VeggieBoards banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My spouse and I want to adopt a child a bit down the road (we are already preparing and looking in to it but it will probably be a little down the road before we actually find, officially adopt, and bring a child). We are definitely planning on adopting a fairly young child- no older than 5 years at the time we bring them home (and since adoption tends to take a while to be finalized, we will be looking at children younger than 5). So probably the child will be 1 - 5 years old when we bring them home. We want them to be vegan but I'm looking for a few pointers, if you have any suggestions, on transitioning them over? Not just from a health or nutrition aspect, but a mental / emotional one- if they remember animal products, will it be hard for them to give up? Will they be likely to want to go back to eating animal products? We really, really want a vegan child (that stays vegan) but I am wondering if it will be harder since we won't have them from infant age. Thanks for any suggestions or experiences or thoughts!
 

·
No flesh since 99'
Joined
·
959 Posts
We really, really want a vegan child (that stays vegan)
Children, especially little ones, will eat and do what their parents tell them because they know no different. A very young child will likely not question too much whats being fed to them (especially if it's "similar" to what they're used to, i.e. vegan replacement products). If you adopt a young child and only feed him or her vegan foods, he or she will only eat vegan foods. Yes, you can absolutely teach them about compassion for animals and veganism as they grow and why you feel its's wrong to consume animals, animal products or to exploit animals in any way. What you can't do is force them to remain vegan once they become of an age to think and make choices for themselves if they feel it is not the right choice for them (so teens or older). You couldn't do that will a biological child you raised from birth vegan either. Hopefully they would remain vegan after being brought up that way, but there is never any guarantees. Regardless if adopted or biological, it is an awfully big burden to put upon a child to 'have' to hold your beliefs and values throughout their lives. You can only teach and guide children in the ways YOU feel are right, but you cannot force them to think the way you do once they become able to think for themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,026 Posts
I'm an adoptive parent. I know a few other vegan adoptive families. You may want to check out a Facebook group called vegan adoption.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,282 Posts
Regardless if adopted or biological, it is an awfully big burden to put upon a child to 'have' to hold your beliefs and values throughout their lives. You can only teach and guide children in the ways YOU feel are right, but you cannot force them to think the way you do once they become able to think for themselves.
This. So much this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,026 Posts
Related to above replies:

When you do the home study in order to adopt, you may find that they're looking for people who are pretty flexible. Becoming a parent is challenging. Becoming a parent via adoption can be more challenging. Becoming a parent via "old child" adoption can be even more challenging. And becoming a parent via "old child" adoption AND wanting to raise that child vegan is very challenging. You can add in more challenges like transracial adoption or international adoption... or adopting a child with physical challenges or behavior issues... My point is that it's all challenging and the social science experts tend to think that people who are fairly flexible in what they want as a family, as parents, and how they expect their children to be end up less likely to abuse those children. Thus, many adoption professionals will only approve vegan families who espouse some type of flexible vegan philosophy.

Another thing to remember is that ALL ADOPTION INVOLVES TRAUMA.
This means that any child entering your home (even a healthy infant) has experienced some type of loss and trauma. They have lost their birth parents, at least to some extent. They may have also lost siblings, their native country, etc. They may have lost some of their innocence. They may have lost part of their childhood. As an adoptive parent, your focus must be on their needs to heal and grow and thrive moreso than your needs to "be a vegan parent" etc.

I believe it is completely possible to adopt a child at virtually any age and inspire that child to stay vegan for their lifetime, but the challenge is easier or harder depending on many factors. Personally, I choose to develop my son's veganism by developing his empathy for animals, compassion for others, giving knowledge about veganism, ensuring he has positive experiences with all kinds of animals including those animals who are often farmed, same-age vegan playmates, and plenty of room to ask questions, grow, and make his own choices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,226 Posts
I can speak from my experience as a former child. :)

I believe my parents did influence me to become first pescetarian, and then vegetarian, while I was still living with them; I eventually dropped egg and milk also. My parents were omni, like most of the people I have known- but they did love animals, and I think I got this from them. My Dad took in a cat when he was a young man; my Mom as a girl used to dream about having a huge house with cats on one side and dogs on the other (when Grandma asked her where my Mom herself would live, Mom replied, "In the middle!") Somehow, I just wound up taking it somewhat farther than they did.

I think children as a rule are greatly influenced by their parents, but they're not robots to be programmed. There's always an element of individuality too. I don't think there is a way to guarantee that either an adopted child or a child biologically related to you will stay vegan.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top