Why You Should Raise Vegan

by | January 7, 2018

“Why in the world would you ever want to raise your child vegan?”

As soon as you let people know that you’ve decided to raise your child vegan everyone has an opinion or they seem to turn into nutrition experts.  

When I’m asked questions like this one, I really try to take the time and share my point of view as calmly as possible. Sometimes they tune you out and argue but sometimes you get lucky and they become curious and come back for more information. 

I want my child to know where their food really comes from.

There’s a reason why when you place a child in front of a piece of fruit and a small animal, they will always eat the fruit and not the animal. We are born with the innateness to live along with all creatures and not want to hurt them. It’s when we forget the connection between the piece of meat in front of us and the animal it came from that we lose perspective.

Yes, it will probably be a little challenging to explain the reality of the animal and dairy industries when the time comes but being a parent isn’t always easy. I rather them know the truth, ask questions and stand up for what’s right, than keep them in the dark pretending everything is perfect the way it is. That would be a disservice to my child, the animals, the future generations and our planet. There are kid friendly books and resources that can help explain being vegan in a gentle age appropriate way. 

 

I want my child to live a happy and healthy life.

It’s no secret that eating a plant-based vegan diet is better for you than consuming animal products. As a parent you want the best for your child. You want them healthy and thriving.

As of late 2015, The World Health Organization has officially labeled red meat as a possible carcinogen (cancer causing). How in the world could I be okay feeding my child those classic foods I grew up devouring, like hot dogs and burgers, knowing the health risks that come with it? We live surrounded by amazing plant-based delicious and healthy foods and recipes. It might be a little tough in the beginning, but I just work on veganizing classic dishes and even my transitioning hubby eats them up.

There’s a priceless peace of mind that goes with knowing I have provided my family good, wholesome food that fuels them, and makes them stronger from the inside out.

 

I want my child to think for himself and not just go with the crowd to fit in.

Even as an adult, transitioning to vegan can make you feel like an instant outsider. You probably get it the worst within your own family. Taunting you while waving their piece of meat at the dinner table. Maybe giving up on being vegan even crossed your mind at some point because of the social hurdles. But you stood strong. You know that it’s bigger than you. You understand the responsibility you have, to fight and be the voice for the voiceless. Wear that badge with pride, despite whatever ignorant comments come your way.

Your children will probably get their share of being called out for being different too but they will see how you carry yourself and be stronger for it. By staying informed and connected with like minded communities they will confidently grow in their vegan journey as well. Even if they are outnumbered at school or in the family, they will know that they are not alone. Because they will see the bigger picture and not just see life selfishly. They will be stronger leaders with bigger hearts.

 

I want my child’s generation to have a fighting chance on this earth.

I love the Native American proverb, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”. We have to face the fact that we are not doing our job at caring for our planet. The majority of people don’t think about it as a serious enough problem. We keep putting it off for someone else to worry about another day. Well that someone else is your child and their generation.

It’s all cause and effect. Meat consumption is harming our environment. There’s a reason why this past November 15,364 world scientists signed a Warning to Humanity calling for, among other things, drastically diminishing our per capita consumption of meat, this cannot wait. According to The Vegan Calculator, in ONE day of being vegan you save one animal’s life, 1100 gallons of water (that would’ve been used for livestock), 40 pounds of grain (to feed livestock), and 30 square feet of forest (that would’ve been cut down to inhabit more livestock). Adjust those numbers to a vegan family of four and you are contributing big time just by what you eat.

 

I wish you all lots of patience, strength and positivity as you Raise Vegan. Know that you are not alone. You have a worldwide community of more than 35,000 people on our Facebook group, Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting, cheering you on and eagerly waiting to come to your aid and striving towards the same goal of a better tomorrow FOR ALL.

Michelle Alvarado I began my vegan journey after becoming pregnant. I initially did it for my/ our health but quickly learned about the horrible treatment of animals that goes on and it turned into a bigger thing than myself. I currently live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband, son and shelter pup (she’s 11 but will always be a puppy in my eyes). I went to school for communications but pursued a career in early childhood education and was a preschool teacher for almost a decade. I owe my insight in child development to my hands on experience in the field and hope to utilize it to further the progress of future vegan generations. I am beyond grateful to have found Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting and Raise Vegan, not only for the platform that it has provided me to further the awareness of vegan family resources but for what I have personally gained from it by being a member and from knowing these wonderful women. I look forward to all the amazing things to come as we help pave the way and provide a haven of love an support for vegan families.

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