Ok so I've been with my boyfriend now for 2 years and we're completely in love and we do plan on starting a family in a few years. The thing is that I've been vegetarian for years and turned vegan about 9 months ago and I love it - I feel so healthy and much happier. Even though he knows pretty much all I know about eating meat and veganism etc. he's decided that right now it's just not for him.
We discussed recently about when we have children - he doesn't think that it would be right for me to raise them vegan as they wouldn't have a "normal" childhood - they would be seen as "weird" or "different" by other children etc. The problem I have is that I would really like to raise my children vegan because of all I know about the health benefits and also because of my love for animals.
Have any of you had this problem? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Cheers :) xx
It's so hard when you have 2 different people with different lifestyles living together and raising kids.
You need to decide what is important to you. If you are comitted to this relationship you may have to seek middle ground. If I were you, I would talk to your boyfriend about raising your future children vegan until they reached a certain age (lets say 10), then after that letting them choose. After you have kids things may change, you may find that whatever you agreed on years ago is hard to uphold.
My household has: my husband the omnivoure, my son the omnivoure (that eats vegan on occation-don't tell him), my pescatarian/vegetarian daughter, myself vegan. It gets pretty crazy in the kitchen when we all are trying to make one dinner acceptable for all of us, but it is fun.
I've not only had this discussion with my boyfriend of a year (who supports my vegan lifestyle but completely hates it) as well as my mother. She believes that I would be abusing my children to raise them vegan. She said they would be targeted for teasing and bullied for being weird.
I went through my school years eating "normal" food, which made me ill due to my lactose intollerance as well as overweight. I was teased for being overweight, leading me to self esteem/body issues which continue to cause problems in my life. Kids are going to tease eachother, everyone knows this. At least if they're being teased for being vegan they're being teased for being healthy considerate people.
As for being "normal" there are so many health concious and planet concious people now that grocery stores are stocking more and more organic, vegetarian and vegan products. What was once alternative is now becoming the norm within society. Having children involved in the world of veganism gives us the chance to have our voice heard.
That being said I would hope to raise my children as vegan as possible, although not as strictly as I am. I would hope for my children to be vegan at home and perhaps vegetarian in the community (restaraunts/gatherings/school events). My boyfriend and I have agreed that since he would want meat/dairy/eggs for himself that once the children are able to express their desire to try meat, and can explain why they want to try it then they would be able to.
Hi! I don't really have much advice since my hubby and I have always agreed on how we want to raise our kids (for the most part anyway). My kids are 13 and 10 and we have all been vegetarian for 10 years (so my little one has never had meat and my oldest doesn't remember it). We're vegan at home, my hubby occasionally eats meat when he's out, I'm pretty much all vegan, and the kids still eat cheese sometimes. I find its pretty easy on the kids when they can have cheese pizza or mac and cheese or whatnot at friends' homes, parties etc. My oldest is now leaning towards being totally vegan, as she finds that she feels really bad (physically bad - tummy issues!) when she eats dairy, and has also started to read and learn more about the dairy industry.
I have to say they have NEVER been teased or looked at as "abnormal". Now, admittedly, they have always gone to smaller, more progressive, kinda "hippy" Montessori schools. We often have their friends and parents of friends asking us for advice because they want to go veg too! Some kids do have questions or really bad information, and my kids see this as an opportunity to talk about and teach others. We did have to have some discussions when they were little about respecting everyone's choices, not calling what other kids were eating "gross", etc.
My kids both know that if they want to try meat they are able to (but I am not going to make it for them - I'm very happy to have never had it in my oven, my pans or my fridge!!). And they know that we'll respect their choices if they decide to not be veg someday too.
I guess I would say to continue talking about this - particularly about the health aspects, and the fact that it is totally possible to have a "normal" childhood and be veg! Good luck :)
it's really a tough one. my husband is vegan until we go to visit his family in india...they're no-fish-nor-egg vegetarian, but eat loads of ghee, butter, milk and sugar...plus, everything is mercilessly deep-fried! i know that when we have kids, his mother would feed them with all kinds of unhealthy non-vegan treats or sneak them in behind my back (which is even worse). she even tries to hand-feed me because "it's tradition". so...i do understand your dilemma!
to me it is funny that people who eat dairy and meat call vegans "too strict", but if food doesn't really reflect your life philosophy and you just eat it "because" or for taste only, then maybe they are too strict for holding on to it so much and not being willing to let it go for a relationship. i don't know.
in the end, i don't think anyone can give advice in these situations other than to suggest communicating with your partner and coming up with some sort of compromise.
I'm new to the "real" vegan eating (6 weeks), but have flirted with it for several years. A while back, my meat & potatoes husband & I talked about having 2-3 dinners each week where the main course is vegan -- so bean soups, veggie soups, lentils, etc. Sides are a cool grain & a salad. He & the kids sometimes butter their grains & add cheese to soups & salads, but that's OK with me. The kids ask for the leftovers in their lunches the next day - and last week, when I made a 13 bean soup, my 8 year old was disappointed because she thought it was the kale soup!
My kids do get teased a bit at school - but they're strong personalities, and their response is usually to invite the teaser to our house for dinner. I have yet to have a kid actually show up - but they always offer to share.
Long story short - we have come to a "gray" agreement -- and the husband can (and sometimes does) make a PB sandwich with dinner or later in the evening - and there have been times when the husband & kids order pizza...and I'm OK with that.
In my house, there can't be black & white. It's all about shades of gray, and that atmosphere of respect for choices others make.
I have been vegan for 13 years and my partner of 4 years is not. We have a beautiful 5 month old boy. My baby-daddy (don't know what else to call him!) has agreed that our baby should be vegan until he is old enough to choose. I am grateful that my partner is supportive of my life style. He acknowledges that my diet and morals surrounding it are admirable and would like to raise our son with the same morals even though he doesn't! Developmentally, children begin to be able to reason around the age of 7. Until then, I will require my son to be vegan and provide opportunities for him to know local farmers and grow his own food. By the time he can "reason", he will at least be able to think critically about where his food comes from before he makes choices. Good luck!
PS- we have discussed the fact that my partner may change his position later. I adimately agree with compromise. I set limits, though. I said if my partner wants to introduce animal products into our child's diet later, I would compromise by allowing LOCAL, ORGANIC, dairy and eggs, but I would never be okay with meat. I doubt that my partner will every push for it though because he understands the benefits of veganism outway the benefits of alternative diets- even though he loves frozen pizza and chicken wings. <3
I am only at the start of a relationship.I am vegan but he is not,not even close.Their family owns a resturant.I said if we have kids i want them to be raised vegan and when they have their own opinion they can eat meat but i will not prepare it for them or for him , ever. That would kill my spirit and my soul. He is very old-fashioned, he wants to get married in a church and i am an atheist, that is another problem, and i said on our wedding day nobody will eat meat because i dont want to celebrate our love by other creatures deaths, and he said no way, our child must eat meat etc. I like him a lot but i am very scared about the future and i dont know if i should end this now :(