I am following several vegan moms on YouTube that raise their kids vegan and I absolutely love what they do. By proxy, I have a dilemma at my own house. My husband and I follow a plant-based lifestyle; my mom who lives with us does not. She was raised on meat & fish and has a strong opinion that human body requires animal protein. I respect that opinion. In fact, I respect any opinion that any person might have so they should respect mine, correct? I have a strong belief that in the 21st century we do not need to eat animals: we have a huge amount of alternatives to meat available and we mostly lead a sedentary lifestyle with very little physical activity. Although, I respect her opinion as just a few year ago it probably was almost impossible to keep a vegan lifestyle in a cold climate. All the vegan products that are currently in abundance in our stores, were not heard of back then. Especially in where she cames from. It’s a meat and potato kind of country.
Back to babies and kids. In my house, we came up with an agreement that our son’s parents (i.e. us) will be following plant-based with him, mom (his grandma) will do what she thinks is right. Although, one very important condition: I will be the one who will be buying him animal-based products to ensure a superb quality. I look for made in Alaska, organic, grass-fed. So there are just a few things that I agreed to buy: Alaska grown ground meat (he loves his meat balls), shrimp, whole milk and occasionally mozzarella cheese (he actually lost interest to it already – so we might be done with this item). Sometimes we would steal an egg from grandma to make banana pancakes (I am pretty sure I can find a way to do it without an egg ). That’s it. He is growing fast and his taste buds care changing almost overnight so I am trying different recipes with him: as I expand my vegan cooking repertoire I am sure certain things will go away. He is 1.5 and eats lots of grains, legumes, potatoes, vegan mac & cheese, pasta – all kinds of kid friendly yummy things. And of course fruits, berries and veggies. He pretty much eats what we eat except salads – not enough teeth yet:)
So later on, when my son is older – he will make his own choice. Everybody should have a right to form their opinion in life: so do kids. I will try to influence it, lead by example and let him decide. Yes I will be telling him that we don’t eat animals, yes there will be very little animal product present at the house. However, he is his own person and he will make that choice for himself later in life. It might even change several times but I will make sure to respect whatever that choice will be.