I’ve decided to bring you a different kind of post today. Partly because I think it’s good to switch up for recipes all the time and partly because the chocolate pumpkin cookies I tried to make this week were a failure. Oh well, it happens to the best of us. Get ready for something really good next week (haven’t figured what this will be yet but it’ll be awesome I promise).
So instead I’m going to talk about a different aspect of the vegan lifestyle. That is, how people react when you tell them you’re vegan. I think this may be one of the hardest aspects to overcome in order to remain vegan. There was something really exciting in telling people about my diet change 9 months ago (how the time flies). But as soon as I started to hear feedback I felt very defeated. Rarely did I get a positive comment, like “Wow, that’s really great! Congratulations!” Or even “I’m really impressed you’re able to do that.” More often then not people would comment on how it was pointless, or didn’t accept my reasons for going plant based, and some even tried to bribe me to stop. I’m proud to say I’ve never succumbed to that kind of peer pressure, even when one of my good friends offered me some Pretzel M&Ms, promising he wouldn’t tell anyone if I had some.
Now I’m not going to say that every response was negative. There are a few who were very encouraging, and even my parents have made a valid effort in accommodating me. I know there are times when it is inconvenient to people for me to be vegan, but I always try to explain that if I can’t eat something at one dinner that doesn’t mean I’ll forever be starving.
So how does one deal with criticism? I usually try to approach the situation in a way that I’m not trying to argue back but instead just explain its my decision and I really love it. I’m not torturing myself or punishing myself or anything, this is my choice and I wouldn’t want it any other way. But if people keep pressing I am willing to defend myself. People usually criticize my diet based on lack of knowledge. I point them in the direction of documentaries that helped me in my transition (either Forks Over Knives or Vegucated, both available on Netflix). I explain to them I feel so much healthier. When they attack aspects of being plant based, like that I don’t get enough iron or protein I show them how I do. The best way to deal with ignorance is education.
Now I don’t mean to seem preachy in this post but I want to let me fellow vegans know that we all have to deal with the nonbelievers and that there are good ways to go about talking about being plant based. Here’s a few other great bloggers who have posted about this topic:
Just remember, you’re doing this for you, don’t let what other people think change the fact that it is healthier to be vegan.
I hate posting things without pictures so here are some random shots from the “snow” day we had yesterday here in Baltimore.