Alternative MethodsConventional Methods

April 22

Protecting Boundaries or Making Demands as a Vegan

Reading time 3 min.

Not long ago when I came to a women’s gathering, the conversation at the time was dominated by the topics of hunting and fishing. I sat around quietly drinking my sparkling water, occasionally pacing out of the room, thinking that surely the topic would soon steer in another direction.

I only knew the host of the meet-up, and I could tell from the discussion that openly expressing my aversion to these topics would not lead anywhere productive— and more likely, would just make for an awkward night.

After about a half-hour of this, I reached my limit and decided to go sit in my car to figure out what I was going to do. Should I pull the host aside or send a text that I was uncomfortable? Should I just go home immediately? A few minutes later, I did decide to text the host and told her the truth: that the topics were not comfortable for me to be around, and that I would sit in my car until the group was done with them. She quickly responded apologetically and said they had moved on. I went back inside, compartmentalised the stories I’d heard, and went on to have an nice evening.

Reflecting back now on this minor incident, I feel good about how I handled it— though there certainly would have been other appropriate responses, too. For instance, it would have been completely okay for me to say, “Hey, I know most of y’all don’t know me, but I have a weird request — could we change the subject? What about the last movie you saw and loved?”

I see the concept of setting a boundary as essentially making a request, because the other party is under no obligation to follow it, and you’re not in control of them. This doesn’t mean, however, that you just have to deal with whatever they do if they don’t like your boundary.

The second essential part of boundary-setting is determining (and often communicating) what your follow-through will be if the boundary is not respected. In this example, if the conversation had gone back to hunting and fishing after I had set the boundary with the host, I would not have felt bad about leaving early. If I had requested to the group to change the topic and they did not, I would have simply left.

This means that willingness to follow-through is very important for successful boundary-setting. If people hear us set boundaries but we never follow through with them, we’re essentially teaching them that we don’t actually value our boundaries… so why should they?

Sometimes in an effort to set boundaries, it is possible to veer into the territory of making demands or ultimatums. The key distinction with making a demand is that we are expecting the other party to change — and often using power, control, and manipulation to achieve this — rather than recognizing that we have a choice in the situation. For instance, I could have blown up in judgment to these women, saying “I’m really offended that y’all are talking about hunting. Killing animals is wrong and I need you to stop talking about it because I can’t be around it.” Notice that keyword “need”; I don’t “need” them to do anything, because I have control over myself and can remove myself from the situation if they do not want to honor a reasonable request.

Another clue that someone is making a demand rather than setting a boundary is manipulative language, such as “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t have a turkey at Thanksgiving because you know how much it upsets me. If you have a turkey, my Thanksgiving will be ruined.” Setting an appropriate boundary, on the other hand, might sound like this: “I request that we not have a turkey at Thanksgiving; I don’t think I can come if a turkey is there. I understand you’re hosting so it’s your decision, but if you decide to bring a turkey I will make other plans for myself. I am also happy to host an event that won’t include animal foods.”

This can certainly get complicated, because every vegan has a different tolerance for being around animal products or discussions about animals used for human purposes— and even the same person may have a different tolerance level depending on the day and the context. Some vegans choose to not be around anyone who is consuming meat, while others may decide to tolerate people eating meat around them as long as they don’t get into lengthy discussions about how “tasty” it is.

It’s vital not to judge someone for where they set their boundary — with veganism, or frankly, with anything. We usually don’t have all the information or variables, and some folks need to honor their sensitivity rather than force themselves to stay in a situation that doesn’t feel okay just because it’s the socially acceptable thing to do.

Setting boundaries in any area of life can be one of the most challenging tasks in maintaining healthy relationships. For vegans setting boundaries with non-vegans, the challenge is amplified by having to communicate across values that may not be shared. However nuanced a particular situation may be, a good north star question to come back to is this: “How might I express what I want/need to with kindness and compassion?”


Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter

All categories

Nutritional Therapy
$10 USD
Discovery Call

Whether you’re looking for feeling in control of your life and food habits, making peace with your body and falling in love with it, dropping stress burden, de…

Life Coaching
$10 USD
Searching for Life Purpose

Feel lost? Feel as if there is more out there for you? Feel that you are just living day to day without a passion? Spend an hour and speak to me and lets se…

Kelly Valentine
Spiritual Healing
$220 USD
I will do spiritual transformation for you

Life occurs as a series of cycles in a single human lifetime. Cycles exist in almost a spiral pattern. There is a flow and everything is connected so you can b…

Wisdom Realms
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
Praying for the Sick and Depressed

Are you sick? Are you really depressed? Do you feel that your life is worthless?
Come book a session with me and see the changes that will occur after that.

Luck Richards Omorede
Spiritual Healing
$55 USD
1 Hour Intuitive Nutrition Coaching Call

Dive in and discover your biggest areas of struggle and how to tap into the intuition for guidance.
We will talk about your history and your goals for your wel…

Jess Olson
$100 USD
Weightloss Course

If your goal is to lose weight once and for all, I will support you closely,
to understand the resources they need to become the person you want.

You probably…

rossella tocco
Chinese Astrology
$10 USD
You are not ALONE

Do you think it’s your fault you haven’t found your partner yet? Or that you are the problem because the relationship is not working? Do you feel isolated, set…

Carmen Oana Oglan
Chakra Balancing
$10 USD
Soul To Soul Reading Session

Energetic Reading

Complete Chakra System Reading to identify energy blocks.
Techniques are provided to restore balance.

What Is An Energetic Reading?


Deborah Lucero
Spiritual Healing
$222 USD
Healing from Trauma at a Quantum Soul Level

Are you burnt out from clinical therapy practices that require years of treatment with few results? Are you ready to release and transmute your trauma once and…

LunaRio Silver Deer
Career Coaching
$499 USD
Reset 1-0n1 Coaching and Mentoring Programme

Are you returning to work after a career break, or are you looking for a new job or career change?

This programme is for you.

I’ve developed the RESET coachi…

Carla Martins
Life Coaching
$399 USD
1-on-1 Coaching

The journey started with our discovery call, and You decided: ” I’m ready! Let’s do this!”.

We will engage in 1-on-1 coaching sessions for 90 minutes. In this…

Carla Martins
Emotional Stress Release
$800 USD
Retreat( India): Connect With Your Inner Wisdom 1st to 4th Sept

Join us for an immersive experience anchored amidst the beauty and tranquillity of Kasar Devi, Almora, India

1st Sept’22 ( Thursday) - 4th Sept 2022 ( Sunday …

Psychic Reading
$80 USD
I will do oracle and tarot card readings

I will do oracle & tarot card reading in any area of your life. You will get answer from the Angelic, Elemental, Faerie or Galactic realms. I will share wi…

Wisdom Realms
Natal Astrology
$15 USD
15 min reading of SOUL structure

[SOUL STRUCTURE]Each soul has own structure,and knowing it means to have unlimited access to inner energy. This readings are telling about your talents and str…

Ksenia Jdanova
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Ask a Question?

Supportive reflection of a current question that you would like clarity around. Using the SMART method to seek quidance in stepping onto your path of potential…

Beverly Lynn
$150 USD
Reiki Services (distant healing session)

In this hour long distant healing session I will use long distance Reiki, crystals and essential oils to balance your Chakras. Balancing your Chakras allows en…

Erin Kirby
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Intuitive Tarot Reading

Affordable Tarot reading to offer guidance on any given concern.

Elphie Shoppe
$10 USD
Talk Therapy Sessions

Hello there: These times are dread. Do you need to talk with a safe professional about a troubling personal challenge? I am a professional listener and will li…

Eulalee Thompson
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Tarot Reading

I offer tarot readings with a 100% accuracy rate. The tarot is meant to give you advice, to point you in the right direction or to provide you with clarity. Bu…

Zara Kalil
Angel Healing
$10 USD
Mental Health Advice & Tips

I can help you with past issues and give advice and tips on how to better your life. I can see through my third eye and receive messageson what you need to do …

Beings Of Light
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Discovery call

Are you interested in supporting your health with safe and effective holistic medicine? Not sure if you should switch diets, work with a health coach or explor…

Suzana Da Costa
Wellness Coaching
$50 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching Consultation

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Family Psychology
$10 USD
Psychic Reading

Expert in Love Relationship, Tarot Psychic Reading
I can give you more powerful insight of every part of your life. With the help of Crystal ball my Psychic re…

Aamir Bilal

Related Articles