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How to tell my parents I am vegan

emilyg716
Posted by emilyg716 at 12/30/2012

I have written down my argument, how is it? I am 15 years old so it is I do not come across as childish or desperate for attention.

Let me prove to you it is possible to be vegan and have the necessary amount, if not more protein. Becoming vegan will make me feel better and does not mean anyone else needs to be effected by this choice. Animal products are unnecessary and today's agricultural industry are careless about an animals right to live. Animals are social with one another and have emotions. It is uncomfortable to eat and use animal products. Support will be appreciated.

How does this sound. If you were to say this to your parents, or if your kid were to say this to you how would it come about.

Responses

VeganSally
VeganSally12/30/2012 11:49:10
I think you will do just fine. Remember, it is your body and no one can make you eat something you don't want to eat.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like your parents will likely respect your decision to become vegan based on ethical concerns but their reservations may lie in their not being sure you will be getting enough protein as a vegan. Sweetie, nothing could be further from the truth. Vegans get all the protein in their diet a person needs and then some. The question is how to convince your parents of this.
VeganSally
VeganSally12/30/2012 11:54:12
I found this website that might help you:
http://www.vrg.org/teen/telling_your_parents.php

Also look at this one:
http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-Your-Parents-You-Want-to-Be-a-Vegan-or-Vegetarian

Remember to tell your parents that you're not asking THEM to go vegan. That this is a decision for you.

One more thing, this is a really good book about how to be a healthy vegan. If you showed tis to your parents, it might help them understand:

http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Life-Everything-Healthy-Plant-Based/dp/0738214930/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356896722&sr=8-1&keywords=vegan+health
Longdrive
Longdrive12/30/2012 15:12:42
Emilyg716, Anything can be looked at in many different ways, and others' views and responses can not only be different to our own but also entirely reasonable. The main challenge that children present their parents with is an almost universal belief that they are extremely knowledgeable. Couple that with a very high degree of inflexibility and selfishness and invariably communication can get fraught! My advice is to first of all take a step back and take a look at how your parents may feel. As surprising as it may be to most youngsters they also need to be fulfilled and enjoy the things they crave. When someone in the family goes vegan it has a massive knock on effect if the vegan convert does not do their own shopping and prepare their own food. Parents are obliged to spend hours studying the sources of processed foods' contents, and then even more hours checking often lengthy lists of ingredients on food packets. Parents usually work and consequently their timetables are pressurised. My second piece of advice is not to suddenly present them with a fait accomplis but rather perhaps offer to help them with their shopping and cooking. Such will then begin to create a foundation of acceptance as you create your own vegan dishes, and maybe you will convert them too in the process. So, in summary - avoid drama, overnight changes, and arguments. Becoming vegan is healthy and natural as should be your changeover. Are you really that committed in order to so help your parents and thereby achieve your goal? If so, good luck!
happycowgirl
happycowgirl12/31/2012 09:52:37
Hi Emily,
I think your paragraph is perfect. It shows that this is a well thought out decision on your part and something you are quite serious about. It doesn't come across as childish in the slightest.

There is something you need to know. It is a proven medical and scientific fact that vegans get more than enough protein from their diets. You do not have to be a test subject to prove this. When having your discussion with your parents, please print this out and give it to them. It's from the group Jewish Vegetarians of North America and does an amazing job of summarizing the protein myth:

http://jewishveg.com/schwartz/pcmyths.html

In addition, please buy this book for them or at least tell them about it. It's called The China Study. It's the largest comprehensive study of human nutrition ever conducted. It was launched via a partnership between Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine. The groundbreaking results from the study recommend the best diet for long-term health. I don't want to spoil the ending for you, but the best diet includes eliminating meat and dairy.

http://www.amazon.com/The-China-Study-Comprehensive-Implications/dp/1932100660/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356975519&sr=8-1&keywords=china+study
happycowgirl
happycowgirl12/31/2012 09:57:11
Also, Emily:
If it were me, I would have a plan - or at least a general idea - in place as to how you're going to make the transition from meat eating to being vegan. This is something that happens naturally in due course for people who are out of the house and on their own, but when parents are involved I think it helps to show them your plan.

For example, tell them that during the first month you will simply give up red meat. For the second month, you will give up chicken and turkey, etc. Tell them you'll be replacing it with meat substitutes that are full of protein (the truth is you get all the protein you need and then some from a healthy vegan diet, but since your parents seem to be primarily concerned about your protein intake, this should put them at ease). Then tell them that once you've mastered this, you'll work on eliminating dairy from your diet. Obviously, you should come up with a plan that sounds good to you. These are merely suggestions I hope you'll find helpful.

The idea behind a plan like this is to make the transition gradually. You may be ready to make the transition overnight, it's your parents who will likely need to be eased into it. So during the first month if you eliminate only red meat from your diet, this will give whoever does the cooking in your house time to get used to making dishes that accommodate this need. For example, if making a casserole it's very easy to make half with meat and leave the meat off of the other half. Or use Morning Star Farms protein crumbles (fake meat made from veggie protein) on your half. You can get used to cooking products like this and show your mom or dad, whoever does the cooking, how easy it is. More examples - when ordering a pizza, they simply need to allow you to order half the pizza with the veggie toppings of your choice (no meat). When making hot dogs, they can allow you to make tofu dogs which incidentally have more protein than hot dogs and are ridiculously easy to make. When they make hamburgers, they can allow you to make a veggie burger.

Be sure to get in the habit of going with your mom or dad to the store. Make it an adventure and explore the different vegetarian products out there. Get familiar with the Morning Star Farms (green boxes) and Boca (red boxes) products. Those can be found in almost all supermarkets. If you are lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, you absolutely must go there. It's a vegetarian and vegan wonderland.

Hope this helps. We're rooting for you! : )

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