I created this website as a guide for parents who are interested in raising compassionate kids who care about animals, specifically those who are currently raising vegetarian/vegan kids or who are interested in raising vegetarian/vegan kids but need some more information. The website will have resources and tools to help parents, including sample meal plans for all age groups including pregnancy, book suggestions for parents and children, animal-friendly travel ideas, traditional holiday recipes made vegan, a slideshow of adorable veg babies and kids, and much more. I will also be writing a blog covering current topics, organizations, and products related to raising veg (and compassionate) kids.
This website will serve as a space for parents who are living by similar values and principles to exchange ideas and learn from each other. I hope this website will inspire and empower parents to make incremental changes in their everyday- lives through their purchases and the activities they choose- to help end the suffering of animals. The site is a work in progress, but my ultimate goal is to create a community for parents to read articles, testimonials, advice, and real life experiences about raising veg kids.
For vegans living in a non-vegan world, routine events can sometimes be challenging, especially for kids. So the site will provide helpful tips and suggestions for navigating certain social situations, such as holidays, birthday parties, field trips, play dates, school functions, and more. Kids don't want to feel left out or different in the negative sense; they want to fit in. That being said, if "fitting in" means dropping your morals off at the door and participating in cruel or unethical systems, then as parents, isn't it our job to encourage our children not to fit in? Being a vegan parent can sometimes feel like a balancing act: You're trying to do what is in the best interests of your child, but also what's in the best interests of the animals. At the end of the day, we should acknowledge our imperfections and just strive to make the best decisions we can under the circumstances. We should feel comfortable and proud of the intentional choices that we do make, as we vote with our dollars. As parents we need to embody the message we are trying to teach our children, and hopefully they will follow by example.
My inspiration for this site is my daughter, Charlotte. My husband and I are raising her vegan because we want to instill in her a sense of respect for animals, and also a sense of personal responsibility in her actions. We want to give her the strength and tools she needs to develop into someone who is compassionate, doesn't turn her back on injustices, and makes conscious
decisions based on how they affect animals (as well as other people and the environment). Our family believes that animals are not here for our use (and abuse, which is most often the case). We value animals and their right to exist separate from us, and we believe that they have their own interests, needs, and desires, which are often at odds (to say the least) with the situations that humans put them in. For example, cows and chickens don't want to live in factory farms and be killed for our food, elephants don't want to do stupid tricks in a circus, dolphins don't want to jump through hoops in a tiny concrete pool at an
amusement park, rabbits don't want to be electrocuted to give us the fur off their backs, mice in labs don't want to have toxic substances poured down their throats and into their eyes, lions don't want to live boring, lonely lives in artificial enclosures in zoos, and chimpanzees don't want to be trained to be in commercials. It's that simple. I want to teach my daughter (as well as raise awareness so that other parents will do the same) to recognize these as truths as she innately will and have the courage and confidence to stand up against these industries, even in the face of so much opposition and constant messages that steer us in the opposite direction. I hope that future generations of children will feel empowered and inspired to truly live according to their values.
Stay tuned in the coming days for guest posts written exclusively for our site by PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk, Jessica Almy
from VegBooks.com, the Founder of the Vegan Product Guide, and the authors ofThe Secret Life of Mitch Spinach and That's Why We Don't Eat Animals, and many more.
If you are a vegetarian/vegan parent, teacher, or kid who is interested in writing a blog post, please contact me. I'd love to hear from you!
Thank you for visiting my site. Please check back often for updates and new blog posts.
Compassion for all!