What To Do If Your Child Wants To Become Vegan - 3 Minute Read
It might be daunting if your child expresses an interest in becoming vegan. The desire often comes from a very passionate place, and it can be very difficult to persuade them otherwise. Here are some top tips if your child wants to become vegan or vegetarian.
Regardless of their age, the number one thing most vegans want from their those around them is support. Vegans currently represent less than 5% of the population in most countries (even though that number is growing rapidly), therefore the biggest issue we face is isolation. It is particularly difficult if they are the first in their family or group of friends to make this change. Realise this decision is coming from a compassionate place, they are not just trying to make your life harder by adding an extra dietary requirement to the family.
Be Their Protector
Remember to still protect them even if you don't fully understand what they are going through. This is mainly important at family events as they are usually based around food, and it is inevitable the conversation will arise at some point. There is generally at least a few people that will try to make fun of them, probe them with questions with the intent of proving them wrong, and just generally making them uncomfortable. While they will learn to deal with people like this in time, know that this behaviour (especially from family) is not acceptable, and you should protect your child in these circumstances as it can be very damaging.
Show An Interest
Second only to being supportive, the best thing you can do is show an interest in what they are doing. Watch a documentary with them, go to a vegan event (there's lots of great food), take the time to go shopping with them for vegan alternatives. There are some fantastic vegan/vegetarian restaurants and cafes all over the world which you can find with the HappyCow App, just turn on the location on your phone or search with the suburb you wish to visit.
Look For Alternatives
Consider what alternatives you can pick up at the shops that will make being vegan a lot easier, and show that you are thinking of them. Do the best you can, sometimes you will make mistakes and that's okay. There are thousands of alternatives that can be found in supermarkets, health food stores and online. For special occasions, there are now countless vegan alternatives for gifting times such as Easter, Christmas and any other occasion you celebrate.
While it may be difficult to understand at first, your child has made an incredibly compassionate choice. They have realised the suffering that goes into the food on their plate and realised they don't need to cause an animal harm to live a healthy and happy life. They have put someone else's life before their own wants, even though it is the more difficult option in our current society. Their decision will save hundreds if not thousands of animals lives over their own lifetime.