I started eating raw vegan back in early October and received nothing but criticism from others for about 2 months..even my own mother who is very health conscious told me getting nutrients from only fruit and vegetables was a bad idea...I was totally discouraged. Granted I didn't believe anything they were telling me, I realized I was looking to them for support. When no support came I honestly think I became kind of depressed. I continued to eat a large amount of fruits and veggies, but once the holidays hit I pretty much gave up on myself.
I'm sure some have gone through slumps, but I couldn't believe how depressed I became! I was lazy, crabby, tired, and just a plain waste of a person. For the last two weeks I've slowly starting cutting out the bad food in my diet, and on Monday I officially went raw vegan again. You would not believe how great my mood has been!
I started this discussion because I would love to hear how people handle all the nay-sayers. One of the biggest issues I dealt with was people actually making me feel bad for eating fruits and vegetables! "Oh you think killing an animal is bad? How bout you take a look at the plants you are causing pain to!"....I mean really??? It saddens me to think that people would rather shove a hotdog down their throat then eat a carrot. What has this world come to??
I'm so thankful for this website and would love to make new friends to continue on with this lifestyle. I wish I could say I'm strong enough to do this alone, but I really need supportive friends to help me grow with this lifestyle.
Just laugh at their jokes (or laugh at them because their jokes are lame), and back yourself.
You know, if you feel good and your health is good, what does it matter what others say? And, I always tell people "yeah, you do you; I'll do me." And that's that. There's no discussion about whether or not I'm "ok" with their diet. I"m "ok" with them, so we don't need to discuss it.
And, if they continue to heckle you, etc, then yeah, time to find new friends. With family, you might have to be clear and direct and tell them that you don't want to discuss it anymore, as it's not fun to be criticized for your choices, and you aren't criticizing their choices.
How do I handle all the nay-sayers? On the net, I used to get upset. Now I realize all the deep reasons why people speak against it: Justifying their diet, jealousy, common "wisdom" does say the diet isn't "balanced", etc. We're up against too much.
DR realized most people won't go this far(to 811). And people don't want you to either. So.... in person, I don't tell the nay-sayers. When I first started, I kept everything to my self; didn't want anyone to spoil the high I was on. Now, I just say I eat high-fruit.
My mom was a dietician(in CA). She actually agrees with 811(and doesn't even know the term 811). I think the state (CA) is a big factor.
I know how you feel. It is tough. I can't sit there and take it though. I take it upon myself to know more than them in every aspect of nutrition, and if they want to say something stupid then we can have a discussion about "where I get calcium" ect. I look better than them, I feel better than them, I am more active than them. You have to maintain so that you can show them how wrong they actually are.
I do feel like I have something to prove now. Not to throw it in their faces, but to prove to them this is an amazing lifestyle and everyone can thrive on it. I think my problem in the beginning was wanting to lose a bunch of weight. I'm the type of person who can't think like that. I have a very addictive personality and found myself obsessively weighing every morning wondering why I hadn't dropped weight. On Monday I threw away my scale, and honestly I felt so much weight come off my shoulders! Now I can focus on getting active and being healthy without wondering what I may look like in the mirror. I signed up for a marathon, and am very excited to run! I can't wait to see where the next 6 months of training lead me.
Congratulations for getting back on track-I've been back and forth trying to do this a few times. It's really hard with a husband and family that eats cooked and animal products. When I first became a vegan 30 years ago, there was absolutely no support and my attempts to raise my boys on a plant-based diet was thwarted by my husband and big meat eating inlaws who repeatedly criticized me for it. Ignore them and do what you feel is right for you. Be aware that your family may accuse you of having an eating disorder. My husband always has to say something about the amount of fruits or salad I serve myself; he also thinks having a 10 banana smoothie is ludicrous and tells me I'm going to get fatter. They just don't understand and to be realistic, there isn't much science behind eating this way, even as people report that a raw diet cured them of all sorts of diseases. Most people still consider these people as wackos. I have stopped trying to explain my lifestyle to others unless they are truly interested. Hang in there-you're safe here.
Oh yes I've been called crazy for even making a 3 banana smoothie from my boyfriend. He thinks anything will make you fat. "All you have to do is burn the same amount of calories you take in" I just don't believe that. I shouldn't have to spend three hours at the gym to burn off what I ate for the day. I can eat and eat fruit and never feel sickly full. That's what I love about his lifestyle. I may look like I'm smuggling a watermelon for 20 minutes after eating a 1500 cal smoothie, but the tummy always goes down. With my old lifestyle I would have a swollen belly until I made a bowel movement, and sometimes I wouldn't have one for 3-4 days...Thank you for the inspiration!
In the book "The Pleasure Trap" there's a great chapter on how to handle social interactions when eating an "unusual" diet. I highly recommend it. I've learned how to handle the nay-sayers by reading that book.
Thank you I'll look into this!
This is a testament to how intelligent and effective advertising is. It is also a testament to how easily people can be influenced in their behaviors.
Smoking. Fast food. Excessive alcohol. Drugs. etc etc etc. All of these behaviors have two things in common...they damage our long term health and they are highly profitable products to sell. Spend an hour looking at how different industries effect our "demand" for products...and you'll find some interesting stuff.
How often do you see people on television talking about how consuming excessive amounts of animal products damages your colon? Not that often huh? Any idea how many billions of dollars of revenue the beef industry takes in per year? You realize that when these big companies pull their advertisements TV and media companies lose huge amounts of money ? Any idea how much the beef industry spends on lobbying in washington?
I know this will sound strange..but if there was more money to be made selling raw vegan products the public opinion would change immediately. Professional athletes, celebrities, TV and the media would have "GO VEGAN" all over their telecasts! In this opposite world meat eaters would be looked at as bizarre people with insatiable animal blood lust. WE DON'T NEED ANYONE TO COOK OUR FOOD SO THEY CAN'T GET RICH SO EASILY OFF OF US!!! The money is made by being an intermediary between the farmers and us! What happens to their trillions of dollars on revenue when we realize we can grow our own food!!!
Back to your question...the best way to deal with HCRV hate is to better understand why people believe what they do...it isn't necessarily because "they see you eating healthy and feel bad for themselves". That might be a small part of it but there is actually more to it than that...in a way its less psychological, and more obvious.
People adjust to whatever is "normal" around them, and ridicule whatever steps outside that "norm". I'll give one quick example... interracial marriage. Deceased World champion boxer Jack Johnson, to this day, has a standing conviction for marrying a white woman in 1913.
Were people 100 years ago that much more intolerant than they are now? More full of hatred and bigoted? No. People just have tendency to "go with the flow" with whatever is popular at the time. People will look back on the sweat shop labor, warfare, and abuse happening right now around the world...and ask the same of us in 100 years..."how could they all let that happen?"
I've gone way too far to reply to you...but I have fun doing this...there are a lot better analogies I think also...
When people ridicule and question you, confronting them directly will lead to snide remarks, hurt feelings, passive aggressive behavior...etc etc etc. You have to understand that people aren't necessarily logical. You have to also understand that people sometimes do not understand their own motivations for why they do what they do.
So disarm people with questions...
How can you not eat meat! Where do you get your protein!
"Why would you think protein is only in meat? By your logic I should go take on a 700 pound silver back gorilla because they only eat vegetables! I've heard that their joints are powerful enough to dismember human beings, but I guess I heard wrong..."
"Gross, that looks like it has NO TASTE!"
"Don't you want to see me live a happy long life and be able to be there for my family 50 years from now? Isn't that more important than the taste of what goes into my mouth? If they came out with a delicious tasting rat poison would we drink that too? At what point do we draw the line?"
-It is well known that asking questions is a highly effective way of engaging confrontational people, Jesus used it even. Google it for more information
-Do not assume that people are interested in comparing their facts with yours or that people are logical creatures. Instead ask them to explain their motivations, why they think what they do...this does two important things...people who are honest, care about you, and want to engage you...will exchange with you. They will ask you questions and learn from you out of curiosity and respect you. People who eschew reason and logic will distance themselves from this topic with you because you are forcing them to either be rude, or think, and they won't want to do either.
People are sometimes emboldened in groups so be aware of that. Multiple times at thanksgiving dinner people have started the dinner by immediately saying real loud: "Look at his plate of food! I could never eat that!" For some reason this is a conversation starter or something..." You'd be suprised how quickly an uninformed person will become quiet when you reply in front of everyone nine words... "Why are you saying this to me right now?"
Oofta that was a definite eye-opener. I completely agree that people tend to "go with the flow". I guess I just find it so offensive when someone I care about belittles me enough to think I have no idea what I'm doing. Yet these same people have no problem putting artificial foods in their body and they wonder why they have digestion issues?? I have a coworker who drinks about 5 diet cokes a day and eats frozen meals for lunch...Yet he wonders why he's had intestinal surgery twice?? Now I'm just going off on a rant. Thank you for taking the time to write all that. :)
This is even stronger I think...
"Why are you asking me this right now when I am sitting down to enjoy a meal with you?"
If you are doing it right, you can expect to have people be embarrassed sometimes, blush sometimes and feel completely ashamed of themselves sometimes....and when this happens just remember that at the end of the day, they are dealing with their own negativity, keep calm and remind yourself that this whole process is normal and healthy. Some of these same people who criticize you now will come to you in confidence and ask you for advice about making changes in their lives. You may earn, not only their respect, but also their lasting friendship.
Thank you for posting this topic. You have the power to never feel that way again. Being an active member of this site is an excellent way to connect with people who share your values.
Can you imagine a normal, healthy, and functional grown man engaging in an intellectual debate with a five year old child? That's not really possible is it? There are constructive ways to deal with these types of situations aside from changing how other people think or defending yourself from attacks. You can go online and research about the power of non violent resistance...Martin Luther King, Ghandi, etc...there are probably millions of hits also about conflict resolution.
Being an active part of this community is a great way to build confidence and get what you need from others when it comes to Raw Vegan lifestyle, ideally if you haven't already you can connect with people in real life who are on this same journey. When your life is balanced and you feel the relationships in your life are moving in a positive direction, plus you feel comfortable in your own skin it goes is long way in having proper expectations for others and diffusing difficult relationships and situations.