Arguably the most difficult thing about going vegan is not self-control/cravings or habit; it’s the people we interact with on a daily basis. The act of eating is more than a habit we’ve gotten into because it keeps us alive. Eating is social, an outing for friends, family, or significant others. Communities are often based on or share a food culture. Personally, I know dinner time is sometimes the only chance I’ll get to see my family on a busy day.
Because our close friends and family are so closely tied to the act of eating, when our friends and family are not vegan nor have an urge to become vegan, it can seem like veganism is a massive barrier that will go up between you and your loved ones. You might be afraid of missing out on girls/guys nights out if you go to an American restaurant. If you’re a dependent in your family (others make money for you and feed you), your family might not be willing to accommodate your lifestyle change. Your lifestyle change might be interpreted as inconvenient and selfish, but NEWSFLASH: human beings causing climate change is inconvenient and selfish.
If you’re becoming vegan to eat healthier/lose weight, that’s great, but it probably will be interpreted as inconvenient and selfish. However, by explaining that your lifestyle change is in an effort to help the planet, you might be able to persuade your family to allow you to begin this journey into veganism.
(If you need literature/documentaries about how veganism is healthier for both your body and the planet, visit my research page here.)
If family members and friends are still unwilling to accept this part of your life after you’ve tried to convince them, below are some easy tips for how to live a vegan lifestyle while not missing out or hurting relationships:
- eat your breakfast/lunch/dinner before
- if you’re going out to eat with friends and you know there won’t be very many vegan options, eat your main meal before you leave the house. then, order a side dish and a drink so you won’t be too jealous of your friends’ non-vegan but still delicious-looking food.
- make your own protein
- if you’re a dependent, chances are someone else cooks your meals for you. if the chef of your household makes most dishes vegan besides the protein, make your own protein by cooking some tofu or beans to substitute. it’s cheap (cheaper than meat actually) and low-maintenance, so it won’t take up too much of your time. this way, you’ll still be able to enjoy the majority of your meal with your family.
- choose the restaurant
- if you’re scheduling an outing with someone, take the reigns and choose a vegan or vegan-friendly restaurant. share your love of vegan food with your loved ones. and who knows? you just might be able to convert them!
Do you have any tips of dealing with non-vegans in your life? Share in the comments below!