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#1 Old 08-16-2007, 05:43 AM
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So I have been a vegetarian for two or three months now, and so far, my parents and I are not getting along very well. My mother is worried about me (even though we went to the doctor for a physical and blood work and the doctor told us I am very healthy) and often cries... She has told me I have "ruined everyone's life" and "ruined Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter..."



My brother seems to be the only one who supports me, and the only one who realizes holidays are about family, not food. I still do not want to make it hard for anyone on the holidays, though, so I plan on making dishes my whole family can enjoy. Has anyone had problems with family during the holidays?



I also have another... problem... I want to be a vegan, but I can't. My mother refuses to let me buy soy milk or make my own nut milk. Apparantly I need my cow milk and I will get sick without it. I have tried to show her otherwise, but my mother will not listen.



I usually have cereal every morning. It's the only thing that does not make me feel sick early in the morning. I usually have milk, but I am thinking about just eating dry cereal with water on the side, and adding some nuts. That way, I don't have to drink milk, and I avoid having another argument with my mother (I don't talk about vegetarianism... She brings it up and I usually try to change the subject. If I don't, we end up fighting). What do you think I should do? Should I continue to drink milk until I can move out?
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#2 Old 08-16-2007, 06:22 AM
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Can you buy your own soymilk?
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#3 Old 08-16-2007, 06:23 AM
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Rain, only you can know what your limits are and how important your family is for you.



My advice would be to stick to your guns and not let yourself be forced into being someone you do not wish to be.



You do not say how old you are, but you sound like someone who is pretty mature and who is able to think things through logically.



I think being yourself is far more important than family. You're going to have to live with yourself for the rest of your life and it's never too early to start being true to oneself.



And it's NEVER too early to question authority - whether it be parental or other. (And this is a mother of a teenager speaking.)
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#4 Old 08-16-2007, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain View Post

So I have been a vegetarian for two or three months now, and so far, my parents and I are not getting along very well. My mother... often cries... She has told me I have "ruined everyone's life" and "ruined Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter..."



Your mom sounds a bit dramatic, if I may say so.

If possible you can buy your own soy/rice milk. Or try something else for breakfast, like oatmeal?



Making veg*n dishes on holidays sounds like a great idea. You can find lots of tasty recipes all over.



Otherwise, I would just hold your ground, your parents will deal with it eventually.



Best of luck!
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#5 Old 08-16-2007, 06:40 AM
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Telling you that you "ruined Christmas" is not right. As far as the holidays, I would happily make plenty of veg*n options and allow your mother to cook whatever traditional dishes she always does. How could you then be ruining anything? You are simply adding more food to the bounty.



With the cow's milk, I would simply not drink it. Try using other liquids for your cereal, or look into cereals like oatmeal that don't require milks.



Perhaps your mother thinks this is only a phase in your life. The best defense might be to show her how serious you are, how happy this makes you, how educated you are on the topic, and how mature you can be about it.
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#6 Old 08-16-2007, 07:34 AM
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I think when people start talking about how veg*ns have ruined Christmas, Thanksgiving etc. they realize they have a very weak arguement in favour of killing animals for really no reason. You might have to let her get used to the idea for a few years and I think it's awesome that your mature enough to let the subject die for now when she brings it up. Maybe in a few years she'll be ready to talk about it more maturely.



You might want to show your mom this from the website of the American Diabetic Association:



Quote:
Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence. Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.



http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg...3_ENU_HTML.htm



I mean heck, if she wants you to be healthy...
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#7 Old 08-16-2007, 07:37 AM
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And if you do become vegan make sure you are eating well-planned meals and that you are taking a b12 supplement. Well, I guess that goes for vegetarians and omnis as well. Lol, it's funny how too much red meat increases your risk for cancer but rarely are omnis told to eat "well-planned" meals.
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#8 Old 08-16-2007, 08:15 AM
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Thank you for the advice everyone. I know I just have to stick to what I know is right and not let anyone influence me.



No, I cannot buy my own soy, rice, or nut milk, not even with my own money! She has 'forbidden' me...



SuperChicken, sometimes I can eat hot cereal like oatmeal in the morning (I usually have to wake up at 5:30), and sometimes I can't. It's better if I stick with cold cereal.



You are absolutely right, Lydia, my mother is overly dramatic. Why is not eating meat such a big deal?



Mr. Sun, I have tried to show this to my mother before. She will only listen to what she already agrees with.
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#9 Old 08-16-2007, 08:36 AM
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No, I cannot buy my own soy, rice, or nut milk, not even with my own money! She has 'forbidden' me...







Sorry to be a 'bad' influence - but whatever! Buy it anyway! It's your money, you'll be eating/drinking it, it is COMPLETELY unreasonable that she 'forbids' you. It's not like you want to buy heroin.









BTW: Is Rain your real name? My little girl has Rain for a middle name.... She ALMOST got it as a first name, but we didn'T want to overburden her with our own hippyness....
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#10 Old 08-16-2007, 09:06 AM
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Just one thing - If you stop drinking cow's milk without being able to buy soy milk, make sure that you're getting enough calcium and vitamin D elsewhere. There's plenty of other sources, but if you're just used to milk being your primary source (like most Americans), you might not get enough from other sources if you don't make a point of doing so.



--Fromper
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#11 Old 08-16-2007, 09:30 AM
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^ Yeah

Wannabe Veggies/vegans often have vitamin deficiencies because theyre cutting down on something and not replacing the vitamins etc



Tell your mother that if youre not allowed soy milk you'll stop drinking the normal crap and you'll suffer vitamin deficiencies. wheras, if your allowed to buy soymilk you'll still be healthy and get the vitamins. she cant hold you down and pour cow milk down your throat!
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#12 Old 08-16-2007, 10:20 AM
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I would try to be conciliatory rather than confrontational. If you get into knock-down drag-out fights, then this just hardens minds and makes reconciliation impossible. I would definitely try to turn your veg*nism into an intellectual rather than emotional discussion. With your Mom, this sounds like it may be a challenge.
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#13 Old 08-16-2007, 12:08 PM
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So, another vegetarian goes off and ruins Christmas. My God, what are you trying to do? Be a good person and follow your beliefs or something? Christmas dinner is going down the drain now. I mean honestly, who cooks vegetables for a Christmas dinner? At normal people's homes there is just a slab of beef and a slab of ham.



In all seriousness, your mom is just like mine. No matter what anyone tells her, no matter what the proof, she is right until she dies as a direct result of whatever she is arguing doesn't exist.
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#14 Old 08-16-2007, 12:42 PM
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... she is right until she dies as a direct result of whatever she is arguing doesn't exist.







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#15 Old 08-16-2007, 02:04 PM
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Hi Frustrated



It sounds like your having a hard time with Mum and I totally empathise with you. I am a Mother who has raised a very healthly 23 year old son on a vegertarian diet. In fact it has certainly contributed to the good heath we have experienced. My son is now an Archeologist working in England and his girlfriend is also a veggie at Oxford University. I became a vegertarian when I was at University in England with my husband over 25 years ago and I am now a vegan .We are very healthy and I also understand your Mums perspective. My parent's also had the same worrys and concerns. If your Mum want's to ask any questions about raising vegertarian children. I have alot of experience. I also think that family is very important. You only get one Mum and Dad in this life and your Mum sounds like a very concerned and good parent



Best Wishes SueUK
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#16 Old 08-16-2007, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain View Post

Thank you for the advice everyone. I know I just have to stick to what I know is right and not let anyone influence me.



No, I cannot buy my own soy, rice, or nut milk, not even with my own money! She has 'forbidden' me...



SuperChicken, sometimes I can eat hot cereal like oatmeal in the morning (I usually have to wake up at 5:30), and sometimes I can't. It's better if I stick with cold cereal.



You are absolutely right, Lydia, my mother is overly dramatic. Why is not eating meat such a big deal?



Mr. Sun, I have tried to show this to my mother before. She will only listen to what she already agrees with.



Wow, it's amazing that she has forbidden you to buy plant-based milks! I was very stubborn as a teenager (still am!) and I probably would have flat-out refused to drink cow's milk if my parents refused to let me buy soymilk. I can understand if a parent is on a tight budget and feels that soy milk is too expensive (unfortunately cow's milk is subsidized by the government and therefore SO much cheaper) - but not letting you pay for it yourself with your own money? Sounds like she has some control issues.



How many years until you are out on your own?

www.veganspoonful.com
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#17 Old 08-16-2007, 03:47 PM
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Hi Frustrated



It sounds like your having a hard time with Mum and I totally empathise with you. I am a Mother who has raised a very healthly 23 year old son on a vegertarian diet. In fact it has certainly contributed to the good heath we have experienced. My son is now an Archeologist working in England and his girlfriend is also a veggie at Oxford University. I became a vegertarian when I was at University in England with my husband over 25 years ago and I am now a vegan .We are very healthy and I also understand your Mums perspective. My parent's also had the same worrys and concerns. If your Mum want's to ask any questions about raising vegertarian children. I have alot of experience. I also think that family is very important. You only get one Mum and Dad in this life and your Mum sounds like a very concerned and good parent



Best Wishes SueUK



I think a good parent would objectively read something from the American Dietetic Association and assume they haven't been paid off by a vegan extremist group. The OP says she showed her that the ADA says a vegan diet can be healthy and her mom ignores that. That is not good parenting, imo. I'm not saying that her mom isn't a good parent overall but it sounds like she's overreacting in an extreme degree. Of course we are only getting one side of the story.



That being said, I think you make a good point that the OP has only one dad and one mom and needs to be keep in mind that family is very important. But the OP seems to have a good head on her shoulders.
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#18 Old 08-16-2007, 05:34 PM
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Hi Sunny



I expect your right. I'm sure parent's should do alot of things and don't always get everything perfectly right all of the time. But just like the mainstream public parents are people too, and can also be misinformed and in need of educating. I guess in an ideal world every parent would research alternatives to mainstream diets without predjudice,but this is often not the case. Life involves a very long interweaving journey with family. It's often a good way forward to learn how to Knit rather than drop stiches along the way.

Best wishes Sue UK
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#19 Old 08-16-2007, 05:56 PM
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I wouldn't even expect her mom to research alternatives. In fact if her mom was truly concerned about her daughter's health I would expect the mom to insist that she eat meat and if not meat to at least consume dairy.



But a good parent would also challenge the daughter (or son) to prove that a vegan diet is healthy and be open to being proven incorrect on previous assumptions. Providing information from an objective source that specializes in dietary concerns should be enough to at least have the parent say s/he'll think about it.



I also think it is bad parenting to say that a child is ruining all the family gatherings -- I can understand where the mom is coming from but I think such statements are very immature. I don't expect perfection from anyone but immaturity has to be pointed out -- at least to confirm to the OP that she isn't being unreasonable. In fact I think she's being very mature by changing the subject when the mom wants to argue about veg*nism.
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#20 Old 08-16-2007, 05:58 PM
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I have to agree with Mr. Sun. To say that her choice is 'ruining christmas' seems a tad self-absorbed to me.
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#21 Old 08-16-2007, 06:13 PM
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I think I will post this link here, as well, as it's very straight forward, easy to read, and highly convincing. Would she read it?



http://www.empowermentresources.com/...ities1989.html









ETA: I'm actually tempted to print this out, and give it to all those people who ask 'why are you vegan?'
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#22 Old 08-17-2007, 05:08 AM
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Nookle, I would show her the link, but I will get one of two reactions. One, she will take the computer away from me, or two, she will read it, and consider it vegan 'propaganda'.



Rain is not my real name, but it is my nickname. I think Rain would make a pretty first or middle name, though.





My mother actually knows two vegans, and both are very unhealthy. One, a cousin of mine, has an eating disorder, and recently started a raw vegan diet (as another way of limiting her foods). If you look at her, she is basically bones. Maybe she is afraid I will turn out like her?



I think only time will change her mind. It would just be nice to have little support, or at least acceptance...





One of the reasons she does not want me to drink soy milk or any other plant milk is because she read an article that stated it was unhealthy. She has never shown me this article.





Cornflower, It will be three more years until I'm out on my own in college. I can't even drive yet!
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#23 Old 08-17-2007, 08:36 AM
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My mother actually knows two vegans, and both are very unhealthy. One, a cousin of mine, has an eating disorder, and recently started a raw vegan diet (as another way of limiting her foods). If you look at her, she is basically bones. Maybe she is afraid I will turn out like her?









So there is more to the story....



That's why it is so important for vegans to do some research when becoming vegan. Unhealthy vegans ruin it for others who want to become vegan and reafirm for omnis that veganism is unhealthy.







Nookle, cool link. For the athletes: Dave Scott did win those triathlalons as a vegetarian but he now eats fish. Because fish are like, vegetables, like they don't have a nervous system, so like it's bad to eat cows and dogs and stuff but eating fish is ok.



And I'm surprised Bill Pearl didn't make it onto that list. He became vegetarian in 1969 and won his final Mr. Universe in 1971. Here he is over 15 years after becoming vegetarian: http://www.shelterpub.com/_fitness/_...dumb_color.jpg



And I'm surprised Carl Lewis isn't on the list. He set the world record in the 100 meters at 9.86 seconds the first year he became vegan. The record has since been broken but it proves that veganism didn't slow him down.
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#24 Old 08-17-2007, 08:52 AM
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I'm also sorry that you're having to go through this, Rain. I live on my own, but my mom will occasionally make comments about my veganism (i.e., "too bad you won't eat this wonderful christmas ham" or "you're too picky, it makes it hard to eat out"), but she knows the research I've done and seems to realize that I am my own person who will be intelligent in my decisions. Both of my parents do seem to think that a lot of my information (especially about animal mistreatment) is "propoganda," but I--like Mr. Sun--don't see how she can think that about the ADA It does make it harder though when you have unhealthy vegan relatives (as far as I know, NONE of my other relatives are veg*n--healthy or otherwise). As far as your cereal, maybe you could order powerdered soy milk from an on-line store (or if you have a good store that carries it nearby) so that you could keep it in your room and just reconstitute some when needed, then sneak it into your cereal
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#25 Old 08-17-2007, 08:58 AM
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^^^ hey, sneaky. Buy your own bottled milk because it's higher quality or something (that's what you tell your mom). Then just keep filling the bottle with powdered soymilk/water and enjoy, lol.



Or bottled goats milk -- that way if someone else tastes it they'll think goats milk tastes funny.
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#26 Old 08-17-2007, 01:08 PM
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and put juice on your cold cereal. It tastes better than water (bleh!) and isn't "weird" to parents.
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#27 Old 08-17-2007, 01:33 PM
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Mr. Sun, actually, I had not thought about my cousins until today... They are not close cousins, I have never met them before (and did not even know of them until last year), but I have seen pictures. My mother has never mentioned the cousins, so I do not even know if this is the reason for everything...





Good idea carabdle! I might just try that...
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#28 Old 08-17-2007, 03:12 PM
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People with eating disorders often turn to veg*nism as a way of covering up their illness.



The ADA site is about as far as you can get from vegan propaganda. They are highly influenced by the meat and dairy industries.



Your mom seems to be highly controlling. You should ask her to be open minded about it, just for a few minutes. She should give you a chance to present your case.



As for the plant milks - the only one that there may even be any concern over is soy (though that's highly debateable). What about rice milk?
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#29 Old 08-17-2007, 07:37 PM
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I managed to have a somewhat normal conversation with my mother today (she did not yell for once), and she agreed to support me if I drink milk. She said it is all she can handle right now.



She says she may buy organic skim milk for me. Is this any better than normal milk? Should I drink milk for three more years to keep my mother happy?... I may be able in a year or so to convince her to let me drink a plant-based milk once I prove to her I can be healthy...



I don't know... I do not want to drink milk, but I don't see how I can get around it really...
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#30 Old 08-17-2007, 07:47 PM
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I managed to have a somewhat normal conversation with my mother today (she did not yell for once), and she agreed to support me if I drink milk. She said it is all she can handle right now.



She says she may buy organic skim milk for me. Is this any better than normal milk? Should I drink milk for three more years to keep my mother happy?... I may be able in a year or so to convince her to let me drink a plant-based milk once I prove to her I can be healthy...



I don't know... I do not want to drink milk, but I don't see how I can get around it really...





Your mother cannot force you to do anything. Organic milk really isn't much better for the animals than regular milk (assuming you're doing it for the animals). Just don't drink it. Tell your mother that you have made an informed decision not to drink milk and since you want to make sure you get all the nutrients you need, you'll just have to drink soy/rice/etc milk instead.



Probably not a good idea to bring it up right away, but it seems like she's coming around. I don't mean to tell you to disobey your mother, because that's not good. But it's not good that she's trying to control you either. You need to respect each other, and to do so you need to be open and talk about this.



The offer I made to you in the PM I sent you still stands.
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