Plant-Based Pause No 27: Visiting the Family

In November 2011, I made the decision to progress towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt so much about where our food comes from, and what it does to our bodies and the environment. Along the way, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. I have also been asked lots of questions, most of them valid and a few off them more than a little odd. One of the aims of my blog is to chronicle my experiences as a plant-based traveller. So, hopefully these Plant-Based Pauses will provide a little more explanation and maybe answer some questions that my readers may still have.

‘Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus.’ – Susan Longacre

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Whenever you make a big change in your life, your family and close friends will often find it difficult to deal with. After all, you’re changing the dynamics of your group and challenging what they think of as ‘normal’. For me personally, telling my family that I was vegetarian is one of the hardest things I’ve had to tell them. Seventeen years later, when I decided to convert to a plant-based lifestyle, I had to have another conversation with them. Although, as an independent grown adult, it was a lot easier this time, it wasn’t an overnight acceptance. In fact, I think they still doubt my choices even three years down the line.

When you make the change to living plant-based, it might take your family a while to accept you new lifestyle choice. After all, most of these people have known you since birth. They are the people whose job it is to care for you. They’ll be worried about your health, your motives and maybe even your sanity.

Just like any other person who doesn’t understand the plant-based lifestyle, your family will have lots of questions and you can teach them and show them why you have made the right choice. Although no other member of my family is vegetarian, I know that my vegetarianism has affected them in positive ways. I see them making small changes, such as eating less meat or using non-dairy milk, and I know that would have been unlikely without my input. It’s rare that my mum lets anyone else use her kitchen, but whenever I go to visit her now she always requests that I cook her some vegan food.

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