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Topic: Coming out to the family… how’d YOU do it? *Share your wisdom here!*  (Read 2215 times)
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« on: November 28, 2006 03:22:29 AM »

OK, they all know I’m not crazy for meat, but it hasn’t been an issue… yet. They’re my outlaws, and I really don’t want to offend. Plus, because of too many times of eating it to be polite, (& self-rationalizing not to waste it for no reason other than my ideals), I’ve already set the precedence. I don’t eat meat anywhere else, & would love to try & stay on the vegan wagon even. I've tried bringing meat-replacements (stressing the cholesterol-free bene) but I swear there’s a TVP alarm on their house; I can hardly get it in the door!  Anyhow, now I stick with other 'regular food' alternatives, like black bean chili or hummus & try to complement the meal without taking away from the cook. So, is it too late to switch horses midstream?  Huh
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2006 05:40:25 AM »

I just told everyone I'd decided to go veg.

I was raised non-vegetarian and my in-laws knew me as non-vegetarian for several years when I decided to swtich.

And I started bringing my lunchbox around to family things. Knowing that I'd be under scrutiny for a while, I'd deliberately pack stuff that was familiar... peanut butter and jelly, pizza, vegetable soup, rice pilaf, potato salad, chili, pasta, etc. 

I wanted them to see I wasn't eating anything "weird" and I wanted them to see that it was already on their radar.. stuff they ate themselves all the time.

Later when I went vegan, everyone was already used to me being vegetarian so the change was very slight and by that point I could bring and eat more exotic fare without anyone batting an eye.

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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2006 07:31:57 PM »

I just told my family before I went to visit once.  It was inevitable in the trip planning that my mom would mention cooking something particular or going out to eat somewhere special, so I just dropped it in saying something like, "Yeah, I'll just stop at the store on the way into town to get some veggie burgers to eat with the meal, because I'm not eating meat anymore" or "Oh, that's a good choice, I'm sure I can find something vegetarian there."  Of course, my carnivorous teenage brother thinks I'm a nut, and my dad doesn't quite understand, but it's not been much of a big deal, and any time I visit, my mom now makes certain to have appropriate alternatives for me or plans a shopping trip on the way home from the airport for me to pick up a few things.

« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2006 03:19:32 PM »

A lot depends on how comfortable you are with your in-laws, and how often you see them.  But I definitely agree with saying something ahead of time...it makes things easier on everyone.  (And hopefully avoid scenes when you're not eating your "favorite" dish that your MIL spent hours preparing...)  Eat something before you go if you can (nothing's more embarrassing than announcing that you've gone veg, and then eating ham or whatnot because you're hungry...) and/or offer to bring a filling side dish (or salad or appetizer).  That way other people can try your food (and see that it's not scary  Wink) and you won't feel like you're "competing" with the main dish. 

There will probably still be some issues...food is so tied in with emotion and tradition and nurturing that feelings usually get hurt when you "reject" what's being offered.  Stay strong (politely -- no discussions of slaughterhouses, please) and things will work out (speaking from personal experience if it's not obvious).  Best of luck!

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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2006 02:54:45 PM »

My dad served me a plate of curry chicken for dinner one day and I went to my room to eat it (I had a pile of homework to do that night), halfway through the meal I decided to stop eating meat. My boyfriend finished my plate and I returned to the kitchen, empty plate in hand and said, "thanks for dinner dad. It was really good but uhm, I've decided to be vegetarian from now on. It's nothing to do with your food though! So, I don't expect you to cook for me at all, I'll handle all my meals." Or something like that. My brother had been vegetarian for 2-3 years by that point so my dad said "Okay." He admitted to me 3yrs later that he never expected me to stay vegetarian for more than a week, hence his reply.

I had already been vegan for 6yrs when I met my in-laws. My fiance is vegetarian so it's not like they thought it was *that* weird that I'm vegan. They don't understand it but they are very respectful of it. They joke about it but the jokes are totally not mean-spirited. I never expect them to do anything special for me when I visit and constantly remind them that I am perfectly happy eating a salad or some plain vegetables or pasta with salt/pepper/herbs.

It was almost too easy for me.
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2006 04:27:24 PM »

I had the benefits of being a five year old on holidays.
My brother wrote my mum a note, but after he wrote it, he told her then she found it.
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2006 10:51:44 PM »

Well, I'm pretty much vegetarian and I have celiacs disease so there's alot of stuff I can't eat.
Both of these things happened this year. My mom's family is OBSESSED with food! They even tried to get me to eat gluten(which celiacs can't eat because it destroys stuff in our intestines  Shocked )! They also don't get why I don't eat meat. So I just tell them I'm not hungry or that I don't like meat. If that doesn't work then I usually end up crying because it's so frusterating when people try to make me eat. Then they stop bugging me. lol. I also sometimes offer to cook meals for my grandparents so that they see that I eat really really really good.
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2006 11:39:01 PM »

As long you aren't militant PETA paint throwing, they should be fine. Respect them and they'll respect you. My parents are ok with it, and when my grandma bugged me, my dad told her to shut it lol. Also, most of my mom's dishes are vegetarian, with meat as a side dish and my dad grills up an amazing veggie burger. It also helps that my uncle is veg, too. My bf's parents were vegetarian, but it became difficult for them to manage their diabetes, so they could care less. I'm lucky to be surrounded by veg friendly people, but here's a secret: my best friend, soul sister, would die without her, hunts and fishes. Our friendship works because of respect...so respect your in laws, let them know ahead of time and bring your own food. OR, if there isn't a lot of them, take them out to dinner, and you can order veg fare.

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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2006 07:04:47 PM »

This is the first year I was a vegetarian at Thanksgiving, and I was hosting my family at my house. My parents are of the opinion that it isn't a meal without the meat, and at 60 years of age I'm not going to try and change them, it would just be unpleasant and I wouldn't be successful. The sausage stuffing recipe we use is a family tradition, and one of the few things my mother still has from her father, who passed away when she was young. So, I wasn't even going to try and take away the turkey and stuffing. I made a  smaller turkey and less stuffing and then grilled some portobello mushrooms for myself very quietly, in lieu of turkey. At the table I got teased, "You don't know what you are missing!" but I just smiled and said how good my mushrooms were and that I had made extra if anyone would like some of them too. And it was all okay. Now I have decided to go vegan and I'm still debating how to pull that one off---I think I might "develop" some sort of late in life lactose intolerance to avoid the confrontation--because in a way it would be true, I am intolerant about the way animals are treated in the dairy industry!

Good luck to all of you!

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