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Thread: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

  1. #1
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    Default Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    Hi, I'm new. I've been vegetarian for years now and my one-year-old son is vegan. I would like to be vegan myself, but nostalgia, convenience and lack of support trip me up. As it is, we are a family who only buys vegan groceries. Going to people's houses or out to dinner is not so easy.

    Today my mother-in-law saw a photo on Facebook of me at my parents' cabin at my grandmother's birthday party. There was cake and ice cream at the table. She commented asking if my son had any. I said no, but he had fun eating watermelon. Then she asked me if I had some. Admittedly, I did. There were many reasons... I have not fully announced a decision to go vegan, though my family knows I am headed in that direction. The cake was brought by a family friend and I did not want to offend her.

    I don't want to be a person who looks down their nose at what other people are eating and says rudely "I can't eat thaaat." For me and my personality type, I would prefer to quietly go about my way having a vegan lifestyle. I'll answer questions if somebody asks, but I don't want to offend anyone or bring up factory farming and shriek YOU'RE EATING POO! when people are nearby eating hamburgers. I went through that when I was vegetarian in high school, and realize I alienated people from being open to the discussion about what we eat. I don't want to give the vegan name an obnoxious one. So for reasons like this, my transition into veganism has been slow. I liken it to the cigarette smoker who goes from a pack a day down to one or two smokes a day, but still hasn't quite quit. I know I can't call myself vegan yet. I don't know what to call myself.

    I'm sorry if this is in the wrong section. I couldn't find the "not a vegan yet" section?

    Anyway, I would love tips on eating out, interacting with family who is less than supportive, eating at other people's houses, taking the final step to change from vegetarian to vegan, and how to cope with the feelings about "depriving" your child of something that other people are enjoying. What to do about birthday parties? Pizza parties? Dinner when he can't have what someone else is eating? He's still too young to explain things to...

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    I recommend bringing something to share that is vegan whenever you go over to other ppl's homes or parties, and if anyone asks say that it is vegan. Definitely introduce them to the great vegan food and they will accept it more and you will FEEL more accepted as well. As for eating out, I don't have such experience with this (I've been veg for only a year), but I would ask the waiter what on the menu has no dairy in it first, b/c meat items are easier to avoid--this way, you don't necessarily have to bombard them with questions (which I feel awkward doing). try researching commonly vegan and vegetarian items online or in generic recipe books to see what you may be able to eat (but always ask at the restaurant if you are uncertain). Don't feel too bad about "depriving" your child--if he/she has something that they enjoy eating that is vegan, then it's win-win for health and satisfaction. You could even try sending him/her with a vegan dish or dessert when he/she goes to friend's homes for dinner or to parties (when he/she is older, of course ). And do not fret about seeming like a "picky vegan," others just need time to get used to it (and their judgments are usually not as harsh as you might think). Good luck! Please send me a message if you have any questions whatsoever!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    You are yourself, so you can call yourself by your name.

    I usually just tell people that I do not eat animal products, or just tell them No thanks, I'm vegan. I haven't had an issue with anyone harassing me, and I believe the people that do this are just insecure in their choices. I don't go into why I'm vegan, I just mention that or that I don't eat animal products. There's really no reason for a person to feel offended, but to avoid that you could just mention it to the people in your life that you're dropping dairy and eggs, that way they'll know in advance.

    Dianitabonita basically nailed it with going out. Ask what has dairy and eggs, if at an asian restaurant fish sauce. For restaurant bread, you could ask if they used butter or shortening or lard or whatever. You could also use a site like happycow to look for veg/veg-friendly restaurants. There are vegan versions for most foods, so your son could easily have something quite similar to what others are having. There are a few books aimed to children that could help explain the concept of veganism. Children like animals like friends, I'm sure a lot of them wouldn't care to eat a food someone else is enjoying if they knew what it was.

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    Default Re: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    Quote Kate Austin-Avon View Post
    I don't want to be a person who looks down their nose at what other people are eating and says rudely "I can't eat thaaat." .
    Hmm. So if a muslim or jew does not share in at a pork barbecue, do you also think s/he "looks down his/her nose at what other people are eating" ?

    Just want to understand where you are coming from...

    Do you also join in and laugh when somebody makes a racist joke? I guess not.

    So please do give it some consideration. Most people do understand when you do not do some things because of your conscience - if you are consistent about it.

    Please understand that there is a third way, between shouting at people eating meat and appeasing them by sharing in their indulgence in carcasses and cow secretions. Try to read up on the issue (I consider JS Foers book "Eating animals" to be a great introductory book, precisely because it is not written from a very strict moral perspective, but quite neutral) and make the decision to quit consuming animal products.

    And welcome to the forum!
    Kudos to you for raising your child vegan - IMO you are doing him a great service.

    best regards,
    Andy

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    Default Re: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    Quote Kate Austin-Avon View Post
    I don't want to be a person who looks down their nose at what other people are eating and says rudely "I can't eat thaaat."
    You can eat anything you like, there are no food police, the point is that you choose not to eat some things, there is a world of difference, you aren't denying yourself, you are choosing a different way. You will learn who wants to discuss your choice and who wants to argue with you about your choice very quickly and how to end discussions very quickly when you need to, just takes a bit of time. your family and friends will get used to it, they always do eventaully, there will be those amongst them who will have a little gripe or a bit of swipe at you, but they will be few and far between and you'll be able to handle them sooner than you think.
    "when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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    Default Re: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    1) Non-oxidized Omega 6's from nuts or seeds are very important for a developing brain. Avoid any nuts or seeds imported fron china since chinese land and water is contaminated with heavy metals.

    2) Leafy greens are important for vitamin K, other important vitamins and minerals.

    3) Sunshine to produce vitamin D is a lot more important on a vegan diet.

    There is particular vegan groups that prevent their kids from eating nuts and seeds, the fruitarians, this type of abuse leads to malnutrition.

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    Default Re: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    Consistency, why would fruitarians not eat nuts and seeds? Those are certainly 'fruits' (as opposed to vital parts of the plant)Best regards,Andy

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    Quote Andy_T View Post
    Consistency, why would fruitarians not eat nuts and seeds? Those are certainly 'fruits' (as opposed to vital parts of the plant)Best regards,Andy
    Frutarianism is beyond me, but I think that is one of the debates within the movement, whether or not to eat nuts/seeds. I understand why people do it but I don't consider it a branch of ethical veganism, I think of it as more of a health thing, possibly spiritual (treading lightly on the earth etc).
    Houmous atá ann!

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    Default Re: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    Quote Andy_T View Post
    Consistency, why would fruitarians not eat nuts and seeds? Those are certainly 'fruits' (as opposed to vital parts of the plant)Best regards,Andy
    There is different beliefs to why. One belief is that saturated fat causes heart disease, nuts contain saturated fat, so nuts must cause heart disease, this is obviously false. Another false brainwashing belief in a youtube video by doug graham of 801010 diet, is that because nuts harvest only during the fall months, they aren't for us, and he finishes off his distorted view of the world by saying that the squirrels finish them off before we can get them. In the real world and throughout our evolution, we relied heavily on nuts and seeds, and have always got to the healthy nuts before these little animals. Our big brains, big genitals and beautiful skin compared to other animals are to show for it, and are the result of a high intake of non-oxidized omega 6 fatty acids from whole foods.

    I've noticed that brainwashing and the spread of misinformation is becoming more common in vegan circles. This could be a reason why they avoid nuts and seeds.

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    Default Re: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    I have read Dr. Douglas Grahams 80/10/10 book, and I only remember his warning that many raw vegans who rely heavily on nuts, can get up to 60 % of their calories from fat, which is definitely not a good thing according to my opinion.

    best regards,
    Andy

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tips on raising a vegan child? 1-year-old son... mom with vegan leanings

    Quote Andy_T View Post
    I have read Dr. Douglas Grahams 80/10/10 book, and I only remember his warning that many raw vegans who rely heavily on nuts, can get up to 60 % of their calories from fat, which is definitely not a good thing according to my opinion.

    best regards,
    Andy
    Why isn't it a good thing from nuts, seeds and other fatty fruits like avocados?
    Last edited by Consistency; Sep 28th, 2013 at 04:25 PM.

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