‘Forcing Veganism’ Is It Really Forcing Your Kids To Be Vegan?

by | January 29, 2018

Society seems to be brainwashed by what they think a person ‘should’ be eating, so when you are leaping outside those guidelines, it can be frowned upon and questioned.

There is a very mixed signal being sent to children these days, they are fed chicken but are then being taught to treat animals with respect. They are sent packed lunches of ham sandwiches on their field trip to the apple orchard, to see where food comes from. Sure, an orchard makes a much less frightening field trip than a slaughterhouse, but what if you did take children inside of one? Would you force your kids to eat what they saw? Would you be able to sit down and eat your ham sandwich on that field trip? Personally, I am not interested in feeding myself or my child a dead animal, or anything that came out of it. They’re being told that it is okay to eat the animals that someone has already killed, yet to love and nurture other species.

If the comment comes up that you are forcing your child to be vegan, I might turn around and ask them if they are forcing their kids to eat dead animals and their by products? How many parents do you know of that make their child finish their meatloaf, turkey sandwich, or glass of milk before they’re allowed to do anything or eat anything else? It is the exact same concept.

Guiding your child through life is called parenting, and everyone does it differently.

It baffles me why people say you are ‘forcing’ your child to eat a certain way and should ‘let’ her eat differently (and by this they mean have your child eat just like them). As if eating plants instead of animals is a negative thing and it would be a positive thing to ‘let’ them eat products that cause harm to other living beings, not to mention the harm it does over time to the human body. What kind of parent would I be if I sat there and watched her consume a product, that I knew for a fact was doing zero good for her, and was actually going to gradually hurt her from the inside out?

I want my daughter to have the healthiest and best start to life that I can possibly give her, and for us, this means eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and eating as much of it as we want! Never have I only given my daughter one option and said “this is it, you have to eat this and only this.” Us adults have cravings and things we feel like eating and don’t feel like eating, so why wouldn’t kids? It’s important to ask children’s opinion on what they feel like having to eat, finding out their likes and dislikes and respecting that, so they know you are listening and you care.

Our girl is not lacking in food options, she is thrilled with her mushrooms, beans, strawberries, green smoothies etc. As she gets older, it will be my goal to me to make sure she never feels like she is deprived in any way. Having a huge variety of plant based options in your home is KEY to keeping everyone in the household happy and fulfilled. ‘Forced’ is such a strong, negative word and not one I would use to describe vegan children. They have been encouraged to take care of their body, taught about where mainstream ‘food’ comes from and usually make the decision for themselves to remain vegan as they get older. I have thought this myself and heard so many other plant based people also say ‘I wish I had gone vegan sooner!’ or ‘I can’t believe my parents didn’t raise me vegan, I wish they had!’ Showing your children that plant based food is delicious, filling and satisfying will help them to continue choosing vegan options as they get older. Eat the same way as your children and have such a healthful kitchen, that when they point to something they want, you can say ‘absolutely’ without blinking an eye.

As a person who has lived the first part of her life as an non-vegan, I can assure you that I do not feel as though I am missing out on anything. In fact, I feel so much better now than I did before! I want that feeling for my daughter. And no, I am not ‘forcing’ her to be vegan. We are RAISING her to be compassionate and aware.

 Child Picking Fruit

Emily Payan My name is Emily and I live with my amazing husband and beautiful one year old daughter in Northern California. I have been vegan since 2015 and our daughter has been vegan since conception. When I’m not writing for Raise Vegan you can find me on my Website, or Instagram.

Comments

3 Responses to “‘Forcing Veganism’ Is It Really Forcing Your Kids To Be Vegan?”

  1. Juan Pia
    February 14th, 2018 @ 1:13 pm

    Great article, thanks!

  2. Where I Am Now: Raise Vegan - Emily Kru
    June 4th, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

    […] ‘Forcing Veganism’ Is It Really Forcing Your Kids To Be Vegan? […]

  3. Rachael Kovatch
    July 20th, 2018 @ 12:16 pm

    Grest article. Thank you

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