I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the children of vegetarians become vegans. I mean this in both a literal sense (kids who grow up vegetarian often later become vegan) and also in a metaphorical sense (vegetarianism is often a stepping stone towards veganism).
While most vegans will agree that vegetarianism is not enough and that veganism is the true starting point for an ethical lifestyle, we should be careful not to judge vegetarians too harshly, since they are usually on their way to veganism anyway. They need our help, not our condemnation.
I say the children of vegetarians become vegans because it was true for me (I became vegetarian as a small child and grew up vegetarian, then went vegan as an adult). And I say it because others have a similar story.
Case in point, Andre Kroecher, one of the inventors of Daiya vegan cheese said:
“I grew up on a strict vegetarian diet as both my parents were vegetarian. It was a logical progression for me to go vegan for so many reasons. We had a miniature dachshund or ‘wiener dog’ and I figured that if I wouldn’t eat him, how could I eat other animals which are easily as emotionally developed? In the early ’90s my wife and I started going vegan and pretty much phas[ed] out the last remaining dairy (cheese) from our diet. This was largely in response to all of the information relating to [the] ethical and health aspects of vegan diets. I remember waking up and realizing that if I had to be born a livestock animal, a modern dairy cow would have to be the worst because of the prolonged torture these animals have to endure before their eventual slaughter. When T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study came out it really reinforced my feelings on the health aspects relating to animal product consumption.”