How To Get Your Carnivorous Family On Board With Going Vegan
to adopt a plant-based lifestyle is a lot easier if you have
all the support you can get – especially from your family. However,
it hardly works out the way we expect it too. Predominantly,
vegetarians are at risk of feeling somewhat outcast during family
gatherings; or even dinner. And combined with the slight ridicule you
are likely to experience for not eating meat from strangers, the
experience can prove more daunting than you envision.
Here are a few tips on getting your families support, even if they are omnivores –
Understand That They Might Misunderstand You
Going in, it is important to be acutely aware that very few people know what it means to be a vegan or vegetarian. The result is often a few snide comments and criticism. Your best defense is to be prepared and not get emotional about them.
A good way to think about it is to know that your family doesn’t mean any harm, and in an attempt to look out for your best interest, they might insist on their way – only because it is the only way they know. If you are thrown a banter of questions from “where do you get your protein from?” to “but aren’t vegans malnourished?” , your best chance at getting out from beneath the pile of arguments, is to respond with calm, clear and concise answers.
Some other times, their opinions are not based on ignorance but rather out of a guilty conscience. If your family already knows that meat is linked to health problems and are aware of the environmental destruction, leading by example is usually the best course of action. Once your family sees how easy it is to give up meat, they might be encouraged to make the switch themselves.
Don’t Explain Yourself
When you announce that you are going vegan, don’t try to explain why. While this goes against pretty much all the advice out there which tells you to prepare with a lengthy list of reasons supporting your decision, it will only make you seem preachy if you start answering questions that nobody has asked. A much better move would be to wait until they ask you why.
You Can, However, Explain What You Will and Won’t Eat
Make it easy on your family by clearly explaining what you will and won’t eat. You’d be surprised how many people still don’t know what vegan means – and this is why every time everyone sits at the table, they aren’t quite sure how to take care of your own needs.
Assure Them That You Aren’t Against Their Personal Preferences
Nobody wants to be made to feel as though the choices of others are attacking their lifestyle. So be clear about the fact that your family can eat meat around you. However, insist that they are respectful of your decisions – because, just because you have taken the moral high-road, doesn’t mean your family must too. Unfortunately, you can’t demand something as steep as “don’t eat meat around me anymore.” That would just be a recipe for disaster.
Volunteer to Cook
If you aren’t living alone you may want to volunteer to take over the cooking once in awhile. Once they figure out that vegan food tastes good, who knows, they might even start cooking vegan too. Get some vegan cookbooks, pick out recipes together, and cook the meal together. Instead of tearing your family apart, going vegan might bring you all together.
Many times volunteering to cook might prove counterproductive if you’re not
quite sure what to buy and where to shop – Vegefood.com
is a good place to start. With a wide range of meat alternatives and health food products, you will have confidence knowing you have plenty of great tasting vegan/vegetarian products to experiment with.