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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My mom and step-dad found out about me not wanting to eat meat anymore. I didn't tell her flat out earlier because I thought she would call me crazy and be angry or something. I have a pretty good relationship with my mom, but I also kind of know the way she is.

First, we were at Macy's, and she was getting a pair of suede shoes, as well as a pair of leather shoes. She kept asking me if I liked the shoes while she was looking at the shoes there, and I said, "I don't like leather or suede. Poor cows." She kept pressuring me about them and looked at more shoes, and many of them looked like they had leather or suede parts. I started to say things more along the line of, "I don't think it's right to murder cows for a pair of shoes" when she asked my opinion. I didn't mean to sound "preachy", but I wanted to show my point of view so she'd understand my decision and not just dismiss me as "crazy". Finally, I said something like, "Did you know they don't even take the skin from the cows killed for food, so two different cows are killed for your shoes and meal?". She responded by flat-out telling me, "Yeah, I know, I just told you it was all taken from the same cow when you were little." I was kind of shocked about it, because I thought she had actually told me that because she believed it. Now, thinking back to what she said, I feel really hurt and betrayed.

We went to Elephant Bar after that for dinner. My mom had said earlier that cows aren't the same as people and they just stand there, and I told her they are capable of the same emotions and do more than just "stand there", contrary to what society wants us to believe. When she said something about me getting the chicken, I said chickens were equal as well and I didn't want to support killing them. She got very upset then when I said I was getting the vegetable stir fry, and she said I can't be a vegetarian because I'm young and need meat. I told her I'd done research and that I knew what to eat to get all the nutrients, and she said I couldn't eat nuts all the time because of my kidneys (I have a kidney disease so I can't eat a lot of certain things), but I said I could make it up in other foods, such as a variety of beans, but she still was saying I'd end up in the hospital. I really appreciate her watching out for my health, but I was upset that she was being so close-minded, not even listening to me or giving me the chance to try and prove that I could get all the necessary nutrients in a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Then she began to insult and attack me. She said things like, "You've gone crazy!" loudly and repeatedly, and even said, "I don't know who you're hanging out with, but you need to find other people". I'm not the type of person to do anything to be popular, fit in, or go out of my way to be the same as those around me, and she knows it, so this upset me a lot. Also, even if any of my friends weren't omnis (all of the people I know at my school are), then I don't think I should stop being friends with them because they're moral and compassionate enough to understand and care about animals and not support their murder. She wouldn't even let me defend myself, though, and even if I could have, she was just hearing me, not listening, and she wouldn't even try to understand my wanting to live cruelty-free. My step-dad agreed with her during all of this, and he said "Why don't you just eat some shrimp or something instead of meat?" and I tried to quickly say that I didn't want to harm any animal, but he didn't even let me finish before rolling his eyes and turning away in a very arrogant, exaggerate way. I feel like they just don't want to know what's going on in the world, and they don't want anyone else to know or care, either. I expected this, but not to the extent of insulting me and making me feel like a bad person by calling me insane for my choices.

I didn't necessarily question becoming vegan, but I do feel very, very alone, more than I ever have before. My friends aren't really mean to me about becoming vegan, but they aren't very supportive, either. I feel like they didn't even hear me when I told them, they didn't seem uncomfortable, they just seemed to think I was odd or crazy, but at least they didn't say it. Many people here eat meat and are used to the lifestyle, and we're near many farms, so maybe they're just numb to the cruelty and don't understand why I would make such a drastic choice to them. When my family doesn't support me either, and in fact is as complete opposite as possible, I feel a little hopeless now. I can't really explain it, but I just feel very sad and cornered.

EDIT: Mods: I'm not sure if this belongs here or in new vegetarians. If it belongs there, please feel free to move this thread there
 

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I'm really sorry.


Do you have a doctor you see regularly? It may help if you talk to him/her and discuss a healthy vegetarian diet so your mom can know this is possible. Maybe hearing it from a professional who is familiar with you specifically will help. Know that not all doctors are informed or supportive of this, despite the facts being out there, but it's worth a shot! Maybe working with a Registered Dietitian is an option?

Here are some links that may help. Your mom may not be ready to hear you out on this, and she may feel defensive or that you're being preachy, so maybe leaving some of these articles out could help, she may see you're serious and informed!

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/he...tarianTeen.pdf

http://www.pcrm.org/newsletter/dec07/teens.html

http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/v..._children.html

http://www.suite101.com/content/is-v...r-teens-a91558

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/teennutrition.htm

http://www.health-mind-body.com/vegetarian-teens.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by *AHIMSA* View Post

I'm really sorry.


Do you have a doctor you see regularly? It may help if you talk to him/her and discuss a healthy vegetarian diet so your mom can know this is possible. Maybe hearing it from a professional who is familiar with you specifically will help. Know that not all doctors are informed or supportive of this, despite the facts being out there, but it's worth a shot! Maybe working with a Registered Dietitian is an option?

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/he...tarianTeen.pdf
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/he...tarianTeen.pdf

http://www.pcrm.org/newsletter/dec07/teens.html

http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/v..._children.html

http://www.suite101.com/content/is-v...r-teens-a91558

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/teennutrition.htm

http://www.health-mind-body.com/vegetarian-teens.html
Thanks for the links! My mom has seen dietitians before so she knows about some foods, like she was getting mad because I was eating white rice instead of brown and said that a dietitian she saw told her white rice has no nutritional value. She seems to know about the good foods I could eat, and I'm willing to eat them as long as they're vegan, but when I tried to talk to her earlier, she didn't really want to help me. I'm going to try to create my own grocery list, though, and then get the things I want next time we go to the store and cook them myself so I can prove to her that I can take care of myself and be vegan. I'm just hoping she stops the criticism and insults and will be willing to buy some of the food for me if it's something we don't normally buy, like different types of beans or more exotic vegetables than basic carrots and peas. She has a vitamin magazine, too, that I saw her looking at the other day. Though I doubt she'll be willing to get any for me, I might ask her if I can get a multi-vitamin so she'll feel better about me getting all the nutrients I need.
 

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I'm sorry that your mom isn't more understanding of your decision. Back in the day, I had a friend who I persuaded to go vegan, and her parents told her she needed to stop hanging out with me and that I'd brainwashed her. But she stuck to her guns.

I know what it feels like to be alone. About one year ago I went through a serious bout of depression because I felt so isolated due to my lifestyle. Sometimes I still do. When those feelings creep up, I tell myself that what the animals go through is 10000 times worse than any loneliness I might be experiencing. And now that I have VB, I feel that I am actually part of a community of caring individuals who share my values (love you guys!). You are doing what is right, and what is right is often ridiculed before it is accepted.

We are here for you, and we accept you. I know it isn't the same as real life friends, but sometimes just knowing that there are people out there who are like you can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Originally Posted by sequoia View Post

I'm sorry that your mom isn't more understanding of your decision. Back in the day, I had a friend who I persuaded to go vegan, and her parents told her she needed to stop hanging out with me and that I'd brainwashed her. But she stuck to her guns.

I know what it feels like to be alone. About one year ago I went through a serious bout of depression because I felt so isolated due to my lifestyle. Sometimes I still do. When those feelings creep up, I tell myself that what the animals go through is 10000 times worse than any loneliness I might be experiencing. And now that I have VB, I feel that I am actually part of a community of caring individuals who share my values (love you guys!). You are doing what is right, and what is right is often ridiculed before it is accepted.

We are here for you, and we accept you. I know it isn't the same as real life friends, but sometimes just knowing that there are people out there who are like you can help.
Thank you
Just telling people what happened today with my mom makes me feel a little better. If I tell any of the people I know in real life, I don't think they'd know how to respond or comfort me or anything. One person I know even used to help on her uncle's pig farm in Mexico (where she used to live) from a very young age, and saw many pigs slaughtered, so she's sort of seems immune to anything I say about cruelty because she was raised to believe it's all normal and natural for someone to do. I feel like this world expects us all to be brave and strong, thinking any sensitivity, even to cruelty, is weak or bad, so I can't really tell many people of my feelings without them looking down on me. I'm very glad I found VeggieBoards, though. Everything people say here seems so logical and just makes sense for once, and everyone seems a lot friendlier, too, than many others I encounter in the world.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about this. I tried going veg*n when I was 9, and met with very harsh resistance from my parents, who pushed me back onto meat.

And my attitude was much like Lisa's from the episode of the Simpsons where she goes vegetarian (Google "Lisa the Vegetarian" for the video, if you haven't seen that episode of it already you might be able to relate to that one), where I was disgusted about everyone else eating meat. You can never control someone else's behavior, but it's hardly unreasonable to get them to respect your choices. And as a teen who's probably still growing, you are making a great choice by avoiding animal products which are toxic and can cause you health problems down the track, even if your family doesn't realize this!

What may have to happen also if you doing most of your own cooking. But then you can turn this into a good thing, by making lots of delicious food that even the omnis in your family love!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Originally Posted by Mia82 View Post

I'm sorry to hear about this. I tried going veg*n when I was 9, and met with very harsh resistance from my parents, who pushed me back onto meat.

And my attitude was much like Lisa's from the episode of the Simpsons where she goes vegetarian (Google "Lisa the Vegetarian" for the video, if you haven't seen that episode of it already you might be able to relate to that one), where I was disgusted about everyone else eating meat. You can never control someone else's behavior, but it's hardly unreasonable to get them to respect your choices. And as a teen who's probably still growing, you are making a great choice by avoiding animal products which are toxic and can cause you health problems down the track, even if your family doesn't realize this!

What may have to happen also if you doing most of your own cooking. But then you can turn this into a good thing, by making lots of delicious food that even the omnis in your family love!
I think I have seen that episode, and I can definitely relate to that. I have been a bit disgusted by others eating meat now, especially raw meat that looks very red, and I can just imagine it as a dead, brutally killed cow, where before I just thought of it generally as just "food". However, I don't tell anyone anything about it or try to make them feel bad. I think the worse thing I've done is define what gelatin is while watching a cupcake challenge show and my mom said something about her not knowing what it was so I told her. Other than that, I've restrained my thoughts on animal products and byproducts except while defending my own choice today. I hope someday, somehow my parents wake up and realize how terrible the meat industry is, at least enough to just respect my choices and not let this come between us.

I do currently cook most of my own meals anyway, but I've never done many full homemade things, though I'm definitely going to start trying out healthy vegan recipes so I can prove that I'm healthier than I was before deciding to become vegan. Right now the rest of my family doesn't exactly eat anything nutritious. They eat meat, but it's often fried, and they drown all their vegetables with butter. If I can show them that I can get all my nutrients and become much healthier than I was before, I think they might at least back off a little. I think until they understand and know the truth, they'll still think I'm just crazy, but at least they won't have the excuse of my health to try to stop me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Originally Posted by Mia82 View Post

On the health front also, Forks Over Knives is about to come out, if it hasn't already. A family showing of that might be good for you guys. Good luck!

I also found this book on Amazon which comes out June 1st and may be helpful: http://www.amazon.com/Generation-Com...4834357&sr=8-1
Thanks! I'm going to try to convince my family to watch that with me, though I'm not sure they will. I really like that book, though, and I'll probably get it when it comes out, especially since it also deals with family reactions in addition to the actual vegan diet and foods.
 

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Originally Posted by disney.jessica View Post

Thanks! I'm going to try to convince my family to watch that with me, though I'm not sure they will. I really like that book, though, and I'll probably get it when it comes out, especially since it also deals with family reactions in addition to the actual vegan diet and foods.
Exactly, and a significant part of how you go as a vegan up untill you move away from home is how your family deals with it. My family had a nasty reaction, but at least I went back to veganism in adulthood. If you do end up slipping which is easy to do when you still live at home, don't be too hard on yourself, and don't look at it as a reason to give up.
 

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What I believe to be true on this issue is that there are certain people who this is worth discussing with, and certain people who will never get it. If you try to discuss it with the latter, they will simply lash out and behave exactly like you said. This leads to hurt feelings on both sides of the argument as both believe very firmly that they are right and the other party is crazy. What I suggest is simply saying that you are a vegetarian, if they start to ask in a pest-like way (genuine interest and general ignorance are easily distinguishable and you will probably encounter both) just say that it is for your own reasons, maybe make a joke about it, treat it casually.

The truth is these people are your parents (except your step-dad of course but he's still in that position) and starting conflicts over something you will never see eye to eye on is silly. I agree with the above post by Ahisma suggesting you get a doctor to prove to them you're healthy, to solve that issue since it is true concern, and then just tell them not to worry about it and don't bring it up. If they bring it up in a negative light, don't go at it for the purpose of going at it. Instead just tell them you're not going to deal with that right now and you want to get along with them, so you have to agree to disagree. I know it's hard, and I know how it is to desperately want people to see your point of view, but you have to accept that some people are so set in their ways that they will never be pulled over to your side, maybe they won't even ever fully accept your side. But you need to make it apparent to them that you are also set in your beliefs, and arguing is useless.
 

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All I can say is that you will be older soon, you will go to college or move out and meet new people. Once you move away from the closed world and into the real one, there will be people who respect and even practice the choices you have made. Regardless of your parent's motives, they have no right to disrespect a decision you are making as you do not disrespect their decision to continue eating meat. I know it's hard when they don't understand but it's a choice that is not harming anyone and is in fact keeping others from being harmed. Keep strong, I'm an agnostic-veg who comes from a catholic-omni family, even if it's not my parents that give me a hard time, I know what you're going through.
 

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Nobody in my family/extended family, or friends were vegetarian, so when I switched my parents worried aswell. Now I've crossed the year marker for veganism and I'm the healthiest person in the family. They'll come around... even if it means showing them that you'll be healthy instead of telling them. It only gets easier
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, everyone!
I've now been vegan for three weeks and everything has been getting better. I've also been able to cope with all the negativity and disrespect better, too. My mom hasn't been as bad recently, but she goes back and forth on her amount of support. I guess she didn't believe I was really becoming a vegetarian, let alone a vegan, because one day last week I decided to have an Oreo for my dessert that weekend and she told me, "See, you're not vegan, chocolate is milk!". I told her chocolate is made from the cacao bean so it's actually a plant and some types of dark chocolate are vegan and chocolate itself is not a dairy product, it only is if milk is added. I guess she didn't believe me because she looked online and realized it was. Then I guess she was looking at other accidentally vegan foods because then she said, "Cracker Jacks are vegan too! I'm surprised because I thought caramel was dairy". Then she started listing off different vegan foods and was acting really helpful and supportive. So now most days she acts like this, changing from hostile to supportive, probably when she realizes I'm actually serious and have done my research. Most of the time she's more neutral and doesn't really care but isn't supportive either. As long as I make my own food, take my multivitamin, and eat well then she seems to mind less and less. My stepdad thinks it's a big joke or something, but I don't care what he thinks. My friends are being less hostile, too. They seem more uneducated about veganism than purposely trying to be mean now, so I just ignore the comments.

The only thing I'm worried about now is a family party I'm going to this weekend. I have a big family, and everyone eats meat and are the type of people that look down on those who care about animals, calling them "animal wackos". I don't think the ridicule will stop me from staying vegan, but I am a bit nervous about enduring it. I'm already a sort of black sheep of my family. I'm really shy and have self esteem issues sometimes, and that side of the family like to make fun of me and yell at me a lot so I don't like to visit them anyway, but it's a birhday party and I have no choice in going.
 

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Sounds like your situation has really gotten better! Sticking with your guns really does help in the long run


That birthday party sounds awful though. They shout at you? Really??? That alone would be a reason for me to not go anymore. Anyway, if that's not an option, make some yummy food and take it along. Cake, Chinese stirfry, falafel, quiche, something really delicious. Treat yourself! And then enjoy it while they see themselves forced to eat corpses.
 

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Parents can say cruel things esp since they dont understand it.
I lost 3 kg's since becoming vegetarian, just happened even thou I am eating twice as much healthy food as before - My moms reaction to me becoming vegetarian was WOW you lost so much weight dont become anorexia now and my dads response was : wow you look fantastic weightloss really looks great on you.

"sigh"

somethings will never change.

I am healthier then every now - but for them it will probably always be about weight.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by disney.jessica View Post

The only thing I'm worried about now is a family party I'm going to this weekend. I have a big family, and everyone eats meat and are the type of people that look down on those who care about animals, calling them "animal wackos". I don't think the ridicule will stop me from staying vegan, but I am a bit nervous about enduring it. I'm already a sort of black sheep of my family. I'm really shy and have self esteem issues sometimes, and that side of the family like to make fun of me and yell at me a lot so I don't like to visit them anyway, but it's a birhday party and I have no choice in going.
Do you have a car and driver's licence? If you do, just say, I really have to go now, I have another appointment. If you don't, do you have a friend that does, and is familiar enough with the situation you can call them and say, "Could you please pick me up?" Also, I think you should probably eat before you go to this party. These people sound like the type that would sneak in animal/dairy/egg products in when you aren't looking. I hope I'm wrong on that, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Originally Posted by Kjesta View Post

Sounds like your situation has really gotten better! Sticking with your guns really does help in the long run


That birthday party sounds awful though. They shout at you? Really??? That alone would be a reason for me to not go anymore. Anyway, if that's not an option, make some yummy food and take it along. Cake, Chinese stirfry, falafel, quiche, something really delicious. Treat yourself! And then enjoy it while they see themselves forced to eat corpses.
Yes my family can be really cruel. It's my grandfather's birthday and my mom, brothers, and I lived with my grandparents for two years in between my mom's divorce and us selling our house. They used to nitpick everything I did, they got mad at me for spending too much time doing homework, too much time walking my dog, too much time going on the computer (though I was usually just researching for homework and projects for school), and they also criticized anything I ate. I've never eaten much meat before going vegan, so they used to get mad if I didn't eat something they had. I made my own food, or I helped my mom with the dishes she was preparing for us that day, but they would still get upset and call me picky when they saw me cooking, especially if my mom wasn't there to stand up for me (if I stood up for myself I'd be called disrespectful and rebellious so I just never talked to them). They made fun of my love of animals, and my grandfather wouldn't treat my dog or cats in the humane, equal way I treat companion animals, with respect and compassion, and when I told him to stop or leave my animals alone, I'd be yelled at. Now that I've become vegan, I'm certain they'll call me picky and ridicule me. I have stress issues and have been hospitalized before from stress so I really hate being around them, but I don't have a choice in the matter and it'd probably be worse if I didn't show up because they'd be really upset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kasandra View Post

Parents can say cruel things esp since they dont understand it.
I lost 3 kg's since becoming vegetarian, just happened even thou I am eating twice as much healthy food as before - My moms reaction to me becoming vegetarian was WOW you lost so much weight dont become anorexia now and my dads response was : wow you look fantastic weightloss really looks great on you.

"sigh"

somethings will never change.

I am healthier then every now - but for them it will probably always be about weight.
Yeah, I just wished They could step into my shoes, just for a minute, and realize and understand how I feel about not wanting to murder and torture animals. They're so close-minded, though, I'm not sure if they'll ever understand, though they may just get more accepting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purp View Post

Do you have a car and driver's licence? If you do, just say, I really have to go now, I have another appointment. If you don't, do you have a friend that does, and is familiar enough with the situation you can call them and say, "Could you please pick me up?" Also, I think you should probably eat before you go to this party. These people sound like the type that would sneak in animal/dairy/egg products in when you aren't looking. I hope I'm wrong on that, though.
I'm 15 so I don't have either. I have some friends that do, but the party is over an hour from where I live so I don't think they'll drive that far anyway because of gas and they're usually busy working on weekends. Also, I'm going with my mom, stepdad, and little brothers so I don't think I'd be able to leave anyway without them all getting mad at me. I probably will eat before, because I don't think they really even know what I could eat anyway. If I tell them dairy theyll just think straight milk or cheese and try to get me to eat breads that have milk in them or something.
 
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