HOT TOPIC: What Do You Think About 'Making' Children Vegan?

It's a question that splits opinion - what do you think?
Should children be vegan? People shared their opinions (Photo: Levi Saunders)

An issue which is sure to provoke strong opinions is the question of whether or not children should be vegan.

A recent post in Facebook group Vegan Friends UK asked the following question - and received some interesting responses.

Member Marc Symons asked: "What's people's views on making your children vegan? All ages from after milk onwards."

Here are some of the answers.

1. Animals

James Marsden said: "My view is that it's not making your child vegan any more than it's making your child omni. 

"The difference is that with the latter you're also making animals die."

2. 'Hard'

Tamsin Rusi said: "I'm finding it hard. My little boy is 4 and he eats the same as me at home - vegan. But he's been to his grandparents tonight for tea and they made him spaghetti bolognaise [sic].

"I've asked them to research and read and watch things and they say they don't want to."

3. Cruelty

Rachael Wells said: "Vegan all the way, why would you pay for the cruelty you avoid yourself only to feed it to your children. 

"I understand that some parents disagree on food if one is omni."

A well-planned plant-based diet can be very healthy for children

4. Veggie

Lucy Fisher said: "My son was veggie as I was when I had him, and decided I would wait until he made the choice to go vegan. 

"Then we watched what the health and decided that letting him do something (eat dairy and eggs) that we know to be detrimental to his health is not a good parenting choice regardless of what they have already been eating. 

"He is six and I explained to him that daddy and I (we have both been vegan for around four years) want him to be happy and healthy and this is what we knew to be best for him. 

"It took maybe three weeks for him to stop missing things like choc and pizza and there were a few times when I had to say no even when it felt bad. 

"Now he eats vegan alternatives like pizza and loves them and even asks me if it's definitely vegan - lol he is militant [sic]

"He understands a lot more now why in terms of the animals and the planet. It was honestly the best decision we ever made for him hands down."

5. Horrible

Louise Allen wrote: "Bringing them up vegan will get them used to it, used to the taste and also you would be showing them how to make vegan meals for themselves so it would be the more natural thing to do for them [sic]

"It means they will not struggle to stop eating animals products and won't be tempted to have them because they haven't been used to it. 

"And most of the time when you are vegan growing up, when you ever taste food with animals products you can just tell it's gross and tastes horrible and greasy."

6. Decision

Hayley Morton: "[I'd] rather make them vegan than make them eat meat or dairy, buy leather shoes etc.

"I think people forget that literally everything you do for a child is your decision, and as long as I buy things for my future kid if I have one, it will be vegan [sic].

 "I thank god my boyfriend's mum is vegan and my own parents get it 100% as I decided to be veggie myself at three and they always supported me despite them eating meat and stuff themselves."

7. Ethics

Jasmin Martin added: "I think it would be strange to go against your ethics and give your child something you're so against. 

"When they're old enough to understand it would be very confusing to them surely? My nearly one year old is being raised vegan and I myself was raised vegetarian. 

"I post the meals I make for my daughter on Instagram and really don't feel like she's missing out."

Kids love tucking into berries and other tasty vegan treats

8. Least harm

According to Michelle Hatch: "We should bring them up learning to cause the least harm possible, and to be as healthy as possible, and that means being vegan." 

9. Society

Lucy Fisher said: "Every child starts out vegan by just having their mother's milk.

"Then we force society's views on them - mostly through marketing - that eating meat and dairy is normal and the right thing to do. 

"Feeding your child a vegan diet is not forcing your view on them. It's doing what you know to be best for your children which we do in every situation."

10. Born vegan

Olivia Joy V Jones concluded: "We're born vegan!! We are made non vegan."


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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