Thinking of becoming Vegan and I have a young family

Rae

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Hi I started doing a lot of research this last 6 months on going vegan and faced some facts that I been hiding and distracting myself from. I finally decided to try to start transitioning to become Vegan. I love the taste all diary and meat products but I just can't justify eating it anymore. I started buying and trying out and making alternatives that I knew I would miss and other new dishes. I have gained confidence in myself because there is so many things I can try and have tried already that I'm feeling I could possibly do this. My husband is sort of supportive but thinks as we have two young boys and life can be very busy he thinks mainly evening meal times are going to be a challenge as it's when we eat together and we all have the same meal. He has agreed to try out some of my vegan meals but doesn't want to be vegan and doesn't think at the moment my young boys 3 & 6 should be. (Which I don't mind at the moment as I'm really just learning myself).
If you read this far, thanks. I just wanted to ask any mum's or dads who are vegan but the rest of their family isn't do you cook them their meals and yours? Will you ask your partner who isn't vegan to cook their own foods? How does it work in a family dynamic?
 

Sax

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I don't have experience with these kind of family concerns but I hope you don't mind my input anyway:

Even if the rest of your family doesn't become vegan this sounds like an opportunity for all of you to start eating more healthy, plant based whole foods. It might be easier for everyone to go along with if it's framed more as adding more nutritious food rather than removing what is seen as the meal's centerpiece.

The obvious solution for dinner is to make a good plant-based meal for the whole family and have some meat and dairy on the side for others to add. Vegan substitutes can be pretty hit or miss, but experiment with them and figure out which ones your family likes.

As you become more "established" as a vegan you may find you dislike cooking animal products. Hopefully your husband's "sort of supportive" includes a willingness to take on meat-cooking duties. You're not a short-order cook and you aren't obligated to make food that conflicts with your ethics so I think that's a reasonable expectation.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Children will eat plant based foods. I used to give a three to four year old girl who was the younger sister of one of my ex partners vegan chkn nuggets. She loved them. She couldn't tell the difference. Very young kids can't, and more often than not they prefer proteins to NOT resemble animals, in the shape of nuggets, fingers, weinie/hot dogs, or patties, which are easy enough to cover with vegan brands like Boca, Gardein, Tofurky, or Amy's. There's a reason children's menus usually consist of chicken nuggets, fish fingers, pizza or macaroni and cheese, and it's ridiculously easy to make all these things vegan. Kids aren't stupid, some think meat is gross. I did.

On general principle, kids or not, never enable your adult partner in eating animal products. If they choose to eat them, they can do it outside the home, or make their own addition to the vegan dinner you make. I think cooking animal products for an adult is a way to manipulate a vegan or vegetarian into thinking their beliefs are inconveniences, or "wrong" and that they owe the adult partner fried animal parts. Nothing of the kind. If your spouse doesn't know how to cook, no time like the present, and if they won't eat the food you so lovingly prepare for them ...that's their problem, not yours. I think if my mother's husband told her what to cook shed throw her cast iron skillet at him. She's not vegan, but her husband eats vegetarian stir fries and black bean burgers when she prepares them. If he wants McDonald's, he knows how to drive. If someone goes outside your relationship because of what you do or don't cook for them, consider the possibility that you are more of a servant than a partner.
 
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Rae

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Thanks for your replies. I understand where you are coming from. My husband does share in the cooking 50/50 really. It's something new and different to our family so I respect his concerns. I also believe I will get him to understand my point of view if I don't overly push this on them. I made a pumpkin and lentil curry last night that everyone loved and today I made a vegan "cheese' sauce and we had it with pasta and vegetables. My sons had seconds and everyone enjoyed it. We had a simple and basic chat at the dinner table about why mum didn't put diary cheese or dairy milk in. I explained my own feeling which is that for survival with nothing else I would probably eat an animal in the wild (like a fish for example) if I could catch and kill it quick (I can't imagine me doing this 😂) but I'm not in that situation and very very unlikely to ever be so therefore why do I need to eat meat and animal products. Animals that eat meat need to survive in the wild but we don't need to. I explained as best as I could without going into detail I don't like the way animals are farmed and killed. They are forced to lead a sad cruel existence for diary and eggs etc..My boys and husband just listened so I'm happy with that it's probably quite a bit for them to take in. So small steps. I'm lucky my boys are not fussy and have always been good with fruits and veg. It's still early days for me but I'm sure as a grow in convidence with it. Tomorrow my husband is making chicken wraps he will put my vegan nuggets in mine i have said he is welcome to have mine and will offer the boys but it's up to them.
 
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Emma JC

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welcome Rae and congrats on your decision to transition to veganism and it is very wise of you to be taking it a bit a time and being kind and encouraging to your husband

Very few of us arrived here overnight and never looked back. We learned some things and then forgot them or ignored them and then learned some more and eventually it all added up and here we are.

I think you are doing a great job and if you can recommend some of the vegan YouTube families out there, to your husband for him to watch, then he may feel better about it. Ellen Fisher is one good example and her husband does a lot of the cooking too. Sarah Lemkus is also a sweet vegan mom on YouTube and there are many others.

Keep us in the loop and we are happy to help however we can and look forward to your contributions also.

Emma JC
 
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Julian16

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I have nearly the same situation, but I guess that I would need to much money for feeding my children with meat and myself and wife with all vegan stuff((
 

Emma JC

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I have nearly the same situation, but I guess that I would need to much money for feeding my children with meat and myself and wife with all vegan stuff((

I was just discussing this "expense" issue with my spouse last night.

We made a lovely dinner of rice and beans and veggies. 1.5 cups of white rice, one can of black beans and some carrot, celery, frozen peas, garlic and green onions. I estimated that the total cost was about $3.00 CAN and we still have enough leftover for another meal, as a side. For a snack after dinner we had half of a large bag of Skinny Pop popcorn which was on sale for $4.00 so even at the max our entire meal cost $5.00 for two of us.

It was delicious, nutritous and filling.

Emma JC
 
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David3

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I have nearly the same situation, but I guess that I would need to much money for feeding my children with meat and myself and wife with all vegan stuff((

I think it's very likely that you will save money. Beans are always less expensive than meat.
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David3

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Hi I started doing a lot of research this last 6 months on going vegan and faced some facts that I been hiding and distracting myself from. I finally decided to try to start transitioning to become Vegan. I love the taste all diary and meat products but I just can't justify eating it anymore. I started buying and trying out and making alternatives that I knew I would miss and other new dishes. I have gained confidence in myself because there is so many things I can try and have tried already that I'm feeling I could possibly do this. My husband is sort of supportive but thinks as we have two young boys and life can be very busy he thinks mainly evening meal times are going to be a challenge as it's when we eat together and we all have the same meal. He has agreed to try out some of my vegan meals but doesn't want to be vegan and doesn't think at the moment my young boys 3 & 6 should be. (Which I don't mind at the moment as I'm really just learning myself).
If you read this far, thanks. I just wanted to ask any mum's or dads who are vegan but the rest of their family isn't do you cook them their meals and yours? Will you ask your partner who isn't vegan to cook their own foods? How does it work in a family dynamic?

In all of this, it's important to remember that people don't become vegetarians because someone pushed them to do it. Rather, people become vegetarians become they feel personally and powerfully inspired to do so. It comes from inside. If you push the issue, it will become a point of contention (although the spouse may hide their resentment). It's similar to the situation when a spouse suddenly adopts a new religion - it changes their whole life, and the rest of the family may end up feel controlled or left behind.
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edde

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Back when I was living with my parents and siblings, I was able to stay vegan amongst a family of pure non-vegans. When I initially went vegan, it was challenging especially because I still had cravings for animal source foods. I would really salivate seeing them munching on chicken, fish and the like while I was just eating veggies and beans. But my vegan willpower prevailed.

After the cravings diminished, things got better and I enjoyed what was on my platter. What helped my cause was that my mum usually cooked a balanced diet. She would ensure that there are carbs, vitamins and protein in the mix. Usually, I would eat the carbs and vitamins alone if the protein was meat, eggs or any other animal source food. If the protein consisted of beans or another plant-based food, then I would accept the dish.

Maybe you should embrace a menu like that of my mother. Ensure that everyone in your family is covered meal-wise. Don't impose your veganism on them, and also be keen not to backslide to non-veganism. If they want beef, let them have it, but stay away from it and consume your grains, veggies and beans.

More importantly, note that you'll be the odd one out on the dining table and your kids may question your feeding habit. So take the time to explain to them "nicely" why you're not consuming dairy or poultry like they do, but never force veganism down their throats. Tell them something like "the doctor advised me to do so" rather than scare them with animal rights philosophies or animal products are bad for your health.

Here is a cookbook with plenty of plant-based recipes to ensure that your vegan meal doesn't look bland on the dining table amidst the all-so-praised non-vegan dishes: Vegan For Everybody Recipe Book