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Teenage Vegetarians

"How Can I tell my Parents that I have
Decided to Become a Vegetarian or Vegan?"

After doing the research and putting in lots of thought, you’ve decided to become a vegetarian or vegan. The next step is to tell your parents about your choice. You’re nervous about how they might react – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. So how do you tell your parents about your decision to go veg in the best possible way?


First, you have to know why you are becoming a vegetarian or vegan. If your reasons don’t go any deeper than “because my best friend is doing it,” your parents probably won’t take you very seriously. You need concrete, well thought-out reasons if you expect to be treated like a person capable of making decisions like this.


So take a moment to put into words your reasons for becoming vegan or vegetarian. Is it because you object to animal cruelty? Because it’s a healthier lifestyle and diet? Because you feel opposed to it for religious or spiritual reasons? When you approach your parents, be prepared to lay these reasons out in a calm, methodical fashion. If they are shocked or angry at first, don’t react with a hot temper. You’ve had a lot of time to think about your decision, but remember that this is the first they’ve heard of it. They may need time to process the idea, then you can talk about it later once they’ve had time to get used to the thought of having a vegan or vegetarian son or daughter.


It’s also important that you don’t make your parents feel that you are criticizing them or their lifestyle, or judging them for eating meat and using animal products. This decision is yours alone and has nothing to do with how you feel about them. Show them that you respect their right to make decisions for themselves, just as you want them to respect your right to do the same for yourself.


Another important thing you need to realize is that becoming a vegetarian or vegan is a big lifestyle change. In our culture meat is a big part of the way we eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To suddenly get rid of meat from your diet requires a radical shift in the way you eat and live. If you can show your parents that you’ve thought about this and realize the commitment you’re making, they’re more likely to respect it.


Be prepared to discuss the mechanics of how your newfound lifestyle is going to fit into the family. How will you do family meals together? Perhaps you could request that your portion of dinner be prepared without the meat, or maybe you could even offer to find and cook vegan or vegetarian dinner recipes for your family once or twice a week.


Parents are always more likely to listen and lend support when you approach them like a rational adult instead of a whiny kid. Stay calm and logical, offering your reasons and giving evidence that you’ve really thought this decision through. They’ll be more likely to accept your choice to become vegetarian or vegan.





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