Hudson Valley Parent

HVP August 2015

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22 Hudson Valley Parent ■ August 2015 By LINDA FREEMAN A ccording to the Statistic Brain Research Group's latest data, there were 7.3 million vegetarians and 1 million vegans in America in 2013. Three percent were children. What is going on? If there are that many people choos- ing to avoid animal consumption for moral, ethical, environmental or health reasons, why are there so few children? Aren't parents choosing what to feed their kids like they choose their religion? Are vegetarians and vegans unwilling to enforce their dietary choices upon their children, espe- cially if only one parent follows that path? "Hundreds of times a day each of us, as a parent, is making choices," writes Joanne Farb, author of Com- passionate Souls, Raising the Next Generation to Change the World. "The stories we read, the words we use, the way that we offer comfort, the foods we make available, the outside infl uences we bring into our homes (toys and TV for example), ev- ery one of these choices is an element of enculturation. Individually and moment by moment, each choice by itself is probably inconsequential. But together they suggest a path, they Raising vegans When ethics and parenting collide "When we travel we have to plan ahead, but so does anyone with dietary restrictions." — Violet Batycki, vegan mom (Continued on Page 24)

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