Sometimes explaining to your family that you have decided to become a vegetarian/vegan is not easy, especially when they have grown up thinking that eating meat/fish/dairy from time to time is necessary for a healthy diet.

For that reason they might push you to eat some animal product from time to time, especially if, as it is in my case, you only get together for holidays like Christmas when meals are an important part of the festivity.

Also, they can refer to how boring it must be eating only vegetables and say things like: "This piece of meat/fish/... looks much tastier! Don't you think so? Don't you want a bite?"

How can I deal with this issue? What would be a good way of convincing them that my lifestyle is not inherently unhealthy?

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    People understand money more easily than making healthy choice as its easy to quantify. Moreover the impact on the wallet can be measured sooner than the impact on health which takes time. So that could be one avenue to make your parents think about your choice. – yasouser Mar 21 '17 at 18:40
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    @yasouser This would completely remove most justification to decline to eat animal based food at a family gathering, as the food is likely already purchased and prepared. It may also lead to "Oh, you can't afford meat?! I've bought you a subscription to the steak-of-the-month club!" – Michael Richardson Mar 21 '17 at 18:47
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    @yasouser not a vegan nor a vegetarian, even if I do try to minimize meat consumption a lot (down to three meals a week), but a) this is not necessarily true and b) I don't think that being dishonest about your reasons is a good way to get ANYONE's buy-in. – Patrice Mar 21 '17 at 18:57
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    Specifically for Christmas, don't just eat the vegetables that everyone is eating, or your family will likely conclude that your meal is worse than theirs. Have something full of umami flavors, that's high in protein and goes well with roast vegetables and cranberry sauce. allrecipes.com.au/recipe/9264/nut-roast-loaf.aspx Note, I am vegetarian, as is the linked recipe. I made it once for someone who was lactose intolerant, and the taste was just as good without the cheese, but it stuck together less well. Taking out eggs as well will of course likely have a similar impact. – Scott Mar 22 '17 at 3:00
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    @Scott your comment looks like an answer to me. Would you care to post it as one? – Zanna Mar 22 '17 at 5:15

14 Answers 14

My mum was concerned about my health and wellbeing when I transitioned from vegetarianism to veganism, but I was not living at home at the time.

What I did was constantly talk about the great food I was eating, sending pictures to my family of the beautiful food I was cooking and eating out and about and telling them how delicious it was.

My parents have both become vegetarian themselves since then :)

My health, already good, only improved, and that spoke for itself, my mum always says "you look very well". It helps if you take care of your health as much as possible (take your B12!) to prevent family members becoming concerned.

  • "take your B12!" don't forget about omega-3s, which are frequently missing in vegan diets. – chbaker0 Mar 22 '17 at 18:13
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    Indeed @chbaker0 "eat your milled flaxseed" :) – Zanna Mar 22 '17 at 19:31
  • @chbaker0 Ever heard of the lord and saviour Flax seed and his son Walnut born from the virgin Chia? – user1970 Nov 30 at 13:24

In my personal experience there is one thing that made my family more open to the idea of veganism and that vegan food is not bland and boring (one of the major concerns my family also had).

Cook for them. This is the best way of showing anyone that vegan food is not boring and that it can be very tasty, if they try it and like it, it will make the process much easier although it might take a while until they finally accept your new lifestyle.

Also, meat replacements can be effective to show them that you can eat similar stuff to what you used to eat before so they don't think you survive only off rice and beans.

Related to this when they're more open to the idea, you can take them out to vegan places from time to time, to show them that there are very creative people out there, cooking very nice things.

And be patient. Being vegan is not seen as "normal" by many societies and it may take a while to some people to accept the fact that you have decided to stop consuming animal products. Your loved ones care about you and might be genuinely worried, so maintaining your lifestyle and showing them that you're as healthy as ever and that you like the food you eat is a great way to show them that there is nothing wrong with the lifestyle that you have decided to follow.

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    Well, I can cook but I'm not a great cook. To my yummy veggie patties, my parents told me "they go great with rice and steak"... Also, meat replaces might actually be a BAD idea. They will spend the whole meal pointing out how it doesn't taste and feel like real meat and won't care so much that it's yummy... – ecc Mar 21 '17 at 16:15
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    Get into asian cooking (unless you don't like asian food) - a) a lot of tasty asian food is either veg based or draws almost its whole flavour profile from vegetable ingredients, allowing perfect substitutions. b) It is considered healthy and sophisticated in many communities (yeah I know, prejudices about MSG laden chinese takeout counter it...) , play that card to your advantage. c) Some of the sauces in thai/indian cooking could easily be used at a get-together to make two pots (veg and non veg). d) It is a way to re-start learning cooking from zero :) – rackandboneman Mar 21 '17 at 17:18
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    @A.A. The fake meats are usually rather bad because they try to mimic something they aren't and come off as a terrible version of what they mimic. Vegans will like them just fine but meat eaters won't. – Joshua Mar 21 '17 at 19:55
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    Meat is a way to introduce a certain taste/texture. Not the only way. @Vlasec if you are talking pre-made, pre-flavoured "pseudo-schnitzel" products from the store, I tend to agree with you.... if a cook/chef adapts basic tofu/tempeh/gluten flour to his/her purposes there is nothing fake about anything anymore. It is a dish that takes an idea that works and reimagines it. – rackandboneman Mar 22 '17 at 10:09
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    Real meat has a taste of its own. My dad became quite good with cooking soy "meat", but it still loses when comparing it to the "real deal". There is no point comparing unprocessed legumes to meat though. I understand the urge to refurbish existing recipes, but I find it easier to come up with something entirely new or find existing recipes that never actually contained meat. Or, perhaps, replace the meat with unprocessed legumes, be it soy, beans or anything. – Vlasec Mar 22 '17 at 12:32

Lots of good answers already but I may have an additional viewpoint to offer.

Background:

My sister started being Vegan about 6 years ago. I was not very supportive and did all the negative things you mention. I came at her with all the uninformed arguments I knew at the time.

  • "Humans need meat to survive"
  • "If we didn't eat cows they wouldn't exist"
  • "Vegan food is not good. Try how much better this burger is"
  • And more and more (I was kind of jerk)

She's awesome and stuck to her guns through not only my berating, but similar BS from the rest of the family.

Fast-forward and I have been Vegan(ish) for about a year now. I completely regret being so hard on my sister, because societal pressures are the hardest part about being vegan (the food is great).

My sister wanted to be vegan because she abhorred the cruelty to animals. I became vegan because I abhor the devastating impact that animal agriculture has on the environment.

My sister always used the animal cruelty aspect of animal agriculture to make her argument for veganism, but it never resonated with me (that has changed). When I became educated about the environmental impact of animal agriculture and how unsustainable it is, that really hit home.

Then I continued learning about this topic and of course the cruelty is a motivating factor for me, but not the primary one (for me personally). The environmental impact was my primary motivator. Learning about the health issues surrounding animal products was also a big motivator.

So I would suggest you educate yourself about all the arguments for Veganism and use the one that most appeals to your "opponent".

I'm not saying you'll change everyone (or anyone's) mind, but I have found that some people have a much harder time disputing or brushing off the health or environmental impacts of meat-eating than the animal-rights aspects.

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    Thanks! Your story and mine are actually quite similar! Although in my case was one of my roomates and not my sister who became vegan and changed my way of thinking. – A. A. Mar 21 '17 at 21:22
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    Please keep comments civil and topical, and use Veganism & Vegetarianism Chat for discussion/conversations. – Erica Apr 17 '17 at 14:28

Context: 10 years ago I made some hefty nutrition changes in my life (it wasn't about being vegan, but I won't go into it here, as it does not matter). Let's suffice to say that it was borderline revolutionary for my larger family then -- and it is perfectly accepted and not mentioned at all anymore, today; plus I got some of them over to do it my way, as well.

Specific hints:

  • You are doing nothing wrong. Deciding what to eat is a basic right that they cannot take from you (in the context we are talking about here, obviously ;) ).
  • They cannot force you to eat any specific thing. The only thing you have to endure is talking.
  • Don't ask for permission, don't try to win them over to your side, etc.. Do what you want to do, period.
  • Don't put yourself in an "underdog" situation. If you want to, tell them a white lie once ("I'm trying this for a while to see what happens") even if you're 100% sure you are committed to it for life. But don't constantly repeat this; if they don't stop talking about it, you can still stop responding.
  • It helps to understand why they do it. They might have fears about your health, they might have heard bad things about vegans and so on. Still, you cannot really change that by talking. The only way to show them is ... to show them. Do your thing, and after a few years the "health" point is moot. Assuming you are eating healthy, obviously, but that is in your own interest, primarily.
  • Avoid food religion, i.e. spamming (sic) them with the benefits of your new way to eat. That will just lead to more discussions. These days, for any and all foods, you can find places on the internet which try to prove how bad they are for your health. Don't go down that road. Make it your personal thing. The last you want is for them to think that you somehow fell for a fad here.
  • Don't ask anyone to cook anything specific to you. If they cook meat, then you can eat the side dishes, or have some "emergency" food at hand that you can quickly get for yourself.
  • Above all, stay as relaxed as possible about the whole thing. When the topic comes up yet again, just relax, don't fight, smile, while you nibble at your non-animal-related food.

That was at least my strategy and experience with the issue; it served me well.

After a while, they will get quite used to it and the issue will be over. Be prepared for some more "talking" once in a while until the end of your time though - just ignore it whenever it happens.

The purest joy will be when you convert someone of them over by sheer example (never, ever, ever try to actively do it).

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    +1 for "Avoid food religion". I'm not a vegetarian, but my elder daughter chose to be, and there have been no problems at all because she didn't try to preach to me. If she'd been a self-righteous virtue-signaling jerk about it, I'd have had a reaction to that, not her dietary choices. – Monty Harder Mar 21 '17 at 20:13

When I was transitioning diets from omnivore to vegetarian and later vegan, my family has been rather surprised and prejudiced against the process as well. Here are some of the things that made this easier, in terms of both making them understand and making them to accept this.

  • Cook them some vegan recipes. One of the most powerful tools in your hands is the ability to target tastebuds. Find great vegan recipes and show your family that being vegan is not just a carrot for breakfast and an apple for dinner. Make them see the diversity they have been blind to until then and the possibilities that exist. My diet gained a lot of variety both in things I eat and in the tastes I experience, and I believe this is one of the main reasons why my family accepts this.
  • Tell them why you are vegan. This largely depends on where you and your family stand when it comes to communication. Sometimes this is just impossible to do, but most of the time, there is some space for sharing new ideas. Find out how to use this space and how to eventually pry it open. There are many reasons why you may follow vegan diet; they are all interesting and when you overcome the initial "strange and sounds a bit weird" feeling your family may have about veganism, it will make it much more likely for them to accept your stance and stop nagging you about it. There is one medium sized but though - Do not push this. Wait until someone approaches you and asks you about it. Even in a sarcastic way.
  • Talk about positive experiences that somehow relate to you being vegan. This is another do not push this thing. Just include veganism into the things you naturally speak about with your family. Think about ways that it positively influenced you and share these with your family. Make vegan a word in the vocabulary of your family, not a strange outlier that they are not even sure how to pronounce.
  • Give it time. Veganism and vegetarianism are marginal diets. People are not familiar with them and with what they actually mean. It takes time to learn new things and it may take time for your family to accept this. Mainly if, as you mentioned, you meet rather sporadically. Do not let yourself to be desperate about their attitude towards your decision. Most likely they do it because they care about you and are worried that you are not getting enough nutrients. Prove them wrong. Talk with them about it. Take them to a vegan restaurant and have a wonderful time. Don't worry, it will all fall into place sooner or later.

Regarding your family's concern that going vegan might have adverse health effects:

  1. Have your doctor request labs for you periodically, showing that you are indeed still healthy as a vegan, and refer to these numbers whenever someone expresses concern about your health.

  2. Have them watch "Forks Over Knives" or read the corresponding book "The China Study". (I'm friends with a couple who rapidly changed from a processed-food, meat-heavy diet to a nearly-vegan diet after watching this documentary.)

  3. Show them examples of incredibly healthy vegans, such as the athletes profiled at http://www.greatveganathletes.com/, some of whom are lifelong vegans!

Of course, you'll need to be sure that you are indeed getting enough vitamin B12, protein, iron, etc. Drink fresh organic vegetable & fruit juice regularly. Eat lots of mushrooms and tempeh. Take supplements if needed.

If they genuinely want to understand why you are vegan, be sure you understand first. For me (I'm a vegetarian, transitioning to vegan), the "health benefits" aspect is much less important than the ethical/moral aspect. If you need help understanding the reality of animals' suffering in the process of their becoming food for humans, watch "Earthlings".

How can I deal with this issue? What would be a good way of convincing them that my lifestyle is not inherently unhealthy?

I know that starting a campaign to convince your family about all the positive aspects of veganism can be tempting. Even though I don't think this is wrong, I would like to point out that you shouldn't have to do that.

You don't have a burden of proof regarding the healthiness of your diet

You have made a choice about your diet. This is your choice, not theirs. They don't have to like your choice and they don't have to make accommodations, but if they respect you as a person they should respect your choice. They may be genuinely worried about your health, but these worries (which are likely to stem from ignorance) are theirs, not yours. You can choose to put the burden of their worries on your back, but you can also choose not to, or at least to only carry some of the weight.

For them to realize that your "lifestyle is not inherently unhealthy", they need to unlearn some perhaps deeply held misconceptions about nutrition. It is not unreasonable to expect them to take some responsibility in educating themselves to ease their worries. How much you are willing to help is up to you and may depend on how close you are to them, or wish to be, and how able you think they are to educate themselves.

During a lifetime of being a vegan, you are likely to encounter your fair share of people expressing their misplaced concern for your health. There are many possible strategies for dealing with them and you may choose different strategies for different people/situations. Remember that you don't have to be a living propaganda poster for veganism if you don't want to.

  • Ummmm, yes you most certainly do have the burden of proof. You're the one choosing a diet at great odds with human evolutionary development. – Carl Witthoft Mar 23 '17 at 19:54
  • @CarlWitthoft The person changing their diet does not have to prove anything about their diet because they are choosing to adhere to it, not trying to convince other people that it's better. Likewise an omnivore does not have to prove anything about their diet unless they are trying to convice someone it's better. It's not a question of which is better, it's a question of personal decision, like deciding to dye one's hair pink or deciding to wear a blue shirt instead of a red one. – Pharap Mar 23 '17 at 23:35
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    @CarlWitthoft Thank you for providing an excellent example of a person who doesn't let their lack of knowledge in a subject get in the way of lecturing others in it. Learning to identify such people and realize that we don't have to engage with them is the most important lesson of all. Judging by your comments on this question and its answers, I certainly wouldn't waste any time or energy trying to convince you of anything. – jkej Mar 24 '17 at 1:36
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    @CarlWitthoft As I said, I don't agree with the premise of your comments and I'm not interested in discussing with you (comments are not for extended discussions anyway). Maybe you should post a question on meta about stopping the "echochamber of fantasizers" devolution or about limiting the scope of the site to "functional information on dietary sufficiency and on negotiating meals with others". – jkej Mar 24 '17 at 14:03
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    This has gotten increasingly tangential from the answer, so please continue the discussion in Veganism & Vegetarianism Chat or Veganism & Vegetarianism Meta. – Erica Mar 24 '17 at 18:31

I just want to provide experience from the other side, perhaps it could be useful to understand some reactions:

I am an omnivore and a family member, lets call that person "A", is vegetarian.

Well, it is the decision of A and I accept it. It is A's responsibility and I trust that A will be alright. I would think differently when A would go for some extreme diet or act unreasonable in another way.

All that happened some years ago.

Now times have changed a bit. A got a child and A decided that the child will be vegetarian. You know, emotions always get a bit high when the wellbeing of toddlers is involved. While A proved over the years the A is able to act responsible the correct diet is highly important for the development of an toddler, so big experiments in that direction are never highly valued. (I do not want to derail this, but recently we had some nationwide outrage over a one year old child that was seriously undernourished and weighing as much as a newborn because the parents insisted on a strict vegan diet).

Long story short:

Try to differentiate between your family members trying to "change" you and your family members being worried about you.

While it is perfectly fine to be vegetarian (as long as your wellbeing is fine) family members have a right to be worried about you, albeit they have absolutely no right to decide over you (as long as they are not your legal guardian).

I cannot know your family relations but I guess it could be useful to prove them that you care about yourself and that you are doing well. It could be helpful if you mention that you perform regular blood analysis / medical checkups etc. When, over time, they realize that you are doing well they will begin to accept your choice.

Showing commitment has been important in dealing with family pressure. While transitioning, I would be a little flexible with things like dairy. This led to my family not taking my position seriously. Not cheating on my vegan diet, putting in effort to bring vegan options to a dinner when I know there won't be one, and responding firmly with my position has shown them that veganism is something I'm taking seriously and over time they've accepted my choice and stopped pressuring me.

There's a few things I realized that finally made me understand how to truly continue with my lifestyle as a vegetarian (no meat) and overcome the peer pressure:

-if you are under 18, chances are family will try and discredit you due to your lack of "life experience" but understand change doesn't happen over night.

Find support elsewhere

-You DO NOT need to prove to anyone why being vegetarian or vegan is valid. It's your life, your body.

-Confronting those who come across as peer pressuring.

Such as saying "I don't wish to talk about this anymore." "I don't appreciate you pressuring me so (please) stop." "If you actually care about me you'd let me live my life." "I don't barade your life choices so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't barade mine." "I'd appreciate it if you'd stop putting me down." Sometimes people don't realize what peer pressure looks like so confronting them can open their eyes. Nobody wants to see themselves as the "bad guy" (peer pressuring) so think of this as a way of letting them know they went too far and it hurt your feelings. If they truly care about you they'll stop, otherwise it's time to start reconsidering "do they respect me? My life choices?"

-Understanding walking away from them isn't giving up, sometimes, it's stopping to put up with some people's bull crap.

-If family or friends really love you or care about you, they'd love & care about you regardless, not put you down about your life choices. They'd bring you up.

This was hard for me as low self esteem me still wanted to believe they did care but in the end it more about them than my actual health as why it was peer pressure and not support.

-Being open minded comes in short quantity sometimes, so not everyone welcomes difference in groups. So be the example, be open minded to their opinions, arguments, don't "prove" them wrong like they may do to you and show them you respect them because in turn if they don't respect you and continue to put you down for it, and you've confronted their behavior (how they have hurt your feelings and you don't appreciate it), continue to make jokes you've said make you feel uncomfortable, then it's time to move on to someone who does

Honestly, I've had a similar experience being vegetatian for about 6 years now and aspiring to be vegan once college is over. Before being official, I started under my parents roof, so claiming to be a vegetarian was almost like stating "cook my food without meat in it!" in the eyes of my parents which was more work for them (their perspective).

I ended up eating meat at first every once a week because of the peer pressure I recieved from all my family members who were of southern culture (big steaks, all the potatoes, gravvy, etc.) I hope this helps anyone having a hard time with choosing a less common lifestyle choice.

While appealing to emotional stuff like animal cruelty and environmental impact of meat production, etc might have a some impact on family members, science is the allegedly objective authority that the majority of people recognize and accept. And there is plenty of scientific evidence even from the mainstream media.

Here is an in-depth lecture by Dr McDougall about the chemistry and physiology of meat digestion in humans. And here is a table of carnivorous vs vegetarian traits which clearly corroborates it.

Human teeth are not made for tearing and munching raw meat — they are the teeth of an herbivorous animal.

The human digestive system is not made for processing meat, although on later evolutionary stages we somehow adapted to eat everything.

According to Dr Neal Barndard's book The Power of Your Plate:

early humans had diets very much like other great apes, which is to say a largely plant-based diet, drawing on foods we can pick with our hands. Research suggests that meat-eating probably began by scavenging—eating the leftovers that carnivores had left behind. However, our bodies have never adapted to it. To this day, meat-eaters have a higher incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems.

According to paleontologist Dr. Richard Leakey:

you can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand.... We wouldn’t have been able to deal with food source that required those large canines

From Dr. Milton Mills's Comparative Anatomy of Eating:

When eating, a mammalian carnivore gorges itself rapidly and does not chew its food. Since proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes cannot be liberated in the mouth due to the danger of autodigestion (damaging the oral cavity), carnivores do not need to mix their food with saliva; they simply bite off huge chunks of meat and swallow them whole.

According to evolutionary theory, the anatomical features consistent with an herbivorous diet represent a more recently derived condition than that of the carnivore. Herbivorous mammals have well-developed facial musculature, fleshy lips, a relatively small opening into the oral cavity and a thickened, muscular tongue. The lips aid in the movement of food into the mouth and, along with the facial (cheek) musculature and tongue, assist in the chewing of food... The human gastrointestinal tract features the anatomical modifications consistent with an herbivorous diet.

Dr. William C. Roberts, editor of the American Journal of Cardiology:

Although we think we are, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us, because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.

Just ignore them, plain and simple.

This is by far the most effective solution, i don't think there's anything else to add.

  • This isn't really an answer to the question. OP made it pretty clear that dealing with the issue directly is their question, and this doesn't help with that. Can you revise this answer? – Riker Nov 30 at 0:04

When I was in a similar situation to you I'd reflect on why I've become a vegetarian/vegan I'd need to be able to say to my family the truth about my decision to eat only vegetarian/vegan food. As a suggestion I'd first look around the table for foods which I could eat if I found nothing then I'd tell as many people as I could politely that I want to please eat only vegetables, fruits and plant foods etc... With regards to comments and questions about whether I should just try a little bit of meat to break my diet I'd look determined and point my head in the direction of any food I could rather have to eat instead. If I was asked to try a bit of lamb or beef I'd try to spot some green beans, cabbage or potatoes and say with a smile "I love the taste of these vegetables so much". In this way I'd be demonstrating physically a love for the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and I'd prove to my family that I'm just as happy eating vegetables as I'd be eating meat if I wasn't a vegetarian/vegan.

It's really simple. Different tastes for different people. I'd insist in any conversation with my family that I love eating vegetarian/vegan food just for the taste of it and that I wouldn't in any way want to stop eating only plant foods including vegetables and fruits.

Your family should understand you better if they see your desire to eat vegetarian/vegan food. They'd draw a conclusion about your personal tastes when they become used to the idea of you as a vegetarian/vegan. Then they won't bother you so much and they'd start to see for themselves your health benefits through your diet as a vegetarian/vegan. Also you should regularly take Vitamin B12 tablets if you're a vegan and you could always insist to your family that you are healthy and get all of the nutrients you need because you are always taking Vitamin B12 tablets.

You could go tit-for-tat with foods. If they suggest some turkey or meat they find those foods tasty. So you could then point out some vegetables and stress the delicious taste of those vegetables in return you could keep on doing this until you have eaten as much vegetarian/vegan food as you want. Then when you are full you don't have to make any excuses any more until the next meal when you'd do the same thing over again. Eventually everyone'd become used to referring to vegetarian/vegan food with you. You'd probably need to politely remind/prompt people that you are a vegetarian/vegan but you shouldn't find that too difficult to do if you truly love to eat only vegetarian/vegan food.

You need persistence and willpower to be disciplined enough to eat only vegetarian/vegan food and not to give in to other peoples' influence as long as you keep on insisting to everyone that you know what you prefer to eat and that you are healthy as a vegetarian/vegan you should be OK. Only you are responsible for what food you put into your mouth so you should believe in yourself and look only for food you would like to eat not food you wouldn't like to eat.

Other people can't make you love meat/fish. You could always insist that you love vegetables/fruits more than anything else. A huge hamburger might look tasty. However a small apple might have an even greater burst of excitement in terms of flavour. Diets are not in competition with each other. You just need to be confident enough to tell everyone around you that you love your diet and you don't want to cheat it.

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    Hello, welcome to Vegetarianism SE. While it is interesting to hear your perspective on the matters and I am glad that you did not meet with pressure from the family with regards to your dietary preferences, here on Stack Exchange we usually prefer answers that are more on topic than a mere 'this is my experience with this' kind of thing. The original poster asked for help with dealing with pressure from his family and as such, your question seems to offer very little in this regard. Would you consider improving it so that it is perhaps a better fit? Thanks and welcome again. – Alexander Rossa Nov 20 at 19:37

I have a problem with your position : you don’t even know if becoming vegan is good for you, yet you ask us to convince your family. Why are you changing?

Here are some arguments:

  • We are not biologically made to eat that much meat
  • Vegan food taste bland because out tastebuds are used to overstimulation, and just like eyes need to adapt to low light, our taste buds need adaptation for subtle flavors after you remove the excess of tastes, which are saltiness (less salt), sweetness (less sugar) and umami (less meat); bitter and sour don’t count. If you eat blander meals, after a while you begin to feel more subtle tastes.
  • An adult with moderate physical activity can be healthy with common vegan , if you’re doing physical activity, at least check what you eat. You won’t get as much iron from vegan food as from meat. Also, don’t feed growing kids and teenagers with vegan food, that’s unhealthy.
  • From my experience, you can make tasty vegan food, but it needs more cooking knowledge. What’s missing is a source of umami, which you can find mostly in meat, but also in mushrooms and algae. The easy way would be to use monosodium glutamate, which isn’t a very good method. In cooking, to have a tasty meal, the meat umami source is the easiest to do. If you want to make a tasty meal in a vegan way, you’ll need a lot of spices to compete. Try curry or colombo spice blends with rice and a few grilled vegetables. If you don’t know how vegan food can be tasty, then you don’t have enough cooking experience. The best way to show them is to cook a really nice vegan meal.
  • ask them why they pick on you, I suspect that deep inside, some people don’t want you to improve your life, and if you can change, it will make them feel lazy, unable to improve themselves. Tell them that you want to improve yourself, that you know that being vegan is healthy under some conditions (explain why, and what you’ll do to avoid protein and iron deficiency), that their comments aren’t helping you, and you’re sad to see them behaving like that.

I’m a meat lover, btw, but I can make very nice vegan dishes which are not bland at all.

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    You make a lot of big claims without supporting them with sources. Do not disguise opinions as facts. If you have a reason for saying something (such as Don't feed growing kids and teenagers with vegan food, that's unhealthy), state it. If you don't, well, maybe it is time to find one or to stop saying that altogether. Also, in your answer, you make many detours that are absolutely unrelated to the question at hand (such as the one highlighted in this comment). It really makes it hard to follow the point you want to make with this answer. – Alexander Rossa Mar 21 '17 at 17:55
  • The first three points need citing, the last two are somewhat valid. – Pharap Mar 23 '17 at 23:38

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