Here Are 5 Tips for Talking With Your Parents About Your Vegan Diet
You’ve made the powerful decision to go veg, but your folks are giving you a hard time. Don’t worry; we’ve been there too! Here are some tips to achieve family harmony while going veg.
1. Speak from the heart.
Tell your family honestly why you are making the decision to eat differently than you did before. Use “I statements” like “I saw a video about how animals are raised for food and I was horrified. I just don’t want to support this cruelty.” Or “I found out it’s actually healthier to be vegetarian, and I really want to try eating more veg foods.”
2. Don’t pressure them to change.
Nobody likes to be judged, pressured, nagged, or told what to do. Just like you don’t want your parents to tell you what to eat, don’t tell them what to eat. Share your reasons for going veg once or twice and leave it at that.
If they want to learn more, they’ll ask you. This goes for siblings, relatives, and friends too. This low-key approach isn’t just good for family harmony; it will make your family members more open to changing their diets as well.
3. Make it as easy as possible on the chef of the house.
Since they may not want to prepare a whole separate meal for you, it’s a good idea to try learning to cook and prepare some meals for yourself. Meanwhile, chow down on the side dishes the whole family is having—things like pasta, potatoes, vegetables, rice and beans, and so on. You can also keep satisfying snacks around the house for when you need something quick, like microwave burritos, granola bars, canned lentil soup, and nuts.
4. Make what’s important to your family important to you.
Your parents’ opposition to your going veg might seem heartless, but you can help ease their concerns if you listen and respond respectfully. Are they worried about your health? Thank them for caring, and get a book on veg eating to show them you’re taking their concern seriously. There are also plenty of resources online to educate yourself about nutrition.
Whatever your parents are worried about, let them know it’s an understandable concern and then take steps to address it.
5. Stay positive and lead by example.
Strive to be a happy, healthy, positive, and compassionate person. That will not only be great for you and animals, but will also make you a wonderful advertisement for veg eating. It may take a while for your family to fully accept your new way of eating. But if you’re patient with them, eventually they will.
Want more? Click here for four things that might just get your friends to go veg.