Being Vegan in A Non-Vegan Family ft. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

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Are you the only vegan (or non-vegan) in your family? Are you in a relationship with someone of differing dietary inclinations? How do you navigate this challenging and complex landscape? In this video, I sat down with author, speaker, and joyful vegan Colleen Patrick-Goudreau to get her input on this matter. [Tweetables below!]

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Animals have their own families:
Respect for choosing vegan:
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Videos Referenced:
Gary Yourofsky on Dealing With Non-Vegan Friends & Family:
Why Your Dietary Choice Matters:
Would I Date A Non-Vegan?:

Where To Find Colleen:
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Julia Zakrzewska says:

I have parents who have been disdaining me since I remember. They have been talking that I am stupid, selfish, beastly. For this reason I still can not go for a walk with my six year old brother ( although I am 18). I am vegan for 1,5 year and my little brothers still are not. My parents talk stupid things like- veganism is unhealthy (stupid kids belive them of course) and yell at me when I talk about veganism with younger sibilings. They have been never listening to me and answering to me, lots of times when I was crying in front of them all no one asked me why. Now I do not talk with my family for two months (only about money matters). For me it is the way to turn attention on problem (cause they are worrying why i do not visit them, they have no idea). Sometimes it is better to stop contacting with members of your family until they stop treating you in bad way. But maybe You have beter ideas? Can not wait to get know them!

Mary Zell-Pascale says:

Love you both!!! Thank you for bringing all positive vibes into the Vegan 🌱 community! ❤️

Owen Mclain says:

Why is it a challenge ? You eat the diet You want and no one cares unless YOU make it an issue.

Mary Berry says:

Your video are great , glad I found you very helpful. You are awesome.

Fay Ray says:

Shared, love it! I can't even bring myself to befriend, stay friends, or date non-vegans.

Taneesha Knight says:

I'm trying to set up a seminar and support is a vital role in people's life of whether or not they will start, or continue a new habit/pattern. Can you make another video for those who are wanting to go vegan but have friends that aren't as friends can be really hard on us. So how to maintain our resolve during those moments and how to prepare or circumvent those moments..
I love your videos!

Tertia Smit says:

I asked my family how much they are willing to go vegan. They all said about 2 out of 10. Yet they think they love animals. It was a bit hard to swallow

Steve says:

I can so relate to this. I live in Canada and I don't know any other Vegans (personally) this is proving difficult for dating too. People in Canada really need to get it

Susan P says:

I have to not think about it while cooking for my non vegan family. While at the grocery store, I apologize repeatedly while shopping and I feel so guilty as though it's my choice. I try to act cool but it's so hard. I've tried serving alternative meat products and reducing the amount of meat but I always hear about it or they refuse to eat.

Duny says:

About the parents having a meat-eater kid, I read this story where a mom said that she stipulated veganism at home to her kid but when her kid was at school, she would steal meat and animal-derived products from other colleagues… I felt bad for this mom, I mean, I wouldn't know what to do.

Courtney says:


Julie Tibbetts says:

When you're vegan but you still buy your husband his meat. 😒😲 ugh. Compromise sucks sometimes.

TheVeganBerkeleyBeauty says:

I’ve had to buy a few separate pots, pans and utensils. I don’t even want it COOKED in the same vessels as my food.

The Human Experience says:

I’d never put myself in situation to date a non vegan. As upfront as it may seem if I’m into someone I’d definitely get to know their basic interests/morals ASAP because if they’re not vegan there’s going to be an incompatibility, unless they’re genuinely open to making a change then yeah.. otherwise no. Lol

Ideoform Sun says:

I'm buying food for other adults who are disabled. On the one hand I feel it is important that they are allowed to make their own choices, as adults, within reason, about what they eat at home. Because it is their money. However, I don't eat animal products, and dislike having to cook three separate meals. I'm slowly substituting vegan products that mimic animal products. But I don't want to lie to them that I am doing this, even though they didn't ask for this. And these substitutes are highly processed foods and not that healthy. It doesn't help that the other caregivers are confused and ask a ton of questions. And their other family members are totally not on board with this. I am much healthier as a vegan, but they are not impressed by this. They just think it's weird, and they have trouble explaining it to their friends.

One of them is Autistic, and he improved tremendously with dietary changes. However, extended family members pressured us into practically forcing him to eat meat: "where is he getting his protein?" After researching this more, I actually apologized to him for participating in encouraging him to eat meat. He never ate that much meat, and had almost zero meat before that, but now he's not sure he wants to go back to that again.

It's difficult when you are responsible for the wellbeing of others, and the community they live in disagrees about what constitutes healthy.

SGR says:

So wait. If you are a vegan parent and your child wants to eat animal products that child has no choice but to follow their parents rules? But if a child of non-vegan parents wants to be vegan the parents should not be allowed to say no? Colleen, I think you are being very biased and adding to the reasons non-vegans think vegans are pompous.

slobbix says:

I am 47 years old and became vegeterian like 4 years ago, I can not call myself vegan because I eat eggs almost every weekend because my husband invites me to have breakfast at a restaurant. My husband knew me eating meat and cheese and for him has been very hard to understand why I no longer want to eat meat and even though I have showed him the slaughter house videos and explain the health risks by eating meat; he still can not stop eating meat and cheese. He has not brought any beef or pork home to cook since 4 years ago to avoid having problems with me. And I no longer buy any cheese or milk which he has accepted easily. We live in Nebraska, very close to Iowa so I get how hard is to find vegan or vegetarian people at work or within the family. I have not found anybody here who cares about global warming or the health risks or that farm animals deserve to live and that industrial farming is animal cruelty.

Heather Barrier says:

I have a strange challenge in my mixed house. I decided to go vegan after finding out just how gross and cruel the meat industry is but I live with four meat eaters. They don't ridicule me or anything they are actually supportive. However they tend to eat all my food lol. Which is great they are getting good vegan food but I'm on disability and can't really afford to feed four more people even though my diet is way cheaper now. I have many times bought my food and woke up the next day and half of it was gone. They say but it tastes so good. And I say I know you should buy some. Maybe that's selfish of me but like I said fixed income with a strange problem! I know that many people have it much worse as far as the vegan fights we all face against meat eaters so mine is quite small and almost comical. Maybe I'm just on the way to creating four new vegans and they don't know it yet lol. Anyway I love your channel you are too cute! Keep up the good work!

Back To The Origins says:

My family eats a lot of diary and meat. They believe it's "healthy ". It hurts to see them eating those and not realizing the truth.. it really deeply hurts and even my little sister who is developing , she always takes milk from the fridge and drinks it pure..

Badge O'Shame says:

To be honest, and not to offend anyone, I never really stopped eating meat because of the suffering of animals simply because they'd get the same fate if they lived in the wild. Animals eat other animals all the time, circle of life, blah blah blah.
I mainly stopped because of the health risks concerning with eating meat and the stigma around even the most organic meat such as the grass fed cows eating the toxins from the ground and that being partially what we eat from them. And I just love vegan food a lot and I'm often pressured in my family, and even discouraged. But I've been going strong for about 5-6 months now and still going. So I hope anyone else that is trying gets that lifestyle they've wished for and good luck to you 😊

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