As you probably know by now, I have been vegan for over 3 years now and I have documented most of the journey on social media and on my website, but I haven’t really talked about how my relationships changed since going vegan.
Today I want to share with you how my friends and family reacted and how I keep it kind with those who continue eating and wearing animals. It has been a journey that has taught me a ton.
When I started being interested in veganism back in 2014, I really fell into it. I was consumed and completely enamoured with the whole process of learning a whole new way of living. I was passionate and a tad obsessed.
My father has been pretty supportive of me but he did say a couple of times that he has no intentions of cooking separately for me and that I will have to figure out that on my own. It’s funny to think how serious he was about the whole thing considering he went vegan a few weeks after me.
My best friend aka my actual blood relative who has known me since I was a little kid that claimed you can make fire out of the snow was a tough one. She accused me of being pushy and of judging her, which I will have to disagree with because I was just so consumed with all the information that I wanted to show her, that I had absolutely no idea how strongly I acted towards her.
Our friendship ended after she made some rude remarks and I didn’t feel comfortable being myself around her, and we also just grew apart. We are again hanging out and things are good between us but our lifestyles and values differ a lot and that creates tension whenever I go shopping with her and she tells me about her leather shoes that she loves so much.
I do have to give her points for telling me about all the vegan things she finds in the city.
My sisters are a whole different story. Neither of them is vegan but the youngest one regularly buys vegan candy and likes vegan foods quite a lot. She is a minor and lives at home so obviously with two older vegans in the house, she eats plant-based at home and then buys whatever she wants with her own money. Needless to say, she is very comfortable with us being vegan and has no dislike of any vegan cooked foods or any processed foods that we might buy (cheeses, meats, candy, milk etc).
The tricky part lies in talking to people who I am not close with, like relatives or people that I meet at events, because I always stand out and I never know how much to say so it won’t sound too pushy but at the same time how little is too little, because I do want them to know that someone in the room cares about those animals they eat.
My tips for dealing with non-vegans would probably go something like this:
- Stand your ground and be the vegan in the room. Let them know that you might not be the loudest or a part of a large group in that situation but that your huge heart is able to care for more than just human animals.
- Avoid conversations about food with people who you know are not open to it or will just make excuses. Especially, if you are not sure of how to handle the conversation or if you don’t feel in the mood to put out arguments for why they are wrong.
- Don’t make a big deal out of it. I know that as an activist you always want to be an activist and never just someone who goes along the way and doesn’t stop to tell them about the surroundings, but sometimes just go with it. You don’t have to always mention the V word and let them know what you eat or don’t eat.
That would be it from my side. But now let’s look at you and see what you have to say – how have your relationships changed since going vegan? Are you constantly fighting? Was there a person that abandoned you due to your lifestyle? Let us know in the comment section.
I encourage you to follow me on Instagram as I share so many vegan tips there and I post a lot of InstaStories of what I eat in a day and photos of my companion animals.
p.s. – Did you know I wrote a post on the topic of inspiring others to go vegan and on ways to do it? You can read it here.