Telling your family you’re vegan can be one of the toughest parts about making the switch. Tougher than giving up cheese? Sometimes!
While switching to a plant-based diet has become much more mainstream recently, it can still be seen as an “extreme” way of eating to many people. And when those people are your family and friends, it can be nerve-wracking to tell them you’ve gone vegan.
Are they going to make fun of you? or put you down? or attack you? Well, you don’t know until you actually break the news and there are a few things you can do to help it go smoothly.
Just remember to keep the conversation positive and help them to understand your decision to move to a plant-based diet. Ultimately, know that you don’t need their blessing to be the best vegan you can be!
Go in with a positive attitude
When you made the decision to eat a plant-based diet, you probably had positive intentions behind it, right? Maybe you did it to improve your health, or help animals, or save the planet. Those are all amazing reasons to make a change.
When you tell people you’re vegan, show them that excitement, that motivation, that anticipation for the amazing journey you’ve embarked on. If they see how pumped you are about living a vegan lifestyle, they’re more likely to be supportive and encouraging.
Keep the focus on you
In my personal experience, I’ve found that when someone tells a person they’ve gone vegan, that person tends to start making excuses for their own eating habits. They carry on with this long list of reasons why they could never go vegan. Or they make justifications for why it’s ok for them to eat animals. (“I grew up on a farm” is not a good enough reason, sorry.) And what’s funny is that all this will happen without you even uttering a word about them. It’s almost like magic!
If When that happens to you, keep your positive attitude and bring it back to you. Yes, I’m giving you permission to be a little self-centered in this conversation. It is about a life-changing decision you’ve made after all. Take the focus off of them and off of negativity by sharing why you decided to go vegan and what changes you hope to see as a result. You can also redirect the conversation by sharing how it’s been going so far.
Explain why you went vegan
There are some people out there who just can’t see why anyone would ever want to give up eating meat. If you’ve got one of those in your family, you’re going to want to use all of these tips, at the same time. They’re going to need a little extra care.
One way to help your family understand your choice to go vegan is to explain why. You don’t need to go into major depth here but giving someone insight into your reasoning and your goals can give them something more tangible grasp onto. It can also be a fun way for them to check in with you in the future to see how much progress you’ve made.
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What I Wish I Had Known Before I Went Vegan
Don’t make them feel like they have to make the same choice
The whole point in telling your loved ones that you’re vegan now is to celebrate the life-changing decision you’ve made. And if you can remember that far back, you were once in their non-vegan shoes. You came to the decision in your own time. You have to let others do the same.
So don’t start getting preachy and nagging others to ditch the animal products. While sharing the vegan message and lifestyle can definitely have an influence on someone’s choice to go vegan, they’re ultimately going to make the decision on their own.
Here’s a secret: just by telling someone you’re vegan and showing them a positive example of what that means, you’re planting a seed that will grow. But you can’t rush the growing process. It took you how long to make the change? Cut ‘em some slack.
Surprise them with food
A fun way to tell your family and friends you’re vegan is to surprise them with an unexpectedly vegan treat! Maybe it’s a sweet treat like vegan cookies or ice cream, or maybe you whip up some vegan pasta or pizza! Make sure it’s something that everyone already loves the non-vegan version of.
Be sneaky though. Don’t tell them it’s vegan. While they’re chowing down making yummy noises, tell them that you’ve decided to go vegan and that now you get to eat delicious food like what they’re eating right now! It’s a great way to show them how amazing vegan food is and that you definitely won’t be missing out after giving up animal products.
With these five simple tips, telling family and friends you’re vegan doesn’t have to be a scary, tense or negative situation. If all goes well, you’ll be setting yourself up for a positive relationship with them surrounding your new lifestyle so it won’t be this big ol’ elephant in the room every time you get together.
Have you been looking for ways to tell you’re loved ones you’ve gone vegan? Which one of these tips is your favorite? Share in the comments!
Have you already told your family and friends? How’d it go? What would you have done differently? Let me know in the comments!
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