Sunday, March 23, 2008

Behind Omni Lines and an Introduction

I read a request recently on a blog (when I remember/find which one, I'll link it - if it's yours please let me know) for tips for new vegans living with omni's. Since I live with one, and the rest of my family is omni too, I thought I'd share my experiences.

I do get a fair amount of grief from my boyfriend B as well as my parents, but it is starting to taper off. A bit of background. I went totally vegan about a year ago and was feeling great but then I broke out in hives for the first time in my life. I had them on my arms and legs for about 3 months and nothing much was helping. My mom speculated that I was allergic to soy, and that allergy was coming forward since I was consuming more of it. I panicked a bit (how was I supposed to not eat soy or meat?) and so I went back to eating meat for a while, albeit much less than before. I also had allergy testing done. After a couple of months of various tests I learned that I have no food allergies (yay!) but I am allergic to air. Or rather almost everything in the air. Super. Background complete.

So I've been vegetarian again for about 3 months now (we'll just say January 1, 2008). I do pretty much all the cooking at home, so I just don't prepare meat and most of what I make is totally vegan. If B wants it he can fix it (but he doesn't). He's not terribly picky thankfully - that helps. When I eat at my parents, or with other family or friends, I typically just take my own entree item (like tofu or tempeh) and they've been mostly accommodating about making the sides veggie so we can all enjoy them.

I think the one best thing those living in a mixed household, or who eat often with a mixed crowd, can do is to say that you appreciate that eating meat is their choice, and you would appreciate if they would respect your decision to not consume animal products. And of course educate yourself, so when questions are asked you can respond thoughtfully, thoroughly, and respectfully. I think it helps to remember that omni's feel threatened by vegans because we force them to look at and justify their own actions. A calm response will more often result in a calm discussion, instead of an angry shouting match (no promises though).

Here a few resources to get you started:

PCRM - Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Vegan Food Guide
Here's a web page with loads of other resource links

And since I'll certainly mention them, here are our kitties: Kunin, Jewel, and Kalyra (can anyone guess the theme...?)

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