Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Why I Love My Mother (and other family too) April 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meilani @ 12:51 pm

Let me start off by saying that my mother is not a vegan. She isn’t a vegetarian, either. But she is open-minded. Before I went vegan I heard countless horror stories of vegans who had abrasive, antagonistic, sometimes all around cruel family members. I almost felt like telling my mother I was queer would end up being a walk in the park compared to telling her I was vegan, just based on others’ experiences. But the support not just from my mother, but all of my family has been a blessing and truly overwhelming. My mother loves my vegan lemon bars. My younger brothers (and their friends) gobble up any cookies or cakes I throw their way, and were even willing to try soymilk. A lot of my family members, especially elders, had never heard of a vegan, let alone interacted with one. I spent one afternoon explaining to my partner’s grandmother exactly how it is that one bakes cakes, cookies, and pies with no butter, milk, or eggs (she loves my chocolate chip scones, by the way). What I’m trying to say is that my fears turned out to be groundless. I went home for the holidays and my family ate the vegan pot of greens I cooked and no one commented on missing the meat usually used for flavor. This isn’t to say that there aren’t those of us who struggle with family gatherings or even just simple conversation because of our choice, but sometimes it can feel like becoming vegan means preparing for a battle within our families. I just wanted to share my positive experiences.


9 Responses to “Why I Love My Mother (and other family too)”

  1. i feel this. my mom though she should she loves her meat has been getting back into eating more vegetarian meals. since i was a kid she stopped putting meat in her beans, black eyed peas and vegetables. she always make sure to let me know what is available for me to eat. i thank her for that. she said once it made since i’m vegetarian since she fed me tofu and such when i was small.

  2. Serenity Says:

    Y’all are lucky. My family not only does not accomodate my diet, but doesn’t allow me to cook in their kitchens

  3. richard mcmahan Says:

    My own militant vegan attitude made my experience different in perception, but not reality. For family gatherings I would make a Tofu man, complete with an apple in his mouth. I would, of course, ask “who would like a leg?”.
    This effort did not change them, and I, of course, blame myself for this outcome.
    I, in my most charitable moments to myself, suspect that as the youngest of the children, there was no way the others could have followed in my path. But it has been over 26 years now, and I wonder, what will it take?
    The best I can say of the situation is that my “leg of man”, is pretty damn good.

  4. Mausflaus Says:

    I love my parents too, especially for them supporting me whatever I do. They do understand my reasons, although they don’t manage to become vegan themselves; but they rarely eat meat and not that many other animal products.
    it’s really important that the ones who are close to you, accept and appreciate what you are doing – not only things as veganism, also the choice of your partner, profession, hobbies should at least be tolerated, or better; accepted.
    that also includes that you need to agree with their way of living although it might not be perfect in your eyes. but it is their choice and they got their reasons, too

  5. Maho Says:

    That is very nice that your family is supportive. My parents understand me and try to accommodate for me, but I know that they think that I am wrong…

  6. qtpoc-herbivore Says:

    for me, although i don’t identify as vegan, i am a herbivore and when it comes to others and what they eat, “not passing judgment” isn’t an option in my paradigm. my reasons for being a herbivore are principled, value-based, and ultimately about my ethics/morals. but that’s just the thing, if this was about _my_ ethics/morals, they would be meaningless. ethics and morals can’t be meaningful, or even exist, if they are limited to the bubble of our individuality. that’s the very point. if i believe that it is wrong to kill pigs for “food” that belief would become meaningless if i was to say, “i believe that but people are entitled to believe otherwise and i will respect their choices.” it’s a contradiction to believe slaughter is wrong and to respect someone’s belief and practice that slaughter is right, or ok, etc…

    So, that’s a longwinded and probably confusing way of saying that though i recognize where some people are coming from and the various obstacles to changing what is again and again construed as a “dietary choice” or “lifestyle,” i don’t think herbivores or vegans owe their meat eating parents respect or tolerance (though tolerance might be strategically sensible if you’re trying to move them in your direction OR strategically sensible for your own mental health if it seems clear that they won’t budge and ain’t never gonna change).

  7. Emily Says:

    wow, i guess i’m pretty lucky i’ve grown up in a vegetarian family. my mum brought us all up as vegetarians, and i’ve never ate meat in my life, but i don’t feel deprived of that and have been vegan for the last 5 years. i’d never thought that families would be difficult about personal choices like that, i guess it’s just adjusting to change..

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