Coming out as vegan
Hello there! I’m a teen I’d like to come out to my father as a vegan. I’ve been wanting to go vegan for about a year now.
I’ve already told my mother about it and she’s perfectly ok with it! But my father is a tiny bit vegaphobic, and I used to love meat when I was a kid so it would be confusing for him.
I’m not sure what would happen if I come out to him. How should i do it, and how will I know if I’m ready yet?
I'm not sure. I went pescetarian when I was 16, didn't go vegetarian until I was almost 20, and started inching toward vegan much later. My parents knew I'd always cared a lot about animals (well, mostly warm-blooded animals at the time), and it wasn't a shock to them. I always liked the taste of meat too- as well as pretty much all other foods of animal origin.
I guess the main issues would be:
1) how much you know about nutrition: generally everyone can be vegan, even those who aren't adults, but it's generally not a good idea to just drop all non-vegan foods and continue eating more of whatever else you were eating); and
2) why you want to do this. As I mentioned above, my parents knew how I felt about animals, and could easily accept that my desire to do this was genuine. I don't know if it will confuse your Dad that you've always liked the taste of meat. Lots of us have to avoid foods we like for one reason or another, at least at certain times- we might have religious dietary restrictions, food allergies, medical conditions which limit our diet...
The standard humorous advice is to tell your dad you are gay. And then after he stops crying or whatever you say, "just kidding, I'm vegan". then Dad is so relieved he forgets to object.
Anyway, I doubt it will be as bad as you suspect.
Sorry for the late reply!
I might ask him if I could be vegetarian first, then if it all goes well and I’m abe to maintain a veggie diet, I might ask to be vegan.
Maybe he will surprise you. It's not as odd as it used to be!
VegYouth has some great tips for having the conversation.
The bottom line is to be as prepared as possible to manage any objection they may have, and show that you're taking it seriously. Parents are often happy and proud of kids who live according to their beliefs and values.
"Hey, Dad. I'm vegan."
That's how you should do it. I am in my 30's and went vegan when I was 15. My mom thought it was a phase but was supportive. My dad was clueless and took him years to understand what I could or couldn't eat. They gave me weekly grocery allowance and let me do my own food thing. There has been a lot of contention with my sister and extended family. I have experienced telling people I'm vegan/being vegan in every imaginable social and family situation. The best option is to be confident in your choice and not make time for other people's insecurities about your life decisions. My 7 year old was able to assert herself as a vegan at school and with family from the age of 4. You totally got this.
You don't need permission from your parents to be vegan. But bonus if they are ok with it and are supportive. Eventually they will have to come to accept it. It will be easier for them if they just accept it now :)
If you wait until you are ready to do something in life, then many opportunities will pass you by. It's ok to be apprehensive, but just go for it and talk to your dad! You'll feel better when it's all said and done.
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