I am 15 years old and vegan for about 6 months now. I feel really good but the only problem is my mum...
She always tells me that it makes her so sad that I am vegan and we can't eat things like cheese together anymore. She also says that it is so extreme and I can't visit other people anymore because of my diet and stuff like that. She thinks that I'm excluding myself from the family by always eating different things than the rest of the family. And that I can't have a social life anymore.
She also believes that I can't get enough nutrients on a vegan diet. But she refuses to watch any documentaries.
And she says that I don't have verity and have to eat boring food cause I am always eating the same.
But I love my banana smoothies for breakfast and my potato fries for dinner so much!
Every time I try to talk with her it ends in me crying and I know that it is wrong that I start to shout and stuff but I am just so over it...
Another problem is that my private life is quite hard for me right now so I always seem so negative and sad to her. But that is not because of veganism.
I just don't know what to do anymore, my parents constantly tell me how disappointed they are in me and it makes me so sad.
I would be so happy if anyone has any advice <33
Dear Mary Charlotte,
So sorry to hear that your mum is like this at the moment...I'm both a mum and the daughter of an extremely unsupportive mother, so here's what I can tell you...
- Your mum, like most humans, has a social and cultural connection to the way she's eaten all her life that is very, very strong, much stronger than yours or mine. You and I have been able to "see" beyond our everyday life, she hasn't, and perhaps she will never. That doesn't make her a bad person. She feels threatened by the way you eat, I guess, because deep inside she knows there's something wrong with the way she's eaten all her life, and therefor, something wrong with the world. Who wants to live in a fucked up world? She'd rather "shut her eyes", or consider you a nutter, in order to preserve the World order. My mum will never, ever, ever understand veganism. She ridicules it and she hates it. I have come to accept it and now it's quite difficult for me, as she actively boycotts my lifestyle, but at least I have managed not to lose love or respect for her. She is just in the "violent opposition" stage of truth (google "the three stages of truth").
- I doubt very, very much that your parents are actually disappointed in you. I bet is quite the opposite. I bet they love you to bits and they are proud of you. If you don't belive me, ask.
- I bet they are worried about your nutrition. I can understand this, not because veganism would put you at risk quite the opposite!) but because I tell you we mums lose it with regards what our children eat. We become utterly psychotic with worry when our child does not eat well. It's some sort of instinct. If you have low BMI your mum must be frantic.
Tippy tips: Eat in front of your mum, even if she's criticising what you're eating or your choice of food, eat in front of her and the family and make them see how much you're enjoying your meal. Cook for her and your family, you can make wonderful soups that everyone will eat, or a veggy chilly dish, home made bread, something for everyone to enjoy. Don't try to tempt them with a pineapple monomeal, they'll think you're crazy. Tempt them with dishes they know.
And tip number 3, is simply to compliment your mum on what she does well. If she buys you some lovely fruit don't forget to thank her, to tell her that the fruit she chose for you was delicious. If she cooks something you can eat give her a hug and tell her "thanks mum that's great!". If she one day stops making a big deal about what you are eating, tell her that you really appreciate that she's respecting your choices. She wants to be a good mum, she wants to be the best mum. It's just that veganism has thrown her a curbed ball.
Freelee has a chapter on this on her latest e book, full of compassion and tips.
My most important message would be to never lose the love.
All the best,
That's the link to a bananagirl video that she did a while back on how to deal with unsupportive relatives.
Everyone goes through it. Most of the people here on 30 BAD is dealing with social and emotional rejection or difficulty with people. Most of them. When you change your lifestyle for the better, people are gonna look at you like you're crazy.
Your parents are just worried and they don't want their children to be a social outcast because they don't want to seem like bad parents. Believe me, because my parents are exactly like that. But always think about your health, the animals and the planet first. Remember that you're 15 and you've already done more than 99% of the population. So go easy on yourself. KEEP IT CARBED UP! :D Do things that you love, keep leading by example. That's all
Thank you so much for the advice guys!
I talked to my mum again and she says since I am vegan I lost my joy of life and am always boring and stuff but that is not because of veganism, that is because of different things that happen in my life right now. But my mother doesn't believe that. And now I also can't go to a French exchange family because of my diet and my parents dont want that I make difficulties:(