Help!! My relatives and friends are not Vegan!
Very few people are surrounded by mostly vegan family and friends, and sometimes difficulties can arise. Here are some tips to help you:
• Try to explain to your relatives why you are vegan and why you want your children to grow up vegan as well.
• Explain what vegan means and which products are excluded. Also, which products are included in your diet.
• Don’t be afraid to be assertive about your beliefs especially regarding your children.
• Try to not be condescending as people tend to become defensive or shut out the message completely.
• Show them easy foods to prepare if you come to visit.
• Invite them to your place and cook a delicious vegan meal so they know it’s not only salad that we eat!
• Show them all the yummy alternatives (chocolate!) they can buy as presents for special occasions like Easter, Christmas, etc.
• Organise Christmas or birthday dinners so you can cook vegan or choose a vegan friendly restaurant.
• If your relatives and friends for whatever reason can’t cater for you and your family ask what they are planning to prepare so you can bring a vegan alternative to special occasions. For example if they’re having cupcakes with pink icing, make your own cupcakes with pink icing, that way your child will not feel left out.
• Light banter in social situations is normal (for everyone). Try not to take every ‘dig’ to heart, sometimes the comment really is meant light heartedly, and reacting negatively may cause arguments or rifts in families or friendships. However, if it is an ongoing problem or a comment really is an attack then you should not be afraid to ask this person to stop making the comments, especially in front of your child.
• Unfortunately sometimes there may be people around you who do not accept your vegan lifestyle at all, and try to challenge you or catch you out every time they see you. You are not alone; feel free to ask other vegan families how they manage certain situations and you may find a solution!