Begin the wringing of hands
Brainwashing, blah, etc
It’s a parent’s job to instil in their kids a moral code that will start them out in life, and then watch as they develop their own and look back at you like you’re an electrified hate crime factory. If parents are already raising their kids as polluters, recyclers, socialists, racists, happy slappers, regular slappers, Satanists, Scientologists and – God help us – influencers, they may as well throw in a principle or two about veggieness.
If it feels like a more deliberate bit of indoctrination it’s because, for most people, eating meat is the default option, depending on how many arms your Gods have and how many Gods your Gods are. It’s a hand-me-down way of life that sees billions of us feeding our kids dead bodies because we’ve not given it much thought. But non-decisions made accidentally by inaction are still decisions, whether we’re wise to them or not. Either you raise your child a meat eater or a veggie. Either you teach them to be part of a system of cruelty and torture and savagery that ends with them eating a load of dead bodies or you don’t. After the blank slate of birth there is a decision to be made, as there is with 400,000 other things because, honestly, parenting looks fucking exhausting. The point it, vegans don’t force their beliefs on their kids any more than meat eaters do.
And if a kid raised as vegan ends up eating meat somewhere down the line we’ll take it as no different to them finding God, losing God, taking up smoking or giving up crack. That’s what parenting is.
Indoctrination aside there’s the more practical issue of nutrition. There’s a fair amount to consider here, with children’s needs changing from pregnancy to infancy, from toddling to telling you they didn’t ask to be born. Luckily, it’s all been sorted for us. The Vegetarian Society and Vegan Society have tons of guidance on what’s required at different ages and stages. You should look to them for the details, essentials and potential pitfalls. Don’t look to me: I’m not a nutritionist. What I am is: Quite stupid.
Still, with my reading ruler lined up I learned if you’re currently pregant, pegnate, gregnant or pregnant, you’ll need to top up on iron, calcium, B12, iodine, folic acid, omega-3 and such and such. Once the beloved offspring’s forced its way out of you, if you’re breastfeeding you’ll need to keep up with all of the above, with a particular eye on extra calcium, protein and zinc. If you’re bottle-feeding you’ll need to watch out for rennet or fish oils in formula milk. When you move them on to solids you’ll want to big up sources of iron, B12 and omega-3 while shunning excess salt and sugar. By the time they hit primary school they’ll be eating the same brown mush as the rest of us.
Of course, you’d expect the hemp-wearing, lentil-worshipping Veggie Societies to big up vegan and vegetarian kids, but there are independent sources that say much the same. The British Nutrition Foundation says “well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets can be nutritious and healthy.” It has its own advice on veggie diets during pregnancy and for children, warning us to keep an eye out for B12 for young children in particular. The Association of UK Dietitians thinks much the same, saying “Carefully planned plant-based diets can support healthy living at every age and life stage.” You’ll notice the key words there are “well-planned” and “carefully planned.” Bitch, that’s our weekly shop.
So it seems it’s entirely possible, practical and ethical to raise veggie younglings but, as with adults, it’s a mild pain in the arse while you’re getting used to it and you’ll need to keep an eye out for nutritional deets. So we’ll raise our kids how we want to raise them, with our values and lifestyles as their primers and watch as they make their way into the world, hoping they smoke/don’t smoke, try drugs/stay clean, wait for marriage/sleep around, stay veggie/think for themselves, and are always healthy and happy and honest and good. And then we’ll turn their bedrooms into studies and fuck like we did 20 years ago.
Vegans, vegetarians, carnivores, omnivores, pescatarians, flexitarians, fruitarians… Every one of these tedious knobs explained so you can decide which you’re going to be, starting now.
My Life As A Hypocrite
How a spider spurred my veggie awakening and with it my wider Zero awakening and with it your wider Zero awakening and with it a general saving of animals, humanity and the planet.
How, why and which I went vegan. Well, not which. But how and why. And which you should too.
Six solid reasons for going veggie. Each of them so convincing you’ll be mortified you haven’t done it already.
Gelatine and the Newbie Pitfalls
Bits of animals are hidden everywhere: in marshmallows, in red food dye, in fake fingernails, even in meat and fish and everything. Swot up on what you need to miss out on.
In search of protein
I scream, you scream, we all scream for protein. Let’s just calm down and eat some. It’s basically everywhere.
What's The Deal With Eggs?
Prepare yourself for the dullest of dull questions meat-eaters will ask you, armed with a bit of knowledge and a lot of spunk.
Because even being ill is an ethical pickle for the self-righteous vegetarian. Between gelatine capsules and mandatory animal testing, you’re best just maintaining perfect health forever.
What should we feed our fellow omnivores? Should we force our morality on other creatures? Will a leopard ever want a bit of tofu? Just three of the questions I’m not all that into but wrote about anyway.
Putting lipstick on a pig. And shoving botox in a mouse. And giving a bunch of animals a ton of tumours.
National Vegetarian Week begins; will last three days if we get tired
Not to be confused with International Vegetarian Week, Regional Vegetarian Week or National Vegetarian Hour, National Vegetarian Week sees thousands of pasty-faced liberal weeds using their collective energies – about the same as the energies of two meat eaters – to convince the world to become vegetarian. You’ll have noticed this year’s campaign featured prominently on page 27 of your newspaper.
Like many people I’ve spent most of the last week researching for the vegetarian section of a website called The People’s Zero. In the course of my intellectual travels I spent a lot of time on the websites of the Vegetarian Society and PETA and was struck by the inanity of PETA’s campaign to convert Page 3 fans to vegetarianism while leaving women objectified and ignored and feminists of both genders furious.