I need help becoming vegan.. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-07-2015, 01:19 PM
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I need help becoming vegan..

Hi my name is Matthew and I am a meat eater.. The thing is I am a meat eater who no longer wishes to be one.. After watching repeated videos of Vegan Gains on Youtube just providing more and more proof that you do no need to live on animal products I am ready to switch over. The thing is.. I need a lot of help from some dedicated healthy vegans. I tried asking Vegan Gains to personally help me but he has not replied.. I need actual "ammo" to use on my parents to convince them to let me be vegan. As well as the types of food I need to eat to stay a vegan and prove I can do this.. So if anyone is willing I would REALLY appreciate it!! Please help me. I dont want to have to wait 10 more years when I can support myself to become vegan..
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#2 Old 03-07-2015, 03:02 PM
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Do you have some specific questions like "where to get certain nutrients"? That would help us answer better.
As for convincing your parents, the best way to convince them is to stick with the vegan lifestyle, and later on they'll see you're still healthy and won't bother you about it anymore. But you can show them athletes that are vegan.
What exactly are they worried about?

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#3 Old 03-07-2015, 04:26 PM
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Hi Remuser and welcome. . What kinds of foods does your family normally eat? Lots of things can be made vegetarian pretty easily. We can help.
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#4 Old 03-07-2015, 06:44 PM
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Hi Matthew

My advice would be to go shopping with your parents so you can throw in some lentils and beans and interesting grain like quinoa and buckwheat, and some extra fruit and veg, and plant milk/spread/yogurt for yourself. Otherwise you could speak to them beforehand and explain about transitioning to vegan, your reasons and how much their support would help you.

Apart from food I'd look into household goods like laundry detergent, disinfectant wipes, washing up liquid and also items like shampoo and shower gel. Everything has a cruelty free version. I don't know which country you are in but if you are in the UK supermarkets like sainsburys and co Op own range sell household products and toiletries that have not been tested on animals and don't have animal ingredients in them.

Depending on your age you could maybe have a go at preparing some simple food yourself or, again, discuss with mum. Hopefully your parents will welcome this change and support you. I was so proud when my daughter chose to go full veggie, I don't see why any parent shouldn't.

Good luck!

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#5 Old 03-07-2015, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MozIsMyShepherd View Post
Hi Matthew

My advice would be to go shopping with your parents so you can throw in some lentils and beans and interesting grain like quinoa and buckwheat, and some extra fruit and veg, and plant milk/spread/yogurt for yourself. Otherwise you could speak to them beforehand and explain about transitioning to vegan, your reasons and how much their support would help you.

Apart from food I'd look into household goods like laundry detergent, disinfectant wipes, washing up liquid and also items like shampoo and shower gel. Everything has a cruelty free version. I don't know which country you are in but if you are in the UK supermarkets like sainsburys and co Op own range sell household products and toiletries that have not been tested on animals and don't have animal ingredients in them.

Depending on your age you could maybe have a go at preparing some simple food yourself or, again, discuss with mum. Hopefully your parents will welcome this change and support you. I was so proud when my daughter chose to go full veggie, I don't see why any parent shouldn't.

Good luck!
Considering, he hasn't even convinced his parents to be OK with him eating vegan, I feel like you're going too far here. This is something that he could bring up much later on after his parents are OK with him eating vegan. Right now, I doubt his parents will listen to him at all about house products. I know it may seem like an easy thing to do, but a lot of people use the same brand of products for so many years that they don't like the idea of changing them.


Matthew, my advice is: Look for recipes online, bookmark them, and then ask your parents if they can buy those ingredients for you. If a recipe seems to ask for too many ingredients, about half of them are most likely seasonings which aren't all necessary. Modify the recipes a little to suit your parents food budget.
From your post, I can't fully tell if you have already told your parents you want to be vegan and they reacted badly, or if you haven't told them yet but are already assuming they will be unhappy about your decision.

"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


Last edited by jessandreia; 03-07-2015 at 07:03 PM.
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#6 Old 03-07-2015, 09:17 PM
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Hi Remuser,


Your questions are good. Many of us became vegetarian or vegan when we were still living with our parents, and we had the same challenges that you have now.

Your parents are undoubtedly concerned about your health, as any good parents are. However, they can be assured that several mainstream health / medical organizations have stated that properly-planned vegetarian diets are healthy:


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: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Vegetarian-Diets_UCM_306032_Article.jsp#


The American Diabetes Association makes this statement regarding vegetarian 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 restrictions were not necessary and still promoted weight loss and lowered participants' A1C”

Link to this statement: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fit...r-vegetarians/


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: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/


If your parents are still worried about your health as a vegetarian or vegan, you could ask them to make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian. A Registered Dietitian is a professional with a university degree and certification in human nutrition. They can reassure your parents that properly-planned vegetarian diets are healthy, and they can help you to plan a nutritionally-complete vegetarian meal plan.

In the United States, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.eatright.org . Just click on the "Find an Expert" button, located in the upper-right-hand portion of the webpage.

In the U.K., you can find a local Registered Dietitian on the Freelance Dietitians website: http://www.freelancedietitians.org/

In New Zealand, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Dietitians New Zealand website: http://dietitians.org.nz/find-a-dietitian/

In Canada, you can find a local Registered Dietitian at the Dietitians of Canada website: http://www.dietitians.ca/Find-a-Dietitian.aspx .
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Last edited by David3; 03-07-2015 at 09:19 PM.
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#7 Old 03-08-2015, 05:57 AM
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Wow I am so excited you are all replying and willing to help me! I am 17 years old so I could prepare my own meals easily as long as they are willing to actually get me the products needed. The problem is, my family is one of those families who are big on animal foods like chicken and steak and all. They are VERY stubborn people.. My brother gets mad at me for even looking at the fat on the nutrition labels when I pick something up now! The only way I can win this is if I can show I know what to do on Nutrition, Foods, and basically shut them down with loads of information. I would talk about animal cruelty but.. That wouldnt help, trust me. My mom already thinks something is wrong with me because Friday I overate by like 7000 calories of pure junk and started talking about how I wanted to go even further with my health.. "Why settle when I can do better mom?" While I am definitely doing this for animal cruelty, I can only use the benefits of health for it because they just wont care.. It sickens me.. Last night I had to sadly eat chicken and the thing is.. Not 10 minutes before I watched a chicken beaten..i cant go on like this.. I will not be happy.. This isnt something I can wait to do in 10 years..
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#8 Old 03-08-2015, 06:00 AM
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I want to become vegan as soon as possible, the sooner I do the happier I will be that I am not contributing to animal cruelty while I contribute to the best healthy lifestyle possible.. If you all are dedicated to helping me I appreciate it alot.. But you are in for a lot as well because.. I dont have the typical family.. They all emphasize animal protein.. I have that kind of family but worse..
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#9 Old 03-08-2015, 06:49 AM
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If you feel that your family wouldn't understand the animal cruelty angle, don't bring it up at all for now. That will put them on defensive. As you correctly say present them a lot of facts about health.

Don't go vegan overnight, first cut down on meat. insist on cooking something vegan and helping out in the kitchen ( you said you could cook right)

Introduce them to some vegan dishes at first and slowly cut down all the meat you are eating. This will make YOUR transition easier for THEM
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#10 Old 03-08-2015, 09:33 AM
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Well how do you think I should approach them on becoming vegan? They are so confronting with their eyes alone, they dont need words to make me feel like crap on an idea (Experienced repeatedly) so I was thinking in a text message or something.. I dont know. They will be on the defensive as soon as I say the word vegan, I promise you that. I was thinking about somehow getting them alone without my brother present and just pulling out papers filled with information that are cited as well. I dont want them shutting me down and making me unhappy. Today my mom is making something with deer meat in it. The thing is, there will be tofu and rice so I could try sneaking around the deer meat today but that doesnt help. Like I said, I have to seem like the smartest guy on veganism when I approach them to the point where they are willing to give it a shot.
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#11 Old 03-08-2015, 09:35 AM
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As for bookmarking recipes I have already done that for one website that had some good looking food, 10 slides with information on how to make it which was great to know.
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#12 Old 03-08-2015, 11:29 AM
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Well how do you think I should approach them on becoming vegan? They are so confronting with their eyes alone, they dont need words to make me feel like crap on an idea (Experienced repeatedly) so I was thinking in a text message or something.. I dont know. They will be on the defensive as soon as I say the word vegan, I promise you that. I was thinking about somehow getting them alone without my brother present and just pulling out papers filled with information that are cited as well. I dont want them shutting me down and making me unhappy. Today my mom is making something with deer meat in it. The thing is, there will be tofu and rice so I could try sneaking around the deer meat today but that doesnt help. Like I said, I have to seem like the smartest guy on veganism when I approach them to the point where they are willing to give it a shot.
Not trying to be rude, but you're just going to have to grow some thick skin when it comes to being confronted about veganism. Most vegans are confronted or were confronted about it at some point in their lives by their family and friends. The only way to prove to your parents and brother that you don't need animal protein is to go through with veganism no matter how confronting they are. I promise they won't be as confronting once they see you're healthy without animal protein. You just need to go through with eating a few vegan meals while being confronted, after that you just get used to it. If they bring up veganism at lunch/dinner, ignore it. The dinner table is the worst place to tell someone about veganism.
Getting your parents alone without your brother present seems like a good idea. Maybe show them Forks Over Knives - it's a documentary on veganism from a health stand point.
Avoid saying the word vegan. For some reason a lot of people get defensive when they hear that word, not just your parents.

"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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#13 Old 03-08-2015, 11:48 AM
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I have no problem with being confronted with it. At my school I have already defended veganism to several people and can happily say I did very well with it. Its when it comes to my parents and how I confront them I am nervous. I am about to get the "Is It Vegan? +" App and some others to help. At Kroger I actually saw a meat substitute section as well as milk alternatives and everything I would need to eat. Very convenient. Ive already seen a lot of vegan friendly foods at Kroger itself.
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#14 Old 03-08-2015, 11:49 AM
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Though I am pretty sure they will be pissed because they may need to go buy me food to support it. Though I may negotiate I will get a job to help if thats all is a problem.
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#15 Old 03-08-2015, 11:56 AM
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What's the worst you think your parents would do if you went ahead and ate a vegan meal in front of them?
If it's not anything more than simply confronting you with their eyes and a few words, then it's not too bad.

Edit: Just saw your latest post. Getting a part-time job to buy some of your own food is a good idea.

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#16 Old 03-08-2015, 03:19 PM
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I'll see if I can try convincing my mom and dad to have dinner with me out alone which will be hard since my brother is a stubborn 18 year old. Earlier I was talking to my sister about becoming vegan and was suprised at how well I was able to defend veganism when she came up with things she felt were problems in a vegan diet like Protein. If I am able to convince my parents to allow me to be vegan tomorrow, where can I get Vitamin B12 at? I am in the Southern U.S. So I do not think I need Vitamin D. I do not want to become a full vegan till I get my hands on Vitamin B12. I can be vegan when it comes to breakfast and lunch on school days though.
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#17 Old 03-08-2015, 03:27 PM
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You can get B12 from fortified plant milks, fortified faux meats, and of course vegan B12 supplements which are sold online.

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#18 Old 03-08-2015, 03:32 PM
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Though I am pretty sure they will be pissed because they may need to go buy me food to support it. Though I may negotiate I will get a job to help if thats all is a problem.
Do they not buy you food already? Another thing mum may get annoyed she will need to cook separately for you if the rest of the family are meat eaters... A job is always a good thing as long as it's not in the way of your studies.

Can you not break the news gradually? Just say you don't wish to eat meat anymore to start with, then when they get used to the idea say you looked into it further and don't want to consume any animal products because it's good for the planet, for the animals and it's the healthiest diet out there.
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#19 Old 03-08-2015, 03:48 PM
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I would use the word "vegetarian" at first then. It is less threatening to family members. Lots of your family's side dishes are probably already accidently vegetarian, even vegan. You can add protein easily with some beans or lentils, or peanut butter, hummus, etc. For B 12, your body stores it, so deficiency is not usually a concern right away. Sublingual B12 is cheap, easy to find over the counter, and effective.
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#20 Old 03-08-2015, 03:53 PM
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,where can I get Vitamin B12 at?

Foods like kombucha and water kefir have naturally occurring B12, and you can make them yourself. You could also ferment your own sauerkraut if you are feeling ambitious.
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#21 Old 03-08-2015, 04:57 PM
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The healthiest things we ever get which are from me begging them to let me get are Triscuits, normal crackers, grapes, sometimes other fruit, and fat free pretzels. That may give some insight on how hard this is going to be... None of the foods my mom prepares are even close to vegan due to the fact she fills all the veggies and things she prepares with butter or at the very least she adds milk. I do not want to break it slowly to them because that would be too hard with my parents. It would be easier to find a way to just break it to them quickly and see what can be done. The thing is my dad has a very well paying job and could support me being vegan, from what I am told, the idea that being a vegan is expensive is a misconception. They will be trying to make it as hard as possible for me. My mom would not have to prepare meals for me, all I would need is the recipes and how to prepare them step by step and I could do them easily (I attended Food and Health at my school where we learned to cook with recipes). The app "Is It Vegan? +" will be a big help to me when I buy it, if they give me the chance. I can not get a job due to the fact that the car that was going to be for me, they are giving to my sister for dirt cheap. When it comes to health, the best I could get out of them was the triscuits, crackers, grapes, other fruit, pretzels, and a gym membership, which my brother gives me a hard time on the gym membership part since he has to drive me there.. Even with all of these I refuse one second to wait to become a vegan. After all the videos and things I have read.. I just cant. Like I said, I have to leave the abuse part out though because that if anything will make it not happen. Does anyone have a kik that I could message them on for a continuous support kind of thing as well as advice? I am even having to sneak these messages on here on my own laptop because if they confront me with it, I would probably shut down due to the shock of not being ready.. I hope these replies I give do not seem like excuses. I just have the wrong type of parents when it comes to veganism. I am honestly jealous of all of you. Just getting the things that I have now was hard for me to do! As for Vitamin B12, It would be easiest to just get the supplement.

Last edited by Remuser; 03-08-2015 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Dont want to get caught.
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#22 Old 03-08-2015, 05:09 PM
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Beans, lentils, and split peas are cheap and good sources of protein and iron, just to mention a few. Pasta also has protein, and whole wheat pasta (although a dollar or two more expensive) is a good source of iron as well.
Present your parents with some nutrition information (grams of protein in plant foods, how many grams of protein a person needs daily). Most meat eaters get a lot more protein than they need.

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#23 Old 03-09-2015, 03:30 AM
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Today is the day I try to convince my parents to let me become vegan..wish me luck!
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#24 Old 03-09-2015, 05:12 AM
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Didnt last long. My mom immediately started yelling at me and is calling me anorexic. Shes making an appointment for me and says I am not well. She blaims it all on me saying I do not eat enough protein. My dad is also blasting me. Yay. I wish I had more understanding parents. I will never forget this.. I didnt know eating around 2500-2900 calories a day was anorexic? I'm learning more everyday. :unamused:
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#25 Old 03-09-2015, 05:13 AM
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He said all vegans die. They have no idea what they are talking about. Such a waste..
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#26 Old 03-09-2015, 06:11 AM
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Well, eventually all vegans do die....just like everyone else. Sorry they are being difficult BUT the fact they want to make an appointment to fix you might work in your favor. Tell them to please do get you help....from a dietitian who will show you how to eat a proper diet. He or she can tell your parents the facts that they don't believe when you say them.
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#27 Old 03-09-2015, 06:25 AM
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oh hmm.. are you very thin? anyway keep it up. They will soon run out of steam. The best thing is to stay healthy.
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#28 Old 03-09-2015, 06:32 AM
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No I am not very thin. I am around 5'7 and when I weigh myself its around the 145-149 ratio. I seem really think because of how much weight I lost before. I went from 257 down to this weight. I'm going to try and stay strong through this. I can not ask for a dietitian, hopefully my mom is serious on this counselor crap so they can find out I am healthy and they have been treating me wrong. It breaks my heart honestly. I just have the wrong parents when it comes to these situations. Give them something they dont understand or like or dont want and they just attack repeatedly without care.
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#29 Old 03-09-2015, 08:44 AM
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So sorry you're having such a rough time, but listen: you're almost a young adult now and you can make your own choices. You can also make your own meals! If your mom is already buying vegetables for side dishes, take some before she cooks them and make yourself a stir fry or some roasted vegetables. It's your body and you can eat what you like.
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#30 Old 03-09-2015, 10:38 AM
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Yeah I just told my dad that. My mom went crazy on me and started cursing at me in all caps, shes getting me an anorexia counselor I am guessing so I am not replying to her. I am fighting for my life when it comes to my dad. His basis for conversation is that it is unhealthy, I dont know what I am talking about, and that I am putting alot on my family... I debunked all of them. I am doing everything I can.. This is just one thing I refuse to give up on. Who knew caring about exercise and wanting to eat healthy was anorexic?? My confidence is huge right now because I am texting them, I hope it stays with me when they confront me at home.. This is ridiculous.. Everyone please continue to give me support and dont leave me alone in this! I need it!
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