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help for a newly converted vegan!

I made the decision to become vegan recently, and my husband is so upset and emotional over my decision.  I have asked why and his best response is it bothers him.  I figured out really fast he did not want to know why I made this choice, he just wants me to "come to my senses" & eat meat and dairy.  I am not changing my mind after watching Earthlings, reading "A Diet for a New America, and doing other research.  Any suggestions?  I am a stay at home Mom, of a still nursing 18 month old & living far away from family. 

Good for you! I became vegan almost 17 years ago, and my family felt very threatened by the decision. I think they were worried it would create space between us. They were also worried about my health, etc. I think they also felt threatened because I was essentially saying something was wrong with what they were doing (although I didn't tell them that, it is implied by the refusal to eat stuff they eat)

However, after some time went by, they got used to it. They saw that I was healthier and that I didn't point fingers at their lifestyle. They also got to enjoy the delicious food I made, as I never cooked much before being vegan.

If you stick with it and don't talk about it or point fingers, I think he will adjust. By just being a good example, you will have a far greater impact on him than talking about it ever will...at least that is my experience! Not that you can't talk about it when asked. I just find that people respond better to example than words. If you learn lots of yummy recipes, that helps too!

Incidentally, I have a daughter who is almost five and has been vegan since birth (she nursed until she was almost two), and she is one of the healthiest kids around! Just in case he is concerned about your toddler....

Good luck and many blessings! :)

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Good for you! I became vegan almost 17 years ago, and my family felt very threatened by the decision. I think they were worried it would create space between us. They were also worried about my health, etc. I think they also felt threatened because I was essentially saying something was wrong with what they were doing (although I didn't tell them that, it is implied by the refusal to eat stuff they eat)

However, after some time went by, they got used to it. They saw that I was healthier and that I didn't point fingers at their lifestyle. They also got to enjoy the delicious food I made, as I never cooked much before being vegan.

If you stick with it and don't talk about it or point fingers, I think he will adjust. By just being a good example, you will have a far greater impact on him than talking about it ever will...at least that is my experience! Not that you can't talk about it when asked. I just find that people respond better to example than words. If you learn lots of yummy recipes, that helps too!

Incidentally, I have a daughter who is almost five and has been vegan since birth (she nursed until she was almost two), and she is one of the healthiest kids around! Just in case he is concerned about your toddler....

Good luck and many blessings! :)

So well said, quintess! 

Quintess is right--it will be difficult for your husband to stay upset about your choice as long as you are not confrontational about it and you demonstrate that living that way makes you happy and healthy.  When I first told my mom about going vegan, she literally yelled, "No!  Why!?!  You can't do that!"  I wasn't gonna sit there and argue about it--nothing good comes from that.  But now I have shown her that I can be healthy and satisfied as I follow a vegan diet, an dshe even buys me cookbooks and cuts out articles for me about veganism.  Actions speak louder than words, definitely. 

Good luck, Tonya Sue!  :smileteeth:

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Cook good food and you may convert him.  ;)

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earthlings is so powerful, has he seen it yet?  maybe it will help him to understand why you are vegan, not why he should go vegan, but why you chose this lifestyle.

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i think quintess has said it better than i ever could, but i just wanted to chime in and applaud you for your strength.  It's a hard commitment to make no matter what, but im sure in your situation it's even harder.  definitely stick around here if you need support and delicious recipes.  this site actually helped to make me confident enough that i could survive happily living the vegan lifestyle and has inspired me to finally make the jump from vegetarian to vegan.  :)

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My guy was pretty defensive at first about my decision. I stood my ground and made sure to be respectful of his choices. He is actually vegan now too, however that is not always the way it goes. Are you the one that cooks? He may be worried that all you'll make is salads, or something of the sort. Make sure you know your reasons for becoming vegan and tell him that it is important to you. Show him that vegan food can be and is tasty and satisfying.

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For now I would just give him some time and space.  He will get used to it as you stick to your diet.

I also think for now it's important not to make him feel threatened by criticising his dietary choices and forcing your veganism on him by saying things like "you're a murderer if you eat that", "there will be no meat in my hourse"....etc. etc.  As difficult as it might be, try to be respectful of his diet for the time being.

Make him some good vegan food.

In other words stick to your guns, but lay a little low.  The joy you have for your new diet will show and perhaps over time he'll see that it's not a phase, it doesn't threaten him, and he might make some good choices himself.  My ex was a meat eater, but allowed me to be the cook eventually.  Then when day he went to the store and came home with veggie burgers for his supper.  I was so proud of him and myself at that point.

Good luck.

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I made the decision to become vegan recently, and my husband is so upset and emotional over my decision.  I have asked why and his best response is it bothers him.  I figured out really fast he did not want to know why I made this choice, he just wants me to "come to my senses" & eat meat and dairy.  I am not changing my mind after watching Earthlings, reading "A Diet for a New America, and doing other research.  Any suggestions?  I am a stay at home Mom, of a still nursing 18 month old & living far away from family. 

I would guess that your husband is probably afraid that your choices will interfere with his desire to eat what he is currently eating. This is probably a reasonable fear. When I became vegan in June, my husband was wary but I assured him I wouldn't try to turn the whole family vegan. But, I only cook vegan food and I do the majority of cooking. My husband typically only cooks breads (which he makes vegan) and pizza, which he makes three, one for me, one for him, and one for the kids.
On the upside, my husbands likes that I am vegan and strong in my convictions. He also likes all the yummy, healthy food I eat and he eats. Hang in there and give him time to adjust to your new lifestyle. Most recipes on this site are sooooooo good, that your husband will enjoy and even love the meals you make anyway.

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i think quintess has said it better than i ever could, but i just wanted to chime in and applaud you for your strength.  It's a hard commitment to make no matter what, but im sure in your situation it's even harder.  definitely stick around here if you need support and delicious recipes.  this site actually helped to make me confident enough that i could survive happily living the vegan lifestyle and has inspired me to finally make the jump from vegetarian to vegan.  :)

seconded! congrats on making the switch.  Although I'm the only vegan (and for that matter, vegetarian) in my family, I never ran into too much trouble with the pre-judgment thing.  I can say that what helps me when I'm in "unfriendly territory" (such as right now visiting northern Colorado) is to, as others have said so well, be nonconfrontational about it, eat what makes me feel good, and do my best to show other people how well I do eat.  The more you let yourself get drawn into arguments about it, the more you both reinforce your own choices, and then you end up unreconciled and angrier.. Perhaps, once you get some good recipes under your belt, you could pose a little "challenge" to (openminded) friends and family to eat vegan for a day or a week or whatever and see what they think.  My bf tried it shortly after we met and stuck with it.  I've gotten various members of my family to at least not think its so "weird" and "impossible," if that counts for anything.

kudos on your decision and commitment!

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I would guess that your husband is probably afraid that your choices will interfere with his desire to eat what he is currently eating. This is probably a reasonable fear. When I became vegan in June, my husband was wary but I assured him I wouldn't try to turn the whole family vegan. But, I only cook vegan food and I do the majority of cooking.

I had a very similar situation--my boyfriend was afraid that he would have to stop eating animal products, too, and he just didn't feel passionately about it like I do and didn't want to face social situations having to say he doesn't eat certain things. I became vegan in March and it didn't take long for him to realize that I wasn't judging him and that he could still eat whatever he wanted.  However, like hoopy~d, I do almost all of the cooking (like, 99.9% of it), and I refuse to cook non-vegan, so he is mostly vegan at home. The only non-vegan foods he has in the house are lunch meats, cheese, milk, cottage cheese, and ice cream.  Although I would prefer he didn't eat this stuff, I think we've come to a good agreement for us.

I think that the best way for you to ease into the transition is to stick w/ "normal" foods that are usually vegan (or can easily be made vegan), like burritos, pasta dishes, Indian food, Asian dishes, chilis, soups, stews, etc. and wait to try "weird" vegan foods like tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc. until after he sees that he doesn't have to give up "normal" stuff.  When I transitioned, my boyfriend thought that we would just shrivel up and die from lack of food ( ::) ) because he likes "hearty" things, but you can make LOTS of "hearty" vegan foods.  This site was and still is a fantastic resource for recipes, information, and just general moral support for those looking into cutting out animal products.  When you don't know anyone who is vegan or even vegetarian, it makes your decision more difficult, so it's nice to know that you're not alone/crazy :)

Welcome! There are lots of things that you will come across w/ your research saying this, that, and the other thing is/isn't vegan and it can get overwhelming--don't get overwhelmed, and do what makes you feel comfortable. Don't get caught up in labels (for yourself, anyway--food labels are another thing  ;) ) and enjoy learning about your new lifestyle choice!

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Thank you  so much for all the advice/tips! 

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  You may wind up having to field an onslaught of "vegan's not healthy" stuff. Buy a copy of "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell:

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study

  First, read it. You'll be amazed at what a no-brainer it is health wise to choose vegan over any other diet. Then get your husband to read it so you won't have to deal with each new "reason" to eat meat and dairy (like you won't get enough calcium to prevent osteoperosis if you don't consume dairy-BS!).

  Welcome to the fold. Hang in there and don't look back!

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