How to Tell Your Family You’re Going Plant-based

How to tell your family your vegan

Once you make the decision, you may start wondering, how do you tell your family you’re going vegan or plant based? How do you tell your friends?  Is my choice of eating only plants going to upset others? Is it going to make my life difficult, especially if people I share my living space with are not eating the same way?

Answers to these legitimate questions depend mostly on your personality and unique set of circumstances.

From a personality standpoint there are two types of people:

Willful people will do as they please 

Once this type of person decides they are going plant-based, they announce it to their friends and family at the next meal or family visit. They believe their food choices along with all their other decisions are their business alone and if someone challenges them, they’re ready to fight that battle.

Amenable people take more into account

This type of person is more considerate of others, their feelings and how they might come across. They prefer blending in and not upsetting anyone. But they also might struggle more with how the change will impact their loved ones.

Regardless of where you stand on an Agreeable scale, letting people know with kindness and compassion that you are opting for plants shows respect to them as well as to yourself.

How to tell your family you’re going vegan doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few tips on how to do it:

Make it as easy for others as possible

You may get a pushback from your family, especially if they feel it’s going to mean big changes for them too. They may feel threatened or be worried they can’t eat their old favorites or that they need to change their habits just to support you.

Re-assure them that your decision includes purely you and that you will still love them as they are. Tell them you are going to do your own grocery shopping and cooking. That they are welcome to try your meals anytime but otherwise everything will remain the same for them.

Sympathize with their concern

You may sense resistance from others when you tell your family you’re going plant-based because they worry you’re going to miss out on nutrients. This is a natural concern for anyone unfamiliar with plant-based lifestyle, and can be easily addressed.

If they are willing to listen, have an open chat about their concerns. Share your knowledge about plant-based eating, show them medical resources, explain where you’ll get calcium, iron and protein. Tell them why you’re doing it. Once they hear your reasons and see that you know what you’re doing, it becomes easier for them to understand. Honest communication is key.

Give them status

Sometimes family members and friends get upset over your food choices because they feel threatened by you. They may presume that you eating differently means you’re judging them in some way. Perhaps even that you think less of them.

A common trait is for people to presume (rather than ask questions) and take things personally. That’s why it’s so important to be as clear as possible about your motivations, while always reassuring them how incredibly important they are to you.

Once you’re done talking about actual food, make sure you feed them status. Tell them specific things you love about them, talk about holidays you spent together, praise them for a new job, haircut, success at work or school. Make them feel important and loved, so they feel nothing is changing your mutual relationship.

Is your family difficult?

We don’t get to choose our family. And if you feel in your core that coming up with plant-based eating is going to cause a storm, simply don’t say anything.

Perhaps you’re already living a long-distance relationship, in which case, it’s enough to have a few excuses up your sleeve for occasional family gatherings.  Things like, “I really don’t feel well today, I can eat just fruit”, “I’ll have just a cup of tea” or “My doctor put me on a special diet”. Any of these can help you make your way through a few family lunches.

If you do that a couple times in a row, in a few months when they get used to you not eating as they are, you can decide to reveal the truth.

Make sure while doing so, you have some delicious cashew cream cheesecake to offer as reassurance!

The bottom line…

The way you eat is your choice.

It’s the same as the clothes you choose to wear, the music you listen to or what car you drive. The difference is that that food is intensely personal. It’s also about human connection, belonging and sharing. That’s what makes it more sensitive and emotional, and why some people can get upset once they find out you eat differently.

It’s not easy but sometimes the best strategy on how to tell your family you’re going vegan may be to simply blend in and don’t talk about the what and the how. There’s no need to stand out in a crowd as a vegan. Just be casual and enjoy it for yourself.

You can spend time with your family and friends playing sports, running, going to events, movies, playing board games, and not just by eating. And when you do eat together, don’t draw any attention to what’s on your plate.

Instead enjoy human connection through a great conversation about life, sharing ideas and experiences with your company. Let it all come from your heart regardless of what you or other people eat. If you do so you’ll more easily feel at peace with yourself and with others.

Looking for more strategies on how to tell your family you’re going vegan or plant-based? Have one of our coaches help you!

A plant-based nutritionist, using healing, high vibration foods to help others detoxify and find a loving relationship with food and themselves.
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