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I've been vegetarian for 3 years, and I've known in my heart I've wanted to become vegan ever since. Never have I been so passionate about something. I'm 17 now and as much as I hate to admit it, my family is not supportive by any means and I may have to move out before I can actually do the things I want with my life; Including and most importantly: Veganism. They hate it, they find me an inconvenience, I heard my mother saying on the phone that she wished I would be a "normal child". However, she agreed to take me to the grocery store and let me pick out vegan items. Please answer my following questions:

1. Can anyone suggest foods that are good for a vegan just starting out? (preferably in shopping list format)

2. I'm an awful, awful cook. Can someone send links to vegan meals that aren't complicated?

3. It's of dire importance that I lose weight. Will these suggestions contribute to this?

4. As I mentioned earlier, I am passionate about veganism. I know not what to do for a career. Perhaps something involving animals. Is there some line of work for people like me? (I do plan on getting a reasonable amount of body modifications, so I'd like to have a career that is fine with exposed body art)

5. Last question. I live in Conroe, Texas which is about 3-4 hours from Austin. Unlike Austin or places like it, my area is all submerged in "cowboys" and meat galore. Do you believe it's necessary for me to move elsewhere?

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298 posts

Hi Emily, 

I am not vegan nor vegetarian, but I believe I can give you an advice. 

I think your parents disagree with your nutritional choice because your body is still developing and desperately needs all macro- nutrients (proteins, carbs and fats). 

With vegetarian and especially vegan nutritional styles people are deprived of proteins. I am not saying that being vegan/vegetarian your diet is necesarily low in proteins, but people do not pay enough attention to proteins. Being carnivoe you get enough proteins from meat or fish, but being vegan/vegetarian you really need to pay attention to this.

Soy, tempeh, tofu, all beans and legumes are vegan-freindly choices of proteins. Also seeds, nuts, and chia seeds - have you heard of this chia seeds? But with seeds you do need to be careful - they also contain plenty of fats (healthy fats, but still fats), so don't go over the top with them. Mushrooms are vegan-freindly - and are relatively high in proteins. Some people also call them meat from the forest, becasue of the high protein content  :)  

Regarding recipes - I suggest that once you have a basic ingredient (for example chickpea) - go online and simply google the recipe... For chickpeas particulary - you have all kinds of recipes - from caserolls, to pates, humus, vegan burgers (baked in oven)...

Cooking is a step by step process, and here is an idea - learn to cook one type of dishes - for example caserolls - they are all made on the same principle... with some differences.

For example, 2-3 of olive oil, put on fire, add chopped onion, if you plan to cook chickpeas add them to the onions and pour cca 1 l water - it is recommened that you soak chickpeas one evening before you plan to cook them - this way you will shorten cooking time (and you won't lose nutritiens) - basically you will have to cook chickpeas anywhere from 1-2 hours, depends how you like them... Or you can use the canned version (i do not suggest though...). Personally I cook 1 kg or so chickpeas and them divide into portions and freeze them ... I assume if you are into protecting animals, you are into protecting Earth and saving energy too.

So, after adding chickpeas, you can continue adding cauliflower, carrots etc... Every vegetable has different cooking time, so you have to pay attention to that when cooking so they do not overcook. The main rule is green veggies (spinach, kale...) should be cooked the least. 

if you have more direct questions about cooking, let me know :)

Well, yes, with very visible body art you probably wont' be the best candidate for a work in a bank, especially with clients :)

What about becoming a vet? if you want to help animals maybe this is the way to go!  

 

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I've been vegan since I was 8 years old. I'm not 46 and totally healthy. Many top dietary organisations state that a well-planned vegan diet can be healthy for all ages...including the elderly and infants.

It's possible that Emily's family are concerned about her health (unnecessarily). But since Emily used the words "normal" and "inconvenience", it would appear that this concern for her health isn't the issue. They appear more concerned about her being weird or an inconvenience. As I said, I've been vegan (my choice) since I was 8 (for reasons very similar to Emily). My family are all meat-eaters and at first they thought my choice to be vegan was "just a phase" so went along with it. Little by little, they realised that it wasn't a phase and now they simply accept that I'm vegan. No questions asked.

Emily, each family is different so I can't advise you on what you should do but don't let others bully or intimidate you in to eating meat if you don't want to. If you give in, they'll simply continue.


I agree with Taya Taya. Becoming a vet could be a career you may wish to pursue but you're only 17. You have plenty of time to consider your options. Don't pressure yourself. There's no rush.

Big hugs,
Josh.
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