It really IS easy to raise your kids vegan, especially in this day and time. Meat substitutes are readily available and delicious, and there are vegan cheeses that actually melt and would be hard to distinguish from dairy cheese. Soy, almond, coconut and hemp milks, as well as ice creams, are sold in supermarkets all over the country. Vegan restaurants are popping up in college towns everywhere. Well‐known public figures are declaring themselves vegan. It’s a move towards saving the planet (see Cowspiracy.com), towards compassion for our own bodies as well as for the animals that suffer and die; it’s a move towards the future (or shall I say, towards A future). And who better to herald in that future than our children!!
There is no trick to raising healthy vegan children. Just as in our own vegan diets, kids need to consume a variety of whole grains, beans, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and they will get all the protein they need to grow strong, lean, healthy bodies. You will find that, unlike their nonvegan friends, they don’t crave sweets and junk food.
I had become lacto‐ovo vegetarian seven years before I had my daughter at age thirty, so she was raised with the same diet. She was a bit cholicky as a baby, and had ear infections and stomach aches as a young child. When she was ten, we became vegan. It was then that I realized that she had been either lactose intolerant, or intolerant to the hormones, antibiotics and mucus in the dairy, because these symptoms went away rather quickly. The cow milk that I had
been drinking when she was an infant had infiltrated my breast milk. And the dairy she ate was upsetting her system. At age thirty‐two, she is strong and healthy. She continues to be a staunch vegan, and an amazing vegan chef, I might add! She is a family medicine physician dedicated to encouraging her clients towards healthy living. She practices yoga, and has been an avid and talented equestrian since she was eight.
Shortly after we became vegan, I became pregnant with my son, who is now almost twenty-three. He is a healthy, strong, 6‐foot, 150 lb. actor, who loves skateboarding, snowboarding, hiking and yoga. He is an authority on the best vegan restaurants in L.A., and due to his influence, most of his best friends are vegan. This leads me to an important point. When you educate yourselves and your kids on the ethical aspects of the vegan diet with respect to the animals and the environment (Cowspiracy.com, PETA.org, Triyoga.com/siva), there’s no going back. You will be creating conscious, compassionate children, who are truly leaders amongst their peers. They will be the leaders who bring that same consciousness and compassion into the future.