DD (almost 13) is vegan. This is her choice. My other DD and I rarely eat meat, but regularly consume cheese, eggs, etc. I do eat meat about 2X per month. Dh and Ds are omnivores and will eat meat any chance they get.
DD misses cheese and ice cream the most. We have found substitutes, but they are not the same.
I have suspected for a month or so now that she eats dairy products outside the house. she ate something the other day that was iffy on whether or not it had dairy in it - something she would not do in the past.
This morning I came downstairs to a cereal bowl that definitely had cow milk in it (there is no other kind currently in the house). Yes, it was definitely hers - the males are away on a trip, and I know my youngest DD had not been up. It was the vegan DD's.
I have NO issues with her eating dairy. Indeed, I wish she would - it will make feeding her easier (there - I said it! I have a decent repetoire of vegan foods, but she is so picky, and expanding of food items is a good thing). I also feel bad for her that she misses cheese, while understanding her objections to it.
So....what to do? My gut is saying "do nothing" - but if she is eating dairy I do not want her to have to hide that from us.
I do think her identity is somewhat wrapped up in being vegan (there isn't a day that goes by without someone saying the word - "no, DD will not eat that, it is not vegan." I think she does not want it to look to us like she is wimping out on her ethical code.
So...what to do? As stated above - I am heading towards not saying a thing and letting her come out to us ( or go back to solidly vegan) in her own time. Anyone ever struggle with this? Another thought (and it only arose as I typed) do you think she might feel guilty about comsuming dairy? I would like to work that out with her, although goodness knows what I would say.....Any ideas on what to say to a teen if they feel guilty for eating dairy?
Ugh! I need a living with your vegan manual....
Edited by purslaine - 11/21/11 at 8:14am