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I'm 18 years old and I'm a vegan, but I don't have any medical [dietary] advice, because I can't let my mom discover that I'm vegan. Can you tell me what I might have to do as a vegan? Do you have any advice on how to talk with my mom about being a vegan? Thank you.
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Congratulations on making a valuable step in your life! There are a number of websites on the internet specifically for parents of vegetarian/vegan teens that you may want to ask your Mom to read. If you are concerned about her reaction to the news, you may want to tell her with someone else in the room. In that situation, you should give her the chance to express her concerns, at least some of which may be about the safety of vegan diet. Many older people grew up believing that eating animal products is necessary for good health, so you should do LOTS of reading first. There are many well-researched books at the library on the topic to help you become well-informed about the benefits. Bring them with you to the meeting and be prepared to answer her questions as well as possible. Finding a local dietician, doctor or other respected professional who agrees with you may help your Mom support you. All the best!
Welcome to being vegan! As an 18-year-old, you should be able to privately talk with your doctor about your diet during a check-up, so that might be one place to start. I'd also suggest checking out some books on vegan diets such as Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina so that you can start informing yourself. Not only will more information help you take steps toward meeting your nutritional needs, but it should also help you feel more prepared to talk to your mom. When it comes to talking to your mom, showing her that you have done your research can go a long way in easing her concerns about your choices.If you will be moving out soon, it might be easier to wait to announce your veganism until you are on your own. Otherwise, I'd recommend talking to your mom sooner rather than later. You may be pleasantly surprised by her reaction and you won't have to stress about keeping this a secret. As Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says, live your values and speak your truth! (She's another great resource for new vegans and for learning how to communicate about veganism in a compassionate, joyful way. I'm not affiliated with her, but her website is http://www.compassionatecooks.com and her "Food for Thought" podcast is wonderful and free on iTunes.) Best of luck! Carmen
I think your best approach is to educate yourself as much as possible on being a healthy vegan. You may want to give her some info on veganism... I got some flyers from Action for Animals that discusses factory farming and compassionate choices as well as what is wrong with dairy and eggs. I know with my mom, it took alot of convincing that we know ALOT about what we eat... alot more than the average omnivore, and that we are doing it carefully with alot of consideration about nutrients, etc. Good luck!
What is your parents' issue with/argument against vegan practices?
Hey, I'm 18 too and have been vegetarian for about 3 years and vegan since may. My parents weren't happy about it, but they knew I was in it for the right reasons. Just remember it is YOUR body and if YOU don't want to be part of the sickening animal products industry, YOU don't have to. Now they can shout at you and be 'disappointed' but it is probably because they are misinformed. Make sure you take a multivit (the uk vegan society sells them) and know EVERYTHING you can about staying healthy on a vegan diet. It should be exceptionally healthy as long as you eat what your body needs, (dark leafy greens and orange juice for calcium and the uptake of it etc.) Also, have fun with it. See if you can contact any vegan groups in the area and support yourself with your change. I can say as much as my mum screamed at me about how extreme I was being, I told her that the way her food comes about is extreme in a calm manner, cooked her some vegan muffins and show by example my rocking diet. I don't get moaned at anymore and I haven't fallen down dead yet either, so I must be getting nutrients from somewhere haha! Of course, a main problem is money. Do you have a job? If not you should try and get a part time job, not only to show you are responsible but it also means that you can buy all the extra foods such as soy milk and butter, tofu etc at no extra cost to your family. Good luck and Have Fun!