Sunday, July 1, 2012

Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World

We've had a lot of change around our house lately.  It's never dull anyway, but a bigger issue has presented itself; a major health scare that will require surgery and months of recovery.  Due to this health issue and our constant evaluation of how deliberately we are living this life, we've decided to embrace living vegan.  I have tried veganism before (for almost a year) and really enjoyed it.  It was only due to some travel challenges, and ultimately laziness, that I reverted back to dairy.  I feel reinvigorated thanks to some wonderful podcasts I have found, in particular, Big Fat Vegan Radio and Vegetarian Food for Thought.  After educating myself and sharing these insights with the rest of the family, we have decided that we will all live a vegan lifestyle now.  I am so excited and truly enthusiastic about this decision.  I have been reading voraciously about every vegan subject I can find, listening to hours of podcasts and have once again attempted to cook for my family.  Brad is our primary cook and is damn good at it, so I generally don't have to do more than put together the odd sandwich for the boys.

Our boys are 7-1/2 years old (you have to include the 1/2!) and have been vegetarian since conception.  They have questioned this lifestyle only a couple times, and usually in relation to someone at school making fun of them for not eating meat.  They are comfortable being vegetarian, but vegan is a different issue.  As vegetarians, they can "pass."  They can have most snacks or birthday treats at school, they can eat cold lunch at school, like pb&j or cheese sandwiches, and can eat out at many restaurants.  Vegan is harder.  Better, but harder.  Right now we are living 'vegan at home.'  So far, this has been a raging success!  Even Baby A, who is somewhat addicted to sharp cheddar cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches (yuck!) has made the transition well.  In fact, he's my most enthusiastic partner in this switch.  Baby B has been a little grumpy, but ultimately on board.  Outside our vegan haven at home?  It's going to be a challenge.  Because of this, I have been checking out tons of books from the library, trolling the vegan mommy blogs and bought the book, Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World by Erin Pavlina, founder of  

As I read it, I realize that we are already doing many of the things she suggests for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.  At least my children have the benefit of having been vegetarian their entire lives.  She does have some excellent tips about transitioning at different ages, how to handle social situations (my particular fear for my boys) and how to travel as vegans.  

I plan to write more about our progress into this new plant based, peace centered journey.  There are some wonderful recipes that we have recently discovered that we will post soon.  Because of the health set back this summer, our travel plans for the rest of the year, (and maybe into next year as well), have been halted.  So for now, there will be more focus on the vegetarian part of The Vegetarians Abroad, instead of the travel part.  I'm sure Brad won't be able to resist blogging about some travel issues though.  He's so passionate about travel that even if he can't do it, he will stay abreast of all the latest.  :)

All the best,

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