A new mom authored a vegan recipe book and an article I read. She wrote her recent blog article responding to the main question she’s been receiving since she gave birth to her first child: “Will you raise your child vegan?” Surprisingly, she expressed that it’s more important for her daughter to have open options than to teach her compassion and principles of optimal health from an early age.
This strikes a similar chord for me as in 2015 I took 16 participants on a raw vegan retreat to Costa Rica called my “Love Raw Food & Yoga Eco Retreat.” While there, we went to visit a longtime friend who has been raw vegan for many years and has lived sustainably on the plants of her tropical farm. However, while joining my group, she explained that she now feels we shouldn’t insult anyone when being offered food, that we should love them and eat their food with them even if it’s not our choice. I was surprised at her change in thinking that would have us abandon our true values to please others.
Should we passively accept our children eating everything and anything that comes their way, even if it means ignoring the truth about health, life and the environment?
I see only one choice here: Is it to be Sickness or Health? Love and Compassion or Violence and Oppression? When my children were young, I knew that I, as their mother, was the center of their universe and they believed my message of truth about vegan living. My son healed from a severe asthmatic condition through green juicing and the raw vegan lifestyle. When my children grew into their teenage years and chose to experiment with non-vegan foods due to their perceived need to “fit in” with their peer group, they still had an early foundational base of knowledge as to which foods would sustain health and which would destroy it. This early information eventually brought them fully back to a vegan and raw vegan lifestyle, completely on their own. Our children need us as parents to be wholly responsible for their health now, so they can take over that personal responsibility in the future.
After nursing and weaning our children, there is no need for animal food. However, there is a vast commercial industry push to advertise and sell animal milk. Milks of different species vary according to how big and fast the newborn of the species needs to grow. The bovine calf grows four times faster than the human baby, which explains why cow milk is 20% protein and human mother’s milk is only 5 to 6% protein, a true indication that cow milk is for calves and not for humans. Cow milk is meant to make a calf into a 1,000+ pound cow in a year. Is this what we want for our children? And should we ignore this truth so that our children can feel accepted by others who are ignorant of these laws of nature?
Although someone may seem healthy while living on animal flesh and products, eventually allergies, mucus and later degenerative disease often come into play. When the kidneys and liver become overloaded with food toxins from indigestible animal foods, toxemia levels rise. At a certain point, the toxemia level reaches toleration, and then symptoms appear. We’d do best to nurture and care for ourselves and our children and avoid this toxemia toleration level and enjoy the health we desire for our families.
The primary carrier of toxic environmental chemicals is dietary fat, especially from meat, dairy, eggs and fish. Grazing animals eat plants tainted by industrial poisons. Usually, these toxins originate in polluted rivers, soil, rainfall, or farm runoff. These toxins accumulate in the animals’ fat cells after they eat grass and other plants. Animal fat is then eaten by humans as meat and animal products. Should we blindly disregard this information so that our child can “fit in?” Should we ignore the fact that animals spend part of their lives on feedlots, eating genetically engineered corn, soy and wheat, which in nature would be impossible? The animals get sick, so they’re injected with antibiotics. Those antibiotics find their way into our children’s intestines, killing their friendly or probiotic bacteria. An important aspect of their immunity gets compromised.
Our children want to know the truth. When my daughter and her friend were 9 years old, as we were driving to an event I overheard them talking about breakfast at the girl’s home the day before. My daughter had slept over at her friend’s house, and told her that the bacon she ate for breakfast came from a pig that was murdered so she could eat it. The 9 year old friend got angry and argued with my daughter, insisting that wasn’t true, that the bacon was made at the supermarket, as this is what her mother told her. I was shocked that this 9-year-old child had not heard the truth about where bacon comes from.
Should we show our children that we eat plant food of gentleness and compassion, or that we eat animal food of violence and oppression? Dr. Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet, explains, “We cannot reap happiness for ourselves while causing misery for others.”
Children are so loving, pure and innocent. They feel connected to all creatures and that’s why so many children get upset when they find out that what they’ve been eating came from an animal. There was a boy who used to visit my home frequently when my children were growing up. He happily learned the names of fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, sprouts, nuts and seeds while spending time with us. The boy loved eating all of our healthful and delicious fresh plant foods. He asked many questions about why we weren’t eating hamburgers, cheese and eggs. My children responded to most of his questions, and the boy decided he would no longer eat animals. He bought a t-shirt with a picture of a cow on it and exclaimed to his parents that he was no longer eating them. The boy’s parents became alarmed because they felt he needed animal protein for strong bones, and they refused to let him become a vegetarian. I saw the boy was saddened that his desire to stop killing was met with consternation. He stopped visiting us, as I believe it was painful for him to accept what he was eating while seeing a different, more loving way of living.
There is much information on protein in a healthful vegan lifestyle. We need to be eating high quality biological protein especially high in leafy green vegetables and sprouts. And for those who choose beans, they also contain abundant protein. There is protein in all plant foods when whole. Even a banana contains 5% complete protein. Only fractionated refined foods contain no protein: sugar and oil, for example.
Dr. Tuttle says, “There is a psychological block demanded by the action of eating animals.“
To heal ourselves spiritually, we must become conscious and stop harming innocent creatures. We cannot have spiritually healthy families while still modeling violence. The Golden Rule of each religion teaches kindness and love of others as the essence. How can we let our children think that a breast or leg of chicken or a piece of cheese is an acceptable food source? As a vegan since 1989, working with families in vegan and raw vegan nutrition, I see healthy, happy and loving children grow up beautifully on a vegan and raw vegan lifestyle.
Why should we care for our dogs and cats while not caring about cows, pigs, turkeys, ducks and chickens?
We teach our children history lessons on the cruelties experienced by our human relatives and ancestors. Are we not incurring the same cruel holocaust on animals and then teaching our children that cruelty to others is an acceptable part of life?
Our children’s future environment, Earth as it has been, is in great jeopardy. Dr. Tuttle points out: “In the past 25 years, more species have been forced into extinction than in the past 65 million years combined.” He says, “We eventually do unto ourselves what we do unto animals.”
The documentary film “COWspiracy,” which is an absolute must for every family to see and experience, shows us in very clear numbers that methane gas from the livestock industry is the number one cause of greenhouse gases and global warming.
Are we going to overlook the entire truth about health, compassion and the survival of planet Earth so that we can eat an animal or its parts to “fit in” or not insult someone?
I believe the children of the new generation, more than ever before, need for us as parents to be shining examples of health and compassion through veganism. This light will guide our children to be our future strong leaders, who will take control in reviving our environment and respecting the creatures who share our planet.
By Karen Ranzi, M.A
Award-Winning Author, Motivational Speaker, Holistic Health Coach, Certified Raw Food Chef, Speech/Language/Feeding Therapist
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