Hey friends! So recently I have been asked a certain question by lots of friends and family. This question is, “will Penelope be vegan?” I use to get this question a lot before we ever got pregnant and the answer was always yes. Now that we are actually getting very close to welcoming our first baby, many people are really curious if that is still the case. So in today’s blog I will be talking a bit about what we have decided in terms of how our children’s diet and lifestyle will be and why we made those decisions.
First off let me start out with a little bit of background information about myself and my husband. I was not raised vegan. At the age of six I decided that I no longer wanted to eat meat. At the time I came from a place of “not wanting to eat my friends.” You see I grew up living on a farm where I was able to play with all the farm animals. One day as the story goes it was brought to my attention that I was eating one of the animals that we had on the farm. Soon after I told my mom I no longer wanted to eat animals. My mom at the time thought it was just a phase that I was going through and agreed to let me do it while thinking to herself that I would grow out of this phase in a few weeks and move on. Well it’s twenty years later and I have not grown out of that phase. From the age of about six until about twenty-one I was a vegetarian who didn’t eat any meat, drink any milk, or eat eggs. I did however still eat cheese. About 6 years ago I spent the weekend at a friend’s home who was fully vegan and I just decided once I got back home to continue it. I’ve been fully vegan ever since. Since then I have slowly transitioned to vegan other items in my life that aren’t food retalated. I now wear fully vegan makeup and use vegan shampoo and conditioner. I don’t buy leather, silk, wool, etc. I still have a ways to go, but it’s a process and I’m proud of where I am.
My husband is not vegan. Now before everyone starts flipping out that I married a non vegan, let’s remember what vegans stand for, compassion for all. So let’s show him some compassion. When I met my husband he was not vegan, but there were so many other things I grew to love about him. I’ll save all that for another post. I will say that my husband loves vegan food and doesn’t mind eating it. Most of the food he eats at home tends to naturally fall under the vegetarian category anyways. I tend to do most of the cooking and I don’t cook meat. For example our dinners this week was vegan chili. I pour mine over a baked potato and he adds cheese to his. All this to say that he isn’t opposed to the vegan lifestyle and is extremely supportive of it and me. Once we got married and started thinking about children though this topic of course came up. Once we finally got pregnant we had to make a decision.
Our decision is to raise our daughter and any other future children as plant based as possible until they reach an age where they can understand the consequences of their choices. We came to this decision through compromise. Compromise is something that is required in a marriage. There are things in both of our lives that are extremely important to each of us, both before and during our marriage. For me that is veganism and health in regards to that. For my husband that is the Catholic faith. So knowing how we each felt about these topics, me with veganism and him with Catholicism, and that we each couldn’t be budged on them, we chose to compromise. Phillip agreed to raise Penelope as plant based as possible.
I must state another fact for all those out there that may consider giving us backlash on this. I have done my research on this. I am living proof that it is healthy and ok to not eat meat. I would never put my child in harm’s way. The Academy of Nutrition and The American Academy of Pediatrics both state that a well-planned vegetarian and vegan eating pattern is healthy for all stages of life including pregnancy, infants, and toddlers. I have had a fully vegan pregnancy and my doctor will tell you that every test I’ve had has come back with flying colors. I am not deficient in anything, I do not have Gestational Diabetes, I am not anemic, the list goes on. I say all that to restate that it is perfectly safe and healthy.
The other side of this is that we will not be purchasing things for our daughter that have any animals in them like leather, fur, non-vegan body washes, etc.
I am so excited that we are raising our daughter in a plant based lifestyle and that she gets the best start at life that we can possibly give her. Health is very important to me and I will make sure she is offered the best start at a healthy life as possible.
Of course as she gets older and with age-appropriate conversation we will discuss with her the reasons why we choose to raise her with a plant based diet. Once she is old enough to understand what it means to eat meat, eggs, and dairy, then she will have the option to choose for herself. We will never force her to eat plant based. I just think that it is our job to guide her until she is old enough to understand what it means to change her lifestyle.
Baby Dust To All,