We’ve been working behind the scenes to create some new resources to support vegan and vegan-curious teens
Animation by Dinos & Teacups.
The vegan movement is growing, and there is increasing interest from young people. Whether you’re an animal lover, a passionate environmentalist or you’re interested in plant-based nutrition, there are so many reasons to explore vegan living.
There are also some unique challenges which, as a young person, you may face when transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. Perhaps your parents are skeptical about veganism, or dismiss it as a phase. You may be reliant on others to do the food shop, and the cooking. Or maybe you’re trying to find a tribe of like-minded friends, and you don’t know where to start.
This is where our Teen Hub comes in! Here you can find information to empower your decision to go vegan, and to make vegan living as simple and straightforward as possible. On our Hub you can find delicious recipes, nutritional information specific to teens, and advice on many aspects of vegan life including navigating social situations, living in a non-vegan home and your rights at school and in the workplace. You can also find stories from other young teens as they share their vegan journeys, and what being vegan means to them.
To give you a taster, here are some of our favourite top tips for young vegans.
Do your research
Having some facts up your sleeve is a great way of demonstrating that you know what you’re doing. For example, if those around you are concerned about your nutrition, you can explain that you can be healthy and thrive on a vegan diet. The BDA’s statement is a good starting point – after all, they’re the experts!
This change is something that your household will need to adjust to, and this may take a little time. Here are some considerations which may help to avoid tricky situations.
- Are you comfortable picking up animal products from the shop for members of your family?
- How do you feel about cooking non-vegan food for others in your household, or cleaning dishes which have had animal products on them?
- How are vegan and non-vegan foods stored at home, and are you happy with this?
Taking the time to think things through will help you to come up with solutions. For example, a designated vegan shelf in the fridge is pretty easy to arrange. And if there are jobs around the house you no longer feel comfortable doing, you can explain this to your family and suggest alternative chores.
Check your rights
Did you know that being vegan is a protected characteristic? That means that by law you have the right to have your vegan beliefs respected and wherever possible accommodated, and that you should not experience any kind of unfair treatment as a result of being vegan. This applies at school, university, in the workplace or anywhere else.
Talk to friends
Are any of your friends animal lovers, or interested in protecting the planet? If so, there’s a good chance that they will be interested in veganism! Chat to your friends about your reasons for exploring this lifestyle. Focusing on your own reasons for going vegan is likely to make others less defensive about their own actions.
Don’t focus on converting those who aren’t interested – you’ll have a more positive impact by doing your own thing and being an example of someone enjoying a vegan lifestyle. Your friends don’t need to all follow suit, they just need to respect your decision.
If you’re a vegan aged between 14-17 and would like to share your story and feature on our Teen Hub, please send us an email. We would love to hear from you!
Visit our Teen Hub, and help us to share it far and wide.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.