How do I deal with my family being unsupportive? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-13-2015, 11:55 AM
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How do I deal with my family being unsupportive?

I've been a vegetarian for a couple of months and just found out that the milk/egg industry is also causing a lot of animal suffering so I decided to go vegan. My family, however, is being unsupportive and is calling me crazy. They were already against me not eating meat/fish and it's basically gotten to the point of my mom threatening to not pay for my school bills/... (it's nearly impossible for me to pay all these with just my parttime job) until I quit this "nonsense". I'm also unable to move out because I'm 16.

My dad doesn't know about me wanting to go vegan and part of the reason of my mom being against it is because my dad works in a company that processes milk so she's scared of him quitting his job if anything negative about milk gets mentioned. My brother is also very hung up about it and won't accept the fact that I don't think humans are worth far more than animals and is calling it ridiculous.

How should I deal with all this?
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#2 Old 05-13-2015, 12:58 PM
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i wish i could make a suggestion but sucks to be you all you can do is get well versed on the basics of vegan diet where do you get your protein that type of stuff so if the situation arises that you can have a logical debate on the issue you can hamer her good
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#3 Old 05-13-2015, 02:42 PM
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You know, I can honestly see why it would annoying for parents to have their teenager suddenly revolt over what's served for dinner. Your parents have been trying to get you to eat since you were born! And, believe it or not, they've probably had your best interests at heart.

So go easy on them. Try not to antagonize them, keep quiet on the animal rights issues, and offer to help preparing any new foods you request. Lean how to chop veggies, download some recipes that look good to you, and offer to go shopping for the food. Remember that you're the one who's asking for changes, so help out as much as you can.

Good luck.
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#4 Old 05-13-2015, 02:51 PM
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that dose not justify calling some one crazy but yer you might have to cook your own food
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#5 Old 05-13-2015, 03:11 PM
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Don't try to convince them or argue with your brother...just let him think what he wants and do your own thing. Offer to buy and fix any special food that you want and don't expect mom or dad to change their diet, buy expensive extra food, or learn to be a vegan chef so they can fix you custom meals. Otherwise they will see you as a fussy kid who wants to be a special snowflake. Instead, help communicate that this is a grown up decision by taking responsibility for the work of researching the diet and learning to cook and shop for yourself. Offer to fix things for the family that they will like but that isn't explicitly "vegan food" such as spaghetti marinara or red beans and rice.
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#6 Old 05-13-2015, 09:34 PM
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I'd check books out of the library (it's what I did). The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Plant Based Diet (Hever, Julienne), Becoming Vegan (Davis, Brenda R.D. and Melina, Vesanto M.S., R.D.) and The Get Healthy Go Vegan Cookbook (Barnard, Neal, M.D.) are good sources of vegan nutrition...I hope this helps.
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#7 Old 05-14-2015, 09:44 AM
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Try to reassure your parents that you aren't expecting your dad to quit his job. You are making a personal decision that you feel is right and you are happy to answer any questions they may have. If they don't ask I'd stay quite for now.
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#8 Old 05-17-2015, 05:10 PM
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Hi CatPaws,

Many of us have been through the same thing.

Your parents are concerned about your health, and they not likely to be interested in discussing animal rights with you. This was my experience as well, when I became vegan 24 years ago. Now that I'm older, I understand their concern better.

Your parents need to be reassured that you will remain healthy on a vegan diet. They won't believe any websites from vegan or animal rights groups. Rather, you need to show them information from mainstream organizations. Luckily, several mainstream health and medical agencies have stated that properly-planned vegetarian/vegan diets are healthy.

The American Diabetes Association makes this statement regarding vegan diets:

“A vegetarian diet is a healthy option, even if you have diabetes. Research supports that following this type of diet can help prevent and manage diabetes. In fact, research on vegan diets has found that carbohydrate and calorie restrictions were not necessary and still promoted weight loss and lowered participants' A1C”
Link to this statement:

The American Heart Association makes this statement regarding the health of vegetarians:

“Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.”
Link to this statement:

Kaiser Permanente (one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States) makes the following statement regarding plant-based diets:

“Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”
Link to this statement:

In order for your parents to accept your vegan diet (and this may not happen quickly), they need to know that it is nutritionally complete. They are unlikely to believe any nutrition information from vegan or animal rights groups. However, you can reassure them that even the USDA's (the federal government's) nutrition guidelines now fully support the vegan diet. The USDA has replaced their old-style "Meat Food Group" with the "Protein Food Group", which includes beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds: . The “Dairy Group” now includes calcium-fortified soymilk: .
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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization

Last edited by David3; 05-17-2015 at 05:37 PM.
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#9 Old 05-21-2015, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for all the advice.
I'd love to cook my own dinner but my mom seems to be offended by this since she thinks it's her task. She has agreed on me cooking myself simple things like rice, spaghetti,... past 5pm though and she's buying me B12 supplements.
I avoid talking about animal rights but it's a little hard to not argue at all with my brother's comments.
Checking out vegetarian/vegan books was a great idea!
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