11 Nov SHOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN THE CHOICE?
We choose for our children every day. And this, kindness, a stance against violence seems an appropriate default. Interestingly, even several vegetarian friends whose partners eat meat agreed their shared children should not be fed animals as it’s a much bigger deal choosing to feed kids animals than choosing to not. Kids love animals. Why would they eat them? One day they will choose but I think it’s very unlikely a child raised vegan, free of unnecessary violence would choose to eat animal products later in life.
We also need to ask, at what age can a child “choose” not based on taste but understanding. Surely the same age they can be exposed to the reality because obviously, we cannot choose until we know the truth. What age would we take our children to a slaughterhouse? Or show them images of what happens there? Because surely without that knowledge a child cannot “choose”. So, until they can really know the truth for themselves, we choose kindness.
I have also found my stubborn four-year-old who challenges me on everything has never challenged us on this. “Is it vegan?” was one of his first sentences as a two-year-old and he is better than me at remembering to double check everything even now. Being vegan is very natural for children. Just as we teach them to not hit others, we teach them to have peace of their plates also.
The hardest thing about raising a vegan child is trying to explain to them why those they love, friends, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, eat animals. It’s baffling to kids raised vegan or those who transition young. I cannot say “it’s ok” that others eat animals because the heartbreaking and avoidable violence is certainly not something I can ever support again. I do teach my children “we cannot choose for others”, but we can certainly be a great example of proud and healthy vegans and show them how good life can be for everyone when one takes animals off their plate and out of their wardrobe.
Author: Jennifer McAdam