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I have just become a vegan (almost a week now). However, this week has presented its challenges. From family, from people calling me crazy, to just knowing what to do. If anyone has any information to help guide me that would be greatly appreciated. I'm a college student in Iowa and my most of my family is trying to convince me to not be a vegan. Please I need guidance and motivation.

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Thank you so much! You just made my day!

Firstly anything you do or say, do it sincerely, otherwise you can not provide answers and it will discourage you. People feel this, it's body language. Asses where you're at and where do you want go. Tell the true story of your journey, how did you find out and what motivates you, and your goals. Admit you don't have all the answers yet but as you progress you learn on the way, Take note of questions and do some research. If they worry about health, buy  one of Dr Neal Barnard books, or China study, 80/10/10, Prevente and Reverse Heart Disease, etc, there are many out there. Show them high level research, show the www.pcrm.org, where they promote a low fat vegan diet. Show them youtube videos.

For me, because my main motivation is animal rights, then the environment, people and health, I'm not acting passive when people come to me and promote the explotiation, abuse, torture, rape and murder of defenseless sentient beings, be it my mother or a random stranger. I make it clear what they are doing when they are talking about non-consensual choices by downgrading the animal to a mere object, just because the he/she can not speak a recognizable human language. For me,  is an instinctive moral obligation to defend the innocent. And I usualy continue, speaking about the environment, people and health. I have a solid and fearless energy when speaking, I give many exemples to back up my reasoning, scientfic CORRECT data, and I also make sure not be unrespectful of the other person, I'm speaking feelingly, but there are some people with who, no matter how much proof you put down, they will never understand, and they will still go on with their dogmatic approach. My adivce to you, is research research research research, but do it naturally, not to find justifications, do it when you are interested. The best news: the vegan diet, especially the low fat vegan diet, has so much scientifically data to back it up, together with the environment, human and animal ethics, that it is the most easy to speak about. It makes perfect sense for the person willingly to listen, and most of the people are. There are some that will never be. You just need to accept it. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Even though he speaks aboud spreading veganism in this video, this is the closest what I think now about dealing with non-vegans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjc8x5vJRCQ. Watch some speeches given by him. If the ethical is not up there yet, cultivating compassion and empathy will also motivate you even more to make you stick around. I wish you best of luck.

Hey Alexis! Im in a similar boat. I have been raw vegan for 3 weeks and I admit that I have been shy to tell people because I fear their judgements. The people I have told (College friends) responded with "whaaaaaat!?, aren't your teeth going to rot out of your head with all that sugar"... ya... it doesn't feel good to hear stuff like that. 

But you know you are doing it for all the right reasons! To keep your body, mind, and environment healthy and happy. The lean body, glowing skin, excess energy etc... that's all just a bonus! lol

Also, I found talking about it on youtube is actually really helpful. Even if people aren't following you, it somehow gives you a strange ownership over your decision... that's how it was for me any way... so maybe give it a try. 

If you do, let me know, I will follow you!

You got this!

Don't try to explain all the reasons you're eating vegan.  They will not understand at this time.  Just say you are trying to eat more fruits and veggies because you've been reading studies about how good they are for your health--even carcass eaters have heard from somewhere that fruits/vegs are good for you lol!  I wish I had taken this approach myself when I was in college; instead I marched into my parent's house when I was out on a break and announced haughtily that I'd become a vegetarian (word vegan was not in use back then).  My mom immediately took it as a personal offense to her cooking and asked.."you still eat chicken, right?..because that's what we're having tonight!"  It was years before she understood the health consequences of a high meat/dairy diet, but she never quite gave these foods up entirely, always afraid she wouldn't get her protein.  Just take it slow around the folks; serve yourself big portions of veggies, salads, fruits so they know you're not trying to be on some "diet"--you can eat like you want in college (are you living at home?)--also compliment your mom on any veg dishes she may make for you.  I know this is hard, because I've been there, but I know it can be done without completely turning your back on your family.  Just be an example of what a healthy, happy and energetic vegan looks and behaves like.  Don't take it personally when they say things (which they will); it's not about you--it's their lifestyle that's being threatened.  Rock on

Great answer. Wished I had this advice as a vegan teen! :)

Go by your gut feelings! Educate yourself. Use common sense and learn from your results and you will be able to achieve anything!

I experienced the exact same thing. Where I live, people are all into hunting and fishing and are very close-minded about it. I try not  to let it get to me because I do it for the animals, the environment, and myself. Just imagine how healthy you are and happy you can be, and don't let anyone get in the way of your goals. But whatever you do, use compassion, and set a good example for others

Peace and love



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