Thursday, November 11, 2010

VeganMoFo Day 11 - Oatmeal and Applesauce

Most of these songs I'm posting on here were recorded when Anna was a baby/toddler. She loved oatmeal and applesauce, so of course I sang songs about it.

Liam liked/likes things too, but I don't sing as much as I used to. It might have something to do with having less time. Or maybe he doesn't react to them in the same positive way Anna used to. Or maybe I've just died a bit inside after having a second kid? Who knows?


Anonymous said...

This is the worst song you have posted yet. And by worst, of course, I mean the best.

Just further evidence that you've listened to Radiohead far too much in your life.


Allison, The Busy (Happy!) Vegan said...

So fun to hear all of these. We have lots of songs about yummy food in our house, too, though they usually all have the same tune. I`m not so creative in the music department.

Songs aside, I`ve been working on teaching our little bear that she`s vegan, but it seems a bit of a struggle to really get her to understand (she`s 2). I`m just going with a pretty basic "we don't eat animals, cow's milk, etc." but I don't think it's catching on too well. Any tips?

Al said...

Hi Allison.

Personally, I stay away from any "You are vegan because..." statements, since they seem like religious indoctrination to me. In the same way that no 2 year old is a Christian, I don't think a 2 year old can be vegan either. The similarity between religion and social positions like veganism is that they are largely personally meaningless unless they're chosen by the individual, as opposed to conferred via indoctrination. (Personally, I think the similarities between religion and veganism all but end there, but maybe that's just me.)

So the way I would talk to Anna about it at that age is to just talk about animals as the individuals that they are. Always try to use "him" and "her" instead of "it," for example. I have a phrase that I break out now and then: "_____ are people, too," inserting the animal species name in the front, like Dogs or Cats or Squirrels. (I started saying this after reading Francione's "Animals as Persons")

I would also use real-life opportunities to explain the idea of respecting others' interests. "We don't hit other kids because it hurts them. Even if you want to hit them, you shouldn't ... even if it makes you feel good. Because their hurt is more important than your pleasure."

Not that my kid ever took pleasure in hitting kids. But you get the picture. There are ways we can teach justice and respect without using the words justice and respect.

Anyway, I think telling her what you do and do not eat is really important. Anna has always known that we don't eat anything from an animal and she knows what those products are and what animals they are taken from. As she got older (probably around 2.5 or 3), I started to explain in age-appropriate terms what happens to cows during milk production, or chickens for egg production. While kids may not understand the intricacies of empathy and justice at that age, we can ask things like, "Do you think that's fair?" "How do you think she feels about that?" These are basic questions that can teach our kids to put themselves in others' shoes - a trait that will serve them well when dealing with all animals, human and non.

I should really just write a post about all this.