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Friend equates raising daughter vegetarian as child abuse... WWYD?

(21 Posts)
ThatGhastlyWoman Wed 15-Jul-15 13:49:57

In brief: my friend, who hails from Canada, has a bit of an obsession with my diet, and keeps trying to persuade me that it is going to lead to chronic health issues. (Background: she has Metabolic Syndrome, and has herself a lot to deal with healthwise.)

She is a good and supportive friend, but has a hard time considering there may be alternative views to her own. She herself has to live on quite a restricted diet because of her aforementioned health problems- this is closest to a 'Paleo' diet, if you know what that is. She constantly tells me I should not be vegetarian because of my blood group (O) and that I am going to suffer horribly when I hit menopause. I have been vegetarian for more than 30 years, and while I would concede that my diet is not always perfect, and I do lack energy on occasion, overall I am pretty healthy. In fact, I have just discovered I am expecting again- not bad for an old biddy of 42!

She has just sent me yet another article from some 'expert' who believes the vegetarian diet is incomplete. (actually, not an article, I see, but speechifying by a 'recovering vegan').

Honestly, I don't want to dismiss her views out of hand, and I do try to be polite, but these sorts of rants she sends don't strike me as balanced or scientific.

So... what would you do? TIA...

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 15-Jul-15 13:50:59

Smile. Nod. Ignore

MonstrousRatbag Wed 15-Jul-15 13:53:45

I suspect that possibly you are being a bit too polite.

You've been friends for a good while, right? Normally, that would means she accepts and likes you as you are, even if you believe in things she doesn't and vice versa. And acceptance ought to mean that she does not hector you or constantly try to persuade you to abandon your principles.

So I say do dismiss her views out of hand. Or at least tell her it's a non-topic you won't discuss with her any more, and anything she sends along these lines won't be read or viewed.

In the meantime, ask yourself why you are prepared to continue being a friend tosomeone who has acused you of abusing your child.

FaFoutis Wed 15-Jul-15 13:59:08

I would not be friends with her, she sounds like an ignorant pain in the arse.

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 15-Jul-15 14:03:49

I would have a frank discussion,and not hold back.

Schrodingersmum Wed 15-Jul-15 14:04:30

As I often say to my two vegetarian coeliac children, We dont try and convert others to our way of living as everyone has a right to make their own choices, equally we deserve the same respect for our choices from others

Perhaps your friend needs reminding that friendship is about mutual respect?

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 15-Jul-15 14:13:26

Watching some of that -its fascinating.
Very interesting indeed.
I've come across her before and she is definitely someone who challenges things we all take as red.

ThatGhastlyWoman Wed 15-Jul-15 16:37:03

Yeah, I just watched a bit of it (haven't got half an hour spare) - but there is also plenty of 'evidence' from proponents of a vegan diet that that is the most healthy (not to say ethical) diet you can follow.

Reading through some of the comments, it seems she was never actually a vegan anyway, but used to eat red meat once a week- plus God knows what else. And she was probably a bore about her diet then, too.

I just don't buy that an animal-based diet is a good solution for the world's population as it exists now; I get that we are omnivorous, and we have survived partly for that reason. I get that existing hunter-gatherer societies are probably as healthy as it gets; however, I personally know no meat eaters who have ever hunted or slaughtered their own food (other than some members of my family who are farmers).

Aaanyway. Thanks, everyone; my friend is a flawed human being, and I do value her friendship for the most part. However, I think I need to be a little blunter with her from now on...

ThatGhastlyWoman Wed 15-Jul-15 16:48:21

Oh, and if anyone has any handy videos or articles along the lines of 'busting the anti-vegetarian myth' that would be just super wink

DoreenLethal Wed 15-Jul-15 16:54:56

Why? Just tell her it isn't her business and eat what you want.

Battleshiphips Wed 15-Jul-15 17:02:09

I eat a paleo diet but would never dream of telling others they should eat it too. If someone asks about it I'll tell them my experience of it (losing weight and getting my sugar levels to that of a normal person) but that's about it. Someone keeps telling me to try slimming world and it really winds me up. It's best just to ignore and say I'm happy with my diet.

HermioneWeasley Wed 15-Jul-15 17:06:56

How tedious. Unless she's a very good friend who brings a lot to your life, I'd distance myself

OTheHugeManatee Wed 15-Jul-15 17:11:08

OP, don't even go there. Unless you want to get stuck in a competitive ethical/healthy eating death-match, like watching Owen Jones duke it out with Polly Toynbee over who is the smuggest lefty, I would just smile, nod and ignore smile

ThatGhastlyWoman Wed 15-Jul-15 17:24:59

OTheHugeManatee- the perfect answer. This is why I don't bother mentioning my choices to most people; the conversations that result make me want to cry with boredom. sad

OTheHugeManatee Wed 15-Jul-15 17:36:25

Some people seem to treat their diet as a kind of hobby, with the focus less on the actual food than on a constant my-diet-is-considerably-more-healthy-than-yours competition. She's probably just inviting you to a sparring match, thinking you're as much of a food bore as she is and actually want to respond with some equally annoying video of an recent convert to vegetarianism blathering about greenhouse gases and arable land.

Perhaps you can just say to her 'I get that you're really into healthy eating, but my diet suits me and I have no health issues so while I appreciate your good intentions in this regular commenting I also find it a bit intrusive. Can we talk about something else please?'.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 15-Jul-15 17:37:57

Can I also say that the woman in that video has an incredibly annoying face. I'd be struggling not to send a rude riposte, just for her having inflicted such an annoying face on you.

ThatGhastlyWoman Wed 15-Jul-15 18:09:48

It's a real 'bunched-up-panties' face, isn't it? Seriously would not want to have to sit next to her on a long flight. I can just imagine the lengthy self-righteous lecturing/pained expression combo contributing to some serious air rage incident.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 15-Jul-15 18:31:44

Perhaps you should dodge the business of healthy eating competition altogether, and just ask your friend not to send you 'improving' videos made by people with annoying faces.

MonstrousRatbag Wed 15-Jul-15 18:42:57

Or, do something surreal. Every time your friend sends you something like this, say nothing. Just respond with a Bob Monkhouse video. Never refer to it either. If she asks, change the subject smoothly. Be mysterious and annoying.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 15-Jul-15 20:46:09

I like Ratbag's idea. Or send her this video.

heyday Thu 23-Jul-15 02:12:31

I was talking to a friend at work last week who was saying that she is very anaemic and low in vitamin B12. I pointed out that this may well be due to her being a strict vegetarian. Her reply was that she would rather die than eat meat, I believe that this stems from her religion. Whilst I think her view point may well be damaging her significantly, I would never dream of telling her what to eat. She is an adult and has to make her own choices; she is well aware of the pros and cons of her diet.
Hopefully, your friend means well but she doesn't have the right to try and railroad you into eating in a certain way. On the otherhand, she may be trying to 'protect' you from possible health difficulties as she herself is obviously facing some health challenges.
Perhaps the best way to proceed would be to say thank you for all her dietary advice and that you might review your diet to see if it is sufficient in certain areas but from now on you would appreciate it if she would stop going on at you about your diet as you have made your choices and will live with any consequences that come from that choice; both positive and negative ones.

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