I go to a school with around 300 students aged between six and 17 years old. This may not seem big, but most of these students are from farming backgrounds. Many of them come from cattle properties and have been raised killing animals for meat, they’re also pretty used to the concept of hunting for both recreational and pest control reasons. Which means I’m very different from them.
What makes it harder, is that not only am I the only vegetarian in my class, but I’m the only person (teachers included) who doesn’t eat meat!
So as expected, my announcement to change to a more ethical lifestyle was met with controversy and some arguments. However, eventually we all grew up a little and now accept each other’s lifestyles (not that I *accept* the fact they kill animals but anyway!).
Here’s my basic survival guide covering a few things you are bound to come across once making the change to a cruelty-free life!
- Conflict. You will get conflict; sadly, it’s bound to happen. There’s always going to be someone who says they feel sorry for you because you don’t get to experience what they consider a “good meal”. OR there will be that one person who believes they know all there is to know about nutrition. The best way to get around this is to just tell them, straight up, “It’s my choice, not yours!” then walk away. It’s a pretty blunt response but believe me, it works!
- Questions. Along with conflict you will get plenty of questions, including the infamous “Where do you get your protein?” If you’re eating the right foods, you should be getting your protein just fine. But I find it is good to have a stock answer in your back pocket for when people try to catch you off-guard. And remember who you’re talking to. So my reply is usually a casual “Oh you know, veggie burgers, stir fries, a peanut butter sandwich. There’s protein in heaps of stuff you know!” Then there’s the other, more ignorant (and annoying) questions… I’ve had “If you were stuck on an island with nothing but a chicken would you eat it?” I usually answer with… “Well, what are the chances of me being stuck on an island with NOTHING but a chicken” and “How is that chicken surviving?” They usually quieten down after that.
- Ignorance. Possibly one of the most common things you will encounter when converting to a vegan diet. Don’t worry, ignore those people, they’re not worth getting upset about.
Anyway, I hope this may help you out!