Raising Kids the Green Way
by Jane Simson
Vegans exempt animal products from their lifestyle. This is easy enough for committed older vegans, but how to raise a kid with no milk, ice cream, chocolate, or candy? In today’s, predominantly meat-dependent and animal fashion crazed world, it is certainly a challenge for vegan parents to raise their children. Fortunately, the years brought an abundance of information about vegan fashion, vegan shoes, vegan recipes, vegan lifestyle, and veganism. All that vegan parents need right now are determination and creativity to encourage their children to take up the vegan way of life.
The first hurdle vegans have to face is the question of feeding their children. There are lots of available food choices in the market today for vegan fare. Vegan recipes are not just salads; they extend to casseroles, baked dishes, and even desserts. Vegan ice creams, smoothies, and candies are now available in the market. These items taste just as good as the traditional dairy products minus the animal abuse. Children being raised on vegan diets won’t feel any different from non-vegan kids. The trick is to include substitutes for popular kiddie treats so vegan children won’t feel out of place with their non-vegan peers. Vegan dieticians recommend substituting tomato sauce with meat substitutes for regular meat sauces. There is a variety of soy cheeses and flavored soy milk drinks that are completely vegan without sacrificing flavors. Fruit waffles and juices are most welcomed treats. Meat substitutes in pork, beef, poultry, or fish flavors are available. Vegan kids would not miss out on the joys of junk food, except that theirs won’t cause them acne and make them healthier. “Junk” foods like popcorn, baked potato and vegetable chips, sweetened dried fruits, raisins, and fruit chips are popular choices. Beverages like fruit smoothies and fruit juices are deliciously sinful enough to be considered junk food.
However, kids are easier to manage than teenagers, more so when they’re vegans. There are the fashion trends to reckon with: that trendy leather jacket, the fur scarf, or the chic leather boots everyone is talking about. A teenager must have them. Remind them if they’re really up to wearing dead animal skins on their body and then buy them some enviable vegan fashion items. There are boutiques that sell exclusively vegan apparel. Vegan online shops also have extensive, not to mention, affordable and chic choices for vegan shoes, vegan clothes, vegan jackets, and even vegan accessories. Vegan cosmetics are also available and they have been proven to be better than the ones that are animal-tested and made with animal oils. After all, slim and fit vegan bodies deserve fashionably gorgeous vegan clothes.
Vegan family support groups assert that proper education and information about animal rights and abuse is important. Understanding the vegan lifestyle makes managing and raising vegan kids easier. When they are aware and informed, kids are surprisingly easy to handle. They do make their own choices, but with information, they usually make the right choice. So they strongly advise starting vegan families to encourage each other and educate their children to make them understand why is it good to be vegan. With understanding, the kids become cooperative and healthier, and the family stays together longer.