my brother is vegan (and i have sensory issues with food)

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by unknownanonymous, May 13, 2018.

  1. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    so, today, i discovered that my brother is a vegan. he became a vegan 'cause he likes health stuff and his girlfriend is a vegan. his girlfriend is the environmental kind, the kind that believes eating meat harms the environment. according to my parents, she and my brother aren't militant vegans, though.

    i'm upset 'cause i have sensory issues that mean i can't eat most foods, and most of the foods i do eat are meat. i think my brother and his girlfriend are secretly judging me for them since they believe eating meat harms the environment and a lot of well-known vegans and vegans on the internet are jerks, often of the ableist kind.

    i tried explaining to my parents how mad i was but they basically told me that i had no reason to be mad and that i should respect their choices.

    and like, the only way i feel like i can respect their choices if i don't talk to them any more than i absolutely have to. like, i feel like if i talk to them about this or anything, i'll just end up yelling at them.

    so yeah...
     
  2. Mercury

    Mercury 17 Quicksilver Scribe Tramples The Unrepentant

    Do you have any evidence that they're secretly judging you? From what you've written here, all I see is that your brother has chosen to eat vegan now and you're upset because of something he might do.

    Unless there's more backstory here, I think it's pretty safe to say that he's not being vegan at you.
     
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  3. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    not really.

    i mean, it's upsetting to me mostly 'cause i read animal liberation by peter singer for class in university once and it really distressed me. like, after reading it, i felt like a bad person who should stop eating for the sake of animals and the planet. i didn't tell my brother how upset i was by it, though, just my parents, and he probably doesn't know.

    i think i'm also upset 'cause my brother becoming vegan happening as a result of his girlfriend being vegan and i guess i'm worried about this becoming like a vegan black hole - my brother dates a vegan, my brother becomes a vegan and then my entire family turns into vegans and i end up feeling bad for not going along with it. my parents say they don't want to become vegans but they do do some health stuff like my brother but less than he does, and yeah...

    i just can't see how my brother and his girlfriend aren't judging me when they think what i eat is killing the planet.
     
  4. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    One thing that a lot of good vegans do is make exceptions for extenuating circumstances—sensory issues are an extenuating circumstance. Allergies are another, income is a third. There’s a lot of them, and if you brother and his girlfriend aren’t militant vegan, they’re probably more likely to be upset by the “people eating tasty animals” sort of person, who rhapsodizes about how the meat packing industry is a gift unto mankind, than you, someone they know who has issues with food and therefore ends up eating a lot of meat because nothing else is working for them.

    If he doesn’t say something to you, then don’t assume he’s judging you for now. Otherwise you come off as the one judging him unfairly for his food choices, which is just as upsetting for everyone involved.
     
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  5. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    I will say, I feel you on the irrational feeling like they're being vegan at you: in my last apartment, I was living with two vegans and even though they were never at all confrontational to me, the walls were thin and I could hear all these long conversations in the living room about how people ~can produce these products ethically, but they don't, it's so terrible~ from someone who refused to eat honey because she read on a PETA website that people cut the wings off queen bees (while eating quinoa and drinking almond milk by the gallon), and it kinda got to the point where I got pissed off every time I saw a goofy vegan ingredient in the fridge even though they were nothing but polite to me.

    If it helps, a sensible vegan will recognize that one person eating or not eating burgers isn't even a drop in the bucket; even "vegan because it's more environmentally friendly" is often "it makes me feel better to do this, even though I know it's not actually going to make much of a difference."
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  6. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    Incidentally, I really doubt you have to worry about the Vegan Black Hole- it's a huge commitment to dietary change that requires people to drop an enormous variety of things from their diet, many of which they probably really like. It's way easier to spread something like that to someone you're living and sharing food with; when one person in the house has a dietary restriction, you're going to be making food to work around it anyway, and probably avoiding buying or making most things that aren't safe for that person. Introducing it to someone who'd have to totally restructure their entire eating habits is a lot harder than converting someone who's eating 90% vegan anyway because it would be rude to cook food their datefriend can't eat.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  7. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    thank you!

    i still feel bad, though, 'cause, even though i wouldn't go on about how the meat packing industry is the best thing ever, i do think i'd keep eating meat even if i didn't have sensory issues with most other food. meat tastes good and it's healthy, and i don't believe vegans are totally correct about meat's impact on animals and the environment.
    thanks!

    apparently my brother and his girlfriend never have those conversations where my parents could hear them but i'm worried that they have those conversations in private, when they are together, and that is part of what makes me feel judged. i don't like the idea of my brother and his girlfriend talking about how my food preferences are the absolute worst.
    thanks!

    that's an excellent point. :D
     
  8. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    If it's any reassurance, I can at least say that from my experience of Mildly Self-Righteous Vegan Conversations They Thought Were Private, they weren't calling anyone's food preferences the Worst. They were calling the industries and processes that produce that food on an industrial scale The Worst, not the people who eat it. It wasn't about the turkey kielbasa I had in the fridge or me for buying it, it was about "IT'S SO TERRIBLE HOW THEY KEEP [X] ANIMAL!"
     
    • Like x 1
  9. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    well, i guess that is a little better.
     
  10. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    99.99% of people are not vegan. So unless you think your brother and his girlfriend are the sort of people who would hold a grudge against 99.99% of people on the planet, they're probably not holding it against you. If that helps?
     
    • Like x 1
  11. latitans

    latitans zounds, scoob

    If it helps, my s.o is vegan for ethical reasons, and I have issues with food and scrupulosity that mean that any sort of restrictive eating practice leads down a bad road pretty quickly. We’ve lived together for like 4 years at this point, and while there have been a few times that I’ve gotten upset because I thought he was angry with me for bringing eggs home (he was not), we’re generally able to manage our different food needs really well by reminding ourselves that we are two different people with different needs and priorities, and that trying to live an ethical life is not a zero sum game. It’s impossible to be perfect or even good in every aspect of your life, you have to pick and choose what things you are able to do.

    I really like Mercury’s phrasing: I remind myself that he’s not being vegan at me, and he knows that
    I’m not eating eggs and cheese at him.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  12. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    yeah, that helps. :D
     
  13. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    Peter Singer is kind of a terrible person.


    Also, because euthanasia ends suffering, the utilitarianist basis of animal liberation is the reason why groups like PETA have no problem with the killing of adoptable animals, as being a pet is the same thing as being a slave somehow.
     
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  14. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    that's awful

    i can't believe i thought he was worth getting in a guilt spiral for

    i mean, just wow

    he's much worse than anything i eat ever could be
     
    • Agree x 4
  15. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    The animal liberation philosophy is basically very abstract and intellectualised and for the most part comes from people who spend very little time with animals and don't understand how they differ from people or that they like people, that one of the biggest problems with rescuing wild animals is that they're happy to be dependent on us and trust us and that's dangerous for wild animals who are too big to become pets.

    The animal liberation movement is basically out to sever any kind of relationship (predator/prey, pet/guardian, service animal/disabled person, working animal/handler) between humans and animals and return them all to live in "the wild" somewhere in the vanishingly small areas of untouched habitat that are still left after the wide spread of agriculture and industrialisation that makes vegetarianism and all those processed McFoods that vegans and other people (I myself adore soymilk) living in the modern world enjoy possible. They have no problem with euthanising pets and livestock they deem "too damaged". PeTA actively opposes no-kill animal shelters, trap-neuter-release of feral cats, and uses exotic pets as a wedge issue, telling everyone about tigers in apartments, which is a very very rare thing, while most of the pets they are making illegal are smaller animals like servals, caracals, rescued bobcats, ferrets, snakes, turtles, sugar gliders, wallabies, fish, and the like. Everyone understands that tigers shouldn't be in apartments and goes out and votes for laws that make it illegal to have ferrets and boa constrictors that they didn't read the full text of.

    I told you about the ad during the drought a few years ago talking about how much water you'd save if you didn't drink milk, and how it notably didn't mention how hard growing almonds has been on California's water table.

    I doubt that they are being vegan AT you just as much as everyone else does.

    If anyone does try to be vegan AT you, I'll be happy to tell you more about the animal liberation/rights movement and how fucked up it is.
     
    • Informative x 3
  16. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    thank you!

    and i'll be very disappointed in my brother and his girlfriend if they read the book and know singer's history and yet still actually agree with him.
     
  17. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    Well, they're your brother and his GF. Maybe don't bring it up over dinner, you know? Don't start a fight.
     
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  18. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    i'm not going to, don't worry.
     
    • Like x 2
  19. cleverThylacine

    cleverThylacine cuddles for the weird and the fierce

    The only real time to bring stuff like that up with people in your support system is when they are about to take action on something that will affect people other than themselves.

    Like, if there's a new anti-exotic pets bill and they are talking about how they're going to campaign for it and how they think you should vote for it, that would be a good time to ask them if they've read the whole thing and fully understand what it's trying to do, other than just keep people from keeping tigers in their apartments, which is probably ALREADY illegal. Let them know that nobody's ever been murdered by a salamander or a ferret.

    (Though honestly, really big cats kept as pets have not historically injured people other than their owners, and usually it's an accident--a cat that size can hurt you without intending to, which is one of many reasons why we shouldn't keep them in our homes.)

    If they come back saying that people who keep reptiles and birds often don't take care of them properly, you can point out that this is also true of cats and dogs, because it is, and that the response of animal control should be to support pet owners whose intentions are good but ill-informed (as opposed to malicious, or hoarding cases where the owner isn't functioning in reality) and that it would help if veterinarians weren't afraid of being forced to report owners of non-standard pets to the authorities and owners weren't afraid to take their pets to a vet.
     
    • Informative x 3
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