I have been a vegetarian for more than half a year. I immensely want to go vegan, but it is already hard for me to be living in a family of non-vegs. As a vegetarian/pescetarian, I eat fish, yogurt, and eggs sometimes. I try my best to avoid these whenever I can, but it is hard. My dad & stepmother think that I do not get enough protein and push me to eat cheese and sometimes pressure me to eat meat. I will never go back to eating meat. I feel a lot healthier and better as a vegetarian than I used to be as a non-veg. I am wondering if I should eat foods that are non-vegan that are offered to me by my family so that they do not keep giving me lectures and discouraging me from going vegan. Please help me figure out what to say if I reject what they give me. Thank you for your time & sorry for this message being extremely long.
Refuse to eat the meat and cheese! It is much healthier in the long run, even if it hurts their feelings for a while.
Okay, here's the problem:
Your parents don't understand that there is ample protein to be found in vegetables! Plus, animal protein is:
2. Rich in saturated fat
3. Filled with all sorts of carcinogens like growth hormones and pesticides.
* If your parents eat a typical American diet, they're probably getting twice as much protein as they need.
> Ask them this question if they persist:
Seriously: Have you ever heard of anyone having a disease, disorder, or death from lack of protein?
No? That's because it's really easy to get. And the healthiest way to get it is from vegetables. Vegetables like any nut, bean, or seed that exists.
(Go with the lentils,soybeans, tofu, unsalted sunflower seeds and almonds for complete nutrition. Of course don't eat them all in the same day-- you can get too much of a good thing, just like everything else. Avoid eating too much of one kind of nut, though, especially cashews and brazil nuts, which are high in saturated fat.)
> And if they tell you that without cheese, your bones will break, or that you will get osteoporosis, say this:
You can get calcium from spinach, broccoli, almonds, brazil nuts, soybeans, kale (a green vegetable that is similar to spinach), collard greens (don't overcook them!), seaweed and molasses.
(Just remember to eat plenty of vitamin C to unlock that calcium--foods like tomatoes, oranges and peppers are great.)
Remind your family that veganism is better for the environment and for you, and that you feel much healthier now as a vegan.
Remember that it is your choice.
When you reject their food, make sure to meet their eyes and be firm, but let them know that you appreciate their cooking for you. Try not to hurt their feelings; and make vegan meals for yourself. Never be snarky or sarcastic. Remember that a pissed-off parent is an unreasonable one. Stay calm at all times, but never let them force you into eating unhealthy meat and cheese.
Good luck to you, Camille.