When have you received unexpected hostility for being a vegan/vegetarian?

I always find it interesting how meat eaters become hostile about my choices (and by extension, I suppose their own) at seemingly random times. This isn't a non-veg hating fest, I'm just curious to know when you've received hostility towards your diet when it was not called for.

For example, my teacher was snacking on chicken strips and offered me some. I declined on the grounds that I am a vegetarian and she said "how can you without meat? I love meat." I admitted that I miss seafood and she said that I can eat fish because it's not meat. I told her that my diet excludes both seafood and meat and she said "fine then why not just go be a vegan and be unhealthy." 

It also happened tonight. I asked my mom if she would order me a pizza and she randomly blew up saying "You don't like pizza! How the hell am I supposed to order you a pizza when you don't even eat meat!?" I found this weird consideirng I ate meatless pizza long before I was a vegetarian.

What are your stories? :) 

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I'm not sure either why there is so much hostility towards folks on veg*n diets... my father in law had said to me once "think of all those bunnies that get killed when farmers plow the corn in their fields!" He really wasn't being hostile, but it was still an icky thing to say. I have had other friends who have tried to rationalize by saying "Well you could eat locally grown meat, because that is probably more humane than factory farming." Ok.. how do you humanely kill an animal? LOL Is there some magic fairy who comes in and pokes the cow or chicken with a wand and poofs it into pre-packaged meats? I know they mean well, and I can just smile at most of them and just say "Well I guess you can have my share then! More for you!" ;)
It is silly though how meat-eating folks do this though. I've never understood why it's such a big deal for them. It's like they become nutritional experts (while wolfing down that nasty big mac) when you mention you're veg*n!

Exactly! Like the instance with my teacher (not that I have anything against her, she's a lovely person). She clearly doesn't know the difference between vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians, but is still able to claim that veganism is unhealthy. Okay then?? Maybe I don't understand it because I've always been very supportive of veg*n diets, even when I was eating meat. But I guess I always knew that I would eventually take on the diet when I felt ready. 

I think part of it is that happy little picture people have painted in their minds at young ages.. of the happy little farm, with the animals roaming the fields and barnyard, like a Norman Rockwell painting or some such. If people did the research (and it doesn't take much to google it lol) they'd at least know we can get enough protein and vitamins and minerals, etc, without chowing down on meat.

It is sad that so many people have to deal with the negative reactions of others; I am sorry for those of you who have to endure such insensitivity.  

I am fortunate in that I have lived in very vegetarian and vegan friendly areas (San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California as well as Seattle, Washington), so I have never encountered hostility.  While I have had to answer the "how do you get your protein" question, no one has ever been unkind or rude to me about my choices.  But perhaps men do not have to deal with this as much?  

I don't always get hostility, mostly I'm just met with ignorance by friends and family, and I can't really get angry at them for that, as annoying as it is.

For example, I told one friend that I was starting a somewhat more vigorous exercise routine and in a concerned voice she said "I hope you're going to start eating meat again if you do that."  Haha

Yes, because we all die if we exercise :P

It's probably from that lack of protein

When I started my journey as a vegetarian about a year ago, I felt numb in my limbs and cold as well. Knowing that I ditched meat (red meat, white meat, seafood... all kinds of flesh that is), my lecturer remarked: "You need some animal protein to stay healthy! Look at you, you're sick!" My friends even expressed their concern on me apparently not getting enough protein from meat. I think they mean well, but I gave up meat for ethical reasons and I did my homework on vegetarian protein sources before making the switch.

Ditching meat, in fact, gave me the extra energy to exercise, and now exercise is my hobby-I must have a session daily. I still consume some animal protein from eggs, but I am working on cutting them off my diet. Eggs give me pimples!

Nevertheless, there are hostile and ignorant people as well. A friend commented that vegetarians die early because they survive on salads (No we don't, we eat lots of stir-fries here in Malaysia! Rice is vegan unless you cook it with meat broth) Some friends noticed that I lost weight and when they asked about my way of losing weight, before I could even answer, another friend chipped in:"Oh of course she lost weight because she is anorexic! She does not eat meat!" I have that comment umpteen times and I am totally sick of it. Those commenting that I am "anorexic" were... (well, I don't want to describe much)

Apparently monks and nuns and all vegetarians are anorexic. Patrik Baboumian, Jared Leto and Mac Danzig are anorexic. Hahah. 

Another thing: a senior told me that I am DAMAGING the environment for being a vegetarian as there will be too many animals left and no plants. So, 5000 gallons of water for a pound of beef vs under a thousand gallons for veggies, which is environmentally better? When he asked about the impacts of being veggie to the ecosystem, I told him that ecological imbalance will not happen because the reduce in the consumption of meat means less unnaturally bred animals and less resource consumption. Thankfully, that shut him up.

I am open to all questions on vegetarianism, such as getting protein, eating out, etc. but the anorexic question and ecological imbalance issue irked me the most. 

I think some of the older generations do not understand what being a vegetarian entails. My grandmother makes this meat sauce that has 2 different types of meat. I politely asked her  to set aside some of the noodles so I could just add olive oil, she paused and goes, "there's only a little bit of meat in the sauce!" LOL. 

That somehow reminded me of the movie: "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." ;)

PS: Below is the part of the movie where she had to explain that her fiancé is a vegetarian.


Once after a long day at school I went to go meet up with my friends at the park... I had eaten most of my packed food that day and was feeling very hungry

When my friend offered me a granola bar I told her I had to check the ingredients, which is when one of my friends decided to yell out "FAGATARIAN!!", while laughing. 

I threw my phone at his head lol 

I've never been treated with hostility, and I'm someone who's admitted in a crowded room that I hate bacon. 
 I have a friend who prefers to eat meat in all instances and is generally not very fond of veggies. If I offer him a carrot, he says "No thanks." 
He doesn't say "No thanks, I'd rather eat meat." 
When I get someone to order a pizza, I don't say (or imply, as it happens most often) 
"Please order me a pizza, keeping in mind that I am a vegetarian." 
I say "Please order me a vegetarian (or Mediterranean, or spinach and artichoke, or whatever) pizza." 
I don't bring my lifestyle into it, because that would be kindof offensive. 
It's one thing to have a preference "I (always) want a vegetarian pizza" and another to have an entitlement problem 
"I deserve a vegetarian pizza (because that is my lifestyle)" It does imply that everyone involved should accommodate your lifestyle and diet when you obviously aren't going to accommodate theirs. 
The end result is that you still get your veggie pizza, but one way is more offensive than the other. 
I take full ownership of my vegetarian preferences.  


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