Any child who is perceived as “different”, whether it be their appearance, the way they talk, the way they express themselves, what they eat, what they don’t eat.. may be at a higher risk for being bullied. We have been hearing about Gay youth in the media quite a bit lately, and the term “bullying” is being used a lot. I started thinking about Vegan kids, and wondering how common bullying is with them.
I have gathered some feedback from other parents of Vegan children, and what they had to say was a bit surprising!
Most parents feel that their children are perceived as “different”, but most school aged kids don’t seem to have much of a “problem” with their Vegan classmates. They might make comments here & there, or question them a lot, but “put downs” & “intimidating behavior” are not much of an issue.
I was happy to hear that a majority of Vegan children, for the most part, are treated fine by their peers. I know by my own experience, that my son feels completely comfortable with his Veganism at school. Truthfully, he has not had one major issue with another student.
So what is it that I find surprising?? Many Vegan children are being singled out & having their lifestyle criticized. But not by other children…. by adults!
Many parents claim that friends, family members & even teachers, have some major issues with their children consuming a plant based diet. And these grownups are not afraid to let kids know exactly how they feel!
So is it okay, that aunts, uncles, neighbors, coaches & teachers, may single out your Vegan child and tell him that Veganism is dangerous, stupid, crazy or unhealthy? What if they simply make fun of your child a little bit, or embarrass him? Or secretly offer him sausage, and promise not to tell his mom, like a woman did to my son?!?!
The answer is of course, NO. It’s not okay, for these people to interfere, put down, or embarrass our children, because they choose a healthy & compassionate lifestyle. But in this meat loving world, where we are told that kids NEED dairy to survive & be strong, it is bound to happen.
Needless to say, your children will also meet & be surrounded by many adults who will respect & support their decision to be Vegan. My son has such a wonderful group of people in his life, who give him constant praise, and brag about his Veganism. So when he is confronted by a grownup, who simply “doesn’t get it”, he stays strong & stands his ground (and yes, he turned down the sausage offer). 🙂
Great post. Addresses a very important issue that I’m sure every vegan mom has thought about. My son is too young yet to have come up against any questioning, but I know it’s inevitable. I only hope that when he enters school, other children are as open as you describe. Children can be cruel but they are also capable of great understanding, so I am optimistic.
I’ve been following your blog for a while and I’m a big fan. I’ve recently started a blog on the same topic, raising a vegetarian (vegan) family (http://howtoeatplants.com). I added a link to your site, hope that’s ok!
Thanks for the great blog, I’ll be checking back often.
I’m flattered, thanks! Can’t wait to check out your new blog! 🙂
Loved this. I do worry about what things will be like for my son, but so far I’ve had no negative comments. He is surprisingly wise and understanding at four about why we don’t eat animals and why he’s vegan. Love to find other vegan parents as well! Woot. My blog is http://www.theresahippieinmykitchen.blogspot.com
“Or secretly offer him sausage, and promise not to tell his mom, like a woman did to my son?!?!”
OMFG!!! That sounds like something a child molester would say! How did you even contain your anger? If it was my kid, I don’t think that woman would be alive anymore- how inappropriate and disrespectful. I still can’t believe that people think they can say and do things like that- if it was an allergen issue people would leave it alone but since it’s moral… gah! I’m pulling my hair out.