"You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car."
- Harvey Diamond
Just like any good parent, my kids are my number one priority.
The amount of love and happiness that they give me is something that I never could have imagined. I want them to be happy and to feel good. It was never a question in my mind to raise my kids vegan. To me, it's a very natural way to eat and live. To my son, who is four, it makes complete sense. We love animals so why would we eat them. Animals are not food in my mind and they are not food in his mind either. Why would anyone eat animals?? He asks about it all the time.
"They aren't thinking about the animals feelings when they are eating it"
"They think they need to eat it"
"Along time ago, people started eating animals because there wasn't anything else to eat and people have a hard time changing sometimes"
Why Why Why Why Why
You can only do so much explaining to a four year old. I tried to explain advertising and greed before but that was a little too much for him to understand.
There are a lot of prepared meal options out there for vegans if you are a city dweller, but we live in a very small town (actually classified as a village). I make dinner every night and we have an easy breakfast ( usually oatmeal with ground flax and blueberries ) and an easy lunch ( sandwich/veggies crackers hummous combo/soup/leftovers ) . And yes, my son loves kale, carrots, broccoli and uncooked organic tofu. And yes, he is four and has some weird food issues but he will eat the same meals as us, I just have to plate it differently. Everything must be separated otherwise I will hear a very loud gasp at the dinner table and I will have a wide eyed little boy giving me a look of horror because a carrot is touching the broccoli. With some foods these rules don't apply, like pizza, soup or stew. You'll have to ask him why yourself because I'm not going there.
One day, while in Victoria, we were in Beacon Hill park enjoying the sunny day and drawing in the grass. I heard a horse drawn carriage coming around the corner. He had never seen one before so I decided to just see his reaction instead of saying anything about it to him. He looked up and saw the horse and all the people inside were smiling and waving at us. I looked at my son and he was just staring at them with a very concerned look on his face. Without taking his eyes off of them he said to me, "Mom, why is that horse so sad." I felt a wave of sadness going over me as we watched them slowly move down the street. I told him that the horse was sad because he didn't want to pull the people.
"Why are they making him do that?"
"They aren't thinking of the horses feelings"
"I don't know honey"
I have a very sensitive little boy. I am going to nurture that and it's not always going to be easy for him growing up in this world. I will always answer his questions and be there for him. He is going to grow up with a deep respect for the earth and all of its living creatures . I don't have to explain to my son why we are vegan , only why other people are not . He will grow knowing that all humans deserve rights just as all animals deserve rights. In him, I see hope for the future.
"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men."
- Leonardo Da Vinci