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Can Kids “Make Up Their Own Minds” About Veganism?

Short Answer

We do not allow animal abuse in our house.


This question only comes up from people in meat-eating households, because only in those households is veganism seen as trivial and flippant a “lifestyle” choice as what hobby to pursue or what color of shirt to wear.

Everyone is welcome to their opinions.  The question we must each ask ourselves is: Does my opinion result in actions that harm others?

Many people will not see eating flesh as animal abuse. Somehow, killing an animal does not count as abuse, in that mind frame.  In my household, the children will not want to harm cows or chickens any more than they want to harm cats and dogs.

Children have amazingly good bullshit detectors.  They “get” fairness.  They understand justice.  The cognitive dissonance parents cause when they tell children to love one animal and eat the flesh of another is confusing and inconsistent for completely arbitrary reasons.  A vegan diet provides a consistent, clear and truly compassionate framework built on honesty, healthy eating, love and, yes, even on justice.

4 Responses

  1. Julia says:

    Yes, yes, and double yes! You are totally right with this one.
    When my future kids grow up, they might choose to not be vegan outside my home, and it would hurt me as much as if my children decided to commit crime outside my home, to engage in sexist and other discriminatory language and behavior outside my home, etc.

    And even if I didn’t see it in that extreme of light, isn’t the purpose of parenting to impart upon your children your morals, beliefs, lifestyle, and customs, in the hope that these values will help them become mature, respectful, kind, considerate, responsible human beings? Isn’t that why we do (or don’t) impart onto our children religion, morals, and standards of behavior? How is teaching them to be vegan any different from that? If someone questions me about how my raising vegan children is “harmful,” I would be well within my right to suggest that similarly, raising their children to be religious (or not), generous and respectful, well-educated and thoughtful, is also “harmful.” Which is to say, it’s not.

  2. Jess@miniMum says:

    While I look on the bright side regarding my strong influence on my husband’s diet at home, I cheered on my 7yo boy as he jumped on Daddy saying, “Don’t eat that cheese! The calf got killed!”

  3. Cat says:

    I’ve been moving myself from a pescetarian to a vegan diet, and now am looking for ways to make a plant-based diet super kid-friendly. I’ve got a stack of vegan cookbooks from the library and we’re looking through them together. Other ideas?

  4. Jason Dunn says:

    @Cat, go for lots of funny shapes. Or so the books I’m reading say. 🙂 Get the kids involved in mixing the foods up. What books are you reading?

    @Jess: Awesome.

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