Trying to go vegan- parents don't approve

Am I too young to become a vegan?

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AmateurVegan

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so I'm a young vegetarian, and recently with my discovery of PETA and the fact my friend is a few month old vegan, I'm looking into it. I've recently realized egg chickens are treated no less but equally as bad as meat chickens. As well as the whole babies taken from mother cow situation.

I'm fairly smart and I get enraged thinking about animal cruelty, so I thought, " I'll go vegan" which I new would be no easier, probably even harder, than going vegetarian the previous year.

I'd assumed I'd get support like I did going vegetarian from my parents. I was wrong.

They think;
A) I'll get ill or get malnutrition because it's happened to people we know.
B) vegan cooking is impossible and that they won't feed me vegan meals.
C) I don't eat great anyway. ( which is untrue. I eat healthy and whole meals in my lunches and eat healthy meals they cooked for dinner)

Despite having to cook my own meals I still came up with a plan.
Meal planning.
On Sundays I'd bus over to whole foods ( the main vegan grocery supplier here ) with my debit card ( containing my weekly grocery allowance) and buy stuff for my meals.
I'd make dinner for the week until next Sunday, and that would be that. Lunch and breakfast would be easy. ( toast , cereal, sandwiches, hummus, etc..)

They still are extremely worried about my health. So I made myself a vegan book. It's a notebook that I filled with vegan iron sources, protein sources, egg substitutes, required supplements and lastly: recipes.

That's going well but I still don't know what to do.
They seem to be warming to the idea but, any tips?

Also sorry, I just wrote a whole essay.. :/
 
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veganteen1

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Omg, I made a whole website just for you, lol! www.veganteen.net

Look at the Q&A section, because I talk about all lots of what you ask!

If you still have more questions, email me at veganteen1@gmail.com

If you want to know more about me, I'm the first story on the Our Stories section.

--Anna
 
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babyjrrn

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PLEASE go vegan! Great choice!!!

I'm not one with a knack for extraordinary, creative cooking, like most vegans but you can definitely buy many pre-made products which are vegan (such as pizza, larabars, skinny pop, and cereal/granola with silk milk are among my FAV snacks) , just eat a lot of fruits and mix random vegetables together and you really can't go bad. Food tastes really good knowing it's cruelty free . I've noticed a direct improvement in my mood and athletic performance from turning vegan 1.4 years ago, and I could never feel better. Sure, supplements do help, but usually multivites will do; i put flax/chia seeds on some foods for calcium and tofu is GREAT for protein. I rarely actually cook, partly because I'm lazy and like I said, I don't have much of a talent for it, there's plenty of go-to snacks that work.

P.S. Have your parents watch "Earthlings". Anyone who isn't convinced to change their ways is crazy.

Good luck, please update when you go vegan! :)
 

Mark Mywordz

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Knowledge is power. Get yourself well informed. A vegan lifestyle is healthiest by a mile. Go easy on your parents, they seem to have your interests at heart. Tell them about the obesity epidemic which has gripped the western world. I agree with babyjrrn that vegan is the way to go. But try to avoid fast foods and supermarket products. Go for the raw ingredients and learn to cook them or eat raw when possible. Your great grandmother probably had a healthier diet than your parents have. Look for easy recipes to start with. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Soups and casseroles with beans and lots of veggies are very healthy and difficult to get wrong for a young cook. Eat fruit after every meal and have nuts and seeds on every salad, or in any dish or just as snacks. Water is the best drink. Don't bother with smoothies and fruit juices, just eat the whole fruit (apart from the pips and stones). Your parents will soon see who has the healthiest diet!
Tell your parents that you realize how lucky you are to have parents who are so interested in your welfare. You need to educate them but in a subtle way that will not seem to critical of them. Your plan seems excellent to me. Just persevere in a gentle way. Be a nice "kid" for them, helpful, thoughtful ....you know!
You can get lots of info on the internet. I like the BBC good food website https://www.bbcgoodfood.com When on it type in VEGAN. Amazon (Kindle) has lots of good cookbooks too. many are free. Read the reviews of the books before buying. Get the free ones first. Try this too https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/recipes
Your parents will thank you in the end.
 

Drew

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Hi AmateurVegan,

First of all, great choice on going vegan! A plant based diet done the right way is definitely the healthiest way to go. However, I understand your parents' concerns because unfortunately there are a lot of "malnourished" looking vegans out there that aren't getting proper nutrition in their diet and that is what your parents are probably thinking about.

You need to explain to them the major benefits and methods. First of all, you're going to be fully nourished when it comes to key micro nutrients from eating an abundance of greens, colored veggies, and fruits. The best thing about vegetables is that they are micro nutrient rich but very low in calories.

One thing you do need to look out for (from a fitness standpoint) is tailoring your macros and making sure you're not just taking in all carbs. A lot of vegans live on whole grains like quinoa and fruits, which are great, but you definitely need protein (quinoa doesn't have as much protein as people think). You want to make sure you're getting whole food plant protein. Some of my personal favorites are lentils, black beans, split peas, and I also like some of the fake meats out there by Gardein and Beyond Meat. Make sure to look at the nutrition facts and ingredients labels on the fake meats though. There are a lot of fake meat products that use soy protein and other inferior sources as well as have bad macro nutrient ratios (protein:carbs:fat ratio). A lot of them have lot of fat in comparison to how much protein you're getting. I prefer BeyondMeat products because their protein source is usually pea protein and you get a lot of protein and not much fat (except their BeyondBurger which has a lot of fat).

For convenience and the ability to tailor your macro nutrient ratios and proportions (from a fitness stand point), I recommend a vegan protein powder. The reason I do this is because sometimes I just want a pure protein meal without carbs or fats. Most of my favorite whole food vegan protein sources (lentils, split peas, black beans etc.) aren't pure protein. They still have a 1:2 sometimes 1:3 Protein To Carbs ratio. You do NOT need a protein shake. However, they definitely help especially if you're physically active.

I would show your parents all of the vegan fitness athletes and doctors that are on Instagram to show them that not only can you be healthy on a vegan diet, you can be strong and active as well. Check out Instagram accounts of Dr. Angie Sadeghi @angie.sadeghi , Ryan Nelson @alphaD307, and Torre Washington @Torre.Washington

I hope this helps!
 

Rawcells

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My parents were the same way when I went vegan. They thought i'd turn into dust haha !
But just keep reinforcing to them all the plant based substitutes you
can eat. Also show them documentaries like "Forks over Knives" or "Cowspiracy" on Netflix
Lastly you'll naturally inspire by example. My sister and mom are now vegan, I would have NEVER
thought that they would but after seeing how much energy I had they were motivated to try the
lifestyle themselves and they've been vegan ever since!

Everything will work out love!!
 

Jamie in Chile

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Explain to your parents that vegans have low risk of cancer and heart disease, and that many vegans report better health. Learn yourself and then you can educate others.

Don't rush to change opinions too fast. Give people time to absorb new info. If they are resistant to vegan suggest vegan before 6 or no eggs but still cheese/butter as a compromise. After a while, they may agree to things they didn't initially agree to.
 
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Oh buddy, you could probably write a book by now! Which is to say, the path at any age is never easy, but when you’re young it’s even harder. So first and foremost, like everyone else supporting you here, it’s great that you’re taking the first steps in this. And it sounds like you’re doing it for the right reasons, and there are so many to do it for.

Now for what my two cents are worth, maybe a quarter cent ish, I’d say just take it slow, arm yourself with knowledge, and be understanding of your parents and people around you. There’s a variety of reasons why they may have issues and fears for what you’re doing, and the best remedy for that is to just be honest and never stop communicating. Even if they put up roadblocks, you can’t forget their moral compass is different than yours and or they lack the passion \ knowledge you have.

Either way take it slow and focus on the positive behind this change, even when things become difficult. Easier said than done granted, but I would imagine most of us around these parts and elsewhere had difficulties in transitioning to this lifestyle, if for no other reason than going it alone.
 

Janatari_ddhdg

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I just turned 40, and went veg back in 1995, and vegan two years ago and my parents don't approve at all. They think I'm crazy. Your family will usually be the hardest to convince. But don't let this get to you, as it's not about you, it's about them.
 
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