Going vegetarian and vegan for the first time is everything but easy. Very few people can change diet and lifestyle overnight.
After all, you are finally paying attention to your meals and will have to be more conscious about your choice of food.
I read a lot about it when I first turned vegetarian. To tell you the truth, I went from pescatarian, to chicketarian to finally fully vegetarian. I wanted to become one very badly but was still learning how to replace ingredients. I know this is no excuse but where I lived at the time had next to no vegetarian and vegan options.
- I ate too much of the wrong food. I ate way too much, cakes, bread and candies without gelatin because I was starving. I knew what I was allowed to eat and not eat but had not figured out what I needed to have a fully nutritious diet.
- I was drinking too much soda to fight the hunger. Especially diet sodas to cut my appetite.
- I was eating the same thing every day. When I was eating complete meals instead of snacks, it was mostly the same thing as I did not want to make mistakes. I was focusing on eating as much protein as possible because I was afraid I would not give my body enough instead of focusing on a balance diet.
- I would not eat out with friends and family as I was afraid that I would not have enough to choose from.
I learned with time and maturity that the internet was my friend, that I could find specialized restaurants and also kindly ask my waiter to make sure my dish was cruelty-free. I guess that’s something you learn when you grow up.
- Now that I am all grown up, I realized how judgmental I was of everyone eating meat, especially red meat or fois gras ( very easy to get in France ).
Before going vegetarian, I had never liked it but I remember shaming my friends and family for eating the dish in front of me.
Remember, not everyone will become vegetarian or vegan or choose a different lifestyle and diet. After all, we are all entitled to our own opinion and we have to respect it. The best you can do is explain why you are doing it and hope people will look into it themselves.
Forcing people to be vegetarian or vegan, is morally wrong.
I also realized that there is no need to convince the ones who do not want to be convinced. If you have put all your cards on the table, talked about your experience, invited them to eat a meal with you or made them watch a comprehensive video on the food industry and they still refuse to make the change or look into it, it ‘s okay.
I don’t think it makes you a bad vegetarian or vegan. I quickly talked about it in my previous article about How to become Vegetarian but I have noticed that the trend lately has been to fat shame people into adopting a lifestyle/ your lifestyle and diet or shocking people with really graphic content in order for them to “turn” vegan or vegetarian.
I do not think It would ever work as by exposing people to graphic content, you end up desensitizing them and by fat shaming people, especially online, you are creating more hate and more negativity towards the lifestyle you are promoting.
Hating and Being rude will not help the animals nor change the world. Taking small but amazing steps towards a life without meat will and educating others will give you results in the long term.
Have a lovely week !