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Does your child like being vegan or vegetarian (whichever you are)?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

As a pregnant vegan, I'm trying to get a feel for what to expect.  Has your child always enjoyed the fact that s/he is veg*n, and if not, at what age did it bother them?  How old is your child now?

post #2 of 11

My daughter, now 2 years and 3 months, doesn't seem to mind. I haven't made any effort in educating her about the fact that she is vegan. She more or less easily accepts when I explain that we're not going to eat a certain thing, and then I substitute something else. There have been a few occasions when other kids have shoved a non-vegan muffin or something similar into her hands and she's eaten it before I can react. Ultimately I've decided it's okay if she accidentally eats something non-vegan. I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to making sure she never ever eats animal products, but I won't buy or prepare them myself. But I'm just about to post a question about teaching little toddlers about not eating animals, because I wonder if it's time...

post #3 of 11

My son is almost 6 and my daughter is 3. We are lacto-ovo vegetarians. Except my daughter who can't have dairy. I've cut way back on dairy. I eat very little cheese and wish I didn't eat any. I'd like my son to cut out the dairy, but he doesn't seem interested and I'm not going to force him.

 

I can't remember how old my son was when I started telling him, "I don't think that chicken wanted to be eaten." Old enough for him to know what I was talking about. He certainly seems to like being vegetarian. Whenever the conversation of meat comes up he says, "Gross." 

 

I don't think my daughter understands that some people eat animals. We're just not around it. I do have to watch what she eats due to food sensitivities. I tell her, "That will give you icky poops." For awhile that kept her from food. However, she's been on a very controlled diet for almost 4 months. That's a long time for a 3 year old. She doesn't seem as impressed as she was at first. I think she's forgetting what it was like to have so many problems. We'll see how she does with being a vegetarian when she gets old enough to understand. Besides, as I said, we're very rarely around meat.

post #4 of 11

My daughter is 3.  From the beginning we've taught her that we don't eat animals, that some people do, but we choose not to.  She gets it.  She asks if things have cows milk or animals in them before she eats it (unless it comes from a trusted adult, like me, her dad, or her grandparents).  I think so far she's cool with it.  She gets it, she sometimes makes jokes along the lines of, "This isn't soy milk its COWS MILK!  Bahahahah!" and cracks herself up.  She knows that human babies get mama milk, cow babies get cows milk, etc.

 

Her grandparents and uncles (we are always around them and we're close) eat animals and drink cows milk, so I wanted to be sure I didn't demonize people who aren't vegan.  So far so good.  She doesn't seem fazed.

post #5 of 11

My kids definitely enjoy being vegan.  They are 16, 14, 7, and 4.  I can't imagine ever being bothered by it, isn't it usually the other way around?  We often hear from other kids that eating animals bothers them.  I know I was mortified when I made the connection when I was a kid (fortunately I had very understanding and accommodating parents so I wasn't forced to keep eating animals). 

post #6 of 11

I forgot to mention that  was mortified when I figured out at around age 4 that people eat animals. I didn't realize one could choose not to until I was almost 8 and heard the word "vegetarian" for the first time. I immediately became a vegetarian at that point, despite a pretty hostile environment. I think, like baby cakes said, that many kids naturally understand the whole veg idea and it is not a big deal.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the answers, guys.  They have been very encouraging.  I suppose it is the case that a chicken wanting to live and a cow making milk for her babies are not the hardest concepts to grasp.  It's not like a discussion of Keynesian economics.  I think the hardest thing will be striking the balance between neither demonizing nor condoning the vast majority of people, who are non-vegan.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

Thanks for the answers, guys.  They have been very encouraging.  I suppose it is the case that a chicken wanting to live and a cow making milk for her babies are not the hardest concepts to grasp.  It's not like a discussion of Keynesian economics.  I think the hardest thing will be striking the balance between neither demonizing nor condoning the vast majority of people, who are non-vegan.



In making the simple statements you indicated, you aren't demonizing anyone. That's the beauty of those statements. They are just facts and your child can interpret them however they wish.

post #9 of 11

It's really geared towards older kids, but the book "Benji Beansprout Doesn't Eat Meat" deals with the reasons behind v*g*nism without getting into graphic imagery, and deals with peer pressure and issues of wanting to fit in really well. FYI, "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals" was really upsetting to my daughter, and caused her to beg her grandma, in tears, to stop eating meat (Grandma did not appreciate this).

post #10 of 11

My daughter has been vegetarian all her life, vegan for almost 2 years now. She doesn't even think of meat as food, and I doubt she will ever eat it.

 

She does sometimes miss egg and dairy, mostly in the times and places where I'd be least likely to want her to eat them - restaurants and Grandma's house, for example. I might not have a problem with her eating an egg from a friend's backyard pet chicken once in a while, but that's not what she wants. She wants the cinnamon pull-apart buns in the display at Panera, and she wants them NOW. Or Grandma's Yoplait, which is all loaded up with extra sugar and artificial colors, and so of course is brighter and sweeter than hers. Or Goldfish crackers. Or the neon orange mac and cheese kids meal at a restaurant. Foods that she doesn't need, that I probably wouldn't want her eating anyway, even if we were vegetarian. (Not that Yoplait IS vegetarian, I'm pretty sure it has gelatin anyway).

 

I've worked hard to become the go-to person in our social circles for birthday cakes, so it is rare that K can't eat the cake at a party, because more than half the time, I made it. I keep a few cupcakes in the freezer at home just in case. I usually have a lollipop in my backpack for the "everyone else gets candy" freakout.


Edited by catnip - 11/25/11 at 5:39pm
post #11 of 11

DS has been vegetarian his whole 7.5 years, and like the previous poster, doesn't even see meat as being food.  I don't *know* if he'll ever eat meat, but I can't really see the process he would have to take in order to get there.

 

 

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