This year I discovered vegetarianism (and I did some research about it), and I REALLY want to be vegetarian, but I am struggling:

  1. More than 90% of my country does not know this notion. Google Trends reports for Vegetarianism in Morocco:

    Hmm, your search doesn't have enough data to show here, Please make sure everything is spelled correctly, or try a more general term

  2. My family considers meat as something very important (we eat it every day, at least once!)

  3. The Eid al-Adha: At this time Muslims have to sacrifice a sheep, cow, goat, buffalo or camel (I don't care much about this).

How can I convince my friends and family (especially my illiterate parents) that what I do is NORMAL?

  • 1
    This may help, but I'm not suggesting it is a duplicate question (yet) because I think it would be good to have an answer that takes account of the cultural context you describe How to deal with pressure from family when telling them you are becoming a vegan
    – Zanna
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 14:52
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    When you say "considers meat as something very important" -- does that mean nutritionally (need the protein!), culturally (can't make traditional dishes without it!), a mark of social status (we can afford meat!), or some combination (or something else)?
    – Erica
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 16:13
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    @ Erica: I think that it is rather a cultural thing.
    – Motaka
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 17:05
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    May I ask your living situation? For instance, it's very different if you are living independently (cooking for yourself), living with your parents, or have children. Namely, I wonder if it suits your situation to convince them or set an example of how it can be healthy, ask them to respect your life choices, and give them time to get used to it
    – Tom Kelly
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 10:18
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    @TomKelly I am with my family for the moment, the problem is that with us(in our culture) we eat together, and it is very rare that a person cooking to eat alone..I do not know if any of you have ever encountered such a problem with his family
    – Motaka
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


there is a saying in India which says "iron cuts the iron". Similarly, good food can replace good food. By cooking good veg dishes , you can make room for veg food on the dinner table. You don't even have to cook, you can order from nearby Indian or italian restaurants as they usually have variety of veg options.

There are umpteen recipes for veg dishes. From very simple to complex ones, but you should try to cook. Their ingredients are usually omnipresent or easily replaceable. Share veg food with your friends, guests, family, not as "veg dishes" but "special dishes" if you think veg is stigma in your family / culture. This will open them up to almost a new world of food.

Make friends with vegetarians. They can suggest you good starting points or alternatives. Visit their homes to see how they cook, their approach etc. It can be lot more fun.

I hear France has close connection with Morocco. Why not try vegetarian french dishes as specialties? There's your cultural match.

Remember, everybody loves good food. They don't care what's inside it, but taste does matter and therefore you should adapt the recipes to your taste buds (kind of oil you use or spices and how much).

Last but not the least, visit India. It is the land of Vegetarians. You'd surprised to find pure veg restaurants all over, large sects of people who have never tasted meat (nor their great great ancestors). More importantly, to connect with the culture and philosophy of vegetarianism. Although you have not mentioned why you turned veg all of sudden, it seems evident that it is more than just taste of food that changed your mind. I'm sure you'd learn a lot.

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    I agree with you that I have to make connections with vegetarian peopes (even if I do not know any of them in my rigion, and I'm sure they do not exist), I think that it's very important to make acquaintances with vegetarians even on the internet(FB,..). Actually, I'm not yet a vegetarian, I eat meat sometimes. I want to know a lot about vegetarianism before making this decision: I will be vegtarian because I can no longer bear killing animals for our needs, and that being vegetarian is good for my health.
    – Motaka
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 8:57
  • that is a great line of thought. which veg items have you tried and what are your favorite ones?
    – sbharti
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 15:01

I'm going to make what I suspect will be a slightly controversial suggestion.

Perhaps you could use some islamic scriptures to convince them that vegetarianism is not un-islamic (I am assuming this is a factor).

A brief search on the internet lead me to a fatwa by Hamza Yusuf stating:

Meat is not a necessity in Shari’ah, and in the old days most Muslims used to eat meat, if they were wealthy, like middle class—once a week on Friday. If they were poor—on the Eids. So traditionally Muslims were semi-vegetarians.

Furthermore you could argue that when 'judgement day' arrives and Allah comes to judge people, when Allah turns to you and asks about your treatment of his creatures, you will be able to tell him that you have respected his creations and have avoided causing them unnecessary harm.

  • Out of interest I intended to post this a long time ago and only just realised that I hadn't when I found the draft lying around on my hard drive.
    – Pharap
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 11:34

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