If your old man is anything like mine, he'll probably laugh at the concept of a vegan dinner and mock you for being environmentally conscious (past compulsory recycling and having an allotment at the end of the garden). I'm envious of you if this isn't the case!
It's not easy to eat plant-based in a household of meat eaters, and we deserve a pat on the back for enduring the daily mockery and 'rabbit food' jokes. Having to cook separate meals is just one (annoying) aspect of being the only one living a plant-based lifestyle in your family.
One thing to bear in mind is that your entire family will probably have grown up eating meat so there's only a very slim chance you'll be able to persuade them to change their minds overnight, but you don't have to. The way I did was by starting small and working my way up to a weekly veggie night (make sure it's not Sunday if they are lovers of a traditional roast!). Cooking delicious dishes with your friends and family is also a really fun way to spend an evening!
If you find that they like it, you can introduce them to a variety of lunch options that won't leave them craving meat or dairy (I'm thinking a big bowl Korean Tofu Noodles). Breakfast, on the other hand, is usually the easiest meal to remove meat from, so start there if you need to go even slower! Changing someone's behaviour in anything (let alone what they eat) can be a long process, but if you show your loved ones how important it is to you, you'll be surprised to see how often they'll try to meet you halfway.
Using meat and dairy substitutes is another method to start exposing your Dad and the rest of the family to a plant-based diet. You'll have a better chance of persuading him to eat it if it looks and tastes like meat. Nowadays there are loads of awesome veggie burgers, sausages and breaded chicken and fish alternatives (most of which are increasingly getting down to the same price or cheaper than meat) that taste and feel remarkably similar to meat. My personal favs are TH!S plant based bacon, VFC (Vegan version of KFC) and One Planet Pizzas, which are starting to appear in many popular supermarkets.
These alternatives also have added health benefits so if your old man is trying to ward off the old 'middle aged spread' make sure to tell him that as they're often low in saturated fat and calories, it'll help him to lose weight whilst allowing him to eat bigger portion sizes. Meat alternatives are typically made from soya or pea protein, so also have the added benefit of high protein content, so ideal for those Dad's who like the gym.
Finally, if the health benefits and deliciousness aren't enough to persuade your old man, show him some documentaries about the advantages of eating a plant-based diet such as Game Changers or Cowspiracy. It's possible you may have to hide the remote, but hopefully the ruse will pay off!
I remember when I first sat down to watch these films and I was really shocked to see what's going on in the meat and dairy industry right now, and when the facts are laid out in front of you, it's difficult to ignore. The most annoying part of it all is that, as humans, we don't need to eat animal products in such large quantities. So, even getting you get your father to eat less meat for breakfast and lunch it still can make an impact.
You could always leave a couple of Root Kitchen frozen vegan meals in the freezer to help your Dad stick to his new plant based diet through the week, when he may be pushed for time as we've designed them to be a tasty, nutritious and convenient plant-based dinner. For the perfect Father's Day delivery box, browse the menu on our website or check us out in the Vegan Kind supermarket.