We're pretty new to veganism. After a lot of reading and research, I made the decision to go vegan and not long afterwards my partner hopped on board too. I read up on raising children on a vegan diet and made the decision that they too would start eating a vegan diet. I'm an animal lover. I feel better being a friend to animals. I feel better that no animal will be harmed or suffer for me, no person will suffer for my gain and I am being more sustainable and kinder to the earth.
Yet so many of the people I speak to are really concerned about my health, really concerned about my children's health. The truth is this though, I feel great. I feel really great. I am eating better than I ever have. I wake up in the morning and I don't feel groggy. I have energy, my mood is better. My children are glowing. My 6 year old was one of those kids that no matter what, would always wake up with bags under his eyes, he never slept well. Now those bags are gone. He looks healthy, he has tonnes of energy and most importantly, he is happy.
These are things I notice because I am the one who has cut out all meat, dairy and eggs. These are things I am noticing in my children because I am their mother. Anyone who knows me well will know that I suffer from anxiety, so I inform myself well to ease that. When I went vegan, I did the research and when I started feeding my children a vegan diet too, I did 10 times the amount of research. I was not going to leave any stone unturned.
What amazes me though is, that I've been told that I'm being 'unfair' to my children and that I should 'let them choose' or that I'm depriving them of being 'normal kids'. So what if a child is coeliac? What if a child is lactose intolerant? What if a child is diabetic? Does their not being able to eat gluten, dairy or sugar make them different? Does it make them abnormal? The answer is no it does not. My children are normal. They can still do everything that kids love to do.
I am not being unfair to my children either. I made this decision for them because of how much I care for them, because of how much I value their health and the world they are living in and the world that I will eventually leave my grandchildren in. Yes, if you offered my 3-year-old an ice cream or a chicken nugget, she would probably take it but you could roll a golf ball in glitter and tell her it's a sweet and she would probably attempt to eat that too.
When it comes to my 6-year-old, he knows where meat comes from and being the kind-hearted little guy that he is, doesn't want animals to be harmed either and in a sense, I'm lucky because he didn't take convincing. Even if he wasn't so open to it though, I still would have made that decision for him because I feel it is a decision that will serve him well in the future for his health and the world he is living in. Realistically there's probably a lot of kids that would eat McDonald's for breakfast, lunch and dinner, if the choice was theirs but as parents, we don't allow them to make that choice because it wouldn't be good for them.
We all want what's best for our children. We all want to see our children go on to be happy and healthy adults. So when it came to making this decision, like any other parent, I will not take chances with my children's health. They are eating everything they need and loads of it and I am 100% confident in my choice to raise them from here on in as vegans. Should they decide when they are older that it is not for them, then at that point they can decide but right now it is my job to decide on what I believe is best for them.