Vegetarian Children: An Insider’s Perspective

Here’s a little story I’d like to share with you about how I was raised as a vegetarian. You are open to draw your own conclusions and take what you can from this article. I hope it helps to answer some questions and concerns you have as a parent trying to decide if it’s best to raise your child as a vegetarian.
My parents were marathon runners and cyclists when I was born. They were on a strict low fat, high protein vegetarian diet. My father’s father suffered from high blood pressure and eventually a fatal heart attack when I was very small. This fueled my father’s desire to live a healthy lifestyle.
When I was able to eat solid food, I ate whatever my parents put on my plate. This generally consisted of vegetables, some low fat pasta, a variety of potatoes and plenty of applesauce. Nowadays, we have better options for feeding our kids. We have ample stores boasting organic goodness and local markets springing up everywhere. It is easier to make a more appealingly colorful organic meal for our children.
My parents moved away from their vegetarian lifestyle when I was about 5 years old. I remember the beginning of the baked chicken, fish and meatloaf era. I remember spending long nights at the dinner table because I refused to eat my dinner. My parents didn’t understand why I wouldn’t eat the food on my plate. I ate a lot of bread and butter during those years. When they moved on to hotdogs and BLT sandwiches, I had ketchup sandwiches. I look back on this time and wish they had embraced my desire to be vegetarian by offering me healthy alternatives to meat.
As I entered my “act like a punk” teenage years, my mom’s animal rights rubbed off on me. I became very active in animal rights and anti-cruelty movements. This caused me to be grounded quite a few times. I remember once I freed a neighbor’s outdoor rabbits since they were never cared for and rarely had water. They went to live in the woods in a rural park outside of Philadelphia. My mom taught me about animals and I had such a respect for them that even as I grew older, I didn’t touch meat. Eventually, I began to become more and more interested in environmental issues. I stopped wearing leather, drove a low impact gas efficient car, rode my bike all the time and became active in every environmental issue I felt strongly about, which was pretty much all of them.

I am now 29 years old. When I look back on my childhood, I can only summon gratitude for the parents that raised me to be unselfish and conscious of my world and always respect this world filled with living beings. I feel that being lucky enough to be raised as a vegetarian has helped me live as a socially and environmentally conscious adult. Children deserve the chance to make up their own minds. We can only guide them away from danger. When I have children of my own, I will instill in them the same ideas that my mother taught me. I hope they will grow up to be amazing people with respect for the world and their own bodies.
In conclusion, I feel that leading your child down the green path of vegetarianism is the first step in creating a sustainable and green mindset in the further years of their lives. It’s the gateway choice that can lead to an understanding and respect of all living things around us.

Guest Article provided by Joe Douglas. He is a freelance writer and guest blogger for AccessRx.com, which covers current health & wellness news in their blog. Customers can also purchase prescription medications online in the convenience of their own home or office.

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About Kelli Miller

My husband (Ricky) of 15 years, our three wild and wonderfully different little boys, one totally spoiled little dog named Annie, and I live in a small town on the coast of Southern Alabama.

Comments

  1. Kids, while they are young, are in the best age for learning to live a healthy life. I appreciate this article.

  2. Really lovely story. Sounds like your parents struck a great balance between gentle guidance and discipline, while giving you independence. Whether it’s with vegetarianism or something else, I think raising children to be “unselfish and conscious of my world and always respect this world filled with living beings” is the best thing to do as a parent. I hope I can do as much for my future children.