Living with a family that revolves around meat-filled meals is pretty tough when you're young and vegetarian. Some families are more open-minded to teens giving up the omnivorous life, but others are fearful and try convincing them that eating meat is the best option for their growing bodies.
My dad had recently passed away when I became a vegetarian (so I can't speak for him), but my mom was (surprisingly) somewhat supportive. I had recently turned 16 and decided to give up on meat once and for all. Cooking was not a skill I worked on, so my mom made any Mexican dish she knew that didn't contain meat and started buying me meat alternatives to cook at home while she worked.
Does that sound like the opposite of your parents? Don't worry, through every step of the way my mom gave me a hard time. As hard as it is being a teenager, the best thing to do is not argue with your parents. Don't give smart answers and talk back with explanations on how vegetarianism is better. Parents will be parents, and they're going to worry about you, regardless. If they're trying to put meat on your plate, calmly (and sincerely) say that you're serious about being a vegetarian and that you've done all the research necessary. Hence why I made a list of three simple tasks for you to accomplish that will help your parents understand and accept your new lifestyle! :)
Read up on vegetarianism. I don't mean to brag, but my blog is packed with informative posts on the subject. Learn about the different type of vegetarians there are and what they eat. Maybe you want to start as a pescatarian or flexitarian. You can see the full list on my tabs above my blog, titled "Lifestyles 101."
LEARN HOW TO COOK!
If you know how to cook already, awesome!! But if you don't, you better get cookin'! There's nothing more rewarding for a parent than to see their teenage daughter or son make an actual meal for themselves (without burning down the kitchen)! The main reason why parents don't like vegetarianism or veganism is because they don't want their kids to catch anemia, gastritis, or any health problems. This leads to my third task.
RID YOUR PARENTS OF THEIR WORRY!
How do you convince your mom or dad that eating veggies won't kill you? Weren't they stuffing them down your throat when you were little?? Give them the facts by answering every vegetarian myth they've grown to believe. Again, not to brag, but my blog has plenty of that too! My "Vegetarian Myth" blog posts are perfect for those parents who say, "You'll become anemic! You'll lose too much weight! You'll be too weak to play sports!" I've debunked over 24 vegetarian myths and I'm sure your parents have at least told you three. Have they told you one that is not in there yet? Do tell me! I love a good challenge. ;)
There's one more thing that'll really help. It has nothing to do with vegetarianism-- you probably won't like it, but it'll definitely be an extra bonus. It's called doing your chores. Even better, do your chores without your parents telling you to, and then let them know that you did them. I cleaned around the house, washed my dishes, and did my laundry. But I RARELY cleaned my room and I had so much clothes that I'd do laundry like once every two months, and the stack of clothes was crazy! So do your part and clean after yourself. If you do that with the three steps above, I can guarantee that your parents will totally have your back! Responsibility comes with many awesome perks, so stay healthy and show your parents that you know what you're doing. :)
Who has given you a hard time on vegetarianism? Feel free to share your stories on when you first became a vegetarian or vegan in the comment box below!