Does your family accept your vegetarian/vegan choices? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-17-2011, 01:15 PM
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Hey guys, I was just wondering about everyone else. Guess the easiest way to ask is to explain.

We only see our family(aunts, uncles, cousins) once or twice a year, aside from phone calls. I missed out last family Christmas because I've been travelling, but I guess my parents never discuss my veganism with anyone. They'll talk about the car troubles I had, what I've been doing for fun, where I've been, who I've met, etc. but they never bring up my diet(which happens to be one of the biggest changes in my life). Even when I'm at home and we're around people, they seem worried that I'll bite someone's head off for eating a piece of turkey. It seems like they're embarrassed to have me choose this lifestyle. They don't tell me to keep it quiet, but I kind of get that impression from them...

They seem more than supportive when we're alone. Or I guess my mom is supportive. My dad's one that links meat intake to manliness. So I was just wondering what everyone else's situation is like? Do your parents/family keep your "extremist" lifestyle quiet, or do they embrace it? I was also wondering what I should do about my next family Christmas which I'm planning to attend. Should I bring up that I'm a vegan if anyone asks why I've decided to avoid the meat, or should I keep it quiet so we can avoid the social awkwardness? Or maybe I'll just travel the eastern part of the country and skip the next one aswell...
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#2 Old 03-17-2011, 01:59 PM
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My dad actually turned veggie when I did, or shortly after with me, so he's behind it 100%. I don't talk to my family, well, most of them, I talk to my grandma, one aunt, and my brother, but I've detached myself from the rest of them, but my dad still chats occasionally with them, and he always brings it up about how AWESOME he feels on a veggie diet, and how much weight he's lost, etc.


(I didn't detach from them because of becoming a veggie, there is other family politics at play for me to not speak to them, btw)

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#3 Old 03-17-2011, 02:11 PM
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I think my dad is a bit more supportive. a while ago we were going for a lunch together and he suggested a vegetarian restaurant. i was so happy! he does feel like going vegan is an exageration though when i mentioned it. he also doesnt really understand why i don't want to eat fish anymore. or what is wrong with milk and eggs. when i explained it he was assuring me that cows don't need to be pregnant to produce milk, he has some memories of it as a kid when he was visiting his grandma in a village. but all in all he is very nice about it. My mom...not that she is not supportive, she doesn't forcefeed me meat, and she does say that it is healthy and yet she sometimes says that i need to eat meat to be healthy. so i am a bit confused by her opinion on diet and health, lol. and she is a bit confused about what to give me when i come over, which is weird because they don't only eat meat so it shouldn't be such a problem

the rest of my family lives too far away. i communicate with them only by phone and internet and i don't know if they know it or not.

maybe in not telling it to others your family tries to show that its not a big deal that it has to be announced? it slightly bothers me when i am over at my parents and some of their friends are over and my mom announces at the table that i am now a vegetarian. maybe i am just paranoid but i do feel like she says it in a mocking tone. and a few of their friends showed approval, and that they think it is a right thing. but there are some who are kind of smirking about it and sometimes it leads to conversations. i am usually not having a problem with discussing it but when i am at my parents i want to just peacefully eat my potatoes and salad and not get to hear from people why is it ok to slaughter pigs. so in a way not announcing it without telling you that you should keep it quiet seems like the best way to me
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#4 Old 03-17-2011, 02:40 PM
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I don't know. I just get the feeling that they don't respect my decision so they just try to hide it. Or maybe that it's too extreme and they don't know how people would react... I dunno. Maybe I'm a little paranoid, myself I've got my dad eating a little healthier, although it was a little mean on my part. He's got high blood pressure, iron, cholesterol... He doesn't care what so ever about how animals are treated, so I took the health approach. Now he's all worried about angioplasty, heart disease, etc. Maybe a little under handed to poke holes in his enjoyment of meat, but it'll hopefully change his health for the better and eating less meat will help our cause slightly. My mom respects my reasons for becoming vegan, she just thinks it's unhealthy, though I'm not sure if she does anymore. She just came to visit me for a few days in AB after almost half a year of being away. She's surprised that "I don't look like a vegan". She figured I'd be underweight, malnourished and pale Don't blame her... She was vegetarian for 5 days while she was here and said she actually felt pretty good, so here's hoping it makes the diet more appealing. Planning on going back to Ontario in a few months so I'm working out almost every spare minute. I figure a good arm wrestling match with my dad would shut him up
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#5 Old 03-17-2011, 03:32 PM
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My parents are far from supportive unfortunately. Especially my dad (parents are divorced and I live with him and see him more often, but their view on my choice is essentially the same). He doesn't keep it silent and always starts bit**ing about it now and then, how I look ill and have lost weight, how I am missing important nutrients, and what bothers me most, he says that "I don't eat", it just winds me up . Sometimes he tries to make me change my mind like I was a little kid, like "how do you want to handle that motorcycle when you don't eat properly?" or "you won't find any girlfriend being so skinny!"
Sorry for venting in your thread, I just wanted to say that probably majority of veg*ns don't have it easy with their relatives (and I don't have veg*n friends to tell ).
And from my experience - when you open the topic among relatives, get ready for tons of (usualy stupid) questions...

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#6 Old 03-17-2011, 04:13 PM
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My family is very supportive. My mom talks all the time about how healthy I look. We also spend lots of time with extended family. Meals are still omni focused, but they always make sure that there is something for my son and me. I always take several vegetarian dishes, and they know that meals at our house will be vegetarian.

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#7 Old 03-17-2011, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lopete View Post

My parents are far from supportive unfortunately. Especially my dad (parents are divorced and I live with him and see him more often, but their view on my choice is essentially the same). He doesn't keep it silent and always starts bit**ing about it now and then, how I look ill and have lost weight, how I am missing important nutrients, and what bothers me most, he says that "I don't eat", it just winds me up . Sometimes he tries to make me change my mind like I was a little kid, like "how do you want to handle that motorcycle when you don't eat properly?" or "you won't find any girlfriend being so skinny!"
Sorry for venting in your thread, I just wanted to say that probably majority of veg*ns don't have it easy with their relatives (and I don't have veg*n friends to tell ).
And from my experience - when you open the topic among relatives, get ready for tons of (usualy stupid) questions...

No worries, vent away That's the kind of comments I get from my dad...

@ Mrs.Schu2u. I went to my best friends families for Thanksgiving last year(they have it 2 weeks later than everyone else for some reason) but they were so welcoming and understanding, I loved it. They all still ate their meat, but their grandma made me a vegan meal and we all used vegan margarine. It was amazing Then I go home to the "Are you sure you don't need milk for calcium? I think you should get your blood tested."
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#8 Old 03-18-2011, 03:41 AM
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I wouldn't say they are supportive, but they let me get on with my thing. my mum is not bad...sometimes she will cook a veggie family meal for everyone so we can all eat together.
i actually find that older people (ie. my grandparents) seem to disapprove of the vegetarian lifestyle more than anyone else.

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#9 Old 03-18-2011, 08:46 AM
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If you are comfortable discussing your decision, I would encourage you to discuss it with your family. Don't let them shame you or make you feel like this is some dirty little secret. It is a choice to be proud of and to tell others. For the most part, if people are aware, they will accomidate your choice. My (now ex) in-laws were very supportive and accomidating.

My family didn't agree at all with my decision to become veg. Even after 20+ years it is still a problem at times. But I found that through open honest discussion I have reached a point where we can agree to disagree and still be a family. For the most part I have found a way to enjoy their company and they seem to enjoy mine. Although I must admit that I live 1000 miles away from my nearest relative, so the limited time we spend together is great. I don't think it would be the same if we all lived in the same town.

I wanted to go veg when I was a kid, like 7 or 8 years old, but wasn't allowed to until I was 15. The first few years everyone was convinced that I would wither up and die from malnutrition. But the opposite happened. I had suffered from asthma and all sorts of medical issues my entire childhood and once I became veg they went away and I was able to be more active and become healither by far.

At first there was a alot of animosity between me and my family over my diet. Part of it was because they were ranchers and saw nothing wrong with their profession. I was very much an activist and brought the magazines with all the photos and shared how evil they were for participating. As I grew up I realized that approach wasn't going to work ever.

I then tried to be more accepting of their choices and asking them to be more accepting of mine. This is when things got better and they would actually ask me to cook veg dishes and now they will even accept me fixing a veg meal for them and no one will eat meat during the meal. Of course these meals are often followed by a trip to a fast food place for burgers, but it is a big step in the right direction.

I have never been a quiet person and never allowed my choice to be a family secret. I think my grandma wanted it to be hidden at the family runions because they were embarassed of my choice. She would fix a few dishes without meat for me and tell me ahead of time so I wouldnt' have to ask. But by my nature as a very outspoken teen, I went around and told everyone that I was now allowed to be a vegetarian and asked them to point out anything they brought that had dead animals in it so I was sure to not eat it. Not that I recommend this method, as it really created a mess to that took years to resolve. But I can say from experience it is possible to overcome even this kind of situation.
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#10 Old 03-18-2011, 12:49 PM
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Well, after a good little while of messing around and leaving silly posts on here, I suppose I can switch gears and say a bit here.

First off, I have a huge family, on my mom's side, and I almost never see any of them. Some of them are on my FB, and so catching the odd status update, the odd time I'm actually on FB, is about all I see of them. I like to post controversial things now and then, but few of them bother to comment. It's not that we don't get along or anything, my mom's family and us (me, my dad, and my sis), we just don't have very much in common, I guess. So, yeah, no issues there, really.

I've got less family on my dad's side, but I see them more. My grandfather just doesn't get it (my veganism, or probably anything else about me for that matter), and while my grandmother started off that way, she's come around, and now thinks I'm the one doing the healthier thing. I countered some of the misconceptions she had (but you have to milk cows, they would get really uncomfortable otherwise! ). I don't foresee any changes in her lifestyle anytime soon, but she went from thinking I was nuts to seeing why I do what I do, and thinking it's probably a good thing for me. Except for my grandfather, who sees what he wants to see, they all think I look better/healthier. Which is really the best argument we can make, from the health perspective, isn't it?

As for immediate family, I've talked to my parents the most about it, and they mostly agree with everything I say. I wouldn't say that they are ashamed of me being this way - they seem to get a kick out of me proving people wrong. So, sometimes, they're actually the ones to bring up my veganism with others for me! There are exceptions, though, haha, like the time we were on the train heading out West to visit my sister. We had a four-seater, and these big men who looked like hunters were sitting down in the four-seater opposite us. My parents exchanged a glance, and I could just feel them thinking, "Oh, no, what is she going to say now?" Hahaha... Actually, I was kind of annoyed, because I would have liked to have a big discussion with them right then (so that they would overhear us and possibly start talking to us), but I knew they weren't going for it.

All in all, I always end up feeling like I shouldn't post in these kinds of threads, as I've got it pretty good. Poor dear, right, 'cos my parents don't feel like educating people with me every time I feel like it by engaging in debate with me in public places? Okay, end rant. I'm sorry.

Direct action is always the clamorer, the initiator, through which the great sum of indifferentists become aware that oppression is getting intolerable. - Voltairine de Cleyre
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#11 Old 03-18-2011, 01:06 PM
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I was raised by a pack of wolves. From time to time, my dietary/lifestyle choices have tended to come up, but mostly my family either stays silent about them, or says 'oooooooooo' or 'grrrrrrrrr'. Sometimes they say 'woof'.

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#12 Old 03-18-2011, 02:02 PM
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My mom and two of my cousin's are cool with it.
My aunt is pretty much neutral on the subject except for one comment she made a couple years ago.
And my grandfather, older brother, cousin and other aunt are not cool with it at all.
My grandfather though is well into 80s and very stuck in his ways and i think he just doesn't understand the lifestyle. My older brother says I have no taste buds b/c of my diet, and my cousin doesn't get it. My aunt thinks its an eating disorder - even though she over eats

Oh my family, if I didn't look identical to my mother I would swear I'm adopted

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#13 Old 03-18-2011, 02:37 PM
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They typically range from indifferent to hostile. There's a couple \\who are cool about it though.

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#14 Old 03-18-2011, 02:49 PM
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my in-laws in the beginning were totally against it and voiced it clearly. I have two daughters 2 and 5. I think it was mostly lack of education and being brainwashed. We've been vegan 9 months now, and my girls and I are full of so much energy, my girls are growing. Even more amazing? My youngest always had problems gaining weight (she had CMPI allergic to the protein in dairy) and going vegan she did amazing, and started gaining weight!!! She noticed their asthma was a lot better, nearly gone!!! Seeing this, all the foods they eat, she has backed off. I used to be nervous when she'd take them out without me, but now because we only live 4hrs away if she tries and makes mistakes, I say nothing because it is the effort that counts. She gets the meat, but the hidden dairy can go right over her head. But my oldest now asks her to check the ingredients, thumbs up Scarlett.

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#15 Old 03-18-2011, 09:57 PM
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My Fiancee, My Parents, My Baby Bro and My Close Friends who I consider family are all very supportive....I am really lucky....I am not saying they dont razz me in a loving and funny way sometimes but other than that its all good....

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#16 Old 02-28-2012, 11:58 AM
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i cant tell anyone about my choice to be a vegetarian my family will tell me i am stupid and they will get rid of every vegetarian thing possble and only cook meat. like they been doing my whole life. I figured the best way is to just kep to myself about it. I told my boyfriend about it and he went to buy a pepperoni pizza and hot dogs. EWWW! so I figured I am on my own.
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#17 Old 02-28-2012, 12:44 PM
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Sorry that your family is so unsupportive. My family/husband have gradually become very accepting and now even go out of their way to make sure I will have something to eat at family events. Unfortunately a lot of people feel threatened by someone else being vegan/vegetarian and are uninformed about the benefits. I have now starting eating more raw which is even harder for them to even comprehend but you have to do what is right for you and best for your health. I hope you find support on VeggieBoards and hopefully find supportive people in your real life as well.

I eat everything that nature voluntarily gives: fruits, vegetables, and the products of plants. But I ask you to spare me what animals are forced to surrender: meat, milk, and cheese. ~Author Unknown
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#18 Old 02-28-2012, 11:29 PM
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My mom knows I've become a vegetarian--I've shared my decision with her as well as information about vegetarianism. It's no big deal with her, she's fine with it.

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#19 Old 02-29-2012, 12:09 AM
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I'm lucky that my family are all cool with it apart from one dickhead who isn't related to me anyway, but I had him rubbed out

auto correct can kiss my ask
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#20 Old 02-29-2012, 08:33 AM
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by all means don't keep it quiet, if you're serious about your choice, if it really means something for you, you should share it. Perhaps not be an annoying preacher, but at least saying i'm vegan, that's why, i'm proud of it and i recommend you to try it.

first, people can understand, second, you can be yourself, to hell with hiding or playing games, third, who knows if someone will not listen to you seriously and try to become at least vegetarian for a month or two just to see if it really changes how he feels and his health ?

It's people eating dead corpses and having blood on their hands that are ankwards, not vegans.
It's people who have cancer and diabetes that made a mistake somewhere with their health, not vegans.

Just be yourself, enjoy who you are, be happy with yourself, and let other people see your smile and your love.

For what's about me, my familly was kinda ok, thinking like oh, next time we will see him, he will be eating meat again, and they were saying so every time they were seeing me, year after year, but after 5 years, they understood i'm not gonna give up and that i really believe in what i do, and after 7-8 years of me being vegan and responding to social questions etc, some members aof my familly are going vegetarians, and even those who still eat meat eat less of it \\o/


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#21 Old 02-29-2012, 11:29 AM
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wow. my boyfriend helps me buy vegetarian food for me to eat when we go shopping so he is at least helpful in feeding me. its buying more n more meat at a time that bothers me. Also after i told my grandparents my grandmother called me stupid and my grandfather went and bought literally 30lbs of bacon (not an exaggeration the weight is on the box) i cried. i looked in my fridge and saw a cute little pig being abused. same thing with the hamburgers my grandfather was making outside. I am really sticking to my guns my family is just making it difficult. i went n got a mini fridge n some sorage area in my room for my food. I also started growing someof my own herbs and veggies. thank you for your support and help it really means alot.
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#22 Old 02-29-2012, 03:14 PM
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When i first went veg and told my boyfriend he kind of freaked out a little and told me i was getting to extreme but after amonth he accepted. I put my foot down and said this is how its going to be. Now hes very supportive. He doesnt eat veg but if say hes making spaghetti he will eithe rmake totally without meat or hell tell me when ts done so i can get some befor he adds the meat and he goes out and buys me veggie burgers and stuff.
My dad thought it was stupid as well and gave me the hole where will you get your protein and vitamins blah blah blah. But after a while he realized that i am an adult and can make my own decissions to. Hes ok with it to.
My grandpa doesnt understand and tells me that im being simple.
My mom is fine with it. She doesnt cook for me though. On occasion if she wants to make something to share and i read the ingredients and it has gelatin or something in it(ie vegetables that you steam in the bag) she will roll her eyes.
I dont really care what anyone elses opinions are but no one gives me a hard time besides just joking with me. My uncle is kind of rude sometimes but not by telling me that my decission is stupid or anything. He just says really rude things sometimes like hell just tell me to eat meat but hes kidding but its still rude
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#23 Old 02-29-2012, 08:27 PM
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yea my family isnt supportive at all. They tell me i am stupid and being an extremist about things. I just dont believe the animals should suffer for us. Everyone around me except my boyfriend is being very rude to me by shoving meat in my face and stuffing the kitchen with it. I just roll my eyes and eat an orange or something. I havent told my dad but thats a different story. I am a very eco-friendly kind of person and i guess i am the hippy in my family. I hate gelatin i always have my whole life. My boyfriend just buys me food that i can eat. n he will try it too but he complains that its not enough to fill him up. I just laugh.
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#24 Old 03-01-2012, 01:07 AM
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Charlotte, it must be really hard to stick to your guns when you're alone in your vegetarianism
IRL. Growing your own food is a fantastic idea, and I'm glad you found this site for information and support.
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#25 Old 03-01-2012, 06:32 AM
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My stepdad was a commercial fisherman, avid hunter, and stereotypical frontiersman who belonged in one of those old west movies. The house I grew up at on Fox Island, WA was built by his grandfather and had crumpled 1800's newspapers in the wall for insulation. I still remember the day we had electric heat installed, at my mom's demand, to replace the wood stove my stepdad preferred (and even afterwards we rarely used the electric heater), and the place we went to in Alaska when he was fishing was in a town of less than 50 with no roads going into it, only a small airfield and a seasonal grocery store. Hunting provided us with a significant portion of our food. In other words, my stepdad most definitely would not have approved of me being vegetarian. But he died when he was barely 50 and the rest of my family (who is normal, I might add, not weird like my stepdad) has always been completely supportive, always willing to make veggie options at family gatherings and even going so far as to experiment with those options themselves. My girlfriend's parents are the same way. Her mom stole all our vegetarian cook books when we had our baby so she could cook for us since we don't have much spare time anymore lol.

So no, no problems from any family members. Granted, some have asked if we plan on raising our baby vegetarian, to which we reply "of course." They might have an unsupportive look for a few seconds, but offer no real complaint. I mean my girlfriend is a nutritionist and I'm in better shape than anyone in my family, so what would they say even if they did object?

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#26 Old 03-01-2012, 12:16 PM
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I have thought of this and I don't care if family or friends supports me , I am me, I can choose how I live, I rather live a compassion life with out the fear of slaughter in my food thank you very much, I know a few family members understands my cause and they respect me, I am respecting them for their private lives, plus we live in another state, so it makes it easier for us to choose what we eat, my husband wants to limit the finances and he loves the idea of me being a Vegeterian almost Vegan in near future , so I can budget the food bill more, I don't like alot of processed crap, I am just eating simple things and enough calories per day so, I can live an example of my family and friends, I am loving this lifestyle.
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#27 Old 03-01-2012, 12:19 PM
Not such a Beginner ;)
 
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Peacefulveglady, that's a great attitude. It sounds as if you've been doing a great deal of thinking lately, and your husband as well. Yay veggies!
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#28 Old 03-01-2012, 12:27 PM
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I told my mother and she was very supportive she even said welcome back. She has always been supportive of my vegetarian lifestyle even when i was younger. I am very thankful for that. My boyfriend still thinks its not a very filling meal always. But he likes that i am so independent about it and am very dedicated to it
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#29 Old 03-01-2012, 12:31 PM
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I guess I'm very lucky. My family has always been perfectly supportive and accepting. My parents and brother are vegetarians, but they always keep meals mostly vegan when I'm around and look for vegan products for me. My extended family are omnivores and they always make sure I've got something to eat. Last reunion they made me a small vegan lasagna even though I was the only vegan there. None of them have ever argued with me or put me down for it.
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#30 Old 03-01-2012, 12:41 PM
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My family that I still see and my husband's family are very supportive of my veganism. They always give a lot of thought to gifts and how to prepare holiday meals for me.
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