hi guys. I have proble with being vegan around other people. I know that it's bad that i should be yourself. I can't. It's awful. I go to school. We'll have christmas in our class. There will be dumplings and other non vegan food. We'll also go to trip and i'm afraid that i won't eat anything and everyone will say it's stupid and what i'm doing. I want to go out with friends and go to party but at the same time i want be vegan and make earth better place. what should i do? I also feel confused
It's amazing what you have said. It's what i need to hear. Thank you :)
I've made very good experiences with doing so (as I've explained above), because it's honest and it fits my character best. I cannot lie, have never learnt it properly. So I could never say I have food allergies when actually I don't have any. I can just say that I don't feel comfortable with eating certain foods, that I don't like the imagination of eating them, and so I try to avoid them. (With some people it's also better not to let the word "vegan" leave in your mouth. Decide this intuitively.)
If I'm in the mood of making fun of everything (but only then), I've also made good experiences with reacting with humor: When someone says something stupid confirm it in a way so it get's obvious that what you're saying now is a joke. Only after you've made fun with it (so the tension lowers!) you can honestly answer the question.
(One example: Once someone said that vegans eat so many soy products so they are the ones responsible for the destruction of the rain forest. My first reaction was to laugh and say: I should get myself a T-shirt with "I am vegan! I am eating rain forest!" printed on it. Only afterwards I answered his question seriously.)
Another way to get the tension down is by feeling with the person who asks a question or tries to make fun of you. You would perhaps have done the same if you were in his position. So many people cannot imagine going vegan because they have eaten animal products since they were babies. So the already the idea of it seems very very strange to them and they start to make silly questions. That's just human. Perhaps you can smile about it and then go on and focus on the question.
Please, don't let yourself get into a battle of accusations that are thrown towards each other. Don't ever feel accused of anything. Try to understand them: why did they ask this "stupid" question/ say this stupid thing? Is there any hope, they are going to listen to an honest and serious answer? (If not you can also ignore them, because if you're struggling to explain something to them and they are not listening anyway, you don't have a chance.)
It's all about getting the tension out of the conversation or not building it up in the first place. Because THEN you can be very open-mindet and honest answering questions without any accusations towards anyone, just focusing on truth.
(You see: if someone accuses you of anything and you manage to get the tension out, it's no accusation any more. Then it's a real question of someone who just has no clue about veganism at all and just wants to know - even things that seem silly to an "expert".) You are there as an expert on veganism. ;) But only if someone asks you about it. Otherwise you're just there to have a good time with your family and friends.