I remember how difficult childhood was as a vegetarian. I was only vegan for a year during my childhood but there’s a reason I didn’t stay vegan. I went back to being a lacto-ovo vegetarian and that was hard enough.
It’s incredibly difficult to maintain nontraditional lifestyles as a child or teen. The other kids are just SOOOO mean. I wrote about that before; high school is not vegan-friendly. So, I want to make sure to strengthen my (future) child’s defenses to the very real social pressure to conform.
Here are my current ideas regarding raising vegan children:
- Give the best lunches. There’s even a great book about that: The Vegan Lunchbox.
- Involvment in the vegan community. Helping him/her make other vegan friends and vegan role models.
- Teach how to cook and how to read food labels so s/he can easily choose veganism when I’m not around.
- Provide a vegan survival kit: an energy bar, a list of vegan restaurants, and knowledge.
- Honesty and knowledge: kids need to know where their food comes from and what it means to be vegan.
- Humor: a sense of humor will help kids deal with the challenges of being different as well as help diffuse tense situations between vegans and omnis.
- Vegan and vegetarian guidebooks. A good list of funny responses to omnis’ nagging questions about a child’s vegetarianism can we thwarted with an educational book. I’m a Vegetarian: Amazing facts and ideas for healthy vegetarians is one such book.
(Items 5 and 6 on the list were added after reading comments. Item 7 was added after Christmas shopping for my nephew.)
Got more ideas? I’d love to hear them.