View Full Version : Where does veganism stand in society ?

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Jul 13th, 2004, 11:59 AM
Where does veganism stand in society ? Has it changed since you became vegan ?

Jul 13th, 2004, 12:21 PM
i think its only tolerated. people always give disgusting looks when they find out im vegan. they "deal" with it apparently. altho alot of people i know have changed their views about veganism, so as far as how has it changed since i became vegan, thats about it.

Jul 13th, 2004, 01:40 PM
I was hovering between dismissed, tolerated, and accepted. I guess its what circles of people I'm with. I like to think its moving in the right direction. In Bristol, we had our first vegan fayre in November, and this years is planned to be bigger and better. We now have our vegan guide to Bristol in little booklet and online form, thanks to Yaoh hemp products. Viva have recently moved to the city from Brighton, having made Brighton a veggie heaven, and are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year.

Jul 13th, 2004, 04:33 PM
i said dismissed because there are still many situations where i feel like i'm purposely having obstacles put in my way.

for example, i went to an open house at a university that i had been accepted to recently--they paid for my flight & lodging & everything. but when i asked them (waaay in advance) if they could provide vegan/vegetarian meal options, they just said no--it was completely out of the question. so the whole time i had to eat white bread & fruit & some flax crackers i had made for myself beforehand while others ate chicken & cheesecake....

Jul 14th, 2004, 05:37 AM
Same thing happens to me at any restaurant in the town where I live. Oh well, I prefer my own cooking anyway, though sometimes a friend or two would like to meet in a neutral place. One place offered chips and gravy! Usually they offer a crumby salad. I rarely eat out, and friends are also dismissive of vegan lifestyle.

Jul 14th, 2004, 07:13 AM
I said dismissed.

It seems to me that beyond our own little vegan communities.....no one could really care less. My friends at work often enquire about my dietry choices, but when it comes to going out for a staff dinner, absolutely no consideration is given to weather or not there is something on the menu that Roxy can eat.

I find most mainstream restaurants, while offering some vegetarian fare, do not offer any vegan fare. Even salads these days seem to have some sort of cheese or creamy dressing. When I go to a restaurant like that, I just lie and say I have a dairy allergy. Last time I did that I ended up with some pretty yummy portobello mushroom burritos with extra avocado and salsa instead of cheese and sour cream :D Even simple things such as offering soy milk, instead of cream, to go with coffee, seems a little bit hard for most dining establishments.

Also, where I live, it is very hard to find good quality, non-leather shoes, boots and belts. There are no vegetarian shoe stores and you really have to hunt when looking for a vegan fashion item/accessory that you like. Or maybe I'm just fussy. Honestly though - I'm looking for a new canvass belt, and it seems to me that 99% of belts in the stores are leather.


Jul 14th, 2004, 08:04 AM
I'd be interested to hear from the two who voted "accepted".

Jul 14th, 2004, 10:29 AM
I find that saying something like: "I try to live without causing suffering" works better than saying: "I'm vegan" because no-one can argue with me. In fact people often get apologetic and say something like: "I don't eat much meat myself!"
One of London's first vegetarian restaurants was called 'Cranks' probably in a light hearted, self deprecating way. Can anyone tell me if it's still there? It was near Carnaby St.

Jul 14th, 2004, 10:54 AM
I think it has improved a bit since I went vegan (c.1994); more mainstream restaurants etc here in the UK seem to be familiar with the word at least. Not sure this is indicative of any enlightenment on the part of society, but there are more people on "special diets" such as wheat-free etc and I suspect "vegan" slots in with those as far as the food industry is concerned :rolleyes: I said "tolerated" though; I'd say vegetarianism is "accepted", i.e. widely understood and catered for.

'Fraid Cranks has packed up, Geoff, except for one remaining branch in Devon I think. The original one near Carnaby St turned into quite a pleasant (and fairly veggie-friendly) Indian restaurant.

Jul 14th, 2004, 01:25 PM
I'm somewhere between the not accepted and an eventual acceptance. I think long term wise as society becomes more and more aware of health concerns, etc. it will become more accepted/mainstream. Look at how vegetarianism has come. But I think it will take a lot of time. I was lucky with my last job in that people were very open and considerate... if a little ah every now and then about what I actually ate... and then I get the nutrition thing in a concerned kind of way from a lot ... family, etc. But they like me as a person and my diet is just that. Even if they didn't ... I don't really care.... it's my choice... my life... etc. My diet is really my business.... w/out further inquiries from nosy strangers I usually just say I'm veg and the reaction is well blah but funny.

This guy that despite my unwelcome signals felt like engaging in a conversation w me on the bus... the bus is not a pickup stop ... uh really (rolls eyes).... and I was being more tolerant than my usual self (even though hardly social/friendly)... so to being veg he started going on about how he couldn't give up his fish and how much he loved it... he asked me if I could eat fish or something like that (this is to being veg) and I told him vegtrns don't eat fish.... but yeh.... bright one there. Very typical. *shakes head*.

Jul 14th, 2004, 09:20 PM
i live in Brighton where vegetarianism is really almost mainstream, but pretty much everywhere else i've been it's still seen as weird, especially veganism. i don't know what it was like in the past, as i only went vegan about 10 months ago, but i went veggie 12 years ago and i've seen it gradually get much better.

so i voted 'dismissed' because i think being vegan is at the moment, but it's definitely heading towards tolerance and hopefully eventually acceptance.

Jul 14th, 2004, 09:31 PM
I said "dismissed". People act like vegetarianism is some new phenomenon or fad that is gaining popularity. They don't realize that there have always been plenty of vegetarians (excluding most of the population who were mostly vegetarian by poverty). From the ancient Greeks, through the renaissance, to today it has always been dismissed and probably always will be.

Today, with factory-farming, using any animal products can't be justified, hence veganism.

Jul 15th, 2004, 03:48 AM
i voted tolerated. It seems to me most people don't know what the term vegan means. It is hard for some people to understand vegetarian and vegan is even harder for them. It is interesting how some people seem to think that chicken, and fish are vegetables... trying to explain to those people that you don't eat meat, that includes fish and poultry and that you dont use animal products either, it can get annoying at times. I always hear things like "milk/eggs doesnt kill the animal..." "bees are not animals" "you cant have CHOCOLATE?" etc... Right now i am on vacation, Lousiana and Texas. Big meat eatters here... so its weird. people dont understand that vegans and most vegetarians dont use leather. DUH ITS A COW! But you learn to handle it. Sometimes I just wish there were more vegan options in restraunts and that more people knew what vegan means.:(

Jul 15th, 2004, 07:07 AM
I voted tolerated too... Although my close friends are cool, some people are just inconsiderate...like how my BFs mum puts ghee in her rice...does she HAVE to do that??? But I take the attitude that I have to make myself fit in...so I will bring vegan food to functions or dinners, and bring a fruit platter to share for dessert so I won't be left out. Restaurants generally are not a problem. Spaghetti with tomato sauce, baked potatoes with hummus or beans or salsa, cheeseless pizza, vegetarian sushi or miso soup, vegie stir-fries, steamed rice, fresh juices and fresh fruit, sandwiches, tacos, burritos etc...

I think it is our job as vegans to not make a fuss and show how versatile this lifestyle can be...who cares if people think we are odd for eating pizza with no cheese, or potatoes with no sour cream or butter.

All I can say is f*** all the rude people and let them clog their arteries!!!

Jul 15th, 2004, 07:19 AM
Now that's not nice, Banana!

Jul 15th, 2004, 07:59 AM
Most people accept veganism when they learn about it. It's much more widespread than ever - but mainstream it's not.

Aug 16th, 2004, 09:26 PM
I voted tolerated, but opinions about vegans and vegetarians vary from person to person, so I don't really think there is a specific answer. Some people are really supportive, but others may tell you they hate you because of it. I think it also matters where you live and the amount of diversity in your area. I think that it will become accepted some day though, once more people see how much they are harming themselves and animals. I think that people who do have something against vegans or vegetarians are only undereducated about it and the best we can do is ignore them or educate them.

Aug 18th, 2004, 12:47 AM
I'd be interested to hear from the two who voted "accepted".

three, now. I voted accepted, because people here have stopped fussing (well, most of them) and I'm getting a lot of support from my friends and family. I feel very lucky 'bout that.

Sep 4th, 2004, 12:21 PM
I think in some circles Veganism is tolerated, rarely encouraged/mainstream, nearly always dismissed. About 12 years ago, I went into a Vegetarian cafe with my brother. I asked the young waiter whether there were any cakes available that were suitable for Vegans. His reply - "Vegans - oh, those fucked-up people who don't eat dairy products?". I kid you not. I was so stunned, I did not beleive my ears and would have thought that I'd imagined it had my brother not been there as a witness!!

Sep 7th, 2004, 02:27 AM
I agree with the people who said it depends where you are. Among my family, and most "old-school" adults (my Atkins-worshipping stepmom, my brainwashed dad, etc), it's utterly baffling and, as happened this entire past holiday weekend, I get bombarded with more than my fair share of not-so-friendly teasing. Not many people want to take kids seriously, so my arguments (when I'm able to offer them at all) are usually dismissed. Vegetarianism is perhaps one thing with these people, but it's heresy to contemplate a life without eggs and especially the all-wonderful dairy. I don't make a big thing of it--I check labels discreetly, I request "no cheese" just as casually as someone else might request "no sauce" at a restaurant, etc--and I don't get preachy (and I especially keep my mouth shut about Fatkins around the brainless acolytes) so I don't know why they feel the need to be so defensive about their own eating habits.

Then there are those who don't know much, but mean well: "So can you still eat fish? I only used one egg to make the cake, does that hurt? Will it offend you if I order a steak?"

There are also those who take it in stride--most of the kids I've met since beginning college either know what 'vegan' means or accept my basic explanation without question. That's about the extent of "supportive", though, in my experience. This is where my mom falls in. I think she thinks it's a phase, but she always listens to my explanations and she doesn't mind setting aside some homemade chili for me before she adds meat to the rest.

Oct 8th, 2004, 09:12 PM
I think that's a difficult question to answer. It would all depend on your situation, and the people you hang out with. I voted "tolerated", because my friends and family tolerate my being vegan, but for those who are out in the world more than I am, I would imagine, they might vote "dismissed."

Oct 9th, 2004, 02:30 PM
I went to my friends birthday party and they had burgers there, and you know what? they bought a pack of vegan friendly burgers for me, so I would not get left out. Also, I was staying at another frinds pllace for dinner, and my friends dad drove us to the store and asked me what I would like to have. I replied:"just some pasta with sauce." He told me to hunt down the ingredients I would need, and I did that. Later, when we got back to my friends house, me and my friend cut up the veggies, and sizzled them in a frying pot and his father did the rest. after I got some on my plate, he added some minced beef to the rest, so everyone (except the cows) were happy.
Also, most people only remark "oh your'e a vegan? that's interesting" and ask me a few questions when I tell them about my lifestyle, and don't really talk more about it. That's the reason I think it's accepted! :D :D :D

Nov 25th, 2004, 02:39 PM
my parents just think that I'm fusy and very strange, for being vegan and my friends seem to forget I'm vegan on a regular basis and offer me cakes and stuff

Dec 19th, 2004, 09:49 AM
Dismissed, definitely, by Society at Large. :(

Dec 23rd, 2004, 03:09 AM
I think it's just tolerated, generally. Most people have at least a rough idea of what it is, but I think it's still associated with hippy freaks. Personally, I like being a hippy freak :D