Are your best friends vegans? Do you try all vegan dishes in your favorite cafes? Buying vegan cosmetics and skin care products? Also, maybe you watch documentaries about veganism on Netflix? Well, the topic of veganism really interested you.
But if you’re a teenager whose parents pick up a truckload of animal products every time they go to the supermarket, chances are you don’t know how to convince them to heed your words about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
Did you recognize yourself? First of all, don’t worry: many vegan teens go through this ordeal. It’s not uncommon for meat-eating parents to not understand the motivations behind their child’s transition to veganism. To deal with this situation, here are some tips that you can follow to not only convince your parents of the benefits of veganism, but also help them switch to a vegan diet with you.
Search for information
The first thing you need to do is back up your claims with verified facts from trusted sources. If you declare that you have become a vegan because it is now fashionable, your parents will obviously not be impressed. But by gaining as much knowledge about veganism as possible, you can really enlighten your parents!
Show parents popular websites, magazines and YouTube channels about veganism and animal ethics. If your parents don’t tend to spend time online, get creative, such as creating a visual PowerPoint presentation for them, or making your own brochure with useful information you find. Once your parents see that you understand what you are dealing with, they will respect your decision and want you to succeed in your new lifestyle.
Watch themed documentaries
Telling is good, but showing is even better. For example, the Netflix repertoire offers a number of thematic documentaries for viewing: What the Health, Cowspiracy, Vegucated. We suggest you start with Vegucated, which follows the lives of three non-vegans who decide to try a vegan diet for six weeks (spoiler: all three remain vegan).
If your parents don’t watch documentaries, try showing them the Netflix feature film Okja. And we recommend that you prepare napkins in advance – watching this film is unlikely to do without tears.
Define a goal
Have you decided to become a vegan for the sake of your health? Then tell your parents that. Are you going vegan because farming releases 32000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year? If so, then explain to the parents how you would like their grandchildren (believe me, parents will be touched by this) to live in a healthy and clean world. And if you follow their ethical reasoning, remind your parents how sad it is that millions of animals are bred under appalling conditions for the sole purpose of being killed for human consumption.
Explain the health benefits
If you’re going vegan for health reasons, you’ll definitely have something to tell your parents. Most often, parents worry that a vegan diet will not allow their children to get enough healthy and nutritious foods. Conventional wisdom holds that the best-known elements—proteins, vitamins, and fats—must come from animal products, but the truth is, there are many ways to get them on a plant-based diet.
If your parents are worried about protein intake, explain to them that you will get enough from tofu, tempeh, beans, nuts, and vegetables, and add vegan protein powders to meals if necessary. If your parents are worried about vitamins, tell them that plant-based foods have more than enough vitamins K, C, D, A and many others, and there are vegan vitamin supplements as a last resort.
Treat your parents to vegan food
Yet the easiest, most effective and enjoyable way to get your parents interested in veganism is to feed them delicious vegan food. Choose from a variety of vegan recipes to your liking and invite your parents to cook this dish together. Serve a treat to the table and watch with what pleasure they eat it. And then, as a bonus, offer to help with the dishes—a little kindness can go a long way if you want to build rapport.