We’ll publish this Q&A with parents from all over the world to have an idea
of how they decided to raise their children vegan and how they’re doing.
If you want to take part just contact us!
When did you all become vegan? Did you already have your kids when the transition happen?
I’ve become vegan about six years ago and it was a process from being a vegetarian. My husband starting thinking about veganism when we met and he soon stopped eating meat. At home he eats vegan and beside that he is a vegetarian.
Was it obvious to you that your children would be raised vegan?
There was no doubt that I would raise my son vegan. Not just for ethical reasons but for health reasons too. I just don’t want him to drink milk or eat meat, I can’t imagine that for us. My son is not always 100% vegan, for example if he really wants to try a cookie at a friends house that’s fine for me. He doesn’t understand the difference yet. But everyone knows that we’re vegan so most of the times there are alternatives or I bring food with us. And I wouldn’t let him try meat, that would cross a line. Luckily we have lots of Kindergarten around us where they offer vegetarian meals because I think it can be really hard for young kids if they can’t eat the same as their friends.
How old are your children now?
Noah just turned 2.
What’s their favourite foods? What’s family’s favourite meal?
Noahs favourite food is the same as our favourite family meal – Pasta. He could eat them all day, every day. I try to offer healthy sauces but of course he prefers them plane Beside that he loves bread with peanut butter. Maybe it’s because I ate lots of it when I was pregnant…
Do your children understand that they don’t consume anything that comes from animals?
I am not quite sure. I think two is a complicated age for this subject as I don’t want to scare him. When we go to the a farm, I explain to him that cows and chicken are our friends, that we love them and that we won’t eat them. He knows that cows give milk but that it belongs to their babies – just like I breastfeed him. There was one time we visited the farm when a mother cow was in a stable with newborns. She licked the fur of the little calves which really impressed Noah. The next time we went there they were separated – and Noah was so sad. It was months ago and he still talks about it. It’s lovely to see his empathy. (The farm on the outskirts of our city is known for his biological-dynamic agriculture. Still, animals die there, but I don’t want my son to know cows just from the books. And the farm is great place to play outside in the straw and to see tractors.)
When we go to the supermarket Noah often wants to buy milk or yoghurt because I use these words. I might better say “oat milk“ and “soy yoghurt“ so he gets the difference. A few days ago he told me that we don’t have eggs any more (we never had) and that we need to buy them. I explained him why I don’t want to buy eggs but it’s hard as I want him to make his own choices but he is too young to consider the consequences of this decision.
Do you have the support of your families and friends to raise your children vegan?
We definitely have the support from our friends and families. I was a bit nervous when I got pregnant that it would be a big topic for everybody but we hardly talk about it with our families. It’s just so normal for them and they always have vegan foods around when we come to visit. Noah just looks so healthy that it is fine for everybody. I am very lucky that we got to know a few families around us that live vegan too.
What’s the most asked question regarding raising your children vegan you get?
I can hardly think about one… but the funniest one came from a sister of my grandmother. When Noah was about 8 months old and looked like a little buddha she asked how he will get enough fats in his nutrition.
What’s the best advice you can give to other vegan parents out there?
Try to find other families – on or offline – to talk to. It always helps to exchange information and see what others experienced. And always inform yourself to stay healthy. It also helps if you have to discuss veganism with your family or your pediatrician.
Anke Helene is a 28 years old freelance Journalist from Germany, based near Frankfurt.