It's Time You Talked to Your Parents About Your Veganism
They might not understand at first, but with the help of documentaries and delicious meals, your parents will understand that your veganism is more than just a fad.
Your best friend is vegan, your neighbor is a vegan, there are vegan options on the menu of your favorite restaurant, there are vegan lotions and make-up at the beauty store, and you watched a documentary (or three) about veganism on Netflix. So, needless to say, veganism has intrigued you. But if you’re a teenager whose parents’ weekly shopping list consists of animal products such as eggs, chicken, ground beef, chicken broth, butter, and pizza pockets, you might not know how to talk to them about the ways in which they can support your potential cruelty-free lifestyle. If this sounds like you, don’t worry because many vegan teens have gone through the same thing. Often, you’ll find that, at first, meat-eating parents (or at least one parent) can have a difficult time understanding your transition. However, by following a few simple tips, your mom or dad (or both) will be saying “pass the seitan” in no time.
Turns out, your English teachers are correct—you need to support your claims with facts and credible sources. Rather than telling your parents you want to go vegan because it’s cool and trendy, learn about veganism as much as you can. Then, teach your parents! Show them websites such as The Vegan Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (which have a lot of information), and tell them to watch vegan-friendly videos on YouTube. Or, if your parents aren’t the online types, get creative, and put together a PowerPoint or a pamphlet with all the information you found on the internet. Once your parents know that you know what you’re talking about, they’ll respect your decision and will want to see you thrive in your new lifestyle.
Watch vegan documentaries
Again, as your English teachers say: show, don’t tell. If you have Netflix, ask your parents to watch What the Health, Cowspiracy, and Vegucated. Of those three, you should begin with Vegucated because the film follows the lives of three non-vegans challenging themselves to go vegan for six weeks (spoiler alert: all three go vegan). If your parents don’t watch documentaries, try Okja. Our advice: keep a box of tissue near you because this one’s a tear-jerker.
Have a purpose
Are you going vegan for your health? If so, tell your parents. Are you going vegan because the animals raised or consumption are responsible for 32,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year in our atmosphere? If yes, then explain how you want their grandchildren (trust us: parents love this line) to live in a healthy, prosperous world. If your reasoning is ethical, remind your parents that millions of animals are raised for consumption in harsh conditions for the sole purpose of being slaughtered. Then, remind them that slaughtering animals isn’t cool.
Show them the health benefits
If you’re going vegan for your health, you have a lot to tell your parents. This is important because many omnivorous parents worry that their vegan children won’t get proper nutrition. Well, mom and dad, nothing could be further from the truth. Your parents might think that the most prominent sources of nutrition—protein, vitamins, and fat—come from animal products, but the truth is that there are a lot of ways to nourish your body on a plant-based diet. If your parents are concerned about protein consumption, tell them that tofu, tempeh, beans, nuts, and vegetables are full of protein. Also, there are loads of vegan protein powders. And if they ask about vitamins, you can tell them that plants have vitamins K, C, D, A along with a slew of others. If they’re still worried, show them the plethora of vegan vitamin supplements now available.
That said, the easiest, most effective, and most fun way to win over your parents (or anyone, really) is to feed them delicious vegan food. Invite your parents into the kitchen to cook a vegan, budget-friendly Mexican dish or a five-minute Chickpea Curry soup. Then, serve them these meals, and watch as they devour their food. As a bonus, offer to do the dishes (because a little goodwill can go a long way when trying to get your parents to understand you).
Ana Sofia Rodriguez is a vegan teen journalist who likes to write about fashion, culture, and anything else her mind can come up with.
We're Giving 5 Classic Films a Vegan Makeover
Classics such as Jaws, Dumbo, and King Kong would be so much better if they were filmed through a vegan lens.
Read More »
8 Vegan Foods Making the 2018 Food-Trend List
Plant-based foods have become the megatrend of the year thanks to innovative products taking up more space on grocery store shelves.
Read More »
Fall in Love With Niagara's Vegan Scene
World-famous natural landscapes and a diverse vegan cuisine await you in the Niagara region of Canada.
Read More »
If Trader Joe's Added These 11 Vegan Frozen Foods, We'd Never Have To Cook Again
Wed love Trader Joe s even more if the chain added vegan corn dogs, macaroni and cheese bites, and barbecue chicken pizza.
Read More »
8 Quirky Vegan Burritos To Make You Rethink Your Favorite Meal
From Asian-influenced and Greek to Indian and pizza-inspired, there are flavors from around the world waiting to be incorporated into your favorite tortilla.
Read More »
- If You're a Broke Vegan Student, Read This
- It's Time Your Dog Went Vegan
- 6 Tips for Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet
- You're 8 Steps Away from Setting a Vegan Easter Table
- Did You Know César Chávez Was Also an Animal-Rights Activist?
- 10 Medical Reasons to Skip the Eggs on Easter
- 5 Startup Food Companies About to Revolutionize Veganism
- This 10-Minute Documentary Is Showing How Children Are Embracing Veganism
- 10 Vegan Easter Candies We Want To Find in Our Easter Basket
- 10 Vegan Oatmeal Cups for the Person on the Go
- 8 Reasons to Forget Keto and Go Vegan
- Rise Against Adds Veganism to Its Politically Charged Music
- Meet the Vegan Anthropologist Changing Academia
- Vegan Food Will Be Served at the NFL Draft, Thanks to This Dallas Chef
- 5 Vegan Responses When Your Health Teacher Tells You to Eat Meat
- Vegan Self-Publishing in 4 Easy Steps
- Vegan St. Patricks Day 101
- 5 Life Lessons I Learned in the Prison Garden
- The 10 Vegan Swag Bag Items That Will Make You Wish You Were Going to the Oscars
- Want to Make Sure Your College Choice Is as Vegan as You Are? Here's How