For most, the decision to become vegan is a pivotal moment in their lives. Many feel a sense of weight being lifted from their shoulders, no longer are they saddled with the feelings of guilt for eating innocent beings. Some experience a sort of detoxification, not only for their body and mind, but spiritually as well. It's a very freeing feeling to know that you are no longer contributing to the discrimination, exploitation, and battery of animals across the globe. And my species loving friends you have every single right to feel proud, free, and liberated, but beware not everyone will share those same feelings of joy and inculpability.
Most any vegan will tell you that the path is not an easy one; at first. You've found this new lifestyle which is bound to be an overhaul of the life which you used to live. Now everything requires your scrutiny and observation; you read labels searching for animal ingredients, you pass on that new car with leather opting for the cloth interior instead, and of course you politely decline the offering of your best friend's famous meat tacos. Then comes the big reveal, "I'm a vegan now." Your friends laugh and shake their heads. Your mother sighs, worries, and questions just how you are going to survive without protein and cow's milk. And your Uncle Bob declares that animals were made for us to eat and now that you refuse he will eat even more to make up the difference.
Nothing makes a meat eater more uncomfortable than when a herbivore discusses ethics and animal cruelty. When debates and discussions take place, remember to keep your cool and politely state your facts and opinions. No matter how nasty your Uncle Bob gets you must remind yourself that this isn't about changing Bob, it's about changing you. You know what you are doing is right for you, right for the planet, and right for all the people and other organisms inhabiting the world. It's hard to be so passionate about something only to have others shame and mock you for such a profound change you are making in your own life and in society.
You are bound to get some very negatives comments no matter what approach you take. You are bound to get some hostility for your choice not to take place in animal exploitation. These subjects make people very uncomfortable. It forces people to look inside themselves and ask "Is this (eating/using animals) really ethical and just?". And for a lot of those folks the angry and antagonistic retorts are a display of just how uncomfortable your lifestyle makes them when thinking about their own.
Regardless of what bumps and hurdles you go through just know that the decision you are making is a sincere change for yourself and the world. You are making yourself better, even if you are offending omnivores along the way.