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Tired of being judged

FruginiFrugini Raw Newbie

I’m a college student currently living in a student community-type setting. I live with 25 other people and share lunch and dinner. Lately I’ve been feeling really awkward because, no offense to people whose turn it is to cook, I don’t want to eat their cooked food. Thankfully the house only prepares vegan meals, although I am one of the few vegans. When I was just vegan sometimes it was already awkward, because the non-vegans tended to have different tastes and desires toward food. When I wanted plain steamed vegetables, they wanted oily heavily spiced veggies that I usually didn’t care to eat. Now that I have been eating almost entirely raw, I usually don’t want ANY of their food. I feel a lot of internal pressure to eat their food to fit in with the community and not offend the cooks. I don’t like the feeling I have when we all sit down together and I choose not to eat anything or prepare my own dish. I also don’t like the feeling I have when I choose to eat a little of what they cooked just to fit in because I know that it is not what my body wants. Lately I’ve just been avoiding mealtime and sneaking into the kitchen when there aren’t many people around. The situation is even harder because people in my house are very critical of anything they perceive as “bourgeois” (expensive) or food that comes from far away, like bananas. I just want to be able to eat what I want to eat without feeling judged. I know that the feeling is probably exaggerated in my head, but it still doesn’t feel good.

Comments

  • Lindsaylou, it’s hard to be the odd one out, especially when you care about their feelings. When you don’t eat their food, it may feel like an insult to them, and if you do, it’s an insult to you. If you don’t eat with them, you miss out on a big part of community living, and it certainly won’t help your relationships with them. If you were allergic to cooked food, you wouldn’t have to feel bad. Maybe just eating before they all do, but still joining them, with a big smile and good conversation, will help. Try not to think of it as judgment from either side. It’s more about unspoken messages. If you refuse their food and company, they hear, “She thinks she’s too good for us.” But, if you show them with all of your body language that you’re NOT rejecting them, you just have a different diet, it might go over better.

    Good luck!

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    Wow, those are some creepy housemates. Not because they’re hurt you don’t eat their food, but because they look down on someone because of their diet. God forbid your house should have a student from India or Africa move in. Frankly, I’d find different housemates. That is awful that you have to sneak your meals. I never saw behavior like that in college, but I am sorry you are experiencing it. College time should be a good time for any student.

  • FruginiFrugini Raw Newbie

    Thanks, TomsMom and Wailingwoman. I think the hardest part about eating raw is not just that I don’t eat what is prepared, because I usually do go to meals and sit and knit while people are eating so I am still present. The hardest part is the judgment when I am caught in the kitchen with say, an avocado. People will say things like “wow, I wish I could afford that” or “those come from pretty far away don’t they?” or “Is that organic” or other things that express to me they think I am caught in the capitalist scheme or care more about myself than the environment. Bananas or nuts are the biggest issue. I’ve had people just want to “have a little bit” and then help themselves to most of my meal, or just give me hell about the banana the whole time I am in the kitchen, how it uses fossil fuels to get here and the workers are mistreated and so on. I don’t know if anyone else has ever experienced this kind of peer pressure but it is rather flustering. I am lucky enough to have a little more money than most of the people I live with, but I work and I choose to spend my money on food, not drugs and alcohol. But defending myself doesn’t help anything.

    I just wanted to talk about it.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    What are they eating all the time that DOESN’T require fossil fuels to grow it, transport it, process it, cook it, etc. and is produced in wonderful work environments where people are treated well, AND is inexpensive? Yikes! I’m sorry you have to be in this situation. It’s no fun to be put down because of the good things you’re doing in your life!

  • I think a household meeting is in order here. Perhaps you can suggest that some portion of the meals be raw (as in a green salad or something) for continued health and I would DEF. bring up how the others are making you uncomfortable and that personal choices should be respected. Most likely if you can say it in a non-confrontational way, without BLAMING a specific person, it may work. You may be surprised-several people may be feeling the exact same way, but haven’t stood up to it due to the peer pressure.

  • FruginiFrugini Raw Newbie

    I just wanted to report that me and another girl who is interested in raw teamed up for Sunday night dinner shift and we made it all raw! We made an eggplant/zucchini lasagna and a salad with plum hazelnut salad dressing. Everyone loved it! I think that as I accept myself more I will find it easier to ignore judgement and just be myself. yay!

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    Oh, good for you! Hugs!

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    Woohoo! I think you’re right about the self-acceptance making it easier. How awesome, too, that you have someone else there interested in raw! :)

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    What a lovely choice of dinner! Way to go – bringing raw to everyone’s dinner table. I bet that will help put a positive spin on raw. Good for you!!

  • Don’t allow your self-importance (aka ego) get in the way of who you are

    I myself always had the same problems. I’ve realized it comes down to the one very line. Our self-importance will only hold us back. I’m not saying to think down on yourself, I’m just saying don’t let your self importance get in the way of who you are. It’s quite simple. Work on it, you will see yourself excelling in all different catagories.

    Yesterday, I went out to eat with my vegan girlfriend. We sat down, she ordered her food and I pulled mine out. It was a whole lot of bananas. While she sat there and ate her food, I confidentally ate mine. I saw people staring at the pile of banana peels, and watching me as I just kept eating more, and more, and more. It didn’t allow my self-importance get in the way of fueling myself. A month ago, I would have been embarressed and uncomfortable.

    Also, friday I was at a wedding. I brought my own food; nectarines, homemade apple sauce, lettuce, sunflower seeds. Everyone was eating whatever they were eating and I piled up my pits/peels, pulled out my jar of sauce, ate my greens (by themselves), and enjoyed a handful or two of seeds. Everyone got drunk and sloppy on the dance floor, I simply got down on the dance floor. Danced every song, with everyone, not making a fool out of myself, simply living. I even switched into my regular clothes (moccasins, flannel, etc) while everyone else were in there get up.

    Simply, I will live in my comfort zone. No one will force me out of it. I use to be different, now I feel best.

    Live, Love Peace

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