What do you do when your mother seems to be sincerely trying to make vegan food for you, but keeps on using non-vegan products or ingredients; and what’s worse, when you try to be considerate in the way you tell her you cannot eat what she has lovingly made for you, then she bursts into tears and creates a scene?
We all know that mothers express their love through their cooking, so this is a touchy subject. Take the time to help your mother cook vegan meals for you and it will strengthen your relationship. Here are some tips:
- Be consistent. Don’t ever eat food that mistakenly contains animal products, even if she has made it with love. Not ever. This way you are giving her a clear boundary. This is a loving mothering technique that you can use on her. This will clear any confusion as she will know exactly where she stands.
- When a parent engages in emotional outbursts to a reasonable request then this is a form of emotional blackmail. Do not buy into it. You do not mean it personally and if you kindly, patiently and simply state you do not eat animal products and unfortunately those pies contain animal products… and leave it at that, then she needs to ‘man’ up and take the information like an adult. You are not responsible for how she reacts. You are only responsible for your intention not to harm or offend her, and that you share the information in a kind and honest way.
- Make a vegan day date with your mother where you both agree to spend the day together getting to grips with your new vegan way of life. Sell this concept as a fun thing you can do together, a mother-daughter bonding session, a way that you are taking the time to include her in your new vegan life.
- Show her a short non-graphic video (now is not the time to give her PTSD – although it would be great if she was open to seeing the more graphic movies at some stage). Here is a wide selection of movies:
- Go shopping together and help her navigate the E-numbers and hidden animal ingredients. Help her get to know what vegan products are available in the shops and supermarkets she already shops at. Here are some links you can give her:
- Animal derived ingredients
- Is it vegan?
- Vegan E-numbers
- Cook a 3-course vegan family meal together. Use the time to bond by sharing recipes. Sincerely invest time and energy into helping her veganise her family favourites. Here are some simple vegan recipes.
And then… breathe deeply and pray that her mind opens up to the whole concept of veganism. Listening to The Great Bell Chant might help.
Wishing you all the very best!
If you need any further advice you are welcome to contact me.