The following article was written by Amy Cook.
is such a cliché, but it seems like just yesterday that my son was born. The 40-plus
hours of labor that I suffered through felt like it lasted a lifetime, but the year since then has gone by in a
flash. Now that I'm celebrating my son Dylan's very first birthday—and a rock 'n'
roll birthday, at that—I've realized it's a good time to pass on what I've
learned as a first-time vegan parent who is raising a vegan child.
Dylan enjoying vegan cake on his
and foremost, raising your child vegan isn't as difficult or complicated as some sources might lead you to believe.
Babies need lots of love and care during their first year, but there are only a
few areas of their early life that you need to veganize.
recommend breastfeeding infants, and yep, breast milk is vegan. If you can't
breastfeed or choose not to, you can try to score breast milk from a vegan
donor by going through an approved milk bank, or you can go the soy
formula route. The vitamins in soy formula may contain trace amounts of animal
products, but you can check with the manufacturer and decide what is best for
your family. Please be sure to read PETA's stance on trace amounts of animal products.
first foods are typically fruits, veggies, and rice cereal—all of which are
naturally vegan. Once your baby is
ready for small pieces of food instead of having everything pureed, you can
introduce proteins such as tofu, tempeh, and soft cooked beans, and there's no
need for meat! Just remember to feed your baby, vegan or not, a wide variety of
foods and a balanced diet.
are currently a ton of options for all-natural, vegan baby lotion, bath wash,
diaper cream, and more. I personally love the smell of Method's Squeaky Green Hair +
Body Wash, which is scented with rice milk and mallow. Delicious!
skip fur, leather, and
wool in favor of cruelty-free fabrics, but as most babies I know aren't sporting
leather pants or fur coats, this one is easy. Most play clothes are made from
cotton—it's only the dressier items that may contain wool and the shoes that may
contain leather, so be sure to read the label.
doctors and child-care providers that I've been in touch with during Dylan's
first year have been extremely knowledgeable about veganism and supportive of
my choice. They seem to respect that every parent has the right to choose what
is best for their child and raise them according to those beliefs, until the
child can make his or her own choices. I realize that this isn't the case for
everyone and that some people might act like you are depriving your child by
choosing a vegan diet for him or her, but who could say that this little guy
doesn't look healthy and happy?
advice is just the tip of the iceberg, and I'd like to know what all the other
vegan moms out there think too. What are your best tips or advice for parenting
a vegan infant?
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.