• The Green Spoon

A Guide for Going Plant-Based in A Non-Plant-Based Household

Updated: Sep 29, 2021




Reasons for beginning your plant-based journey can differ vastly from one another but a common and significant obstacle everyone may encounter on their plant-based journey is wondering how they can navigate through their relationships, especially with those with whom they’re living.


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The early stages of transitioning into a plant-based lifestyle in a non-plant-based household tend to be the most challenging as you may be put in a situation where you feel like you have to steer through a moral dilemma of choosing between your ethics and your loved ones who may initially sometimes not be too amused or comfortable with your “lifestyle change”. It can be frustrating and hard, and you most probably already feel this way which may be why you’re here? 🤔 Fret not because we’ve compiled some tips that can prepare you for the bumps that may come along the way!



Making the switch and staying consistent can get exhausting when your loved ones reduce your major transition to just a “phase”. So to avoid this, communicate why you decided to make the switch to a plant-based lifestyle. Have an open and honest conversation about how much your choice means to you and why it’s important to you that the people around you respect your decision. When a safe space is created for an open discussion, the chances of a loved one ridiculing you can be curtailed because there’s a deeper understanding of the significance behind your choice.



Chances are that before your transition, you too probably enjoyed the pleasures of animal products and laughed thinking about how you could never “give them up”. You didn’t get judged for it and that’s the same approach your family probably expects from you too. We know it can be morally debilitating to do after all the new information you’ve acquired but it’s crucial to understand that no matter what, everyone deserves a judgment-free space to make decisions. Everyone’s journey is different, so forcing our views upon others would possibly drive them away further making the approach counterproductive, so attempt to approach with compassion instead.



This tip can be a game-changer if you spend some time learning about the plant-based dos and don’ts in the kitchen. You can even check out our Instagram to learn! It may be confusing in the beginning and you may make mistakes but that’s completely fine! We all need to start somewhere, right? By mastering (or almost mastering) the different plant-based substitutes, you can make swaps on the grocery list for common items (i.e. milk, cheese) and help out with shopping for it! This can hint to your family that being plant-based doesn’t have to be so complicated and opens up a possibility for them to start exploring more too!



Another powerful game-changer is just simply sharing your wonderful plant-based food with your family (and even friends :p). We all know how amazed we were by the plethora of plant-based foods out there and how amazing every single one of them tasted. It may have even acted as a positive reinforcement to ease our transition! So, by introducing your family to some of the delicious plant-based dishes out there or even by cooking a couple together with your family, it is bound to make them change their minds!



Think about what convinced you to make the switch to a plant-based lifestyle, it was likely your exposure to all the information around you about why a plant-based lifestyle is so great! This brings us to our next tip - educate your family about the wonders of a plant-based lifestyle like the health benefits it brings or how sustainable it can be! This allows them to make an informed choice just like you did! You could even take it a step further and engage in activities together like watching documentaries or reading books about a plant-based lifestyle or even inviting them to a campaign pushing for environmental justice or animal rights for example. Always remember that knowledge is a powerful tool to drive change and you’re a testament to it.

If we were to write about all the tips and tricks there are to guide you through your plant-based journey, the list would be endless. Here’s the real secret- there’s no one size fits all approach. It’s a journey of trial and error learning how to navigate your social relationships where you’ll need to personalize your approach to find what works best for you. The conversations and questions can be relentless initially but over time as you learn and grow you’ll be better prepared to face them. Don’t exhaust yourself though, remind yourself to practise compassion towards everything and everyone including yourself on this exciting journey!




References:

https://www.worldofvegan.com/vegan-mom-omni-family/

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/how-to-survive-as-a-vegan-in-a-non-vegan-household/

https://www.reddit.com/r/vegan/comments/6lv0nx/how_can_i_go_vegan_in_a_nonvegan_household/

https://www.veganeasy.org/veganparents/tips-for-vegans-with-non-vegan-parents/

https://medium.com/illumination/6-tips-for-a-vegan-in-a-non-vegan-household-a22da6e8693d


Written by Thuvaaraka Srikanth.





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