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Hi, all! I'm currently in college and I'm to write an argumentative essay for my English class. I'm working toward my B.A. in Child Psychology and I've chosen a topic. My topic is raising a child as a vegan. My question to you is what you think the pros and cons are. I'm not trying to get into a heated discussion about it. Just curious. Vegan parents, are you raising your children to be vegan too? If they ask to try milk or meat later in life, would you allow them and let them decide how to eat?

I know that a vegetarian diet is actually quite healthy and I've read that vegan diets are the same way (there are other ways to get protien and the people actually aren't being denied any nutrients if they keep to a good diet.) I just don't see a difference in raising a child omnivorous and that child deciding to be a Vegan later vs. raising a child vegan and that child deciding to be an omnivore later.

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 4:15 PM
Replies (11-13):
by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 1:31 AM

I think that children should be omnivorous. I try to live vegan but recognise that it is not for everyone. If your baby is growing, it is hard to make sure they have all their nutrients and meat is a cheaper way to make sure they get everything they need. Anyway, I just believe in restrictions if someone asks for them; if they want to be vegan they better eat couscous and beans and all that.

by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Not a vegan or vegetarian, but would it be expensive? Also think more about everyday for a child, school lunch, bday parties, special class holiday parties, etc. Is it difficult to find foods and household products that are vegan? I really dont know, just dsme topics that maybe you can look into. Good luck. Very interesting topic.
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by Bronze Member on Feb. 16, 2013 at 10:57 PM

I used to have a vegan friend, and have several vegetarian friends (I am firmly omnivorous, however!).   I always think it's completely up to the parent to decide how to raise their children, but purely for sake of discussion these are my thoughts:

Being raised vegan/veg is no different socially, than a child with food allergies/intolerance's.   It's inconvenient, and makes everything a bit more complicated (try planning a little league pizza party with a kid that can't have dairy or gluton!), but the kids understand.   My son will actually check with me that his friend can have a certain food before picking it as a snack when his friend comes over.

My one vegan friend nursed her girls for as long as possible... but she was not a cook and made everything from a box.   I do think that probably hurt their diet quite a bit... it's only a healthy diet if, like any other diet, you use healthy ingredients.   There are plenty of vegan "junk" foods out there (oreos, for example!). 

Lastly, I have a friend who was raised as a strict vegertarian.   She can't eat meat now, it makes her sick.... so, her choice was really taken from her by never being exposed to meat as a child.   She has no problem with it and enjoys being a vegetarian (her daughter is being raise pescetarian), but I do personally think that you need to offer a variety along with education and offer choices.  

My one last tidbit... and this is completely anecdotal and not proof of anything at all (I know some kids just look a certain way), but the daughters of both my veg friend, and vegan friend both constantly had dark circles around their eyes, and the vegan girl was constantly sick.   I understand sometimes kids are just more prone to illness, but I couldn't help but to connect it with diet.    I think you can definitely feed a child healthy without meat, but I don't personally think they can truly get everything they need from a vegan diet.   I don't think anyone can, in fact.

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