Lunch With Family and Friends Who Are Not Vegans
You're going to dine with your parents, friends are inviting you to lunch, but you have become vegan. So what to do? They don't understand what a vegan meal is nor what it means to you. They think it's similar to color choice – you like green, they like red. They don't understand it's not comfortable for you to be at the table where meat, even eggs and milk, are being served. They see it as food, but to you, those are animal parts and processed animal excretas. How to solve a problem? With patience and persistence.
That means you could make an effort to find a way for explaining to your closest ones what being vegan means; that it's more than just food choice to you, that their understanding and companionship means so much to you. Beside patience, you'll need persistence and toughness, because only consistency draws out respect and gives results. Explain to them that you aren't asking them to become vegans (although you'd like that considering the many good reasons), but to inform themselves on the vegan diet and your reasons for choosing it. Ask them to understand that you don't want to take part in exploiting animals and that you don't feel good being around people while they're eating them. Explain to them that one vegan lunch with you won't infect them with a vegan lifestyle and that they'll then try something new and different and contribute to a good atmosphere at the table without making two different lunches or dinners.
When you're inviting your friends to lunch, explain to them why vegan dishes are intended for everyone. Don't make a mistake in thinking it's all obvious to them. Explain to them that your vegan lifestyle doesnt't involve only a food choice, but it also refers to your wish not to participate in any way in the exploitation of animals and the enviroment. Tell them you do not mean to offend them and that you'll pay attention so that they don't stay hungry – even if meat isn't served! They can expect a pleasant surprise and a satisfyingand tasty meal.
It might also happen that someone asks you to buy some animal product or meal for them. Don't get angry and don't expect immediate understanding for your refusal. Explain to them why you can't take part in animal exploitation, why it makes you uncomfortable and why you ask for their understanding concerning refusal of their request, although you would like to help them. With this gesture you do not judge them, but only seek for consideration of your lifestyle.
Your consistence and kindness will then be offering endearing acceptance into your friendship and coexistence with your family and friends, so that you can enjoy vegan meals together. It can be a long journey with many different phases up to that point, but your kindness, cordiality and comprehension, as well as devotion to your beliefs, will win over any negativity, pressure and disrespect you might encounter on the way.
Author: Katja Matovina
Published on: April, 2015.