To lose potential friends over this issue?

(111 Posts)
kogasa Thu 19-May-16 06:37:45

First AIBU post, so bear with me.

I'm a very, very logical person, I like to think, but I'm struggling to reconcile my thoughts here.

I recently made a point to a lot of the people I know that I thought it was absolutely barmy to not vaccinate yourself, or your children. To me, it feels like a social responsibility - if you don't vaccinate, people with cancer, AIDS, younger kids who haven't been immunised, and a whole multitude of people are put at risk. Most people nodded in appreciation - this was provoked by a really sad article I read about some parents not vaccinating their children, and then trying to treat them with 'natural medicine' when the illnesses hit. The kid died, unsurprisingly.

However, in bringing this up, I've found out that one of my closest friends seems to believe the guff about the vaccines 'causing autism' (Nevermind that the MD who alleged this link was struck off the medical register for manipulating research for his own financial ends), or that they have 'too much aluminium that I don't want in my kid's body.' (regardless of the fact that, there's more aluminium in cheese and gaviscon than there ever is in vaccines, paired with a basic misunderstanding of chemistry and how the body excretes things.)

For a bit of background, this friend decided radically, about two years ago to become fully vegan. Fully support her there, great choice for the environment in some ways, but I won't get into that now. What came with it were some bizarre rituals where she'd only eat fruit until 4PM, but fair enough, it's not my life, and some weird beliefs involving how GMOs are obviously full of crap even though they save countless farmers in developing countries from poor yields, or hunger. And even then, fair enough. She's western and privileged, and she has the choice to buy her food, luckily for her, she is not starving.

I can tell she's been trying to pussyfoot around the issue with me, and since we talked, she's been contacting me, telling me to read countless books that, upon further inspection seem to be made by people just wanting to sell 'all natural remedies' to me, or pseudo-research paperbacks. I can tell she is trying really, really hard to make an effort to try be sensitive about this, but also pushing the idea really hard, and I get the idea that she thinks less of me, and I think less of her.
We are high school best friends and it makes me really sad that her transformation led to this. I have no issues with her diet or lifestyle, but when she starts to impact other people, I just can't help but feel disappointed and sad.

But, and here's my AIBU,
AIBU to not just 'accept a different viewpoint', and lose a potential friend over this?
I'm not going to insult her , or end the friendship, but I can't compromise my views on an issue like this. Should I?

kogasa Thu 19-May-16 06:41:02

Edit: Just realised the title doesn't make sense, blame morning tiredness. Should be 'To potentially lose friends over this issue'.

AliensInUnderpants12 Thu 19-May-16 06:43:41

I would be blunt with her and say "let's not talk about xx" every time she mentions a subject that you don't want to get into a discussion on with her.

DM and her friend agree not to discuss politics 😁

emmalimesmom Thu 19-May-16 06:48:33

i think you should accept her views and opinions and wind your neck in you sound very controling
when i had my dcs vacinated i asked the doctor about autism. he said that if your baby as autism the signs start at the same time the baby as their first jab, so no body really knows for sure 100% if it does or doesnt
i had mine vacinated but that was my choice

DoreenLethal Thu 19-May-16 06:56:30

and some weird beliefs involving how GMOs are obviously full of crap even though they save countless farmers in developing countries from poor yields,

If you believe this then you are misinformed about GMOs. The ONLY reason for GMOs is to stop farmers from being able to save their own seeds and they in turn become wholly dependent on Monsanto/Bayer for the seeds. It may be dressed up as 'helping yields' but that is complete bollocks. It is about control of the food supply and as such, the seed supply.

Iggi999 Thu 19-May-16 06:58:39

I think they do know for sure that it doesn't cause autism, actually.
Look you can't change your mind but her views weren't foisted on you untill you did the sane to her.
If you like her in other ways try to move on. I assume she has t started a thread asking if sibu to have a friend who is happy to get enjoyment from the suffering of animals etc.

Birdsgottafly Thu 19-May-16 07:05:17

You don't think that your shopping and eating choices don't 'impact on other people'?

Serious question, people around the world can't be exploited and die as a result of malnutrition/disappearing arable land etc without large numbers of people in the Developed World making it happen?

I'd personally agree to disagree, as I have to over different political veiws with my DD and her DP.

JonSnowsBeardClippings Thu 19-May-16 07:07:42

I wouldn't bring up vaccinating with friends unless I was asked for my opinion. If you want to stay friends you will have to make it an off limits subject.

As an aside - emma we do know that vaccines don't cause autism. We know it as much as we know potty training doesn't cause autism, or starting nursery, or any of the other things that children do between 1-3 years old. Just because they happen around the same time doesn't mean there is a causal link. There isn't.

Birdsgottafly Thu 19-May-16 07:08:40

Just to point out OP, HIV and AIDS are different, there's very few people out and about with AIDS.

There are lots of reasons for being Immune Suppressed, though.

I'm for Vactinations and I have Lupus, so I'm on your side, as such, about Vactinations.

Just try to be a little less smug and judgemental.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-May-16 07:09:35

MMR jab definitely doesn't cause autism. The doctor was pointing out that some people whose kids have autism might notice it at the point of the MMR jab. They merely notice an existing condition but that does not mean the jab caused the autism.

sooperdooper Thu 19-May-16 07:10:56

I'd just tell her you don't want to kerp discussing It and you'll have to agree to disagree. It's utterly boring to keep going over the same topic again and again anyway - your views on this particular thing can be different but it doesn't have to end your friendship if she can just drop the constant lecturing

MrAloysiusFlyte Thu 19-May-16 07:14:07

The vaccination disagreement is one issue and here I think you just need to disagree if you want to be friends.

However, why are you judging here for being vegan or when she eats fruit? It's none of your business. As for GMOs I think you are misinformed if you think they are developed to save poor farmers from hunger hmm

You seem to have painted her as some extreme crackpot. Perhaps if you disagree with so many of her choices and views you shouldn't be friends after all.

emmalimesmom Thu 19-May-16 07:20:18

ghoulwithadragontatoo put it alot better than i did, but this was 16 years ago so things have moved on massively since i had my dcs vacinated.
i still think nobody can tell someone else to vacinate their child

DoesMyMarthaCliffLookBigInThis Thu 19-May-16 07:25:07

I would lose a lot of respect for someone if they chose not to vaccinate off the back of the scaremongering quackery that is out there. It is one thing to respect someone's parenting choices, but not vaccinating compromises the herd immunity and puts other immunocompromised adults and children at risk. So it's not just their own children who suffer for their choices.

Someone trying to shove that bullshit down my throat would be a deal breaker.

Hariasa Thu 19-May-16 07:31:23

emma In Relation to 'telling someone else to vaccinate, interestingly I'm moving to the US later this year, the school district will not let me register my children unless I can prove that they have been vaccinated. Happily they have been.

OP I have lots of friends with opinions diametrically opposed to my own on a variety of subjects. It is usually perfectly possible to agree to dusagree.

kogasa Thu 19-May-16 07:31:28

Hi - thanks for the responses so far.
I think it's something we'll just have to agree not to bring up.
I'd like to point out that I didn't single her out and bring it up - we discussed it in a group because some of us found the article shocking. After this, she immediately started contacting me to try to change my views.

As for me 'judging her lifestyle'? Honestly, I've no problem with it. I posted that for context, because these changes in views about vaccines and GMOs came with this change, so I think it's somewhat relevant in my mind, because whilst I have no issue with what she eats or how she does it, the two occurred together and it seemed like she was being sucked in by something. I don't think she's a crackpot, just not sure how I feel about it!

Regardless! I'm not here to argue about GMOs or vaccines, I'm here to seek advice about a friendship. And yes, I think GMOs help yields. You can modify crops to help them resist droughts, or pests, or viruses, resulting in more food. But like I said, this isn't a debate.

It's obviously not something I would hound someone about though - it's something I won't compromise on, personally, but I do not hound and constantly criticise people for it. The point is that now she keeps approaching me and I don't know how to deal with it because I don't want to lie about my views to placate her.

If anyone could also help me to be less 'judgy', I'd appreciate it, so sorry if I come off as arrogant, I think it might just my my writing style. Thanks for the responses though. smile

thatorchidmoment Thu 19-May-16 07:32:20

My parents, bless them, are anti-vaccination and deeply suspicious about conventional medicine and things such as GM crops. When I came away to university, I had to catch up on immunisations that I should have had as a child. Having had medical training myself, I completely disagree with what they think on these topics, and they know this. We have discussed it a couple of times, and they refuse to accept the evidence or lack thereof for their point of view. They in fact think that I'm completely wrong and part of the medical establishment conspiracy on such things. Drives me bonkers!
However, we love each other, and get along. We can happily coexist and it's called tolerance. I cannot see why these things should mean you have to lose a friendship. Why can't you accept that others are less logical than you, or that some people just think different things?
In my parents' case, they are genuinely starting from a basis that the medical and scientific establishment are conspiring to sell vaccines, and suppress research into adverse effects, etc. Doesn't help that they believe aloe Vera cures pretty much everything, and they would rather hand over money to quacks than get a prescription for antibiotics, blood pressure tablets, or painkillers!
I think you have to let this go and peacefully coexist. If I was your friend and you wouldn't leave the subject alone, I would be quite upset and might be reluctant to keep the friendship going, tbh.

kogasa Thu 19-May-16 07:32:49

Edit: I just meant diseases there, not viruses, if anyone wants to be a pedant.

28DegreesIsTooHot Thu 19-May-16 07:37:16

Some children do react to vaccines.
My ds had quite a few allergies. I had no help with his allergies as gps seem to know nothing about it so I had to learn about it myself.
I had to figure out what he was allergic to them fight to get him tested.
One of the theories I read about why allergies are so common (50% of children these days have a proper allergy) is linked to the vaccination schedule and the fact that not all babies are born with a fully developed immune system. It seemed to make sense to me although there's no proof, so I delayed the vaccinations when I had dd.
Most people are just trying to do their best for their child.

Thefitfatty Thu 19-May-16 07:38:42

If it was simply a matter of a difference of opinion on things, then YABU. HOWEVER, you then say that she's trying foist books and things on you. I assume she's doing this after you made your opinion on the subjects clear, and SHE doesn't want to drop it. YANBU to potentially end the friendship over that. It's one thing to have a difference of opinion, it's another to have someone trying to force their views on you. (Put it this way, if she was constantly trying to get you to read Jehovah's Witness stuff, would you just nod and smile, or tell her you really aren't interested knowing she wouldn't continue the friendship?)

scrappydappydoo Thu 19-May-16 07:39:03

I think it's about what your tolerance level is. I had a friend who was very forthcoming and pushy with her views about pregnancy, breastfeeding, child rearing all of which I tolerated however when she told me I had 'poisoned' my pfb by giving her vaccinations drew the line and have slowly been backed out of her life. You just have to figure out where your line is.

zzzzz Thu 19-May-16 07:39:23

How do you go UN-radically vegan confused and why do you care what she eats and when confused

I think she is extremely silly to not vaccinate her children but I can't imagine losing her friendship over it.

thatorchidmoment Thu 19-May-16 07:40:53

X posted with you, OP. I didn't realise it was your friend bringing the topic up more. Slightly more difficult as she probably feels quite evangelistic about her 'purer' life. I think you need to listen politely and not get sucked into a debate repeatedly. There are benefits to veganism, so maybe focus on discussing those? Or ask her for good recipes as you have decided to reduce your meat consumption?

I think trying to accept that she may be coming from a different starting point to you is one way of understanding it. There is a lot of pseudoscience out there, with plenty of half-truths, so it sounds plausible. There is also a fair amount of woo mixed up in it, which makes it so difficult to argue with if you have a scientific grounding or background!
HTH. smile

BeauGlacons Thu 19-May-16 07:41:07

All the arguments aside, you have drifted. She will always be an important early friend but I suspect other or newer friends will fill the space she once filled. I think it's normal. These hierarchies alter as we progress through life.

My best friend from high school is still important to me but I don't see her regularly.

WaitroseCoffeeCostaCup Thu 19-May-16 07:45:41

I think you sounds quite pompous actuallyconfused
Of course you don't need to agree with your friend about everything in the world. But if you speak how you come across on here in real life on here I think the decision will be taken out of your hands. I wouldn't like to be friends with you I don't think.

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