Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A peek from the outside in

I've spent a fair amount of time in online veg*an communities over the last 10 years, or so. Many of them become virtual havens of sorts for people who feel isolated within their own communities or families for the choices they've made concerning whether or not they feel it's healthy or right to eat animals, or to participate in any way whatsoever in the animal slaughter industry by consuming other animal products. Often, younger vegetarians come looking for advice on the best way to placate and educate a parent or guardian.

This ''Dear Abby'' sort of Q&A I stumbled across online caught my eye, because it presents the other side of what I've often heard expressed about unsupportive family members. It shows someone from the outside looking in. Reading it almost left me holding my breath. I was anticipating that the response to this woman's concerns would involve advice to treat the vegan ex-wife as being in the wrong (since so many mainstream omnis view veganism as extreme). It was a nice suprise to see otherwise.

Read it here.


J said...

It's nice to see that type of supportive and what I see as solid advice. I was a bit surprised at the end myself.

I have to say too though that, as I've gotten older, my parents, family, and friends seem to be more supportive of my decisions no matter what they are. I was a vegetarian for a few years back in high school and my dad always said "it's just a phase - you'll get over it" and in a lot of ways he was right. When I decided to go veg again, for good, I explained my reasoning and he has never said anything to that affect, he has been supportive, and while he doesn't understand what we eat or need, he is willing to provide whatever concessions I need when I get there.

M said...

My own family's been fairly supportive, as well, although it was rough-going in the early years. My mother's really sweet about making sure that I have things to eat when I visit. I basically tell her to make sure she has a good head of romaine around and some fruit and whole grain bread. Mom cooks things separately anyway (e.g. mashed potatoes, baby carrots, peas, her meat) so it's incredibly easy to eat veggie there.

I can't imagine how hard it is to be living as a dependent, though, and asserting those ethical choices. I didn't dip into it until university.