Going vegan I think

Summy03

Novice
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Reaction score
8
Age
19
Location
England
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
  2. Vegetarian
Hi,
I've been vegetarian ish for 4 years, the two more recent years, very on and off.
I'm 17, so still live at home and my mum n dad are completely against me being a vegetarian, (veganism is literally out of the question)
I eat meat but It's completely not my choice, I've tried to reason with them but it doesn't work. I'm not expected to eat it everyday but at least once or twice a week. I've tried refusing, it only causes drama. The two years I was vegetarian were some of the worst years of my life, and I really don't want drama and fights and for them to be upset so I've been eating it to keep them happy and to keep my own sanity.
My plan was to wait till uni to go vegan but the guilt from eating animal products is too much, I hate the taste of meat, the smell, the idea. And it's sort of driving me insane.
So it's an extremely stupid idea but I'm thinking of being secretly vegan, sounds kind of ridiculous but it's technically not lying if they don't know? Idk, I make half of my own meals, but even when I was vegetarian, I lost a lot of weight because I was avoiding most food in the house and so skipped a lot of meals. So I'm really not sure how I'm gonna keep a constant weight being vegan but we'll see, I'm definitely gonna do my research but advice from anyone who has had similar issues would be wonderful.

Any tips are greatly appreciated
Thank you x
 

Andy_T

Little green mod
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2014
Reaction score
5,347
Location
Hannover, Germany
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Hello Summy, welcome to the forum!

Quick question, do you have some money available to get your own groceries?
You might get some vegan burgers or similar that give the impression of meat but are really vegan, to give your parents peace of mind.

Or, you might print out for them the Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on Vegetarian Diets:


ADA said:
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.
Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity.
Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. Vegans need reliable sources of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or supplements.

Mind you, the key word here is "CAREFULLY PLANNED diet".

Other than that, you might look at the book "Generation V: The Complete Guide to Going, Being, and Staying Vegan as a Teenager" by Claire Askew.
 
Last edited:

Summy03

Novice
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Reaction score
8
Age
19
Location
England
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
  2. Vegetarian
Hello Summy, welcome to the forum!

Quick question, do you have some money available to get your own groceries?
You might get some vegan burgers or similar that give the impression of meat but are really vegan, to give your parents peace of mind.

Or, you might print out for them the Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on Vegetarian Diets:






Mind you, the key word here is "CAREFULLY PLANNED diet".

Other than that, you might look at the book "Generation V: The Complete Guide to Going, Being, and Staying Vegan as a Teenager" by Claire Askew.
Hi, I don't have my own money for groceries no, but so long as my parents are under the impression I'm still eating meat and cheese and what not, asking them to buy certain stuff probably won't be an issue.
I've tried showing them similar stuff about the benefits on going vegan, my mum is a nutritionist although happens to also be very religious, so they follow strictly what their religion says about eating meat, for example the common 'fact' that certain animals were created for us to eat. So theres no swaying them from that any time soon I don't think.
Thanks anyway though :)
 
  • Friendly
Reactions: PTree15 and Emma JC
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Reaction score
1,282
Age
41
Lifestyle
  1. Vegetarian
Welcome to the forum, and sorry to hear about your difficult situation. I think lying would be justified but ask yourself honestly whether you can pull if off or not.

Best of luck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Summy03

Indian Summer

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Reaction score
7,437
Location
Oxon, UK
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I've tried showing them similar stuff about the benefits on going vegan, my mum is a nutritionist although happens to also be very religious, so they follow strictly what their religion says about eating meat, for example the common 'fact' that certain animals were created for us to eat. So theres no swaying them from that any time soon I don't think.
Sounds tricky. You could perhaps try the religious angle? Assuming this is some Christian denomination, there are groups such as Adventists that advocate for vegetarian and vegan diets. See also e.g.

It's been a while since I looked into this, but I don't think the Bible says we have to eat meat, only that we can eat meat.
 

Andy_T

Little green mod
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2014
Reaction score
5,347
Location
Hannover, Germany
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
...happens to also be very religious, so they follow strictly what their religion says about eating meat, for example the common 'fact' that certain animals were created for us to eat.

TF? You have that kind of people in the UK, as well? Wow.
 

Summy03

Novice
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Reaction score
8
Age
19
Location
England
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
  2. Vegetarian
Sounds tricky. You could perhaps try the religious angle? Assuming this is some Christian denomination, there are groups such as Adventists that advocate for vegetarian and vegan diets. See also e.g.

It's been a while since I looked into this, but I don't think the Bible says we have to eat meat, only that we can eat meat.
I haven't looked into it myself but I wouldn't dare challenge what they say. Anything that suggests I don't hold the same religious beliefs as them is risky.
Although I have managed to tie religion into ethics, enough to the point where my mum will only buy free range meat, I've tried to tell her there's not a huge difference in free range meat aside from the label and maybe a tiny bit of ignorant reassurance but doesn't matter because her response was: " Then god won't put a burden on you more than you can bear". But. At least I've managed to get them to cut down on the amount of meat they buy and eat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC and shyvas

TofuRobot

Senior
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Reaction score
1,560
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Then god won't put a burden on you more than you can bear
Oh, this sentence gets to me. God is not putting that burden on you, your family is. *sigh*

Welcome, Summy03. At 17 you're extremely close to being an adult who has every right to make their own decisions.
I remember I time when I was about 12 when my parents made me sit at the dinner table for an hour after everyone was done, the kitchen was cleaned, lights were off, while I sat there, alone with a plate of liver that I refused to eat. After an hour or so, they eventually gave up and sent me to bed and never served liver to me again.

There is really only one way out of this, and that's you being able to buy your own food. Are you able to get a PT job somewhere so you can have some cash of your own & buy your own food? I feel bad for you, but at the end of the day, no one can force food down your throat - unless you're literally starving in a hospital and they're force-feeding you. Any "drama" is their drama - doesn't mean you have to take part in it. Let them throw a fit if they way. So what? If you remain calm, it's all on them.

The only other thing I'd recommend as for making sure you consumed enough calories are smoothies, nut butters, and avocados. Do you have a blender or can you get them to buy one?

I wish you well. Ultimately your strength in your convictions is what is going to earn you respect in the long run, despite the "drama" that might happen in the short run.

xo
 

Summy03

Novice
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Reaction score
8
Age
19
Location
England
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
  2. Vegetarian
Oh, this sentence gets to me. God is not putting that burden on you, your family is. *sigh*

Welcome, Summy03. At 17 you're extremely close to being an adult who has every right to make their own decisions.
I remember I time when I was about 12 when my parents made me sit at the dinner table for an hour after everyone was done, the kitchen was cleaned, lights were off, while I sat there, alone with a plate of liver that I refused to eat. After an hour or so, they eventually gave up and sent me to bed and never served liver to me again.

There is really only one way out of this, and that's you being able to buy your own food. Are you able to get a PT job somewhere so you can have some cash of your own & buy your own food? I feel bad for you, but at the end of the day, no one can force food down your throat - unless you're literally starving in a hospital and they're force-feeding you. Any "drama" is their drama - doesn't mean you have to take part in it. Let them throw a fit if they way. So what? If you remain calm, it's all on them.

The only other thing I'd recommend as for making sure you consumed enough calories are smoothies, nut butters, and avocados. Do you have a blender or can you get them to buy one?

I wish you well. Ultimately your strength in your convictions is what is going to earn you respect in the long run, despite the "drama" that might happen in the short run.

xo
My parents have literally tried to force food down my throat, if not that they've threatened me with a lot of different things, and fighting with them generally just makes me miserable, I'd rather not make them upset and weaken an already fragile relationship. I just find it ridiculous that we have to be at war over the way I choose to eat and live my life because its not like I'm doing drugs or anything..
I turn 18 next week but honestly, i don't see it making a difference in me being able to make my own decisions.. 12 year old you certainly had guts though.
We have a blender yup and even though I'm the worst vegan candidate because I can't stomach a smoothie, im definitely gonna implement the other things you mentioned.
As for the job, I might get one over the Christmas holidays but other than that I wanna focus on getting decent grades and going to university so I can do this thing in peace..
Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it x
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC

TofuRobot

Senior
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Reaction score
1,560
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
12 year old you certainly had guts though.
Oh - I was a really stubborn kid from the day I was born. Afraid of my dad, but my mom couldn't make me do anything.
Going to school and working is hard, but it can be done. With the cost of higher education where I live, most students have little choice in the matter. I'm a mom, homeowner, student, and I work because I have no choice not to (plus I like what i do). At some point, you're going to have to figure out how to work that out. My son is 17 and has his own business repairing computers. It most def can be done, just depends on how badly you want to be self-sufficient. As a teenager, I couldn't wait to get out of the house so I could live by my own rules. I didn't always make the best choices back then, but that's how you learn.

Try to imagine living life on your own terms vs. the discomfort of where you are now. That's probably the only path to peace for you in this scenario. Good luck! I have faith that you'll work it out. xo
 
  • Like
Reactions: Summy03 and Emma JC

Forest Nymph

Senior
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Reaction score
2,190
Age
38
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I sympathize, I was from one of these families, I remember doing strange things in high school like eating bran flakes with orange juice or eating carrot sticks for breakfast to avoid animal products. But then I would get so hungry I would just end up eating what was in the house.

I think parents who force meat or animal products on their children create eating disorders, and angry vegan adults.

Some things I did in my teens was eat baked potatoes for lunch (an option at my school) with sour cream, cheese and onions almost every day. This was a consistent vegetarian lunch option I had besides peanut butter sandwiches.

At home I ate eggs or cheese toasts or peanut butter toasts a lot. I requested veggie pizzas when I had the choice. I was fortunate that we always had fruit in our house, and usually something like celery and pickles.

I also ate a lot of gross things like Pop Tarts, and went on fasts, and I am not saying my diet was ideal in the slightest. Happily, I could eat bean burritos at Taco Bell or eggplant parmesan at Italian restaurants. The only meat that I liked was fish, so I also ate that when available.

It might be easier for you to be vegetarian or pescatarian until university. I'm not discouraging you from veganism, I am discouraging you from disordered eating until you can leave your parents house.

I remember sitting at a table with a hamburger at age eight after everyone else had left the table and feeding it secretly to our family dog. The struggle is real.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC and Sax

Summy03

Novice
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Reaction score
8
Age
19
Location
England
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
  2. Vegetarian
I sympathize, I was from one of these families, I remember doing strange things in high school like eating bran flakes with orange juice or eating carrot sticks for breakfast to avoid animal products. But then I would get so hungry I would just end up eating what was in the house.

I think parents who force meat or animal products on their children create eating disorders, and angry vegan adults.

Some things I did in my teens was eat baked potatoes for lunch (an option at my school) with sour cream, cheese and onions almost every day. This was a consistent vegetarian lunch option I had besides peanut butter sandwiches.

At home I ate eggs or cheese toasts or peanut butter toasts a lot. I requested veggie pizzas when I had the choice. I was fortunate that we always had fruit in our house, and usually something like celery and pickles.

I also ate a lot of gross things like Pop Tarts, and went on fasts, and I am not saying my diet was ideal in the slightest. Happily, I could eat bean burritos at Taco Bell or eggplant parmesan at Italian restaurants. The only meat that I liked was fish, so I also ate that when available.

It might be easier for you to be vegetarian or pescatarian until university. I'm not discouraging you from veganism, I am discouraging you from disordered eating until you can leave your parents house.

I remember sitting at a table with a hamburger at age eight after everyone else had left the table and feeding it secretly to our family dog. The struggle is real.
This is so nice to read, thank you. I don't know why but it was so reassuring to read that I'm not actually the only one who has had to experience this, even though technically i knew I couldn't have been the only one.
It's also interesting that you mention eating disorders because I seriously think my parents forcing me to eat meat over the years has caused some sort of an eating disorder in me, it's not so bad now but last year I was about 2 stones underweight, and it's not that I didn't want to eat food it's just that my repulsion to meat was so bad, I think I started associating eating in general with negative emotions, and even feeling physically sick. I also just couldn't stand the mental effort It took to cook for myself anymore, my appetite got a lot smaller and everything was making me feel sick. To top that all off, I am originally quite a fussy eater, hence why I mention it's more difficult for me to gain and maintain weight.
But I really appreciate your advice, and what you said about a vegetarian diet being easier for now is definitely true, although I had been doing similar to what you described up until very recently, the supressed guilt from consuming animal products seems to have caught up with me.
It just feels morally wrong. Even if I do cave and listen to my parents (because trust me I kind of really want to at this point) I feel like now that I've gone vegan, I won't be able to have it comfortably resting on my conscience anymore. I don't quite know how to describe it better than that and maybe it's a weird control aspect of an eating disorder, but who the heck knows.