Welcome to VB
. You've got some interesting challenges ahead. Here are some ideas:
+ avoid using the term 'vegetarian' with relatives. This term has a lot of negative baggage, plus it's intrinsically misleading because it implies that veg*ns consume only vegetables (certainly a grim diet, if it was true). I prefer 'plant-based diet' instead.
+ I never argue, ever. If someone asks an honest question, I try to answer it. If someone makes a negative statement, I ignore it.
+ you may have more luck gradually substituting veg dishes for meat-based dishes rather than trying to eliminate meat all at once. The advantage with the gradual approach is that you never feel deprived.
+ a subscription to a magazine such as VegNews (www.vegnews.com
) can help prop up your morale, as well as be a vehicle for getting your wife and others to understand what you're up to, and why.
+ the popular media is still firmly entrenched in the "four basic food groups" mental model of how to construct a healthy diet. You'll need to go elsewhere for an alternative viewpoint.
+ there are a huge number of resources available for veg*ns (new and old-timers). As an old-timer, I'm not the best person to help direct you to good sources for newcomers.
Good luck with it!