Melissa, Vegetarian for 8 years

My sister was very supportive, she understood my decision and sends me recipes. My father didn’t care. My mother had trouble with it. My whole family cares very much for animals but my mother has trouble with anything that breaks from the way she grew up. She panics if I come for dinner. She literally has no idea what to make. I think it also bothers her that I had to give up a lot of traditional family dishes when I made this choice.

I get a great deal of flack about it from friends. My close friends are accepting but some find every opportunity to give me crap about it. Some people are even defensive. I never push my beliefs on others but once they find out I am a vegetarian I think they fear I am judging them. They will get defensive and start attacking me for it. Dating is difficult, people connect a lot of emotion to food. And if I am not like them in dietary choices they feel uncomfortable. They also stress about where we would eat and sometimes feel awkward eating meat in front of me, even though I say it does not bother me. I was surprised by how much it affected people around me.