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Newly-Vegan Teen Livid After Parent Tells Them To Get Job To Pay For Her Own Pricey Groceries

Teenager holding ecologically, friendly reusable bag with fruit and vegetables.

The eating habits of families can be all over the place.

Back in the day a parent threw a plate on the table and said “Eat or starve!”

That could be interpreted as a dramatic retelling, but not by a lot.

Nowadays, a family of four can have four different menus at night.

This can be chaotic and wildly expensive.

So what is the chef to do?

Redditor ScreenFlat6412 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for telling my daughter that if she goes vegan she will need to get a job and buy her own groceries?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My daughter 15 almost 16 went vegetarian about a year ago.”

“Overall it went well and didn’t add much to the grocery list.”

“The family already didn’t eat much meat.”

“She has been talking about going vegan for a while and last time I got groceries she asked me to pick some stuff up.”

“Overall it almost doubles the price of our grocery bill.”

“Also I found most of the food to be bad.”

“Vegan cheese has to be the grossest thing I ever tried.”

“She kept talking about it and I sat her down.”

“I told her if she goes vegan she will have to get her own job and pay for her groceries.”

“That we can not afford to double the grocery bill and I am not going to replace things with alternatives that the family doesn’t like.”

“This resulted in an argument and she is calling me a jerk.”

“My ex-wife is on my a** about it, and I told her she can pay for our extra groceries if that’s a big enough issue for her.”

“She also thinks I am a jerk.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA for refusing to buy those – vegan convenience food items, much like their non-vegan counterparts, are more expensive than buying from-scratch ingredients.”

“What I might recommend instead is sitting down with her and talking about what you ARE willing to pay for in terms of food and coming up with some vegan meal ideas together that would still fit within your family’s overall preferences and grocery budget.”

“Then telling her that anything she wants on top of that (vegan cheese, fake meats, whatever else) is on her to pay for.”

“At 15, your daughter is old enough to do some research of her own and figure out what’s vegan without relying solely on convenience food.”

“She’s also old enough to understand that money isn’t unlimited and there are other people in the house that have to be fed, too.”

“I am a little confused by your edit – are you saying you DON’T buy bread, pasta and other staples?”

“Most dried pasta is naturally vegan because it doesn’t use eggs, and many commercially available breads are too – it’s not at all hard to find vegan versions of those, you probably are already eating them, in fact.”

“In any case, you’re not the a-hole for refusing to double your grocery bill, but I do think there’s room for you two to find some compromises and meet somewhat in the middle.” ~ hannahsflora

“NTA, but there might be a chance for you both to work out the issue.”

“1st of all, your daughter might not understand that you can’t just ‘shift out’ one ingredient for a similar, vegan one.”

“You are in no way obligated to buy vegan alternatives. You and her are only responsible for making sure she gets sufficient nutrients, which are available in various other forms.”

“2nd of all (don’t repeat my bluntness to your daughter), this isn’t a matter of what she CAN’T eat, but WON’T, unless she has real medical restrictions.”

“To illustrate both points: if your daughter doesn’t want to eat regular cheese, then she just won’t eat cheese.”

“And she also won’t be eating vegan cheese.”

“Unless cheese is a huge essential staple in your household, all your daughter is going to miss out on is the culinary, sensory joy of cheese.”

“And that’s a perfect opportunity for you to sit her down, and gently tell her that if she wants to be vegan, she has to make sacrifices – give up luxury products like cheese on pasta.”

“Not essentials, but luxuries she does. not. need.”

“Of course, you will continue to feed her, duh.”

“And you can suggest you and her brainstorm about creative meals, or protein-rich replacements for her (not the rest of you) to make sure she gets enough nutrients.”

“It doesn’t have to be hard – but tell her that if she’s old enough to make such a decision, it’s not too much to expect of her to put in a little more effort than adding things to YOUR grocery list and changing all of YOUR diets.”

“It’s not too much to ask her to look beyond the simplicity of ‘replace X product with its direct vegan alternative.'”

“To ask her to do some research (again, you both could be surprised about how versatile normal ingredients can be, and how fun it can be to research meal ideas together).”

“Your daughter needs to do more research into vegan alternatives that aren’t just direct replacements, and she needs to accept that she might have to drop luxury products such as cheese.”

“A lifestyle is a choice, not a buy-out of guilt.” ~ machinery-smith

“If she wants to be vegan, she needs to learn to cook vegan.”

“Supplying ingredients shouldn’t cost much more, buying prepared vegan is EXPENSIVE.”

“If it is so important to her, she will do it, if not, she can eat what is provided and exclude what she doesn’t want.”

“Veggies, nuts, beans, etc. shouldn’t add too much overall, but if she wants meat and cheese substitutes, then I agree that she can contribute.”

“She can make all of it herself with a little bit of effort.” ~ 247Justice

“NTA – doubling your grocery bill for a single member of the family for a personal choice, not a medical need is insane.”

“My ex-wife is on my @ss about it and I told her she can pay for our extra groceries if that s a big enough issue for her.”

“Your ex can send the special food with your daughter for visits and take home whatever is not used because it sounds like no one in your house is interested.” ~ Comfortable-Sea-2454

“N A H – I totally get where you’re coming from. If there’s no room in the food budget, there’s no room! And vegan alternatives are pricey.”

“I also understand her convictions and wanting to try to be vegan.”

“Here’s the thing about going vegan, though – you don’t need all the fancy vegan meat/cheese/egg alternatives.”

“You can be a very healthy vegan by just cooking whole foods properly.”

“Perhaps instead of shutting this down, help her learn how to cook.”

“Look up vegan recipes together and try them out.”

“Laugh about it if they suck.”

“If you actually cook with raw ingredients, it shouldn’t be expensive for her to be vegan.” ~ Latter-Shower-9888

“NTA. Yep. Rice and beans. Spaghetti and sauce.”

“Gardein makes fake meat.”

“She can spread that out for a week.”

‘A bag of lettuce, cereal.”

“She doesn’t need vegan cheese or deluxe items.”

“She can make do with what’s available within budget or get a job.” ~ anonymoust9090

“I mean, I get that she has principles, but she is still a child, and you are responsible for her care.”

“If her preferences are out of your budget but she still has access to good food that won’t physically hurt her, she can choose to eat what you can provide or can pay for her own.”

“NTA.” ~ mdthomas

“NAH. But I think you guys have some work to do.”

“My daughter decided to go vegan at age 7.”

“We thought it was a phase.”

“Now here we are 8 years later, and she’s still on it, aside from a brief venture into pescetarianism a few years ago.”

“We’ve gotten pretty used to the requirements of a vegan in the house.”

“We have lots of good meat alternatives, we’re used to making separate dishes for her, and I don’t really notice any significant increase in our grocery bill.”

“If anything, she’s probably cheaper than our meat-eating boys are… meat is expensive and active and smelly boys eat a lot.”

“I find it very hard to believe that the food for one 15-year-old girl added that much to your grocery bill.”

“Either she eats like a strongman or you guys are not shopping well at all.”

“It might add some to the bill, but finding inexpensive vegan options isn’t that difficult.”

“That said, it probably will cost you something, either in time, or grocery bill, or both.”

“I’d sit down with her and discuss what those costs look like, and how she’ll contribute to them.”

“Getting a dang job and putting some money in the pot is a great solution.”

“Maybe cooking one dinner a week is another.”

“There’s a lot of options.”

“At a minimum, I’d establish a grocery budget for her, establish who is contributing what percent to said budget, then encourage her to start shopping like hell to stretch that budget as far as it will go while still getting the food she wants to eat.”

“This will start building good habits for her as an adult while simultaneously saving you money and preventing you from having to do all the tedious hunting for vegan food.” ~ bewbies-

OP came back with some info…

“We already buy rice and whatnot.”

“The issue is the stable foods, like pasta, bread, and so on.”

“She can’t just eat rice and beans.”

“That’s not healthy.”

“I just learned white sugar isn’t vegan; seriously, why?”

“That makes it so much harder.”

“This is what I am going to do. I will give her 20 bucks, and she can buy her stuff.”

“I will get my own stables, and she can figure out her own vegan meals from there.”

Well, OP, it’s unfortunate, but the healthier food gets, the more expensive it gets.

It sounds like you have a start to a plan.

She may need to get a job if she wants to stay on this course.

Hopefully, you can all make it work.