More and more teenagers are turning into vegans nowadays, while some may have their opinion accepted and supported by the close family members, most would struggle to follow a plant based diet due to several reasons, and in most cases, the number one reason is their family being against it.
Now this might have an affect on all of us, but teenagers are the one’s who would experience the biggest pressure, so there’s a question rising, how do you convince your parents to at least let you be vegan ?
We have also prepared a short story in the end of this article, where we share our experience about moving on to a vegan diet, and how we have coped with our parents not accepting the idea of plant based eating.
Know Your Topic Inside Out
It isn’t a secret that your parents will try to make you change your mind, so you need to be prepared for those counter arguments. Down below, we are going to give you a list of things that you should keep in mind before you speak to your parents:
- Decide on the reason why you want to move on to a vegan diet, veganism has became a trend lately, so you do need to provide your parents with a reasonable sentence or two, as of why you have decided to eat a plant based diet. Certainly, the answer “I think it is the right thing to do” won’t sound convincing, but on the other hand, if you use something along these lines “I have researched about I and would like to share this with you”, you may at least get your parents attention, as most would just end the conversation as soon as they hear the word vegan.
- Do a research, there are many, many and many websites out there with figures and facts, explaining why and how is veganism benefiting our health.
- Find the right time, now this is individual for every single person, so maybe try finding a time when your parents will be in a good mood and certainly not busy, so that you get the attention.
Offer To Be More Independent
Unless you are already buying groceries and cooking for yourself, you can suggest that you take the responsibility of preparing your own food, this would definitely be a valuable point, as if you parents allow you to go vegan, they won’t be ready for extra hassle when it comes to cooking your food.
If you want to find the most effective way of convincing your parents in a vegan diet, offer them some food. Thousands of vegan recipes are available online. Preparing a delicious vegan meal for the whole family, can certainly help you out in this situation.
Take It Easy
So going vegan means that you cut out all the dairy, eggs, honey, meat and fish. While this does have a benefit on your health, it is certainly a hard thing to do, if you want to accomplish it all at once. So thinking about the transition and also your parent’s opinion about veganism, it is better to first become vegetarian. Vegetarian – is a person that doesn’t consume meat or fish, but still consumes milk, cheese and eggs.
Now there are a few reasons why you are better off to become vegetarian first, rather than moving straight to veganism:
- Transition would be easier, it is very challenging to get rid of all the animal products in your diet at once, let alone the fact that your family is also consuming all animal products.
- While your parents would still be arguing about malnutrition, lack of protein and other vitamins, it is easier for them to accept you not eating meat, in comparison to you not eating animal products at all.
- As we have already mentioned above, it is easier for you, but also, you can avoid unnecessarily conflicts with your family, and it is better to be vegetarian for 1 year or so, and then move out as you get older and become vegan, than to just continue eating meat and wait to become vegan when you move out if that’s the case.
- In 90% of cases, people who try to go vegan all at once, end up failing and returning to traditional diets, and that is certainly not what you want to end up doing, so take it easy on yourself.
Introduce Some Options
If the worst comes, and after trying out all the methods and tips that we have given you above, your parents still force you to stick to a traditional diet, you really have 2 options:
- The easiest option is to try eating less animal products and introducing more plant based products to your plate every single time you have dinner / lunch or breakfast with your family. (For example: if you are eating pasta and chicken tonight, ask for less chicken and more pasta) Now, this is not ideal, but at least you are trying, and it might just be that with time your parents would accept the idea of veganism, or you would become old enough to move out and start following a plant based diet.
- Option 2, is slightly more complicated but also more effective. You can become more flexible with your parent’s decisions, what do we mean by that ? Well, you can start being pescatarian (only eat fish but no meat), this would also require a lot of talking and explanation, but in the end of the day, you are going to be reducing your animal product intake which would benefit you and your health.
How Did I Go Vegan, Even Though My Parents Were Against It ?
Well, I was about 15 when I decided to go vegan, and at that time, I didn’t really know how I would accomplish that goal, but I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do. So it all started from me eating less meat, exactly as I have mentioned above, at that time I didn’t speak to my dad or my mum about it, I just started asking for more grains, pasta, potato to be on my plate in comparison to meat. After that, I had a very long talking stage with my parents, which has essentially led me to become pescatarian, I started eating fish but no meat at all, this has continued for several month until I cut out the meat, at that time I was already 16 years old, and the secret to my parents understanding me, was just a lot of talking. After you pass this point, dairy products and eggs would be very easy to get rid off, you also may get a chance to transfer your parents from traditional to at least a vegetarian diet 😉