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by Abigail Van Buren

Vegan Diet Gets No Respect From Woman's Family Members

DEAR ABBY: I am vegan, which makes dining out an adventure. In restaurants, veggies and pasta or a veggie wrap are pretty much a go-to. At family functions (weddings, showers), I bring my own non-dairy milk and butter and try not to call attention to myself. When someone (inevitably) notices, the questions begin, which I don't mind.

What I do mind, however, is the hostility I encounter. "What makes you think you're better than the rest of us?" is the most common comment. I don't think I am, and I certainly have never implied it.

I need a response that won't fuel the fire and will hopefully allow me to eat in peace. Thoughts? -- VEGAN GIRL IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR VEGAN GIRL: Try this: "I'm sorry you got that impression, because it's not the way I feel. It's simply the way I choose to eat."

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics