The power of the mainstream press

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I got a great e-mail the other day from my nine-year-old niece Jules (who gave us this gem when she was four):

Uncle Ryan, I read Vegging Out in my magazine Teen vogue. It was about Teens turning vegan and vegetarian. Then it says that you could get type 2 diabetes. I wanted to ask you if you could help me find some different kinds vegan items to see if I like it. I’m thinking when I eat more healthy about going vegetarian. Then if that works vegan. But I want you to help me by having me try some ( good to you) (ps: I will show you Vegging Out) vegan food. I would like to start when I go to your house this month. Bring some food when you visit, too. Please help. Thanks! :) :-)

Yesterday, July 5th, marked her first day in her month-long (or longer!) trial as a vegetarian. And she’s totally stoked about it. Isn’t that awesome?

Jules has always grilled me about being vegetarian and in recent years we’ve had a few conversations that led me to believe she was thinking it through for herself. It was seeing this article in Teen Vogue that brought it to life for her. Maybe it was that vegetarianism seemed more “normal” when mentioned in a mainstream magazine and not just by her Crazy Uncle Ryan. Whatever the case, she came to this decision on her own, found some supporting literature in the form of Teen Vogue, and made the commitment to try it for a month. She’s at a place now–at nine years old–that I didn’t reach until I was almost 25.

My sister’s being very supportive of Jules which is due in no small part to her having been vegetarian for five-and-a-half years starting when she was 12. I’m sure it will help Jules a lot to have family support like that. Plus they own copies of Vegan With a Vengeance and Vegan Lunch Box, so they won’t be hurting for recipe ideas!

Feel free to leave Jules some cheers in the comments and I’ll make sure she sees them. Let’s hear it for our newest vegetarian!

14 Responses to “The power of the mainstream press”

  1. Deb

    Awesome Jules! I wish I’d been thinking about things when I was 9 years old. Having an Uncle Ryan (especially a crazy one) would have been cool too. I want to hear what some of Jules’ favorite foods are so far, and the sort of crazy-uncle-ryan food she’s tried! Hopefully crazy uncle ryan fed her the crazy good cranberry lime muffins!

    I also wanted to mention that vrg.org has some cookbooks especially for kids, in case Jules wants to try cooking at some point!

  2. Isa

    Yay Jules! Welcome to veggiedom!

  3. Suzanne

    Congrats, Jules! I became a vegetarian when I was 11 and only wish I’d had a cool vegan uncle for support and ideas.

  4. Becci

    You rock, Jules!!! Keep it up!

  5. Sarah

    Congrats to Jules! I went vegetarian right before I turned 11 and am now a full fledged vegan at 16 years old. I love it and can’t imagine my life any other way!

  6. Katherine

    Way to go, Jules! You probably don’t remember me but we hung out some at your crazy Uncle Ryan’s wedding. I just became a vegetarian about 4 months ago. Congratulations!

  7. bazu

    Yay Jules! I too started thinking about veganism early in life, when I read a book called “kids can save the animals too” published by PETA. Just remember to be good to yourself, take time to learn everything you need to, and eat lots of yummy things!

  8. urban vegan

    Jules is so wise for her age.

  9. KathyF

    I really, really wanted to be a vegetarian when I was young like Jules, but I didn’t have the guts to stand up to my dad and brother’s teasing. I do so wish now that I had.

    Good luck.

  10. amy

    you’ve got one very cool little kid there. my two year old nephew won’t eat meat, he eats soy hotdogs, tofu nuggets, veggie burgers. as a vegan myself i can’t help but smile a little inside when i hear him tell his ma that he doesn’t want any chicken or beef for dinner.

    so right on for being a cool uncle and helping her out.

  11. girl least likely to

    hooray for jules and her crazy uncle ryan!

    in a weird bit of timing, i just found out a few hours ago that my 11-year-old “niece” (she’s really my cousin’s stepdaughter, but that’s clumsy and not as cozy-sounding) has been vegetarian since christmas–ever since talking to me and my sister at length about why we are veg*ns. i was just floored!

  12. Marcy

    yay! needed a pick-me-up kinda story today. i started being totally veg (i.e. all the time, no fish or other oddities) in 8th grade…because that’s when i got to the point of not accepting “no” to my requests to let me go veg, started years earlier. i had to basically say “that’s fine if you won’t cook for me, but i’m still not eating this meat on my plate, and yes i will go be going to bed hungry tonight then thank you very much”. and my mom was into health food and didn’t eat meat often, in fact now she eats vegan food a lot (!), but i can only imagine how it is being in a very meat-oriented home. just stick it out and don’t listen to silly classmates like mine who chanted “if you don’t eat meat, you die” or any such variation. i also came into it from my own interests and research, esp when i went vegan in my junior year of high school, and now i’m getting near 30, so that’ll give you a clue that it’s not just a phase or an experiment, you can indeed start young and stay that way on your own steam. but being stubborn helps, ha ha. as does a tendency not to just go with the crowd. so again, woo hoo, and tons of support, Jules! (maybe vegblog could update from time to time on how she’s doing with it and what she thinks about the whole process?)

  13. Jules

    Go me Go me My favorite is bean cheese brutio. Look up atmy lastiest up date. I love being vegetairen. I’m not now but I want to. Why I’m writing to my self is because I caut Unle Ryan’s Jeans.LOL at him but I will try it again more up dates on my other blog one coming in October

  14. Are We Having Fun Yet? | Mr Funny Web

    […] observation. Try it. You may not get it at first but if you stay with it it gets you![/amazon_link][amazon_link id="0525481842" target="_blank" locale="US" container="" container_class="" ]Are We Hav…ic in mainstream press today. It's art is fantastic; the writing sublime (and sometimes just plain […]

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