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How To Talk To Your Kids About Veganism

How To Talk To Your Kids About Veganism

In a world where almost everyone is eating animals, talking to your kid about veganism is an important thing to do if you want to help them understand the ethics behind a vegan lifestyle.

Whether you or another family member has recently gone veg, or you have been raising your children vegan and now they are starting to ask questions, here are some top tips for reaching your kids with the vegan message:

1. Never Lie – Children are naturally curious, so when they ask questions about what hamburgers are made from, or why you don’t drink milk, use the opportunity to tell the truth in a gentle way. Kids love animals and once they understand what being vegan really means they are able to easily comprehend the importance.

2. Buy Vegan Friendly Kids Books – Thankfully there are a plenty of veg friendly books around to help make your job a whole lot easier. Tackling tricky subjects with grace and clarity, books are a great vehicle to help you explore and explain vegan concepts in a compassionate and visually stimulating way.

3. Help Your Kids Feel Proud – Unfortunately there are still a lot of people that don’t understand this type of lifestyle, so they make fun of it, and in turn can make your kids question their own beliefs. Encouraging your children to feel proud of being vegan is a powerful tool in helping them to grow their confidence and affirm their choices.

4. Knowledge Is Power – Education is key to helping your kids understand the real why behind veganism, so make sure when you discuss the subject that you also teach them about the many benefits that come hand in hand with this lifestyle. From health to environmental, providing them with a well rounded view allows them to see the complete picture.

5. Visit A Local Farm Sanctuary – Taking a trip to your local farm sanctuary where you can spend time with all the beautiful animals and hear their stories will really help your family to make the connection. When your kids realize that farmed animals aren’t happy, and in fact are often neglected and in pain, they won’t be so quick to drink that glass of milk or tuck into their egg sandwiches.

6. Point Out Vegan Role Models – Whether your kids are passionate about sports or they love music, these days there are thousands of vegan athletes, musicians, movie stars and all sorts of other famous people for children to look up to and admire.

7. Have Fun In The Kitchen – Make the most of meal times and get your kids involved in the cooking and teach them about why you don’t eat animal products along the way. Cooking should be a fun family experience and you can use it as an opportunity to get them excited about eating and experimenting with delicious vegan food.

8. Role Playing – My personal favorite idea comes from Ruby Roth, author of “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals”, and is all about encouraging children to act out how they think animals will behave in certain situations. For example, Ruby says to try these questions:

“Let’s talk about the animals we’re not eating. How does a happy chicken move? Can you show me with your body? What does she do with her wings? How does she show her feelings? What if she’s in a cage and it’s only a little bigger than her body? How does she behave now? How about a herd of wild elephants in the desert—what do they look like when they’re running free? What are they doing with their trunks and legs? Ok, now you’re an elephant in the zoo all alone. What does that look like? Wow, I can tell you really understand animals.”

What’s your experience talking to kids about veganism? Have you got any tips to share with other readers?

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8:41AM PDT on May 18, 2015

thanks for sharing :)

12:13PM PDT on Aug 23, 2014

The article didn't do much for me. I did like the video. When will this become cost efficient so we may use it...

As for teaching children. You may teach to your hearts content but they will follow their own mind, not yours... Good luck!

5:36AM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

Fascinating video - glad it was in English, as my German is rather rusty these days. Thank you for the link Alison ... did you notice how it is possible (and so much more effective) to talk about such things, without any recrimination towards omnivores ?

5:08PM PDT on Jul 11, 2014

6:32AM PDT on Jul 8, 2014

Kids have to be taught about nutrition and know that not everyone can be on the same diet....for a variety of reasons related to physical and mental health. They have to be taught to be tolerant of our differences...not only the visible differences like race and appearance, but lifestyle, talent/skills, diet, religion and philosophy...and they have to be taught to respect those differences and not judge people or feel superior or try to make anyone else feel inferior for the choices they make. They should be taught to celebrate our individuality.

I was not indoctrinated by the meat and dairy industry. I was taught about nutrition and the importance of eating a nutritionally balanced diet of whole foods and not being dependent upon artificial chemical supplements that are poorly assimilated by the human digestive tract...which is where absorption of most nutrients takes place.

To argue with that is a senseless waste of time and energy that could be used to fight against the injustices of factory farming and what the food industry in general is doing to our food.

1:55AM PDT on Jul 8, 2014

Aaaah, yes, YOU TUBE...........the ultimate authority on everything! How stupid of us not to have realized that. If one sees it on YOU TUBE, then it's absolutely fact and everyone who posts a video there has to pass a rigorous test regarding "credibility" and pass an I.Q. test.

11:09PM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Vasu M, since most of us eat veggies, fruits and legumes, etc., as part of an omnivore diet, I suppose someone 'indoctrinated' us all to eat our vegges, legumes and fruits.
It's an enormous plot, to be sure. It is not as if the only foods that omnivores eat are dairy and meat.

Diane L, Frank H, I often wonder where Vasu M cherry picks his endless copy and pasted quotes from, I think that his secret lair has been located:

3:48AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

@ Vasu, no you haven't made a case, you've made a strawman out of sound bites and data mining

"I've shown anatomically humans resemble the other primates"

Duh, humans ARE Primates which means we have several things in common. However what is radically different is the size of our brains which consume 50% of our BMR. The other true frugivores are tiny with small brains

You have one article, not a peer reviewed paper, from a person with an ideology. That's it. That Mills has a degree means squat. Research counts and his is sorely lacking. Instead of research, he goes on talk shows and lectures to be paid. Yeah, no monetary reason for him, huh? Any researched on this that's been followed up? Don't think so.

As for B12, guess what? Early humans didn't have access to the supplements so what did they eat?

What did humans eat during the the last great Ice Age from 120k to 15k years ago when Ice Sheets reached Los Angeles?

Sorry Vasu but I'm not picking on you. I'm showing what a vacuous shill you are for ideology. I've enjoyed taking you down several notches and exposing you for the deceptive fraud you are.

Have a nice day

12:54AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Vasu, we ALL know perfectly well what you've said on this thread, and it's ALL been copied and pasted dozens of times. You are STILL ignoring or avoiding answering the questions about WHY you have not said a single word about the subject, which is "HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT BEING VEGAN". The subject asks how YOU, not Dr. Spock, NOT some long-dead scholar, NOT some Biblical YOU would talk to children about being vegan. If you don't have kids of your own, surely you know OF some kids, or know SOMEBODY'S kids. How would you talk to THEM, yourself? I'm thinking it could be contained in at least 2 or 3 comments, not 300.

Now, you've even resorted to repeating your sorry excuses for not being on the topic and accusing Frank of personal attacks. You've even copied and pasted THAT twice!

9:46PM PDT on Jul 6, 2014

Frank H.,

On this thread, I've pointed out that the meat and dairy industries, NOT the vegans, indoctrinate young people (e.g. in schools about the "basic four" food groups); pointed out the waste of resources in a meat-centered diet, contributing to topsoil erosion, deforestization, inequities in the world food supply, global hunger, global warming, the energy, environmental, population and water crises.

I've addressed the issue of Vitamin B-12. I've shown anatomically humans resemble the other primates (frugivores), not natural omnivores. I've cited Dr. Milton Mills' (a graduate of the Stanford School of Medicine) "The Comparative Anatomy of Eating" and Dr. John McDougall detailing "our evolutionary history as plant-eaters." I've cited Dr. McDougall, Nathan Pritikin, the Oxford Vegetarian Study, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and other reputable sources that a veg*n diet is not only healthy, the optimum human diet contains virtually no animal protein.

I've cited the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Environmental Working Group, the World Watch Institute, the Sierra Club, the UN and FAO, Oxfam, the USDA. I point out that veg*ism has attracted freethinkers as well as traditionalists, and some of the greatest figures in history.

I obviously can't say it all in a single posting! Rather than respond directly to each posting and address the points, facts, figures, quotes, and statistics, you resort to personal attacks.

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