Sarah has invited me to join her blog. Oh, yeah! One thing I am PASSIONATE about is raising kids as vegans! I have a vegan cookbook author/rockin' activist-friend with whom I have shared my parenting "wisdom" from time to time when she has been in need (she focuses on real farm animals instead of filling her home with wannabe wild animals like vegan families do) and I always love sharing my experiences with her. I have had such great experiences with my three young vegans, that I believe without a doubt that having vegan children is totally possible and totally AMAZING!
That being true, Sarah is right about the baking! It does help tremendously if you can cook and bake, or are willing to learn! I was an out-of-the-box baker and sorry excuse for a cook (of course, I was oblivious to this at the time) before I awakened to the beautiful world of vegan food, with it's truly endless bounty of culinary opportunities! I became a self-taught and self-proclaimed good cook and baker. I absolutely LOVE to cook and bake, and there is a pure joy that comes out of impressing people with decadent cupcakes adorned with fluffy swirls of pink frosting--especially when people are pass-out, fall-to-the-floor shocked that they're vegan! ("How can that be? I don't see any flecks of broccoli in them?" )
Of course, I don't always make cupcakes or such labor-intensive goodies for parties that my kids attend. My philosophy is that kids need to adjust to the world they live in---yes, vegan kids too. We know that the world is not quite ready for vegans to rule it, so we do have to learn to be around--and be friends with--nonvegans. I want my kids to feel comfortable being in their school classroom when another child is celebrating a birthday with cookies or cupcakes, and they instead have a special bag of store-bought-stored-in-the-classroom cookies to eat. I ALSO want them to be okay to be somewhere and NOT have an alternative. We can't prepare for everything, and I, in fact, think that we shouldn't. Children and adults need to adjust to things all the time. It's just a fact of life. I NEVER show that my children that I feel so sorry for them that they can't have the piece of Safeway cake or the cheese pizza. They really are not deprived, and being vegan is our choice! A glorious choice that I find joy in every day, and my kids do, too!
My kids (ages 7 years, 4 years and 9 months) have been raised from birth as vegans (with the exception of my oldest child, who became vegan at age 9 months, but really didn't eat any dairy before that anyhow) and I do acknowledge that this is probably a lot easier than transitioning from an omnivorous diet when kids are older and have become socially aware of food issues and have grown to have food preferences. Fellow blogger, Sarah, transitioned when her kids were older, so we have had some differing experiences due to this, and may have some varying issues because of this in the future. I think this will add interest to our stories, and help readers who are journeying to veganism, with kids in tow, from different starting points.
I am totally excited to share my love of food, children, and veganism and how they're related in my life. I am a joyful vegan mom, and proud of it! =)