Vegan mums discuss raising their children to lead a plant-based lifestyle and any issues this raises.
Today we catch up with four mums again to discuss further their experiences of veganism and a young family. Sally’s kids are now all grown up; Andrea has a daughter aged 13; Luisa has three children, aged seven, five and three; Jo has two boys – one three and a half and one aged 16 months.
I begin with: “Do/did your children ever ask for animal products? Do they understand why they follow this diet? Do they ever question it?”
Sally says: “Occasionally and yes”.
Andrea found the opposite: “No. Always explained where things come from. She has no desire to eat any animal products. Aged three she once told a child at nursery that she was eating dead pig when that child told her she had ham sandwiches.”
Buy Gcse Coursework Luisa bluntly says: “And moan about it too.”
Jo expands: “My eldest understands that we don’t want to cause unnecessary harm and suffering to animals and that just because they can’t talk our language, it doesn’t mean they mean less than us. He shows interest in dairy chocolate and non-vegan sweets a lot, but he always understands and accepts it when I explain what makes them non-vegan. He watched an item on TV showing us how gelatine is made (without horror) and that’s stuck with him.”
Next I ask: “Do you/did you find it difficult to find vegan “treats” for your children?”
Sally, Jo and Andrea didn’t.
Luisa expands: “It’s easy to find plant-based treats but they are generally more expensive than dairy or gelatine-based treats. More mainstream supermarkets sell at least two or three items of plant-based confectionary. Co-op have the nicest, M&S have the biggest range I think.
I move on to: “What has the reaction been like for your children’s friends? Do any of their peers ask questions?”
Sally enthused: “Yes. They loved the food and loved coming for tea.”
Reserch Paper Writing Service Andrea replied: “Friends are generally OK. She has the odd one who makes stupid comments but she just ignores it.”
Luisa says: “I’m not aware of any negativity or hostility towards their eating habits.”
Jo’s son actually questions other kids: “My eldest always goes up to people he’s with that are eating treats and asks if they are dairy or not. No-one has confronted him/us so far! But we do offer our treats and explain many things are accidentally vegan so we eat a lot that they do too.”
Next, we deal with the reactions of others. I ask: “Have you/did you have any negative comments from your family/friends/doctors/other parents or teachers?”
Sally said: “No”.
Master Thesis Proposal On Evaluation Of Primary Healthcare Andrea said: “Not at all. Everyone has been considerate and supportive. Medical professionals realised that we understood nutrition and she is very healthy. We have always been positive with teachers etc and offered to send in things if necessary.”
College Essay About Myself Luisa did get questions: “When we made the big announcement we received genuine questions from family members. No-one was hostile or negative except one family member.
Post Essays Online “My mother-in-law was more in shock that my partner had decided to come with us to the lighter side of life. She’s now baking plant-based cakes.”
Jo found ‘None.’
“Nursery has been excellent providing my eldest with vegan food – they use dairy-free spread for all children so he even gets to do biscuit baking.”
The next question concerns older kids: “How would you react if an older child (teen) still living with you announced they didn’t wish to be vegan anymore?”
Sally says sadly: “I had to deal with this. I was furious and remain heartbroken.”
Andrea would be ‘disappointed’, but says: “She knows that being vegan is her choice. I would only offer vegan food at home, but it’s her decision elsewhere. Putting her in control I think helps.”
Luisa admits: “Honestly, I’d be fairly devastated if once older my children decided that it would be a good idea to revert back to a primitive and crueller way of life.
“As a parent you promise to love your children unconditionally, but I’d never spend money to fund that diet given I know full well what’s in it and what it causes, it would be like buying them street drugs or cigarettes which I wouldn’t do out of love either.”
Jo would also ‘be devastated’.
She would: “Find out their reasons, do my best to re-educate them and sadly accept their decision if they really believed they had to do it. I can’t imagine that would happen though. With every year that passes I will ensure they learn more about the slaughter process, suffering in general, health, our environment and everything that goes with being vegan.”
Finally, I asked: “Do you think your children see animals differently from other kids?”
Sally simply said: “Yes”.
Andrea thinks: “My daughter definitely does.
“However, many children love animals but disassociate them with food as they are not taught where their food comes from.”
Luisa responded: “It’s hard to gauge in children this age whether they appreciate the sheep for being a sheep or if they still see it as a wool-giver after having Baa Baa Black Sheep sung at them a hundred times a day through pre-school.
“As a vegan parent, your child comes home from school almost daily having being taught a fact that goes against the vegan motto. It’s almost quite exhausting having to undo this teaching and instilling the equality of life of all beings in to your children. I ask my children more questions than I think the average parent would after school. Instead of the usual “good day at school?” I have to dig deeper and ask what they focused on that day.”
Jo answered: “Yes, from educating my eldest in particular, I feel he can really relate to those he has come into contact with and I’m sure he feels good/proud that he doesn’t eat them because I tell him how proud I am of him and how kind it is.”
Thanks to all the mums for agreeing to be part of this.