Monday, July 30, 2007

My Daughter is Not a Vegan

My wife and I are Vegan. We chose to become Vegan over four years ago. We believe it's the best way to eat and live. We believe that a Vegan lifestyle is the best thing for humans, animals and the earth. As such, we are raising Anna on a vegan diet. And we won't be dressing her in leather or fur. We will teach her to respect animal life. We will tell her what happens on factory farms. We will tell her how the meat industry damages the environment more than Hummers ever could. (Don't worry, we'll save the heavy stuff for when she's a teenager, and we'll also teach her by example that it's just not polite to spout grotesque realities in the presence of people who eat meat ... then again she may rebel and become very outspoken ... which would probably just make me smile;)

Yet, my daughter is not a Vegan. She is the child of Vegan parents. It's an important distinction, and one I don't take lightly. Until Anna makes the choice to become (or, gulp, not become) Vegan, she will be a child of Vegan parents.

Until she's old enough to choose Veganism, we'll raise her in the Vegan lifestyle. And we realize there may be a few "no meat under my roof" arguments. Because the fact of the matter is that we as parents have a job to do. That job is to raise our children the best way we know how. For my wife and I, that means a Vegan lifestyle.

"Vegan" is a pretty hefty label to carry on your shoulders. If we do our job as parents, Anna will grow up to be a strong individual who will be able to make an informed choice to either carry, or not carry that weight.

(And yes, the cake is vegan.)


mindy said...

Great entry. I've never thought about it this way, but you're right.

I like how much you guys respect that she's her own little person, and someday she'll be making her own decisions, and while they may not be the decisions you'd choose for her, you'll still respect them. I think that's what any good parent should do, really (speaking as a non-parent, but still...).

half pint pixie said...

that's really well said! I'm popping over from vegan freaks, we have a 10 month old daughter of vegan parents (I'm going to use that phrase, it's far less emotive than "she's vegan"). great blog... off to wander around

Deena said...

Great post!

My husband ( and I have recently made a decision to become vegetarians and are slowly working our way towards becoming vegans. This has been a very difficult change of lifestyle for me and I must take it "one day at a time". I feel like I am not so much a vegetarian as a "recovering omnivore".

One of my motivations for finally giving up meat is for my daughter's benefit. I had long felt that eating meat did not jive with my values but chose to ignore my conscience as I did not want to give up the pleasure of eating meat. I had all these great philosophical and moral reasons for becoming a vegetarian but shoved them aside because a) I like eating meat and b) I'm used to it (which, let's face it, are crappy justifications!). When she is old enough I want my daughter to be free to choose for herself whether or not she wants to continue in the vegan lifestyle she was brought up with. If she decides to add meat to her diet, she will be free to do that but she will never have to go through the whole "conscience versus tastebuds & tradition" struggle that I am currently dealing with.