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Accommodating a vegan and vegetarian family

mitch

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I'm four years vegan and my wife and daughter have finally decided to go vegetarian. I would prefer them to be vegan too and despite talking about how dairy is bad for us, the animals and the environment, they won't go vegan, for now anyway as they still have a fair bit of cognitive dissonance due to dairy industry propaganda.

So although i'm very glad they've ditched the meat, i'm wondering how best to arrange meals in this situation? Anyone else in the same boat?
 

Forest Nymph

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Well how did you do it when they still ate meat? I'd imagine that's much more difficult. With vegetarians sometimes all they want to do is add some cheese to their dish, or they'll just eat certain things you don't.

I lived with vegetarians who I shared meals with for about a year, and they ate a lot of vegan meals, like tofu and vegetable stir fries, Gardein-based dinners on a sandwich or wrap with a veggie side, veggie burgers, accidentally vegan ramen, and soups or stews that were made from scratch. Mainly I had soy milk and they had dairy milk, though they actually drank hazelnut or hemp milk sometimes. If I made burritos they might add cheese while I had vegan cheese or extra guac. We ate two different kinds of bread sometimes, but shared a lot of basic items. It helped if I made holiday-type dinners, so I could make potato salad with avocado and olive oil instead of mayo, or if I could commandeer what went into the mashed potatoes that I served with the Tofurky.

They were long-term vegetarians though, a woman who had been a vegetarian for over 20 years who also refrained from eating gelatin and bought vegan leather shoes who donated money to PETA, she was an old school ethical vegetarian. Her son had never had meat in his life, but he really really loved dairy. The main thing they ate a lot that I didn't was eggs. She really thought she wouldn't get enough protein if she didn't eat eggs, and it was hard to convince her otherwise.
 

Lou

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IMHO, ditching dairy is about the easiest thing to do. Easier than ditching meat. On my vegan journey that was my first step. Even before quitting meat. There are so many good milk alternatives. I happen to like soy milk. In fact, now that I have gotten accustomed to it I prefer vanilla flavored soy milk over all others. But if you don't like the taste of soy milk most people like almond milk. and now there is cashew milk, pea milk, oat milk, and macadamia milk. If you buy a carton and don't like the taste of it straight up, then just use it in your smoothies.

The hard thing is with bakery items. They put milk, butter, and eggs in all those things. But not all. It's not a problem to find vegan breads, rolls, and buns. Harder to find cookies and cakes. but you can still find them.

Anyway, just take it one step at a time.
 
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Veganite

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IMHO, ditching dairy is about the easiest thing to do. Easier than ditching meat.
I think this varies vastly from person to person. For me dairy was much harder than meat to ditch.


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Forest Nymph

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I think this varies vastly from person to person. For me dairy was much harder than meat to ditch.


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Same. I had incidents with my family when they tried to force me to eat meat as a child. I thought chicken bones were gross and had worms in them (these were the veins, I think) and have a vivid memory of feeding a hamburger to our family dog under the table. By middle school, I was ordering the veggie supreme pizzas for my birthday, and in adulthood I struggled giving up cheese in a big way. Meat doesn't tempt me at all, I find it repulsive most of the time.
 
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Emma JC

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I'm four years vegan and my wife and daughter have finally decided to go vegetarian. I would prefer them to be vegan too and despite talking about how dairy is bad for us, the animals and the environment, they won't go vegan, for now anyway as they still have a fair bit of cognitive dissonance due to dairy industry propaganda.

So although i'm very glad they've ditched the meat, i'm wondering how best to arrange meals in this situation? Anyone else in the same boat?
Many good suggestions here, mine would be that you supply as many delicious meals, as possible, that are vegan and just don't discuss it. If there is always a great oatmeal/berry/banana breakfast available, maybe they won't eat eggs and bacon, or even just toast with peanut butter and jam topped with bananas. If you make a great vegan chili then they won't care there isn't meat in it. Etc.....

Maddie Lymburner has a great video out today with a baked oatmeal breakfast, vegan chicken tenders in a wrap for lunch and a great sweet potato peanut stew on quinoa for dinner, she has lots of tasty options.


Emma JC
 

veganDreama

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Just give them vegan meals. I didn't find Dairy to hard to give up. Fish and eggs were harder for me. (I went vegan from being a pescatarian)
 
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TofuRobot

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and have a vivid memory of feeding a hamburger to our family dog under the table.
I remember quite clearly one evening when I was 12 and my mom made liver and onions for dinner. I refused to eat it. They made me sit at the table for an hour after they had fully cleaned up and turned off the lights and went downstairs. I just sat there. They kept the dog with them so I wouldn't feed it to him. Finally they gave up and told me to go to bed.

As far as planning meals for vegetarians - honestly - I would not be buying the dairy myself, but if they wanted to buy and it and add it later to their meals, I'd say they're welcome to do so. I would, however, also have some good vegan cheese on hand and offer some of that. Go Veggie has really good vegan parmesan, and I'd be shocked if they didn't eat up all of the Kite Hill cream cheese if you bought some :)

On the topic of cheese vs. meat - ditching meat was far easier for me than cheese, and it took longer to be rid of the cravings. But now I don't miss it at all.
 
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