Use this space to share stories, exchange ideas, ask questions, and contribute to our growing community!
Watched 'Forks Over Knives' yesterday and was blown away. I mean I've seen documentaries about the food industry before but this really took it to a whole new level. I personally can see why each and every person should transition to a vegan lifestyle but getting others to think that way is often easier said than done. My husband is like so many other men in this country (excluding those that are on here of course) that believe meat is an absolute necessity because it's good for you and it provides protein. Ugh, that statement makes me want to scream every time I hear it! Needless to say, my hubby is the epitome of one of those men. He is pretty closed-minded about this stuff and I couldn't pay him to watch something like FOK. I also have a 9-year old daughter who is a bit more open-minded but still thinks mommy is a little crazy for wanting to completely remove meat and dairy from the house. Anyway, I'm just curious how others have gotten through to their husband/wife/kids? I know a lot of people on here have said that they transitioned alone and then their family eventually started to follow suite and if not they just continued making separate meals. I really don't want to do this. I truly feel my husband, my daughter and I need to switch to a vegan lifestyle. I recently lost my grandma to cancer, 5 years before that my grandpa (same side) and now 2 weeks ago my aunt found out she too has cancer (again, same side of family). My husband lost his grandpa to it and his mom is a breast cancer survivor. When watching FOK, they said only a small percentage cancer is actually caused by genes and the rest is 100% diet. 100% DIET!!!!!!! That is beyond insane!!!!
With that said, where do I even start?? My husband has to do things on his own terms (and sometimes he even needs to think it was his idea) or it's not going to work. Me preaching to him is only going to push him farther away. Yes, I do all the cooking but I'm not sure that's the answer either. I need something far more eye-opening that will make him see that this really needs to happen!! Thoughts???? Personal experiences??? Suggestions???
You sound really frustrated :( I know what you're going through. When I first became vegan my Dad was horrible. It took a while for him to come around, and now he has cut out meat and is looking forward to cutting out dairy. I think you've heard all the suggestions of sitting down and talking to your husband or getting him to try some vegan food. Is there a medical professional that you can talk to to help them convince your husband as well? I know that when my dad went for his checkup the doctor said that he needs to eat more greens or else his high blood pressure and diabetes could really harm him. Another thing I did was I introduced my dad to more vegan people so that he saw that vegans are everywhere and really there's nothing different about us! It's not about depriving ourselves or changing who we are, it's a more compassionate choice. I also realized that my dad is not going to go 100% plant based right away. Right now he's about 50% and his health improved drastically. so I think you should take that to heart and perhaps talk to your husband again about cooking 50% plantbased food. It's not 100% but it's still good.
Ok im not a Vegan, I do buy organic cheese...someone has to support the happy cows...
My tip....start making great food...have it around as options, his senses will lead him too devour it without question, leave the issues away and let him self discover through love and kindness and great food, he wont know what it is maybe wont care as long as he is fed and loved he will follow without forcing a stance on him...worked for me 35 years ago :)
I get how you feel in terms of wishing everyone would understand and see the light! I agree that the kind way is better for you as well as them. The idea of getting someone else that he might listen to a bit better is a good idea if you can find the right person!
Definitely make sure you cook delicious food ... it's the only way they'll see that they aren't giving up anything and will start to feel better. There are so many good blogs out there for ideas .... my current fav's are ...
C'est La Vegan
Oh She Glows
The Domestic Vegan
The Vegan Stoner
You said it yourself: "My husband has to do things on his own terms or it's not going to work."
Speaking as a vegan who has a carnivore hubby myself (in 5 years, he has not become vegan nor even vegetarian!), the short answer is, you can't. It's like telling someone they need to lose weight or stop smoking--THEY have to initiate change in themselves. Your best bet is to embrace veganism yourself and look for ways to integrate it with your family's omni-eating habits. If your goal is to change other people's eating habits, you are likely to encounter both resistance and resentment. A more manageable goal is respectful co-existence, and your role in that could be to lead by gentle example.
One way that I found worked with my family is that I conceived of veganism as a way of expanding their existing diets--not replacing things they already ate, but adding to the culinary repertoire. I agree that cooking good things is your best weapon. I suggest starting with recipes that are more "accidentally vegan" than veganizing comfort foods using soy replacements. Initially, my family would balk at tempeh bacon BLTs and cashew-cheese nachos, but a lentil soup, a bowl of udon, sauteed kale, a yummy pasta--those they could accept. From there, I slowly introduced the "specialty stuff" and how, while they still don't think vegan mac 'n cheese is the same as the original, they like it as something different. But it's a slow process and for some, coconut ice-cream will just never do. Explore vegan as a new cuisine together and expect that it may end up that you will be vegan and your family "veganish." There are also, by the way, a lot of vegan dishes to which animal protein and dairy can be added at the very end--that way, they can eat what they want and you can eat what you want.
Wow, thank you for all the great advice!!! While I was somewhat against the idea of just changing my cooking habits it does make the most sense now that I think about it. I think the key (which many of you pointed out) is to just make amazing food that doesn't make him feel as though he is really missing out on anything. Then when he starts to notice a difference in how he feels I can point out that it's because he's been eating delicious vegan food!!!
Thank you Kristy for giving me the names of some blogs to check out. I'm not very creative in the kitchen especially since finding out I have a gluten allergy so I will definitely be checking these out for some inspiration. Again, thank you to each of you who provided advice, it's so nice to have a place to come for things like this because people are so helpful and caring!!
I totally have the same problem, and people tell me I need to make him meat to make him happy and he used to eat what I made but for some reason he doesn't like my cooking anymore. I know his family members tell him he needs meat all the time so it totally undermines me. I'm amazed at how people get so angry when you tell them you don't eat meat!
Yes, it's strange how people react to it all! Agree.
Tina ... no worries .... here is another blog which I haven't checked out but on a search came up and looks good .... there would also be some cookbooks out there that would be gluten free and vegan I'm sure!
Also ... was just thinking and this might not apply to you but at the beginning of this year I was told to keep clear of gluten too as they were wondering if I had an allergy, I had all the tests and wasn't celiac or anything but they thought perhaps an allergy. My natropath said that there is much more gluten in our foods now than there use to be so it probably does make sense to limit it a little for us all but I actually found that when I went vegan, all my digestive problems have just about gone away ... I am so much better and the reason was more my diet overall than gluten. So although I still will probably buy the gluten free pasta etc, I don't worry so much as now I'm vegan it's all so much better.
You didn't mention whether or not your hubby has seen Forks over Knives??? I've been vegetarian for 16 years and vegan for the last 2.5 years. My guy has swung back and forth for the last few years between telling me "forget it I'll never be veg" to "you know I'll do it eventually/I know I need to go veg". When he saw F.O.K. his tune really started changing and now he tells me he feels sick when he eats meat or cheese, which he eats less and less! Amazing... But all the other posters are right, pushing gets you nowhere fast. The more I push, the more stubborn my family acts about their diet. But recently, my 13 yr old voluntarily gave up beef and pork- a huge step for her! And our 10 yr old has given up pork and rarely eats beef or chicken. My 4 yr old doesn't get much say in her diet- ha ha!- so she eats vegan most of the time.
So with patient persistence and occasionally reminding them that as the person who buys, cooks and serves the food you will decide what goes on the table or in the lunchbox, time will change things for you and your family.
I don't know what kind of cuisine your family favors, but some more great books are- Veganomicon, Vegan Soul Food Kitchen, Candle Cafe Cookbook, Viva Vegan, and Blissful Bites.