Talking to your parents
If you want to take vegetarianism seriously while you’re still living at home, you’ll have to get your parents on your side. This doesn't mean turning them into vegetarians, but rather allowing them to understand why you have made that decision. Some parents will be genuinely confused as to why a person would want to be a vegetarian, and many parents will have genuine fears about your health and nutrition. These are surprisingly common reactions!
It’s your job to help them to understand your decision to go veggie, and to ease their fears about a vegetarian diet. Here are some top tips on how to do it:
Before talking to your parents
Do your research
Do your research. Study our frequently asked questions and take a good look around the rest of the website. Print any information you think is important. The more you know and understand about vegetarianism, the better-equipped you’ll be to answer any tricky questions.
Order Vegetarian Society booklets
We have a huge number of resources that can be ordered free of charge within the UK, including the Veggie Guide for Teens and Parents, Young Veggie, and the Going Veggie series of booklets.
View a full list of all the resources available
Think about why you want to go veggie
It is important for you to be clear in your own mind why you are choosing to become a vegetarian. Did a friend’s vegetarianism get you thinking about the issues? Did you see something online, on television or in school that got you thinking about the issues surrounding meat consumption? Be very specific for yourself so you can be specific for your parents.
Consider the food your family eats that is already vegetarian
Lots of the food non-veggies eat on a day-to-day basis is already vegetarian. You may be surprised at how much of the family’s diet is already vegetarian. Also, think of ways that veggie substitutes can be used in family meals that are not already veggie.
Talking to your parents
Share your research and reasons
You’ve done your research, you’ve thought about why you want to go veggie, now share it with your parents. Tell them calmly and rationally why you want to go veggie. You might be surprised with how much they already know, but if they start to argue with you, stay calm! Show them the information you've collected. The better prepared you are, the more likely they will be to recognise your commitment and take your wishes to go veggie seriously. You are also much more likely to impress them with the maturity of your approach if you manage to stay calm.
Listen to your parents' concerns
It is likely that your parents will have concerns about you becoming a vegetarian. Listen to their concerns with the same amount of respect that you would like them to show you. After you have heard them out, assure them that you can stay fit and healthy on a vegetarian diet. Your research and preparation will come in handy!
Offer to help with the shopping and preparation of your vegetarian food, as well as any additional washing up that may be created.
Share the names of some famous vegetarians with your parents
Your parents may find comfort in knowing that some of the greatest minds the world has ever known were vegetarian! Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Gandhi were all vegetarian. (And Hitler wasn’t!) You are in good company!
Suggest that they watch these
A video on going vegetarian from Parent Channel TV.
They might also find this You Tube clip funny
We are here to help you. If your parents continue to be concerned about your wish to go veggie, ask them to contact us. We will happily talk to them over the phone or respond to their concerns via email.
T: 0161 925 2000
If they are still not convinced...
...perhaps suggest that they allow you to try going veggie for a one week trial, or maybe just start with Meat-free Mondays.
After talking to your parents
There are loads of vegetarian cookbooks on the market or in the library. Find one that looks right for you. It might be best to start with simple, straightforward recipes that your whole family can enjoy.
Alternatively order some of our free recipe booklets, like 'Meat Free Made Easy'.
Have a look at the recipe booklets we have available.
Search our online recipe database
Keep your promises to your parents
If you have promised to help with the cooking and the washing up after going veggie, then do it! Even if you didn’t promise to do so, why not offer to help out anyway? Your parents will appreciate the gesture, and it will demonstrate to them how serious you are about your decision to go veggie.
Enjoy great vegetarian food with your family
By choosing to go veggie, you will introduce your family to a whole new world of delicious food. Suggest that at least one night a week the whole family eats a veggie meal together. Offer to share your veggie food with the rest of the family. They may be reluctant to try it at first, but keep asking. They will soon discover that vegetarian food is delicious and healthy – they may even come to prefer it!
Feel good about yourself
You have made an important, healthy choice for yourself and are confident enough to discuss it maturely with your parents. You have moved into a new, exciting time in your life.