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Making the switch

HELP!! My wife and I switched from an almost meat eating diet to a totally Vegan diet when we got married, almost 6 months ago.  We have a 12 year old daughter who fights us at almost every meal time.  How can we help her to make the switch to?  We have given her almost everything we could find to read about how the animals are treated, as she just doesn't care right now about the health benefits, and that seemed to work for a little while.  But she still is having a very hard time with going all in.  We try to make meals as close as possible to some of her favorite meat dishes, but living where we live, it is slim pickings at our super market for some of the fake "chicken" and "pepperoni"  substitutes.  Any suggestions?

It might help if she felt like she was part of the decision, rather than being forced to go along with you two.  She may be feeling like you didn't take her feelings into consideration when you made the change, and I believe that at 12 she has the right to choose how she wants to eat.  Get her involved in the meal planning, maybe let her cook her own meat if she chooses, but the main part of the meal will be vegan.  Or she can eat meat outside the house, but vegan at home. 

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It might help if she felt like she was part of the decision, rather than being forced to go along with you two.  She may be feeling like you didn't take her feelings into consideration when you made the change, and I believe that at 12 she has the right to choose how she wants to eat.  Get her involved in the meal planning, maybe let her cook her own meat if she chooses, but the main part of the meal will be vegan.  Or she can eat meat outside the house, but vegan at home. 

Thanks, your absoultly right.  She does have the right to eat whatever she wants, and right now the rule in our house is that she can eat whatever she wants outside of the home, but when she is home we eat vegan.  We have also tried to compromise with her and told her she could plan 2 of the meals each week as long as they included at least 2 to 3 items that her mom and I could eat and she had to do the cooking.

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It might help if she felt like she was part of the decision, rather than being forced to go along with you two.  She may be feeling like you didn't take her feelings into consideration when you made the change, and I believe that at 12 she has the right to choose how she wants to eat.  Get her involved in the meal planning, maybe let her cook her own meat if she chooses, but the main part of the meal will be vegan.  Or she can eat meat outside the house, but vegan at home. 

i agree... u can't really make her vegan (or raise her that way she's too old) but I wouldn't buy anything that's not vegan and she can use her allowance or whatever to buy that food if she wants it when she's not home... i just think she doesn't like to be forced... kinda like i was forced to go to church so i hated going kind of thing... i stopped buying animal products for my boyfriend (we live together) and i wont cook any so he eats what I cook and if he wants something else he can go buy it or make it himself... good luck :)

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Do Not!!!  I repeat Do Not force this issue upon her.  I'm still a kid myself (19) and if someone would have tried to force an issue like this on me I probably wouldn't be the "near vegan" I am today b/c I would eat meat just to spite those who tried to force me into their beliefs.  You said you already told her about the benefits of the vegan diet and she has the info let her make this choice on her own.

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HELP!! My wife and I switched from an almost meat eating diet to a totally Vegan diet when we got married, almost 6 months ago.  We have a 12 year old daughter who fights us at almost every meal time.  How can we help her to make the switch to?  We have given her almost everything we could find to read about how the animals are treated, as she just doesn't care right now about the health benefits, and that seemed to work for a little while.  But she still is having a very hard time with going all in.  We try to make meals as close as possible to some of her favorite meat dishes, but living where we live, it is slim pickings at our super market for some of the fake "chicken" and "pepperoni"  substitutes.  Any suggestions?

Maybe if you could arrange a tour of a local slaughter house? Not sure if they give tours or if it would be even wise to do so but just an idea.

I'm sure I saw a film about a woman who got into veganism after her dog died (I think it's name was Pencil), she was going to (or did I can't remember) do the same thing to show them how meat is made. Can't remember the films titile now.

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I'm sure I saw a film about a woman who got into veganism after her dog died (I think it's name was Pencil), she was going to (or did I can't remember) do the same thing to show them how meat is made. Can't remember the films titile now.

That movie is Year of the Dog.  I agree, literature is good but movies are more effective.  There are so many - check out your local library.  Fast Food Nation, SuperSize Me, & of course there are lots of documentaries about the horrors of the meat industry.  Some animal advocacy groups lend them out or sell them very inexpensively. 

Like everyone else said - you can't really force this on her.  And you can't really make her watch these movies.  But if she is willing to watch, they could really turn her around.  Good luck & I think it's really great that you and your wife made the switch!

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My daughter was 10 when I went vegan.  While I didnt cook meat I did allow her to pick out what she wanted to eat (within reason of course) at the store.  So she ate cheese or lunch meat or even frozen dinners as desired.  Its a choice.  Give them options and opinions but you have to let them make it.  At 12 she doesnt want to stand out as different from her friends or be seen as following what her parents say or do.  Simply expose her to delicious vegan food and if she doesnt like it have other options available. 

Allowing her to decide on meals is great but give her choices on recipes or cuisine as well during other non-choice days.  Pick recipes that you know are to her taste.  As an example; I kept trying to feed my daughter Lemon Pepper Oven Baked Tofu and she never liked it.  Finally she knew enough to say that the lemon was just way too strong for her taste.  So remember that children taste things differently than we do.  Perhaps go with subtle yet comforting foods like the Chickpea "Tuna" Mushroom Noodle Casserole here on vegweb.

If worse comes to worse and she refuses to have any part just try to give her healthy options like frozen dinners that are more healthy rather than pizza or fast food.  But at 16 my daughter is now quite happy to be here and eat vegan food and she even likes it better than some things she is offered at her dad's.

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HELP!! My wife and I switched from an almost meat eating diet to a totally Vegan diet when we got married, almost 6 months ago.  We have a 12 year old daughter who fights us at almost every meal time.  How can we help her to make the switch to?  We have given her almost everything we could find to read about how the animals are treated, as she just doesn't care right now about the health benefits, and that seemed to work for a little while.  But she still is having a very hard time with going all in.  We try to make meals as close as possible to some of her favorite meat dishes, but living where we live, it is slim pickings at our super market for some of the fake "chicken" and "pepperoni"  substitutes.  Any suggestions?

Maybe if you could arrange a tour of a local slaughter house? Not sure if they give tours or if it would be even wise to do so but just an idea.

I'm sure I saw a film about a woman who got into veganism after her dog died (I think it's name was Pencil), she was going to (or did I can't remember) do the same thing to show them how meat is made. Can't remember the films titile now.

It was "Year of the Dog". I love that movie even though the main character went kind of crazy. My dad (very not vegan) saw the movie and recommended it to me cuz' he said she reminded him of me. Not sure it that's a good thing, but whatever. Alot of her experiences throughout the movie hit really close to home. Poor Pencil :(

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Good for you, dprince for making such a positive life change! It just gets more and more easy and rewarding! Kudos to you and your wife.

I am personally in agreement that your daughter is too old to be forced into it--I think if my daughter were older and didn't want to be vegan, I'd let her do whatever she wanted outside of the house, but at home, I'd only allow vegan meals. But that's just cuz I don't want animal foods on my plates or pans. Not all veg*ns are as picky as me!!  :)

Also, I noticed that you wanted to help promo my book. Now that I see this post, I also think it will be a helpful resource for you. Many people making big dietary/lifestyle changes have told me my book helped a lot...it has kitchen set-up, nutrition, and lots of recipes (many that hopefully your daughter would like). Why don't you e-mail me at eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%71%75%69%6e%74%65%73%73%40%63%61%72%65%32%2e%63%6f%6d%22%3e%71%75%69%6e%74%65%73%73%40%63%61%72%65%32%2e%63%6f%6d%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b')) and let me know a little more about the health food stores/book stores/coffee shops in your area.

And keep up the good work--awesome!! :)

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I have the opposite problem... I went vegan about 6 months ago and cannot manage to convince my parental units to eat what I do, which is especially tough when I was at home for the summer.  I knew I couldn't force them, but I kept trying over and over again to invite them to eat what I cooked.  Their approach to it was that if I came grocery shopping I could pick out whatever I wanted, but they weren't gonna do it for me.  I tried to make a lot of veganized "normal" meals, partly because my boyfriend would eat what I cooked, but only if it was familiar and tasty.  So, I got very good with meatless crumbles (boco and morningstar) and fake chicken strips (morningstar).  Often, what I would do was make a dish like baked pasta and put cheese on all the parts but mine to make it more appealing to everyone else (and by the end of the summer, my mother would eat it).  Or I would put out a dish of cheese when I made tacos for everyone else.
What also might help would be to keep a lot of accidentally vegan snacks and stuff around the house, like unfrosted pop-tarts and sugar wafers and tortilla or barbeque chips.  Your daughter will probably appreciate the familiarity, and you don't have to fight her about eating them.

Hope I helped

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Thanks for all the advice everyone it really helps.  I do feel like I may need to make one clarification however, my wife and I were never considering "forcing" her to make the change.  I just didn't know what else, if anything, that we could do to convice her.  I apologize if I gave a confussing message in my post.  

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While my DH is not vegan, he does support me in my choice. The one thing that he likes is I've told him that he can pick any recipe off www.fatfreevegan.com and I'll cook it. Granted, I think he's eyeing most of the desserts, but still...

I agree that your daughter is old enough to help more & that it's usually a combination of not wanting to be different from her friends and not wanting to do what she's told. Someone mentioned that they hated to go to church for that reason and I was the very same.

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