There are a lot of potential ways to introduce your family and children to the Vegan lifestyle, especially if they’ve been consuming animal products their whole life. Some people will tell you there is only one right way to do this or that there are wrong ways to do it.
In reality, the only ‘wrong way’ to do it is by using a method that doesn’t suit your family. It’s easy for others to claim that only certain vegan family strategies work but this isn’t a “one solution fits all” kind of situation.
Read and take some of these ideas of course; just remember to consider how your family can best approach it.
There’s no need to get stressed about something not working well!
Just readjust your approach to improve your strategy.
These strategies are ideas and tips for you to include when deciding to make a full family transition to Veganism.
1. The Vegan Talk
It doesn’t matter how old your immediate family members are, you will need to have a proper talk at some point about the importance of Veganism.
So, it’s a good idea to prepare for this eventuality and to keep in mind that there will be a lot of questions about the vegan lifestyle.
Try to read as much as possible to be as prepared as possible to respond to anything questions you may receive!
For younger children, it always needs to be kept mild and not too graphic.
For example: “We don’t eat chicken & eggs because the chickens are being tortured, killed and kept in cages until they die.”
Versus: “We don’t eat chicken & eggs because the chickens have a very sad life. If we ate chicken & eggs, we would hurt them, and we don’t want to do that. We want the chickens to be happy.”
As you can see, one answer may be more age appropriate than the other.
Before transitioning , remember to consult with other adults in the family. Ask for their opinion and concerns as you all need to be on the same page.
This is the same for older children and teenagers as well.
While they have the right to eat what they want, you need to think about what your limitations are as well.
You can stop buying animal-products with your own money but if your children earn their cash, can they spend it on animal products?
Would they be able to buy the latest non-vegan Nike trainers if it’s with their own money?
Can they buy their animal product foods to keep in the fridge or their room? It’s important to remember that you can’t control everything.
If you do, they may resent you for it. Doing that would have the opposite response to what you want.
That’s why we recommend starting with education & conversations.
There are a lot of things you should consider before talking to the other members of your household and explaining it to them.
Always remember that the key of successful relationships is a compromise you’re both happy with and can live by.
2. Vegan Videos & Vegan Documentaries
We know that videos can help change minds and views of the world.
There are plenty of videos online that can lead to a great response from your family members and can be suitable for all ages.
We have an article here [coming soon: 5 brilliant ways to explain veganism to children article] that’s specific to children.
However, adults or older children might need an alternative response.
One of the best tools is to plan a movie night and introduce them to documentaries such as Forks over Knives, The Game Changers, Dominion & more.
This will help them better understand the Vegan Benefits from a neutral perspective.
For very young children, we recommend Vegan Youtube Videos that target young kids, such as this one.
3. Making the Connection through Day Trips
People can also have trouble making the connection if they’ve never really spent much time with animals or farm animals.
A great idea is to take the family on day trips to a farm sanctuary or checking if it’s possible to volunteer at a local one.
Alternatively, just getting involved in local animal shelters or sanctuaries, in general, can be good for your family to build that connection and become more passionate about the wellbeing of other living beings.
4. Delicious Vegan Food
Good food is also a fantastic tool! You can combine it with the talk(s) you’ll be having with your family to show off some great Vegan foods. Consider cooking some classic foods your family already loves and veganize it!
Remember that changing a diet can be tricky and that they might not like new foods the first time they try it. That’s okay!
It’s all about finding out what they enjoy and working with that. Try some pre-made meals from restaurants or more experienced Vegans who have a better idea about cooking something like tofu or seitan.
So, taking your family to a vegan restaurant could also be a good idea!
Even if your family isn’t totally on board with the idea or 100% willing to follow the plant-based diet or Vegan lifestyle, you can still start the process slowly.
Introducing new meals can make things more interesting and means that you can start encouraging them to eat more Vegan foods.
Try to include them in the process (shopping & cooking) to get them on board!
Another great idea is to buy Vegan faux meats, always offer them some or place it on their plate for them to try.
When your family goes out to eat, always insist on a restaurant with great vegan options and see if they’re willing to share some foods so they all get to try some.
Go to a Vegan restaurant or cafe or take them to a vegan bakery with delicious pastries & desserts!
The goal is to make Vegan food sound and seem less overwhelming – maybe even fun!
Increased exposure can lead to more acceptance, so don’t give up!
5. Game Night with Vegan Snacks
It doesn’t have to be boring! You could set-up a weekly “taste test night” with some board games or video games included.
Grab a variety of one type of product and let everyone have proper tasting sessions to see what they think!
Things like ice creams (Ben & Jerry’s have great vegan options!), chocolate, sweet treats, savory snacks, and other foods are great for this.
The goal is to show them that Vegan foods do taste great and often times even better than non-Vegan food.
It might be frustrating to not have them instantly become Vegan but baby steps are important when it comes to introducing people to the Vegan Lifestyle.
What are your top tips for introducing your family to Veganism? Send us a message here or tag us in your success stories on Social Media!