I hate to say it, but once people find out that you are changing your lifestyle, eating habits, or giving up eating animal prducts, it's true, you will encounter the nay sayers. People are going to have all the opinions in the world. Some well meaning and some uninformed, and others are just going to completely not support you. Some of those people will be close family members, too, as well as friends. Strangers and aquantances alike on socail media will be very vocal about telling you how wrong you are, how unhealthy it is, and that it is very natural to eat meat and drink cow's milk. Afterall, we've been doing it our whole lives and it's tradition, right? Tradition doesn't automatically make something right, and history tells us this. It's so odd though, because people that aren't really familiar with what being vegan is, or that have assumptions, have such strong opinions about it. How is not eating animals a bad or negative thing? Be prepared that this is going to happen regardless, so here is what you can do to not be affected by it.
Remember your "WHY."
Remember what it is that got you thinking about eating vegan in the first place. Is it because of your health? Did your doctor tell you that you are pre-diabetic, you have high blood pressure, or have gained weight? Maybe you just feel worse and worse as you have gotten older? Perhaps you have learned about factory farming and the horrible suffering that animals endure. Are you coming from an environmental stand point and know that factory farming is the number one leading cause of environmental damage? Whatever the reason might be, and it's probably a combination of all of these, you have made up your mind to go vegan for a reason. Remember your "why" and keep your feet firmly planted there. You are number one priority and what you choose to eat is nobody else's concern.
Sometimes it's easier to keep it to yourself.
It can be, but I also know that when you are on to something life changing, you want to share that with the rest of the world and people you care about. But running into people who won't share that same excitement can be disappointing. And it will happen, so if you are prepared for the naysayers, then it will soften the shock. If for whatever reason someone that you are close to or even just acquainted with, like your co workers, have an opinion, it's often best to let it go in one ear and out the other. They will try to convince you that meat is essential for protein and iron. They will insist that people have been eating this way since the beginning of time and that it is perfectly logical and acceptable. Milk does a body good, and you need it for strong bones and teeth. I think more often than not, they mean well and they are coming from a place of concern. But they don't have the facts. Eating a plant based diet, free from animal product is the healthiest thing that you can do for yourself. That it has been scientifically proven that fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes and whole foods, real foods, are the healthiest foods on the planet. Because of this, I find myself to not bother explaining my choices if I don't have to. If someone genuinely asks and is curious, then sure. But in order to save my sanity and not have to defend my choices, I will keep it to myself. If I can save the confrontation and energy, then I will. Others may not understand, and that is perfectly okay. Just as they have to accept my stance, I have to accept where they are, too. We are all different.
What if I am in a social setting?
It's going to happen at some point, whether you are at a work party, family gathering, or holiday meal with lots of extended family and friends. Just relax and enjoy yourself. If there is a moment where someone may begin to bring the negative attention - don't cater to that - defelect it and diffuse the situation by not making a big deal out of it and changing the subject. No one wants to remember a heated debate during what is supposed to be a nice gathering among family and friends.
Find your community and support.
It can be pretty challenging as it is when you are changing something about yourself and learning a whole new way of eating, even moreso when you are going about it alone. And then in addition to that, the nay sayers can certainly take it's toll on you if you let it. It's always important though to have some sort of support no matter what you venture on. Especially if this is totally new to you, and if maybe you are the only one in your household making these changes, having that support is beneficial and sets you up for success. We are lucky in this day and age to have social media to connect with. With everything at our fingertips, we can type anything into whatever social media platform you choose and connect. So I urge you to find a group or community that you can connect with to give you the support that you need. Surround yourself with like minded people that are inspiring, helpful, and want to see you succeed in your journey.
The bottome line.
Whatever your reasons are for going vegan, know that they are completely valid. Set yourself up for success on your new lifestyle by sticking to your decision and beliefs, be confident in your decision, and surround yourself with like minded people by finding that support. Ultimately, it comes down to you and making the decisions and accepting what you will filter in. Focus on the positive and power on. You got this!
Have you encountered the nay sayers? How do you deal with it?
I'd love to hear from you - Let me know