How to deal with unsupportive family?
Posted by BunnyLuv at 07/31/2013
My husband hasn't ever been supportive of me being vegan. He makes it very hard for me to make the full transition. I haven't used any dairy products in 5 years, but I still eat seafood and chicken 4 times a week (only dinner). It was a compromise we came up with when I decided I didn't want to eat meat and he felt I needed it. He eats vegan 3X a week. I only eat 2 - 3 oz. Not much, just enough to make him happy. A month ago I decided I didn't want to even eat that much, and he's constantly nagging me and worried that I'm being extreme and unhealthy. He won't watch any documentaries with me. Has anyone else experience this? Is there anything I can do to ease his worrying?
If you're eating nothing but salads I'd worry about the lack of protein. Does your diet include plant based proteins such as legumes, nuts, non-dairy milk, or protein rich grains like quinoa? Do you take supplements like spirulina?
There is a popular misconception among non-vegans that one must eat meat to be healthy. This is so ingrained in the American culture that portions of meat are often included for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Americans eat significantly more meat than many other people.
If you are getting sufficient protein through your current diet, allaying your husband's concerns could simply be a matter of providing him with sufficient information to demonstrate that a plant based diet is healthy.
I must say that I am impressed that he has been willing to compromise with you by eating vegan 3X a week. I'm sorry to say that I know many men who wouldn't do this.
It sounds like your husband has an open mind.
With this being said, how would you feel if he agreed to stop nagging you while he himself remained a non-vegan? Are you expecting him to become vegan as well or could you compromise by allowing him to eat whatever he wants to eat just as he would refrain from making adverse comments about your vegan diet?
I do eat salad for lunch a lot, mostly because its easy, but I always include legumes, barley or quinoa for dinner and snack on raw nuts.
I'm not expecting him to become vegan, but maybe he fears I eventually will. hmmm. Something to talk about.
I think the problem is he is very into fitness and his fitness magazines push animal based proteins in extreme amounts. He was consuming so much when we first started dating that he found out he had high cholesterol, its back to normal now with the vegan days and only 1 protein shake a day vs 3.
Thanks! I'll try to up my plant based proteins at lunch over the next month and see if that eases his worries.
If it's that he doesn't want to eat vegan foods, then he doesn't have to. Is the problem that he expects you to prepare all of his meals? Meal preparation I suppose would need to be negotiated - hopefully there's an equal division of labour in housework, but it's up to you whether you prepare non-vegan foods for him - better if at least you'd be vegan.
Whatever the case, you need the confidence in your decision to face such challenges. Making sure you're well informed about nutrition for example will help build that confidence. It's also important to assert your own right to choose how you eat, and that it's not anyone else's place to control that.