finding out you're Vegan. On a certain level we all fear what we do not know or understand. They probably just don't understand what Veganism is all about. They probably feel threatened because they think that you're going to become a completely different person from changing to Veganism( Like only wanting to hang out with Vegan friends, not being interested in listening to the same music, watch the same movies. I think they still want to be you're friends. There just being hostile because they don't want to lose you.

 

Or maybe not. Maybe it's exactly as you fear. Maybe they have always been close-minded fools. You just never noticed it before. All you can do is to try to be you'rself. Don't over exxagerate. Be the same friend you've always been. If I am right and they just feel threatened then eventually they will see that the myth of Vegans that they had built up in there minds is completely false. And from there it could even lead to a curiosity of the lifestyle( From having witnessed first hand that being a Vegan doesn't change who you are. Just what you eat and support ).

 

However. If they are as you feel. The best thing to do would be to slowly weed them out( Like you have said ) and surround yourself with others that do in fact have hearts and souls.

 

Best of luck.

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I had a kinda-sorta similar thing happen to me, only different...

 

I had a profile up on a personals website for awhile (after I had become vegan), but I didn't put IN the profile that I was vegan. I was communicating with this one girl via the site's messaging system and after 3 or 4 messages I said that I was vegan (just as an aside - I think in reference to what food I liked or something) - then I never heard back from her. I was feeling pretty bad/angry at it/her, assuming that it was the vegan thing.

 

Then again, communicating with a girl and intentionally waited until 3-4 messages in before I told her I was a vegan. Same thing - no response. But that time I was expecting it.

 

So I put in my profile that I was a vegan, and all interest suddenly dried up except for 1 girl who was vegetarian and was thinking of going vegan - but I wasn't interested for other reasons.

 

I could have sworn I had a point to make when I started typing this, but I can't remember what it might have been.

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

 

Peace (and bunnies )!

Greg

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but I have a way of weeding out the people I want to have near me for the long haul. Kind, wonderful, compassionate people who aren't vegan (unfortunately), but respect and admire my diligence. F the rest of them.

 

I agree. It's a crazy good way to weed out the real jerks

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eventually they will see that the myth of Vegans that they had built up in there minds is completely false. And from there it could even lead to a curiosity of the lifestyle( From having witnessed first hand that being a Vegan doesn't change who you are. Just what you eat and support )

That's a better way of looking at it. But I'm not sure I have the patience, you know? But I suppose that's the way to do it: don't get defensive, don't get preachy, just make it a non-issue.

 

But I do feel like this issue seems to bring out some true colors.... and I'm done with crappy people. Life is too short.

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I went vegan in my late 30s so I had already experienced the dissolution of friendships for numerous reasons (we grew in different directions, had different politics, she had kids and preferred other mothers, he got married, etc.). I've made many non-vegan friends since becoming vegan, perhaps because they knew "who I am" from the beginning and didn't have to deal with new changes in our friendships. Losing friends is always upsetting but I'm sure you'll make many more friends, vegan or not.

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I went vegan in my late 30s so I had already experienced the dissolution of friendships for numerous reasons (we grew in different directions, had different politics, she had kids and preferred other mothers, he got married, etc.). I've made many non-vegan friends since becoming vegan, perhaps because they knew "who I am" from the beginning and didn't have to deal with new changes in our friendships. Losing friends is always upsetting but I'm sure you'll make many more friends, vegan or not.

 

That is about the same for me aside from work. I have coworkers who are otherwise friendly with me who will not invite out to lunch. When I asked them about it they mentioned that they didn't think I would enjoy going the places they go. It is still nice to be asked.

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I had a kinda-sorta similar thing happen to me, only different...

 

I had a profile up on a personals website for awhile (after I had become vegan), but I didn't put IN the profile that I was vegan. I was communicating with this one girl via the site's messaging system and after 3 or 4 messages I said that I was vegan (just as an aside - I think in reference to what food I liked or something) - then I never heard back from her. I was feeling pretty bad/angry at it/her, assuming that it was the vegan thing.

 

Then again, communicating with a girl and intentionally waited until 3-4 messages in before I told her I was a vegan. Same thing - no response. But that time I was expecting it.

 

So I put in my profile that I was a vegan, and all interest suddenly dried up except for 1 girl who was vegetarian and was thinking of going vegan - but I wasn't interested for other reasons.

 

I could have sworn I had a point to make when I started typing this, but I can't remember what it might have been.

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

 

Peace (and bunnies )!

Greg

 

Wow. I'm not single, but I would have though saying you were Vegan to girls was an instant Panty Dropper. It means you're sensitive and all that shit

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Greg,

 

It's unfortunate, but it makes a certain amount of sense. I do remember a time when I was an omni, and had a certain contempt for vegans. It doesn't make any sense now, looking back, but at the time I had pre-conceived notions of them as elitest, preachy, overly serious party poopers. I think ultimately, it was the selfish side of me acting out. Knowing there was a truth out there that would make me feel bad about the burgers I loved oh so dearly.

In the end, you are lucky these people aren't in your life. The word 'Vegan' filtered them out of your compassionate sphere. Don't know if you're still single or not, but when you find a vegan or vegan friendly lady, it will be worth waiting for!

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I do remember a time when I was an omni, and had a certain contempt for vegans. It doesn't make any sense now, looking back, but at the time I had pre-conceived notions of them as elitest, preachy, overly serious party poopers. I think ultimately, it was the selfish side of me acting out. Knowing there was a truth out there that would make me feel bad about the burgers I loved oh so dearly.

Remembering that just put my original post in perspective for me. Hah!

 

Silly brain.

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I had a similar experience when going vegan. Groups of people set up certain dynamics and expectations. You are disrupting all that, and they feel threatened. Many I know have had bad experiences with what I call uppity vegans...judgmental, etc. They instantly applied those qualities to me even without me knowing where I was coming from, and if I said anything related to veganism I had the agenda of being the vegangelical on a mission to convert them. they didnt want to listen to it. It is hard to shift lifestyles and not start sharing all the new info and insight you have. Everyone in this situation has room to grow. The best of luck with this. Try not to take too much of this situation personally, people will react how they will react, there is little you can do to change that.

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