“You’re “vay-gun”? You’ll still eat mom’s famous chicken pot pie though, won’t you?”
This may sound familiar. For some, breaking the news to family can be daunting; particularly if they think you’re planning to move to some obscure commune and survive on lentils and “toofoo”. But let’s say you’re past this stage and they’re pretty comfortable with your new lifestyle choice – (no dreadlocks or hemp shirts ’round here!). Now, as a fully fledged vegan, perhaps you want to start introducing your nearest and dearest to the amazing benefits of your new plant-based life. Yes… admittedly, this is the hard part. But guys – It’s not impossible. Here are some pointers to help you gently open the minds and mouths of your loved ones.
5 Ways To Gently Introduce Your Family To Veganism
1. FAKE IT
Faux meats and cheeses have a pretty bad reputation among non vegans. Why would you want to eat something which mimics the very food you are trying to stay away from? Yes, they are processed, and yes, you should try to limit how often you eat them but if they are eating the animal based versions already then this is already a slight improvement. Vegan alternatives to meat and cheese can be the perfect “transition” foods. Offer to cook once in a while to showcase some of your favourite, trusted brands and see if they notice the difference.
2. RETAIL THERAPY
One of the reasons people are deterred from trying veganism is often the hassle of finding good replacements for their current food-habits. Why not offer to veganize their grocery list for them, and even join them in store to help load up their cart with tasty vegan treats?
Seeing how easy it is for you will hopefully inspire them to try it out for themselves next time!
3. TASTE TEST
Make it fun! And what’s more fun than trying new foods? (Even better if it’s free). Buy a bunch of vegan products and hold a taste-test party with the gang. Board game kinda family? Pretty sure you could work vegan noms into a Monopoly session..Seriously though, empower your family by including them in the decision making process rather than telling them what they should and shouldn’t eat. Variety is key! 5 different vegan cheeses, 4 brands of vegan chocolate, ALL the non dairy ice cream tubs. They’re bound to like at least one.
4. VEGANIZE IT
Honestly, who wants to give up their favourite comfort food? No more cheesy pizza, burgers, hot dogs, cookies? Luckily as you know, veganism isn’t synonymous with health and it definitely doesn’t equate to deprivation. Show your family how you can eat in abundance just like “normal people”, and adapt their favourite foods with plant alternatives. The vegan grub you can find with a quick Google search is endless and right at your finger tips! If you’re feeling extra generous, why not gift them a couple of vegan cookbooks to help them get started without you?
5. MOVIE NIGHTS
Vegan popcorn at the ready! Depending on your family’s curiosity about veganism, you may find that they are hesitant to this step. Be gentle. Suggest a movie night with some of the most impactful documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, What The Health or… Earthlings if they are feeling brave. These films are all rather hard-hitting and can even be somewhat upsetting so be sure you sit in with them to show support, and answer any questions they may have during the doc Bonus Tip: have something light hearted to watch afterwards. We suggest Babe.