Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Raising My Offspring Vegan

First Message-wear for my fetus 
My friend had emailed me the Oh She Glows post "Will You Raise Your Daughter Vegan? My Answer May Surprise You". I am familiar with Angela Liddon's work, I do have her first cookbook and they're great tasting dishes. After reading her post a couple of times, my emailed response to my friend was, "That's such a lame response. Being vegan isn't about diet. It's about standing against a socially sanctioned wrong. Diet is just a part of it." Just a quick email of my initial thoughts. Of course I went on to think about it much more.

This is why I'm raising my child vegan.
It's clear to me that Angela Liddon isn't vegan for the animals (original definition of vegan) and if she is-or claims to be-she hasn't thought critically about her position. I can read between the lines when she says that she "personally experienced benefits and drawbacks to labelling my own diet". Her feelings have been hurt. She goes on,"I don't want to push my beliefs on her". Um...isn't that what parenting is?! So, you don't want to be a parent...

Here's my line of thinking. If I'm a parent who sees how devastating rape is and doesn't believe it's an ethical way to behave, but at the same time I refuse to instill that same anti-rape value in my children, how is that ethical or even consistent? And once Junior is a teenager and he starts raping people, do I condone that choice? Absolutely not.
Part of the problem is that because animal use is so widespread and accepted by the great unwashed, it seems unreasonable to stand against animal use and to teach your children vegan values. But if it were rape, that's much more sound and the masses would support your "pushing your beliefs".
We have very little control of how others behave. To 'control' our kids choices and teach them similar values to our own (I reiterate-this is what parenting is) is one of the things that we do have some control of, at least at the start.
Angela Liddon doesn't want to label herself or her daughter. Personally, I'm very comfortable with being labelled as a vegan. Our brains are constantly trying to organize the world.
It's obvious that the violence inherit in the animal exploitation industries don't enter into her decision making. She fantasizes about "an excitement for healthy food, understanding its impact on our energy, etc." The closest she gets to talking about nonhuman animals is "etc". She doesn't want to restrict her daughter's pleasure. She doesn't want to "stop her from enjoying some of her dad's chicken or a birthday cake at a friend's party". Angela still sees "dad's chicken" as food. I don't. That's what separates us.
Look, I understand why she's in the position that she's in. Her husband isn't vegan, and that can't be very easy if you were concerned about other species rather than your own health (I'm divorced, I know). In the first paragraph, she writes that her husband "is happy and healthy which is what matters." <sigh> What  about the billions of other sentient lives?
I also don't believe her readership is exclusively vegan. In fact, a number of my non-vegan friends have recommended her blog to me. Could she be attempting to appeal to the non-vegan readers? It's obvious reading the comments on her blog that most readers are praising her decision. I am not.

Damn rights I'm raising my child vegan. Just like I intend to raise them to not be sexist, or heterosexist, or racist, or any of those other isms that put those that are different from us as separate and not worthy of moral consideration. I refuse to raise them speciesist.