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vegetarian

Hi Sam, Please help me. I know this sounds really strange, but I'm a vegetarian and I can't stand other people eating animals. Sometimes at dinner i have to go upstairs to eat my dinner, as I can't stand looking at it. I even need my own plague and bowl because of it. I try to ignore it but I just can't. It's everywhere u go, even at school. It's getting ridiculous now, please help me! Thank you xxx
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Sam

Hello,

Thank you for your letter and explaining how you are feeling. It doesn’t sounds strange that you’re a vegetarian. People become vegetarian for many different reasons. For example people might be vegetarian because:

  • they are brought up to be vegetarian by their families
  • they have certain religious beliefs
  • they care about animals and the environment
  • they don’t like the taste, the smell or the texture

Lots of people believe it’s wrong to kill animals for food and some think that the way that farm animals are treated is unkind. These are decisions that everyone can make for themselves. As you get older, you have more responsibility for the choices you make.

It might be helpful to think if there has ever been a time when you haven’t felt this strongly and been so disgusted by meat and think about what might have changed for you. It seems likely that you are going to be around people who eat meat sometimes and so it would be important to find a way of coping with this.

It’s good that you have the support from the people you live with when you choose to eat in your room, but this feels like it might be quite lonely for you and doesn’t seem to be getting to the bottom of the problem. It’s not very practical for you to leave the room whenever someone is eating meat all of the time – you’re going to need a more permanent solution.

It sounds like coming to terms with the fact that most people eat meat is what’s difficult for you and it might help to hear from other vegetarians about how they have learned to cope with feelings they have about seeing others eat meat. You could do this on the ChildLine message boards. There will also be other people who feel as strongly about eating animals as you feel about not eating them. Hearing different points of view and trying to understand them can help us to accept that everyone has a right to their own values and can help us to live alongside people who are different to us and their way of life.

I hope that helps. Thanks again for your letter. If you need to talk more then remember that ChildLine counsellors are always here for you.

Take care,
Sam

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