Raising a child vegan? A Spousal Tug Of War - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-19-2014, 03:51 PM
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Currently, I still breast feed my 2 yr old. He will be transitioning to just food in the very near future. I have been vegan for only a couple of months; my husband is vegan only for dinner & leftovers lunches. Our child consumed organic yogurt but I switched him to coconut milk yogurt. Still, on occasion he does eat meat with his father (because there is no meat in the house, this is beef sticks from gas stations. Horror!) :( I think the best time to do a diet change is now, when he's young.  I think the longer it waits, the harder it will be for our child.  Of course, while my husband supports my dietary choices, I do not think he is on board with "turning our baby vegan". He thinks we should allow Lucius to experience both diets and make his own choice (he likens it to raising a baby in one religion or another). The base of my argument is that is does not harm him to raise him vegan.  And he is not craving other foods currently.  How will a two year old tell the difference between coconut milk ice cream and dairy ice cream??? And just for the record--my 2 yr old thought the soy cheese pizza was great. Poor deprived soul! ;) 


Well, never thought this day would come but...I have gotten to the point where I do not even like ordering meat on my husband's Subway sandwich.  I see the meat and I no longer see just the end product, I think of what I never used to think about. So I told him the next time I have to order him a food item it will be a veggie delight.  I guess I went from being pretty tolerant of omnivorism to being coldly tolerant to being intolerant. And maybe that isn't the rational thing to do. But knowing what I know about factory farming, I cannot sit complacent (let alone sit & eat at the same table) with those choices.  By saying nothing I feel my complacency is complicity in the whole process. 


Is it pushing the issue too much? Do most newly vegans feel this way? Am I being impractical? I know this has no easy answer.

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#2 Old 04-19-2014, 06:06 PM
Not such a Beginner ;)
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Hi biofanatic. smiley.gif OK, first, you have a lucky child to have mother's milk into toddlerhood. You are setting him up for a very good baseline health. smiley.gif

So you have two problems: your husband's meat-eating bothers you, and you have your child to feed in a "mixed" household. (Warning, here comes some blunt advice from an old vegan): Your husband is an adult and will make his own food decisions. You have to figure out where to draw the line about your purchasing, preparing, storing meat, etc., but his intake is ultimately up to him. Be calm when discussing these things and avoid dramatic slaughterhouse talk while drawing up the guidelines. Maybe after dinner when the boy is in bed, sometime you're not rushed or distracted.

It seems to me that the second problem you have is more pressing, and since you are the boy's parents, you are responsibile for his nutrition. I would advise you to do your research on raising children on vegan/vegetarian diets and then sit down with your husband and decide what you are going to feed your child. Come to an agreement that works for both of you.

Perhaps the child will eat veg except when at the grandparents, or when your husband feeds him, he can give certain meat (but not those gross sticks!) Whatever you can agree on. The more you cook and have food around that is easy to grab and eat, the more veg your family will eat.

I'd also remind you that a short time ago you also ate meat. The vast majority of people you know eat meat. Unfortunately, you have to let it go, the changing everyone else, you can only live your life, raise your child. Certainly volunteer, donate, leaflet, host vegan potlucks, cook vegan for your child's friends as he gets older, whatever fits and works for you. You can't force an adult though, you have to come to agreements that work for both of you.

And don't forget to take deep breaths, and laugh and enjoy these days with your young family. smiley.gif <3
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#3 Old 04-22-2014, 07:44 PM
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There are some here, who have been veg*n or vegan since toddlers.  I wish that was me!!!!  :D


My veg*n daughter is going to start a family & I was thinking about buying the following book:





Here's the link:  http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Vegan-Children-Non-Vegan-World/dp/0972510206/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1398216831&sr=8-2&keywords=raising+your+child+vegan


The point is that there ARE a lot of folks raising their kids vegan.  I hope you can resolve the issues with this important decision.  Maybe a lot of honest communication will help you work through it.


GOOD LUCK!!!!!  :up:

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#4 Old 05-01-2014, 09:30 PM
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I think Ledboots advice is spot on. This is a negotiation between parents. You don't get your way and he doesn't get his way - you both come to something that works.


You don't buy, clean or cook meat or dairy products, that is fine, but your dh gets to do what he wants too. You are both adult and I am sure will reach a good compromise.


I would be interested in hearing what you both figured out. 

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#5 Old 05-08-2014, 01:27 PM
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I would leave your hubby I would not tolerate anyone giving my son meat especially from the gas station! Too me that is child abuse!! If you are not eating organic this will shock you! http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/22/glyphosate-herbicide.aspx 

Herbicides found in human breast-milk !!!

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#6 Old 05-08-2014, 04:19 PM
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Marriage and parenting together isn't going to be easy. We are on 18 years. We like to say love isn't a feeling it is a commitment. You made a family and a baby together. If you have communications issues, seek a counselor or wise person to go between and help figure those out.

But, put yourself in his shoes. You are the one changing and rejecting something.

It won't always be easy. There will be compromises. But, surely it is worth it. It amazing the growth that comes from growing together.

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#7 Old 05-15-2014, 09:13 AM
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How is this going? You both have this child and you both have rights. I am hoping there is a middle ground.

If I was that kid I would be happier with two parents who had reached a peaceful compromise than parents battling over this issue with me in the middle. If the child eats some meat, so be it, role modelling good vegan living allows him or her to choose when they grow older.

They will choose when they are older and there is nothing you can do about that, just do the best you can, live the best way you know how.
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#8 Old 05-19-2014, 03:13 PM
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I read a lot of books......A LOT of books on nutrition.

I just finished PREVENT & REVERSE HEART DISEASE by C. Esselstyn.

I'm now reading BECOMING VEGAN by Brenda Davis. (I'm already vegan, BTW).

I am fascinated by the possibility of raising a veg*n or vegan child. For me, that ship has sailed, (my daughter is a 29 YO veg*n), but the health implications are about exciting as winning the lottery. What could be better than giving your child a fantastic head start on good health?

I used to get a veggie sub & order a turkey sub for the wife. I came to the point where I couldn't do it any more. Long story short.....she's 90% veg*n now, & we only order veggie subs.

Do what's in your heart & in agreement with your significant other. Explain your position & state why you think it's important. Life is not a dress rehearsal....this is it. Live it the way you want to. Your family is the most important part of life.


All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#9 Old 05-19-2014, 03:49 PM
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You can be a vegan raising a child, but you can't raise a child to be vegan. You can't raise a child to hold and carry any of your beliefs: not religious, philosophical or political; all you can do is expose the child to yours and let him see how well you make them work in your life. You can teach empathy and ethics, but one way or the other, he'll come up with his own way of living them out. And since you and your husband hold different beliefs about animals, it's only natural that your child will be exposed to both sets of beliefs. We can't realistically teach our children what to think, only how to think. It doesn't matter so much that your husband eats meat. Ninety-three percent of the population eats meat, and your son doesn't need to be growing up angry and intolerant of the ways of his own father and his own culture. Your example and your cooking, and your conversations about why you do what you do, that's all you can really impart. The rest is up to him. He's not a vegan til he's taken it freely into his heart after weighing it against every other option that's open to him. You can't do that part for him.
Diana, weaselbritches and djunamod like this.

Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 05-19-2014 at 04:00 PM.
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#10 Old 05-19-2014, 04:29 PM
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I agree Joan. How can a baby/young child hold deep religious or philosophical beliefs?
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#11 Old 05-21-2014, 10:54 AM
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Nice point, Joan. I don't have kids, but I couldn't imagine trying to force them to be vegan like me (whether I had a non-vegan spouse or not). I agree that exposing them to your beliefs is all you can do, but the child has to choose for himself/herself ultimately.

I'll confess that I'm not exactly coming from an objective point of view, though. I grew up with parents who were very controlling and basically refused to acknowledge that I was an independent person with my own needs, ideas, and beliefs. They just assumed (and still do) that their needs, ideas, and beliefs are mine. It damaged me considerably. So I am all for giving children the space to decide on their own (within reason, of course).

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#12 Old 05-29-2014, 05:48 AM
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The child should not be forced to take sides - with dad or with mum - about something that he doesn't even grasp or understand. And there is a risk that this may happen if this issue causes arguments.

Making sure that the child is not eating meat from a gas-station is one thing (this is basic common sense), but if you're married to a non-vegan, you're going to have to accept that the kid is going to eat animal foods at some point. (The same will happen when he's older and is invited for example to a birthday party. Are you going to tell the child "don't eat the birthday cake because there are eggs in it" ? I doubt it.

But the kid is very lucky to have a mum who is vegan. He will know what veganism is and one day will decide for himself what he wants. He will have tasted a myriad of foods which he would never have tasted if he had grown up in an omnivore home.

But please don't argue about this too much. The kid will realise that you're arguing about him and that will just make him feel guilty and lost.

Last edited by Diana; 05-29-2014 at 05:56 AM.
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