Parenting. It’s a dodge game of questions, from the little tots in the house, to the sometimes too involved in-laws. While everyone does mean well, we hope! Explaining what a vegan is, what a vegan eats and what ‘meat’ is to kids; might just be one of the toughest answers we have to give.
Kids are naturally inquisitive and will ask a million times what the sun and stars are, which we happily answer. However, when my kids first asked me why people drank cows milk, or was the ‘chicken nuggets’ someone ordered at a table besides us, the same as his darling chicken at home. I was so stumped. It’s easy to proclaim we’ll tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Yet, we don’t want to traumatize our kids either. Nor have them with feelings of confusion about loved ones.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
We have previously written about communicating with your child in a gentle and age appropriate way, but it always worth repeating. Being gentle and explaining that while your child’s parents don’t eat animals, and especially WHY we don’t eat them is important. It’s equally as important that we don’t leave a little one confused, angry or sad about their extended family. Everyone learns at their own pace, and we all live in hope that our friends and family will accept that veganism is the future.
HELP THEM CONNECT
Helping kids connect with animals is not just an awesome and fun day out, but a learning opportunity for them. It may be difficult for them to realize what a cow, sheep or pig is. Especially if their only connect is a stuffed teddy-bear they sleep with. Taking day trips to small sanctuaries, will help them with the admission fees to care and feed the animals, and also to let little ones get up close and personal with our dear animal friends. Sometimes meeting an animal with the same name, and even the same love of oranges is all it takes to form a life long bond.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE BED TIME STORIES
We don’t need to scare them with the stories of factory farming. There are dozens of kid friendly vegan books out there now that we double up as their night-time stories and explaining veganism to them more. Check out ‘Why We Don’t Eat Animals’ and ‘Vegan Is Love’