This is a spin off from another topic, but one deserving it's own podium, I do believe.
I once saw a T-shirt that says "Nobody likes a vegetarian."
Frankly, I find it hard not to agree.
Some vegans think that vegetarians are too 'soft' about environmental issues. The ones I've talked to said that they could at least forgive a meat eater, because the meat eaters are fundamentally unaware of their transgressions, but vegetarians ought to know better. They have the knowledge to make informed decisions, but still choose a life of self indulgence over a life of compassion.
Meat eaters aren't any more kind. I'm a meat eater (though I frequent this group because I am always trying to cut back on meat consumption. I like the ideas and recipes that can be found here.) and I often feel like the vegans are forgivable for their trespasses because they are good hearted but misguided.Vegetarians, on the other hand come off as holier-than-thou but hypocritical.
So if you are a vegetarian, chances are that the vegans don't like you, and the meat eaters don't like you.
Fuck, man. Nobody likes you!
Actually, that's not exactly true.
Other vegetarians like you. There are even a few meat eaters that admire what you do, even if they don't/can't/won't.
I know that for the most part, I admire anyone that's willing to put a little work into making the world a better place.
I also know that I get annoyed with the same old arguments that I feel I have justified time and time again when I talk to a vegetarian about my personal diet.
Vegetarian backlash is real. It harms the environmental cause, and deep down, I think the vast majority of us feel some sort of connection to the planet.
So what do we do? How do we keep open dialog when it's a subject that many people feel passionately about?
How do you begin dialog with people of different eating habits?
How do you respond when your own are criticized?