Teens going veggie

A young woman holding a bag of vegetables

Listen to five teenagers talking about becoming vegetarian or vegan and do the exercises to practise and improve your listening skills.


Do the preparation exercise before you listen. Then do the other exercises to check your understanding.

Remote audio URL


Speaker 1

I switched to vegetarianism two years ago because I read an article about all the health benefits – best decision I've ever made. I feel so much healthier now. My skin is really good and my hair is much shinier. You have to be super-careful though that you still get all the nutrients you need in your diet. The main problem for me is that I'm the only vegetarian in the family, and the others want to eat meat and fish. So sometimes it's a bit of a pain for my mum, because she's the one who does most of the cooking. She usually cooks for the rest of the family, then throws something together quickly just for me. She says I should learn to cook for myself, but I've got so much homework at the moment ... OK, I am a bit lazy about cooking. I'm going to have to get my act together or I'll be condemned to a diet of salads and omelettes, which I like, but if that's all you're eating, it's pretty boring.

Speaker 2

Did you know that there are about half a million vegans in the UK? That's people who don't eat any animal products at all. They reckon the number is growing because of teenagers on social media – like me! That's where I got links to videos which convinced me that it's the best option for animals, our planet and my health. I did a lot of research into what kinds of things to eat before I changed my diet. It's really easy to find vegans online who'll answer questions and give you advice. I've been given lots of useful tips, like you can eat chickpeas and spinach for iron – you know, to make up for the iron you'd get from meat in a conventional diet. I still really miss fried eggs and normal chocolate – oops, I mean non-vegan chocolate. My family have been supportive about the change, but I get teased a bit at school. Some people think that being a vegan is weird. Luckily I've got a lot of friends who tell them it's cool.

Speaker 3

I gave up eating meat a couple of years ago because at the time I was following a celebrity who was a veggie. Stupid reason, I know, but you see beautiful, glamorous people on Instagram and you want their lifestyle, so I became a vegetarian. I don't miss meat but I still eat fish sometimes, which sort of isn't really allowed. My main problem is that I'm not too keen on vegetables. My dad finds that hilarious. He's always going, 'How can you be a vegetarian if you don't like vegetables?' I do like chips, though, and tomato ketchup – they're made from vegetables, aren't they? I don't eat that much fruit either, apart from bananas. Anyway, but because my diet is a little on the unhealthy side, I take multivitamins every day. I also try and avoid rubbish like fizzy drinks and sweets. I don't think my diet's so bad. I feel pretty healthy.

Speaker 4

My whole family is vegetarian, so if you're brought up that way it seems perfectly normal. My parents are both good cooks and we had a very varied diet. We ate lots of international dishes: Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern and so on. I never really missed meat or fish, except when I went out with friends. When I was young I remember lots of birthday parties in hamburger places – that was a bit tricky! When you're young you never like being different. But later, quite a few people in my class at school became vegetarian, so I was no longer the odd one out. Anyway, now I've left home, I keep having lapses. I wouldn't admit it at first, but I have tried meat a couple of times and I'm getting to really like fish. I feel awful sometimes, but I love food and I want to experiment with everything. I haven't told my mum and dad – they'd be shocked!

Speaker 5

My main reason for becoming vegan was that I can't stand the way we treat animals – most farms are run in such an inhumane way. I refuse to support factory farming. The treatment of hens is horrific, not to mention what they do to cows. So now I don't eat any animal products – no meat, obviously, but no eggs, milk or cheese either. And I don't eat fish, of course. When I first started to be a vegan, I found I was getting tired all the time, so I went to see a nutritionist and she said I wasn't getting enough protein. Now I'm a lot more careful and I eat lots of different nuts and seeds, and pulses – you know, dried beans, chickpeas and lentils. It's a bit time-consuming, buying and cooking special things, but now I feel really good. My family think I'm a bit weird, but they're gradually coming round to my lentil and rice specials!


Are you vegan or vegetarian? What do you like or dislike about your diet? Which of the speakers' points do you agree with?

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Submitted by pomelo on Wed, 04/12/2023 - 15:17

i'm just a little vegetarian i'm not a vegan or a vegetarian

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Submitted by Capixt on Wed, 10/05/2022 - 21:00

I am a bit vegan, in my house we don´t like eat meat, but sometimes we eat chiken, thats the only meat that we eat, we heat eggs and red meat. Casually I´m already on a diet, because of my healt, and I enjoy it, I can´t eat sugar, or carbohydrates wich sometimes is a bit treaky because I love ice creams and things like that, but my mom found deliciuos ways to eat healty so I´m enjoying this diet.

Submitted by lucalvesilva on Sun, 07/31/2022 - 17:08

I'm not vegan or vegetarian but I consider the consumption of meat not sustainable in long term. For that reason I've been trying to reduce my meals with meat. When I was younger, I was used to eat loads of meat daily with my father. Now I am aware of bad effects of it for the environment and the world as a whole.

Submitted by Caner on Wed, 06/01/2022 - 08:16

Teens love it because eating vegetables keeps it healthy and vigorous

Submitted by A01285215 on Fri, 03/11/2022 - 16:21

I think that been vegan or vegetarian you can live like that but you don't consume a lot of things that are not bad for your health the protein of the animal and fishes are good for humans in the reasons that you consume, but you can live without eating animals.

Submitted by hele19942004 on Mon, 03/23/2020 - 01:36

Maybe one day I will become a vegetarian but I will eat fish but now my parents dont let me because they say that I need to eat evrything because Im young
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Submitted by Rymseizarv on Sun, 02/16/2020 - 07:54

Lately I have been doing some improvements with respect my diet in terms of dismissing eventually unhealthy food, such as junk food and candies. I rather hang on to the belief of keeping an objectively healthier and more self-aware lifestyle with a balance of all the nutrients according to my body's needs provided I can afford them, certainly focusing on the most beneficial ones for the sake of my nourishment. Truthfully speaking I regard it more logical than following an ideological trend of a lifestyle that revolves around to utter subjective morals.

Submitted by JohnyC on Tue, 01/28/2020 - 17:31

First question is: 'am I vegan or vegetarian'. And my answer is:I am neither the first nor the second. And the reason of that is not because I don't want to be vegan or vegetarian but because It's quite difficult not to eat meat and fish. And it's even getting harder when no members of your family want to stick to the diet. But I anyway had this experience of being vegetarian. And I did it this summer(for one week). At first it was quite difficult not to eat meat at all. But day by day I felt better. So, speaking shortly, by the end of that week I felt much better. I mean, it's hard to describe this feeling when you just feel like you aren't hungry anymore after a plate of salad. And you don't have a head ache and any other sicknesses. I'd say that I agree with all the speaker's points of view.
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Submitted by bilko on Thu, 11/29/2018 - 11:58

I am not a vegan or vegetarien. I eat meat, fish, milk products and egg. I just don't like cheese and i never eat cheese. I like my diet and i think i get all the proteins that i need. Sometimes i feel sorry for animals because treatments that they faced are inhumane and unacceptable. But in my oppinion, not eating animal products is not a logical solution but reasonable and humane measurements can be applied in order to eliminate such inhumane treatments.
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Submitted by Hasiki on Mon, 09/03/2018 - 09:15

Well, I'm not really a vegetarian. But I have vegetable for lunch three times a month. My diet is really yummy I love it but sometimes I feel boring so I have to chang e my diet. Before changing, I don't think what to have I just go to the market and buy. In my opinion, I agree with Speaker 5 the most because she said the reality I saw there was 2 man who kill pigs, they hit them with whip and it was very very terrible.
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