Relations with Family, Friends,
When people first stop eating meat, few realize the full implications of their decision. Most expect that they will have to learn new recipes and acquire tastes for new foods. And most realistically anticipate problems in shopping, eating in restaurants, and traveling. But most fail to appreciate the profound impact becoming vegetarian will have on their relationships with family, friends, and others. Sometimes these changes are welcome and sometimes they are regretted. But regardless of how these changes are felt, almost all vegetarians find that their social worlds are never again quite the same.
Living as a vegetarian has many implications for one's relations with parents, siblings, and other relatives. Supportive family members, who good-naturedly put up with occasional inconvenience around mealtime, are appreciated by vegetarians. On the other hand, unsupportive family members can make life miserable for both new and long-term vegetarians. The responses of family members typically go through several stages, however, so it is necessary to distinguish initial reactions from later ones.