Post # 1
Yes, that was a real conversation. It is so difficult sometimes eating away from home as a vegetarian. And I don’t mean eating out at a restaurant, but going to a relative’s house and not having them understand why I won’t eat the chicken but I’ll eat the potatoes and the broccoli. I don’t want them to cook me anything special either, in fact I’m just fine with the potatoes and the broccoli, but it’s the same thing everytime: “Are you SURE you don’t want some chicken?”
I’ve been an on and off vegetarian for the past couple years, and I’ve finally made the decision a couple months ago that I was definitely not eating animal meat anymore. I’m trying to stick to my guns, but it’s hard! DFi is a definite carnivore, and I respect his eating habits as long as he respects mine. What to do about these family members that don’t get it? Any witty comebacks?
Post # 3
I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t understand what vegetarianism is. That would get a big ole WTF from me as well. Perhaps you could send them a helpful internet link to read?
Post # 4
Hahaha, sorry, that reminds me of the scene in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where Toula says that her Fiance doesn’t eat meat. And her aunt is all, ” HE DON’T EAT NO MEAT ?!?!?!?! Well, we serve lamb instead.” Bahahaha!
Sorry your relatives are ignorant to your choices.
Post # 5
Well, to play Devil’s Advocate…I have vegetarian friends that eat seafood. I have vegetarian friends that don’t eat dairy/meat products. I have vegetarian friends that don’t eat red meat. And vegetarian friends that don’t eat any meat. And vegetarian friends that don’t eat meat unless it was organic/humanely killed.
I’d just give the benefit of the doubt here. Vegetarianism means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It’s possible the relative was trying to understand what vegetarianism means to you.
Post # 6
This is how my future ILs are. They are the sweetest people and while they certainly understand what vegetarianism is, they are ALWAYS trying to poke their way around it. They would never try to get me to eat meat without me knowing it, but every week without fail at Sunday night dinner they will ask if I’ll eat this or that.
I don’t know about your family in particular, but if they are like my future ILs they don’t mean any harm by it. They just don’t “get it”. I don’t think responding with something snarky or snide would accomplish anything.
Just try explaining to them that you respect their decision to eat meat, and that they should respect your decision not to. Let them know that you don’t feel right eating meat, but that their constant pressure is making it difficult to stay true to your beliefs and you could really use their support.
Post # 7
Oy, story of my life, too! Or people will tell me to ‘just pick off the pepperoni’. NO!
Post # 8
@Sunshining: That’s exactly the problem for me too, that it’s my ILs who just don’t get it. It might also be that I don’t feel as strange telling my mom that I don’t want meat compared to my Future Mother-In-Law. But it seems like no matter how many times I say no to the hamburger or hotdog at the cookout, I’m still asked by various members of FI’s family if I’d like one. Sigggh. That’s why I like hosting parties at my place, then I can cook myself whatever I want! 🙂
Post # 9
@Masala: UGH, yes! You reminded me of a church group I volunteer with. Every week there is pizza ordered, and every week it is hamburger and pepperoni. I’ve stopped asking for plain cheese.
Post # 10
Hey could be worse. My sister is gluten-intolerant and vegan. And people will say to her, are you sure you don’t want some of this cheese? Or bread? It’s so delicious! Lol.
Post # 11
Oh jeez, sorry! It’s just harder for some to understand for whatever reason I guess!
Post # 12
@kay01: I kind of disagree. I understand being confused because some vegetarians (like myself) classify themselves as vegetarian but will eat fish (technically called pescatarian) and some vegetarians wont eat any animal byproduct (they would refer to themself as vegan) but if you are classifying yourself as vegetarian at all you dont eat meat – beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, etc. I have never heard someone refer to themself as vegetarian just because they dont eat red meat. If I did, I would probably correct them and say you arent a vegetarian then.
@OP – It is weird to me that people arent understanding that you dont eat meat and dont respect that. Maybe you just need to be more straightforward about your eating choices?
Post # 13
If you don’t mind not being able to make a statement about it, I’d just lie and say you don’t eat meat for health reasons. It may be partially true anyway, but if you take it away from being a choice and make it sound more like a necessity, people might accept/remember it more. I’m not saying to outright lie and say you’re allergic or anything, but just to be vague about how meat doesn’t agree with you so you avoid it.
Post # 14
I’m sorry, but this just reminded me of last night’s dinner at my parents’ house. We were grilling steaks and kielbasa, but for some reason the sausage’s consistency grossed me out and I couldn’t eat it. Weird……sorry for the threadjack, lol!
Post # 15
@kay01: If you eat seafood, you are not a vegetarian. If you eat chicken but no red meat, you are not a vegetarian. If you don’t eat animal products, you are a vegan. To the OP, sorry, I’m from Africa. A very meat eating culture in Africa. I’ve heard of some of my folks who eat only fish, but I’ve never met a vegetarian from my country. I bet you if you visited my mother, she’d think ‘vegetarian’ means ‘no red meat’ But you only have to tell her once though. After that she wouldn’t feed you what you don’t like.
Post # 16
@kay01: I think thats why a lot of people are confused when someone is actually a vegetarian.. people say they are to make it easier than going through a long explaination of what they do or don’t eat.
A lot of people will say they are vegetarian if they dont eat certain types of meat.. and they aren’t. People who dont eat red meat are just people who don’t eat red meat.. people who only eat seafood are pescetarians, people who dont eat meat, dairy, or any other animal by-product are vegan.
I was vegetarian for about 7 years and I never understood why people would still offer me fish or chicken. Like OP though I would always feel bad when my FIs family would make a big deal about it and worry about cooking something extra for me.. everything else is fine to eat.. just minus the meat.. always PLENTY of food. My sister is also vegetarian and always makes something extra to bring though that is vegetarian just in case (eg. easter she brough some quiche).