Hi, I'm 16 and I've been a vegetarian for about 8 months. My boyfriend didn't like the sound of it at first, he eats a lot of meat.
So for the first three or so months, he was constantly nagging me as to why I was being vegetarian, how it wouldn't help save any animals. But now he has gotten used to it, and supports me. He doesn't like the idea of me giving up.
Now I'm thinking about going vegan, and he says if I do he will not support me.
And my mother wouldn't have much money to spare to buy organic food. Vegan food is more expensive than store brand macaroni and cheese, so going vegan would be really difficult. um... any advice would be greatly appreciated. :) Thank you, L. K.
Dear L. K.,
It would be nice for you if you had a boyfriend who felt the same way you do, or was at least supportive. But, if you want to keep this one, be more assertive. Of course, your boyfriend shouldn't be expected to conform to your dietary needs, and neither should you be expected to conform to his. It's your body, your life, your decision. Whether or not you stay with him, if you're with a domineering meat eater, and you let him run your life, you won't be vegetarian for long.
I have a lot more sympathy for your Mom, since you're her family, you live with her and she pays the bills. But being vegan isn't a lot different than being vegetarian. If you're not eating organic foods now, then you don't have to as a vegan. And processed food, (precooked, frozen or in a box), whether vegan, organic, or not, is nutritionally challenged as well as expensive.
You probably don't have a lot of time, what with school and your boyfriend, and maybe work. But I strongly recommend that sometime soon, you buy some vegetarian cookbooks, and start to cook for yourself. Maybe make some money and chip in for food. It'd be cheaper and healthier to make at least some of your own food. Maybe dinner, and a lunch to take to school?
Don't rush into going vegan, at least while you're living at home. You've taken a giant step in a good direction, becoming vegetarian. Take your time, let it settle for a while, learn about vegetarian nutrition, learn to cook for yourself, sort out who you are and what you want and need, as a person separate from her boyfriend and her Mom. That's enough pressure on you for now.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian