Family not vegan
I've been an avid vegan for some time. However, lately it's been getting worse and worse in my home for me to practice veganism. All of my family are committed omnivores and will not cut me any slack. One will say they just can't go without meat, another will say it's just not natural, and another feels it is too expensive and time-consuming. *****Sassy Sez:
In any case, I feel like I'm falling further and further from my vegan worldview.
Please help me before it's too late!
Hi Ralf, my darling I feel your pain. It can be very tough to stick to your vegan guns when everyone around you is non-vegan and simply does not understand where you are coming from.
Hubby Jeff and I have been vegan together all these years which has made things considerably easier than so many Vegans have it out there. And if the results of a questionnaire I sent out recently are any indication, the challenge you are having is echoed throughout the entire vegan community.
Strangely enough, I was speaking with my mom about this very topic yesterday.
She's been vegan since 1994-1995, and really had no support whatsoever since the entire family and all of her friends are non-vegan. While everyone has come to accept her choice, in the beginning it was really tough.
I asked her, "Mom, when things were so difficult, why didn't you just go back to non-vegan?" Her answer? She so believed that what she was doing was right for her, that there was absolutely no shaking her from her convictions. She absolutely positively would not eat meat again. Period. End of the story.
But as she noted, everyone must find their own way through the "tough times"; there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
One thing I am pretty darned positive does not work when your family is not vegan too?
Trying to "convince" them to go vegan.
While you may not be trying to convince your family, the mere fact that you ARE vegan can cause them to immediately think you want them to join you. Their defenses come up, and the comments begin as they do their best to convince you that it is a BAD idea. If they can shake you from your roost, they will no longer have to deal with the uncomfortable feelings they are likely experiencing!
Of course, trying to convince you to NOT be vegan is just as bad as convincing someone who is not vegan to go vegan. It's a decision that really has to be made by each individual. Because if you don't do it for the right reasons, then you might fall "off the wagon" at the first sign of a challenge to your decision.
Ralf, maybe if you reviewed the WHY you are vegan, you would find the resolve you are looking for. Can you sit your family down and let them know that you are committed to this, and that you need their support? Perhaps if they knew that your decision to be vegan has no bearing on whether or not they become vegan, they might lighten up?
I would love to hear from others out there - and I know there are many of you (!). How do you handle the (usually) inevitable challenge of non-supportive family or friends?
Sending giant hugs to you, Ralf. xo