First, don't worry about how to raise kids right now unless you and your boyfriend are serious. Just worry about protecting against pregnancy and STIs, ok?
Second, I can tell you what we're doing. We're raising the kid(s) vegan. If/when they are old enough to decide for themselves that they want to eat animals, then we will "allow" that, but we will not encourage or support that.
In other words, they can eat animal products when they go to a friend's house or when they buy it with their allowance at a restaurant, but they will eat the food we buy and make when at home - vegan food.
Obviously, it's easier for me since my husband and I are both vegan and we share the same values. We have similar opinions about religion and politics, too, so it's unlikely we'll have major conflicts about how to raise our kids. (I have to say, there's a LOT to be said for partnering with someone who shares your core life values
. You will be more supported in ALL life decisions. Your partnership will likely be stronger and your relationship is more likely to last longer. THat's a statistical fact.) The real issues for us are the other family members who have different values - grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. So... we decided that we will encourage them to feed our children vegan foods but we won't force it.
I have LOTS of faith that any child who spends substantial time with us through young childhood will grow to become an animal lover and will stay vegan or at least vegetarian/ nearly-vegetarian. I don't think it's very likely that our children will become huge carnivores, at least not for any significant amount of time (maybe as a sort of rebellion in teen years). I have a feeling that our children will make it clear to adults that they don't eat animals. I was like that as a child and my nephew is like that now too... so I have faith my own children will have the backbone to stand up for themselves, others, and justice.
Originally Posted by vegan-victoria
I would love my children to be vegan or veggie and love animals in the way that I do. However my boyfriend says we should not push them and let them make their own decision.
What your boyfriend might not understand is that eating animals is not a neutral position
. Raising children to consume other sentient beings without the need to do so and consequentially damaging the environment and causing unparalleled animal suffering is a value-based decision. Your boyfriend has declared - with each bite of animal product - that his taste buds or his tradition or his convenience are superior to animal's interests in freedom from pain, freedom from death. Raising children to do the same is teaching those children those values of human superiority, environmental destruction, and wanton animal cruelty.
Moreover, the vast majority of society will be pushing your children to be nonvegan. That's a simple fact of life right now. Most people are not vegan or vegetarian. Most people will expect and encourage your children to eat animals. They will encourage that at meal times and also in stories, songs, TV shows and movies, etc.
So, it's naive to think that you'd have to allow your children to eat animals at home in order to present the option of animal eating to them. Unless you totally isolate them, they will learn about what other people do eventually and they will realize that there is another lifestyle. There will be a sort of "balance" in what they learn from you vs what they learn from the rest of the world. If you feed them animal products, there's no balance at all. So raising them vegan IS giving them a free choice.