I could say that their perception is their problem and that their negative attitude doesn't help. But actually, their reaction to my vegan diet and lifestyle is understandable.
From the non-veg perspective, the way they eat is normal, and the way that I eat is strange, and probably dangerous. I'm the outsider.
For this outsider, who has spent most of the last 40 years first as a vegetarian, then a vegan, meat isn't food. I can't pass the meat counter in a grocery store without feeling ill, and I involuntarily look away when I see someone eating meat.
However, because I feel that way doesn’t make the other guy's diet wrong. Being vegetarian or vegan doesn't automatically mean that you've got God on your side.
Jesus is rumored to have been a vegetarian, and the same with Hitler. Actually, Hitler was NOT vegetarian - he just ate veg when he had OD'd on rich spicy meat dishes. It's harder to know about Jesus, since he lived so long ago.
What's important is that evil people are a minority, and most people are good. We're all for good, and against evil, right? So vegetarian and non-vegetarian should have no problem getting along.
It's clear that we need to work together to solve the problems we've created, like global warming, environmental degradation, poverty, and hunger. Eating together is a great place to start.
To enjoy sharing food, vegetarian and non-vegetarian need to set aside their differences, do their best to provide for each other’s needs, and place humanity before ideology. Hopefully, it will then be easier to do the same on a global level.
One in three advice letters to Savvy Vegetarian is about veg feeding non-veg or vice-versa. These letters come from both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. This means that one in three people have this problem!
Why should this sad situation continue, when it can be helped by good will, common sense, and a few ground rules?