Colorado Springs Vegan & Vegetarian Group Message Board › New to all of this, my only support system...

New to all of this, my only support system...

Heather-Leigh S.
user 12336815
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 2
So, I find this journey very lonely in a way. None of my friends support me, not even my family. They constantly taunt me with eating meat and all the other crap people do just to entice you. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I would never let the pressure steer me away from my new diet, I have been vegan for a month now, and was vegetarian on and off for the past six months. The journey other than the lack of support has been pretty easy, I feel good with my decisions, but it is quite annoying for the constant disrespect I face with not only my friends but the general public. How does one deal with this, do we simply ignore it? Also, the only relationship I have been in were the other person actually supported and followed my lifestyle, was actually a complete fraud. Not only was he cheating on me AND maintaining a relationship with another woman, I found out he was not the "vegetarian" he said he was, eating meat when I wasn't around. Lovely huh? Sorry for spilling much information, but I have no one else to really turn to for this matter. Wanted to know how many people maintain relationships with someone who does not support and or follow their diet choices. Not that I am looking for a relationship with anyone anytime soon, but I feel as though I would not be able to date someone who did not follow this. I love to cook, I never keep animals in my house, so how could I bring myself to cook meat for someone! Slim pickings there is going to be haha! Also, does anyone have friends who are vegan/vegetarian, because I am the only one I know! Any advice, please and thank you!
A former member
Post #: 7
My advice. Stay true to yourself and let the haters hate! ;) Welcome to the group by the way. The cool thing about this group and everyone else in this world that embraces change, cares for their body by eating veg, and adores animals is that we are strong and think outside of the industrial slimeball mentality box.

I think the thing about getting taunted is that the people doing the taunting don't understand completely. But if confronted by a few simple facts, their eyes will open up and begin to think about it. I suppose my point is, prepare for the confrontation ahead of time and stay compassionate. :)
Tinya D.
user 7766271
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 6
Hi Heather-Leigh,

It is tough, no doubt -- but as Tyson said, stay true to yourself. You mentioned that you "feel good about your decisions" and that is the most important part. I grew up the only one and never dated anyone who was veg. But, I knew in my heart I was right and used my stance to influence others.

Remember at the Plant-Strong Class...Troy started out talking about "Arming Yourself with the Facts". Educating yourself is key when handling others. I have attached the closing of the class presentation, which I think is the most valuable advice...

Have fun with this! Indulge yourself into a new healthy adventure:
-You have everything to gain. You’ll look better, feel better, and protecting yourself from most, if not all, degenerative diseases, while cutting down your carbon footprint and sparing innocent animal lives.
-Make cooking your new romance! Cook for people you care about. Cook a dreamy dinner for a significant other. Put on some Salsa music and make some Cuban Chili for a night to yourself.
-Try a new recipe once a week. Break up the monotony. Keep it fresh, new, different.
-Stay Connected. Come to a potluck or outing. Keep a cultural connection with others who think the same way. Meet new peeps.
-Attend a Whole Food Vegan cooking class. They are free! Posted on the veg group site.
-Surround yourself with positive people who support you. When people give you a hard time, don’t take it personally, create some comic relief instead. Come up with some good one-liners. Turn their criticism into a positive moment to teach and enlighten.
-And lastly, have confidence! If you know deep down you are doing the right thing for you, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


Stay strong in your beliefs Heather-Leigh!
Ann S.
vegann
Morrison, CO
Post #: 488
Be proud, be joyful, be informed and live by example.

When someone harasses you, they likely have guilt on some level and if they can "get you back in their camp", they won't have to think about the reasons you chose it in the first place, compassion. It's their problem. They would never dare do or say such things to someone who has stopped drinking or about someone's religion. Ignore them and be who you are in spite of them!

Also, embrace this community! We need each other!!
A former member
Post #: 25
Hi Heather-Leigh,
There's so much good advice on this thread; it gave me goosebumps!
I think so many of us share components of your journey. I felt quite lonely in the beginning too. I was vegan on my own for a few years before finding this group, and I struggled with many of the feelings you shared. I found friendship and education via this group, and I wish you the same.
So, you asked about dating and diet: I think this can be so tricky! ...but I know some people, meat-eater and veg, who are able to make magic in relationships, and find the balance they're looking for. I think respect for each other is key, and working out what is comfortable for each other. Remember that every experience/relationship leads you to where you want/need to be. It took me a long time to realize that vegetarian men totally exist! lol. Tyson is the first vegetarian boyfriend I've had, and sharing the same values concerning animals has been a wonderful, strenghthening addition to our relationship.
When times get tough or I learn too much about the harm in the world, I always try to remember that the world needs more caring people, and I want to be one of those people. So, try to remember that you're an expression love and kindness. I think that when you live through love, love comes back to you. You're doing so much good for your health, the planet, and animals. To quote the corny words of Blessid Union of Souls, "Love [really is] is the answer." =)
jamie
A former member
Post #: 19
Being taunted is nothing new to me; I deal with it almost every time I tell someone I am a vegan. It is mostly harmless, "friendly" ribbing, but it does get old after a while. You learn to block it out and not care what others think. I know I'm doing the right thing, so I don't let the pressure get to me.

I've never dated a vegan or vegetarian before, and I'd only met one other vegan, ever, before I moved to Colorado in 2011. It's not a deal breaker for me, and if you're eating my food, you're eating vegan! :)
Shannon
Plant_Strong
Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 161
Hi Heather-Leigh,

A book I'd like to recommend is Colleen Patrick-Gourdreau's Vegan's Daily Companion (365 Days of Inspiration for cooking, eating, and living compassionately). She addresses topics like compassionate communication, health, stories of hope and so forth.

When I met my husband, he was far from vegetarian or vegan. He happily ate the food I prepared and showed me a great deal of respect (and I, in turn, respected him). Eleven years later, he sat down to watch the documentary Earthlings with me. This had a huge impact on him. He went on to listen to the books Eating Animals and The China Study during his commute to work, and found Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcasts. It seemed he embraced a plant based lifestyle overnight. It's been three years now and in return, he's experienced the wonderful results this lifestyle is able to give - weight loss, energy, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and increased compassion. People can't argue this. They can't argue what works for you and they can't argue healthy results!

Knowledge truly is power and I hope you find this journey to be happy, healthy, nourishing, and empowering.

Ann S.
vegann
Morrison, CO
Post #: 489
Right on, Shannon!!

Colleen will be speaking at VegFest Colorado again this summer, along with other excellent speakers. You might want to plan to attend, Heather-Leigh. It will really enhance your experience with this lifestyle! http://VegFestColorad...­

:-}
Gina J.
GinaJay
Fairbanks, AK
Post #: 19
Before moving to Colorado, I was the only vegetarian I knew, so the group is a wonderful avenue of friendship, support and education. My husband happily eats what I cook for him, but knows I will not shop or prepare any meat foods that he wants. So, he eats his meat when at work or dining out. Thus, the compromise...
Betsy K.
user 11269426
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 23
Heather-Leigh,

I just want to second Shannon's suggestion re Colleen Patrick Goudreau's podcasts. They are wonderful and of such varied topics, one I remember having to do with what you are dealing with.
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