Brown Girl Goes Green

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Guide to avoiding Awkward Omnivore Situations (AOS) as a Vegan or Vegetarian June 21, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 7:51 am
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Avoiding AOS (Awkward Omnivore Situations) does not equate being ashamed of who you are;  it’s reducing undue stress.  It’s about at least keeping the meat eater’s mind open to decreasing their meat consumption or at the very least, being less judgmental and defensive towards us.  Why should you care?  Whatever led you to this lifestyle is a worthy cause.  The perception that Vegans and Vegetarians are preachy and judgemental does not help this cause.  So… don’t do this in what could be pleasant social situations.

***  Don’t broadcast your dietary differences. Hear me out….

I know how wonderfully progressive you are and how you have moved beyond flesh eating, but keep in mind that there is a thin line between educating and appearing self righteous. Eliminating meat from one’s diet is a major lifestyle change. Acceptance of the idea that it is possible is the first step. “Preaching” only makes them defensive and injures the cause.

The cause is to decrease the overall demand of animal products responsible for animal factory farming and greenhouse gas emission.  Sometimes this means holding back how you really feel about “Vegetarians” who only eat fish, and eggs, and chicken.  Do I think it’s silly that they believe they are vegetarians…Yes.  Do I verbalize this ? No.  Why?  At least they don’t eat pork and beef. They are going in the right direction and with time and patience they may fully convert.

***There is a difference between educating and debating: Avoid Debating if possible….Nobody “wins” and it only creates negativity.

You can tell if someone is genuinely curious versus those who want to debate.  Graduation dinners, office parties, wedding receptions, thanksgiving, etc…are not appropriate places to debate.  Situations you consider inappropriate to discuss religion and politics would also be a potential AOS, so proceed accordingly.  How should you respond when the debate seeking omnivore engages you?  Use my favorite awkwardness abating quote:  “I avoid certain foods for personal reasons that we can discuss at another time if you are interested”.   Okay…that didn’t work…they’re getting pushy…. “I believe our lifestyle, diet included, is guided by our beliefs and personal convictions, and that’s not something I feel is productive to debate”. 

***Instead of talking about what you can’t eat and what you would eat if it didn’t contain flesh, talk about what is tasty.  Examples:  What NOT to say: “That baked potato looks great; too bad it’s laying next to that fish that probably suffered a horrible death”.   What to say:  “That baked potato looks great” or just talk about how good your own food is.   Ooops…now they offered you some…  What not to say (if you don’t want an AOS)  “No thanks, I don’t eat death”.   How you should respond (to avoid an AOS):  “No thanks, I’m full, but thank you for offering”. 

***I don’t condone lying…but… Allergies  and other health issues will squash any AOS.  People eagerly challenge beliefs, but they don’t challenge digestive issues.

***Have your facts straight.  Sometimes AOS are unavoidable and whether you choose to engage in a discussion of this sort is your decision, but don’t go in with broad statement like “It’s healthier.”  They are gonna be concerned about your “obvious” lack of protein and other nutrients easily obtained from non-meat sources.  Respond appropriately and intelligently.  *Read previous blog  “How to safely be a  vegetarian” for more info.

***Being accommodated is nice, but don’t expect it.  Going to a BBQ?  Bring your own veggie burgers for the grill.  Going to a dinner party?  Bring something with you to share in case the main course and sides have meat. 


I’m always open to more tips and AOS solutions.  Feel free to share.


Start Recycling…..I’ll tell you how. March 27, 2012

Filed under: Green — backpackready @ 5:01 am
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Learning how to RECYCLE.  Yes, I said LEARN. If you did not grow up in an environment where recycling is common place, it’s difficult to know where to start.  Thank God for the internet!  I want to recycle not because it is the trendy thing to do, but because it is the right thing to do.  It is important to understand that recycling does not stand alone.  It is a component of a 3 part system: Reduce (don’t use or buy what you don’t need), Reuse (I’m sure that glass jar can be used for something else after a good rinse), Recycle the rest.

Source: Homemade Simple

  1. Know what can be recycled. This is just basic info, so check with your local recycling center for specifics on what they will and will not accept.  Source:
    1. Glass drinking bottles (no lid)
    2. Milk & other cartons
    3. Paper (duh).  This includes magazines, newspapers, waste office paper & greeting cards and cereal boxes.
    4. Aluminum drink cans. Some places don’t accept foil wrap so check first.
    5. Tin cans, paint tins, aerosol containers (not all places accept), coffee tins, jar lids, and bottle tops
    6. Plastics (look for the recycle symbol), leave the lid off.
    7. Glass drinking bottles (leave the lids off)

2.     Don’t be gross. Rinse the food or drink residues off before tossing it.  You may even think a new use for it after it clean. Ragu container with gunky tomato stuff=trash.  Clean glass bottle formerly known as Ragu= tooth brush holder, bobby pin container, or homemade jelly container.

 3.     Where do I put this stuff while I’m collecting it? Unfortunately Recycling takes up space, so you need to create a system that minimizes the clutter and doesn’t interfere with daily life.

A few ideas

  1. Tubs or small trash bins under the sink
  2. Containers outside the kitchen
  3. Separate material types into bags and keep them in a large tub
  4. If you have things that need to be taken to a processing center, you’ll need somewhere (back porch, back yard, secret closet, bat cave, where ever) to allow these things to accumulate.

 4.      Okay, now where do I take this stuff? Here is a site I found helpful.  It’s easy to navigate and all you have to put in is your zip code.

Or…you can just type in your location and “recycling” into yahoo or google and see what happens.


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