I'm pregnant, and already anxious that my child will feel that s/he is part of a community consisting of one household only - ours. Members of other philosophical minorities (members of minority religions, for example), nonetheless seem to have huge communities, complete with opportunities for fellowship, compared to my knowing one other vegan Mom (the sister of a friend) in the entire metropolitan area, and her child will be nine years older than mine. We have other vegan friends, but for the most part, they are childless and plan to always remain so.
How helpful has it been, or do you feel it would be, to have other veg*n families, child-friendly veg*n groups, etc., for your children to know and be a part of? If you live in an area rich with veg*n children, how much has it helped? If you are the only veg*ns in town, how much has that been a problem?
I have been pretty heavy handed in the discussions of eating meat. "I don't think that chicken wanted to be eaten." "How sad, all those dead chickens on the BBQ spits." etc. Needless to say, my son chooses to be vegetarian (he turns six this week.)
My husband eats meat when we eat out. My family all eat meat. Several of his friends eat meat. I'd say about half of his close friends and probably most of the kids in the homeschooling group. It's not that big a deal. I think junk food is a bigger draw.
Now, if the carnivores in your life want to shove it down your baby's throat, that's a whole different problem. I just don't have that problem. Everyone I know is respectful of our lifestyle.
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing and living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
I feel similarly. There is a charter Waldorf school here that serves vegetarian lunches, and a big part of why I want my dd to get in is so she doesn't feel left out if everyone else eats meat. So far, my dd isn't all that interested in meat, as we don't eat it at home and don't go anywhere it's served very often, but she does know that she's a vegetarian and that there are certain things that vegetarians don't eat. She's only 2 1/2 though, so it will probably get harder.
I really don't think it is very important at all. One time we had the opportunity to join in with a semi-local vegan group and we found just the minimal amount of effort needed on our part wasn't worth it because besides the eschewing of the use of animal products we had very little in common. Every once and awhile it's nice to vent and exchange recipes, but we have each other and the internet for that. Some consider it an advantage to live in an area with a larger vegan community because there will be potlucks and restaurants, but we've found those usually aren't very healthy in any case. We had some vegan friends for awhile and I had a harder time with food with them than with my nonvegan friends because they used so many mock meats, sugars, oils, processed ingredients, tons of salt! While our choices are often defined by our veganism, our personalities and interests rarely are so the community my children actively seek in their lives rarely makes demands on what people are wearing or putting on their plates. My oldest is actually dating a hunter right now, not sure how that will ultimately play out -they met through their passion for archery.
Of course we would love for the world to be vegan just so we wouldn't have to smell murder everywhere and see the horror and brutality of it every time we shop at the grocery store.
I grew up vegetarian and I can't remember having any vegetarian or vegan friends my age. I survived ;)
For my own son, however, I am constantly seeking out other vegan families. I want him to feel like he has a veg culture. We use meetup.com to find other vegan families.
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