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11 Year Old Wants to Go Vegetarian

How to get family to accept it, how to succeed in becoming vegetarian?

im only 11 and i am really interested in becoming a vegetarian because i love animals and i hate the thought of them getting ate.

my mom and all her friends are like no more steak no more corn beef hash no more...my mom accepts it but i dont think my dad will.

how do i get everyone to accept this? P.S. I've tried this before but never succeeded how do i succeed this time? - l.h

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

Dear l.h.,

Being 'only 11' means you have lots of time for becoming a vegetarian. It also means that you still have lots of growing to do, and you need to be sure you're getting all the benefits of good nutrition you need for your growing. And any step in the becoming a vegetarian direction is positive for you and the animals.

If you read the Ten Tips Report, you'll see that I emphasize making the change gradually, because there's a lot of new things to learn, and you need time to adjust. Just as it takes years of training and learning to be a good musician, or athlete, it takes time to learn how to be a successful vegetarian.

Your parents are responsible for you and worry about you, so you need to come up with some solid information for them that will reassure them that you're not just being weird and harming yourself by becoming a vegetarian.

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If you want your parents to take you seriously, then you need to show them that you can be responsible about your diet, that you know about good nutrition, and can do things for yourself. For instance, you could start learning to cook and shop vegetarian, and make some things that they can eat too.

Get a couple of good books - one on vegetarian nutrition (I recommend Becoming Vegetarian by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis), and an easy vegetarian cookbook - I recommend How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman Ask your parents to buy the books, and read them with you.

Gradually reduce the animal food in your diet, and try new vegetarian foods a bit at a time, as much as you can.

You can't get the benefits of good nutrition living on fast food and junk food - for instance, going to McD's regularly and eating everything but the patty. Most of what you eat should be good for you. Healthy vegetarians eat vegetables - and grains, and beans, and nuts.

I've attached the Vegetarian Nutrition Report, and also the report 10 Tips for Beginning Vegetarians - I think that one will be helpful for you too.

Please let me know if you have any questions about all this - Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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