The vegetarian baby boom

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Green sprouts: vegetarian baby boom in U.S

Not much new information here, nor is there much in the way of hard numbers, but trends seem to show that more children are being raised vegetarian or vegan. I suspect the number is still probably quite low (based on Vegetarian Resource Group polls), but rising, nevertheless.

16 Responses to “The vegetarian baby boom”

  1. Rob Martin

    I have a friend who was raised vegetarian from birth and she grew up to be a very healthy woman. It’s kind of crazy talking to her about food, because if you tell her something tastes like chicken, she has no idea what you’re talking about, since she’s never tasted it!

  2. Ryan

    That’s funny… I’ve never known anyone that’s been vegetarian since birth, but I can imagine in such a meat-centric culture that it would be hard to make associations like that.

  3. Robert

    This kind of thing is a tough call. Since vegetarianism is really a lifestyle choice it’s really not a good idea for parents to simply push their children into it before they are aware that they even have a choice. Parents have a duty to make their children conscious of the myriad of beliefs that are out there but forcing something on them before they know the difference is an iffy call.

    This reminds me of a trip to IHOP once when I heard some guy tell the waitress that his daughter, who was not even able to speak yet, was a vegetarian. Really? How did she tell you that, Dad?

  4. Ryan

    Robert — I think parents have to make some choices (like diet) for their children to a certain age. Then, yes, explain to them why you are a vegetarian, what it means, and let them make up their own minds.

    On the flipside, a lot of parents don’t support their child/teen’s choice to become a vegetarian… they won’t cook for them, they chastise them, and won’t attempt to adapt for a choice that their child makes. Though I couldn’t say unequivocally, I would think that this is more of a problem. When a child/teen makes that decision, it’s hard enough for them to deal with it amongst their peers, and if their parents don’t support their decision and help them in what they choose, it’s a rough road ahead.

    I’ve thought about this a bit since (someday) I plan on having kids… since Huyen’s not a vegetarian and I am, how will we raise the kids? Truthfully, I haven’t decided yet how I feel… though I have a feeling it would be more of a “reduced meat” type deal (a compromise) until they could make their own decision.

  5. weeb

    Robert, there is a contradiction here. You’re arguing that vegetarians are “pushing” their dietary choices on their children before they can make the call, but isn’t that what meat-eaters are doing as well? Respectfully, I am proposing that the same situation exists in parents feeding their kids meat before they can choose for themselves. I applaud parents helping to make healthier decisions for their kids in the early years of their development. cheers!

  6. Amy

    Hello to the Veg Blog…I found this page while googleing “vegetarian from birth”. I’m doing research on myself. I come from a family that is not vegetarian, and for some reason I rejected the meat baby food in the highchair, and have been rejecting meat all my life thereafter. So you know, yes, your child can tell you if they’re a vegetarian even if they can’t speak yet. My dad was respectful of it… My mother was not! She thought it was very abnormal. I suspect my situation is unique, but I’m looking for anyone else who may have had a similar experience!

  7. Kevin

    Amy,

    I have the exact same experience…and did the exact same search in google to find this page. You are officially the very first person I know of other than myself that is vegetarian from birth in a family that isn’t vegetarian. Glad to know there is someone else out there.

    I joke that I am a starch-etarian because I each so much bread :)

    Best of luck,

    Kevin

  8. Michelle

    This is spooky – I also searched for ‘Vegetarian from birth’ in google. I was looking for some stories from more people, who, like me were brought up veggie/vegan

    Is indeed good to see a few more of you out there! :)

    For myself I had no problems with health as a child, grew tall, even though people claimed I wouldnt – there is definately no need to eat sentient creatures

  9. Herbivore

    We have a 7 month old and we’re definitely going to raise her vegan until she is at a stage in her life where she wants to consciously decide otherwise. And if she chooses to not be vegan anymore, she’ll do so with full knowledge of where meat and dairy come from. How many people that raise their kids eating meat and dairy tell their kids the truth about how those products are produced? How many of them even know?

    Like weeb said above, feeding your child meat is pushing your values on your kid just as much as raising them vegan is. I’d say more so as it’s not a child’s tendency to try and eat a living creature (like say, a cat would) where they would be much more likely to eat fruits and vegetables (and much more able to actually digest them.)

    It’s like that one guy said, and I’m not getting the words right, but the gist is correct: Put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If the baby eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I’ll buy you a new car.

  10. WINGS

    I have a friend, she and her husband are Vegans and their children are as well. I don’t see anything wrong with this when children are young because they are children and they don’t know whats good for them yet. Would it be wise to let a three year old decide that she wants McDonalds everyday? I mean seriously. Looking at kids now it saddens me to see children under ten that are already obese and on their way to heart disease. I still let my daughter eat chicken cause she asks for it and I won’t deny her it. I was not a vegitarian when I had her. Now I am but I am not going to take away what I have been giving her, Chicken and fish is all she eats though in the meat catergory, pork and beef are not very good for you anyways. If you have ever seen what a pig eats and where a pig lives then you to wouldn’t want to eat them either. when I was 12 saw pigs butchered and it was really gross and sad because the neighbors treated them as pets knowing that they were going to buthcer them. How would we like it if some one did that to us. Anyways my point is that people who eat meat are hypocritcal by saying, we shouldn’t force our eating habits on our kids, do they allow their children to be vegitarians? As for my daughter she will probably end up being a vegitarian when she gets older as I teach her what happens to the animals she eats, plus she really loves her veggies, her fave is Brocolli. Anyways thats it for now.
    WINGS
    “I can fly wit my words”

  11. nicola

    hi my little boy wont eat meat or fish or anything with gravey on so i was woundering if any1 could help me with food solouions 2 give to him he is only 16 months old thank you for your help

  12. Elizabeth Granger

    My children have never eaten meat. I was raised in a meat eating family and remember quite clearly the moment that I realized that I was eating dead animals-very traumatizing for me to know that a life was taken so that i could enjoy dinner. I made the choice for my kids just as a meat eater makes that choice for their children. Does anyone know of ant good sites for children who are vegitarian. My children are 6 and 10 and need to know others choose this lifestyle also.

  13. MANI

    FINE

  14. Hilari

    Wings,
    I think it’s great that you are giving your Daughter a choice and giving her what she asks for. However the comments that you make are a litle hypocritical. I mean,chickens are forced to live in the same horrible conditions as pigs are. Also, you mention that it would not be wise to let a three year old eat Mc.DOnald’s everyday. So, my question is where do you draw the line? Chicken isn’t healthy for your daughter so what is she asked for it everyday?

  15. taryn

    i bristle when i anyone refers to veganism as a ‘lifestyle choice’but does not make the same distinction with regards to meat eating. every single decision we make is a lifestyle choice – you choose to eat animal products or you choose not to; both are choices. the comment that raising your child as a vegan is imposing a choice on them implies that raising them as an omnivore would be not also be an imposition. it just shows what a meatcentric society we live in that meat eating should be regarded as normal, as the point of departure, and veganism should be regarded as an ‘alternative’ lifestyle, which gives it less weight.

  16. Danell

    I have a three year old son who doesn’t seem to like meat. He ate it in the jar food as a baby but for the past year or so I can’t get him to eat it, I thought at first he was being stuborn but then I think he will eat every thing else but meat. I’m not a vegetarian nor are my other two children or anyone else in my family. I just want some advise on whether I should cut meat out of his diet all together because it seems thats what he wants, or if someone has experience with a child that is a vegetarian by choice before the child knew what it was.

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