Mom thinks that she can't live without meat - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 03-22-2015, 04:05 PM
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Mom thinks that she can't live without meat

I've been vegan since the end of January this year. I'm only fourteen years old, so I'm really glad to have made this important decision so early in my life. I know that there is no going back and I don't ever want to. I feel so much better now; I feel lighter and have more energy.
I've talked with my mom about the ethics of meat-eating a bit and tried to explain my reasoning to her, but she gets angry and defensive. She says that she tried to be a vegetarian in the 80's, but after a week, apparently, she became cold and her "eyes rolled back in her skull". She fainted and 'had' to eat meat again. Obviously, it was from some sort of deficiency. I told her that perhaps she wasn't eating properly and that there are plenty of vegan options in 2015, but she again became defensive. She believes in blood-type diets and believes that her blood type needs meat to survive.

She uses that strange incident from decades ago to justify never giving up meat, and claims that she would die without meat. She thinks that she needs protein to survive. When I told her that there are plenty of plant foods that contain protein and are much better absorbed than animal protein, she ignores me.

What do you think I could say to her to get her to realize that meat is totally unnecessary for survival when there are supermarkets on practically every corner?
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#2 Old 03-22-2015, 04:53 PM
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A deficiency would not develop in only one week. It was probably just lack of calories. Anyway...
If she doesn't want to stop eating meat nor even listen to you about it, there's nothing you can do. Just be glad that despite her bad experience with vegetarianism, she's not imposing eating meat on you. You could try convincing your mom to eat a few vegetarian meals with you every week, but right now it just seems like she has no will at all to be vegetarian.

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralphe Inge

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#3 Old 03-22-2015, 07:51 PM
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Yup, the classic newbie mistake is lack of calories. It makes people feel cold, weak, and tired just like improper dieting.
Since shes not stopping you from choosing your own food then perhaps take a longer term approach. Eat healthy and stay physically active and as the months pass it'll be harder for her to ignore the fact that you did it and succeeded. Then gently start working it back into conversations.
The old cliche is that parents should be good examples for their children, but the reverse is also true.
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#4 Old 03-22-2015, 09:49 PM
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I agree with Auxin that the best strategy is to lead by example, but if you feel compelled to talk more about it with her.... Does she have any beloved pets? My mom, who has always been very pro-meat, has relaxed her stance slightly now that she's become a dog owner. I like to tell her about pigs' intelligence and share stories and videos of pet pigs acting adorable and generally behaving very much like her dog. I think it's beginning to sink in.
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#5 Old 03-24-2015, 08:11 AM
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Thank you for the advice about leading by example.
I've actually just bought a gym membership and I'm going to start going this week with my older sister. Not that I was overweight before, but my mom noticed that I'm more firm and slender. She seems to have no problem when I tell her about the health benefits of veganism and the herbivorous physiological design of humans, but morals and ethics just infuriates her.

That's what I thought, I mean, you can't just undergo a major change in diet and expect to eat the same volume of food. Vegetables have less calories, so as vegetarians or vegans, we have to increase our caloric intake. She doesn't seem to understand this, though.
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#6 Old 03-24-2015, 08:47 AM
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She's definitely grown on veganism, but the first few weeks, she was forcing me to eat bacon and cheese and hiding butter in my vegetables. Hopefully, she will see how healthier and fit I become and eventually accept that I succeeded in being vegan.

"Hot, fevered, frightened, trampled, bruised, and torn;
Frozen to death before the ax descends; we kill these weary creatures; sore and worn, and eat them - with our friends."



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#7 Old 03-24-2015, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madison Shaw View Post
I've been vegan since the end of January this year. I'm only fourteen years old, so I'm really glad to have made this important decision so early in my life. I know that there is no going back and I don't ever want to. I feel so much better now; I feel lighter and have more energy.
I've talked with my mom about the ethics of meat-eating a bit and tried to explain my reasoning to her, but she gets angry and defensive. She says that she tried to be a vegetarian in the 80's, but after a week, apparently, she became cold and her "eyes rolled back in her skull". She fainted and 'had' to eat meat again. Obviously, it was from some sort of deficiency. I told her that perhaps she wasn't eating properly and that there are plenty of vegan options in 2015, but she again became defensive. She believes in blood-type diets and believes that her blood type needs meat to survive.

She uses that strange incident from decades ago to justify never giving up meat, and claims that she would die without meat. She thinks that she needs protein to survive. When I told her that there are plenty of plant foods that contain protein and are much better absorbed than animal protein, she ignores me.

What do you think I could say to her to get her to realize that meat is totally unnecessary for survival when there are supermarkets on practically every corner?
Like others said, you can't have a deficiency within a week. Maybe her body was detoxing or she just wasn't eating enough. Sometimes when you go Veggie you don't eat enough calories. I would tell her about some famous vegans/vegetarians that have been living very healthy and have not eaten meat. Also show her studies that being vegetarian can help prevent certain diseases and may even help someone live longer.
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#8 Old 03-24-2015, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madison Shaw View Post

That's what I thought, I mean, you can't just undergo a major change in diet and expect to eat the same volume of food. Vegetables have less calories, so as vegetarians or vegans, we have to increase our caloric intake. She doesn't seem to understand this, though.

Hi Madison,

This is excellent that you are already aware of the "lack of calories" mistake that is commonly made by new (and even experienced) vegans.

It's fine that you are becoming more trim, but be sure not to become too skinny - this can be a sign that you're not eating enough calories. Now that you'll be going to the gym, you will need to increase your calories, in order to fuel your athletic activities.

Mercy for Animals has published a nicely-written vegan guide - the nutrition portion of the guide begins on page 7: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/vsg.pdf . I like this guide because it includes a food diagram that emphasizes the importance of beans, whole grains, and nuts - these foods will help to give you enough calories to maintain your health and energy.

It's normal that your mom becomes defensive when you discuss the ethics of veganism. People don't like to be told, in essence, that their lives are filled with violence. As others have said, it's better to simply become an example of a healthy, happy vegan. People choose to become vegan NOT because they were yelled at, but because they are attracted to the idea of living in peace with animals.
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