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Respecting All Animals
My sister and I made the decision to go vegetarian when I was just 11… 
28th-Nov-2014 09:44 pm
My sister and I made the decision to go vegetarian when I was just 11 and she was 12 (I don't even want to think about how long ago that is at this point, thank you very much), and then I made the move towards veganism at the age of 15, but she was not willing to make that step, unfortunately. Time has passed, and she is now the mother to my more-or-less wonderful nephew. He has been raised in her vegetarian ways, but now that he is going through adolescence, he has started hinting that he is thinking about going omnivore. I have, in an attempt to disuade him from this awful decision, started taking him to the gym and showing him just how awesomely powerful one can be on the vegan diet (not bragging, but I have been known to lift some serious amounts, LOL). He doesn't seem to be catching on to this helpful influence. What can I do to stop him from making this awful move?!?!?????
29th-Nov-2014 04:50 am (UTC)
Adolescents like to make decisions for themselves, and they don't like having their elders "tell them what to do." In fact, adolescent rebellion might be part of the underlying reason he's thinking about going omnivore. So first of all, don't obviously disapprove! The more you disapprove of his decision the more he'll feel like he has to go for it/stick to it. AS a matter of fact, you might want to act supportive, but give him some useful information, like about how to avoid salmonella and other food borne diseases. And, of course, all the hormones and antibiotics in meat. AS if you're entirely supportive of his decision and just trying to be helpful. (I've found this works wonderfully with teenagers!)

Leave around some literature that references vegan people he might find cool, like Moby. Because face it, his family are not cool. But musicians and/or athletes are totally cool. And maybe hot actresses? Make him see how much totally cooler and more hip he is being vegan. Or athletic and discuss athletes if that's his thing.

If he's into girls, GIRLS! More female vegans than males, and it makes him WAAAAY more attractive so his odds are much much better. Oh, wait, that may be too much like talking him into something or somesuch. Teach him to cook a few awesome dishes that would impress a girl. (My veg friend did this with her step son, who became veg on his own after mastering stuffed majool dates to impress girls.) Man-to-man "things that girls like that make you more attractive" like "bring her flowers" and "girls really love it when guys make them tasty food/romantic picnic--not just peanut butter sandwiches! So here's what you do when you want to really impress a girl you like." With NO SPECIFIC reference to veganism. Just that this is what we cook for an elegant meal/romantic picnic.

Do not try to use actual reason. Pre-frontal cortex is not really developed just yet. Above all, do NOT try to talk him out of anything, or it will push him to do it!
29th-Nov-2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
I completely agree with noir, manipulation is totally the way to go, because any normal teenager/person would want to do exactly the opposite of what they are being told to do :)
30th-Nov-2014 02:17 am (UTC)
You make a valid point about adolescent rebellion. I can clearly remember how much rebelling against my parent's standards was very important to me, so I guess that makes sense.

He's actually not into girls, aside from having them as friends (of which he has his share), since he is homosexual. I'm wondering if there are any homosexual vegan celebrities that I can point him towards as role models / people of interest. Thanks for the input!
30th-Nov-2014 04:12 am (UTC)

This was the best I could get hold of quickly, though I'm sure there are more. And I don't know who he would consider cool in any case.

Still, being able to make a nice romantic dinner/picnic for someone you like works regardless of gender.

But yeah, he might be partly trying to get a bit of a rise out of you and his mother, and the less reaction you give him the better. But you really have to act as if it's no big deal to you, it's his choice and you're fine with that.

Good luck!
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