MFA's GUIDE TO
TALKING TO YOUR PARENTS

You’ve made the awesome decision to go veg, but your folks are giving you a hard time. Don't worry, we've been there too! Here are some tips to achieve family harmony while staying cruelty-free.

STEP
ONE
SPEAK FROM THE HEART

Tell your family honestly why you are making the decision to eat differently than you did before. Use "I statements" like "I saw a video about how animals are raised for food and I was horrified. I just don't want to support this cruelty." Or "I found out it's actually healthier to be vegetarian, and I really want to try eating more veg foods."

STEP
TWO
DON'T PRESSURE THEM TO CHANGE

Nobody likes to be judged, pressured, nagged, or told what to do. Just like you don't want your parents to tell you what to eat, don't tell them what to eat. Share your reasons for going veg once or twice and leave it at that. If they want to learn more, they'll ask you. This goes for siblings, relatives, and friends too. This low-key approach isn't just good for family harmony, it will make your family members more open to changing their diets as well.

STEP
THREE
MAKE IT AS EASY AS POSSIBLE ON THE CHEF OF THE HOUSE

You'll likely need some help from whoever does the grocery shopping and cooking in your house. Ask them to buy you veggie burgers instead of hamburgers, vegan chicken patties instead of regular chicken patties, and so on.

Are they worried about a veg diet costing too much? Check out these tips for eating on a budget.

They may not want to prepare a whole separate meal for you, so try learning to cook and prepare some meals for yourself. Consider at least learning how to fry or microwave your vegan meat, tofu, or other main dish. It's easy to do, and it's a skill you'll need in college.

Meanwhile, chow down on the side dishes the whole family is having—things like pasta, potatoes, vegetables, rice and beans, and so on. You can also keep satisfying snacks around the house for when you need something quick, like microwave burritos, granola bars, canned lentil soup, and nuts. For more tips on making the transition, visit ChooseVeg.com.

STEP
FOUR
MAKE WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO YOUR FAMILY IMPORTANT TO YOU

Your parents' opposition to your going veg might seem heartless, but you can help ease their concerns if you listen and respond respectfully.

Are they worried about your health? Thank them for caring, and get a book on veg eating to show them you're taking their concern seriously. There are also plenty of resources online to educate yourself about nutrition. Lastly, you may want to show your folks the American Dietetic Association's position paper stating that vegetarian diets are healthy at all age levels.

Whatever your parents are worried about, let them know it's an understandable concern and then take steps to address it.

STEP
FIVE
BE A GREAT ROLE MODEL, AND STAY OPTIMISTIC

Strive to be a happy, healthy, positive and compassionate person. Not only is that great for you and animals, it makes you a wonderful advertisement for vegetarianism. It may take a while—maybe even years—for your family to fully accept your new way of eating. But if you're patient with them, eventually they will. And remember that within a few years you'll probably be in college, where vegan food will be available at every meal.

Thanks for making the world a better place!


    

 
 
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