How me Going Vegan has Changed my Family

I’m a firm believer in living by example like I talked about a bit in my last post “Why I want to stay in America & Fight for the Environment”. Before I went vegan, all I knew of was the raging vegan stereotype. Really angry and nasty people spouting utter nonsense whenever they opened their mouths. Sounds familiar, right? I, just like most other people, didn’t listen to what vegans were saying due to how the information was being handed to me. This exemplifies the grave importance of communicating effectively when you have a message you want to spread, and it is easy to get too emotional and mess up, especially when it concerns a topic like veganism which is rooted in stopping injustice. As soon as someone (Ralph Smart from Infinite Waters and Alyse from Raw Alignment in particular) communicated the message of veganism in a way that resonated with me; I researched into it on my own and decided to become vegan immediately. Focusing on yourself and making decisions for yourself with the information provided to you is more powerful than any other method of lifestyle changing. This is also why documentaries are so important, as I discussed in my “Top 5 Vegan Documentaries” post. Calm explanations and allowing people to decide for themselves with new information and facts given to them as well as the things they research on their own.

 

So.. how did me going vegan affect my immediate family? Since going vegan I’ve noticed the influence spread slowly, but surely. Overall – people in my family are making better food choices. The reasons vary across the board; everything from health, compassion, and environmental reasons. True vegans eventually are vegan for all reasons, but for most people, it starts with just one reason. Discovering a reason that speaks to you and your values is the first step in veganism. The rest comes later.

 

Most of the changes made are effective. All of the changes made are great, and a step in the right direction. This is also something that is significant – when someone makes the decision to better themselves and the rest of the world, no matter how small, it needs to be praised and noticed. Everyone has room to grow and life’s a journey (that’s what Journey to Green Living is about).

 

  1. My mom is now a pescetarian (someone who only eats fish as far as animals go and eats other animal products such as eggs and dairy), a decision that shocked me and she made entirely on her own. When she told me she was really excited – me stopping eating animals is what made her stop and think. One day, someone came by advertising meat products and started listing body parts and organs. It clicked that this wasn’t food, made her sick, and she immediately didn’t want to eat (most) animals.
  2. My dad is not but most of the time eats pescetarian or vegetarian meals, and sometimes fully vegan meals. When he does eat other kinds of animals, it’s rarely factory farmed, which although is not great for multiple reasons it is a huge improvement especially from his previous lifestyle. While both of my parents still consume dairy, milk itself has been replaced with almond milk with no protest.
  3. My cousin whom I’m very close to is now a vegetarian and only uses cruelty-free eggs and almond milk – the eggs are from a friend who has pet chickens who lay naturally.

 

Those are the biggest changes which have occurred, but they are also the people I have the most contact with. I’ve noticed more people who I communicate with overall making better choices. More veggies, leaning towards free-range products (although I know and try to educate them that ‘free range’ items are a scam and don’t stop the environmental impact – the fact that they’re at least thinking about it after being a mindless zombie is what counts), as well as less aversion to vegetarian and vegan topics and meals. There’s still a lot of hostility involved and information is usually viewed as an “attack on their lifestyle”, but it has diminished somewhat.

 

While I would love it if every single person I come into contact with became vegan, it’s not realistic. We live in a world that is far away from becoming entirely vegan. I admit it’s beyond difficult to come into daily contact with people who tell themselves they don’t care about what I’m passionate about (although, based on their attempted actions, they do care deep down and just don’t want to face the truth – most of us have been there) and that their taste buds and desire for normality overrules what’s right. Then I remember that I, and the huge majority of vegans, were once not vegan. What it took for me to become vegan was for inspirational people to show me that veganism was what was right. It took a while for me to fully accept and realize this.

 

All I can do is continue educating and becoming more educated and continue to put all my efforts towards living a life full of love, purpose, and compassion. If people are meant to follow me along this path, they will.

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Categories: Uncategorized

19 replies

  1. Love this! This is what I was saying in my post about our family tradition of Farmer’s Market Wednesdays. I just have to be a positive role model for those around me and eventually they will ask questions and become interested. I just have to be prepared for those moments. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re spot on! When (or if ever) people are ready to make a lifestyle change, it’ll happen naturally. It depends on their own life journey. Thank you so much for reading & for your comment!

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  2. Nice! I am going through a similar journey myself. Trying to rid my home of unnecessary chemicals. My main diet is primarily pescatarian. I would like to go vegetarian or vegan. In the past when I’ve tried that route it just becomes too burdensome and expensive. I have 8 kids (which are not) so it makes cooking just awful and usually just too expensive. I’ve recently just had a baby and quit my decent paying job to stay with her and be able to homeschool, cloth diaper, breastfeed etc. Do you have any suggestions of what foods to switch out first or how to change to a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle on a really tight budget? I just started my blog. It’s not much but you can check it out here: healthylivingandhome.com 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • The main thing to know is veganism in itself is not expensive – it becomes expensive when using products especially made for vegans. Vegan substitutes like vegan “meat” and vegan “cheese” are better left for special occasions if you’re on a budget. The primary thing that’s helped me and my family (as I’m going to school and just starting my business, I live with my parents, so our household supports 3 different diets and we always eat together) is sticking to simple foods that can be altered. The basis of this is figuring out staple foods that we all enjoy and can eat. Pasta, potatoes, rice, pizza dough, I don’t eat a lot of beans but beans are a great staple. You’ll find that these are all really cheap and everyone can eat them. Our household focuses on veggies, so we always have a huge stock to pick from with meals. Then we build upon this and use similar ingredients, just ommitting the ones we can’t eat or don’t want. For example- when we have pizza we all have the same flatbread and sauce. My dad’s is usually a basic pepperoni, my mom’s is a vegetarian, and mine is like my mom’s except without cheese and mine has a lot more spinach and peppers – then we all have fries. I eat for MUCH cheaper than both of them actually. When we boil it down to focusing on whole foods with slight changes between us, it’s easy and not very costly, at least not on my end (my parents’ diets are very expensive actually). I think the key with it is to focus less on imitation with vegan and vegetarian meals, and more on substitution. I eat cauliflower or broccoli with spaghetti instead of vegan meatballs, use plain olive oil in place of vegan butter, simple changes like this are what make veganism easy and cheap for me along with what I mentioned earlier – focusing on whole foods. I hope this has helped a bit and if you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to use my contact form (found on my “get in touch” page) to ask! & I’ll for sure check out your blog. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 2 people

      • These are all great ideas.
        I do eat a lot of beans and I love them. They are so much easier to prepare than meat. Canned beans are perfect for a quick meal.. (I always get the ones without salt.)
        Cooking them yourself is super easy too. Just crockpot a giant bag and freeze in dinner size portions for quick weeknight use. Favorites are chickpeas and lentils.
        You can easily replace meat for beans in just about every recipe. I make the absolute best black bean and avocado taquitos!
        I don’t think my husband even know he’s vegan, he just thinks I like beans a lot. 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • People eat vegan food all the time without knowing, it’s a wonder how anyone thinks vegan food is gross!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellently put! I, too, don’t agree with shouting my beliefs at people and expecting them to listen. I found that, mostly, people are curious, and it’s all about being knowledgeable when they ask questions (like “but where do you get your protein 😳”). Even if they seem super against it at the start, just give them time. Everyone lives their own life at their own pace 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting! While I wish I could be outwardly angry about the truth behind animal agriculture, it’s simply not effective & not healthy to be in that mindset. Spread veganism through love, not hate!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It was the same for my bf and me. Most of the vegans we encountered excelled at shaming meat-eaters which in my opinion is not the way to convince people. An openminded discussion and facts presented in a calm manner while expressing mutual understanding. I like meat but I care for our planet more than I care for chicken – something I’ve never considered (and I have lived and worked with vegans) until Ive watched What The Health.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for commenting! & I think that’s exactly it. It’s easy to get swept up in the emotions regarding veganism while forgetting that almost all vegans were once not vegan.

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  5. Great post! My husband and I went vegan back in February and feel so great, we couldn’t be happier with the decision to cut animal products. We’ve definitely inspired many close friends and family members to eat better, also, it’s amazing to watch the influence we can have without really even trying, just living life and seeing benefits!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I too wish that people, our society would go vegan faster, but I too, am trying my best to promote in a friendly manner. I am sooo glad that my son is now vegan, and daughter. However the rest of my family is not and I find it hard. They are contributing to the abuse of animals and my brother doesn’t care. It’s so hard to see and be around!!!!! 😦 I find there are soooo many pluses going vegan. I went vegan for the animals after my daughter asked me to watch “Foods Inc.” and then “Cowspiracy” but the benefits health-wise are huge, and make me so happy feeling so good! Thank you for being vegan and doing all that you are doing for the animals and the earth and your health!!! 🙂

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    • I entirely agree, it’s so hard to be around people who don’t care but especially when they know better & still don’t care. As I talked about all we can do is better ourselves and help other people along the way as much as we can. Thank you as well for doing what you can! I’m also very proud of your kids for spreading the message and wanting to learn.

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  7. Great post! I thing that the best and most effective way to spread change in the world is to start with yourself, and then that way other people get to experience that reality through you first, and eventually implement it in their life in someway or another.

    Sometimes they might not be ready immediately and it takes years before any change occurs, but just you showing them a different way of living already adds a new perspective to their life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree 100%. We are exposed to the same kind of routine every single day. The same advertisements, the same celebrities, the same friends and family. When we make the effort to break free of the mold expected of us other people notice – and if they’re meant to do the same, they will follow. Thanks for reading & commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. yes, I say, Be the change you desire to see! I too live by example, and wish my other family members to go vegan, but I guess, to each his own! It’s almost been 2 years that I have gone vegan and 4 since I was a vegetarian, but my brother is still very much into eating animals and their products. It’s so hard to watch! My dad only has to lose 10 lbs and he doesn’t have to take diabetic pills anymore….. do you think he has lost those 10 lbs? Unreal! At least my 16 year old son has gone vegan and is a strong advocate, and my daughter is also vegan. It was actually my daughter how asked me to watch “Foods Inc.” whereupon I went veg., and then 2 years ago, she asked me to watch “Cowspiracy” and then I went vegan immediately and on a cruise ship!! What a perspective!! I try every day to be a good example and eat my delicious plant based diet and go to the gym! 🙂

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    • Such a great reply, thank you SO much for reading and commenting! I love so much to see others who live by example. It’s really difficult sometimes to just stand by while people continue to do things that are against our passions in life, but there’s nothing more we can do than live how we want the rest of the world to live. Cheers!

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