This is a chapter from my eBook Vegan Convo: Talking about veganism with people who eat animals.
Kids can be very compassionate beings if we let them, but usually we condition them from the early age to eat animals and abuse them for fun. We take children with us to hunt and kill; we go fishing with them and tell them that eating animals is okay because their bodies are meant for our consumption.
They watch us kill bugs and insects, talk about killing and dominating the animals, we take them to Zoos and aquariums with an excuse to teach them about the animals and how they live. But in reality we are doing the opposite; we are taking them as far away from the real lives of animals as possible.
Animals in nature don’t live in cages and eat food that is given to them, they run and hunt, they take care of themselves, but we don’t know that because Zoos are prisons for animals. Animals there are locked in cages and put on display for our pleasure and entertainment. They are taken from the wild and put in cages FOR us and BY us, not for their good, but for OUR good.
If you watch children with a pear and a worm, in most cases they will eat a pear and play with a worm. They might harm it, but it’s because they are not careful enough, not because they would want to kill an animal. Sure there are kids that would kill a spider, but not because they would want to (usually not, but hey, there is always that one in a million chance that someone is born a psychopath), but because they have been told that it’s acceptable to kill an animal that is different from us.
A child doesn’t want to kill a pig or a chicken; they could never take a knife and stab an animal. It is not natural for us; we are not born with an instinct to kill someone. Tigers and lions are born with an urge to kill, but it’s because they are tigers and lions, not humans that grow salad on their garden and cook meat before we eat it. If it would be natural for us to eat an animal we wouldn’t have to grill it, we would just eat it with bones and blood all together.
A newborn baby is not craving blood and flesh of other animals, they crave their mother’s milk, which is also what baby calves drink to grow, their mother cow’s milk. Have you ever seen a grown cow drinking milk from another cow? I know you haven’t, it’s not possible and it’s not natural. Yet, here we are humans, drinking milk from a cow as adults. Not really something that is written in our DNA isn’t it? It’s something we have taught ourselves to do, we have forced change upon our DNA and our bodies, and we changed who humans were supposed to be.
Sounds like something humans would do? Yeah, I thought so.
Now, there might be children that grow up in a vegan family and they find themselves having no compassion at all towards animals, it happens. Just like it happens that a sociopath or a psychopath grows up in a completely functional and loving family. But what are the chances of something like that happening? One in a million, if even that.
If you find yourself in a child’s company and they are eating an animal, you can share with them a fun fact about an animal they are eating. My sister is not a vegan and she raises her daughter to eat animals, but whenever we are together I always make sure that she is told that pigs are very intelligent and clean animals. My sister always makes fun of me for saying that, because I always say it to her when she insults someone that they are dirty like a pig. She usually says that she just wanted to see my reaction and that’s why she said it.
Kids observe adults and learn from them, so be someone that is compassionate and kind. If their parents are not a great example of someone who is compassionate and loving towards animals, make sure that you are. You can be an example of someone who treats animals with respect and love, you can always inspire someone else to go vegan as well. Those kids might not be vegan growing up, but when they are old enough to buy food for themselves they will remember their aunt or uncle that cared for animals so much.
Children are our future and we need to make sure that we help them grow up to be compassionate and incredible people, and the only way to make sure that this happens is to be an example of a compassionate and incredible person. When they are young they are still unaware of how horrible the world can be and unlike adults, the world hasn’t corrupted them… much. We know that these days’ kids grow up very fast, well, let’s make sure they grow up fast to be good people and not lost people. Technology is good, but what is better is caring for others, so let’s care for each other and the children will learn.
Borrow in a library a bunch of vegan friendly children’s books and give them to a child you know. You can also take them to a farm sanctuary or a similar place and in the mean time you can talk to them about animals and how we must be nice to them. Be a positive example of a vegan.
BONUS TIPS FOR VEGAN PARENTS WITH NON VEGAN KIDS.
- Watch vegan movies with them. Okja is a great example of a beautiful yet powerful movie that shows the cruel side of eating meat. Yes, it is kid friendly and will not show anything graphic that would give them nightmares. It’s not a completely vegan movie but the main message is pretty clear. You can also watch Babe and Legally Blonde 2, which talks about animal testing.
- Take them to a farm sanctuary and let them connect to the animals that were rescued. If they never see pigs in person, and if they never touch a cow, how on Earth can they feel love for them and care enough to stop eating them? Sometimes people just need to touch an animal to connect the dots.
- Buy vegan friendly books for them. Ruby Roth is an incredible children’s book writer and has written beautiful vegan books. They are easy to read and perfect for a child of any age really. I already have one that I am saving for my niece when she is a bit older.
- Veganize your kid’s favourite foods. Vegan hot dogs? Got it. Vegan pancakes? Got it. You can make pretty much anything vegan these days.
- Buy vegan foods for them. You know, like soy yoghurt and vegan candy. There are plenty of those, so trust me that you will find something your kid will like.
- Sit them down and have a talk. It’s important to let your kids know that what they’re doing is not good and that you wish you could teach them about it earlier – in case you just went vegan because otherwise why wouldn’t you raise your kids vegan as well – but that you know better now and you want to let them know that you will be eating vegan at home because you love the animals and eating plants is healthier.
- Show them mild graphic videos. Yes, there are graphic videos that even kids can watch.
Get Vegan Convo: Talking About Veganism with People Who Eat Animals here.