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ViveVegan
Nov 19th, 2006, 05:01 PM
Hello, Everyone. I am new here, but instead of giving myself a whole thread to my intoduction I thought I'd give you a breif intro before I shared my problem...
I am fourteen, and been vegetarian for 4 years. I just made the switch over to vegan. Its REALLY important to me, being vegan, and here is where the issues come in.

My mother doesn't support my veganism. She let me be vegetarian but when it comes to vegan, she acts like Im purposely trying to annoy her or something. I cook for myself, and I have since I was young so that isnt the problem. Now that I dont eat milk or egg products anymore; I ask her to buy different things then I normally would but she says she wont. She says everything that is vegan is "way too expensive". This isn't just speciality products but normal food that happens to be vegan. She absolutely refuses, and im not about to start a fight with her in the middle of the grocery store.
I cannot buy my own food, being I am fourteen and don't have any scource of income. How do I deal? Lately, I've been living on pretzels and strawberry twizzlers. Niether healthy, but it seems to be the only few things we have that is vegan. Being vegan is one of my strong morals, and I dont want to give it up.
I've tried everything to talk her into it maturely, but she won't crack. I can't tell you how much of a dream it is to go to a vegan speciality store (wild by nature, ext) but when I mention it, she laughs at the thought of going into one. I'm starting to think i'll just have to starve until she realizes she has to buy food I CAN eat. And I think I'd rather starve then eat milk;;egg products.
Before I resort to that, how can I deal with this? I need ideas that won't force me to give up my morals.
thanks!
xx
-Emily

Korn
Nov 20th, 2006, 09:22 AM
Welcome, Emily!

I don't know if this makes it easier for you, but many people who have been vegans for many years have never been to vegan speciality stores... some of the stuff some/many vegans use (like tofu and soy milk (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11776)) existed long before the word vegan was invented in the 1940s, and lots of us have experienced that being vegan isn't more expensive than being a non-vegan (search for threads with 'cheap' in the title...)

Some people mix up 'vegan food' with 'health food', and compare the cost of organic health food with non-organic, non-vegan food, which will end up showing a difference due to the increased price for organic food...


She says everything that is vegan is "way too expensive". This isn't just speciality products but normal food that happens to be vegan. Normal food that happens to be vegan could be rice, beans, fruit, spices, pasta, oil, vegetables, nuts... and they cost the same whether you're a vegan or not! :) If you look around in grocery stores run by immigrants, you can often find stuff like rice, soy sauce, tahini, tofu and lots of other plant based products way cheaper than in 'normal' grocery stores.


Lately, I've been living on pretzels and strawberry twizzlers. That's not good for anyone! I'm sure you'll find a lot of useful info on our and other sites that can help your mother understand that eating vegan is at least as healthy as eating animal based food, and that it doesn't need to be expensive.

To find more threads about cheap vegan food, go to Search (see above), and select 'Advanced Search'. Enter the word 'cheap', and select 'Search Titles Only'. Good luck...

Klutz
Nov 20th, 2006, 11:14 AM
I've also never been to a vegan speciality store. I've been vegan for almost two years now. Rather than asking your mother for vegan speciality items, ask for things like fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, pasta, rice, etc. Don't try to live on twizzlers and pretzels. Surely you have fruit and vegetables in your house that you could eat instead?

nervine
Nov 20th, 2006, 12:39 PM
GRRRR, people piss me off so much. I just wanna slap your mum.
Say you gonna steal your food if she won't buy it. And do so if she still refuses.

twinkle
Nov 20th, 2006, 01:21 PM
Hmm, probably not the best idea to steal food, as such, but you could tell your mum you'll go round the neighbourhood asking people for their canned veggies because she says she's too poor to feed you - maybe that'll make her think twice :D :evil cackle:

Uh... that's not a very mature approach though, so try Korn's way first. But don't you get an allowance? If not could you get a paper route or something? If you have any money at all, spending it on healthy staples like lentils, vegetables and fruit will probably go some way to convincing your mum you're serious.

Oh and welcome! I'm an Emily too :)

Troutina
Nov 20th, 2006, 01:38 PM
I'm really sorry that your Mum is finding it hard to have an open mind.
As others have said, you could make vegetable based meals etc.
Give me your address, I'll post you some vegan treats.
Actually are there rules about sending food overseas?
I wonder what your Mum would think if you recieved 20 parcels full of yum food!

fiamma
Nov 20th, 2006, 02:56 PM
I don't think food parcels are the way to go, Troutina, that just reinnforces the idea that vegans somehow require speciality foods to survive. I think Klutz has a great idea Emily - get your mum to get you fruit, veggies,pasta and so on. Sarah Kramer's book "La Dolce Vegan" gives loads of idea for everyday meals using ordinary ingredients. I think if you can talk to your mum and give her some info on vegan nutrition and show her how you're going to get all your nutrients I'm sure she'll come round. All the best.

Dart
Nov 20th, 2006, 03:33 PM
I just wanted to give the mom's point of view.

As a mom of four, when one of my kids tells me something that will make me have to change my routine, I get very frustrated at the beginning. In my head, it means that I have to do something new and I have to have time to learn it. It also hurts my feelings when the kids tell me how to do something for them, when I am the one taking care of them and I am the one who does the taking care of. Here I have chosen a life of taking care of my children and then they decide they don't like how I am doing it! Ungrateful little children! Ugh. My ego/pride is hurt. I begin to act like a kid and throw a tantrum, which means using any authority I have (like withholding food). I can see this in myself. And my kids are so smart that they see this in me. My oldest knows to use humour to settle me down, and she helps me out with it like friends would do. My second gets all mad and cries and makes me feel horrible so I break down in a day or two. The other just hugs me and loves me up till I give in, and the third just waits for me to get over my tantrum (has the patience of an angel). It all takes time to adjust, it just is your choice in how you want it to be in between:) .

HappyVegan
Nov 20th, 2006, 11:17 PM
Does your mom not buy fruits, veggie, beans, rice, etc? If all she buys is processed, unhealthy food tell her that you've been feeling really bad lately and really want to eat some healthier foods. Surely any parent would be all for their kids wanting to eat healthier.

Seaside
Nov 21st, 2006, 01:42 AM
Well, if I had a parent who refused to purchase beans, hummus, pasta, bread, whole grain cereals, fruits, and vegetables for me, I'd report her to Child Protective Services. These are all anyone needs to be a healthy vegan, and they are basic foods that are way less expensive than most meat, cheese, and milk.

Annie
Nov 21st, 2006, 01:54 AM
Wow that's really frustrating I'm sorry babe =/

I admire you for sticking to it even though you're mother's being extremely difficult. I can't think of anything else to say that hasn't already been said but if she REFUSES to buy things you can always ask some friends of yours to bring you fruits or veggies or have their parents talk with your mom because if she isn't supplying you with fruits and veggies, even if you weren't vegan, that's not right at all...

kriz
Nov 21st, 2006, 02:27 AM
Sorry, you are having so much trouble with your mother. She should respect your choice to be vegan and provide you with nutritious food so you don't starve. Have you shown her some vegan literature? a brochure, perhaps?... Some people just don't realize how much cruelty is involved in meat and dairy production and have set opinions about something they don't know anything about. Maybe she'll change her mind once she's more informed about this and in addition presented with some facts about vegan nutrition. She might just feel as hopeless as you right now.:(

In any case you should give her a shopping list of items that she can buy in a regular supermarket (for starters). Maybe the two of you could go shopping together. Here are some items you'll be able to find in every well stocked supermarket:

- Brown rice
- Pasta
- Whole grain bread
- Tomato sauce
- Canned beans
- Canned lentil soups
- Hummus
- Soymilk
- Oatmeal
- Veggie deli slices ("Tofurky" is best IMO)
- Jam
- Peanut and almond butter
- Margarine ("Earth Balance" is vegan)
- Ground veggie meat ("Morningstar" or "Boca")
- Tofu
- Cereals
- Veggie burgers and hot dogs
- Loads of FRUIT and VEGGIES!:)

So hopefully some brochures and a shopping list will do it. Good luck.:)

Seaside
Nov 21st, 2006, 02:48 AM
In any case you should give her a shopping list of items that she can buy in a regular supermarket.
Yes, like Trader Joe's, which is CHEAP! :)

kriz
Nov 21st, 2006, 02:54 AM
Absolutely, I was hoping that you have a Trader Joe's nearby, Vive Vegan. It's a great place for vegans to shop - they have cheap soymilk, nuts, Tofurky, sushi, and lots of other stuff!:) I find that Whole Foods' basic vegan products are actually not all that expensive either.

Tigerlily
Nov 21st, 2006, 04:34 AM
Well, if I had a parent who refused to purchase beans, hummus, pasta, bread, whole grain cereals, fruits, and vegetables for me, I'd report her to Child Protective Services. These are all anyone needs to be a healthy vegan, and they are basic foods that are way less expensive than most meat, cheese, and milk.

Unfortunately, not too many kids report their parents. Plus she'll end up in a foster home and who knows...maybe the foster parents won't cater to her vegan needs?

Seaside
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:07 AM
Nah, I have a friend whose messed-up daughter used to turn her in for all kinds of bogus things. She never went to a foster home. They just had to have a social worker supervise the household, in case what the daughter said was actually true.

triona.d.
Nov 22nd, 2006, 10:30 PM
i too experienced problems with my mum when i turned vegan. she kept making macaroni cheese and things! it just took some time to show her that i was serious by refusing to eat what she'd made and eventually she came round. so although i by no means advocate 'starving' yourself, you may need to just show that you're serious. surely your mum has bread in the house? that will give you some energy. (but it's not always vegan so check) i also had to go the dietician to prove that i'd get my nutrition. just try to take it gradually and give her (and you) time to adjust. it is a big change. but it's the right one! good luck!

HappyVegan
Nov 22nd, 2006, 11:18 PM
So, how are things going? Any updates?

Jamie
Nov 23rd, 2006, 01:34 PM
I can understand that it's hard for parents when their kids announce something like they want to go vegetarian or vegan - especially vegan, since so many people seem to have no clue what it involves, and it's a common misconception that there isn't much you CAN eat as a vegan (how we laugh at how very wrong they've got it!). And it's a sudden change. Like Dart says - your mum probably has enough on her plate (so to speak!) already, that this seems like you are just trying to make her life more difficult! But you aren't - you are just trying to follow your heart & concience. You need to find a way to work together, and there are some really good (and really bad! lol) suggestions on this thread.

I think it will help her if she can see that you've really researched it and know how to do it properly. I'm not sure starving yourself or living on pretzels and twizlers is the best way... Hopefully looking at these lists remind you of some things that you have at home that are vegan.

Another idea might be to try to think up some meal ideas that everyone could enjoy, or that your mum can cook and easily veganise for you. I can't think of many suggestions, but maybe pasta - I find the cheap brands of spaghetti tend to be vegan (no egg), and same with the sauce actually... but anyway if you look at the labels on the jars in the shops, or just ask here, you can find which pasta sauce is vegan, and then your mum just has to cook the pasta, and she can do meat and cheese for the rest if she likes, she just has to stir some sauce into some pasta for you and you're done, then she can add in the meat to the remainder of the sauce and there's bolognaise for everyone else. Although it's a little boring for you, but it's an easy place to start, and from there you could suggest that you'll make a sauce with chunky veg and all that... as long as it doesn't seem like you are trying to force them to eat vegan too, she might come around. And might eventually try it herself without the meat and find it's great! :)

rianaelf
Nov 23rd, 2006, 02:13 PM
i dont know whats the matter with ur mum, its not as if ur smoking, drinking or taking drugs. She should be happy that u want to take care of ur body and the environment. She should understand that u love animals and dont want to eat them or steal their milk.
All i can suggest is be as nice to her as possible and show her how grown up you are , but in the meanwhile do what everyone else has suggested by asking for fruit grains and vegetables and dont forget sprouted seeds and beans cos they are very cheap to make and one bag of lentils or mung beans or aduki beans will last for ages and you can always try to make her a vegan meal and see if you can get round her that way.
Good luck to you XX

Hemlock
Nov 23rd, 2006, 06:41 PM
I can see the mums point of view - I am sympathetic to you but remember that when i was a mum working full time any extra work used to do my head in - if my son had demanded to be a vegan 10 years ago I would have gone MAD! I just could not have coped with it all. The only thing that might possibly have turned me in favour of it is if he had offered to shop and cook - all the meals - then i would have let him do it.
Funny that, he's 24 now and we're both vegan:) I am sure we have all been through the vegans are weird and what do they eat stage at some point in their lives. Your mum just doesn't realise how easy it is and prob thinks it is going to be a lot of extra work for her.

veggiegirl3
Dec 2nd, 2006, 03:20 PM
Another idea might be to try to think up some meal ideas that everyone could enjoy, or that your mum can cook and easily veganise for you. I can't think of many suggestions, but maybe pasta - I find the cheap brands of spaghetti tend to be vegan (no egg), and same with the sauce actually...

I think this may be a good way to go! Besides pasta, some "normal" foods nonvegans might not even think about being vegan are:
-PB and jelly or PB and banana sandwiches
-Tortillas with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, and salsa
-Some kind of spicy beans and rice dish
-Meatless chili (with beans or veggie crumbles)
-Bagles with PB

You could also make:
-Pancakes (there are mixes available that are vegan, or, if your mom won't buy them, you could make them from scratch. There are recipes for vegan pancakes online and they're easy)
-Make pizza from scratch and just load it with sauce and veggies (it doesn't take that long and surely she would be flour!!)

Good luck!