dear Amy: I have a friend who recently decided to become a vegetarian/vegan.
She now shares posts via email and Facebook calling people who eat meat “depraved”, “confused” and “unethical”. There was even an article accusing meat eaters of being “speciesists”.
I don’t care about her diet, but how do I deal with the vicious language she uses towards people like me who eat meat?
Every time I try to talk to her about it, she thinks I don’t agree with vegetarianism, which I don’t. I don’t want to lose a good friend, but things are going downhill fast.
Insulted: It would be quite easy for you to “block” or “hide” these messages.
If you don’t want to do that, I suggest you change your own attitude and see these rants for what they are: vegetarian comedy.
If you insist (to yourself) that these polemics are hilarious, you might be able to enjoy it – with a nice juicy steak and a glass of merlot. (April 2012)
dear Amy: I was offended by your response to “Offended Omnivore”. Sure, her rantings were abhorrent, but your suggestion that she treat these statements as “vegetarian comedy” was equally abhorrent.
And your suggestion that she enjoys it with a “juicy steak” was offensive.
Insulted: I was reacting to the reality that even a vegetarian can be a jerk. (May 2012)
dear Amy: I don’t know if I agree with your advice to “Offened” to treat her friend’s abrasive vegetarian comments as a comedy.
I suggest she reverse the words and ask her friend how she would feel if her friends pushed pro-carnivore details at her. I’ve been a vegetarian since June 1973. I don’t tell other people how to eat because I don’t want them to tell me how to eat.
Mrs Jay: This solution is easy to swallow. Thank you. (May 2012)
dear Amy: My son recently got engaged to a girl whose parents are vegan (although she isn’t).
They invited my husband and I to dinner and served a vegan meal, which we graciously ate and enjoyed. We always have Thanksgiving dinner at our house and I invited them to join us. I offered to cook them an all-vegan meal, alongside our more traditional Thanksgiving feast.
Their response was that they could not eat in a house where dead animal products are served at the table.
In other words, if there’s turkey on the table, they can’t attend. Amy, my family enjoys the traditional Thanksgiving meal every year. I don’t think it’s fair to dictate what we should serve. My son said I should just make a vegan meal for everyone to keep the peace.
My family won’t be attending Thanksgiving dinner under these circumstances, and I don’t blame them. How should I handle this?
meat lovers: Despite what your son says, you shouldn’t assume “peace” is at stake. If these people are consistent, it means they can’t enjoy a meal or snack in many homes , restaurants or cafes.
It’s their choice, and after trying to reasonably accommodate them, you should respond with acceptance.
Don’t put your son or his fiancé in the middle of it all. Tell her parents that you hope they can join you on Thanksgiving for a vegan dessert. If they decline the invitation, say you’d like to host them another time.
Be friendly and maintain a cheerful attitude of understanding, but don’t let them control you. (October 2012)
dear Amy: “Meat Lovers” wrote to you, worried about their future in-laws, who are vegans who refused to attend a Thanksgiving feast if there was meat served with the meal.
I suggest they ask these in-laws, “Do you wear leather shoes?” If so, then they use animal products.
Tiredness: The vegans I know don’t wear leather.
Be that as it may, it is not up to these “meat lovers” to question the way of life of their in-laws. All they need to do is be clear on what they want and can serve for their party. The rest depends on the guests. (November 2012)
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