Vegan Families

Emma Sullivan

Founder of Little Nest Refuge, mother of two vegan children, Animal Activist and Rescuer.

Founder of Little Nest Refuge, mother of two vegan children, Animal Activist and Rescuer.

To ask me what it is like to be a vegan parent requires a very long and complicated answer. There are so many reasons to be vegan and raise vegan children, from the ethics of animal slaughter, environmental destruction, pollution, water wastage, health, and moral responsibility as a being on this planet.

I have two vegan children, 2 and 7 this year. My partner Ben and I have been raising our family as vegans for three years and we have had the most rewarding experience teaching our daughters to live peacefully and compassionately in the world around them.

We have volunteered at rally’s with our children, visited rescued farm animals at sanctuaries and rescued a few ourselves. My daughter and I have even had the opportunity to come face to face with the big guns at Dairy Australia and question why they separate mother cows from their newborn babies. How is that an acceptable way to treat other beings on the planet? No life is worth a glass of milk.

People are always surprised when we speak about ‘our vegan’ family and shocked that we are ‘doing it to the children’ but in the end we do our best to raise our children the way we see right. And how could compassion be wrong? With so many pressures on parents to conform to ‘normality’ it was difficult to step out of the box and decide to live compassionately.

Somewhere along the line we lost the faces of our food. We have lost the connection that the veal we feed our child is the same age as the child we feed, that the chicken nuggets we eat had a life with feelings and a family just like we do. And we teach our children this is okay because we have always done it, but it’s not okay is it? Surprisingly children already know not to hurt animals but society teaches them it’s okay.

Our girls are thriving in this environment and it is easier than ever to eat a healthy balanced diet. There is an abundance of recipes online, as well as nutritionists, dietitians and supportive vegan parents willing to help you along the way. The bonuses are a longer, healthier life for your children, with lower risks of chronic diseases and obesity, and of course a clear conscience knowing they are not participating in the animal agriculture system, which condones separating mothers from babies, taking cows’ breast milk, killing baby chicks and calves based on their sex, abusing the female reproductive system and allowing cruelty, enslavement and murder.

To teach our children that it is not alright to be a part of this just because ‘it has always been this way’ has been empowering and an amazing way to raise children. I hope they continue to become strong and passionate individuals who can question when something does not feel right. And above anything else be respectful and kind to the equals who share this earth with us.