I had a lovely moment with my 4 year old recently and thought I would share. It made me a very proud vegan mammy!
Rian often talks about being vegan lately, about why he is vegan, asks me if what he’s eating is vegan, and stuff like that. We had never really talked to him about it that much, apart from explaining the basics, and never told him that he has to be vegan, we just explained why we feed him vegan food.
Last week he was asking me if I was vegan all my life. I told him truthfully that I wasn’t vegan until I was a teenager. He knows that my parents aren’t vegan, so I told him that I didn’t know about being vegan yet and when I was a kid of course my parents gave me the same food that they eat. (We never speak about others in a judgemental way, it was just matter of fact.)
He came up to me and gave me a big hug and said, “Thanks for always giving me vegan food. I love animals and that’s why I eat vegan food.” I definitely had to wipe away a tear after that! It was so lovely to hear.
Other people would probably think that I’ve brainwashed him, but it has always been his choice. Of course you can’t force anyone to be vegan anyway, but I don’t have to try. I prefer to lead by example.
I think since he has never tried animal products and doesn’t have a taste for them, it is easy for him to go without them. And like almost all kids, he loves animals. So to him it’s an obvious choice.
I always think, most vegans probably would prefer if we had always been vegan. Of course we can’t change that now. But if a child is raised vegan, and later they decide to eat meat, they are not going to look back and say “I wish I was raised eating meat”, because it won’t make a difference to them. I really don’t think they’d mind or that we would ever have reason to regret it. I hope that they will be vegan forever, and I think there’s a good chance they will be. Either way that’s a decision they have to make for themselves, and I will always love them and be proud of them. For now I am so happy that he is happy to be vegan.