My dad is not understanding :( - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-02-2016, 03:20 PM
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My dad is not understanding :(

I am a pretty new vegan and have been having problems with my dad. He doesn't think there is ever "any" reason to become a vegan and thinks it is ridiculous and extreme that anyone would. He doesn't say this about me specifically, but when I was first becoming vegan he said this about "people" in general.

Now everyday, like with every single food in the house, he'll ask if I can eat it and then express dismay when I can't. It makes me mad that he makes such a big deal out of it.

Example conversation (insert another food item and this conversation happens almost word for word- at least for him, I at least change up my responses a bit- multiple times per day):
Dad: So, you eating these (store-bought) cookies? They can't have much dairy or egg in them.
Me: I bet they do have animal-derived products in them and either way I would not want them anyway. I never even liked those cookies.
Dad: Wow, it's so sad you can't eat ANY of the food you used to like. All of your favorites you can never eat. Wow, it's so sad. Besides there is no harm in you eating something that has a little bit of animal products in it once in a while. When I was younger I made sure not to drink alcohol for health reasons, but on my wedding day I drank some because there's no reason to be extreme about anything. (Apparently he doesn't know I don't ENJOY knowing that I have murdered and abused animal in my mouth?! Like, sure, that's TOTALLY crazy!)

Another example that shows how silly he must be: Today he asked me if I would eat these donuts that they had bought from a store. When I said no, he replied, "I think they would be good for you." Are you serious? What?! I know he has never put a lot of stock in healthy food , but what the heck would possess anyone to say that store bought sugary oil filled calorie filled preservative filled donuts would be "good for you"!?

I don't know how to handle it. As it is I don't say much when he says this. I always keep my anger to myself. But I really want him to at least STOP saying these things even if he doesn't understand why anyone would ever imagine being vegan. Thank you for sharing any suggestions you have. And thank you for reading this kind of long post.
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#2 Old 03-02-2016, 03:39 PM
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Old habits are hard to break.

You have to show him compassion, cuz he's your Dad.

Calmly ask if eating meat increases one's health. Ask for scientific proof.

Some people don't care about animals or their health. You have to accept that.

Maybe he will change....maybe not.

That doesn't prevent you from living your life to it's fullest potential.

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#3 Old 03-02-2016, 04:23 PM
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Have you tried grocery shopping with him? Sometimes that can help, because if you have prepared in advance, you'll know which products you can buy that are vegan. There are actually some really odd things (like Oreos!) that are vegan, and even though they aren't healthy, it might help him understand that your diet is not about excluding him, but helping the animals.

Also, if he's open to it, you might try to get him to watch Cowspiracy on Netflix. It goes over pretty well with meat-eaters. It probably won't convince him to go vegan, but it might go a long way towards helping him understand why you are vegan.

Good luck!
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#4 Old 03-02-2016, 05:09 PM
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Is he worried about your weight being low? That might explain the interesting doughnut comment!

Maybe if you tell your dad what you're eating each day, he'll worry less and begin to understand.

I know I was a pain to my son at first when he went veg because i thought be couldn't grow up healthy without meat. Lol, now we're all vegan and he's a 6 foot martial artist.
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#5 Old 03-02-2016, 05:55 PM
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Ah, apparently your dad loves you and might be a teeny bit intimated that you seem to be rejecting your background - of which he's probably a very big part. Go easy on him, keep a sense of humor, make home some tasty vegan treats to share, and reassure him you'll always love him. In time, everything will sort itself out. Don't preach, don't let a wedge come between you, and remind him of all the other ways you and he agree. Good luck!
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#6 Old 03-04-2016, 07:04 PM
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Tell him how he upsets you and you'd love his support. If he can't support you, at least he knows what makes you upset. Maybe he'll lay off of you if he understands he's bothering you.

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#7 Old 03-04-2016, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Ah, apparently your dad loves you and might be a teeny bit intimated that you seem to be rejecting your background - of which he's probably a very big part. Go easy on him, keep a sense of humor, make home some tasty vegan treats to share, and reassure him you'll always love him. In time, everything will sort itself out. Don't preach, don't let a wedge come between you, and remind him of all the other ways you and he agree. Good luck!
Such wisdom in this post!

I can think of three main reasons that a parent would be against their child's going vegan:

(1) As Poppy and others have noted, it may seem to him that you are rejecting your family's collective background, his parental wisdom as it were.

(2) He may be worried that a vegan diet is not healthy.

(3) A parent may be annoyed about having to buy (and prepare) food items separate from what the rest of the family eats.

I am going to concentrate on # 2, here. If you have the ability to watch a streaming video with your dad, either on your TV or on your computer, see if you can talk him into watching a couple of the following. They are all by physicians, all are fairly short, and all describe how a well-planned, whole-food, plant-based diet is the optimum one for good health:

Dr. Joel Fuhrman: http://www.drfuhrman.com/default.aspx
(See his wonderful, short video, “I Love Nutritional Science”, on YouTube at the following (shortened) link: http://tinyurl.com/oo5vvlt .

Dr. Dean Ornish: http://deanornish.com/
(See his wonderful, short video, “Seven Billion Well”, on YouTube at the following (shortened) link: http://tinyurl.com/z2nya69 .

Dr. John McDougall: https://www.drmcdougall.com/
(See his wonderful, short video, “The Food We Were Born to Eat”, on YouTube at the following (shortened) link: http://tinyurl.com/njropdj .

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn: http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/
(See his wonderful, short video, “Making Heart Attacks History”, on YouTube at the following (shortened) link: http://tinyurl.com/pn2jth6 .
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