Will you raise your daughter a vegan? My answer may surprise you

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on March 23, 2015


Hands down, one of the most asked questions I’ve received since I announced my pregnancy last March is whether we will raise our daughter a vegan. It’s something that Eric and I discussed long before getting pregnant, but we revisited the topic again when I did get pregnant. I’ve been clear in the past that our household is not a vegan household – Eric doesn’t follow a vegan diet, although a lot of his meals are vegan because he loves the food that I make (yup, tooting my own horn! hah). He now enjoys hundreds of foods he wouldn’t even touch when we first started dating and it’s been incredible to see his diet transform over the years from deep fried fast food to vibrant veggie-filled home-cooked meals. From eating a huge bowl of frosted flakes cereal to a huge green smoothie every morning, the change has been huge. So even though he’s become more conscious about selecting organic meat from local farms whenever possible and eschewing a large amount of dairy from his diet, he has no plans of going vegan. I support him completely; after all, he was never vegan before we met and he is happy and healthy which is what matters.

Many people have assumed that we would raise Adriana on a vegan diet, but we’ve actually decided not to label her diet in any shape or form. This is for a couple reasons. First, I want her to be able to try any food that she wants to, including the food her dad and family members eat in front of her. Second, I want her to decide for herself when she is older whether she will attach any sort of label to her diet. I have personally experienced benefits and drawbacks to labeling my own diet, and I don’t want to put my beliefs on her or assume that my diet is the best diet for her. That being said, we eat so many plant-based meals in this house I have no doubt that her diet will be filled with vegetables, fruit, legumes, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats! We are very grateful for the food we have access to and above all, I’d like to instill this sense of gratitude in her and also an excitement for healthy food, understanding its impact on our energy, etc. We are incredibly lucky that we even have the privilege of discussing this topic. But would we stop her from enjoying some of her dad’s chicken or a birthday cake at a friend’s party or a home-cooked meal at Mimi’s or Babcia’s house? No we won’t (assuming she doesn’t have an allergy down the road, of course).

I know that deciding what to feed one’s family is a very personal topic, but I want to be open about it as I have with my own dietary changes in the past. Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Vegan households can work really well if that is the goal (and I know many friends who are currently rocking it!), but this is what we’ve decided is right for us.

I’d love to hear from you about this topic. Have you ever struggled with the decision as to whether to label your child’s diet? Do you live in a household with different diets or allergies? How do you find a balance?

PS – Adriana turned 6 months on Saturday! We celebrated by giving her her first solid food – avocado. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time. It was seriously awesome. I also re-read her birth story and cried a little. More on this feeding thing later.



Comments are now closed – May 20/15

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Karley Breese March 23, 2015 at 12:39 pm

I think that is totally the right attitude, I feel EXACTLY the same way. Sometimes I think it would be easier if my husband had the same diet, but not fair of me to change who he is! The same goes for my children (they are 2 and 5). I cook 100% vegan food, but like you, at birthday parties and grandmas and grandpas etc. they eat what is served and I am okay with that and will also let them come to their own conclusion. Thank you for publishing my stance exactly and I really hope you dont get any flack from anyone, Also. I never call myself a vegan for the same reasons…. I just tell people I am plant-based as I continue to have local honey as I believe it helps with my severe seasonal allergies. You rock Angela, you inspired me to become plant based and to keep going at it with your wonderful cookbook and beautiful blog posts. I can NOT wait for OSG2 :)

Dana March 23, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Avocado wad my little guys first food too!

Bibi March 23, 2015 at 12:44 pm

I think that that’s a great approach to take. I was raised in a vegetarian household, and was the product of a vegan pregnancy, but was always allowed to eat meat outside the house if I wanted to.

What do you know, that as soon as I got old enough to really know my own mind, I chose to become veggie, then vegan all by myself. I am really pleased that my mum let it be my own decision, as it feels like something that is mine and wasn’t fobbed off on me.

I think I’ll do the same when I have kids, too.

Alexis Moore March 23, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Thank you for posting this article, it has reaffirmed the decision I made for my children as well. I am the only Vegan in my household and I had at one point tried to get my daughters on the same, however, they started to complain and said that they really like meat and wanted it and cheese back in their diet. I have since come to the same conclusion as you did and I am not forcing my way of eating on them and I will allow them to decide when they are older, what works best for them. Don’t get me wrong, these little girls still get a healthy does of vegan cooking, but I do include what they enjoy as well.

Erika March 23, 2015 at 12:51 pm

I had the exact same approach in mind when my daughter was born. Had the same conversation with my omni hubby and we agreed to the exact same thing. Our daughter would eat what we all eat.

Then I started doing more research on the harmfulness of meat and dairy. Plus that I would have to cook it for her. And that during family gatherings I would have to feed it to her.

I immediately changed my mind. If I’m eating a healthy vegan diet, take so much care to avoid chemicas and the toxic products that are meat and dairy, then my daughter shall also.
We also learned early on that she was lactose intolerant (non vegan formula top up when my milk didn’t come in) so I wouldn’t want her to eat something she was allergic to just because she may have “grown” out of it, or just not showing obvious signs of allergy.

It wasn’t hard for us and my husband is supportive. We are working on family understanding, which takes time.

Rachel Wintr March 25, 2015 at 2:57 am

I think there can be something in-between: I am feeding my baby girl only vegan food and am asking others only to feed her vegan food (in daycare, at grandparents) as long as she is still a baby and is being fed by adults. When she starts asking about food and feeding herself and going to birthday parties and such, or sees what my relatives eat at big family gatherings, then she is allowed to try whatever she wants. Still doesn’t mean I as a parent am feeding her anything but vegan food. Maybe that is what Angela is trying to do as well? Maybe she means that her husband will let her daughter try his food too. Not that she is going to cook non-vegan things for her.

Judy Santos April 7, 2015 at 9:11 am

I’m vegan and my fiance is not. We both agreed that we let our future children choose the lifestyle they want. I, however, will educate them about where their food is coming from, how it is made, how it affects our bodies, the animals, and our planet. These information were not given to me growing up which I know would have helped me. I feel that I got deceived living the way I did before and would have made a compassionate choice earlier if I had known the truth.

Madhuja March 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Hey Angela!
My daughter turned 4 months old on Friday and it has been so much fun reading your posts on Adriana – it is like a sneak peek into what lies in the weeks to come! :)
My husband is vegetarian and I am not, and we have had very similar discussions about what our daughter’s diet should include. I cook mostly vegetarian food and often weeks go by when I have not cooked any meat in the house. However, on those occassions when I do cook meat, I want to have both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian options on the table and let her decide, with no pressure at all from mommy or daddy! Once she is old enough, we are going to explain our choices to her, and again, it will be up to her to decide what she wants in her diet!

On a side note, we had a hilarious episode on Christmas morning that involved your cookbook! It so turns out that my husband and I had the exact same idea – we gifted each other a copy of your cookbook – so now we have two copies on our bookshelf! Seriously, what were the chances of this happening?! We laughed a lot about it, but it made me feel good that we were so in sync! Keep up the good work and we cannot wait for your next cookbook! :)

Halina March 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Oh my goodness, she has a Babcia! How lucky, Babcia’s are the best! Mine always had the best cooking.. :) I’ll always remember her food. I think you have a wonderful, healthy perspective on this topic. Best wishes to you and your little one, Halina

Jen May 10, 2015 at 12:01 am

Haha. I thought the same thing! I was like “Babcia”! My daughter is 7 months old and we are discussing her food as we have introduced her to solid foods (and I am considering staying vegan past my current 30-day challenge) but I was thinking of all the delicious Polish food I will miss out on like Kielbasa (especially since we are visiting Poland next year and my own Babcia)

Haley Krašković March 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm

My husband and I have the same take on the subject. I’m mostly vegan and my husband is pescetarian. Our daughter doesn’t eat meat but we don’t deny her little pleasures in life such as birthday cake or popcorn on occasion. We’re not naive and know as she grows older she will be curious when she goes to have sleepovers and her friends eat pepperoni pizza or burgers. She will try meat and she may like it and choose that diet. We constantly talk to her about what is healthy and what is not. She is always asking and honestly at 3 1/2 she has more knowledge about health food than many adults. She makes us so proud but we feel restricting her too much will only cause retaliation. We find balance is best.

TracyMC March 24, 2015 at 11:06 pm

No offense, but there’s no such thing as “mostly vegan.”

Jamie March 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm

She means she mostly eats a vegan diet. What’s wrong with that? Would you prefer she be a carnivore?

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm

She’s a vegetarian.

Sammy March 25, 2015 at 6:49 pm

You can be a vegetarian and eat very little dairy/eggs, ie mostly vegan.

Franziska March 26, 2015 at 7:51 am

Of course there is :) Please dont be so narrow-minded.

Mariana March 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm

What she means is the exact definition of being vegan, which has become very watered down recently with plant base diets growing in popularity. So yes technically speaking you can not be mostly vegan. It’s a belief system not a diet, which is to avoid any and all exploitation of animals through diet, entertainment and clothing. That has been the definition since the 1940’s. Just thought I would clarify, it is something that does kind of bug most strict vegans because it only hurts the cause unfortunately when people water down the meaning.

Rebeccake8 March 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Yep Mariana I agree. Why label yourself half vegan or 3/4 vegan? Is there something you feel isn’t good enough about being vegetarian? Then go vegan.

Milissa March 29, 2015 at 7:21 pm

I understand the point being made here for those who define themselves as vegan. When you say “I’m vegan” you are expressing a whole belief system, just as I do when I say “I am a Christian.” It’s about more than going to church, it’s how we believe and behave in all we do. It really matters to us. However, I think it’s fine for someone to say they eat a vegan or mostly vegan diet, as my family does. I always explain what that means to anyone who asks and clarify what a vegan lifestyle actually means, too. For us, I am 95% plant-based at home and my family is 85-90% plant-based. My husband and girls drink organic milk and eat organic cheese and eggs. Occasionally they have deli meat that is nitrite and nitrate free. But when it comes to my cooking, it’s vegan, with the only exception being wild caught fish, maybe shrimp. I know that I am not a vegan in terms of my belief system. However, I do see the tremendous value in eating a mostly-plant based diet…and if you told me you weren’t Christian but wouldn’t mind coming to church with me sometime, I would welcome you and be thrilled you were there:) There’s room in this world for all of us and our beliefs as long as we’re respectful and tolerant of each other, and our children have the right to make decisions for themselves as they wish to. My girls understand the importance of healthy, whole foods over processed and refined foods and that those things are for the very rare indulgence. My oldest daughter loves meat, is a self- professed carnivore who is healthy and vibrant and plans to be a veterinarian! Figure that one out!!;)

Claudia March 30, 2015 at 4:47 pm

it all about a label or not. I eat mostly vegan but eat fish on occasion. There is obviously a difference in being a vegetarian or eating mostly vegan. I don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy and when I need to register somewhere I sure as heck am going to say ‘vegan’ and not, no meat, eggs, dairy, etc. that’s way too cumbersome. Im sorry to say but it’s that attitude that turns people away from the vegan lifestyle. Would you rather people say screw the animals, this is too militant to me or show some openness towards different styles of eating? If the time is right for me to stop eating fish I will call myself vegan until that time I will be a ‘mostly vegan’.

Amanda March 31, 2015 at 11:43 am

Couldn’t have said it better myself. I used to be an aspiring vegan. I can get behind the lifestyle/belief system associated with that and I’ve come a long way in achieving a cruelty free diet and lifestyle but the people can be embarrassing. And with an all or nothing attitude and propaganda I see from so many vegan resources, I’d rather not be associated with them. I don’t call myself vegan so much anymore, I just let my choices and food I share do the talking and hope that it will start a dialogue.

Michael April 7, 2015 at 7:21 pm

No need to bash vegans.

Lily Luty April 2, 2015 at 5:15 am

Hello not trying to rock the boat here (honestly)-I think that identifying as a vegan means recognising entirely putting one lifestyle behind you and moving on to another (ie wholly vegan) especially if the veganism is for ethical reasons. It also gives some recognition to the personal sacrifices you’ve made (cheese is wrong but giving it up was harder than expected!) So I think that’s why a lot of vegans get angry at the term ‘mostly vegan,’ because they see it as kind of undermining their own identity, as well as obviously going against their ethical beliefs. I know it’s pernickety but even saying ‘eating mostly vegan’ as opposed to ‘mostly vegan’ has much less impetus to insult-‘mostly vegan’ can quickly be read as ‘I believe in cruelty free living and am against the oppression of animals-however chickens are obviously exempt from this because they are tasty.’ I just want to say that there are 2 sides of the coin-for every militant propaganda toting vegan there is a more symapthetic vegan (or 2 or 3-we definetly outnumber the extremists who are apparently giving us a bad rep) who is so happy that you’re eating mostly vegan and just want to support and encourage you to turn full vegan. Sorry if you’ve had a bad experience, but as in all representative groups the extremists tend to be the minority so please don’t generalise and assume that because someone is annoyed by your term ‘mostly vegan’ that they are all people hating angry vegans about to go and stab steaks in the local Sainsbury’s. I’m sure you could easily sympathise with the anger some feel at the term you are defending-when it comes to morals and ethics I think everyone has the right to be passionate. Another point I have to make is that a lot of vegans are CONSTANTLY fighting criticism over their diet-mostly by their friends who seem to take dietary choice as a direct challenge/insult (sigh) so I think a bit of anger/bitterness against people they associate with eating non-vegan products can probably be explained by that as well.

Amanda April 30, 2015 at 3:28 pm

I agree with what you’re saying (and the other Amanda). I will always believe that any positive change deserves recognition. I definitely agree that people that are fanatical about ‘the rules of being a vegan’ are what scare people away. Telling someone they’re not doing good enough will just make them give up not motivate them. We need more positive steps (even if they are baby steps) from as many people as possible, not just the few ‘elite’. I feel like vegan has become kind of a dangerous word. If you say it to any strong minded vegans they’ll scrutinize you and if you say it to an omnivore they’ll cringe because they’re waiting for you to go into a rant about how evil they are. I like to stay out of the danger zone and use the words plant-focused (when I was still eating fish) and plant-based. For some reason those words seem more acceptable to everyone. lol

Janine April 8, 2015 at 9:34 pm

That might technically be the definition but I disagree it hurts the cause to water down the meaning. I think many people run away screaming at the prospect of being a “vegan” on these terms. So they don’t even try. If more people tried to be vegan the world would be a better place for all. I have nothing but respect for you sticking so closely to your principles it is impressive but just not inclusive enough.

Jaylee May 11, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Honestly, I was thinking about going vegan, but the idea and pressure of having to adhere to such a strict philosophy with such scrutiny and little flexibility is a little daunting.

Janine April 5, 2015 at 8:54 am

I think a lot of omnivores feel just the same way you do Tracy which is unfortunate. I have heard so many people say I couldn’t ever be vegan because….it is one food or another they couldn’t live without. So they don’t even try and meat and milk multiple times a day. If they could be vegan except when they eat what ever it is they cannot live without they would be a lot healthier and and animals would be a lot better off. If everyone observed meatless Monday for example it would have a much larger impact than and one person becoming 100% vegan all of the time. When people realize how wonderful a plant based diet can be maybe many of them would be plant based more often.

Emily April 8, 2015 at 11:36 am

Exactly, you eat a variety of foods, mostly plants but not always? Then you’re an omnivore. Done. Simple as that. Stop giving yourself an unearned title to sound like your doing more than just eating mostly plants but not always. It’s really very, very simple.

Pauline April 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Well said. It’s not complicated at all.

Esther April 14, 2015 at 6:28 am

I am a strict vegan and I think it is absolutely disgraceful to shame someone about being “mostly vegan”. Good for them! I am thankful people are taking notice of the change that needs to be made in the world! Who am I to judge someone who is trying to better themselves, and in turn, make a difference? Perhaps vegans who are “offended” by this should try encouraging those who are almost there instead of knocking them down. How dare you put such an ugly face to the vegan diet? Those of you who are taking this nasty approach to other aspiring vegans aren’t the true vegans. This lifestyle is not something you adopt in order to shame others and put yourself on a high horse. You are not better than anyone else. Perhaps you should try to adopt a more loving, understanding and peaceful mindset before tying to pass on your poisonous one to others.

Jan April 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Well said Esther.

Tessa April 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm

I believe there is no such thing as mostly vegan or mostly vegetarian. If you eat mainly a plant based diet but you include meat you are still an omnivore. It’s good that your eating less meat, but it doesn’t mean you are a vegetarian or vegan.

Bird May 7, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Well said Esther! I think it is so pretentious to come down on someone for saying ‘mostly vegan’ I mean please, people need to get over themselves. Who gives a shit about ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ or any of that, labels are bullshit, plain and simple. Let’s just be happy that people are choosing to eat less meat and animal products. geez.

Deirdre May 16, 2015 at 7:56 am

Brilliantly put Esther, no need for shaming at all.

Marie May 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

So being vegan is an earned title now…huh good to know.

Jodie May 1, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Umm, yes, there is. Or you could say predominantly vegan. How about 80% vegan?

Linda May 12, 2015 at 1:43 pm

I’m learning to say “I eat a plant-based diet” to avoid all that goes along with the true vegan lifestyle. I eat honey, I would wear silk clothing if I had it, and I do wear shoes made from leather. But I don’t eat meat, fish, dairy, eggs or cheese. I used to tell people I’m vegan, but I realized that’s not entirely true when someone commented about the leather and honey issue. Since then I’ve tried to remember to tell people, “I am plant-based.”

Deirdre March 23, 2015 at 12:53 pm

As always Angela, you are balanced and reasonable. The guys at Green Kitchen Stories have a similar take – though they are both vegetarians I remember reading about them letting their kids eat things like fish and whatnot when they’re at daycare, with their grandparents etc.
On an oddly related note: I was raised by a very atheist mother and very Catholic father. I asked my mother once why she bowed down to her kids having first communion and being confirmed (especially me, having always raged against the church unlike my brothers). Living in Ireland, there were at the time of my elementary education no options but Catholic schools open to us. Mam said that she thinks it’s tough on kids to make them stand out at such a young age. I would have been removed from my classmates multiple times a week. And, indeed, I remember the occasional kids who weren’t involved in the rituals really missing a lot of bonding time and adventure.
I think there’s a lot to be said for letting kids blend in unless they choose not to (I went veggie at 7 and did not give a single fuck what the other kids and their parents had to say, but it was very much my choice!)
Keep on being your awesome mama bird self!

JenniferRose NeuroticMommy March 23, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I am completely behind you 100%! What you’re doing is amazing and your daughter is super lucky to have you guys as parents! Xo

Amber K March 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

I hate diet labels too! I feel diet evolves as we do. I am gluten free and what I guess could be called vegan but my husband is omnivorous. Our 13 month old enjoys a high plant based diet but also loves a few animal proteins. We let him choose what he wants. I feel I cannot tell him to eat one thing when my husband and I have different diets. I believe giving choices is important, at least for our family.

Andi March 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Well put! I have been veggie for over 20 years and vegan for 3 months. I, too, have a meat eating husband and we have raised two daughters with a healthy mix of both. Some days I have to do a lot more cooking than most but allowing my family to make their own food choices has worked for us. Plus it’s kind of cool to know they have the knowledge to make and enjoy healthy choices! :)

Carla March 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Thank you for posting Angela. I am currently 36.5 weeks pregnant, Vegetarian and my husband is a meat eater. We had a lengthy conversation about this very topic last night! I’d love to raise my children as Vegetarian, but I know its going to be challenging especially as I live in a world where meat is eaten. Eaten in our house, and also by my family and friends. I think we’ll try to stick to plant based meals with our new son as much as possible, but once he asks to try something his Dad is eating, then we’ll let him try.

cmama March 23, 2015 at 12:56 pm

We decided something similar. We won’t stop our son if he decides to eat any meat or dairy when he’s out or if it’s available. However, we won’t cook any of it at home, so at home he will have to adhere to our diet.

Nella March 23, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Hi Angela!
As a mother of a 3-year-old, I can tell you it isn’t easy to live in a world with so many diet labels.
My husband and I were faced with this decision when my son started solids and around that same time, our transition to a plant-based diet was becoming more and more apparent.
Today, we don’t call ourselves vegetarians (we still eat eggs, little fish and the weekly meal at each of our parents’ house does sometime include meat).
I would say however that we do eat meat-free 85% of the time, which is huge in today’s society.
Like you, we believe in letting our son try everything there is out there and let him decide, once he’s older. But he looooooves his veggies so we’re not worried that he’ll have a healthy, whole foods diet which will include lots and lots of fruits and veggies (and probably the occasional meat if that’s what he wishes).
I don’t think being a vegetarian or a vegan is about being perfect. It’s about being aware of where our food comes from and making decisions based on what we believe.
Thanks for this post…..I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.

Nella March 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Can I also say THANK YOU for your cookbook. I absolutely love every recipe I have tried so far and each week, when I plan my meals, your book is the first I reach out for. Can’t wait for #2!

Angela B March 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm

We have the same beliefs. I eat a plant-based diet but my husband does not. I try not to put labels on my own diet because people often have an expectation that if I eat a “vegan” diet, then I’m vegan and should be raising my children the same.

Growing up, my parents forced their beliefs on me and I really had a hard time with that. I want our girls to make their own decisions about what they eat so that they have a healthy relationship with food and get to try out a variety of foods. When we eat meals as a family they are vegan and my husband will prepare them and devour them. My kids enjoy them too. When they are out, they can each choose what they want to eat.

Stef March 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm

I haven’t eaten meat in almost 10 years and for many of those years I was vegan. My daughter has just turned 6 months old as well and friends and family are constantly asking me the same question.
The last couple of years I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit health wise. Since becoming pregnant I’ve been trying to get back on track.
I was litterally just searching your page (this morning) to see what you planned on feeding your little lady!
Your blog has helped me SO MUCH (for many years). Finding your recipes and reading about your lifestyle has been quite inspiring. I’m so happy I happened to have a baby around he same time to follow your progress and learn from your practices.

Willow @ Will Cook For Friends March 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Such a wonderful post! I love how open and honest you are. Your approach to raising her is so thoughtful and reasonable, I love it!

Beks March 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Sounds like a very sensible way to raise your daughter, and I’m sure she’ll be thankful for it in the long run. But your recipes are so delicious that she won’t be wanting for delicious, nutritious food. :-)

Silvia March 23, 2015 at 1:02 pm

I’m in a mixed household too: husband is an omni, my daughter and I are veggies. I too would not prohibit my baby from trying all the foods available to her. But since my decision to be veggie is primarily out of compassion for other sentient beings, then I would continue to buy only enough animal based food for one person like I currently do. That way I can still have my 200 animals spared per year. There are always ways to minimize the amount of animal based foods too and I think that’s what I’d turn to if she decided to go that route as she got older.

I love love love your recipes! And I so appreciate what you do!

Monica March 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm

Sounds very reasonable to me! :) I’m veggie and my husband isn’t; mostly he’ll just eat what I cook, but when it’s “too healthy” he goes for takeaway. I think it will upset me if my daughter wants to try chicken or pork when she’s older, but I’ll try my best to hide it so she doesn’t feel guilty about it at a young age. Hopefully she’ll understand why I don’t, and be veggie too, but it’s not a choice I’m going to make for her!

Veronica March 23, 2015 at 1:07 pm

You say diets are a personal choice, but in what way is the violent death of an animal a personal choice?

New born calves are ripped away from their mothers, so their mother’s milk can be sold to those who drink it as a “personal choice.” Diets that include animal products are anything but a personal choice.

Why wouldn’t you want to start your child out on a life path of compassion and life-long health?

How can you teach your child to love her cat but eat the dead animal on her plate?

It’s incredibly sad that people are so afraid of labels or being different that they forgo compassion, long-term health and wellbeing.

And…now for the hater comments. Go for it. Someone has to the a voice for the voiceless.

Lori March 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Please tell me you are pro-life…

Maureen Hurly March 23, 2015 at 2:33 pm

I just want to say, well said, Veronica! Thank you for pointing out what should be obvious, and standing up for the animals. I am the only vegan in my household (husband and three children who are not – they are 20, 18 and 12) and it is hard watching them consume animal products and knowing that they are contributing to so much animal suffering and death. If I had to start again, I would unquestionably make my household a vegan one.This is my biggest regret.

Château imaginaire March 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm

I agree with Veronica and Maureen. Ethics are at the core of veganism, not nutrition. It is not a diet.

Ryan March 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Agree with Veronica and Maureen. Eating meat is a backward way of life which is only perpetuated because we ate it when we were children and didn’t think about what it was. It is our duty as parents to teach our children. We teach them about love, manners, being kind to others. Does that not include animals? What about the consequences of factory farming on our health and to the planet? We should stand behind our beliefs and raise our children by our beliefs in a healthy and loving way. We do this with every other topic in life–why not diet too? I think with all the fad diets today the ethics behind veganism have been diluted and that’s sad.

Sue K March 24, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Once again, the word “vegan” has been hijacked to describe plant-based. I agree with Veronica’s comment and the responses from other true committed vegans. Like Maureen, I wish I had done things differently and that I had seen the light of veganism decades ago. If I had it to over again, not only would I myself have gone vegan much sooner, but I certainly would have raised my children to understand the truly personal compassionate choice that is veganism.

Lori Wheeler March 25, 2015 at 12:01 am

So happy to see the above comments! I was surprised how many mothers say they are okay with their children eating meat cause their husbands do! I too would do things much different had I “woke up” so many years sooner and become vegan. My household would have been vegan. I didn’t do so until my oldest son was away at university, two other teenagers and the youngest was not quite 10. One day he said “mommy I don’t want to eat animals anymore either”. He was probably about 12 and is now 21 <3

I would have raised them vegan and told them the truth about where meat, dairy and eggs come from and by teaching them compassion I'm pretty sure they would have remained vegan. A lot harder to do when they are older, but hopefully one day they too will "wake up".

Why Angela do you not want to teach your child compassion? Let her make the decision about eating meat after she is old enough to know how that meat got on her plate? Sure organic is better than factory farmed but there is no such thing as humane meat!

chelsea March 30, 2015 at 4:34 pm

I think that it is absolutely ridiculous to assume that one cannot eat meat and still be a compassionate human. I work with hunter gatherers in Africa and study the evolution of human diets, and it is absolutely ridiculous and untrue to assume that humans who eat animal protein or products in order to supply vital nutritional needs are less compassionate than you.

Would you suggest that people living on a diet comprised of only wild foods starve or suffer from malnutrition in the absence of complete protein sources in their diet rather than much needed animal foods or honey?

In my opinion, judging others for personal (and rational) decisions related to their diets shows a complete lack of compassion.

Lori Wheeler March 31, 2015 at 1:34 am

Well Chelsea, I think it is absolutely ridiculous that you would compare a hunter/gatherer in Africa that I’m sure eats whatever they can catch or gather to survive and feed their family to those in North America that are lucky enough to choose to eat whatever they want!
Angela is not “living on a diet comprised of only wild foods” and herself and her daughter will not “starve or suffer from malnutrition in the absence of complete protein sources in their diet”!
Comparing Angela feeding her child animal products to those in Africa that do not have the resources of fresh plant foods like we do is just plain stupid!

sosaysthepanda March 31, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Lori, I believe that Chelsea’s point was more to your lack of compassion in your judgement of how someone else decides to care for their child. Her example of hunter-gatherers spoke to why someone would make a different choice in protein consumption.

I can appreciate your commitment to compassionate treatment of animals, and yet where is that same compassion for someone who is brave enough to share her life story with strangers?

Robyn Battaglia April 2, 2015 at 11:24 am

all of you ask Angela why wouldn’t she want to teach her child compassion. Where is your compassion for others? Trying to make Angela feel bad about decisions she makes for HER family is not compassion. I think more people would be open to a vegan lifestyle if vegans were not so judgmental of others. Don’t make someone feel bad about a decision she and her husband sat down together as a couple and decided was best for THEIR family. Angela is the one who carried that beautiful baby girl and is the one who will with Eric’s help raise her to be a thoughtful, caring, and honest member of society. None of you have any part in that so it’s none of your concern what she and Eric decide is best for their family.
I think it’s great that you stand up for animals but tearing down others is not the best way to get your cause across. Everyone’s body reacts differently to different diets and some may not have a choice in eating animal based products. so keep trying to make people aware of the health benefits of a plant based diet, try to get farmers to provide better living conditions for animals but do so in a respectful way to others.

Sarah April 2, 2015 at 1:04 pm

I think it’s incredibly shortsighted to assume that Angela “doesn’t want to teach her child compassion”.

Lori Wheeler April 3, 2015 at 12:25 pm

So Robyn, I should feel compassion for Angela because she has chosen not to be compassionate towards the animals that will suffer should she feed her child animal products? Makes no bloody sense!

I am vegan and stand up for animal rights so why would I feel any other way towards the animals that suffer because of her chose?
There no reason what so ever to feed her child anything but vegan when she has the ability to make delicious nutritious vegan meals for her daughter to thrive! It’s not like she hasn’t the money and needs to buy Kraft dinner etc to feed her. Anyone that eats plant based is going to have read about animal welfare so she knows exactly what is going on but guess she has chosen to “put on her blinders”. Hey if you don’t see it or don’t think about it, it doesn’t happen right? I’m ending this here cause there is no point arguing with those that don’t live a vegan lifestyle for ethical, moral and unselfish reasons!

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 12:08 am

Thank you this thread. I was scrolling through the comments and not believing that everyone is so relaxed about animal suffering. Veganism IS being hijacked. With my children I intend to only permit cruelty free compassionate healthful food until they are able to consciously decide for themselves. You don’t need to label your children, and you should let them decide for themselves but wait till they have reached an age when they can reason for themselves. The comfort and convenience of other people and family members is not worth the trade off of animal cruelty and suffering.

Amy April 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Robyn, if you see a rapist or murderer you call them out for their choices. You can have all the compassion in the world for them, but that wouldn’t stop you from saying that what they are doing is really shitty.

Kelsie April 14, 2015 at 1:47 am

Wow. SO interesting reading everyone’s opinions and beliefs. I am curious about the vegan label… I personally eat a plant based diet that is complemented with a small portion <5 % of self harvested animal proteins. Ie chicken eggs that live a lovely life, and we raise a cow which we "steal" some milk off, we also butcher yearling when they are 6 months and share with our family. I understand that this is not "cruelty" free however, all that animals live in great conditions (better than many humans, as i have seen firsthand) and are loved and taken care of.As far as the butchering, I am a nurse, and volunteered as vet assistant in a former life. I am comfortable saying the animals death is nearly painless, with no signs of distress. But it is very different than the horror story that many of you Vegans are talking about. I very much agree with the ethics behind a plant based diet, but is there any lee-way? I don't believe that animal husbandry means neglecting a system that has been in place for so long that if humans stop "interfering" many animals would do worse off.. (The chickens for example, go broody and will kill themselves trying to hatch eggs of you don't take them away). Any thoughts? Is there a middle ground?

jen May 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm

But a grass fed beef, well grilled steak just tastes so darn delicious.. I’m mostly omnivore but also love a delicious vegetarian dish — can’t we like it all? Aren’t there other things to argue about…guess it’s first world problems..aren’t we lucky..

Kathy April 13, 2015 at 2:57 am

Wrong. I’m vegan and I am doing it completely for health reasons. Before you make an assumption about why everyone else makes such a personal choice, just think about it. Do I think the farming practices are horrible? Yes. Do I hope there’s a way to fix it? Yes. And my choices are making a positive impact while eating a mostly-Vegan diet. Angela is living a reality many of us are – the world has many differing nutritional choices/dietary guidelines. It takes courage to be compassionate to all of the choices out there, and be tolerant even if it is in the animals’ best interest – or our cholesterol, BP, inflammation levels, weight and overall health.

Amie March 25, 2015 at 8:10 am

I eat a plant based diet. Choose not to eat meat, but do not believe killing an animal is murder, so for that reason do not call myself a vegan. Being a Vegan is a belief, it’s not eating an all plant based diet. I would like to know the answer about pro-life. If this strong stance of murdering animals applies to the murder of the unborn human life. I mean that sincerely.

Jana Cervinka March 30, 2015 at 9:52 am

I’m hoping my previous comment was not confusing. To clarify, I am 100% on side with Angela’s choice. I was trying to be diplomatic about the harsh negative reactions to Angela’s decision. My point being, let’s be compassionate to both animals and our fellow human beings. Namaste.

Lacey May 1, 2015 at 10:07 am

It’s obvious that the truth behind industrial dairy milk is upsetting to Veronica, but whether or not she is pro-life is irrelevant.
Commercial/industrial dairy comes from cows who are forcibly impregnated. Their calves are weaned- taken from their mother- between 24 and 72 hours after birth. The video accounts of this separation are heartbreaking. The mother, like any, is distressed- fighting and bucking and calling for her young as the calf cries in fear. Males are sold to veal farms; females are destined for the same pathetic existence as their mothers. The calves that are sickly are thrown on dead piles to succumb to the elements. This process is repeated over and over until the female’s body literally gives out- then she is sold for hamburger.

My absolute disgust for this process has nothing to do with my opinion over what an adult woman does or is allowed to do with her body. These animals have no choice and the brutality they endure is not only legal, but condoned every time we purchase commercial dairy products.

I am vegan because pleasing my palate became trivial compared to the abuse it took to get it to my plate. The truth of factory farms was enough to make me lose my appetite- for good. If I were “mostly vegan” I’d still be an omni or a vegetarian- but people can label themselves whatever they wish and believe/deny whatever as well.

sandy May 3, 2015 at 11:00 pm

In agreement.

Jana Cervinka March 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm

I am impressed by your passion, and bravery! In a perfect world all of these complicated issues would be sorted out, with animals as beloved creatures and not food. All of us working at being vegetarian and vegan are contributing to the momentum of positive change, but it will take time, patience and compassion toward our human friends as well.

jenn March 23, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Icompletely agree with you i think its best to teach them while they’re young and then let them eventually make the decision for themselves. I think once you explain to them why you’re not eating yet animal cruelty hormones just the fact that you’re eating one of your best friends is just a really sad thing to admit and once you put that thought into a child they’re like I don’t want to eat my dog I don’t want to eat the cat why would I want to eat that pig. This is just my opinion my nephew is vegan(so am I) and I’m so glad he doesn’t eat flesh and whatever toxic chemicals in nonvegan food.

Sandra March 23, 2015 at 2:01 pm

I know so many families that eat meat and dairy but, for some reason, I was disappointed to hear this answer too. Love the recipes and the cookbook though. The children in our home do not eat meat or dairy, and they are told why. Not only because of the cruelty involved, but also for health reasons. That said, it is VERY difficult to keep that stuff out of their lives because so many places (church, school, friends) serve it. We just do the best we can.

Sarah March 24, 2015 at 9:20 pm

I struggle with eating certain places with my boys at church, some friends, and families. My oldest watched Food Inc. and both have selected books (on their own!) about vegetarians and vegans. These books explain why some choose a life style. We eat a whole foods mainly plant based diet. I would love to be more vegan, and my oldest would as well. I believe it is OK to take a stand now on big no-nos and be clear as to why with family and friends. If my kids know where there food comes from and makes their own decisions based on that, fine. Until then, we lead by example and share information.

Silvia March 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm

What you describe is exactly how I feel inside. The whole “personal choice” thing is so so upsetting to me. You’re absolutely right- when is the animal’s personal choice considered?

However, not everyone sees the world the way you and I do. And in order to help animals most, I believe that we need to allow for degrees of vegan-ism. Or whatever you would call it. Every reduction of animal consumption that a person makes is significant, a vegan will save roughly 100 animals from suffering each year, but nonvegans can make a difference too!

If we make going veg an all or nothing thing, than many people that might have made a reduction will be completely turned off to the idea, because they will think that being compassionate to animals is difficult. Or they will think that veggies are freaks. We aren’t. We’re just normal people with compassion.

And that’s what I think this blog embodies, the attitude that everyone can do something. It has nothing to do with what you label yourself. I would be very surprised if this baby doesn’t follow in mom’s footsteps. She will see the passion for eating this way. Babies pick up on that without restrictions and labels. Mine did, and we are both veggies now :-)

Samantha March 24, 2015 at 10:20 pm

I love this comment Sylvia! I think acknowledging any progress is the right direction is helpful! Every meatless meal is really a victory for the animals. In a society that has been eating meat for hundreds of years, it is a victory to have a plant based meal even if it’s not every single meal of everyday. I think it’s important to encourage plant based foods, but no need to alienate anyone right?

Camillia March 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm

please let this woman raise her child the way she wants. Jesus! You people need help lol

Veronica March 23, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Angela shared this post and is expecting a variety of replies. She also approved my comment, which she did not have to do.

Gaby March 23, 2015 at 3:54 pm

She could just have the comments unfiltered, you know. I’m a vegan too, and up until Angela’s post, I thought I would raise my future child a vegan, but she made me realize that it isn’t fair to Adriana to close some doors she may want open. Kids look up to their parents, and since both her parents eat healthy whole foods (even if Eric isn’t vegan, he is still tremendously helping those animals), she will most likely be turned onto the healthy eating bandwagon. Just because people eat animal products, doesn’t mean they’re antipathic or incompassionate. Now, I think I will let my child choose, and hopefully that will do. You have to trust your child and instill in them compassion and awareness. Vegan or not. Way to go Angela!

*coming from a vegan*

Sayward Rebhal March 24, 2015 at 2:03 pm

But how can children *choose* what they literally cannot comprehend? A 1-year old or a 3-year old is incapable of making a choice about something like ethics, animal suffering, factory farming, etc. Those concepts don’t exist to them.

For what it’s worth, my son is 5 and has been raised vegan since conception. I always tell him, “I am helping you make these decisions until you are old enough understand the issues and make the decisions yourself.”

So he is vegan now. I imagine that he will choose to eat non-vegan foods when he’s older. But I want to give him the opportunity to have lived an entirely vegan life, if he so chooses. And, I think as a parent it’s my job to pass on my own beliefs to him.

That just makes more sense to me than doing it the other way around. Just some food for thought.

Laura Jones March 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Exactly. You always make a choice for your child on what they can eat. Why choose to give them harmful foods? Harmful for their bodies and for animals?

rachel March 24, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Agreed. A baby can’t make that decision. They are unaware of the moral, ethical, environmental, and health implications that arise from eating animal products. I’m all for my son 29 weeks pregnant) choosing to eat animal products one day, but not until he understands what it means. You can’t undo eating animal products. And babies want to eat everything! I’m really unfortunately disappointed in this post. I feel like it should have been kept private.

Kelly P March 25, 2015 at 6:35 am

I for one, salute Angela for her public post. Bravo for sharing in an open and honest manner her thoughts on a subject that she surely knew would generate a hot debate. She was just as open and honest about this aspect of her life as she has been with many other aspects. Thank you, Angela, for sharing. I appreciate your careful and nuanced evaluation of the impacts of your decisions on your daughter.

shaina seidner March 25, 2015 at 12:41 am

reiterating that this is right on, I don’t understand when people say “your child can choose to become vegan when they’re older,” or “you should let them taste everything and then they can decide.” Once a child is desensitized towards animals, cruelty, and compassion, it is going to be much more difficult for him/her to reverse that process. However, if they understand the moral/ethical aspect of eating animal products and choose to make different choices at least they have all the information.

LN March 30, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Hi, i was just wondering the types of foods that your baby ate in his first year? I tried making my daughter mixtures of fruis, veggies, grains, lentils, etc but she refused all of it.. I started feeding her more meat and dairy when she wasnt gaining weight.

Sayward Rebhal March 30, 2015 at 1:29 pm

We did lots of healthy plant fats (avocado, coconut, etc) plus proteins like tofu chunks or lentil mash, plus the typical fruits and veggies and stuff. He was heavily breastfeeding do the first year was mostly just taste/texture exploration for us.

I wrote specifically about feeding a vegan toddler if you’re interested, here:


and here:


and here:


Plus in various ways all over my blog. Hope that helps!

Ashlae April 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Passing your beliefs onto your child, Sayward? I believe that’s called brainwashing. High fives for not trying to dictate Adriana’s life with your beliefs, Angela. Biggest hugs to you.

taylor April 2, 2015 at 2:46 pm

your narrow-mindedness is what’s wrong with people

Nora March 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Nobody is not “letting her raise her child the way she wants.” She is asking for feedback, and I’m glad Veronica spoke up for the animals, as their feedback is never asked for. It is the animals who need help. Google “Farm to Fridge” to find out why. There will probably be no LOLing.

dishing up the dirt March 23, 2015 at 3:02 pm

You’re talking about factory farming which I agree is horrible. However, many small farms raise healthy, happy animals in an ethical, thoughtful and loving manner (myself included)

Veronica March 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm

You’re fooling yourself if you think animals are happy to die for your food. There is nothing ethical about murder.

Edith March 23, 2015 at 5:02 pm

I think it would be in the whole families’ interest, given what we know now about animal agriculture and the harm it does, not only to the animals and human body but to the planet (water, air, soil ) itself, to go vegan. Just so that there is a planet left for the beautiful baby to live in.

Jan April 4, 2015 at 9:09 am


Maureen March 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Veronica, excellent comments. Every single one of them. Thank you.

Ashlyn March 24, 2015 at 2:38 pm

This is the circle of life, my friends! Should we be trying to save all the animals that get eaten by other animals? Including baby animals that are ripped away because they get eaten by the bigger animals? (Comparing your comment about us ripping away calves from their mothers so we can have their milk). Where does this thinking end? Again, this is the circle of life.

I think we all need to remember that choosing vegan is done for different reasons; some do it for their health/how it makes them feel, some do it because they feel animal cruelty is wrong. Fine. I can also appreciate all the comments about wanting to raise children “the right way” but this is her own child therefore her own decision. How about applauding someone for being honest and candid instead of focusing on something that isn’t going to change (animals eating animals)?

Laura Jones March 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Ashlyn, it ends when you have a choice not to kill others. HUmans have that choice, so we make the right one – i.e. not to harm others.

Chanda March 31, 2015 at 7:48 pm

I noticed you have a cat in your picture. Is your cat vegan? I ask because we are vegan at home, but we have a cat and, based on our research, it’s just not okay to give a cat a vegan diet, so I wondered how you have resolved that conflict.

Lily Luty April 2, 2015 at 6:27 am

don’t be silly. Humans have a choice to eat a plant based diet, a cat is an animal which does not. Simple as. Feeding it solely on plants would make it a very sick kitty. Shock news: you can be a vegan and love animals (ie own a cat)-what we’re discussing here is the human animal which has the resources and digestive abilities and ability to make independent decisions regarding their diet…

Judith March 24, 2015 at 9:48 pm

The circle of life does not include forcing pregnancy on cattle and pigs via artificial insemination and then raising the animals to maturity and cutting short their lives so that people can have a piece of dead flesh on their plate.

Choosing to call yourself vegan means you are adhering to the moral stance that animals are sentient and must not be eaten, worn, exploited, or used in any way by us herbivores. Yes, that’s what we humans are…. we’re herbivores.

In being honest about her situation, Angela Liddon has revealed that she is not vegan. She follows a plant based diet, that’s it. If she were truly vegan, then never in a million years would she allow her child to eat dead flesh.

Ashlyn March 25, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I can appreciate what you (Judith) and Rebecca are saying, no doubt. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Correct me if I`m wrong, but I just don`t see Angela`s blog as an outlet for these types of comments when she says she follows a plant-based diet, or follows a vegan diet…again, I may be wrong but I don`t recall ever reading that she claims herself to be a vegan. So unless I`m wrong, I think everyone needs to tone it down a bit.

Judith March 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm

The title of this blog is Will You Raise Your Daughter A Vegan, and in it Angela keeps referring to eating “vegan” meals. To us vegans, that is insulting because it is NOT a diet. If she took out the word vegan for plant based then none of us would have a problem about this.

Don’t ever pretend that being vegan is just following a diet. That’s what we’re trying to get through to Angela and all the other omnivores who enjoy her plant based recipes. We’re recognizing she has appropriated the word vegan to market her site and her recipe books. On the first page of this site, she actually says “plant based vegan recipes”. That is a deliberate use of the word vegan to ensure that a google search would bring people to this site.

That said, her recipes are fabulous, and everything I have made from this site and her Oh She Glows cookbook have been amazing (yes, I bought the cookbook too). I encourage my patients to follow a more plant based diet, and often give her website address to them to help with creating wonderful and delicious meals. I wish her well, I just want her to be aware that using the word vegan implies that she is following the vegan lifestyle and is 100% against eating, using and exploiting animals. This is not the case, according to this particular blog, and I appeal to her to stop using the word vegan. She is plant based, not vegan.

Amanda March 31, 2015 at 12:13 pm

What’s wrong with taking advantage of the system that is in place in order to reach more readers and get more people to eat a plant based diet. Even if every post doesn’t directly overlap with the vegan definition and goals of the vegan movement it is helpful to the movement by getting people to eat in a way that aligns with the goals of veganism and perhaps get some carnivores to look into veganism and change their lifestyle. This is how people learn and grow. My diet choices were not fueled by a burning desire to end animal cruelty but as I transitioned from omnivore to vegetarian to plant based I learned more about veganism because as I was searching vegan recipes I found other vegan resources. If this overlap did not exist I may not have had the encounters to learn more about animal cruelty and become interested in the vegan lifestyle.

By being so close minded about what is beneficial to the vegan movement you are turning people away and giving the movement a bad name. I’m embarrassed by the close mindedness of vegans and the mindless propaganda they spew. Despite having the same goals as the vegan movement, I’d rather be a decent human with a respect for all life than be labelled as a vegan. I believe that this sort of attitude about keeping the vegan definition pure is self defeating and I can accomplish more as a compassionate human that consumes a plant based diet than I can as a zealous vegan.

Judith April 1, 2015 at 11:06 pm

Amanda, there’s nothing wrong with being open to reaching more people and encouraging them to eat more plant based meals. That is a positive step, I agree, but I am not thrilled with seeing Angela’s blog posts where she refers to herself as vegan, tell us that she will allow her child to eat an omnivore diet. When you ARE vegan, you just ARE. If she qualified it by saying she eats a vegan or plant based diet, but does not follow a vegan lifestyle, then that wouldn’t be an issue for me. I believe with the concern we are showing about this issue, it’s obvious that vegans don’t like being led to believe she lived her life fully as a vegan.

I fight for the vegan definition to be pure, because if we don’t keep it pure, if we let slide the many comments of “Well, I’m mostly vegan”, etc., then the vegan movement becomes a confusing muddle and is weakened. In my opinion, we have to stay strong and united – otherwise we will not be respected for holding our beliefs to high standards.

I also believe that stating what the term vegan really is, and what it means to all beings that inhabit earth, that it can be done with great compassion and love. I usually ask the people who are curious about veganism to watch lectures by Richard Oppenlander, Melanie Joy, and Gary Yourofsky.

If refusing to water down the definition of being vegan makes me an extremist, then I will proudly stand behind that label. I can’t compromise on this. This is for the animals, for the health of my fellow humans, and for the survival of this planet.

Petra April 2, 2015 at 12:12 am

Just a quick sidebar: the ‘vegan’ vs. ‘plant-based’ is a very American thing. There’s actually not a commonly understood term for ‘plant-based’ in many languages. I think that tells something about the importance of drawing the distinction.

Jaime March 29, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Hi Judith,

With all respects, do you think it is fair for you to define what “vegan” precisely means to everyone?

I like the idea that people can make choices for what something means to them within their own contexts of children and marriage. I have found that life decisions can be really tough when making them with another person in a family and social context.

I respect Angela’s open-minded and flexible approach to this tough decision.

Lu March 30, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Yes, “vegan” has a specific meaning. It is a word invented about 75 years ago, so we can quite easily find its definition from its founder’s very mouth and not dispute what “vegan” means (definition as of 1979 by The Vegan Society):

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

I am sorry if some people feel they’re being told they aren’t vegan by the vegan police, but there really isn’t room for “do whatever” here.

Christine March 31, 2015 at 4:42 pm

You have given one definition for vegan and it’s from 1979. Just as the words “cool,” “google, ” and “gay” exemplify how word use and meaning adjust and change according to common use, so the word “vegan” also has changed. Yes, for some, it is a system of belief, for others, a dietary expression. Perhaps there will become a way of expressing different forms of veganism… some who have left comments might be “fundamentalist vegans,” others “vegan reformed,” still others might be called “terrorist vegan.” Hopefully we will have more “open minded vegans” than anything else.

Christine April 1, 2015 at 4:54 am

I should mention that the definition quoted DOES provide for “vegan” to express a dietary meaning. Quote: In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.

Note that it can be used as a dietary term. Let me state that again, The Vegan Society definition of vegan states that the word vegan CAN be used as a dietary term.

As I previously stated, however, we must recognise the evolution of language – words and their meanings, and account for those changes. Vegan no longer means, even in dietary terms, dispensing with ALL animal products derived wholly or partly from animals. It is no longer so clearly defined, some vegans use, for example, sugar and others do not. We must all account for the changes that have occurred with this word, Fundamentalist Vegans, or Extremist Vegans, included. However, even if they do not adjust to change well, the rest of us can.

Judith April 1, 2015 at 11:19 pm

Jaime, nobody’s saying you can’t make your own choices. If you choose to eat plant based yet wear leather shoes, eat the occasional bakery treat that has dairy and eggs in it, and yet you call yourself a vegan, well, that isn’t being honest, is it? You can say you’re 95% plant based, and that’s fine. Your choice. But you can’t be 95% vegan, that doesn’t exist. Because it’s a moral baseline, a philosophical stance. You either live it, or you don’t.

Angela has every right to be, as you say, “open-minded and flexible”. I have no problem with that, but just label yourself as plant based, not vegan. That’s okay, because that’s honest.

As to the definition of vegan, please see Lu’s response. Obviously it’s not up to me as to what vegan is.

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 12:27 am

Vegans don’t just “feel” animal cruelty wrong, they think and know it is wrong. It is the circle of life for animals that stalk and kill their prey eating it raw and shredding the meat with their teeth, beaks, and claws. It is not the circle of life for humans. Choosing to be vegan can only be done for one reason; compassion for all living beings. Until you make it to that point you are not a vegan. People who eat a plant based diet for other reasons have no right to call themselves vegans.

Ashlyn March 25, 2015 at 12:37 pm

How is it not the circle of life for humans…we, too, are animals.

I understand there are some pretty questionable/inhumane tactics that farmers are using these days to extract what is sold in grocery stores today, but why attack Angela for voicing her honest opinion, someone who says she follows a vegan diet…key word being follows? I don`t recall her ever being an advocate for veganism due to animal rights. She is simply providing recipes that both vegan-diet-followers as well as `vegans` can follow. Bon appetite!

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm

It is the circle of life for humans who hunt with their bare hands and eat their flesh raw. It’s not for anyone else. I’m not attacking Angela. She should not label herself as vegan, and neither should anyone else who eats a plant based diet. There is NO “vegan diet”. You are not a vegan and cannot claim to be one if you are okay with animal exploitation or understand it through some sort of twisted logic. There are NO vegan diet followers. You should now find yourself in the plant based category.

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Yes we too are animals just like other herbivores. The day I see a man kill an animal like a carnivore or omnivore and consume it’s flesh I will call that the circle of life. When grown animals consume secretions of other animals after forcibly raping them, then I will consider that the circle of life. The fact is this isn’t part of the circle of life.

“After learning about the horrors of meat and dairy …how could I, the lifelong animal lover, continue to support a system that brought so much pain and suffering to so many animals each year?”
~ Angela Liddon, Oh She Glows Cookbook.

She also calls herself a vegan in her bio. I’m not sure if you plant based diet followers understand what vegan means. It is there to specifically define people who live a compassionate cruelty free lifestyle by removing themselves as perpetrators of all animal products, violence and suffering.

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 12:14 am

Spot on Veronica. There is nothing humane and will never be anything humane about murder.

Liza March 28, 2015 at 11:57 am

I’ve been vegan since I was 5 and didn’t want to eat animals anymore. This sort of argument for not eating animals makes me so angry. We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but calling it murder is too much.

tiffany March 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm

What’s your take on eggs? Is that wrong to eat eggs? I have free range chickens and gather their eggs to eat, do you think that is wrong?

Ann March 31, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Tiffany, thank you for asking about the eggs!!! I have wondered about this myself, but only if the conditions are right. Let me explain: I have family members who keep several female chickens as pets; they will live out their days until they experience a natural end to their life, they will never end up on a dinner plate. They are housed in a beautiful coup and get high quality food and tons of fresh greens and veggies on a daily basis. They freely roam the property while the sun is up and they choose to go “home” as the sun sets, they also do a fantastic job at bug control. These “girls” are well cared for and are members of the family (just as many of you have household pets). Since there are no roosters, the eggs that they lay will never become chicks, sorry not possible :) but the hens still lay eggs. You aren’t supposed to allow hens to peck the eggs apart, so instead this family member collects them daily for fresh eggs. There is absolutely nothing unethical about how these hens live, and there is absolutely no way to prevent eggs from being laid. Those eggs that are collected are just a bonus for the family that keeps those hens. Is it considered unethical to have pets if you are following the vegan lifestyle?? Please don’t bash me if you choose to respond, I am asking a simple question, I am trying to understand better and am not looking for harsh criticism, and I find those responses that have been so judgemental a huge turn off as I move closer to totally eliminating all animal products from my own diet and household. My transition toward a plant based diet (with the target being veganism) has been done over a short period of time. Having been raised knowing only knowing “one way” to do everything and making those same choices into my adult years, it is easier to transition rather than go cold turkey. This is a permanent lifestyle change, not some sort of experiment or “diet” that will be reversed as it suits my mood. I want to make sure I am not leaving any holes in my diet that need to be filled by handfuls of supplements. Having eliminated most animal products from my diet, I have continued to use eggs that are raised locally in the exact same way that my family members have been keeping their hens. All of this criticism makes me feel like I could never measure up and claim that I am also a vegan once I reach that point because of my choices until this point, it has made me question whether or not I should keep my mouth closed about being vegan, when asked, and just politely reply that I am plant-based rather than vegan. Once I meet my goal I know that I will never judge since I have been raised to eat animal products and have continued to do so into my adult years. But I can honestly say I have never met a vegan who was a second or third generation vegan, most made a choice at some point to adopt this lifestyle, some of you were much younger, and some of you were already in your adult years. I understand the basics of veganism and that it is not a diet, but a lifestyle, and one that is dead set against using anything (food, clothing, cosmetics, personal care items, and even household items) made from animals, or made by animals, or anything that has been made that has been made that has exploited animals in the process. I have seriously struggled with understanding all of the negativity that has come from this post. I respect Angela for sharing her and her husband’s approach to foods with respect to their daughter, and to me it is a completely logical approach. I have thoroughly enjoyed following this blog for a few years now and appreciate Angela’s transparent posting style as she shares more than just a recipe that she has created. Anyone can find plant based recipes anywhere, cookbooks, other blogs, but what attracted me to this blog from day one and has kept me coming back, is Angela’s blogging style. Angela (and her husband) has graciously allowed us to follow her life as she shares more than just a recipe that she has created. I check regularly for updates and I get excited when I see that another delicious recipe has made its debut on the blog. Thank you for sharing your lifestyle Angela, I am sorry to hear that you are shifting your own approach to this blog as a result of the backlash from this post. I look forward to many more recipes and cannot wait for the release of your second cookbook. You have been a catalyst for my transformation toward a plant based diet and cruelty free lifestyle. I stumbled onto your blog searching for a recipe and found out how wonderfully delicious, nutritious, and possible it is to be entirely plant based and keep healthy over the long term, and during pregnancy too!!
Sorry for the essay.

Stephanie April 13, 2015 at 9:15 am

What she said!

Taylor May 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Ann – I would consider you a vegan, although more specifically an “ethical vegan” (i.e. a person who lives a vegan lifestyle for ethical – usually animal rights – reasons) rather than a simple “vegan” which typically denotes a diet/lifestyle free from animal products. But that’s being really specific.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think many people in the vegan community would chastise you for eating the eggs you describe. As a fairly hardcore vegan myself, who is purely interested in animal rights (the other good reasons are bonuses), I agree that there is nothing cruel about keeping chickens as pets and eating the eggs that they lay.

Best of luck in your transition to veganism, and welcome to the community!

Kat April 7, 2015 at 4:12 pm

So the lion who eats the gazelle is a murderer, too. This world that we live in isn’t intended to be black and white, and you’ll make yourself dizzy trying to make it so. Many animals on this planet rely on the flesh of other animals to sustain their own lives. I make a choice to be follow a vegan diet; that is the path that I’ve chosen to walk. It’s one of the ways I practice compassion. However, I have friends who practice compassion through volunteerism, donating to worthy causes, etc. We don’t compare notes over who is “better” at the end of the day.

Ethics and morality don’t come in pre-packaged, labelled boxes. And if they did, these boxes weren’t ever intended to be flung at each other’s heads. But..trying to pass off your rage under a veil of ethical superiority…sigh sigh sigh. It makes my heart hurt.

Nadine April 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Well said Kat!

Milissa April 17, 2015 at 6:38 pm

You are fooling yourself if you believe you have the ability to decipher an animal’s emotions. They have instincts and reactions, not emotions. Factory farming is abhorrent but each person has the right to choose to eat as they wish. I love animals and follow a mostly plant-based diet but I am not a murderer, no matter what you think of me. You, as am I, are entitled to your opinions but you, as well as I, do not have any entitlement when it comes to the personal choices of others. We don’t have to like what others do but using animal products, unless an animal is endangered, is not a crime and we have no right to judge. The difficult truth is that if no animals were used for food or other kinds of products the animal population would grow to a point where there was not enough food or resources for them and they would begin to die in equally horrific ways. I understand your passion for your beliefs and greatly respect it. My passion is being a Christian and believe we were intended to be vegetarians because in the Garden of Eden, it was perfection, only life with no death. When original sin occurred, our course was changed. I know not all people share my Christian beliefs but it is my truth. My hope for a better world involves not having an “us against them” philosophy and using our differences to grow as individuals and truly appreciate the diversity.

appliedill April 21, 2015 at 7:15 pm

I find your whole argument very strange. What are you actually trying to say? On the one hand everybody is entitled to their own opinions on the other hand you claim there’s no right to judge. So isn’t this a contradiction? And in this whole thread not one person said that different opinions aren’t allowed to be stated. (You being the exception.) So what exactly is it you’re saying? You’re arguing with laws and crimes but these aren’t really part of this discussion at all. We all know that eating meat is not considered a crime. But this doesn’t change the fact that many think it’s problematic.

And for a matter of fact: yes, animals do have emotions. There’s really no scientific doubt about this. In this regard they are not different from us humans who happen to be animals, too.

This question has always been about perspective first, and everything else second. Is your perspective that animals should have the right to a life without suffering from humans and, to go beyond that, a life without oppression from humans? Whatever your answer might be, it’s the root of the choices that follow. If you think it’s wrong then a vegan life in diet, clothing, and so on is probably the way to go. If you think it’s right the question will not concern you and so on. But as soon as you think that it’s wrong it becomes incredibly difficult to accept people telling you that it’s all about personal choice. If you think it’s a personal choice, fine, I don’t agree with you and I think your premise is ethically horrible in most cases.

That is – in a simplistic way – all that there is to it. So yes, I’m judging – I think the suffering of animals is wrong and I think that your personal choice is nothing I need to have any respect for.

Lori Wheeler March 25, 2015 at 12:09 am

Happy until they are taken to be slaughtered, no different than the animals that were mass bred and raised in a factory farm! No sure thing as humane meat! Our dogs and cat live a happy life too but would it be right to line them up and slit their throats or give them a bolt to the head? You are only raising those animals for your own greed not because you love animals!

Brooke March 27, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Thank you to those who are standing up for the animals!

tiffany March 30, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Do you all realize that GOD created us all and gave us the animals for food?! I understand factories are inhumane in what they do, so just raise your own animals or buy from local farms.

Christine March 31, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Sorry, Tiffany, even for those who are bible believers (I am not but I know the bible well) your argument does not hold up as god gave the animals for food AFTER the Fall, and the death and resurrection of Jesus is to bring things back to BEFORE the Fall.
Genesis 2:16 “…you are free to eat from any tree in the garden…”
Genesis 9:3 (after the Fall and the Flood) “Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything…” This is not what God originally intended – if you believe in the bible and in god.

Betty April 23, 2015 at 12:42 pm


If this were so then the apostles would have taught the early church to eat a plant based diet.

Lori Wheeler April 3, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Have you heard of evolution? So did God also create the rapist, child molesters, and factory farms? If God is so good why is our world going to hell, why do innocent young children suffer at the hands of adults, why do some die of cancer? Why did God create elephants or giraffes, don’t see people eating them?
Sorry but your God theory just doesn’t hold up! Maybe watch Earthlings, Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy so see how animal agriculture is not only harmful to the animals, but also ourselves and our planet! Check out what science is and you might see how things really work!

ca April 9, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Don’t you know? Elephants and giraffes were made for the circus and zoos, respectively. #sarcasm

Liz Greener April 14, 2015 at 11:14 pm

Free will, Lori. There is rapists, child molesters and all that bad stuff because of free will. We all have our desicions in life, just like this one, whether Angela is choosing to have her baby lead a vegan life or not! How did this post get dragged into this belief thing? Maybe y’all should just mind your own business and leave the poor girl alone and let her do her own desicions without y’all bashing others. Y’all just made a stream of insults to everyone here on what they believe. This website is for recipes and from first hand opinion from me, this website has helped me a lot, from dropping pounds here and then, to feeling better about our environment. Is it really that hard to have a diverse world to live in? Just read the post, respect the decisions, and enjoy the purpose of it!

ca April 9, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Except that you also take them to the same slaughter houses that those factory farmed animals are sent to. #profit

nichole March 23, 2015 at 4:14 pm

I partially agree, and I appreciate that you were willing to say it with such passion. Seriously, thank you. I don’t love labels or the idea of forcing an identity on my child either, but I think it’s important to understand where our food is coming from. Once my child is old enough to understand and make an ethical and informed decision about her diet, I would allow her to make choices outside of the home about what she will eat. However, until she can make that ethically informed decision herself, I will be feeding her a vegan diet. I only wish my parents had done the same for me instead of going so far as to trick me into eating meat, even when they knew I didn’t want it.

sidenote to Angela: Although I disagree in part with the main post, I love and appreciate this website. Thank you for this deliciously vegan website!

ellen March 23, 2015 at 6:38 pm

I think you make a great point. I just found out I am pregnant and I really want to raise my child vegan. But, how do I tell him/her that what my husband is doing is wrong? I guess I could divorce him but I really like him. A lot! Instead, I try to lead by example and expose my husband to the realities of the farm industry. I hope that I can do the same for my son/daughter when the time is right. And before then, I hope that I am the only one doing the cooking! I hope that I can give him/her enough education so he/she makes a sound decision and then fully believes and is committed to that decision so that it becomes a life habit. (And, I hope that that decision is to be a vegan and I don’t accidentally push him/her in the opposite direction) Can I do all this? I have no idea. But I hope.

Ana March 23, 2015 at 6:46 pm

I agree, Veronica.
I am the only vegan in my household. My husband eats meat, but at least he has agreed to the children being vegetarian until they are old enough to be told *exactly* why mama doesn’t eat animal products (they’re only 2 and 4, so I can’t be too graphic yet), at which point they can decide for themselves. But I hate seeing them eat cheese, for instance, and, worse, I hate that they see their dad eat dead animals as if that were a normal thing to do. I wish my children could grow up seeing vegan as the norm (as it should be), but unfortunately my husband does not agree.
So while I understand Angela’s position – I am in a similar one – I, too take offence at the “diet is a personal choice” position, for the same reasons as Veronica.

Lori Wheeler March 25, 2015 at 12:11 am

Buy them vegan cheese! I sure hope they aren’t drinking cow’s milk too!

Tasha March 23, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Once my son put two and two together ( meat = murder of once alive animals) he wont touch it now. Kids are actually strong advocates for vegan/vegetarian living because of all the compassion they have for animals. I love it!

Brooke March 27, 2015 at 2:27 pm

This is great! Teach the children compassion not violence! x

Andrea March 23, 2015 at 11:37 pm

+1, great comment to being up in this thread Veronica.

VeganElite March 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Right on finally someone talking sense. Call yourselves vegans. Disgusting. Hypocrites mostly. If you eat meat now and then or rarely that does not make you vegan that makes you a freaking flexitarian.

I don’t understand humans and their backwards logic of teach kids the WRONG way their entire life and hope they do the opposite later.


Thank you Veronica! THANK YOU!

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 12:17 am

I don’t understand how these people call themselves vegans either. They completely miss the mark. Thank you Veronica and VeganElite.

Christine March 31, 2015 at 5:44 pm

I’m sorry that you (and others) lack understanding, perhaps it will come and with it, compassion for all life – people included.

Judith March 24, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Bravo, Veronica! I’m so glad to see your comment!

TracyMC March 24, 2015 at 11:08 pm

Nothing hater from me! I’m 100% on your side. Thank you for speaking up!

Jaime March 30, 2015 at 7:41 am

Hi Veronica,

I respect your passion and voice for animals that do not have this power; however, as humans I believe we do have a choice, many of them. I think we hold such power through our ability to make life’s difficult choices.

I think one of the most important elements of our individual power of choice is not just to choose our own actions but respect the choices of others.

Christine March 31, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Well said, Jaime!

Lindsay March 30, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Can I just say people have been drinking milk long before vegans were born. It wasn’t until they could artificially make nutrients to supplement what you are missing in a vegan diet. Just buy locally sourced dairy.

shaina seidner April 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm

I’m sorry but this comment doesn’t even make sense. In the nicest way possible I would suggest looking into the ‘benefits’ of dairy as to what artificial nutrients are made to supplement these benefits. I know you’re not talking about calcium since that is found in many vegetables that are not artificially made… and ‘milk’ is truly only for babies (baby cows, baby humans, baby pigs). Milk is to fatten the baby, not an adult, or even a child. We do not need another animals breast milk to sustain us into adulthood. I would also like to mention that even though things have been done a certain way in the past does not make it right. I currently have an indoor toilet, I am thankful we have made ‘progress’ in many areas of our lives!

Sarah March 30, 2015 at 5:23 pm

“And now for the hater comments. Go for it.” ????

It’s okay to disagree with someone…. respectfully. But cyber bulling (and promoting it) is NEVER okay. There’s a really great Ted Talk about this. Please watch it.


Lindsay April 2, 2015 at 9:22 am

Because you have to realize to love your cat it has to eat dead animals to survive.

Ashley April 3, 2015 at 8:24 pm

Actually, not true. Cats CAN be plant based, and I am currently switching my cat over. It can be very healthy if done with care. obviously you would have to research before believing me… the facebook group “Vegan Cats” has opened my eyes a lot over the last couple weeks and along with scientific evidence has lots of
anecdotal evidence of cats living their entire (long) lives without animal products.

Sandy April 12, 2015 at 3:01 am

Surely you cannot stop your cat hunting birds when it is outside, isn’t that a natural instinct?

Steve April 12, 2015 at 9:45 pm

No no no, cats are obligate carnivores. Obligate as in required. They *cannot* survive on a plant based diet. Please don’t remove meat from your cats diet, unless it finds a way to feed itself (ie: killing wildlife) you will kill it in the most inhumane way possible. This is coming from a vet. That anecdotal evidence you speak of is just that, anecdotal. I guarantee that those so-called vegan cats are sourcing their own meat elsewhere, and in spite of this are not healthy and happy. Cats need meat, they are not omnivores like humans.

Jan April 4, 2015 at 8:49 am

I agree with Veronica. It is the animals that pay the ultimate price for our selfishness. I have been pounded on by family and friends for my choices. I do not push my beliefs on others. If they ask I explain my choices are about cruelty free choices and sustainable food sources and leave it at that.Most people have no idea what I am talking about. People actually have brought veal and chicken to my parties.
For all those personal choices and you folks with new babies the world is dying because of unsustainable, cruel farming practices. Think about the world our children will inherit.
It is not a light and personal choice when meat habits are destroying the very planet we live on, contributing to the antimicrobial resistance crisis due the indiscriminate use of antibiotics to keep sick and crowded animals alive to go to slaughter and sending millions of people to bed hungry each night because raising meat denies them the benefit of grains fed to farm animals and the wasting of huge amounts of water on these filthy polluting farms.
You made the right choices now see it through. I like the lady that said she did not give a single fuck what others think. Be the change. It takes courage!

ca April 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Excellent comment. Agree 100%.

Ellie April 23, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Oh the irony! Veronica, please keep your hateful comments to yourself. And shame on you and all the other militant vegans in this string for trying to shame Angela Liddon who is one of the greatest advocates for plant-based diets on the web. She deserves much better than your collective angry words. “Vegan” has now become synonymous with “Vicious.”

Betty May 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Well done to Veronica, VeganElite, and all the others who are making sense here.
To Ellie (and others) Angela ASKED people to comment and contribute, so don’t make out like vegans have invaded this thread without invitation. There is no bullying going on. Expressing opposing opinions strongly is not bullying. That term is thrown around so much, but as far as I can tell, the only contributors here who have actually lashed out are those trying to protect some wishy-washy notion of ‘don’t judge, man’ while also stating that those people who are judging are ‘vicious’ or ‘militant’. ergh.
You (the “anti-judgers” who supposedly so compassionate) are doing nothing other protecting the status quo, and you don’t like confrontation, and you don’t like your choices being called out as questionable. That is it. You’re not more compassionate- you’re more complacent.
What seems to go over most people’s heads most of the time about veganism is that it is a philosophy that has decided that humans are able to make a difference in a positive way to animals, our environment and our own bodies by choosing not to harm animals. This philosophy is an ETHICAL STANCE. There is no room for fence-sitting on this. Again, as others have stated- JUST CALL YOURSELF A PLANT-BASED EATER.
It’s true what others have stated- the term VEGAN does need to remain strict and well-defined, or else it loses all power and meaning altogether.
For those that claim that they don’t like ‘Labels’ then don’t call yourself vegan. Just don’t. You’re not. Admit that your compassion and commitment to the cause waxes and wanes depending on convenience. Don’t try to bend and flex the parameters of a ethical stance that is important to many people and to the planet. It is gaining momentum, and if it doesn’t stay true to its definitions then it will get so bastardized that everyone will be saying they’re a sometime-vegan if they eat a friggin apple a day.
Veganism is a form of activism. If you don’t like the politics of that, then stay away from the term and don’t apply it to yourself.
It is good that Angela has made so many great vegan dishes and a great cookbook and has a lovely website and I actually really appreciate her honesty on this. But her choice is a disappointing one to me, and this post does confirm that she is a plant-based eater and not a vegan.
I am a mother to an 11 month old girl. She is and will remain vegan, unless she decides otherwise when she is older, and let it be known that that would be a HUGE disappointment to me if it ever happens. My husband went vegan after many philosophical debates on the issue and after he heard a great speaker on the subject. I flat out asked him to try to become vegan because it meant that much to me, and he agreed. He now loves it as much as I do, and our lifestyle has changed so much for the better.
I also agree that it is an absurd cultural practice to, as VeganElite stated, “teach kids the WRONG way their entire life and hope they do the opposite later.”
A lot of people act as if an omnivorous, thoughtless consumerism-based lifestyle is a neutral position. It is not. It is a choice, you are making choices. Harmful ones. It is not a harmless position, and should not be spoken about as if it is.
Children are raised to love and nurture animals. Except then they are also taught to eat and wear them. The connection is deliberately obscured to maintain the status quo. I will not let that connection go unnoticed and unstated when informing my daughter of the realities of the world we live in. It’s not going to be easy for me, or for her, as she grows older, but no one ever said it would be easy going against the grain. I’m proud to be living a life that I believe in and I would love to pass that onto her. I don’t consider my family’s choices to be shameful, or worth giving up on because they face a little resistance from relatives, friends, strangers, or whoever.
I am not attacking Angela, but I am disagreeing and disappointed with her decision.

Crystine April 23, 2015 at 8:31 pm

Well said.
We have raised our child like this and he knows exactly why we choose to eat what we do. It has been an education based on compassion and kindness not necc the gory details. This said, as he got older we let him know that if there comes a time when he feels differently/makes a different choice that we will honor his choices(stopping short of making animal meals at home)At 10 yrs old he has no interest in eating animals or anything that is obviously from an animal. In recent years he has chosen to eat cake at birthday parties, etc.
While I agree we must be a voice for the voiceless that is a decision I made on my own long long ago. I would like him to also come to this conclusion on his own. For the most part this has been the case and I can only assume part of it is because we chose to instill this kindness and understanding into our family at a young age.

Tessa April 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm

No hate comments from me :) I completely agree with you, what some humans are capable of consuming is disgusting. As a vegetarian since birth, I find the thought of eating animals sickening.

Ramona March 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm

We are a mixed household – and I’m raising my children vegetarian so far..my husband eats meat so they both have tried meat and didn’t like it..I stopped eating meat very early on as a teenager so I am open to see what decisions my children will make. And just like your husband, mine eats everything I cook (if it’s successful)…
I think you are doing a great job as a mother!

Emma March 23, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Thanks so much for this post. I don’t have kids but have just got engaged and suddenly the thought of kids has been filling my mind! Mainly the normal panics, even though kids won’t be on the cards for a few years yet.
One of them has been diet and how we’d raise a child/children. I strive to be completely vegan. Haven’t quite got there but that’s my destination. My fiance is a complete omnivore. He used to eat meat every meal of every day, and since being with me and happily eating my food, is probably vegan some of the time, veggie most of the time with meat occasionally.

But I love your attitude about freeing her of labels. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s a tempting thought to bring them up as vegan but you’re right, how will that work when they go to a friend’s house and discover chicken or dairy chocolate and like it?
I decided the other day, it was more important to instil certain attitudes in my children (such as choosing meat locally and responsibly if that’s what they choose to eat) and giving them autonomy whilst making sure they are confident and see the point in asking questions about things other people take for granted.
I’ve also found that leading by example in a non-preachy way is actually far more powerful than forceably putting your way of life on someone (not that I’ve tried the last one!). My omnivore friends and family therefore don’t feel threatened and feel comfortable to explore this new way of eating when I’m around.

Sorry for the essay, but thank you for sharing, I love your website and cookbook and love reading the Adriana updates! I have a folder of certain recipes from your website that aren’t in the cookbook as I need them to hand regularly. Thanks for the inspiration x

Anna Clark March 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm

This is PERFECT! And it describes our situation almost to a “T”. If I needed to explain our house to someone, this would be it! We keep a plant-based home 95% of the time but may have eggs or fish 2 times a week, and wanted to avoid confusing/confining labels. My husband and I got onto this discussion when we had to think about whether or not our oldest daughter (2 years old) would eat cake and ice cream at a friends birthday. As a child with no allergies or medical reasons for eating a gluten-free, plant based diet, we thought it unnecessary to place on her the awkwardness and confusion of being “that kid” not eating with the others :). Thank you for your blog and your passion. It has been a lifesaver to me as we’ve made our journey these last 2 years. Blessings this chilly spring day!

Jen March 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I am currently pregnant due Sep 23rd – so just about a year behind you (which has been great to read through your pregnancy posts!). I am vegan (well, I did cheat a bit during my crappy first trimester) and my husband is not. I’ve really struggled with how we will raise our child knowing how important food is to our non-vegan families. I have been leaning towards the approach that at home will be mostly vegan, and then our child can explore and enjoy food options when at birthday parties and grandparents homes (along with a heavy dose of education/appreciation of where food comes from) and hope they will make their own choices as they grow. Thanks for sharing your plan which makes me feel even better about our decision.

Ashley March 23, 2015 at 3:28 pm

I am expecting my baby on the 25th of September!
I appreciate your comment and I would say we are on the same page. At home I am in control and I love to cook and provide my family with healthy cruelty free food! That being said when my child is elsewhere its ultimately in their hands, we can only educate and lead by example.
Wish you all the best with your pregnancy and baby!

Bo March 23, 2015 at 1:16 pm

I love this post. My son is 9 months old and as we add more to his list of foods, I find myself struggling with this issue. Somethings are decided, he will be raised vegetarian until he is old enough to decide other wise (this was a deal my husband and I made before we even knew we wanted kids) Most likely when he gets to school age. Our extended family is half vegetarian and the other half is very respectful of our choices.
My biggest hang up right now is introducing dairy. I am not up for it yet. Maybe it’s my own preferences being vegan, I don’t know.
But I have never had any intention of raising a dairy free kid. I think it’s too hard, cake, pizza parties, enjoying the food his dad loves.
I love that your aren’t labeling Adriana’s diet, I love the thought that went into the decision as well.
For now diary is on the bottom of the list of stuff to introduce. I am sure we will get there, but I have a whole list of nuts to get through first!

Shael March 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm

I am vegetarian and my hubby is not. I was open to our daughter (who is now 3) eating freerange chicken or organic/grassfed beef, but I said NO to pork, because it truly grosses me out. (Well all meat does, but to me, pork in particular is the worst.) I am honestly not a fan of her eating any meat, but I had to compromise. This way, I also less heat from the in-laws, who think I’m crazy for being vegetarian. :( Plus, being how picky our daughter is with eating (as with most toddlers,) I am just happy when she eats anything!! However, I don’t prepare any meat for her, it is always up to daddy. He will usually just give her some pieces of whatever he is eating.

I decided that when she is older and able to understand where the food comes from, she can make her own decisions on what she wants to eat. My parents tried to raise me vegetarian but unfortunately I grew up not really understanding why; only that I wasn’t supposed to eat meat. I eventually rebelled and ate meat for awhile, until completely giving it up when I was 19 and have remained a veggie for over 15 years now. The interesting thing is that lately, our daughter doesn’t seem to eat much meat anyway. She LOVES eggs and cheese, but she seems to prefer tofu over chicken these days…which is fine by me! Ideally, I would like to cut back on the amount of eggs and cheese I eat..which is why your cook book and recipe blog come in so handy! So, THANK YOU! :)

Lori March 23, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Man, am I glad I continue to follow you. I love your openness and your choice to eschew labels. Vegan or not, YOU and Eric are the parents, and parents know best. If you happen to get a hater, ignore them. You have a thousand fans for ever hater out there.

For myself, I have had a different struggle for my daughter. I remain morbidly obese and cannot stand the thought of my daughter not only growing up with a mother like that, but absorbing my eating habits. My husband and I are doing a very delicate dance right now with her. He’s of a normal size and has normal eating habits, so at least she has one good example. We don’t force her to clean her plate. We encourage lots of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats like all natural peanut butter and avocados. She drinks organic milk, lots and lots of water, and rarely gets juice. Everything in modification and we do not vilify any food. Foods either make you grow up big and strong or they don’t. And if they don’t, we only have them once in awhile. I want her to find her own way and have a fair shot at a healthy life without food issues, and I hope I find my own before it’s
too late.

Alyssa March 23, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Thank you so much for posting. We get this question A LOT as well. I am vegan but my husband and children are not. I have never, nor will I ever push my choices on others. I am happy to inform them when they ask and support them in whatever decision they feel is best for them. My kids (8 & 4) ask me why I do not eat meat and I tell them my reasons (including the fact that an animal needs to die if I choose to eat meat). We never go into gory details but I do not act as if animals are not affected by them eating meat. When they still choose to eat the meat on their plate that is something I support. It is a personal decision that I will support them on whether it is in line with my beliefs or not.

When telling people I am a vegan I admit to them that I am not perfect. I do use raw honey (some believe this to be a violation of my veganism) and the odd time if I am at a friends house and they serve a baked good that likely has egg or dairy in it I will have it but never cook those things for myself.

It is all about achieving a balance that makes sense for you and feeling good about the choices you are making. I love being a vegan, I love having your cookbook as the food is amazing and it makes it so easy for me to serve vegan dishes to my family and friends without complaint. I cannot wait for your next cookbook. I could live off of Oh She Glows alone :) I will be making the banana bread muffin tops tonight :)

Char March 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm

It’s definitely VERY interesting hearing the take on dietary preferences for raising children! I’m truly thankful my hubby went vegan not long after I did and as a result, that’s how we are raising our daughter, Nia. Shall we do a celeb comparison that goes with this post today? I was just wondering about Channing and Jenna Tatum raising their daughter since she’s a vegan and he’s not- and I think it’s a similar view to yours!

I love your level-headed view of everything, Angela! Even though we are both vegan and now raising Nia that way, I ultimately will let her decide what she would like to eat once she comes able to make those choices! I honestly don’t know what the future looks like, but I know that whatever makes her happy will make me happy!

Jana Cervinka March 23, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Hi Angela, thanks for sharing the details around Adriana’s diet, of course the choice is purely yours and your husband’s. Personally, I wholly respect your approach as fair, sensitive to family members, and in Adriana’s best interest. You are a great role model.

Val March 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm

My daughter’s first food was avocado too, and it remains one of her favorites two years later. Great choice :)!

Leah March 23, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Thank you for such a thoughtful post. As you mention, it’s your decision and Eric’s decision right now, and in the end, it will be Adriana’s decision. Food-wise, as long as she’s getting enough calories and nutrients, and gets all the love you can give her, then you’re doing an excellent job as a parent.

Jennifer March 23, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Thanks for this wonderfully honest and reassuring post. My husband and I are in the same boat and have had this discussion several times without coming to a complete agreement on the issue. My husband eats plant based whenever I cook it (thanks to your amazing recipes I rarely hear any protests when there’s no meat in our meals- you’re totally allowed to toot your own horn, you rock!) but the fact is that he does eat meat and doesn’t want to deprive our daughter of the opportunity to try it if she would like to. She is 6 months old and just started solids last week which has been a blast! So far she loves avocado, banana and prunes (necessary because of the banana we think) but makes faces and immediately spits out sweet potato… We have decided to avoid dairy for her as much as possible since we both feel so much better since eliminating dairy from our diets but your post helped so much by helping me to realize that we don’t need to label her diet at all and that its ok not to. I feel like maybe that should have been obvious to me but I was getting too hung up on it – a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! Lol. We eat healthy and stay fit and we will lead by example and hope that she follows our lead. You have a way with words and I look forward to your posts and updates. Keep them coming super-mama! (I have no idea how you get so much done in the run of a day with a 6 month old at home- can you also blog about that? Ha ha).

Becky March 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm

I love this. The balanced approach is an important one in families I think. It’s very much how we’re raising our boys. We’re a little more hesitant when it comes to meat as neither their father nor I eat it so we don’t want them sick (as they’ve never experienced it) but a cupcake or a brownie at a party isn’t going to kill them. If either boy wants to eat meat as they grow older then they will make their own choices and I will continue to cook what I feel is healthy food for when they come home. We never want them to feel isolated because of a decision that we made as parents. As they grow we will continue to educate them on healthy living and hope that they will make wise choices when they are older.

Deanna Tysdal March 23, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Perfect way to look at this. People, especially my family, think I’m going to make my kids freaks by being vegan. Very open minded you can see. I basically say they eat vegan at home, but if we go out to dinner and they want Mac’n Cheese, they can have it. They eat what the other kids eat at daycare. This way they experience all different types of food, but I know at home they are getting healthy and nutritious meals. What 3 year old loves tofu??? Mine does! :)

Cassie March 23, 2015 at 1:46 pm

I love your attitude! I’ve definitely struggled with my diet “label” myself. I have a dairy allergy and limit meat consumption… my family definitely thinks I’m a little crazy in a loving way. To me the bottom line is whole food and finding what works for you.

Carrie March 23, 2015 at 1:49 pm

I have been vegetarian for almost 20 years (working towards vegan) and my husband eats what I cook but also eats meat when out and about. We have two boys (a 3 year old and 1 year old). They are both being raised vegetarian. There was never any question about if they would be raised vegetarian. Even though my husband comes from a family of cattle farmers we both agree that not eating meat is the healthiest thing for our children. Just because meat is part of a conventional diet I see no reason why I need to offer it as an option for my children. We have to make choices for our children every day until they are old enough to make logical informed decisions for themselves. So until my children are old enough to make this decision for themselves (and not just because they want what everyone else has without fully understanding the what/why/etc.) I will make it for them just as other parents who choose to feed their children meat do.

Patti March 23, 2015 at 1:51 pm

As others have said, your approach is very balanced and reasonable. It also reminds me of something Mark Bittman wrote in _Vegan Before Six_, about how when we make certain foods permanently taboo it can lend to compulsive behavior and negative associations with eating and body. We would rather have eating together be a pleasurable experience–a delight to the taste buds as we gather together with loved ones. A solid example of good eating coupled with balanced choices will go a long way in setting your little one up for great success! So happy for you!

Tina March 23, 2015 at 1:51 pm

This is what makes you so appealing to people like myself who are not vegan, or vegetarian, for that matter. You have a sensible, non-fanatical approach to food choices and your recipes promote healthy eating, and they are, of course, delicious!!

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

The extreme fanatical food choice is to eat plants, not dead animal flesh?

Katie S. March 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Thank you for sharing this post. It makes me feel good to hear that a very successful vegan blogger has a husband who has no intention of going vegan. I’ve always felt like I was doing something wrong – not cooking well enough or being convincing enough to get my hubby to make the switch. It’s frustrating to see him and my son eat meat, but they do eat a million times healthier than most men and boys we know thanks to my cooking only vegan at home. Like you, I don’t want to put pressure on my son (he already has a peanut allergy that puts unwanted restrictions on him), but I’m hopeful that one day he and my husband will see the light. If not, it’s a balance that I will have to accept. Thanks again!

N March 23, 2015 at 2:12 pm

I for one am sick and tired of labels.
They cause nothing but trouble…
You get the meat eaters who think you’re weird for being veg/vegan
You get the hostile Veg/vegans for for not doing as they do… etc etc
Everyone should be left alone about their choices when it comes to their diet.
We may not all agree with each others choices, but we all should do what we feel is best for ourselves, no having to explain yourself as to why you will or won’t eat this or that.
I am glad you have an open mind when it comes to your families diet and that you and your husband respect each others individual choices,
That’s the way to be.
Just eat what feels right for you.

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 1:41 pm

You don’t do as vegans do. You subscribe to a plant based diet and think that somehow makes you vegan. It is not a personal or individual choice to kill other living creatures or be responsible for their deaths.

Elaine April 4, 2015 at 6:08 pm

A little late to the dance and I think it’s already been said but, “Vegan” is defined both as a dietary choice and a lifestyle. The person using the word is the one that defines it for themselves. Not you.

Patricia March 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm

This was so refreshing to read! Thank you for sharing!!

My husband and I were vegan for years before having children. We thought for sure we would raise our children vegan. Then when our son was about to turn 2 reality hit that it wasn’t going to work for us. No one else in our extended family is vegan so when grandparents came to visit for a week they wanted to eat non-vegan things in our house and our son didn’t understand why he couldn’t have what they were eating. Then we went to a birthday party where the menu was hot dogs, Mac n cheese and cupcakes…literally nothing was vegan. How do you tell a 2 year old he can’t eat what other 2 year olds are? Then we talked about our childhoods and doing things like trick or treating, getting ice cream after baseball games, etc. and how that was something special that we wanted him to also experience. So we made the choice to at least incorporate dairy into his diet. It was a choice we went back and forth on that ultimately made the most sense to us. I want my children to be able to make their own choices on food when they are old enough to understand. But we still try not to go dairy crazy and cook mostly vegan in our house but it’s nice to not be so restrictive.

Hearing your story has really validated our decision and made me feel relieved that someone I admire so much has the same feelings my family does. Sometimes the vegan community who is supposed to be compassionate can judge people so harshly on decisions like this.

renew russell March 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm

If animals could communicate their feelings, would you still be okay with your daughter making her own choice about the animal holocaust that is totally accepted. We, as parents, must teach what is right and what is wrong. If we don’t, then who will? Does anybody acknowledge the fairness, sensitivity and best interest of animals?

Melinda March 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm

My kids LOVE being vegan and feel like they are lucky to be ALLOWED to be vegan, compared to so many of their friends that wish their parents were vegan and would let them be too. It isn’t always easy but if we didn’t teach them the reasons behind why we are vegan, I doubt they would have this perspective. I know it isn’t always possible for parents to raise their kids as strict vegans when both parents don’t agree, but even when my husband was an omnivore, he always supported my desire and our choice to raise our kids vegan. I’m so thankful for his support and so proud of my kids for the compassionate, loving choices they make everyday with their food.

Susan March 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Good job, Melinda! Nice to see someone raising compassionate kids instead of selling out just to fit it.

Jaime March 30, 2015 at 7:53 am

Susan, I find it pretty harsh to judge someones intentions of “fitting in” (I assume that’s what you meant to write?). I think people make choices for what is right for them and their own family and it is not anyone’s place to make assumptions as to why they make the choices they do.

I also believe that people can exercise compassion regardless of their diet choices. I find it ironic for you to praise compassion in the midst of a response that, in my opinion, lacks it.

Susan April 15, 2015 at 12:46 am

Animals undergo intense suffering so people can have animal products. Animal products are unnecessary for a healthy diet, and are, for the most part, unhealthy. Therefore, the animals suffer and are murdered for the sole purpose of satisfying taste buds. What about that is compassionate? If someone was a rapist, would you want me to ‘accept’ their lifestyle because they can choose how to live their lives? Yet, cows are raped daily as part of the regular process in the dairy industry. Would you like me to accept someone who is sexist because it’s their choice? Yet, treating animals like they are inferior and don’t deserve as much of a life of freedom like anyone else is not only ok with you but you think that’s compassionate? I’m sorry the truth offends you, but I absolutely must disagree that people can exercise compassion regardless of food choices. There is nothing compassionate about what we do to animals. Nothing.

fred gissubel March 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Me and my wife have both been vegan for about a year now and raise our three kids,
Two boys and a newborn girl a mostly vegan diet. They eat some meat outside the house. I think that way of thinking is fine and appropriate. I would only comment on the idea of “putting your beliefs on her” to me at least didn’t make sense. a parent who eats meat is doing the same thing with their children. It’s our job as parents to show or children the right and healthy and thanks to you tasty way to eat in this changing environment. If we instill a healthy diet in out children at an early age then that’s what they will feel comfortable with when they are older and then if they want can choose to try other food if they want, but I think instilling compassion and kindness at an early stage couldn’t possibly be bad for the next generation. Just my point of view but again I think your choice is fine and good just want crazy about the wording. :)

Jessica March 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm

We feel the same way here too! My daughter is 9 months and we follow a mostly vegan diet but do not label ourselves either. This is right for us.

Further I have read a lot about allergies and am introducing foods that are likely allergenic before a year. She has had peanut butter, tofu, whole wheat bread, eggs, and dairy. Its better for your child to be exposed to all foods early to help prevent allergies/ sensitivities in the future.

Shira March 23, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for sharing! My family is dealing with this issue as well. I’m vegan, my husband is omni. With our first two kids, we decided they would not be raised vegan and could make up their own minds. Turns out my son is so intolerant of dairy that he cannot have any. And my oldest daughter is fairly lactose intolerant as well. With my youngest (she’s about 18 months), so far, she’s vegan and it’s sparked a number of arguments with my husband. We agreed she’d be dairy free due to all the lactose intolerance, but not as to other animal foods. She actually loves plant-based foods like tofu and veggies. So far, she’s vegan by default but at a certain point, we’ll have to figure it out. My older two are old enough to know where animal-based foods come from and we never sugar coat anything about where meat comes from. They have actually told me that when they are older, they will become vegan.

Camillia March 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm

I just want to say that you handled this topic with such grace! I asked you on Instagram if you would be pissed off if she wasn’t a vegan and you said not at all, which surprised me. I am not a vegan and neither am I a vegetarian, but I enjoy cooking and consuming both types of recipes. Great post and good luck! She’ll be crawling and then running soon :)

Allison March 23, 2015 at 2:42 pm

well I can’t wait for the (inevitable, I hope) OSG Baby/Toddler cookbook chock full of kid approved vegetable based recipes!

Sarah March 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Our households sound very similar! I chose to follow a vegan diet seven years ago and did it because I personally felt convicted to make the change. My husband eats mostly vegan because I do the cooking and he made the choice on his own to become pescatarian three years ago. He’s healthier than he’s ever been and much more conscious of his choices, but doesn’t have the desire to cut out all dairy or the occasional fish. Our son is 2.5 and we are raising him vegan because he’s eating the food that I make. However, we’ve agreed that when he starts making his own food choices we won’t limit him to only vegan food. I think it comes down to trust and practicality. I’ll share my views and I trust that my child will make choices that are right for him. But frankly I’m not going to police what my child eats when I’m not around. That’s just not reality.

Katy ayers March 23, 2015 at 2:47 pm

This was so helpful! My husband and I will meet our first child in early June and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my being plant based and Curtis being a consumer of all foods. What you’ve written is a great way to honor both parent and child autonomy and to respect all people and their food choices in the child’s life.

Great great post!!

Allison March 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

It’s good to hear your story. I had my first babies (twins) just before Adriana was born and while I also mainly follow a vegan diet, my partner also eats meat occasionally and dairy when I don’t cook the meals. We also decided to be flexible with food, as I feel that we have a duty to offer our children choices to make for themselves. That said, until they are able to make those choices and understand the different options and benefits/drawbacks, we have decided to feed them a vegetarian diet.

But hearing your story was reaffirming and I applaud you for not feeling boxed into some one-size fits all! Because I am “mostly vegan” I sometimes feel a bit of pressure to either not identify as vegan, or feel bad because I’m not 100% vegan. So I like to hear others support a more open-minded approach to food!

Lindsey March 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm

I love this post! I really struggled with this when I first started feeding my now 17 month old solids. When it was time to head back to work, our son had been fed 100% vegetarian (not vegan) foods. I gave him egg yolk and whites early because I wanted to see if he had allergies. When we were lucky enough to find an amazing childcare spot, I was faced with the option to pack meat alternatives for his meals. I decided that I didn’t want him to feel different during those first days of eating socially with his baby peers. He now eats whatever is on the daycare menu, and is vegetarian at home with the rare exception of some fatty fish. The only thing I try to consciously limit is sugar which is only a real challenge with yogurt. I also find it funny that he LOVES milk.

Anna Lee March 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Beautiful! I completely agree with your view 100%. I think letting Adriana experience what she chooses and to let her decide what is best for her down the line is wonderful. And if I decide to have children someday, while I will most likely be raising them in a veg household, I will absolutely not deny them a piece of birthday cake at a friend’s party. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking that would that be for them to be left out. ): How you raise your children, veg or not, is a very personal topic and choice, and there is no right or wrong answer. I think everyone has to do what is right for them. It is so brave for you to post this, and I thank you for it.

lydija March 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Well, I have been vegetarian/vegan my entire life (due to health issues) – I chose to allow my son to choose though. My ex was a deep fried white meat and potatoes guy when I met him and over the 20 yrs we were married, he added tones of healthy foods to his diet because of the food we cooked at home.

My son – eats fairly healthy for a 17 yr old boy. The junk food he has – typically is ‘raman’ and ‘nachos’. He loves soups with lots of veggies in it. He loves eating beans, edamame, avocado, onions, carrots, etc.

I think he is healthier for living in a house that has lots of variety and has offered him lots of options as he’s grown up. I can see him becoming more and more veggie as he grows older – mainly because he’s starting to notice the killing of animals, which is interesting as I have not really pushed that aspect of being vegan.

Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health March 23, 2015 at 3:09 pm

I think it is great that you aren’t putting any labels on Adriana’s diet. I don’t have children yet but as vegetarians, my husband and I both have decided it would be up to them to choose. Like you said, what matters most is that they are healthy. The best we can do is educate them on what’s happening in the food industry and hope they make the right decisions down the road (like sourcing humanely raised meat and dairy, if they choose to eat it).

Therese March 23, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Very rational and wise. Everyone comes to their own place in their own time. I am a veggie, my husband is not, my daughter is veggie and my sons would live on bacon if they could. No one likes a zealot and leading by example is the best for long term success. Lasting change comes from the inside.

Sarah March 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm

I’m am so grateful for your openness here! My husband is very similar to yours, it sounds (although possible a little less healthy – Cheezits and Coke Zero are regular items in our shopping cart, but it’s all about baby steps, right?). For us, we try to cook a new item once per week and each week we rotate between something non-vegan (with vegan-friendly sides, usually) and something hearty & vegan (your blog has been a goldmine there!). And even though we don’t have kids, I get this question a lot. I’m on the exact same page as you here – I want my kids (someday) to be exposed to everything, educated about the many factors that go into the food on our plates, grateful for what we have, and empowered to choose for themselves.

Another question I get all the time is whether I’ll stay vegan through pregnancy if / when I have kids. I’d love to hear your answer here. I always say that my goal would be to stay vegan and consistent with my beliefs and lifestyle through pregnancy, but only if I could do so and maintain my health and the baby’s. Any thoughts on this loaded question?

Dianne March 23, 2015 at 3:20 pm

I’m totally on board with you, Angela. I’m not vegan, but I’m a vegetarian with vegan tendencies/preferences (and thanks to YOU for helping me eat more vegan!) and when our daughter was born we had the same decision to make, like yours, my husband eats meat as well as what I cook. Our daughter eats meat some days and vegan/vegetarian most days as we want her to try everything (within reason!) and let her decide whatever she chooses when she’s older. I have a vegan friend who was a bit opinionated and wasn’t shy to tell me I’m already deciding for our daughter by giving her meat. To that take on it, I say it’s a very personal choice and you need to follow your instincts and heart. Thanks for sharing your amazing recipes with us all and always with your friendly tone, it’s such a gift to everyone and I think you are totally awesome!!

Maura March 23, 2015 at 3:26 pm

As always, a delight to read your blog. This one really hit home as I have been asked the same question over and over again. Though I don’t like relating what I am eating as being called a “diet”, I knew I had to put a lot of thought into what my new little man would be eating when he reaches solids (I am a bit ahead of the game seeing as I still have a month left with this little turkey baking away in my belly!).
I just wanted to thank you, once again, for being the most insightful and best go-to girl for nutritional advice. You are the best!

Jenny March 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

That’s how I raise my daughter. I’m vegan, but my husband (meat and potatoes) and family are not. Though my family is far more willing to try vegan foods.
She eats all kinds of things. She has always loved spinach and brussle sprouts.
It’s her decision as to what she eats. Though for about 8 months she decided to be vegetarian. It was a bratwurst that ended that. lol

Amy March 23, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Same decision/situation here, although honestly it breaks my heart a little every time I see her eat meat, dairy or eggs. This is for both health and ethical reasons. She’s only 5 and starting to make the connection, asking me why I don’t eat animals, etc. I’ll be patient and let her make the decision on her own, but I sure hope serving her yummy food like yours will sway that decision!

Adriane March 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm

So glad you posted this! Good luck with the solid foods!!

Shelley McNally March 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Angela, your’re a smart girl! Very wise decision :)

Paul Cooke March 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm

My partner and I have had exactly the same chat (still in the planning stage!) and came to exactly the same conclusion. What I think is really…frustrating, or even a touch hypocritical, is that people find it so nuts in the first place. Nobody seems to care whether people raise their kids addicted to sugar and fast food but, woah, vegan children? How can you do that to your kids?!

Marla Rose March 23, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Congratulations on your baby, Angela!

I am happy and proud to be raising a vegan child who wasn’t raised with “labels” as much as an age appropriate understanding of what it means to eat animals. You can “label” me as self-righteous, judgmental, whatever as you prefer, but to me raising our son as a vegan was in alignment with the values of critical thinking and empowered, compassionate action that is important to us, more important than silly labels. Today, our son is twelve and is a proud, strong advocate for all animals. We raised him with the knowledge that many of our family members (okay, all of them) and some of our friends were not vegan but we still loved them. People might like to think that you can only raised vegan children with a strict dogmatic approach but we did not. We are raising him to ask questions, think critically and be guided by compassion and justice. This is really not so radical. Today, our son owns his veganism: it is not forced upon him. He makes the choice every day to live in alignment with his values and to spread the message of compassionate living to his peers. Again, not so radical.

Wishing you the best with everything!

michelle March 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm

my hubby is omni, i have been veg even before i met him. we have three gorgeous children who have been vegan since birth. we decided to raise them veg until they are old enough to decide for themselves. i have never judged my hubby’s diet, just as he’s never judged mine. my kids know where meat and dairy come from, and at this point, they are not interested in trying it. but if they ever do, i think it’s important to love and support them no matter what.. i am sure they will make tons of decisons differently than i do.

taylor March 23, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Thank you for this post:
You say, “I have personally experienced benefits and drawbacks to labeling my own diet, and I don’t want to put my beliefs on her or assume that my diet is the best diet for her.”

I’d like to just say that every parents puts beliefs onto their children and makes decisions for their children. Meat, dairy and eggs are so horrible for us, and don’t help us thrive. As parents we should be giving our children the very best, maybe even better food than we get!

Although you see it as limiting your daughter for when she reaches for something, you will encounter this throughout her whole childhood. She will want something that isn’t good for her to have and you’ll need to take it away and replace it with something else.

maybe try thinking of it that way!

Nobody March 23, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Kudos to you! I’ve made the exact same decision with my children, for some of the very same reasons. I want them to be able to eat/try any foods they want to when they’re at school or over friends houses. They eat a ton of healthy, vegan dishes I cook for dinner. (I am vegan, my husband does not eat dairy or meat, but eats fish) As a result, I’ve found they’re a lot more open to trying new foods, as a large variety has always been their norm.

Jessica March 23, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Mmm, avocado. It’s funny but I never thought of it as baby food but it really is the perfect texture and the prep is probably minimal compared to other homemade baby food.

Talking about how to raise a child is such a touchy subject, so I’m not surprised by some of the comments I’ve read here and on Facebook. Combined with veganism and that’s a whole other can of worms. :)

Jessica March 24, 2015 at 8:51 pm

That being said, I fully support your decision on how you and Eric will raise your child. It is your family and how you feed them should be no one else’s business but your own.

Navdeep Singh March 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

i feel you are obscuring one very important fact–“plant based diet” is not synonymous with veganism., which is, fundamentally, an ethical way of looking at the world. I suspect at some point you too will return to your husband’s carnivorous ways. Sadly, those who don’t understand this distinrtion inevitably do. my mom? She taught me one very basic thing–“they want to live, too”. Then I realized that it was never about a “plant based diet”.

At Trader Joe’s yesterday, while waiting in line, I noticed that a mother and a store clerk were trying to explain the concept of salmonella to her little son. She was fumbling for words, but, not surprisingly, “spinach” and “peanuts”seemed to flow quite easily out. The “low hanging fruit”, if you will–in vegetable form. I couldn’t help myself. I interjected “it’s mostly from dead animal carcasses from tortured animals who wanted desperately to live”. As someone who is not a parent but has learned wisely from my parents, I feel very strongly that the concept of parenting and the resultant “maturity into adulthood” comprise, essentially the long-term process of acclimation, acquiescence snd ultimate stupefying acceptance of conformity and the all too forgotten violence of everyday life that concomitantly and consequently comports, like a glove, with such a world view. What did Stephen Hawking say? Children do not know not to ask the really important questions. Adulthood is simply the process by which the “really important questions”, together with elusive Fairy dust elements of imagination, creativity and compassion are squeezed out and evaporate into the ether.

Daniela March 24, 2015 at 10:23 am

Navdeep, it is so refreshing to read your comment which is so full of logic and compassion. Reading through the comments, I simply could not believe my eyes. Except few truly aware vegans who commented on absurdity of “letting an infant have a choice” (a total oxymoron), the rest of comments just blow me away. The human reasoning why to fit in instead of stand up for what is right is simply astonishing. Indeed, a plant based diet (aka a health oriented, selfish reason) has nothing to do with veganism. Angela is not vegan and her choices of recipes have nothing to do with ethics. This should be cleared up right from the beginning and the confusion would be avoided.

dana March 31, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Seriously? You think its okay to butt into a conversation between a parent and a child with the comment “It’s mostly from dead animal carcasses from tortured…”? I would have told you to mind your own business.

And, if it takes this much self-righteousness to be a vegan, count me out. I’d prefer to be a person who consumes a plant based diet while treating animals ethically.

Katherine Craig March 23, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Thanks for sharing! I’ve been veg since 7 & (almost) vegan for 2 yrs & I’ve been thinking about raising my (very theoretical future) children the same way as you. I don’t want my kids to resent me ffor forcing them into a dietary plan! My parents were liberal with me which is why they let me go vegetarian, even though neither of them were.

Susan March 23, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Please do not call yourself a vegan. A true vegan would not be okay with raising a child to eat animal products because that would teach and enable enormous animal suffering. You eat a plant-based diet, but you are not vegan. The comments on here are crazy. Like “I’m 90% vegan”. There is no such thing!

Tash March 23, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Good on you! Its a hard decision (Ive found) and i still struggle with it sometimes. But its your decision as a family and no one elses business at the end of the day. Your daughter will be healthy and have a varied diet and when the time comes may decide to follow your footsteps regardless :)

Joy March 23, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Your cookbook is off my list. There are plenty of real vegans writing cookbooks. I have zero desire to buy a vegan cookbook from someone who just wants to make money off the movement but can’t be bothered to actually live vegan. Since your personal choice is to not be vegan, my personal choice is to not support your support of torture and killing. Humans do not need to have their plants predigested by the guts of other species.

Daniela March 24, 2015 at 10:25 am

Well said Joy. Perhaps Angela should clarify her position right from the start that her recipes have nothing to do with veganism.

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 2:09 pm


rachel March 26, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Agree. And I’m so sad about it. I keep coming back to read more comments. I bought her cookbook, my husband and I always cook her recipes, scour her website for new things to try. Her food was my favorite. Now I just feel off about it. It’s so hard to support someone you thought you believed in. I know it’s her choice, but it’s a personal and private one she shouldn’t have shared.

Liz March 26, 2015 at 6:27 pm

It is your OPINION she shouldn’t have shared it. It is her own blog and what she shares is her own business. Stating she “shouldn’t have shared it” is a moronic comment. You said it yourself, it is a personal and private choice. Why not leave it at that?

Jan April 4, 2015 at 9:02 am

I am also disappointed as I love her cookbook. I feel betrayed. She doe snot get it.

Angela March 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm

Hi Angela!

I love your website and appreciate your stance on the matter. In our household I am the only full vegan, even though we have a vegan household. My husband will eat outside the vegan diet occasionally outside of the house or at events. We are choosing to raise our daughter (13 months) on a vegan diet, as We both believe it is the healthiest choice, and we do what’s best for our children. But also being an ethical vegan, and believing it is not right to take the life of another being for our own selfish consumption, and on the same note, torture or abuse them for other things such as eggs, and milk, it will be important to teach the WHY of veganism. If after being presented with the facts she will be free to make her own decisions OUTSIDE of our home, but will obide by our standards within. I honestly don’t see this becoming an issue, since all children are born with compassion and a love for animals (IMO) so it should be an easy choice, and with so many great tasting things, her life shall never be lacking a foodie experience!

anna March 23, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. it makes me want to follow all your recipes and your journey even more. I haven’t been able to label our diet for the longest time. I think I’m going to call it oh she glows diet from now on. My kids eat all kinds of vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, but are not vegan nor planning on transitioning. They can make their choice later down the road! Thank you.

Pam March 23, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Veganism is not a “diet.” It is a philosophical stance. People who are vegan are not so for themselves, but for the animals – because we don’t believe animals should be exploited, enslaved, and murdered. You, Oh She Glows, are *following a plant-based diet*. That is not the same as being vegan. Vegans do not say things like “as long as my husband is happy [eating exploited, murdered animals and their secretions], that’s all that matters.”

It is critical for the sake of the animal rights movement that people who are not vegan but following a plant-based diet do not label themselves as “vegan,” for that leads to confusion among animal exploiters as to what veganism is and what our positions are.

Daniela March 24, 2015 at 10:27 am

A great reply! Thank you!

Marcus March 23, 2015 at 5:10 pm

I think the author framing veganism as a diet is to miss the point of the wider ethical position. Obviously it’s a false equivalence to suggest the majority non-vegan culture and veganism are both personal choices. A choice isn’t personal if it impacts others, be they human or non-human animals.

That said at least this article doesn’t support the myth that it is possible to breed “vegans” into existence. Rather the baby/child will be plant-based during their time with parents but no more a vegan than a communist or a christian. How the baby/child and their many possible descendants will choose to behave is a gamble. They will make their decisions in the aforementioned non-vegan culture.

Lauren March 23, 2015 at 5:11 pm

I am vegan but my husband isn’t. For the most part he follows a vegan lifestyle simply because he also loves all the food I make and he doesn’t feel the need to cook two separate meals. We have a one year old and we are not bringing him up vegan. Just because I am vegan doesn’t mean my son or husband should be. I believe my son should be able to make his own decisions in life. I won’t lie to him when he asks why I am vegan or I won’t lie to him when he asks what he is eating but I won’t encourage any type of diet. If I deprive him of foods he wants to try then he’s most likely going to end up ending a crazy amount of it when I’m not around. For the most part he eats vegan because he eats our dinners but he does get cheese for snacks and whatever meat daddy cooks up for him. I find a lot of people assume I’m raising him vegan and lecture me about depriving him of things before I even get a chance to say he isn’t vegan. People always have something to say.

Ashley March 23, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Love this. Love YOU!

Paul March 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm

We decided to raise both of our children breastfed (which worked!) and vegan. We have a vegan household and we are so happy to have done it this way. The only part that is hard is when we go to a kids party and there are non vegan food choices – but it doesn’t seem to bother our kids as much as us. When the kids are older clearly they will have to choose for themselves what to eat, but we give them the opportunity to be lifetime vegans if they want!

mun March 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Totally my way of doing.my daughter is six and she is very clear to understand the concept animals are friends not food. She even taught her cousin if she loves animals we shouldn’t eat them. I can tell my daughter avoided to tell me as she had sneaked to taste meat at kindergarten public school meal couple times. At last she understand it’s disgusted to eat meat on her own.

Cath McLellan March 23, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Thank you. A voice of reason and acceptance of everyone and their ideals. I wish I read more articles like this voicing how everyone is different and allowing them to make their own deicisions without judgement…….the world would be a more peaceful place if there were more people with the same attitude. Thank you.

Sofie March 23, 2015 at 5:49 pm

This is very different from our thoughts – mine and my fiancé’s.

We are both vegan (vegan lifestyle, not just diet – as veganism isn’t just a diet), and will feed our child the same food we eat. Just like my parents brought me up eating meat (“you eat what you are served”), we will bring up our child eating vegan food. For animals, for health, for the environment. There is not really any other option for us.
When our child is older they can decide for themselves, of course, but before that – and under our roof – they will be vegan. And may God have mercy on anyone who dares feed them meat behind our backs, haha.

But of course it’s different when you are not both vegans. There will be no non-vegan food in our house, that is out of the question for both of us.

Melanie Blake March 23, 2015 at 5:49 pm

So disappointing to hear this particularly as we know that a whole foods plant based diet is the healthiest way to live as you attest to in your book. We know this. We see people recover from chronic health conditions when adopting a whole foods plant based diet. Today there isn’t a single solitary reason to eat a single animal or their secretions – it’s a purely selfish choice. This is a bloody cruel, unnecessary, miserable industry that wastes valuable resources, causes untold suffering, deforestation, polluted air and water, takes food out of mouths to feed animals, causes wildlife destruction and death and health issues. Choosing to support this vile industry is for personal selfish palates. Nothing more. We know we can live healthy, cruelty free lives without harming anyone. Ask the thousands of people too who have recovered from chronic life threatening illnesses and who now enjoy great health and ask the thousands of people who choose this lifestyle for ethical and moral reasons and who enjoy great foods and a clear conscience. Open your eyes, open your hearts. Choosing to eat someone is not a personal choice if the animal did not get to decide if he/she wanted to live. Animals and their secretions are not food. If we want a planet for the future of our children then eating a plant based diet and living a vegan lifestyle is the kindest and most ethical decision. I have given your book as gifts to so many people but in all good conscience I cannot do this anymore. I cannot support something that does not support my values and I believed that you were a proponent of a vegan lifestyle as I am sure you stated this in your book. If we know we can live healthy, cruelty free lives without harming anyone, why wouldn’t we?

My daughter wrote a book about her sister recovering from a chronic condition after years of chemo and meds and just by eliminating animal protein, after reading The China Study, she fully recovered. She lost her childhood and I would hate for any other children to go through what my daughter went through. Her book is : www.rethinkfoodbook.com If only I knew then what I know now, my daughter’s childhood would not have been spent with weekly and monthly visits to a hospital and countless medications, emotional and physical pain. I hope more people will raise their children on a whole foods plant based diet and teach them about true compassion, leaving animals alone and off our plates and raising them vegan.

Colleen Bailey March 23, 2015 at 5:52 pm

As a previous fan of your blog and cookbook, I am extremely DISAPPOINTED. This is not a balanced approach. As a parent, we are here to teach our children our values and belief systems. Your husband is an adult. He’s got free will to make decisions – even bad ones – that can negatively impact his health, other animals who suffer extreme cruelty and the environment. Children rely on us as adults to teach them personal responsiblity and to define what are good choices or bad ones. I would have thought that having a child would make you more conncerned about our global environment. Animal production and consumption is the number one contributor to global environmental destruction. So each time your daughter drinks a glass of milk or eats a hamburger, I hope you teach her how she’s just help desemate 10 more hectres of rainforest and added massive amounts of polution to rivers. Otherwise, your “balanced approach” isn’t balanced at all.

Bruno March 23, 2015 at 8:12 pm

TOTALLY agree. Here, raising/educating a child gave us the push to go vegetarian then vegan a few months later. We weren’t feeling honest to ourselves teaching our daughter that meat/dairy were “okay” and just a “personal choice”. It gave us the motivation to stand and be stronger. We have to educate and give the right example. That’s what I believe.

mun March 24, 2015 at 10:00 pm

100% agree

Erin March 23, 2015 at 5:58 pm

I’m not a f/t vegan, but I don’t eat much meat or other animal foods…yet my husband and kids LOVE them! (When my daughter Anya was 8, she sat down across from me on the couch and said: “What should we talk about? Let’s talk about food. I want meat!” and went on and on about meats she loves. Honest–she really did this.)

I have no need to change who they are, and they support me in my choices, too.

I had eating disorders in my youth and I too don’t want to push labels on my kids or push “good” versus “bad” foods. Now that they are getting older (14 and 10) I see that as even more (not less) important. I also have been reminded of the importance of health because my son is a type 1 diabetic. So, we “count carbs”–but only to know how much insulin to give him. He understands that although he *can* have sugary or white-flour foods sometimes (good heavens, one has to have birthday cake), they aren’t good for him all the time. I’ve tried to send the same message to my daughter–she doesn’t have the direct impact her brother does, but she too will be healthier if she focuses mostly on healthy foods with treats as treats.

Interestingly, they differ on fruits and veggies: My son will try and likes almost any fruit, but eats few vegetables. My daughter? She tries and likes almost any vegetable…and eats almost no fruit. Pretty funny!
(Sorry to go on so long. I think about this stuff a lot…it sounds like you have a great attitude and have found the right fit/approach for *your family.*)

Den March 26, 2015 at 6:32 am

You cannot be a part time Vegan!
You are either a vegan or you are not.
In the same way you could not be a part time racist or homophobe.

Natasha March 23, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Our 19 month old has been raised on a “vegan diet” and is very healthy. We don’t like to label ourselves as vegan, nor do we like to label him as vegan. So, we call our way of eating (that works for us) as purely nutrition :)!

Sara March 23, 2015 at 6:27 pm

I am very disappointed to see that you are misusing the word vegan. You are not a vegan. You are a plant-based dieter profiting off the vegan movement and actual vegans who genuinely believe in creating a better world for animals. Shame on you.

Jaime March 30, 2015 at 8:32 am

Hi Sara,

I have known Angela for many years and if anyone was involved in something strictly to profit, Angela would be at the bottom of that list as she is a fair, honest and very sweet person with the kindest of intentions.

As a mental health therapist who sees the effects of children being raised in environments that do not foster choice, I celebrate her open-minded, inclusive – and most importantly – non-judgmental approach to this approach to this very difficult topic.

Ashley March 23, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Most of these comments breathe like a sigh of relief from people who want to be told that it’s okay to do whatever one pleases, regardless of horrific large-scale animal suffering. This moral relativism leaves out the perspectives of the animals. When choosing foods, we are choosing our ethics as well, even if that is not our intention. I wish someone had told me this when I was a child; I didn’t realize what I was really choosing when I put meat/eggs/dairy on my plate.

Alison March 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Great approach! I’m not vegan or even vegetarian but I do enjoy cooking your recipes. I feel like more people should have the same mentality when piercing their baby girl’s ears. Her body, her choice.

Sofie March 24, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Eating dead animals is more about the animal’s body than the girl’s body. It is not really comparable with getting your child’s ears pierced..
And parents always choose what their children should eat. It’s called parenting.

Sheena March 23, 2015 at 6:58 pm

I respect that outlook and don’t think there is a wrong or right way to approach this. My husband and I are vegan for ethical reasons first, environmental reasons secondly and health reasons third. As my baby turns 6 months old in a couple weeks I am worried about how to give her the best nutrition with a vegan diet but it is important to us to teach her compassion towards animals and feel good about not eating animal products and be proud of it. We have slowly influenced people around us by what we eat and if we go to their house they know they need to cook vegan for us. I want her to be proud of being vegan and for standing up for the animals and I plan to educate her and include her in cooking with me. I hope that she will keep up a compassionate vegan lifestyle but if she chooses to eat meat then that’s her choice. She won’t eat dairy anyways because she and I are both allergic to it.

Bruno March 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm

I hope at least you’ll educate properly your daughter about the truth of the meat and dairy products, a thing that 100% of omnivore parents I know don’t want their kids to know, they just want to perpetuate the brainwash. I’m sure you’ll explain to her that someone have to hurt the pig/chicken/cow so people can eat meat/milk. I’m sure you’ll educate you daughter about the impact on the planet of the choice of eating meat/dairy. I’m sure you’ll explain the human exploitation linked to the meat/dairy. Only with the real information she’ll be able to make a real choice. Will you explain to her even if it offense the rest of the family? And yes, kids can handle the truth, they are way smarter and compassionate then most brainwashed adults in our sad modern society.

Ashley March 23, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for opening this dialogue!

My husband and I are vegan, aside from eggs we get from a small local farm that treats their chickens extremely well and keeps them as therapy chickens when they stop laying. :)

I am 36 weeks pregnant and we plan to raise our baby vegan, but have discussed how he/she would feel isolated at school functions or birthday parties because of it. We will most likely educate our child as soon as he/she is old enough to understand why we are vegan (we don’t want to harm anyone, other animals included!) and there are a few great children’s books that can help with that.

However, if our child wants to eat meat when he/she is older, maybe around 8, that’s their choice when we/he or she is/are out of the house. It’s not something I’m willing to cook and have in our home however.

But who knows how this will all really play out! ;)

Den March 26, 2015 at 6:41 am

You are not vegans.
Of course you can call yourself what you like, but if you eat eggs, you are vegetarians.

Vanessa March 23, 2015 at 10:28 pm

Thanks for you post Angela! I’m just weeks away from giving birth and have been faced with the same dilemma. I was on completely vegan diet before pregnant and my partner still ate meat but of course became much healthier because I only cooked vegan food. But during my pregnancy and on the advice of my vegan naturopath I started having the odd bit of meat from my partners meals and then having tiny bits of organic meat once a week or fortnight. I didn’t plan it this way and feel guilty that my baby has been getting a taste before she is already born but at the end of the day eating a vegan diet was never a religion for me. I did it to be healthier and found that I felt better for it and have had great influence on my family who are now eating more vegan meals. I am starting to not like the vegan label and prefer to say I eat a plant based diet. I think I will do the same with my daughter. I don’t want her to be at the odd one out at social gatherings but I will insure she is eating good quality foods. Anyway its refreshing to hear someone talking about this as a human reality rather then from their own pedestal. We can all only try to do our best to avoid or reduce eating animal produces but we aren’t all the same and sometimes leading by example and showing you aren’t perfect has the biggest influence on others around you who may even try do the same.

Mandy D March 23, 2015 at 10:52 pm

I feel the same way you do. I am a vegetarian and I don’t cook meat at home, but when Christmas came my kids and husband were free to eat the (grass fed organic) turkey at grandma and grandpas house if they pleased. My older son and daughter ate some and then my husband surprisingly decided not to eat any.

We eat a very alkalizing based diet at home, full of whole foods and raw salads, fruits, gluten free grains and I make everything from scratch.

The hardest part is birthday parties. Yes I may say “Well they eat so healthy at home it’s okay if they eat the food at the party” but once I’m there I turn into that protective mom and I ask “Okay…what’s organic? What doesn’t have refined sugar?” And I find myself being “that mom”! It’s hard because I know how toxic some foods are and I don’t want those in my kids systems at all. So for now while my youngest is little ( 2 years old) I think I will continue to keep her on my diet until she is older, like her brother and sister, then they can go to bday parties and make up their own minds if they want to eat that stuff or not. Once my 8 year old son came home from a party and puked…then asked for a salad! Then talked to me about how he knew he was making the wrong decision but did it anyway! Everyone needs to learn their own lessons.

No one needs a label! People are constantly evolving and so are their lifestyles! Just live, show love, and eat healthy. That’s all that matters!

Rachel Wintr March 24, 2015 at 1:38 am

Hi Angela! I read a sentence on a vegetarian message board that I wanted to share with you. While many people on there stated their 2 or 3 year olds ‘were vegan’, one mom who had a similar approach to yours wrote: ‘My baby is not vegan, she only has a vegan mom.’ And that she just wanted to give her a good start in life an lead by good example. That sentence stuck with me until now that I’m a mom myself.

My baby girl is 9 months old and just started daycare, so I had to tell the daycare which solids to give her (they are really diligent and write down in a notebook what your child ate every day) and I told them that for the moment, she eats only plant-based foods. I am vegan and my husband isn’t, but since I’m the one who cooks at home and he loves my food, he only eats non-vegan foods outside of the home. We have started solids at 5 months and it might interest you to hear that so far she has tried a variety of things and loves her tofu cubes, red lentils, split peas, quinoa, hummus… along with a ton of different veggies of which her favorite is broccoli! So I gave daycare a list of all those things and they are surprised how many things you can give a baby who only eats plants! I just didn’t want to feed her anything potentially harmful to her health at an age where she doesn’t choose anything yet anyway. And I will tell family members never to feed her meat. BUT as she grows older, I’m thinking preschool, she can try eggs and whatever else she wants to try, I want her to discover the world on her own. It just doesn’t make sense yet at the baby stage to me, because I still make choices for her.

M.E. March 24, 2015 at 3:39 am

It’s entirely up to you how you want to raise your children. (Congratulations, by the way!) My only concern is that these kinds of posts change people’s understanding of what was originally a very clearly-defined term. “Vegan” means to eschew all animal products. In addition to not eating meat, dairy, or eggs, vegans don’t eat honey; don’t wear leather, silk, or animal wools; don’t buy products that were tested on animals; don’t go to zoos, aquaria, or circuses with animals; etc. Sending the message out that it’s still “living a vegan lifestyle” if you buy, cook, and feed meat to your kids is simply an improper use of the term. “Plant-based diet” is more accurate.

TR March 24, 2015 at 5:20 am

I cannot understand this statement at all

“So even though he’s become more conscious about selecting organic meat from local farms whenever possible and eschewing a large amount of dairy from his diet, he has no plans of going vegan. I support him completely; after all, he was never vegan before we met and he is happy and healthy which is what matters.”

It just clearly reinforces what I already thought that you are a plant-based dieter and not vegan. Veganism is an ethical position. Vegans reject using animals for food, clothing, entertainment or other reasons. If one is vegan, (an ethical vegan), one would not even consider raising their child as a non-vegan and would not be “completely supportive” of their partner eating, wearing and using animals. That would be like someone who is against racism, being fine with family members being racist in their home or one who is against homophobia being fine with family members in the home using homophobic slurs.

I think it’s sad that the word vegan is used in this confused context. It confuses the public and makes out as if being vegan is a diet and is a “personal choice”. It’s not.

I’m very sorry to hear your little baby will not get to be vegan and I mean that sincerely.

Lou Pine March 24, 2015 at 5:22 am

Hey, just wanted to tell you that I assume the same way with my 3-years-old son.

I’m vegan, but neither him or his father are, even they often eat vegan at home (well, when I cook, it’s always vegan, up to them to add some other food in their own plates).

I have been questioning myself alot about this, but I finally decided that I’ll never interfere in his diet. He’ll know where animal products are made of when he’ll be in age to know about it, and then will make his own choice. I don’t want to choose for him, even if I disagree, it will be his own choice. Up to him to decide, it’s our parenting job to accompany his decisions, not to make ours, his.

Thanks for your article, and sorry for my bad english ;)

Shane E March 24, 2015 at 5:59 am

“I’m not racist, but I’m happy for my child to engage in some racism when she wants to, after all, my husband is racist.”

Would you apply the same outlook to racism? Would you teach your daughter that racism is positive?

Well, the same goes for Veganism and speaking for the animals. My goodness.

Daniela March 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

Well said Shane.

Liz March 25, 2015 at 9:24 am

Yes, because veganism and racism are really on the same playing field.

Laura March 24, 2015 at 7:54 am

My son is currently 2 yrs young. I have been raising him primarily vegan, but he occasionally has dairy or egg in extremely limited forms (such as when his Grams sneaks him cheese behind my back while she is watching him or in a piece of bread or croissant he might try once in awhile.) He has never eaten meat and I make homemade nut/ seed milk for him. He does have allergy to certain legumes, peas, sunflower seeds, and more, and I think he is allergic to wheat/dairy products and preservatives. His face becomes blotchy and/or rashy when allergic to something and he becomes unwell when his diet is not homemade and fresh.

Visala March 24, 2015 at 8:16 am

Hi, because my husband and i were vegetarians we didn’t even discuss our children’s diet. They are now 22 and 26 and still vegetarian out of choice, theirs now. Did have people try to feed them meat, and they refused. My younger daughter even went totally raw vegan for a year, of her own liking. I was into totally raw vegan myself for many years, so this was a natural inclination of her’s. My older daughter enjoyed preparing rawsome desserts but never encompassed the raw vegan diet fully, nor did my husband, and that was fine too. What you decide is best for your children, i do feel others need to honor. bottom line Our family is all proud of being vegetarians/vegans, because we know we are not contributing to the slaughter of animals. This is important to us.

LYDIA March 24, 2015 at 8:34 am


Carolyn March 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Do you live in a house? Do you know how many animals were harmed and or displaced in the clear cutting the trucking of materials and all non plant based construction workers building said house? The device your viewing this on is littered with petroleum products as well as gold that humans could have been harmed for its creation. Did you know plants are living things? No one seems to mind murdering broccoli to feed themselves.

LYDIA March 25, 2015 at 9:59 pm



Carolyn March 26, 2015 at 6:46 am

I don’t see a wrong to be made right, except maybe in calling a baby a killer and a store employee a hit man lol…I mean, seriously…you are such a kind, compassionate human being!

LYDIA BROCKWAY March 26, 2015 at 7:04 am


Daniela March 26, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Well said Lydia, lovely to read your logical and compassionate reasoning. You are a great human. Carolyn you are a disgrace. Shame on you. Still pity you that you cannot take your compassion further than the human kind.

LYDIA BROCKWAY March 27, 2015 at 7:23 pm


Carolyn March 30, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Lydia what you don’t understand is that everyone is imperfect. Even the high and mighty level 5 vegans of this world conform to society’s norm of using the internet and driving cars all of which can be traced back to harming animals and people. I personally believe that Angela is a brave woman for being honest and real with the people who read her blog. As for compassion I can’t believe that quality exists in such a hateful person . I do not believe in harming animals but I also do not believe in attacking our own species.

LYDIA BROCKWAY March 30, 2015 at 6:40 pm


chami March 24, 2015 at 8:45 am

It sounds like you are vegan for dietary reasons not for ethical reasons cos if the latter was the reason behind your choice to be vegan, you would want you children to grow up with those ethics. Similar to how you would teach your Children not to steal or do any other immoral activity. Consuming meat and other meat products is immoral. Most people don’t want to label it that way because they would fall in that category and would have to accept they are immoral. This affects the perception we have of our selves. But the important thing is that we should always approach consuming meat from the reality of the victim not from our own perception of ourselves. so Angela while it’s good you being vegan does reduce animal cruelty, it’s sad you are not able to immerse yourself in it and show your kids a greater world filled with compassion.

Anna March 24, 2015 at 9:09 am

Like you, I am do not live in a vegan household. My husband is a omnivorous carnivore :). I have been vegan, in diet and lifestyle, for 15 years. At first I tried to impose my beliefs on everyone but what I found is that I turned off more people that I attracted. I stopped. I lived my life to the best of my ability as a vegan but stopped telling others how to live. What I realized is that people started asking me about my lifestyle and listening to my reasons to live how I live. My husband eats vegan meals all the time as a result but like yours has no plans on becoming vegan. Still I consider that a small victory. I am pregnant now and I completely agree with your view of allowing my child to taste things and let him/her decide how to live (not just in diet but overall). I will educate, and provide support for my lifestyle and opinion. But just as I would not impose religion, I will not impose veganism. I am concerned about the purely health-related dangers of meat and dairy so there might be a limited exposure to them but I will still allow it. If my child decides to be vegan one day I fell he/she will be that much stronger in their belief. He/she will have appreciated both and chose based on their moral compass. So thank you for your post and for making me think about this very important subject a bit more. Good luck to you and your family!

Sarah March 24, 2015 at 9:23 am

I completely respect your perspective on this issue. Way to go for sharing it. As a dietetic intern on my way to becoming a Registered Dietitian, I’ll never forget an interesting conversation we had in a lecture in school regarding feeding infants and adolescents. My professor, a vegetarian herself, stressed the critical importance of not putting babies and young children on a vegetarian (especially vegan) diet. As you know, their nutritional needs at this young age are SO complex and critical for development. We were taught that animal-based foods and their proteins & fat sources are more bioavailable and efficiently absorbed than most plant-based foods. While adults can make a conscious effort to plan their diets and consume the right balance of plant-based foods to live a healthy vegetarian lifestyle, she talked about how it is just plain irresponsible to restrict animal foods from their diets. It’s great that you and Eric know how to find sustainably sourced, healthy animal foods. She will be exposed to a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods thanks to you both. What a lucky girl! She is so beautiful. We are so enjoying our 9 month old and seeing her try new foods. So fun. Good luck!

Colette March 24, 2015 at 11:29 am

I wholeheartedly agree. I was vegetarian for 8 years and vegan for two. Unfortunately even after seeing multiple nutritionists, my health deteriorated. My body doesn’t do well on restrictive diets, and I would never put a philosophy before my child’s health, esp at such a critical growth period. I now occasionally eat fish and shellfish, and have a flock of chickens for eggs. I no longer am irritable with thinning hair and anemia. It took me years to get here, I was afraid to tell my friends that my health came first. Many no longer respect me, but I can’t make myself sick for their benefit.

I’m still the same person even though I eat seafood, eggs, and the occasional fresh local cheese I buy. When I have children, they won’t be raised vegetarian. As a mother, I would want them to have every chance to grow healthy and strong, esp at such a critical time for brain development. Since tofu has plant hormones and blocks the absorption of nutrients, I don’t see it as a healthy alternative to meat, and not something I would want my young child depending on.

Therefore, like me my child will eat 90% plant based. Whether or not they go vegan or Veg will be their choice, but they will be raised eating vegetarian and vegan fare, and will care for the chickens that give us eggs, dig the clams we eat, etc.

Love your blog and I’m proud of you for having the courage to be open about your children’s diet even if it means losing a few readers. Most in your position would simply not be truthful, which is a disservice since we are all in this movement together.

Judith March 24, 2015 at 10:51 pm

I am a doctor and I’m vegan. Everything you have said against a plant based diet is nonsense. With a whole foods plant based diet, with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, tempeh, tofu, etc., babies and children and adults are able to thrive. Don’t forget that the dairy and meat industries have a huge influence on RD programs and education. The consumption of meat and dairy in young children contributes greatly to Juvenile Type I Diabetes, Juvenile Arthritis, and childhood cancers.

Also, there is no such thing as sustainably sourced, “healthy” animal foods. Go to youtube and watch lectures by Dr. Richard Oppenlander.

Stefanie March 24, 2015 at 9:47 am

Fantastic approach and attitude towards food choices for your daughter. I was vegan from the time my son was born until about 1.5 years. He ate so many fruits and veggies throughout that time in addition to healthy proteins that he was growing and reaching all his milestones in the upper percentile. And his health was awesome. I’m no longer vegan (I now add in chicken, but no dairy) but I allow my son to enjoy the dairy products and snacks he chooses. I do notice he’d have a tendency to avoid the veggies though without encouragement. Best wishes to you.

Kim March 24, 2015 at 10:03 am

I have to say I am extremely disappointed in your position and the majority of replies to your posts. Veganism is an ethical position that eschews the continued slaughter and use of animals. If you are a vegan, how can you be completely supportive of those close to you eating meat and dairy and thus supporting an industry that kills and tortures other beings?
I guess the secret is out now. You are not vegan, you eat a plant-based diet and don’t seem to actually care about the mistreatment of animals.

What comes up again and again in the comments here is a rejection of ‘labels’. Labels are powerful and can help to make structural changes positive. They let you take a stand and give currency to ideas. To me, this rejection of labelling oneself and one’s diet reads like an egoistical, laissez-faire approach to life where one cannot be inconvenienced even a little bit, no matter what wider implications one’s ‘choices’ have.
Choices are not context free. Choices such as eating meat or dairy outside the home support certain structures, in this case the abuse and killing of animals. This is not veganism.

Summer March 24, 2015 at 10:18 am

Thank you for this post! I have a 10 month-old baby and have changed to a plants based diet after having my two older kids. I am quickly approaching the year mark when I weaned my other babies from breast milk and introduced cow’s milk, but am finding myself in a serious quandary about what do to this time around. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about alternatives. Everybody mentions soy and almond milk, which are fine substitutes for me, but I don’t think they have sufficient fat and protein for my little guy. Perhaps the answer is to just keep nursing him, but I just want to explore other options.

Thanks for ALL you share about your journey and wonderful ways to enjoy the bounties of the earth!

Stacy @ Nourishing Health March 24, 2015 at 10:26 am

Hi Angela!

I don’t have children, yet, but my husband and I are the same as you and Eric – I eat a vegan diet and he’s super plant-strong. :) We’ve had similar conversations and I absolutely love your perspective, balance, and love for your little sweetie.

Andrew Plawiuk March 24, 2015 at 10:52 am

That’s really disappointing. Our job as parents is to instill our beliefs in our kids. We’re constantly teaching our kids to be kind, share, respect others, etc. Those are core values that we instill in our kids so they become good people.

By raising your child non-vegan you’re telling her that the suffering of animals doesn’t matter. That being kind to others only applies to humans. I have 2 kids that my wife (non-vegan) and I are raising with a vegan diet. One day they’ll be old enough to choose if they want to continue being vegan or not.

But until they’re old enough to understand how their food truly impacts others, I’m not going to expose them to foods that are the product of suffering. I hope maybe you’ll reflect a bit on your decision and change your mind to adopt a diet for your child based on peace and love instead of violence and suffering.

Elaine Vigneault March 24, 2015 at 11:10 am

My husband and I are vegan and we’re raising our son vegan. We understand that he’s his own person and will choose for himself when he’s ready and in fact at age 5 he is choosing vegan for everything except birthday cake. But we don’t subscribe to the idea that he should be allowed to eat ANYTHING that others want to feed him. Some things are healthier than others, some things are more sustainable and ethical than others, some things are simply safer than others (choking hazards are choking hazards). We ask others to only feed him vegan food and for the most part they comply. But we focus more on our son, in teaching him that some foods hurt animals and the environment whereas some don’t. The more he understands about why we are vegan, the easier it is for him to say politely, “no thanks, I don’t eat animals.”

Jessica March 24, 2015 at 11:11 am

Thank you Angela and everyone else for the comments.
I am a plant-based eater, and my husband follows because I do the cooking. Although he does enjoy a big bowl of ice cream.

I was vegan during pregnancy, and continue to follow this diet mostly.

Interestingly as Dylan is eating more and more foods, he has no interest in meat or dairy.
He loves avocados, raspberries and chick peas.

I wanted to get opinions on the subject of children’s growth. Dylan was never a chubby fat baby. His weight has hovered around the 10% range. He is extremely active, muscular and happy. I have no worries about his development.

The doctor is slightly concerned about him getting enough calories to support his growth, especially as he weans off breast feeding. Right now he nurses in the evenings and before his afternoon nap.

He doesn’t like many calorie dense foods. Avocados are his fav. He eats peanut butter, usually licks it off the bread. I actually tried giving him full fat cow’s yoghurt but he doesn’t like it. I always hated milk and I think he may have inherited my tastes.

I’m not worried about his low-ish weight, because I think in the USA many babies are too fat. And out growth charts reflect this. But I don’t want him to necessarily be the smallest kid either.

I plan to let him make the choice about his diet. But we won’t cook animals at home either.

What do other people feel about the weight & growth charts?

Anyone have any calorie-dense foods they can recommend?

Angela, thank you for starting this conversation?

Katie March 30, 2015 at 8:53 am

Some of my toddlers favorites are: hummus, nut butters, smoothies with avocado and seeds, and sunflower seed pate. I also sprinkle hemp hearts and/or chia seeds on snacks, like organic applesauce. I highly recommend a nutrient dense smoothie with a wide variety of nuts or seeds. Good luck :)

jessica blanchard March 30, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Thanks! So far he really only drinks water. Which is awesome that he has not tasted juice. But he things smoothies are weird. I’ll keep trying:)

Jennifer Warden March 24, 2015 at 11:16 am

I applaud your balanced approach. Since when did we start to label people by their food choices? It’s become almost as volatile as which political party one belongs to, like a dinner party question. “Are you vegan or Paleo?” and the judgment that follows. It’s so off-putting to me.

Thank you for being a voice of reason and compassion!

Asa March 24, 2015 at 11:31 am

Animal products simply are not food as I see it. Just because society frames animals and their secretions as food does not mean that I view it as such. That’s why I’m not depriving my future child of anything. My child will have access to any kind of food available. It’s vegan, but animals and their secretions are not food.

Veganism is so much more than a diet. Eating animals is not a personal choice at all. Not for the animals suffering. Not for the cow who has to watch humans take her baby away for the fifth time so that she can consume milk for us so that we can feed our children some ice cream at a party. It’s not a personal choice for the hen. Her body is so worn out from laying so many eggs because of over-breeding just so that we can feed our children a birthday cake which easily could have been made vegan.

It’s not a personal choice for the pig when we roast her body over fire just so that we can have a good barbeque with our friends.

My boyfriend is not vegan but we both agree on the fact that our future child will be raised vegan. A mixed household is not a problem.

Asa March 24, 2015 at 11:32 am

Obviously I mean PRODUCE milk and not consume :)

Catherine @ foodiecology March 24, 2015 at 11:52 am

Thank you for sharing this. I admit I, too, was curious how you’d raise
your daughter.
First and foremost, I’m not a vegan myself, but I love eating plant-based
foods that I wouldn’t have even *considered* eating a few years ago. Your
website and cookbook is a huge part of that.
I commend you for putting yourself out here like this, as I’m sure you
*knew* you would be criticized–even personally attacked–by some of your
readers. I hope you don’t let any of the harsh words bring you down.
To be honest, I wish I was vegan. I do think–in most of the world, at
least–that a plant-based diet would solve a host of problems: obesity and
other health issues, environmental issues, and of course, animal suffering
(although I will argue that for *some* people, they really do thrive with
animal protein in their diets for whatever reason). I agree with the vegan
position, I just sadly lack the motivation/desire to make that change.
People will call me selfish for saying that–or even declare that I’m a
horrible person–but it’s how I feel. I do try to limit the animal products
I consume, however, and I encourage others to do the same. For me, it’s not
an “all or nothing” issue. Small change is still change.
I think the #1 thing for you and your family is to do WHAT FEELS RIGHT FOR
YOU. Your child’s health is the most important thing–and also her
relationship with food. And even though you say you’ll allow your daughter
to eat some of the non-vegan foods your husband eats, I have a feeling
that, because you do the cooking and meal-planning, that she’ll eat 99%
vegan anyway. Your daughter is so lucky to have you as a mother–somebody
who has compassion and a dedication to eating well. I do not personally
think you’re sacrificing your ethics or being untrue to yourself by
allowing your daughter to be an omnivore if she chooses. We can make
personal choices that we stand 100% behind while also respecting those
around us and considering their wishes/needs/etc.
Thank you for sharing this. I hope you’ll share baby food recipes when the
time comes! And thank you for sharing your beautiful recipes and inspiring
so many people to change their diets and live more healthfully.

Catherine @ foodiecology March 24, 2015 at 11:55 am

Ugh, sorry for the weird format of my comment! Not sure how that happened.

Natalie March 24, 2015 at 11:54 am

While I understand your reasons, I just wanted to lend you some advice of caution! If your daughter is not accustomed to eating animal flesh and especially after she’s been weaned from breast milk, eating meat and dairy might make her quite sick. Now, while she is breastfeeding, she will maintain the digestive enzymes (I might not be using the right vocabulary, as I am not a RD!) to be able to digest breast milk and dairy milk. Once she is weaned, she has about a 75% chance of losing that capacity. My daughter was okay with milk, ice cream and dairy. In September, when she left daycare and entered school, I went completely vegan with her diet. A few weeks ago, she has some cheese, and spent about a day vomitting. My husband, while we were on vacation, indulged in some of the buffet offerings, but after eating vegan for more than a year, he also got quite sick.

Daniela March 24, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I am shocked and disappointed with your confession. Probably it is not a confession yet you disguised very well that the truth behind your book which is simply a desire to profit from growing trend of being hip and fashionable ‘vegan’. You are not a vegan and you only promoting tasty, healthy, mainly-plant based diet. Veganims is not about us, it is about them — the billions of suffering animals who are howling in agony minute after minute so humans can chew on their flesh and suck on their stolen secretion. The planet is being ravaged by animal agriculture and sorry to say that but most likely there is no future at all for your offspring. And you, as a concerned mother, just watch it silently to burn siding with your oppressor husband. Yes, all kudos to you to wrap all the horrors of animal exploitation in a pink wrapping so you can just nicely win the biggest audience possible. Well, you definitely lost all the kind, logical, compassionate, ethical vegans.

Annie March 24, 2015 at 7:19 pm

The meat industry causes immense suffering and environmental destruction. That’s indisputable. Why not channel your passion into fighting factory farms rather than attacking the character of someone who has again and again opened herself up to others in the most honest, caring, and compassionate way?

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 1:49 pm

I am responding to this post. Which is so terribly needed since I got a feeling that to be cruel and compassionate-less is glamorized by this post!!!! I am fighting on many fronts. What are you doing to make the animal exploitation to stop?

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 12:45 am

No kidding Daniela. Hugely disappointed and now wondering how many fake “Vegans” there are.

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Absolutely Rebecca! We all wonder! I think the definition of vegan is lost. How many humans actually understand that being vegan means to ethically oppose to all the animal exploitation — what we put in our mouth is only a part of it! Anyhow, thanks to the owner of Oh she glows, this stirred up a lot of havoc in vegan movement and the fact that we shall not and cannot support any businesses masquerading in a costume of vegan imagine. You want to make mainly plant based food – no problem, but please do not call this enterprise or yourself vegan. VEGANISM is about ethics and standing up against the horrifying normality of our status quo.

Nicole April 7, 2015 at 2:50 pm

I felt the need to respond to this, as people like you are the reason there is so much stigma and fear behind becoming vegan. This black and white mentality is ridiculous. Shaming someone for allowing their child the right to choose and make their own decision on this matter is what makes me value this blog even more. Putting vegan into this tiny box is the reason I won’t ever be calling myself vegan as I do not want to be associated with scary, close minded people such as yourself. Being conscious about where your food comes from and understanding all aspects of the argument is much more relevant than a strict, condescending outlook such as yours. All of those ‘kind, logical, compassionate vegans” must not be the group you fall under as I find nothing about your comments compassionate and/or logical. I hope this post brings more open minded people to the blog and lets go of those who share such shameful and negative attitudes.

Veronica March 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm

This. All of this. Exactly how I am currently raising my 20-month old daughter.

Jennifer March 24, 2015 at 12:59 pm

I loved reading this! My husband and kids are not vegan either, but like you, that is what I cook, so basically if they eat in this house, they are vegan. I do buy a few things for my son to take in his lunch…occasional lunchmeat, cheeses, etc. When we are eating out, though, I let them choose whatever they want. They eat so healthy at home, that I’m not concerned about the few choices they are making while out. My son is 6 and already he is asking about where food comes from and why people need to kill the animals for food. He doesn’t quite make the full connection yet but it’s a start. I’m letting them make up their own minds about the diet they choose all the while making sure they know that fruits, veggies, whole grains and healthy fats are important and healthy for them to grow and excel. Keep up the good work, mama!

Tawny March 24, 2015 at 2:34 pm

You are PLANT BASED, NOT Vegan! You don’t care what they eat when your out because they eat healthy at food..that’s about diet..not animals

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 1:56 pm

That is correct. Being vegan is about ethics. You are talking about your diet only. Tawny – a great reply!

Rhonda March 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Giving your child a choice is the most powerful thing you can give her. Your loving guidance will bring her to a place where she can choose not to eat animals for all the right reasons.

Tracey Mushmanski March 24, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Rhonda, should she also give her child the choice to be a bully, to hit the family dog, or to eat feces? Parents make decisions for their babies and young children every day. She has chosen an omnivorous diet for her child.

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Tracey, well said. I cannot comprehend why so many humans on this blog cannot understand this?! By showing to this young person that chewing on tortured flesh is ok…. what kind of choice is this?

Devi March 24, 2015 at 1:40 pm

If you know your kid is doing something ethically wrong, how can you be ok with it?

I agree that FORCING unpopular BELIEFS on children can back-fire, but facts are facts and should be presented as such, as well as polite ways to excuse one’s self from partaking in eating the carcass of a dead creature.
Animals aren’t food. They aren’t objects. They are living beings and all kids should be educated as such…
I’d be as disappointed in their decision to eat a dead animal due to peer pressure as I would be if they intentionally killed a creature because they felt like it (that’s actually a psychological sign that you’re kid is going to be emotionally disturbed btw).

I thankfully will never have to worry about this predicament. I care too much about animals and the environment to reproduce. Over-population and climate change be serious business and I wouldn’t condemn a child to endure it or contribute to it.

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Wonderfully said Devi!

Celeste March 24, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Since we must eat to live, what one decides to eat is intensely personal. I guess if you are vegan in regards to animal rights issues, its a different story, but if you are “eating vegan” for a healthy lifestyle, things are more open and flexible. I applaud the author’s honesty and willingness to debate the issue.

Laura March 24, 2015 at 9:34 pm

One doesn’t “eat vegan” for health. One eats plant based for health. For the love of all things holy, I wish people would get this distinction, already!

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 12:48 am

Me too. I suggest we separate; all the plant based folk go on their blissful way.

Joe March 25, 2015 at 3:55 am

although I understand why people are upset about the ‘wrong’ use of the label vegan versus plant based (and it is an important one) the ‘real’ vegans should consider following:
even people who are promoting a plant based diet not for the animals sake but for health (or similar) are helping the animals!! Maybe not for the right reasons (in the vegans point of view) but nonetheless.

People like Angela help e.g. vegetarians on the way to being vegan – we NEED people that are not so strict and dogmatic about veganism because this has been shown to turn SOME people off before they even tried. When you are still an omnivore or a vegetarian being vegan has to be something you chose deliberately and not something that was forced on you (I’m speaking only about adults here) because then you’ll stick to it and promote it.

Don’t forget that some people follow Angela’s blog because her food is delicious, not because it is vegan. But that still means that the animal suffering is reduced.

I’m not saying that this is the end goal (or the ‘right’ moral one) but people eating plant based are helping the animals more than people who are omnivore and rather than sending them ‘off’ on their own way we should embrace them for helping to get more people on the wagon. We should not forget that it is about sustainability and helping the animals first and only second on how or why this animal wasn’t killed.

Tammy Root March 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Several of you give vegans a bad name. It’s a shame. Why does it have to be black and white? As long as people are limiting meat and dairy, that is a good thing. There are varying degrees and that is okay. As long as we are all on a *similar* path, that is a good thing. We should be supporting one another, not tearing each other down becasue our degree of animal rights/healthy eating varies. Why do vegans and plant-based have to divide?? It is ridiculous.

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 2:04 pm

It is VERY black and white issue. It is not a choice. If 200 billions of human children would be tortured to death each year, I guess according to your logic people who would fight against it would give the movement bad name also. The non-human animal genocide is the ongoing worst tragedy in the history of this planet and you want it treat it moderately?! Shame on you and others like you. IF you are the screaming mother cow, whose baby was beaten and stolen a way, so the humans can steal your milk, impregnate you and use you until they discard you like a piece of garbage, you would understand humans like your reasoning about varying degrees of this being ok.

Tammy Root March 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Daniela — I respect your view and understand what you saying. I really do. I am just saying that all degrees of “veganism” or vegetarianism should be appreciated. I am a vegetarian — I have not eaten meat in 24 years, but I do eat dairy, although I am trying really hard to limit/eliminate it becasue of the animal cruelty. I do not buy leather and I do not support circuses, Sea World, etc. I donate time and money to animal causes. My daughter is a vegetarian. I grew up eating meat. I learned about the cruel conditions animals face and I made myself a vegetarian. Should I be condemned for not having your exact beliefs or those of other vegans? No. Am I doing something to help animals? Yes. Should that be critiqued or criticized? I don’t think so. That is my only point. All levels of helping animals need to be appreciated and respected. If you want to help the vegetarians become vegans there is a better to do it. I feel that all this energy against Ange or myself, others, etc. should really be redirected to a better cause. We are all on a similar path, whether you want to believe that or not.

I support Angela and always will. I wish the “vegans” would be more understanding and treat their fellow humans as well as they treat animals. Both deserve respect and compassion.

Angie March 27, 2015 at 4:04 am

Well said Tammy.
Should Angela replace her ‘vegan’ with ‘plant based’. I think the discussion shows that this would stop the confusion.
But should she (and all the ‘other fake’ vegans as they were called) be condemned? Hell no, because they are promoting the same cause = DO NOT KILL ANIMALS. Yes, I bow to the morally ‘right’ vegans. Wish I was there, but here I am on my path to veganism and still having a rare piece of cheese, but I am eating 95% plant based now – 5 years ago I was consuming dairy daily. Reading the comments here against people that help animals by being ‘only’ veggie scares me.. don’t condemn me for not being vegan yet, show me the way KINDLY. You’ll attract far more people that way.

Tracey Mushmanski April 2, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Yes please. ln response to several comments, 1/ people need to understand that plant based eating (for their health and/or for the environment) is a diet. lt undoubtedly helps the animals as less of them will be enslaved and killed for ‘food’. That’s why l’m all for people eating plant based. 2/ But we must distinguish between that choice and being vegan. Veganism is a moral decision based on not hurting other animals for any reason, as much as is possible in the world we live in. Public personalities that call themselves vegan, but are not, cause much confusion and misunderstanding. ls it any wonder then that vegans are upset and/or angry when this happens over and over again? 3/ lt is black and white. A person is either vegan or not. Words mean something. “Vegan” means something.

Meagan K. March 24, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Hi Angela –
Although I agree with many points that have been risen here in your comments, I have my own view and opinion which I will remain mum about…
It breaks my heart that there are vegans posting on here who promote compassion to ALL beings yet blatantly tear down you and your family for personal decisions you’ve made. You should have all right to safely express your opinions to allow healthy debate without putting a target on your chest for others.
Thank you for openly discussing situations other’s may have to/already face in a house where there are different food-lift styles.
Blessings to you and your family!

Tawny March 24, 2015 at 2:30 pm

It’s NOT a personal decision when it involves others ( i.e. the chicken )

Sayward Rebhal March 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm

I have not seen one single comment “tearing down” anyone. Angela is an intelligent, capable, thoughtful grown-ass woman who posted on her public blog. I’m sure she expected and was prepared for a wide range of responses.

Respectfully disagreeing with someone is not the same as “tearing them down”. So no need for your heart to break! This is all just healthy conversation. =)

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Who is tearing down who here??? As much Angela is entitled to her way of living, thinking and expressing it publicly, so everyone is as well. So according to you, Angela and her fans who agreed with her are ok to post their opinions, yet those who disagree should take a hike? It was brought up many times, she can do what she wants, as long she does not talk about veganism. This is all about dietary choices that have nothing to do with ethics and compassion. If she would clarify that, then there would be no confusion. Unfortunately, we still live in “society” that enables to murder other species for taste buds as there were times that a slave owner was publicly able to kill his slave.

Jena March 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm

I am vegan and my husband is flexitarian. He eats mostly plant-based but has meat and cheese once in a while. Our daughter is 13 months and she is completely vegan. Being certified in health and nutrition I strongly feel that raising her on a plant-based diet gives her the best start in life nutritionally. When she is old enough to understand the consequences of her food choices on her health, the environment, and ethically for the animals, she is welcome to add animal products into her diet. My husband agrees that it is much easier to make a decision like that when one doesn’t already have a taste for those addictive foods. Many people want to transition to plant-based eating for various reasons but just can’t seem to give up the foods they grew up with and love. It just makes sense that if I think a food isn’t healthy enough for me I wouldn’t feed it to her. We also want to raise her to be compassionate to animals and eating them just doesn’t align with that. I can certainly understand your decision and the reasoning behind it. I am surprised by it though. With as creative and awesome as you are in the kitchen you’re more than equipped to make a vegan version of any food that tastes way better than the original version! On a different note, we fed avocado as a first food to our little as well. So much fun! Enjoy every minute as they seem to grow right before our eyes!

Lori March 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm

From Oh She Glows book:
“How could I, the lifelong animal lover, continue to support a system that brought so much pain and suffering to so many animals each year?”

What happened to this Angela??

Tawny March 24, 2015 at 2:26 pm

oh well it’s organic local meat, that means they didn’t feel pain!

Pam March 24, 2015 at 2:13 pm

This is disappointing.
The job of a parent is to raise their child to be a healthy and responsible member of society, a good steward of the planet, better than the generation before…
You are obviously NOT vegan, you eat a plant based diet, there is a significant difference. Vegans care about animals, their health and the environment. Plant-based dieters…are dieters…

Tawny March 24, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Hell no, I’m raising my man VEGAN, I’m proud to wear that label because it means I do as little harm to animals as possible. You could say you’re forcing your plant based views or you could also say your husband is forcing meat. Wouldn’t eating mostly plant based and then oh there’s a whole tub of ice cream ( because you want her to eat whatever she wants ) wouldn’t dairy make her sick? I think if I was like oh I want to eat that, was fed it and later when I could actually understand that it was someone’s flesh, I’d be sick. I just can’t respect anyone’s “right” to steal someone’s life or steal their babies for their own taste.

Kara March 24, 2015 at 2:29 pm

I see a lot of negative comments directed at you here but especially on Facebook for the choice you have made for your family. As someone who is by no means vegan or even vegetarian, I’m an open-minded person who understands that everyone has their own opinions and makes the choices they make for their own reasons. I respect the human ability to make decisions and be autonomous every day, and I don’t force my opinions on others.

I chose to post here instead of on your Facebook post because that comment section hurts my heart to read. Good for you for making the decision with your husband on what is best for your daughter and please don’t take any of the negativity to heart because it’s not worth it. If people want to stop following you, let them – it’s not worth it.

Laura March 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Oh, please… Enough of the dramatic hyperbole. This whole issue would be an non-issue if she called herself plant based and not vegan. Our language has definitions for a reason, and veganism is not. a. diet.

Sharon March 24, 2015 at 11:45 pm


Megan March 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm

You know what? When PETA stops creating ads aimed at women, about how much better and more beautiful and thinner we will be for going Vegan… THEN you can argue these semantics all you want. The fact is that PETA has a long history of playing on women’s insecurities and promoting sexist ideals and telling women how much sexier we will be for giving up animal products.

In other words, I will call myself whatever I want and there is literally nothing you can do about it. Unless you want to stop calling yourselves compassionate, when you all are so clearly not. If you give up the “compassionate” label, I will give up the vegan label. Your call.

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Megan, obviously you have no clue why PETA is using the tactics that play on selfishness of humans. You never thought about it for more than a few seconds. So, understand this: PETA and tons of desperate animal rights activists are in pain from seeing how compassionate-less towards non-human animals the mankind is and so desperate to advance in the animal liberation movement yet it seems that one things that works the most is self-oriented profits AKA a human health, a human imagine, a human sexual attraction. Since the majority of suffering animals are used for food, if we stopped enough homo saps to eat animals, a real progress can be made. PETA does what works. Peta saved more animals and made more humans ethical vegans than any other groups in the history of this planet. Sexist advertisement is used for everything: selling cows milk, eating cows flesh, selling sausages, selling cars, clothing, even real-estate. Sadly, Peta has no choice. However, I am a strong believer that a true advancement in humanity can only be done using ethical reasoning and that is why people like Angela and many others should be coherent. You do not want to fight for the tortured animals and dying planet? You want to make money with those who are seeking their own health .. great but be clear who your audience is. To be married to a carnist, to raise an offspring chewing on carcass = this person is no way an ethical vegan. This person just promotes tasty plant based recipes. At least this would be honest.

Megan March 26, 2015 at 3:08 pm

I can hardly even begin to understand your argument. So, everyone else using these shallow and self-serving tactics (and I agree that a LOT of companies use them, not JUST Peta) are evil, but when Peta does it, it is for the greater good and not to be judged? They can climb down into the muck with those other advertisers, but somehow still hold themselves above them?

No. I HAVE thought about this. A lot. The bottom line is that if you all want to consider yourselves somehow better than other people, you need to hold yourselves to a better standard. And if you can’t do that, and if you want to make excuses for yourselves and the horrible things you say and do to those who make different choices than you, then maybe “compassionate” isn’t a label that actually applies to your movement. I care about animal welfare a great deal… but I manage to still have compassion and respect left over for my fellow humans who are entitled to hold different beliefs.

Someone else on this thread already pointed out that Angela’s non-judging and compassionate stance has done more for animal welfare and the vegan movement than most of you on here spouting hate. I would consider your approach in garnering new members to your cause, and whether or not arguing semantics over what is basically a dietary label is doing more harm than good to those who are considering whether or not to start including less (or any) animal products in their diet and lifestyles.

Also, I think “carnivore” is the word you are looking for, not “carnist”.

Sayward Rebhal March 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Hi Angela,

Thank you for sharing your thought here so articulately. I appreciate that this must be a difficult position to be in, and you’ve obviously given it much consideration. I have a lot of respect for you as a fellow plant-based blogger, and I know you used my book during your pregnancy, and I appreciate that as well! ;-)

And I have, obviously, made a different decision than you. My son is vegan and has been from birth, and it has never been an issue. I acknowledge that you are in a different position than I am, in a mixed household, and I know that complicates things. Like I said, you’ve obviously given this a lot of thought.

I did just want to take issue with one thing you said though. You wrote, “. . . we’ve actually decided not to label her diet in any shape or form . . . ” and I found this phrase – which is part of the justification for your decision – to be troubling.

It reminds me of labels like “gay” and “straight”, and how 50 years ago nobody ever referred to themselves as “straight”, because straight was just the normal, assumed, standard orientation. Gay people stuck out, so they got a label, but straight people didn’t get a label. Now, many years of social justice work later, it’s understood that straight is not *normal*, straight is just straight, and it’s now the standard to identify yourself as “gay” “bisexual” “straight” or whatever your orientation is. We all get a label. And now we’re seeing this change coming with the recent trans activism, where very progressive non-trans people have started referring to themselves as “cis” (the opposite of trans) as an act of solidarity to show that it’s not “normal” versus “trans”, but simply “cis” or “trans”. Because everyone has a gender identity label, just like everyone has a sexual orientation label, and on and on.

All this may seem tangential, but my point is this – you are *not* choosing not to label your daughter diet. You are very much giving her a label.

It’s omnivore.

And that’s a choice that you are making *for her*. And this may seem a small point, but I do think it’s an important one. Because we have to acknowledge that choosing to feed our children animals is *just as much a choice* as choosing not to feed our children animals.

It’s not a passive thing. It’s an action. It’s a choice you are making for her.

I just think that’s a really important point to clarify.


Judith March 24, 2015 at 10:58 pm

One of the best responses! Sayward, you have just made it clear why it is important to have labels – otherwise the omnivore diet is being trumpeted as the “normal” way to eat. Thank you for writing so simply and eloquently about this very important issue.

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 12:52 am

Beautifully written Sayward.

Katy Widrick March 24, 2015 at 3:09 pm

This is almost exactly our approach — I’m vegetarian, my husband is not and so far, our daughter is BUT it’s mostly because we eat plant-based meals 99% of the time at home. I want her to be open to all experiences and foods and not feel that I’ve made a label choice for her, although she will likely be exposed to more vegetarian options than other kids, and I’ll encourage those choices (whether or not they are the only things she eats!).

Alyssa March 24, 2015 at 3:09 pm

I have two beautiful nieces (ages 2 and 1) that are both being raised plant-based. They are healthy and happy. I plan to raise compassionate children who don’t eat animals or animal excretions. My husband and I came to this decision based on the health benefits of a plant-based diet, illustrated by hundreds of studies and doctors such as Neal Barnard and Caldwell Esselstyn. These studies show the connection between animal protein and cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. In addition, we believe animals matter morally, have a desire to live, and are sentient non-human persons. We hope to raise our children with these values.

Ferdinan March 24, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Vegan isn’t a diet–it’s about justice for animals. So what you are actually saying is that you will raise your daughter to believe that her palate pleasure–tasty nonvegan food–comes before a nonhuman animal’s right to live. You will teach her that commodifying other sentient beings, simply because we can, is acceptable.
It’s not about “labels”–it’s about justice. And you clearly don’t value justice, and you will not raise your daughter to value justice. How sad.

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Absolutely Sir! Well said.

Amanda March 24, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Totally disappointed and will not buy any more of your books.You are posturing as a Vegan without the ethical stance to back it up. You should call yourself and your recipes Plant Based. Veganism is not just a diet and you are obviously not at all clear about that – just been using the word for marketing.

Samantha March 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm

I’m a little shocked and disappointed at this post. I applaud you for being open and honest, but I’m disappointed that your child will be raised thinking that there is nothing wrong with consuming animal products. If you’re plant-based for health, the animals, human rights and/or the environment, those are positive things that you should be teaching your girl. Teach her to compassionate and kind while she is young and when she is old enough to make the decision for herself, let her choose.

Talking about not wanting to label her is getting hung up on labels. You can live a compassionate lifestyle without saying it’s vegan or plant-based. Don’t choose to feed your child animal products because you don’t like labels. Feed her healthy plant-based foods and teach her respect for all living things. That’s not “extreme”. That’s what good people are obligated to do. You’re one of the lucky few that has learned the truth and made lifestyle changes that are better for everyone. That’s not something to hide.

Wendy Irene March 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm

My household is the same. The vast majority of what my kids do end up eating is prepared by me and vegan. I care more about avoiding harmful chemicals and artificial ingredients in food than I do labeling my kids diet.

Tineke Noppers March 24, 2015 at 3:51 pm

For me Veganism isn’t just a diet, it is also a moral obligation. I don’t think I will be forcing my beliefs on my future kids (I am not a mom yet) if I let them eat compassionate, because if I would feed them animals and their secretions, I feel like I would be feeding them violence. Going to watch the little lambs with them in the spring, let them pet a rabbit, teaching them to be kind and respectful toward the animals we come across and having these animals killed, and feed them to my child at the same time, feels like lying and even a form of abuse. I realized only a couple of years ago that my mom and I would save a baby blackbird that fell from the tree and how happy we where when it was save again. After that we would eat mom’s chicken soup with eggs in it! In our carnistic society you won’t notice the contradiction that one life matters, and the other simply doesn’t. And if anyone is forcing diets on our kids it is society! I don’t always agree with the values of our society, therefore I will not copy them on my kids. I guess if my kid goes to a birthday party of non vegans, I will bake a vegan cake for him or her, and if I get the recipe of your page, I am sure they will not complain! ( < :

Heather March 24, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Loved reading about this!!

I have a 6 month old daughter as well and she has just started eating and watching that happen is the best / most hilarious thing ever!! I have a 4 year old boy who I have raised vegan and that has been a huge eye opener and sometimes it’s not easy. Like, when my mother in law puts cows milk in her coffee and my son freaks out ” GRANDMA’S DRINKING COW’S MILK !!” . He has taken to it really well and is very healthy and dare I say, exceptionally smart. He loves animals so it makes sense for him. We haven’t talked about anything gory and he still totally gets it. I wrote a blog about it on my website recently if you want to check it out. www.veganpoliceshop.com. lot’s o love!! xo

Laura Jones March 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Page xv of your book:

“After learning about the horrors of meat and dairy factory farming, I had to ask myself some hard questions. How could I, the lifelong animal lover, continue to support a system that brought so much pain and suffering to so many animals each year? The complete dichotomy of the food on my plate and my passion for animal welfare was, quite frankly hard to digest. Wasn’t there another solution?”

Lisa Pons March 24, 2015 at 4:44 pm

I feel just like I did when I realized my parents were Santa Claus – disalussioned, disappointed and sad :(

Liz March 25, 2015 at 9:54 am

Oh for goodness sake – I’m sorry, what a ridiculously unnecessary and over dramatic response!!!

Paige March 24, 2015 at 6:07 pm

I am very sad to read this. I was hoping your daughter would be a popular example of a happy, healthy vegan baby but this post and your example will be encouragement for others to perpetuate the cycle of animal abuse and murder. I honor your choice as a mother, but I am very disappointed by your choice as a public figure. I thought you were an advocate for animal freedom, but I must have been confused.

Paige March 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Also, I was raised vegetarian and, as a vegan today, am SO glad that I have never eaten an animal. I was proud of that even as a child, even though some less-cool peers tried to bully me into eating meat. And I never cared about not eating pepperoni pizzas at social events. I simply didn’t consider it food.

Jennie March 24, 2015 at 8:52 pm

It makes me sad too

Tracey Mushmanski March 24, 2015 at 6:08 pm

“Vegan” is not a diet label. YOU are a non vegan, eating a plant based diet. Call it what it is.

Jess March 24, 2015 at 6:42 pm

I really like your approach Angela. I think it makes perfect sense and I have a lot of respect for your decision! Although there are many different opinions on this matter, only you and your husband know what’s best for your family!

Annie March 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Yay for you, Angela! I am sure your daughter will grow up compassionate and open-minded with such an approach.
Since my husband and I are both vegetarian, it was natural for us to raise our kids that way. When my oldest was 17, he wanted to try fish and now he eats all kinds of meat. BUT he also eats loads of fruits and veggies and has no taste for junk food. It was a conscious decision on his part, and we all adapted to it. I don’t prepare meat or fish at home, but I buy it for him when he’s here. He has learned to cook for himself. :). His younger brother says he doesn’t think he’ll eat meat, but he might try fish some day.

Brittany March 24, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Hi Angela!

First, I wanted to say that I understand and respect your decision. I’m sure you expected some backlash but I hope it’s not weighing on you too heavily.

I know you’ve probably spent a lot more time thinking about this than I have, but I’d like to add my $0.02.

As an animal lover my entire life, I can’t help but feel upset with my Mom for the choices she made for me as a child. I always looked up to her as a kind, empathetic woman who stands up for her beliefs and others. I went vegetarian as a young child, and vegan in my teens (I would have gone vegan right off the bat if I’d understood dairy/egg practices.)

It saddens me that I was raised non-vegan without my consent, but I’d be more upset if my Mom had had a full understanding of the animal cruelty involved in an omnivorous diet and chose to allow me to eat meat and dairy regardless.

Would you consider going label-less but feeding her a vegan diet until she can understand the connection between animals and animal foods? Like another commenter said, she could be very thankful for the opportunity to live a completely vegan lifestyle from birth and it would be nice to give her that option. I think kids can actually make the animal/food connection shockingly early so it could be something to think about!

Thanks for being honest and open. I so appreciate your blog, thanks for making veganism approachable!

michelle s March 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm

I can understand that for many who are dedicated vegans, this is a black and white issue, but I so agree with the comments about compassion… if being vegan is about compassion for all animals (some of whom do eat other animals!) then let’s remember that every parent, including Angela, has different issues to consider which are also important. For example, some people have healed themselves from disordered eating, potentially life threatening eating disorders, and may worry about developing rigid rules about food for their child. I was completely vegan for 4 years, and it helped me heal my leaky gut, but I now include some meat in our household diet. I am 100% gluten free, have Type 1 diabetes (which I think is somewhat correlated to gluten consumption since a third of type 1 diabetics have gluten intolerance). My husband and I both healed health issues by cutting out dairy, so for us we want to be plant-based and feed our four kids few animal products, but would rather sometimes choose healthy meat options than using more gluten or dairy. Being vegan, gluten free and low carb for my diabetes meant that when I was travelling for work, I would basically just eat snacks for two days without solid meals in some cities. My diet was really restrictive and I had to put my health first. Now I have healthier options and my diet is still mostly plant based. Angela, your work helps so many people cut back on animal products and eat well, keep up the good work!

Courtney March 24, 2015 at 7:26 pm

I think you have a super reasonable approach to this decision. I’m a lacto-vegetarian and have been for most of my life now, while my husband is an omnivore. I don’t love having meat in the house, and for the most part we don’t except for the occasional summer BBQ or fish once or twice a year (I refuse to cook any of it though – that’s up to him!). We’re expecting our first baby in just a couple of months and I don’t plan to change the way I cook or starting buying “kid” foods like chicken nuggets and fish sticks, at home we’ll continue to eat a vegetarian diet, but like you said – you can’t control their food intake all of the time and they may want to have that happy meal or pepperoni pizza with their friends. Of course I wish they would always eat vegetarian, but I think it’s naive to think we can control everything a child does (especially if they see their father eating some of those foods and are curious!).

Long story short, I won’t personally participate in feeding them any animals and I will do my best to educate them on my choices as they are able to understand those reasons, but I won’t be forcing any particular diet on them. Hopefully the more we teach compassion to our children (towards both animals and humans) the more they will follow in our footsteps and make the kind choice!

stacie March 24, 2015 at 7:42 pm

This is very disappointing. As a vegan,especially in the public eye, you should be committed to this amazing healthy lifestyle!! It seems entirely hypocritical for you to not raise your daughter vegan when you have made many comments about the inhumane meat/dairy industries in the past.

Robert Grillo March 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

By simply reaffirming the supremacy of personal choice, we simultaneously reaffirm the belief that even our trivial palate pleasures can be made more important than the life and death circumstances of the victims of those choices. This reaffirmation requires a suspension of moral reasoning. One forgettable meal = an entire lifetime of experiences cut drastically and violently short. If animals matter even in the most superfluous sense, then we don’t violate their most basic right to life and liberty when we can so easily avoid it, such as in the case of replacing animal products with alternatives. And we don’t teach out children that choosing death over life is a morally equivalent one.

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Well said. Hope Angela reads all the comments and see the light.

Kristie March 24, 2015 at 7:50 pm

This saddens me. “I want her to be able to try any food that she wants to, including the food her dad and family members eat in front of her”…. Except the “Food” you refer to is someone else’s baby. It’s not “Food”, it’s a dead animal and absolutely desperately wanted to live. If you could raise your child to live a heathy and happy life without bringing harm and suffering to the world, then why on earth wouldn’t you? Raise your child to respect animals and she will make the decision herself to not kill them for food, but let her think it’s ok to use them as she see’s fit, and she’s already on the back foot.

Dee March 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Please don’t allow dead flesh into your precious baby!!! My only is it harmful for her but it literally supports the killing and suffering of so many animals! It is no ones right to inflict such horrific pain on another being! Especially for pure palette pleasure!

Dee March 24, 2015 at 8:01 pm

I think that’s a great attitude and it’s the same one we have with our daughter, now 2.5 years, about my vegetarianism (husband does eat meat but like yours he eats what I cook). I have always fed her a vegetarian diet but been open to her trying whatever she likes. She is only just starting to ask for things and doesn’t seem to have noticed that her diet is a bit different to others, even though she is in daycare and gets served a vegetarian meal. No health professional has ever batted an eyelid at her vegetarian diet and she is a healthy kid (if only she’d eat more of her vegetables…) I always got the sense a vegan diet was a bit trickier for little ones (although I know a vegan 4 year old who’s the picture of health and a genius to boot) so you are probably making your life a lot easier by keeping an open mind at this stage. Thank you for sharing.

Janie March 24, 2015 at 8:13 pm

I was vegetarian when raising my son. Hubby was omnivore and I allowed my son to eat what my hubby ate.I’m now vegan, initially for health and now ethical and environmental as well. Hubby is too. If I had to do it over today, I’d try to at the very least have only vegan meals in the home and help my child understand my choices, even if my husband wasn’t vegan, because of my ethics. I have several vegan friends who are divorced. The kids are vegan at their house and not with the ex-spouse’s. As adults they will make their own choices, but as a vegan, I certainly could not serve my child non-vegan food in my home.

Laura March 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Very, very sad, IMHO. The best gift we can give our children is that of compassion. I see so many comments regarding “diet”. Veganism is not a diet, but a moral imperative. It would be much more honest to just say plant-based.

kim landsman March 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm

What a let down.
please, refer to your self as plantbased and not vegan… as vegans do not see animaks AS food. Obviously.

Another foodie hero bited the big one.

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Absolutely agree with you. Shameful and completely disappointing.

Jennie March 24, 2015 at 8:49 pm

I am vegan and my boys ages 16 & 10, are vegetarian. They have never eaten meat and are proud to be vegetarian.
Parents make decisions for their children everyday, saying you are limiting their choices by deciding not to feed them meat is such a typical, meat eater thing to say. Feeding meat is also making a choice for your child.
If my boys decided to eat meat now it would be their choice, one based on knowledge.

Diane March 24, 2015 at 9:05 pm

I would not feed a child non-vegan or unhealthy foods until they are old enough to understand their choices. I would feel that I took away their choice to not take a life.

I once made a boyfriend promise that if he was preparing food for me and something fell on the floor, and even if he washed it, that he would tell me the details so that I would have the choice vs him not telling me and taking the choice away from me. For me, not telling children that we killed an animal, for them to eat, is the same thing except on a whole other level.

Lee March 24, 2015 at 10:06 pm

I’m vegan. My wife eats eggs and cheese at home, and occasionally fish. All of our meals are vegan, save for the times she fries up an egg, brings home sushi, or eats a stick of string cheese. We’re raising our 17 month old vegan. If I let him have choice, he’d not only eat the egg on my wife’s plate, but he’d try to swallow the fork and throw the plate onto the floor. If he was up on the couch, and I gave him a choice of what he wanted to do, he’d dive head first over the arm onto the hardwood floor. We have to make choices for themf for their own protection until they have the ability and the means to make their own. Suppose I gave him animal products, because I let him “choose” when he’s a toddler…then if he decides to be vegan later on, I imagine he’d be upset that we allowed him to eat such things, when we knew he didn’t have to…and when we knew the violence involved. Better to err on the side of caution…and compassion. Also, I echo the “it’s not a personal choice” point.

Sharon March 24, 2015 at 11:38 pm

I love your comment and wish I could have been so concise. This article made me a little crazy!

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 2:40 pm

So agree with Sharon about your reply Lee! Right on!!

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 12:40 am

Yes. I wish I had been raised vegan. It really isn’t a personal choice.

Sayward Rebhal March 25, 2015 at 12:55 am

I very much agree with your points here Lee, thank you for expressing them so well.

As parents, we make all sorts of decisions for our children. We don’t “let them make their own choices” about their bedtimes, their sugar intake, which church they’ll attend, whether it’s okay to hit their friends, what school they’ll go to or whether they’ll go at all, and on and on. It’s a parent’s job to guide and to teach. “Let them make their own choice” does not mean much when they are literally too young to comprehend the ramifications of such choices.

Anyway, thanks for this comment. Well said.

Judith March 24, 2015 at 10:08 pm

Veganism is NOT a diet, it’s a moral stance. Calling yourself vegan means you will not eat, wear, or exploit animals. Choosing to say you’re vegan because you follow a plant based diet is incorrect and confusing to the public. T.Colin Campbell, PhD, the author of The China Study and professor emeritus from Cornell University, sticks to saying he follows a whole foods plant based diet (WFPB). He has been very clear about not calling himself vegan. I respect him for that.

I think Angela’s recipes are wonderful, but the title of this blog should be about raising her daughter to be plant based, not vegan.

The vegan label is one that I wear proudly. I wish I had figured this out 30 years ago so that I could have raised my children vegan. Dr. Richard Oppenlander has raised his three children as vegan, and they are all strong and healthy adults. He has written a compelling book “Comfortably Unaware” that teaches us about the environmental impact our food choices are having on the planet. A must read.

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Judith, right on! Absolutely love Dr. Oppenlander. He is an amazing, intelligent and compassionate human.

Miri Taube March 24, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Hi, I am a vegan who has raised her children with the label vegan. I have friends who are vegan who had an approach more like yourself. I sometimes wondered if I should do the same for various reasons. As time has passed I have decided that I made the right choice for my family simply because he grew up NOT having to think about it when he eats. He doesn’t have to think ‘am I doing the right thing?’, I really want this cake but it has dairy and I know about the calves should I eat it?’ etc. I have seen that being hard sometimes for my friends daughter and her sometimes having a dilemma, yielding to ‘temptation’ and then feeling bad. He is 12 now, has been at school and had the choice whether to stay vegan for a number of years and carries it and checks whether he can eat foods himself. I always sent vegan alternatives to parties and managed the environment so he didn’t feel left out and it wasn’t so hard for me. We all want to make sure our kids don’t get fixated on food but sometimes what is simplest for your kids depends on many factors – his father was vegan, I had supportive omnivore friends and family, we didn’t do daycare, kinder etc Anyway just another perspective here.

Rebeccake8 March 25, 2015 at 12:37 am

Great perspective Miri. Kids shouldn’t have to weigh temptations and possibly suffer from guilt.

Linda March 24, 2015 at 11:06 pm

My kids are grown, but I deeply regret not raising them as vegans. When my oldest was three and in pre-school, the peer pressure to eat cake, ice cream, cheese pizza, cookies etc. was relentless. It was hard to say “no” to him when he was offered birthday cake at a friend’s birthday party. That was the start of a very dairy-laden phase of life. I found myself buying and preparing foods that made me sad–dairy and eggs. Both my kids are lifelong vegetarians, but very dairy-centered vegetarians.

Nina Simunovic March 24, 2015 at 11:22 pm

Wow. You are such a great person.
I have always thought “absolutely my children will be vegan,” even though I know my husband will not be. You are so much more reasonable. Very inspiring to see your attitude towards it. Makes me want to be a better person haha.

Jenn Keohane March 24, 2015 at 11:34 pm

I’m really sad and disappointed to read about your decision. I’m in a mixed marriage as well: I’m vegan and my husband is a veg-friendly omnivore. Our compromise was to raise our children as vegetarians until they were old enough to make an informed decision. For them, this was around the age of 9 or 10, and at that time, they both went vegan (they have literally never tried any animal flesh in their whole lives). They are now nearly 11 (almost a year as a vegan) and 13 (four years as a vegan), and they are two of the happiest, healthiest kids around. I admire their resolve, and am so proud of their commitment to not harm animals. They would no sooner eat a cow than they would a dog. It’s not always easy, but then again, following your heart and ethical beliefs isn’t necessarily a simple choice. It is, however, very worth pursuing. My omnivore husband is supportive. It’s not able labels, it’s about reducing suffering of living beings and pursuing an environmentally-friendly diet.

Sharon March 24, 2015 at 11:35 pm

I am trying to write something meaningful here but I really just want to scream! There is no middle ground if you are a vegan. Either you are exploiting other species or you are not.

Veganism is not a diet. In fact, one can choose to be a junk food vegan. I LOVE vegan cupcakes!

What makes me a vegan is that I do my best not to contribute in anyway to the suffering of other animals no matter what time of day it is. It is not okay for an animal to die for my palate pleasure just because I only dine on his flesh after 6:00 or at family gatherings.

I do not consume dairy because, cows are not miracle workers. Cows only can produce milk when they have babies, just like you and me. What do you think happens to those babies so that people can take their mommies’ milk? What happens to those mommies when they can no longer produce milk? (Yes, even humanely raised, organic….)

Humans eat female chickens and eggs that come from hens. What do you think happens to baby boy chickens? What do you think happens to hens after they stop laying? (Even Free Range Organic/ Yes, even pasture raised)

Do humans need to eat animals or what they produce to be healthy? Is our goal to raise our children so that they don’t stand out but so they fit in? Is our goal to teach our children that when they are away from home that it is okay to contribute to the suffering of others because it is just a little bit and it makes everyone around them so happy when they stuff their little faces with flesh and secretions from other sentient beings?

If you are not 100% cruelty free you are not a vegan. Your diet may be similar to what a vegan eats. You may have a whole food plant based diet.

And…. Finally, please, stop using the label because it doesn’t belong to you. In 45 years I have never liked any label other than VEGAN. Those of us that are vegans are proud of it because we know how valuable it is.

I am the mother of two kind, sensitive, happy, funny, well adjusted vegan boys. I really only wish that I had the answers to the questions I asked above before they were born. They became vegans with me when they were four and eight and we learned together where our food and all of the products in our life came from. I wish I had never fed them flesh, dairy, or eggs and I hope that some of you moms that are considering it will reconsider.

Where does my husband stand on all of this? He was a meat eater and became a vegetarian (wanna be vegan) after watching “Earthlings”. Do I respect his choice to eat eggs and some cheese here and there? NO! I think it sucks. But… I LOVE him very much and he is 100% supportive of raising our children vegan.

Adelina March 30, 2015 at 11:07 pm

I agree with what you said about “veganism is not a diet”. I think the key for one to truly commit to veganism is to sincerely and wholeheartedly understand all sentient beings deserve to live freely, happily and not being a slave/ commodity to anyone. Life challenges all of us because we all have desires, selfish wishes, and we always have the urge to fill up our endless cravings, whether these cravings are power, money, beauty, or foods, etc. Only when we truly understand why animals existence aren’t here for us alone, then we can start to appreciate how precious each of their lives is and that we shall not harm any of them for any reason. We can all pull out our philosophical hats to write a book to back us up of our choices for consuming animals products and feel good about it – It’s not difficult! The road to compassion, love, understanding and selflessness isn’t an easy one.

Javier March 24, 2015 at 11:54 pm

First: I wouldn’t even date a non-vegan person.
Second: My son will be vegan, because that’s our nature.
So you wanna let her try any food she wants to? really? like refined sugar?

Alanna March 25, 2015 at 10:28 am

But when Angela got married, she and her husband were BOTH omnivores. What should she have done when she became vegan — gotten divorced? Our dietary choices and personal ethics evolve as we ourselves evolve and grow; does that mean that the people who were in our lives before that evolution should be cut out after it?

Javier March 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

I see what you mean.
I mean: we are all vegan, but we think we can define our fisical constitution by what we choose to eat. We can’t! We are made to drink OUR mother’s milk until is enough, like any other mammals. And we can’t run to kill our prey and eat their raw flesh. So, we’re all vegan.
About the rest, they can do whatever they want with their lives and relationship. But I say that when you deeply understand the veganism, there’s no place for gray areas o negotiations about it. When I became a vegan I told my girlfriend: “this is the way and we’ll do it all the way, or there is no more relationship.” Since I can no longer love someone who doesn’t get it. She really got it, because she’s a very sensible person. Our sons will have the freedom to choose what they want to eat: if they want meat, they’ll go and hunt it with their own hand made weapons. But I know they won’t, by the time they can start designing wepaons they’ll be already committed to preserve the lives of all sentient beings.

shaina seidner March 25, 2015 at 12:21 am

thank you so much. It was like I was reading my own story with myself and my husband. Although we have no children yet this is a topic that we have talked about many times, we both have strong (emotional) feelings about food and it is hard not to get emotional when talking about the topic. My husband will eat anything I cook and when he cooks he cooks for both of us, which results in it being a vegan meal, however as many have stated here he eats meats and dairy products when a meal is just for him. I internally hope that my child chooses to be vegan, but at the very least I will try my best to instill good values and negate the desensitivity that happens so often with children who are not aware of where their food comes from and that the family dog is not that different than the cows in the fields. Thank you again for approaching this topic, it helped put me at ease that it will all be ok!

Nikki March 25, 2015 at 12:33 am

My daughter is just a few weeks younger than yours and we, too, have given this a lot of thought. My husband (also named Eric, by the way) has always been a pretty big meat-eater. He always enjoyed my vegan meals, but I never thought he would become a vegan. Not long after our daughter was born, one day, he told me that he wanted to go vegetarian because of the environmental impact of the meat industry – he hates what it’s doing to our planet and wants to live a healthy planet behind for our daughter.

Even before his shift to vegetarian, we had agreed that our children would be vegan in the home and whenever possible outside of the home, but vegetarian, non-dairy milk drinkers when out world without us. We don’t think it’s fair to put the pressure of tough dietary guidelines – that are hard enough for adults to follow – on little kids. Additionally, you just can’t expect other adults who are unfamiliar with vegan dietary guidelines to understand what your child’s requirements are. However, if you say, “she’s vegetarian and only drinks non-dairy milk,” they will likely get it.

We also don’t want our kids to be needlessly excluded from social events. We don’t want her to be left out of birthday parties because the parents don’t want to invite that vegan kid that doesn’t eat pizza or left out of Halloween because she can’t eat most of the candy she was given.

Every parent has the right to make these decisions for their own family. Just like breastmilk versus formula and sleep training techniques, everyone’s scenario is different and choices should be respected. We are doing way better by the planet and the animals in comparison to omnivores by eating a vegan diet at all, but other commenters here don’t seem to see that. I feel like we should be able to expect more understanding and compassion from vegans in regards to respecting our right to chose what diet is right for our family because vegans are constantly having to fight omnivores for that same respect. It’s disappointing to see how judgmental some people can be. It really makes vegans look bad.

Rham March 25, 2015 at 12:38 am

First, don’t call yourself a vegan because obviously you have not understood the real meaning of being vegan. You can call yourself a plant-based person.

Second, parents or not, we teach children good manners and values. We teach them to treat others well irrespective of their gender or race. We teach them not to kick, slap, or beat others. Should we let them do all these things and let them decide and pick a choice? No! There is no other choice.

Murdering an animal for food or clothing is WRONG! And this is something fundamental that every child needs to embrace if he or she has to grow up kind, loving, and compassionate.

Third, it amazes me how can a person live 24 hours with another person who doesn’t share ones values, unless those values are not important at all.

Tofu Mom March 25, 2015 at 1:09 am

I laboriously read through 6+ pages of content.
I haven’t read any comments from long-time vegans with now-grown, adult children…
I’m interested in your perspectives and your “results”…
I raised three kids as vegans for probably almost every reason you’ve listed…
For ethics, compassion, the animals, consequences of factory farming, freedom from cruelty, their health, the environment, my own sanity….
I modeled balanced choices and cooked completely awesome food…but their Dad ate meat.
He never argued or discredited my point of view, he was always supportive of how we were raising the kids (the few years he was around).
Never a complaint, never an issue (I thought) as kids and pre-teens, but when they were old enough to “make their own choices”, ALL THREE OF THEM opted to eat meat like their Dad does ….and 15 – 20 years later they still do.
They are respectful of my choices and never bring animal products into my kitchen, but in the end, they all three admit they would have preferred to have been “allowed” to explore their own options from a much younger age – they all remember being “singled out”, being “different”, having to “explain” to friends way too often… I still stand by my beliefs, but it also sorta kills me that it affected them more than they let on…
Would I do it differently now? Yes, probably so.
My children come home and eagerly demand that I cook favorite childhood (vegan) recipes for them. They cook a lot of vegan things in their own homes and for friends. They can talk ethics and compassion endlessly and accurately.
But ultimately they still chose a non-vegan lifestyle. And I don’t feel guilty, unhappy or like a “failed parent” because of their choices. I know many people who do, or are setting themselves up to feel this way in a few short years if their children do not continue in their parents’ footsteps.
Take it from someone old enough to be most of you posters Grandma…
Life is too short to spend it trying to conform our child to everything we wish they would believe and support.
Do what you can, do it well, but don’t get bent out of shape if someone else does it, models it, preaches it or parents it differently. No matter HOW much you love, nurture, teach and shape your children, they are GOING to make their own choices in the end.
Angela is making the choice that works for her family. Bravo!
A thousand times BRAVO!!
I don’t think ANY of us can say what is best for someone else, and I’m shocked and amazed by the LACK of “compassion” shown here from people who think they DO know what is best for another.

Liz March 25, 2015 at 10:01 am

One of the few sane voices here. Thank you Tofu Mom! :) Yet another reason why we need to be listening more often to those with many years of life experience!

Jenn Keohane March 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Hi Tofu Mom, Thank you for sharing your story. Just because veg kids may opt to eat meat as an adult is no reason to feed them meat as children, in my opinion. It’s also never been easier to raise veg kids than it is today. Vegetarianism and veganism are more acceptable in mainstream society, and appropriate foods are available almost anywhere. I don’t understand why more veg parents aren’t raising their children with that diet & lifestyle!

Change happens because people stand up for what they believe, and there are more reasons than ever to consider a vegetarian or vegan diet. I hope that my kids, raised vegetarian and now vegan (ages nearly 11 & 13), are a voice of compassion for the next generation. Just because most people aren’t there yet, isn’t a good reason for us to give up or give in.

Julia March 25, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Thanks, Tofu Mom, for sharing your personal experience. I understand that what you’re saying is *not* that doing it over again, you’d feed your children meat/animal products, but rather that if you did it over again, you wouldn’t restrict them from choosing to eat meat/animal products. Your perspective (based on experience!) is so valuable.

That’s how I read what Angela wrote as well. I don’t know if it’s fair to construe Angela’s post as a statement that she will be preparing meat and animal products for her daughter and feeding them to her. I understood she was saying that she’d let her daughter choose when the time comes. I recognize that allowing a young child this “choice” is deplorable to some of her readers, however, it seems others have misunderstood her post to represent something it’s not. I’d be grateful for some clarification from Angela.

In closing, I struggle with how a community that values compassion and love above all else can spit this vitriol at someone whose work has inspired so many to (at least) reduce their animal/animal product consumption. It’s sad and seems short-sighted.

Muriel March 25, 2015 at 2:35 am

I’m super disappointed to hear this. I’m a big fan of your recipes, so vibrant, delicious and healthy. I suppose, now I know that your choice to eat “vegan” — or plant-based — is only for health, not for the animals? Each to his own, I guess. It seems like a huge missed opportunity for advocacy for the billions of animals that get slaughtered in the US alone, and a chance to inspire a new generation via your daughter. I hope you’ve seen Ruby Roth’s stuff?
Oh and why are ALL the comments supportive of your decision? Are these comments moderated and filtered?

Alanna March 25, 2015 at 10:38 am

Many, many of the comments on this post are in the same vein as yours, actually.

ca April 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Fortunately, my boyfriend is vegan (so am I) so our biological and/or adopted children will be raised so. Our debate stands in raising them as non-believers or believers. haha

Good luck to you!

bex March 30, 2015 at 1:52 pm

And all the people who use Angela’s recipes and reduced their consumption of meat have reduced suffering of animals. I don’t care if people eat a vegan diet (yes, I am going to call it a vegan diet because the term has meaning) because they think it makes their eyebrows thicker. In the end the result is that less animals are suffering. If people want less suffering for animals I don’t see why they aren’t supportive of people who help reduce that suffering.

VegRunner March 25, 2015 at 8:07 am

I’m with Sayward Rebhal on this one: kids develop a taste for the kinds of foods they had as small children. Even when some of my children stopped eating vegetarian, their comfort foods were still bean burritos and black bean enchiladas….they don’t even know that meat is “supposed” to go in enchiladas. Why am I a vegetarian rather than a vegan?….cheese….like so many others…cheese. Had I not developed such a taste for it as a small child, it would have been easier to make the switch by now.

If I had to do it all over again (five kids, ages 13-22) I would cook and serve only vegan foods at home, order vegan foods at restaurants, tell my kids to avoid the obvious meat and dairy foods, and not frkn sweat it if there is an egg in Grammy’s birthday cake.

As it stands now, we cook only vegetarian in the house and have not bought eggs or milk in quite a while, We still struggle with cheese. :( I did have my children watch Earthlings, and we do discuss where food comes from. They will have to take it from here.

Carmen Cuellar March 25, 2015 at 10:16 am

A baby can’t really make a decision, so if I ever have one I will teach my baby the truth about the meat industry. I will show love and compassion for animals. And my 4 siblings don’t eat meat, so family gatherings, not that big of a problem. If my baby decides to participate in the meat when he/she is older, that’s on them. However , it’s my job as a parent to show my baby the positive way. A lot of times racism is a result of being encouraged or allowed at a young age.

Karin - Simply Vegan March 25, 2015 at 10:20 am

I have been living the vegan lifestyle for over 2.5 years. I eat a vegan diet purely because I love all animals and will never again willingly and knowingly take part in any sort of animal cruelty. I am currently 15 weeks pregnant and I creating a vegan pregnancy vlog to share our journey with others but also in hopes of inspiring others. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdPP2BuCXcTJVYF5mte2yjA) My husband is vegan as well and our furry daughters (we are all thriving). It is not difficult for me to choose to raise my child vegan but I am aware that difficulties will arise along the way – nothing I am not ready and willing to face. We decided that our child will eat vegan and live a vegan lifestyle. We also are aware that there will come a point where our child will want to try what other kids are having, or eat things at large family gathering which are not vegan (cakes, cookies etc…). We will face those times when they come. I believe that we will give our child a choice to eat things as long as they can communicate and understand what they are taking part in. At such a young age it comes down to doing what is best for your child- because they really do not know better. So I will not allow my toddler to smoke a cigarette or drink alcohol just as I will not allow them to take part in animal cruelty. I wish I was raised 100% vegan. I want to give that opportunity to our child, at least until they can make their own mature and knowledgeable decisions. I will make sure I always have vegan alternative treats on hand. No one said it would be easy, but I know in my heart it will be worth it. I love Oh She Glows because she makes vegan recipes easy, appealing, tasty and available for the world and that is something I will always be grateful for. Rant is done :P Please check out my vegan youtube channel that I posted above and leave a comment under a video to let me know that you found me here — I look forward to connecting!

Tineke Noppers March 25, 2015 at 10:21 am

For me Veganism isn’t just a diet, it is also a moral obligation. I don’t think I will be forcing my beliefs on my future kids (I am not a mom yet) if I let them eat compassionate, because if I would feed them animals and their secretions, I feel like I would be feeding them violence. Going to watch the little lambs with them in the spring, let them pet a rabbit, teaching them to be kind and respectful toward the animals we come across and having these animals killed, and feed them to my child at the same time, feels like lying and even a form of abuse. I realized only a couple of years ago that my mom and I would save a baby blackbird that fell from the tree and how happy we where when it was save again. After that we would eat mom’s chicken soup with eggs in it! In our carnistic society you won’t notice the contradiction that one life matters, and the other simply doesn’t. And if anyone is forcing diets on our kids it is society! I don’t always agree with the values of our society, therefore I will not copy them on my kids. I guess if my kid goes to a birthday party of non vegans, I will bake a vegan cake for him or her, and if I get the recipe of your page, I am sure they will not complain! ( < :

kim landsman March 25, 2015 at 10:43 am

just an FYI that Amazon will take her book back if you would like to return it. several people on a vegan FB bored I frequent got in touch with him yesterday and verified that to be so

Nicole March 25, 2015 at 11:32 am

I definitely think this topic is a “to each his/her own” kind of thing. I became vegetarian before becoming pregnant with my first daughter and even though my husband and I pretty much knew where we stood, I looked everywhere for guidance on this topic. I pretty much never found it because like you, our household isn’t all vegetarian; my husband eats meat.

Finally, we decided we’d raise our kids vegetarian and if they ever want to eat meat, we won’t stop them. So far, my oldest (who is in kindergarten) hasn’t and I rarely get much weirdness about it from teachers, etc. I had one medical student try to lecture me once but then our pediatrician came in and stuck up for me saying I knew what I was doing.

Anyway, I want to go back and read all these comments now!


Nicole March 25, 2015 at 11:34 am

I wanted to add that my kindergartener did come home from school once saying she wanted to eat meat because all of her friends say “she has to!” but we didn’t think that was a mature, solid reason to do so. We want her to make her own decisions, not let peers decide for her… it was a tricky situation but we feel good about how we handled it.

Nicole March 25, 2015 at 11:58 am

Wow.. these comments. I am not vegan although I consider my reason for being vegetarian both for animals and my health (it started purely for animals). I believe those of us who want to stand up for animals ought to do so and support others when they want to, but not condemn those who make an educated decision not to. If a person like Angela chooses not to call her daughter vegan, so what? There are way bigger battles to fight, especially when it comes to animal cruelty and children. Her decision does not mean anyone has to follow suit, nor does it take away from the amazing resource her cookbooks and website are for vegetarians and vegans.

I believe we should all practice compassion, not only to animals, but to fellow humans. We should also teach that compassion to our children, of course. However, in the grand scheme, any person who eats a plant based diet, along with an occasional serving of meat is still doing way more for animals than most.

Keep being you, Angela! xx

Connie March 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Agree completely Nicole, especially with the compassi
on! Thanks to Angela, I’ve made such healthy changes in my own diet and that of my family over the past year, and I’m truly grateful for her inspiration. (And as a direct result of that inspiration that many fewer animals were consumed in my little corner of the world.)

linda March 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm

One thing I did not see in all these posts is what eating animals is doing to our environment. If Adriana would like a planet to live on, I suggest her mother ( and anyone reading this) watch http://www.cowspiracy.com/ and make some drastic changes.

Tineke Noppers March 26, 2015 at 4:56 am

Thanks Linda, for mentioning Cowspiracy! It is one of the best and most important Documentaries I have seen so far. I think everybody who cares for this planet and the future of their children should watch it for a wake up call before it’s too late.

Boris March 25, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Vegan is NOT a diet, it’s a lifestyle that refrains from inflicting any harm or slavery upon animals. By having a child, you therefore are NOT acting in the best interest of the animals and therefore can no longer call yourself vegan. You’re just on a plant-based diet. That child could potentially cause the same kind of destruction(if not more) than the typical american, considering the push to have children is increase by the year. The weak-willed, or weak-minded choose to ignore the environmental and economical whiplash that child bring upon a society. Their narcissistic willingness to birth a child instead of saving one through adoption is also a thing of mystery. So many non-vegan children that could be saved and be taught the importance of veganism. This way you’re converting a vegan and reducing the non-vegan population by one(at least until they move out/make decisions on their own). There really is no excuse to give birth to a child, you can’t even give the “adoption is too expensive” story because the government refunds up to $11,000 dollars in Canada if you adopt to cover expenses, and this can be looked into further. But really, most of it is a huge bargain if you count in they’re usually 1-8 years old on average and you just saved that 1-8 years worth of diapers, baby food, clothes, bikes, christmas presents, other useless shit kids eat through like no tomorrow.
All in all, you who have already had children: need not reply. You’ve already made your mistake, and though your selfish arguments may hold merit in your egocentric mind they are not in the best interest of the planet, especially if you’re telling people to have children of their own.
Also, my opinion is just words laced in facts and statistics.. I don’t believe we have a chance against the growing numbers, and we will all die in the next 50 years from one thing or another which is directly related to overpopulation. (like climate change, economic disaster, food/water shortage, etc.) One thing is certain: Rich people are going to be the only ones alive. Just the way they love it.

danielle March 31, 2015 at 7:55 am

You are a nutcase.

Cara C. April 3, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Good for you. Not breeding is one of the most important things one can do for the planet.

I’m often mystified as to why animal rights people understand the morality of not breeding companion animals and instead adopting an existing one that needs a home,yet if they want to raise a child, they don’t take the next step to adopt one that needs a home.

Anna March 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm

I find it disheartening to see all this judgement and negativity against a person who’s just trying to do her best for her baby. Don’t forget, Eric gets a say in parenting decisions, too, including what to feed Adriana. We all do the best we can for our own family. I agree that it’s important to teach children about compassion to animals, but shouldn’t that extend to fellow humans as well? If people were more kind and supportive to each other, the world would be a better place.

Thank you for all that you do, Angela!

Connie March 25, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Well put, Anna. I think most people who change their belief or philosophy on any subject do so because they’re gently inspired by others to explore and learn about a different way of thinking. While I do appreciate the passion and love for animals that lie behind many of these comments, this is not how you’re going to convert anyone to your cause. Angela is one of the best friends this movement could have because she makes vegan eating accessible and appealing – and, frankly, THAT’S how you’re going to sway most non-vegans.

Anna March 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Yes, I agree! Calling someone selfish, an animal killer/hater, etc. is very off putting and is not going to help sway people into veganism.

Melissa March 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm

What a balanced and healthy approach…exactly what I would expect from you! :)

Jen March 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm

So brave to put this out there. Who knew it would garner such a response one way or the other. I rarely comment on blogs, but I just wanted to say that you are a good person. You deserve respect and you truly respect others and that is what I admire about you. (Not to mention the delicious recipes!) I am glad you are open about this, even though I am sure it is hard to hear some of the just mean things said. Take heart in your own intuition and decisions. I think as parents every choice we make gets questioned and torn apart by others, no matter what it is. Take care and snuggle that sweet baby after you read some of these comments and know that you are the perfect mother for her.

Mary March 25, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Jesus Christ. I wonder how vegans get the reputation of being insanely sanctimonious?

Please learn to distinguish an ally from an enemy. Angela has done more to bring animal-free eating to the masses than any thousand of you.

Terri March 25, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Mary, best comment ever. Yes and yes!

Julia March 25, 2015 at 9:42 pm

This is exactly what I was trying to say. YES.

Jessica March 26, 2015 at 11:44 am

Yes, I could not agree more! If I see another “my child has never ever eaten meat” comment or a “I wish I was raised vegan from day one” remark, I think I may hurl. I highly doubt the point of this post was to allow everyone to brag about their off-spring’s food habits or discuss their vegan elitism.

Parents are just trying to do what they believe is right for their family and every family is different. Why can’t we just appreciate that Angela is being open and honest about a question I have no doubt she is tired of being asked?

Also, I don’t recall her EVER mentioning that Eric was vegan. So I’m not sure why people are getting angry about the chicken thing.

/ end rant

Melissa March 27, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

bretney March 25, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Great post! I do not have children yet, but I always think about this topic. I am vegan and since have learned about the horrible things dairy and meat can do for our bodies. So if I have children I wouldn’t want them to eat it because of the negative effects. I look at meat and dairy like I do slurpees or candy…like yes they will think its tasty and want it….but I wont want them to eat anything I know is bad for them. Such a tough decision! But thank you for sharing!!!!

sandy March 26, 2015 at 1:35 am

I have been vegetarian (now vegan) for 27.5 years. Neither of my children have ever had meat (they are 13 years old and 21 years old) and both are now vegan. You wonder at people who think they know what is best for another. The other that I think I know what is best for is the animal. For me, this is a social justice issue involving right and wrong, not simply a parenting preference. People who disagree with this choice and say so likely are not trying to be “hateful”. They may feel compassion and understanding for Angela, but still believe that this choice is unjust for the animals. And it is unjust for the animals.

laura March 26, 2015 at 10:52 am

I couldn’t agree more

lindon Tilson March 26, 2015 at 9:33 am

You can either choose to feed your child violence or non violence. If you believe that feeding your child a plant based diet is unhealthy then you are doing it wrong. We make choices for our children every day , choosing what they eat is no different. Until they are old enough to establish their own ethical and moral position then I will choose for them. Stay vegan for the animals , the environment and for your health

laura March 26, 2015 at 10:48 am

I was really interested to read this post as I have been wondering how you would deal with this challenge. I think you are such a fantastic role model for active healthy living, I love your recipes and adore the baby blog too! Thank you for letting us into your new life as a mother!
A few people on here, as well as yourself, have commented on the difficulty of attached labels, and I know many vegans who actively dislike the term vegan because of some of the negative stereotypical connotations that are attached with the term, so I can understand your position on not wanting to label Adriana as anything.
However while vegan/plant based diets are unarguably hugely beneficial for your health as well as the environment, being vegan is ultimately not about you, but about the animals. People here are focusing on your’s, and later Adriana’s, right of choice. But this argument neglects the fact that every single animal raised in animal production industries (of which their are billions in the US alone) have had their rights taken away. The right to go outside when they want to, the right to procreate, the right to eat when they want to.
Does the deprivation of these basic rights to billions of other sentient beings really come secondary to your right of choice?
Being vegan is about living life as compassionately and gently as possible and I don’t think anybody should be made to feel that raising their children under those principles deprives them of anything.
Children are after all the future and don’t we all want to work towards creating a more just and compassionate world?

Nadine March 26, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Here is some food for thought for the “true vegans” out here. Is there a “Code to Veganism”? Is there such a thing as the “perfect vegan”? Are vegans supposed to reject all non-vegan family members if they don’t adhere to their principles?

I’m a bit worried that some of the comments found here and on Facebook are just going to scare away people who are trying to cut out animal products from their diets.

I know some of you wished that everyone on the planet were vegan yesterday! I can hear it in your passionate comments. But if you want to convince people to adopt an animal-free diet, you should consider a different approach. Pointing fingers, guilt tactics, being judgmental is probably not the best route. Some of you should redirect your passion in a more constructive way.

Like Mary pointed out above: “Please learn to distinguish an ally from an enemy. Angela has done more to bring animal-free eating to the masses than any thousands of you.”

Don’t you think Angela is doing more good than harm with her recipes even though her household isn’t exclusively vegan?

Everyday omnivores consult her web site and recipe book to find new recipes in a conscious effort to reduce or eliminate their consumption of animal products. Just think of how many pounds of flesh, eggs and milk ingredients were saved because of this!

Anna March 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm

I couldn’t agree more. Judgemental comments, calling someone selfish, hypocritical, an animal killer or hater are not going to convince anyone to adopt a vegan or plant-based life. In fact, some of the sanctimonious comments I’ve read here are enough to turn anyone off because you’re either 100% vegan (or plant-based) or you suck. (That’s the impression I’m getting anyways).

People seem to be forgetting Eric plays a role in parenting Adriana as well, so Angela didn’t make this decision all by herself. I don’t recall her ever saying he’s vegan. She never said she’s going to start cooking meat. She said fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats will make up a large portion of Adriana’s diet. Isn’t that what’s important?

Daniela March 26, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Oh yeah! Words as “selfish, hypocritical, an animal killler” are such a horrible thing to use when describing a hypocrite and selfish person OR an animal killer but as someone on FB pouted out that animal eaters are the cause of : “Suffering animals, starving people and a dying earth…eh. No biggie.” And FYI, yes, it is a black and white issue and it is not a choice… you will not applaud someone for beating their kids less or a rapist by raping only 1 women a week instead of 3. We shall really start describing things with a true names and stop pink-wrapping and excusing everything.

Nadine March 26, 2015 at 5:17 pm

So Daniela what you are saying is vegetarians and plant-based people who have family members that are non-vegan or even omnivores transitioning to being vegans/vegetarians should give up all their efforts because according to you it is a black and white issue, that their efforts don’t count because they are not true vegans in your eyes?

Okay let’s say all these people give up the fight today, imagine all the animals you would be sending to their deaths, all the animals that would continue to get raped every day, all the animals that we get their baby stolen from them, all the animals that will continue to be commercially exploited?!

Don’t get me wrong I am vegan myself and I think it is extremely important that we defend animal rights and give them a voice.

However, if you look at documentaries such as Earthlings, Food Inc, et al., you don’t see the documenter name-calling their audience. I believe the information is more powerful than anything else to rally people to our cause.

And since we are making comparisons here, you wouldn’t fight bullying by being a bully yourself to defend your cause right?!

By the way I am not trying to minimize in any way what is being done to animals. It is a serious issue but you know you don’t fight fire with fire!

Anna March 26, 2015 at 7:15 pm

I totally agree Nadine, thank you! Bullying and name-calling are not okay.

Anna March 26, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Well, there you go. You’ve proved my point exactly

Melissa March 27, 2015 at 1:54 pm


Stephanie March 26, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Welcome to the lovely judgmental world of being a parent. I have zero tolerance for it. Keep doing what you are doing and be confident in your choices.

Angela March 26, 2015 at 10:48 pm

My son will be 7 months old in a couple days :) I LOVE making all of his baby food! I was vegetarian for 14 years, vegan for 2, GF for 8 years. I craved meat during my pregnancy and decided to listen to what my body was telling me and cooked and ate chicken…it was delicious! I didn’t crave it again during my pregnancy, so I didn’t eat it. After months of research, my hubby and I both decided that pastured meat and dairy will be included in our baby’s diet. There is NO WAY I’m going to prepare and serve meat to my baby without tasting it first, so I’m eating birds and cows again. I feel incredible! I’m so happy that I’ve added meat back into my diet. I love and respect animals even more now that they are providing my family with nourishment. And I’m much less bloated than I’ve been in years! I think all the beans and carbs I’ve been eating were irritating my gut. Do what you feel is best :)

Kimberly March 27, 2015 at 7:56 am

Angela, many of these comments are so disheartening. Since when did “vegans” become such a group of judgmental haters? It makes me so sad that people carry around this much ill will and hate in their hearts. Please keep being true to yourself – that is the only guidance your daughter will ever need. For every person that is supposedly going to return your cookbook (which is ridiculous, it is just recipes people), there will be 10 more who buy it because of your open, honest, kind heart. Thank you for all that you do.

Heather March 27, 2015 at 9:04 am

Hi Angela,

Sending lots of love and support your way! I’ve been a long time reader of your blog and have always appreciated how open you are about many difficult topics (and I love your recipes!). I’ve especially cherished your blogs about Adriana. As anyone who has spent any time reading your posts knows, you are an incredibly kind and intelligent person who puts a lot of thought towards everything you do. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to read some of these comments. I echo Jen above in saying “take heart in your own intuition and decisions.” You’re an amazing mother and Adriana is so lucky to have you two as parents.

Thank you for all you do to brighten so many lives.

Jess March 27, 2015 at 9:26 am

Great comment Heather. I am also a long time reader of the blog. I am glad Angela was open and honest and I respect her family’s decision on how to raise her daughter. I’m all for discussion and hearing others perspective, but some of these comments are just nasty!!

Cara March 27, 2015 at 11:28 am

As an English teacher, I’m finding the debate that this post prompted about the “true” meaning of “vegan” fascinating. If you look it up in the dictionary, the strict denotative meaning is “Not eating animal products.” That would mean Angela is accurate in describing her diet as vegan, and not that she is crassly co-opting the term to generate site traffic. Just the other day, I was reading reviews of Chloe’s Kitchen on amazon (which I find is another wonderful vegan cookbook) and there were several angry reviews that accused it of not REALLY being vegan because it used things like REFINED SUGAR! And deep frying!! A REAL vegan, the reviewers insisted, cared about his or her health and would NEVER eat the foods Chloe used (never mind that there wasn’t an animal product among them). So those vegans are angrily insisting that it is about health and anything unhealthy doesn’t count as vegan, whereas several people on this thread are angrily insisting that it is about INTENT, and not action. It doesn’t matter if you don’t eat animals, unless you are doing it for the animals. Interesting.

Asa March 27, 2015 at 4:04 pm

The Vegan Society’s definition:

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

Foodie March 30, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Who says you get to define Vegan…In the general public’s opinion Vegan = no animal products in the diet. Words and their definitions are so we can understand one another. Unfortunately, you can’t make others think the same way you do just by declaring it so. You can choose your lifestyle and beliefs but you can’t make everyone else not use words they way they choose. Frankly, I don’t care why Angela used vegan in reference to her blog I’m just glad she did. It was helpful for me to find recipes that didn’t include dairy and eggs (and are delicious) so I can make food the whole family can eat (food allergies). This is a food blog, not a lifestyle/moral choice bog. Berating others for not looking at the world the same way as you is not helpful, compassionate or productive. Thank you Angela for the wonderful vegan recipes.

Pam March 27, 2015 at 11:46 am

My daughter, who is now 15, was raised as a vegetarian, which I have been since I was 12. I decided before she was born that when she was old enough to realize what she was eating (animals/not animals, so probably at about age 5 or 6), she could choose what she wanted to eat in terms of being a vegetarian or not. But I didn’t want her to regret eating meat (as I did when I switched as a teen), so she’d be a vegetarian till then.
We conform mostly to a vegan diet now, but sometimes she’ll eat milk products (for example, when you’re a teenager, at school and social functions, sometimes pizza is the only choice). Emma has never wanted to eat meat and is happy she never tried it when growing up. She did her own research on factory farming, health benefits, etc., when she was a teenager. I never preached to her, only explained that meat was made from animals so I chose not to eat it. For some reason, it has been a lot easier on both of us than I’d imagined, even surrounded by mostly omnivorous friends/family. Besides all the other benefits of a vegetarian diet, she’s ended up being someone who will try pretty much any (non-meat) food: seaweed, kale, tempeh, anything ethnic, without batting an eye, while many of her friends won’t.
One thing that I always tried to do, was that when there was a school or other function where the food was animal-based, like fried chicken, I’d pack her something that was as least as good, if not better, than the meat option so she would feel that being a vegetarian also meant you had interesting food choices. For example, when she was in Grade 5 and her class was doing a medieval unit and had lunch, dressed in period clothes, eating Mary Brown’s fried chicken without cutlery, I made up a wicker basket with a veggie pasty, fruit, etc., for her to take.

Brooke March 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Some decisions you have to make for your child. Would you let them drink beer? Chew on rocks? Animal products are not food, are not healthy and are a result of violence. I think it’s a very important thing to teach a child.

Melissa March 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm

All these “Level Five Vegans” are freaking me out. So hateful. Reminds me of the super religious lunatics standing on street corners screaming about how women who wear shorts are going to hell or some other ridiculousness. This is Westboro Baptist Church-type behavior! Chill out, people! Angela has done more for your cause though her approach than than 1000 zealots combined.

Melissa March 27, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Also, darn it, this is someone I care about! How odd, but truthfully, I feel as protective of Angela as if she were a friend in real life. She is so open and sweet and funny and I don’t want that to change because of a bunch of cyber-bullies. On top of all that, she is a NEW MOTHER! It is a supremely vulnerable time, especially for someone as sensitive as Angela. Why don’t you all go find a puppy to kick or something?

kay bee March 27, 2015 at 2:59 pm

“First, I want her to be able to try any food that she wants to, including the food her dad and family members eat in front of her.”

So you consider the dead bodies of animals (who didnt want to die) “food?” This is troubling, especially since I thought that you were vegan? :/ Also, have you not considered the implications that eating animals and being taught to desensitize will have on your child? Children have a natural affinity for being around animals and wanting good for those animals, not death for them :(

Just wondering if you have read The World Peace Diet?…which really addresses all of the other harmful psychological/spiritual/emotional ways that eating meat and being taught that killing animals and eating their bodies harms us.

Asa March 27, 2015 at 4:09 pm

I think all these comments that say that us vegans are cruel to Angela and judgemental are so badly placed. We (vegans) see the cruelty that occurs every single day. We have to live with the norm of exploting animals every second of our lives. I don’t think that most of these comments are directing toward Angela’s choice as to allowing her child to eat animal products. I think it’s more how she frames veganism as a diet and thus limiting the message veganism carries. A lot of us live with omnivores.

For me, it’s all about how Angela reduces veganism to diet that upsets me. Also downplaying the ethical ground gets to me. I can see why Angela wouldn’t want to talk about the animals, because then she might exclude a lot of her plant-based readers. Most non-vegans don’t want to hear the truth.

Morgan March 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm

I think there has been a transition from the ethical perspective of a vegan diet to more of one that is centered around nutrition for quite some time now. Honestly, you should be happy. It seems to be much more effective than fear mongering. There are SO many more options on menus at restaurants that are not only vegan, but also GOOD for you and not just junk food vegan.

Morgan March 28, 2015 at 12:05 pm

And it may be “plant-based” but that’s not to say it still isn’t benefiting animals

Asa March 29, 2015 at 8:13 am

Plant-based does not mean you stop looking at animals as commodities.

Plant-based does not mean that you stop supporting cruelty.

Plant-based does not mean that animal rights is a priority.

bex March 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Plant-based means you are not eating meat and therefore you are reducing the suffering of animals by not participating in the exploitation of animals for food. The end result is the same whether you are doing it for animal rights, better health, or because you keep up with trends. Everyday hundreds – if not thousands – of people are eating meals that have no meat because of Angela. It would behoove people to think more about the animals and less about some pure definition of a word. Otherwise, what are they really contributing?

Rebeccake8 March 31, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Asa we should just be happy. They are reducing the vegan message to something that has nothing to do with the animals or animal liberty but rather exploits peoples own self interest and indulgence because after all who cares in the end if the converts are still blissfully ignorant; they are furthering our cause?

I don’t see how they are furthering the vegan message by diluting it. Vegans recognize that our lives are no more valuable than that of a chicken or a pig or a dog.

Phil Stewart March 27, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Please please please stop confusing plant based with vegan.
Vegan is NOT a diet, it is a compassionate way of life causing the least harm possible. Vegans are against all animal exploitation. Why not raise your baby as vegan? then your child, as an adult, can decide what or who to eat. Lets remember here that a human baby needs zero animal flesh or secretions to grow healthfully.

Sarah March 27, 2015 at 11:18 pm

I totally agree! I’ve been a vegetarian for 21 years, but my husband eats meat on occasion and my 13 month old has already eaten different kinds of meat. I want him to choose his own food path when he gets older like I was able to do. It can be really tricky to be a vegetarian and visit with friends, and I’d like him to be able to eat whatever he wants at friend’s houses as he grows up. That being said, his favorite foods are still spinach and hummus, which makes me pretty happy.

Lynda March 28, 2015 at 11:40 am

I guess if veganism was a fad diet I wouldn’t worry about what anyone else ate. I am a vegan not because I want to be healthy but because I want the whole planet to be healthy. The production of meat and dairy is killing this home of ours and the number of people who are developing sicknesses because they eat these items is causing immense stress on the medical system and people are not making the connection between what they eat and how they feel. Dairy is so hard to give up because it is addictive. I has a drug like affect on baby animals so they will sleep and stay close. Look at your baby. Baby cows too and you get all that opiod type drug when you use dairy creating a very strong addiction. We think it is because it tastes so good…..we are stuck on it which makes the dairy producers very happy. It takes courage to stand up for ones beliefs. I would never feed my children anything I wouldn’t eat, no matter what Nana or NooNoo eat. When the child is old enought to make an educated decision (12 -13) set them free to choose. Babies and toddlers cannot make those choices.

Morgan March 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm

You radiate love in your posts for her :) You’re such a wonderful mother that I actually get teary-eyed on these posts. <3

Ellen March 28, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Thank you for the wonderful post! My husband is a meat eater but has taken a similar path as yours. I have two daughters and I have never told them they couldn’t eat meat. I have never forced them to eat meat or not or let anyone else force them to either. Recently my 7 yr old who never liked beef or pork decided to become vegetarian! I was thrilled and my husband is supporting it because he knows I will help her eat healthy. It has been a struggle though because she has food intolerances that include Gluten and Soy. She also is a little bit of a picky eater. I am hoping that these food limitations will only be for a few months. I love your recipes! If you have any suggestions on how to work around the Gluten free and soy free diet please let me know!

Sue March 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm

My husband and I were vegan for 4 years before I became pregnant with my first set of twins. I went vegan for the animals initially but then for the environment and my health. There was no question about our 2 sets of twins, now 10 and 5, being raised vegan. If I cared enough to make the transition from vegetarian to vegan for me, I certainly was going to do it for my children. They are not deprived of any foods or treats, as some of your readers have suggested happens to vegan children and they are loving, compassionate and healthy children.

Erin March 29, 2015 at 12:05 am

I also live in a house with family members who eat meat and feel that it is not my right to impose my ideas on them. I find the extremism demonstrated in some of the earlier posts very disconcerting and it makes me want to separate myself from the label of ‘vegan’ if that is what it means. I applaud your decision to allow your daughter to experience different foods and agree with Patti in her assertion that food taboos can cause a host of psychological issues in young children and adolescents.

This is a great site and I absolutely love your cookbook!

DaisyMay March 29, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Beautifully written as always Angela! The emotive subject of what to feed one’s child can lead to many opinions being expressed rather vociferously as I’ve seen from some of the comments I’ve just read. I pretty much ignored all the current guidelines when it came to weaning and what feed my child. She now eats a varied diet and is always open to trying new food. You seem to have it sorted – trust your instincts and you can’t go wrong.

Susan March 30, 2015 at 8:45 am

just wanted to say thanks for writing this. I have a 13 month old son and my husband and I are in the same situation (except he’s the 100% plant based one). It’s interesting to see so many people facing the same decisions. We basically are doing what you plan to. But it’s hard- especially talking to pediatricians who aren’t that familiar with plant based…

Louise March 30, 2015 at 9:48 am

I’ve scanned the responses to this post and the doctrinaire tone in some of the posts have given me pause. We are all trying to do better and to encourage each other along. Angela has been open about the decision-making in her family, something that is really none our our business, and has been repaid with some rather vile responses. My family may not make the same decision, or even embark on the same decision-making process, but that would not justify demeaning Angela, as has happened here.

Disagreement is ok. Strong feelings are okay. The expression of a moral cause is okay. Put downs aren’t ok. Lack of respect for the decisions of other people is not ok. They don’t help anything, anyone, any animal.

Emma {Emma's Little Kitchen} March 30, 2015 at 10:33 am

This is exactly what my husband (carnivore!), and I decided about how we would raise our son.

Lisa March 30, 2015 at 10:38 am

My kids are being raised vegetarian. Of course I am going to put my beliefs onto them. That’s what parenting is all about. It’s an ethical situation and I want them to learn what I feel is right about what we should eat. They have plenty of years later when they are adults if they don’t agree with it and want to change it. Whether a parent is handing a child a veggie burger or a beef hamburger they are still instilling their values in that food choice.

Fanya @ Bliss half FULL March 30, 2015 at 10:59 am

Your approach is wonderful and very reasonable, I think it is great. I’ve seen families trying to raise their kids one way or another and when the child feels they have no choice in the matter sooner or later they rebel. I believe children should be exposed to the world with and the reasoning behind your choices should be explained to them truthfully.
They are so smart, and the role of a parent is to prepare children for independent lives by giving them all the tools they possibly can to make their own decisions.
I think you are doing a wonderful job.
There will always be people how are haters no matter what you do, but they are so few, and they are idiots. They do not understand that the fact you are helping millions of people change from one to all meals to plant based you saved countless animals and impacted our world greatly. Some people do not understand that you cannot force change, people need to want to change and you show them the way. Incredibly delicious might I add.
So THANK YOU for everything you have done, and please don’t let idiots discourage you in any way, they are a mere tiny little fraction of the masses of fans following you.

Leanne March 30, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I love your blog Angela and I think this was a really great post. It’s good to know your honest with your readers rather than just having a blog persona. I’m really horrified at the judgement from some of these readers. I believe that people are entitled to their own views and beliefs and nobody should be so disrespectful to other human beings.

Kate B. March 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Angela – I love your approach to feeding your daughter. Whatever works for you and your family is by far the best. I have found that no matter what we do as parents is going to be questioned, I don’t like this at all. My son is 7 months and I’ve learned that someone is always going to have an opinion on how I raise my son – right now it’s we are taking this solids thing too slowly, or that we shouldn’t have started with the food we started with. My husband and I truly believe that we are doing what is best for our son and for us and it works. Do what you want to do and what is best for your daughter, it is always right. You rock and I have always loved your blog, keep on keeping on.

Amanda March 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm

I trully though that being a vegan means primaly to be a compassionate person. And not respecting others opinion really does not seem to be very compassionate tough. Lot of hate in the comments. I Hope that all our love/respect/compassion for animals spread to each other as well.

CareyBerry March 30, 2015 at 4:12 pm

It seems to me that Angela prepares vegan recipes, in which case, the term “vegan” is describing the type of recipe. A Vegan person may feel fairly confident that her recipes would conform to their dietetic preferences. That is not true of “plant based” or “vegetarian” recipes. She also appears to eat a vegan diet, again, using “vegan” as a descriptor to define her diet as not ingesting any animal products whatsoever.

I may be wrong, but I strongly suspect that Angela has done far more to encourage people to explore a vegan diet (and possibly the Vegan lifestyle) than the vitriol spewing naysayers who have been so remarkably rude in some of the remarks.

Angela, it is none of my business whether or not you raise your child as an omnivore, herbivore, or carnivore. I do appreciate you sharing your decision as it may help other parents who are struggling with similar concerns. Thank you for your wonderful blog and for sharing your amazing recipes.

Brooke March 30, 2015 at 6:36 pm

My husband and I cook mostly plant-based meals. I can go days and days eating no animal products. When people ask for a label we say “situational vegan” and we say it tongue-in-cheek. It means that we cook plant based at home and eat what we’re served as guests. When we have company we cook vegan and then go out to dinner so others can order what they choose. If the goal is to get everyone on the planet to eat a more plant-based diet then is it worth it being dogmatic about labels? Vegan is not like Alcoholics Anonymous.

Curious, is drinking breast milk considered vegan as it’s milk from an animal?

Ashley April 3, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Breast milk is entirely vegan if it’s taken with consent :) no exploitation there!

Rebecca March 30, 2015 at 7:15 pm

As a vegan and a teenager who is the recipient of a lot of negative comments about veganism I think we all should take a step back and realize how hard it is to be a vegan in this world. A lot of the responses Angela got for this post were criticizing her about not teaching her daughter compassion for animals. People are animals too. If we can’t be nice to each other, how do we expect anyone to take the decision to not eat animals seriously? Just being a nice person teaches compassion for all living things.

Kim Collazo March 31, 2015 at 7:24 am

AMEN Rebecca!

Heather March 30, 2015 at 9:22 pm

I agree Angela. I am a vegetarian, but I cook meat (a couple of times during the week) for my family for exactly the same reasons you stated. I want my girls to make up their own minds about eating meat or not. We eat clean and they eat all the fruits, veggies, clean food and homemade breads and meals that we do. I haven’t pushed the issue, but my six year old has started asking questions. We answer her questions and discussed that she doesn’t have to eat meat if that is her choice. We also explained that in place of meat she would have to get her protein from others places. I think it’s good to give them information because I don’t want to force my beliefs about not eating meat on her. Great post!

Alex March 30, 2015 at 9:52 pm

Please read your own words:

“After learning about the horrors of meat and dairy…how could I, the lifelong animal lover, continue to support a system that brought so much pain and suffering to so many animals each year?” – Angela Liddon, Oh She Glows Cookbook

I am saddened and disappointed. Do you understand how obscene meat is?

“her dad’s chicken”:
Raised in a factory farm, trucked to slaughter without food or water or protection from the elements, likely scalded alive at the processing plant. The workers in the farm and slaughterhouse are likely migrant workers with no rights. Some probably abuse the birds for fun too. You got a minute? Google “MFA investigation”. Their tortured flesh contains dioxins, arsenic and saturated fat. Cook this chicken? Cancer-promoting heterocyclic amines. The air and water around the farm is polluted by manure. Nitrate and pesticide-drenched cornfields are killing the Gulf of Mexico. But hey. What climate change? What food crisis? What water shortages?

Typing this was a waste of my time. Like reading the feel-good drivel in your cookbook.

Judith April 1, 2015 at 11:48 pm

Alex, it wasn’t a waste of your time. I’m glad you shared this. There is such a disconnect, thinking it’s okay to let your child eat animal foods when you profess how much you “love” animals and how you hate to see them suffer.

I hope people follow up with your google suggestions. Then maybe they won’t be so gung ho about applauding the message in this blog.

Karly March 30, 2015 at 11:04 pm

Angela, in case you needed the reminder, YOU ARE AWESOME!!!
Supporting you 100%!

Lori March 31, 2015 at 7:00 am

I grew up in a “basic american diet” household and wanted to be a vegetarian as a teenager for moral reasons. I did not eat a great diet though and needed to eat meat to get nutrients that a fast food vegetarian diet was not giving me. I am 47 now and chose to be vegan about four years ago. I have three children, all of whom have decided to be vegetarian on their own. My husband is eatig more veggies and way less meat than he would otherwise. And one of my daughters has gone back to meat. All in all, our home eats way less meat than usual homes, but i let the kids do their own thing and they al have really healthy diets overall. I think food is one thing that should not be forced on a kid. There are sacred
boundaries and the mouth is one of them. It is their choice. I applaud your decision.

christine March 31, 2015 at 7:08 am

What an interesting, honest blog. Honesty is the best policy, you’re right. And all families are different! My other half ate meat a few times a week when I met him, but soon stopped when we were really “going out” together. He’s basically vegetarian now, although since I only cook vegan food, his diet is largely vegan.

I found it difficult at first to accept that he would bring non-vegan foods into my house, but he is who he is, and I either accept it or we split up. I can accept this small concession as it happens less frequently, whereas I know I couldn’t even have gone out with him if he ate meat products.

We all draw our own lines in the sand, and either choose to label ourselves or not – it’s time we all learned to respect each other’s choices – who the heck is perfect????

Good luck with your daughter – it’s the most magical time of your life – enjoy it to the full.

Kim Collazo March 31, 2015 at 7:22 am

Angela, I think your decision to allow your daughter to come to her own conclusions regarding diet as she grows up is SPOT ON. I am the only vegan in my house and that is my choice. My husband and teens will try some of my meals and many time enjoy them with me. My personal feeling is that every plant based meal a person eats makes a difference. It affects the animals and the planet. I will never force my diet or my beliefs on another person. My family knows how I feel and they respect it. And I find with my two teens that the less I “preach”, the more they tend to be more open to trying plant based meals. No one is perfect. No one. Especially me. I think the decision you and Eric have made regarding Adriana’s diet is yours to make as a family. You are a vegan and a very kind one at that. One that does not push veganism and equate that with perfection. You are not the stereotype of a militant vegan, and that is what draws people to you. You want people to succeed at living a plant based diet and that includes making mistakes. Being human. I applaud you for your loving, kind and honest approach,

Annie March 31, 2015 at 7:40 am

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your honesty on this subject! It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately! I have a 10 month old son who I’ve so far fed a vegetarian diet. I am constantly asked by friends and family if he will be a vegetarian and I’m never sure how to answer. I love the concept of not labeling his diet, or my own diet for that matter (I eat a vegetarian, mostly plant based diet).

Keep up the good work. I absolutely love your blog and cookbook! You are such an inspiration!

Alex March 31, 2015 at 7:48 am

I read your Food for Thought post and it made me so sad to learn that people have been giving you a hard time about this decision. I am vegetarian but eat probably a 75%-80% vegan diet. My husband is pescetarian. I don’t like that he eats seafood, but he’s his own person and although I’ve tried to explain gently why I disagree with his choice, it’s his choice. We have one child who is now almost 4 years old. I really wanted to raise him vegetarian but my husband wants to let him have fish every now and then. There are two parents and neither one of us makes all the rules, so I do allow it from time to time but I always tell my son, pretty bluntly now, that the fish he is eating used to be alive and swam in the ocean (or wherever) and I personally don’t want to eat fish because I want to be able to see them in the ocean, alive, instead. He has asked to eat meat several times and I always tell him that when he is old enough to drive he can eat meat if he wants to. (I became vegetarian when I was 15 years old and have been for 20 years now). I’m not saying what I am doing is right or wrong, but this is what works for us in our house, and I feel like my husband and I are supportive of each other and teaching my son extremely good eating habits. I make a lot of food from your blog and everyone in the house loves it.

Anyway, thanks for being who you are and for sharing yourself with us. There will always be haters and they just suck.

Elke Romer March 31, 2015 at 7:49 am

Hi Angela! I’m so sorry to hear that so many people are being so critical of your decision and that it hurts so much. I want you to know that I support you 100%. I do not have any children but I can tell you at least this – my husband is like yours, he is not vegan, nor vegetarian; however, in our house he does not eat meat at all and enjoys my vegetable-based recipes immensely. He has even created a few of his own! When we are at social gatherings with friends or family, he sometimes indulges in something meat-related and very unhealthy. I look at it this way (similar to you): he was not even remotely vege when I met him; he ate all kinds of horrible junk; so the fact that he eats the way he does now is tremendous. I am a firm believer that “every little bit counts.” I am not an “all or nothing” person because I think that kind of attitude is often destined to fail. Every vegan option chosen, every healthy option chosen, is helping to chip away at the problems associated with animal agriculture. If you are doing “something,” then you are helping and every little bit counts for yourself AND for the animals. Not to mention that as humans we have free will and to try and impose “restrictions” on each other is truly counterproductive to the overall cause. I love your recipes and receiving your emails, I purchased your cookbook immediately when it came out and love it. I am truly sorry to hear that you will remove your “personal label” from your emails and blogs. However, I for one will still look forward to hearing anything you have to say <3 Keep up the great work my friend and don't let the "haters" bring you down! xoxo

Payal March 31, 2015 at 8:12 am

I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. Why don’t people ask ‘will you raise your child carnivore’? Why do people have to be so concerned about what you’re eating?

Laurie March 31, 2015 at 8:20 am

Hi Angela. I am happy you found what works for you and your family. That is very important and it can be difficult at times dealing with individuals who don’t agree. I am a doctor who uses a whole foods plant based diet every day with patients. I am also a mom and wife. So my objectives are different so I have changed the whole family to a whole foods plant based diet because one I feel it is healthier and two I need to be a leader by example for patients. However I don’t use the word vegan to describe myself very often because of the connotations that come with the label. I just wanted to applaud you for your decision! Keep up the good work and I will continue to send people to your website.

Janis Good March 31, 2015 at 9:17 am

After reading today’s email about the flack that many have given you regarding your decision, I’d like to say: May God bless you for what you are doing. You are an inspiration to so many. May He bless your family and the decisions you make. I’m very impressed by the decision not to label your daughter. Way to go.

Mary March 31, 2015 at 10:02 am

“If we make going veg an all or nothing thing, than many people that might have made a reduction [in animal consumption] will be completely turned off to the idea, because they will think that being compassionate to animals is difficult.”

THIS COMMENT. This is a very important statement. Furthering veganism as a movement requires this kind of tolerance. The truth is, most people are very resistant to change their eating habits and are afraid of what they don’t know/understand. I have talked to so many people (co-workers over lunch, for example, when they ask about my vegan goodies), who say “I could NEVER give up X, Y, Z food”. What we need to emphasize is that making positive changes doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing.

Meatless Monday is a great example. What if every single person in North America celebrated Meatless Monday? How many of those people might say, “Hey, maybe I can do this two or three days per week…” Simply a REDUCTION in animal product consumption would benefit SO MANY people (especially in the USA where preventable disease is an epidemic), not to mention the environmental impact that reduction would have.

People need to be realistic. Rome wasn’t built in a day, to be cliche, and a major change in animal consumption won’t happen overnight either.

Ang, I think you are doing great and you’re one of my biggest role models when it comes to plant-based eating. Your daughter is so lucky to have you as her mama :-)

julie March 31, 2015 at 10:34 am

God created everything and in this he created man to have free will and choices. Please be respectful, loving, kind, non harming either intentionally or non intentionally. Look inwardly at self and ask yourself the above, everyone is individual and we all have a purpose. He said above all, LOVE one another. If we create unkind words or do not listen to others opinions, then are we really focusing what we believe in. In Jesus name, Amen.

Helen March 31, 2015 at 10:52 am

I am expecting in a few weeks and I have decided to raise my daughter on a vegan diet. I have no problem with the vegan label – I think movements and social changes need labels. Unlike you, I live in a vegan household – my husband is also vegan and we are very mindful that we don’t bring in non-vegan products to our home and people who visit do the same thing. We don’t impose, but they know that we are vegan and I find most people are very mindful and respectful of our decision to have a vegan household and raise our daughter vegan. The reason why I will raise her vegan is because I truly believe that it is the best diet out there (if done right). And as a baby, toddler, child, she isn’t ready to decide on what food is right for her yet and I don’t think we should allow kids to choose what they want to eat. Looking at my neice and nephew, they would choose soda and candy every meal if they are allowed to choose. As a parent, it is my responsiblity to share with my daughter what I think is best for her and one of the major decisions is what food she eats. I think it will be fine for her to choose once she is an adult, but as a young child, it is my responsiblility to make sure she eats right. I think we need to get away from the mindset that eating vegan is somehow a fringe choice or abnormal. Instead, I see it as the way that we should eat – the normal choice. Somehow along the way, we left the normal path and ended up eating factory farmed meat and dairy, which to me, is anything but normal.

I do agree that calling someone like you as not “vegan-enough” is probably wrong. I don’t think you should care what those people say, but I agree it is hard to read or hear sometimes. At the end of the day, people like you inspire more people to be vegan than the “militant” vegans. I live a very normal life – my husband and I have corporate jobs, we are not hippie-dippie and don’t fit into the stereotypical vegan image (whatever that is), but I think living the life we live actually makes vegan mainstream and show others that they can be vegan and not be considered “weird”, whereas the “militant” vegans actually holds the movement back and make it seem unappealing to most people – all they do is alienate others. Don’t let them bother you, because being a mainstream vegan is probably the best thing for the movement. At the end of the day, we can only inspire other people to be vegan only by living a life that they want as well, not a life that seem restrictive and unappealing.

Jamie March 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

I completely support the approach of your family defining what is a healthy diet. 100% Vegan or 75% vegan the point is you and your family make conscious decisions about food, the environment and overall wellness. It’s disappointing that individuals are using this as a means to attack you and your decisions. I imagine that’s very hurtful. I love following your work from Alaska! Have a blessed SPRING!

Demitra M. N. March 31, 2015 at 11:03 am

Not all, but many vegans arrive at their lifestyle decision based on what they believe is morally and ethically right for all sentient beings across the board. While many, but not all, quasi-vegans adopt their dietary habits based on slightly more self-centered reasons. This is, I believe, the main reason why people debate this subject to the point of discussion melt-down. The former camp views their choice as a critical addressment for the gross violence we collectively allow to be perpetrated upon many other species every single day, while the latter sees it as a matter of personal health and preference, which is interpreted by the vegan camp as completely selfish and environmentally careless.

While I do side with the vegans in terms of lifestyle choice, I can see how the militant approach wins over no one because, clearly no one likes to be told what to do. I personally have had to put up with the imposition of all non-vegan-degrees who can’t believe that my unyielding choices are not meant to be a “passive-aggressive” affront to the commonly shared mainstream dietary choices, despite the fact that I have ALways conscientiously refrained from even suggesting that anyone choose different.

Anyway, I guess my point is this: all people (vegan and non-vegan alike) need to stop trying to change other people. It’ll never happen. Realize that not only is everyone at a different place in their evolution, everyone’s pace is different as well. Also, love beats out faultfinding every time. And finally, if you find yourself looking out at the world and seeing someone you believe is wrong, wrong, wrong, and in need of change, change, change, I assure you you are likely projecting! Attend to yourself and the world around you will fall into place.

Patti Linnane March 31, 2015 at 11:15 am

Geez, it seems like we are cut form the same cloth: my husband is definitely not vegan, but gladly eats my food and has overall changed his eating patterns for the better. My 4 year old daughter is not plant based. We have decided to expose her to many different foods and ideas, with the hopes that she will decide what is best for her when she is older. She knows that ‘Daddy eats animals, Mommy doesn’t’. That being said, we have decided to model good eating habits and good decision making. While our daughter has yet to have juice and has only eaten McDonald’s 1x, she still gets her share of sugar and treats (daily). I have felt sort of bad/ashamed, because every other plant based/vegan blog that I have read was very specific on raising children in the same manner. While I would get down on myself from time to time about not starting her as plant based (if I didn’t give animal products to her, she wouldn’t have gotten them!), I have tried to think about what I am doing for her int he long run. Seeing your blog post has made me SO HAPPY. It has helped to validate what our family is doing. I have always liked your blog posts and cookbooks, but I do so now even more!!! Congratulations for standing up for your own beliefs – for doing not what was easier, but what was right, for you and your family :)

Kimberly March 31, 2015 at 11:32 am

As with ANYTHING in parenting, you do what feels right in your heart. I have 2 boys (17 & 8 yr old) and I have the same perspective on the diet. While I feel good that they eat a variety of helathy plant-based foods at home (because that’s all I cook), they still have the freedom to choose what they eat. My hubs is not vegan either. It’s unfortunate that the diet labeling & critism has gotten out of hand on the interwebs! I’ve started just simply referring to my diet as a freedom diet, because I feel free when I eat this way. — As I have an older son now, I can tell you, that raising them with both the choice & the exposure to helathy food has a positive impact on them! He requests my vegan dishes & even makes some of them himself.

Yasmine March 31, 2015 at 12:49 pm

I am not vegan, but I really enjoy vegan food. I LOVE vegetables. Dairy and wheat don’t make my body very happy, but thank goodness for alternatives! I like to have a grass-fed, organic beef burger every now and then, and I live in a place that nurtures my appreciation for seafood. My diet is balanced and I am healthy. Key words: balanced and healthy. For me. Everyone else is doing what they need to do for themselves, and I think that is amazing. (Except when there is judgment.)

Angela: Your blog (and now cookbook!) has been very inspirational for me and has helped me enjoy cooking (which I used to dislike) and love, even more so than I already do, baking. I have learned so much since I found your blog in 2010! You and Eric have made a decision for your daughter that I respect and admire because she will be able to make her own decision when she is older. And it will be one made with your support. Keep believing in what you are doing!

Chelsea March 31, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Thanks for your post, I feel like I can totally relate. My two little boys (6 &3) began their lives as vegans and over the past year we have transitioned to what I call a “plant-based diet” or “veganish” or “we’re vegan at home” or technically, I guess, vegetarian. We will likely never eat meat or buy dairy products to cook with at home but we do eat dairy on special occasions and when we go visit family and friends. The reason being is that, like you, I do not want them to miss out on eating cake at a birthday party, or enjoying my mom’s freaking amazing potato salad, or walking down the street to the local ice cream shack once or twice a year. I regret that I used the label “vegan” to begin with. Many people are quick to point out accusingly, “well that’s not vegan”. It bugs me. I can’t really explain why I feel like it is perfectly fine for my kids to have cheese once in a while but that the thought of them downing a glass of cow’s milk horrifies me. It’s just what I think and feel and how I want them to be fed. Right now I can mostly control what they eat, someday they will choose for themselves. I certainly talk about why we don’t eat meat, but it’s never a lecture. I hope that one day they choose to continue to eat the way we do now but I would never want them to feel guilt or shame over it—they won’t ever get that from me. How we eat does not have to be a black or white decision. We need balance. For my family—eating dairy now and then keeps us on track to eat vegan most of the time.

Izabela March 31, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Babcia’s??? I was so surprised seeing this word

trisha March 31, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Angela – you have made me sick to my stomach – you of all people should know better – should know the pain and suffering you are causing to so many animals – the damage to this planet.

you have disappointed me – I will no longer support you or you blog for endorsing cruelty

trisha March 31, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Replace being vegan with being against racism……

I am not racist because being racist is wrong – but i will teach my daughter to be racist and I will let her enjoy racist activities when she is with her family – I will continue to not be racist but teaching her not to be racist would just be wrong

I believe in gay marriage but my husband does not – I will teach my daughter to be homophobic

Think about what you are doing and saying Angela…. The truth hurts because you know its wrong to abuse animals….

Nadine March 31, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Trish, comparing veganism to racism or homophobia is a moot point. Being a racist or homophobic is socially inacceptable in today’s society. On the other hand, being an omnivore is socially and widely acceptable, that is for the time being anyhow.

Same goes for comparing an omnivore to an abuser, rapist or murderer. People committing those acts of violent will be sentenced to jail. Omnivores will not end up in prison if they eat a piece of chicken.

Nadine April 1, 2015 at 12:06 pm

[…] comparing *eating animal products* to racism or homophobia […]

Anna March 31, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Right, homophobia and racism are the same as being an omnivore. How ridiculous does that sound?

Amy April 2, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Not at all ridiculous.

Aasiyah's Mum March 31, 2015 at 8:33 pm

I am a reader of this blog (have been even more so since my little daughter was born, just one day younger than yours, Angela :) and I love reading the posts that Angela so lovingly shares with us, and have often commented in my head, but this is my first time jumping on.

Angela this was very open minded of you to approve this comment even though if someone was commenting this way about me, I would find it a personal attack and would just delete and forget about it.

Angela, thank you for sharing your views and your family’s views.

In my humble opinion, not ALL of the meat and dairy industry is cruel. Small farms, hand slaughtered meat (rather than machine production) and a growing industry of responsible farming is helping people to make a choice.

I’m missing out on my daughter’s playtime so I”m going to sign off. Angela, I respect you so much and I really admire how personably and articulately you write on your blog and I can see from the comments you have helped a lot of people with their diet and body image. Thank you <3

Kate March 31, 2015 at 2:40 pm

I’m so sorry that you’ve encountered a lot of negativity on your post. I haven’t read the entire thread, but a few things jump out. So let’s start with the Vegan Society’s definition of vegan, posted by someone else but I couldn’t find it again so here it is:

Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose.

Then let’s consider that a few posters equated the idea of veganism as a belief system akin to Christianity, and I can certainly the parallels.

And finally, let’s please remember that Angela is not the only person involved in this decision, and Eric is not a vegan. This doesn’t make her less of a vegan, in my view. It makes her a real person in a real relationship who’s navigating the tough choices of parenting the best way she can. And she’s being incredibly honest about it.

Or put another way, let’s say a Catholic woman marries an atheist. Is the Catholic mom not a Catholic anymore if she doesn’t baptize her child immediately? My guess is no, she’s still a Catholic, but the priest will certainly talk to her about bringing the child to church. Now I get that some people *would* believe that (You’re not Catholic unless…) but if the Church itself excluded everyone who was a near-miss on the doctrines they’d be preaching to no one. The same may well be true of veganism — including people who are on the continuum or are still learning or struggling with certain issues can only help the cause over the long term.

I’m not saying that people who are not vegan should call themselves that (confusing, at the least), but I’m not sure you can say that Angela is not a vegan just because her daughter isn’t. Yet.

Shai March 31, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Hi Angela,

Here’s the word that comes to mind that describes your attitude to food, your family and your daughter: HEALTHY

If we want a healthier planet and for animals to be well treated we have to give each other agency, respect and heart felt teaching. Personally I think you’ve aced it!

Jennifer March 31, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Yowza, people can get very serious about definitions and labels. Unfortunately, many lack tact and end up coming across as bullies. Not a good combination.

Regarding balancing different diets in the same household, we’ve got a similar situation as you. I have celiac disease, but my husband does not.
I do most of the cooking so most of the time he eats gluten free by default, but he still enjoys gluten as much as he wants and I absolutely don’t try to stop him! The only thing he’s careful about is cross-contamination of the peanut butter and stuff like that.
We do what works for us, and you do what works for you. Preach.

Laetitia Lehman-Pearsall March 31, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Hi Angela,
I just wanted to write to you after getting your email today about how people were really negative towards you and I wanted to say how much I appreciate and love your blog, philosophy about life, and of course the recipes! Thank you so much for being who you are and sharing your life journey with all of us, even though we will probably never meet. It takes a lot of courage to open up about what you and your family decide to do and I honor and recognize that courage, something that most people would be too afraid to do.
Thank you for listening to your heart, you inspire me (and I imagine everyone else who reads your blog!) to do the same.

Linda March 31, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Angela….good on you for shrugging off the hateful replies. Not easy I am sure. Follow your heart and your body wisdom, and thank you for your beautiful blog.

Mary from France March 31, 2015 at 4:28 pm

I MADE THE SAME CHOICE THAN YOU ANGELA FOR MY BABY BOY, I totally support your decision! I am vegan like you, my husband is omnivore and my son will be raised omnivore too. My decision to eliminate all sorts of animals products in my alimentation results from a long reflexion, like a spiritual path, it took several years & I did it when it made sense for me, like a revelation. It’s a decision I made conscientiously. I don’t want him to be vegan “because mum eats like that”, by this (wrong for me) way it will just be a list of prohibited and delicious looked-like foods…. no way! If one day he decides not to eat animal products I will encourage and help him, but it will be his own choice! Vegan or vegetarian or omnivore, the most important is to be in accord with your soul. SPREAD LOVE… <3

Shawnna March 31, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Thank you for sharing and being so honest with your readers. I’ve been a vegetarian for about 25 years, but my husband is an omnivore. I don’t ever prepare meat. I also don’t cook with eggs or cow’s milk products at home. So, I eat vegan 90% of the time and vegetarian 100%. My kids will sometimes try meat that my husband prepares, or order it in a restaurant. They have changed their attitudes over the years. My 9 year old loves pigs, so will turn down any pepperoni pizza offered at parties. My 12 year old goes back and forth. But their diets are mostly vegetarian. The most important thing is that we love each other and I support each family member’s choices, just as they support mine.

Shawnna March 31, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Oh, I wanted to add that we did decide to wait until the kids were old enough to understand what exactly their food was before introducing any kind of animal products. I remember feeling horrified as a child when I learned where a hamburger came from. I was so sad and wished someone had warned me before I ate it. So, we waited until they were around 3 and we’re sure to let them know that daddy was eating a chicken, just like the kid on the farm. So, they could make a more informed choice.

Nicole March 31, 2015 at 6:18 pm

I’m vegetarian, and although we eat completely vegetarian at home, my husband still eats meat every so often when we go out. We talk all the time about what we’d do if we have kids, and although I feel strongly that I’ll probably always be vegetarian that’s not something I would want to push on my children. Of course, I’ll expose them to a large array of healthy vegetarian food but ultimately I think it’s their decision, their body, their choice. I think it’s critical to education kids about nutrition, but like you said, there’s no such thing as a one diet fits all. What is good for one body could be detrimental to another. You sound like a great mother and great call on the avocado, I couldn’t imagine a better first food!

Naomi Arnold | Project Healthy Happy Me March 31, 2015 at 7:14 pm

I am a vegetarian moving toward vegan, mostly for ethical reasons. Having said that though, like you, my husband eats meat and animal products – and so does my son. We made this decision for many of the same reasons as you. When he is old enough, I am sure I will explain why I eat the way I do, and I will be leaving it up to him to decide what he would like to do also. Thanks you for being transparent and letting us peak into your life and lifestyle!

Deborah Wilson MD March 31, 2015 at 9:43 pm

As a vegan physician, I can tell you that I consider giving children meat on par with letting them smoke cigarettes or other behaviors that jeopardize their health and their lives.
If it were just a matter of “choice” it would be just dandy (except for the animals- you might want to ask them).
But the risk of colon cancer is much higher in meat eaters than vegans. The risk of pancreatic cancer is much higher. Not to mention the virtual absence of heart disease among vegans compared to the fact that heart disease is the #1 killer of people who do eat meat.
I could go on.. alzheimers disease, bone loss, obesity.
I have seen 2 of my patients watch their young adult children suffer and die of colon cancer in the last year. Heartbreaking.
So I do not support giving children a choice. We as educated adults are responsible for demonstrating healthy habits and, while we do have control over what our children do, not offering them food or other substances that potentially harm them.
Deborah Wilson MD

Deborah Wilson April 1, 2015 at 12:07 am

I noted that you did not post my comment. Can you tell me why?

Angela (Oh She Glows) April 1, 2015 at 10:47 am

Hi Deborah,

Due to our spam filters, whenever someone comments for the first time it goes into moderation. It is posted now.

Brigitte Estelle Gaudreault April 1, 2015 at 12:20 am

Bonjour Angela !!
You are pretty smart not labeling your daughter . My children ate meat , and one day they decided on their own, that they wanted to be vegetarians, 7-8 years later they taught me the benefits of better eating ! And I found your cookbook and gave it to my eldest to enjoy !!
I think as parents we show them what we know and as they grow older they like to show us what they have learned. I am soo glad that I did not label them tht they had to be “meat eaters”.
With love from Québec, Montréal Canada

Blair April 1, 2015 at 5:51 am

I am probably older than most of your readers. I have 8 children and have survived cancer. I changed my way of eating before my cancer diagnosis 3 years ago to a plant based, whole food, whole grain way. My family (3 still at home and 1 in college) have learned from me why I eat what I eat and their habits have been evolving. My husband, as well. They do however eat meat and some pastries, etc.
I do not want to be labeled by my “diet”. I have chosen a healthy lifestyle and it has benefitted me greatly and my family has benefitted from it as well. I believe it was to the credit of my way of eating that my body was able to heal as it did after cancer treatment.
When I came across your recipes, I was overjoyed! I almost exclusively use your cookbooks and blog for my recipes. You have an amazing story and your love for others is evident by what you do. Thank you!

Holly April 1, 2015 at 7:43 am

You are a wonderful mama, Angela :) Adriana is a very lucky lady to have landed in your arms and I feel you’ve made a wonderful decision in raising her that will lead to a very healthy and respectful attitude towards food and her body. Thank you for all that you do!

Kelly April 1, 2015 at 11:27 am

This post reminds me how lucky I am that my husband transitioned to veganism at the same time I did. What if he hadn’t watched Forks Over Knives, or Gary Yourofsky’s ADAPTT lecture? I’ve been vegan for almost a year and a half, and it brings me peace to know that my home is a peaceful place where we don’t eat things that caused harm to animals. It’s easier to deal with the fact that extended family hasn’t made the same choices we have. It’d be heart-breaking if my spouse was in the same category. To look at someone I love that deeply and know they’ve faced the facts and are willing to make animals suffer at the cost of their health and the environment because of convenience and tradition would be incredibly hard. Especially since I am willing to do all the work to research and cook healthy, delicious, (Oh She Glows!) vegan meals. I am so grateful that my husband watched the same documentaries that I did with an open mind, and has embraced the change. It enables us to raise our children with healthy, peaceful food – and no awkward conversations about why Dad made a different choice.

Kimberley April 1, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Hi Angela,
I admire your courage for posting this, knowing that there would be inevitable backlash. You’ve clearly put a lot of thought into these decisions and how you choose to raise your family is a very personal decision.

My husband and I are lacto-vegetarians (that means we don’t eat dairy but do eat eggs, right??). I have been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years. I also suffered from an extreme eating disorder for over 10 years. That’s the primary reason that we have chosen to raise our daughter without labels or restrictions. She eats a plant-based, healthy and balanced diet and generally makes similar choices for herself. However, I never want her to feel that we would judge her or that she would be “bad” for eating a cheeseburger or an ice cream cone. I know from personal experience that that can lead down a bad path that I hope she will never have to travel.

Darrah April 1, 2015 at 2:26 pm


Your blog is beautiful. Your writing is beautiful. Your family is beautiful. And 99.99999% of the people who visit this site and follow you believe that.

I find it interesting that all of the “true vegans” who advocate kind and respectful treatment of animals can be so hurtful and disrespectful to a fellow human. Here’s a definition for them:

Hypocrite hyp·o·crite \ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit\ A person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.

Ann April 7, 2015 at 2:54 pm

My thoughts exactly! So much anger and criticism, and a lot of hypocrites posting on here. I understand and respect that people will have different opinions, but for those people who are so incredibly disrespectful toward Angela’s decision, how many of you are second or even third generation vegans (not vegetarians)? You all made a decision at some point in your life to “go vegan”, what is so wrong about Angela raising her daughter on a plant based diet but not being so restrictive if her daughter chooses to try something outside of the vegan only diet? You say that a baby cannot comprehend what they are doing so you must teach them and control what they are exposed to. But how exactly do you keep a child from trying something at daycare or school, or at a friends house, or what about when they become teenagers! No parent is going to be around a child 100 percent of the time, until they reach adulthood, to snatch a non-vegan food item away and admonish them about how it was once an animal. What if you raise your kid to be vegan and they make the decision to go omnivore or ovo-lacto vegetarian? What exactly are you supposed to do if your kid has some serious allergies that would make a vegan diet impossible? How about some vegans who are well known who have recognized that the vegan lifestyle was making their children or themselves very sick and it wasn’t until they began adding in certain animal products that they began to see a massive improvement in their wellness? I think raising a child in a home where both parents are not vegan does pose some unique challenges. I think it is sensible to raise a child with a healthy relationship with food and teach them how to have compassion for animals, rather than making eating anything from (or produced by) animals a sick, disgusting, cruel, and just a plain totally wrong thing. How in the world do you not confuse a child if a spouse is not also vegan! How do you teach a child that being omnivore is not okay when mommy or daddy is omnivore – how unfair is it to say to a child “do what I say, not as I do”?

Judith April 2, 2015 at 12:24 am

Angela, I find it very interesting to read in the comments that you’ve sent out an email asking for people’s support – don’t know who’s on your list, but honestly…. you’re a grown woman on a public site that serves to promote your books and the sale of your teas. You have made it your mission on this blog to promote the joys of a plant based diet, what it has done for your health, etc. That’s great. But to call upon people to post their support and defend you, that smacks of high school level tactics. Pull up your big-girl pants, and realize that you’ve opened yourself up to criticism because many people don’t take kindly to what appears to be a dishonest representation of what you stand for.

A lot of vegans, myself included, were very saddened to see this particular post. We feel duped, had, betrayed. We thought you were who you said you were, a proud vegan woman, and as such would be raising her child to be vegan. But you’re not, and we’re understandably, upset.

Take a cue from T.Colin Campbell, author of The China Study and Whole, who only refers to himself as plant based. He doesn’t follow a complete vegan lifestyle, and he doesn’t support the vegan movement. And that’s okay, that’s who he is. If that’s what you believe, so be it. That’s your choice. Own it. I’d respect you for that.

Nadine April 2, 2015 at 9:59 am

If you are referring to Laetitia Lehman-Pearsall’s comment above, nowhere is it mentioned that Angela asked Laetitia to post a comment here to show support. You are reading way too much into this.

Before making this sort of assumption and accusation, you should have solid proof.

Maybe it’s the lack of air from standing up high in your ivory tower that is affecting your judgment.

Judith April 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Oh, hers wasn’t the only comment… but I was wrong about emails as there’s a new post from Angela that is really quite amazing and powerful. It looks like there are people who are on an email list and it was the new post called Food For Thought where she discussed the response to this blog post.

She’s been wearing her big girl pants all along, and I stand corrected and I apologize for my assumption.

As far as being high up in an ivory tower, it’s actually a tofu tower. Vegans wouldn’t be associated with ivory.

Nadine April 2, 2015 at 5:37 pm

OSG recipes and book are qualified as vegan, but I don’t recall Angela ever stating that she was vegan herself. She also calls her diet vegan and plant-based but the word “vegan” is never applied to her.

Do you have proof of the contrary?

Judith April 2, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Here’s my proof to the contrary Nadine. Aside from having a Vegan 101 button on this site, here are samples of Angela calling herself a vegan, or speaking about the animals from a vegan point of view:

From her first cook book:
After learning about the horrors of meat and dairy factory farming, I had to ask myself some hard questions. How could I, the lifelong animal lover, continue to support a system that brought so much pain and suffering to so many animals each year? The complete dichotomy of the food on my plate and my passion for animal welfare was, quite frankly, hard to digest.

One of the most requested topics in my Vegan How To series is about eating out at restaurants as a vegan. I can totally relate to your struggles with eating out. Even to this day, I find restaurant experiences as a vegan can be very hit or miss depending on the restaurant/chef.
Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/02/06/10-tips-for-eating-out-as-a-vegan/#ixzz3WC8rYKtW

As the year draws to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about this space and what I can do in the new year to challenge myself (and hopefully you) in new ways. It probably doesn’t come across this way on the blog, but I often struggle with questions like – What am I doing to make a difference? What can I do to help people and animals? Am I growing on a personal level?
Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2012/12/31/vegan-how-to-series-introduction-why-this-series/#ixzz3WC9VrRM2

My Vegan Pantry
It’s All About The Crunch

Our grocery shop this week was high in veggies and fruit! Meat was no where to be found much to Eric’s chagrin. The new rules are if he wants meat he has to cook it. And since he is lazy in the kitchen, he has simply stopped buying it. lol.
Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2009/08/26/its-all-about-the-crunch/#ixzz3WCBFnSZP

I was recently asked in an interview how veganism has changed my life. Normally, questions like this bring out the best (worst?) of my indecisive nature, but this answer came to me quite easily. Veganism has changed my life in countless ways, but the one that stands out is how my love for animals has grown over the years. I’ve always been an animal lover as far back as I can remember, so looking back it’s not a big surprise that I eventually became a vegan.
Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/09/17/lightened-up-raw-pecan-pumpkin-butter/#ixzz3WCCxllwL

Nadine April 2, 2015 at 6:20 pm

You say “Vegans wouldn’t be associated with ivory”. Newsflash: human teeth consist of ivory!

The word “ivory” in this expression refers to the colour white, which is the symbol of purity.

Judith April 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm

It was a bit of humor Nadine, nothing more than that.

Although when it comes to ivory, there is a difference between animal ivory and human ivory.
“They are similar but not exact. The structure of ivory is produced differently from elephants, walruses, and hippos than human teeth. Both are bone but one is human bone and the other is animal bone; thus, the DNA contained in the cellular makeup is different.”

And yes, you’re right ivory tower refers to the color white, symbol of purity.

Nadine April 2, 2015 at 8:06 pm

I sure did a get a good laugh trying to imagine someone up on a tofu tower! You have to admit, that is hilarious!!

All jokes aside, I am still trying to figure out if Angela has ever attached the word “vegan” to describe herself? Any thoughts on the matter?

On a side note, I am on your side. I have been plant-based for three years now, first for health reasons and then for ethical and environmental reasons.

However, what is beyond my comprehension is why people would discredit Angela publicly when she is helping the vegan cause immensely. If you make abstraction of all labels, Angela _is_ greatly contributing to the vegan cause by getting thousands of people to cook everyday without using any animal products. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what matters? Shouldn’t we rally behind her instead of shooting her down?

Maybe I am an idealist but shouldn’t we tear down all barriers between plant-based dieters and vegans?

“From ‘junk food vegans’ to raw food vegans, and everything in between, there’s a version of veganism to suit everyone. Yet one thing we all have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey – as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.” – http://www.vegansociety.com/try-vegan/definition-veganism

Nadine April 2, 2015 at 8:09 pm

I sure did a get a good laugh trying to imagine someone up on a tofu tower! You have to admit, that is hilarious!!

All jokes aside, I am still trying to figure out if Angela has ever attached the word “vegan” to describe herself? Any thoughts on the matter?

On a side note, I am on your side. I have been plant-based for three years now, first for health reasons and then for ethical and environmental reasons.

However, what is beyond my comprehension is why people would discredit Angela publicly when she is helping the vegan cause immensely. If you make abstraction of all labels, Angela _is_ greatly contributing to the vegan cause by getting thousands of people to cook everyday without using any animal products. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what matters? Shouldn’t we rally behind her instead of shooting her down?

Shouldn’t we tear down all barriers between plant-based dieters and vegans?

“From ‘junk food vegans’ to raw food vegans, and everything in between, there’s a version of veganism to suit everyone. Yet one thing we all have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey – as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.” – http://www.vegansociety.com/try-vegan/definition-veganism

Judith April 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Hi Nadine, I am so glad I came back to check out the site because I didn’t receive a notice of a follow-up comment to yours.

I absolutely 100% agree about tearing down barriers between vegans and plant-based eaters when it comes to dietary approaches. I have mentioned in previous postings T. Colin Campbell, the author of The China Study, who refers to himself as plant-based and refuses to call himself vegan. He recognizes that the vegan label is strongly associated with the political/ethical movement of animal rights and environmentalism. I respect him for that, and I think that’s why vegans will happily talk about Campbell’s work on nutrition and health and the impact it’s had on encouraging more people to eat plant-based. He’s a public figure and he has made it clear who he is and who he isn’t. Up until this post, I had no reason to think that Angela was anything but vegan in her outlook on the world.

I still love her recipes, and I absolutely adore her for helping omnivores eat more plant based meals. That is fantastic. But she is a public figure due to her blog and her cookbook. If she is calling herself vegan, but is allowing her baby to eat chicken, etc., then that is confusing to the public and of course vegans who follow her blog are going to question it.

I realize there’s been some strongly worded posts, and I saw that Angela felt threatened by them. Of course, she’s human, I am sure like Angela most of us would be upset and feel threatened by the anger that has been expressed here. I think, though, that most vegans are just trying to hold onto what being vegan is.

Vegans are so often demonized in public – called all sorts of names, etc. When I looked at posts in the follow up blog “Food for Thought”, vegans were being called jerks, told to f*ck off, and accused of being nasty and narrow minded. I don’t believe any of the upset vegans ever told Angela to f*ck off. The worst was that they either chose to stop following her, or were going to return her cookbook. Oh, and yes, there were posts saying that eating animals is murder; or posts substituting the words eating animals with racism/homophobia. But I think those posts were to help people understand how wrong eating animals is.

With all of that said, I reach out to you, Nadine, and to all who are either 100% plant-based, 100% vegan, or all the omnivores who are working towards eating more plant-based meals: let’s all move forward. It’s never going to be perfect, but if we can speak to each other with love and respect, allow each other to have a voice and not be bullied or shut down, then I think we will be stronger for it.

Khushboo April 2, 2015 at 3:04 am

Love your outlook Angela and it’s one I hope to implement with my kids in the future! I will educate them of why I eat a particular way but they are not obliged to eat the same way. There was a time in my life where I thrived off a meat-heavy diet and other times (i.e. now) where plants are my jams! We are constantly evolving and need to find a way of eating that suits us at that given moment!

Teresa April 2, 2015 at 8:58 am

Hi Angela, I really enjoy reading your blog and it was one of the first that I discovered a number of years ago. My husband and I also had a similar discussion when I was pregnant with our first. I’m not a vegan but I don’t eat red meat and my husband does. I felt that my kids should be able to make that decision on their own when they are older as I was able to. I can only hope that they will develop a love for the healthful unprocessed foods that we eat at home. I don’t want to forbid any foods or have them feel left out at birthday parties etc. when there is bound to be some pretty scary foods!

Amy April 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Frankly, I’m disgusted. You make your choices, and I make mine – to not send people to your website anymore. Call yourself plant-based if you like, but not vegan.

Anna April 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm

No, I wouldn’t.I cannot be 100% sure there will be no deficiencies, I am just not willing to risk it. Yeah, I’ve read about B12 in some seaweed and stuff, but is it really true? And who knows about life-long repercussions.. I cannot ask my child to be ethical, I want him to be healthy. Vegan sources for DHA/EPA ?! (not expecting anyone to be answering this, I’ve done my research. There is no valid data, sorry).

My child comes first! :)

PS: I respect your decision. I think we all do our best when it comes to the choices we make.
PPS: Angela is asking what you would do, rather than what you think of her choice. There’s quite a difference. And if some of you are disappointed, I guess that is you choose.

Emma April 2, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Hi Angela

My husband is recently vegan, and I’ve just started trying (seeing as we are gluten free already it is a bit tricky, at least to start it feels that way).

So as relative outsiders to this world, and from the UK where I’ve never heard anyone make a distinction between plant based and vegan, I wanted to say thanks for the great ideas on your blog. They are making it easier for us to eat less and less animal products.

I find the whole debate and criticism very odd as I would have thought that as vegans who clearly feel incredibly passionately about animal welfare, anyone who encouraged people to eat more veg less meat with delicious vegan recipes would be rewarded.

When I tell people I’ve started being vegan, they ask why (invariably!) but then respect that D have made a choice not to eat any animal products. They don’t comment on my shoes that are leather (but bought pre-vegan and second hand at that) or otherwise have any views on the vegan lifestyle- largely they are impressed that I am doing something dramatic to reduce animal products in my life.

It struck me reading the comments that most of the people trying to defend “the correct” definition of being vegan, were seeking to preserve some kind of status rather than being able to step back and assess the impact of the label. I hope they don’t put people off. I will continue to call myself vegan because I want to, and I respect your decision to not call your diet, or your daughter’s diet anything at all.

Parent how you want!

P.S. the first recipe i made was your thai sweet potato burgers with peanut sauce- when i ate it I felt like veganism wouldn’t be so hard after all

Sharon April 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Angela – Your recipes have inspired me to COOK!!!! And in the process I and my loved ones eat a healthier, largely plant based diet. Even my meat and potatoes Mom is impressed with your Buddha Bowl. My three year old niece loves your cookies and my boyfriend CRAVES your lentil soup. I admire your balanced view of food and life and am inspired by your story. I also love your willingness to share yourself with your fans. When I google “vegan” recipes, I’m looking for recipes with no meat, seafood, or dairy. That’s what your recipes are. Judgmental militant vegans – do your thing and leave the rest of us to our own devices, please.

Milissa April 3, 2015 at 10:10 am

I understand and respect everyone who truly believes in their hearts and minds that animal cruelty in any form is wrong. I fully support the choice of belief system you live by and I commend you for being willing to forgo things in life that others choose to include in theirs. However, I cannot even remotely tolerate any human being treating another with so little respect for their own choices. I personally do not eat meat because I feel better eating plant protein. But understand this: I have the right to consume any animal product I choose to, whether anyone else likes it or not. This is a freedom each and everyone of us, children included, have. I understand those of you who feel choosing to eat animal products should not be a freedom because the animals do not get a choice. You are right–the animals do not enjoy the same freedoms we have. Because they are ANIMALS. It may be unfortunate, but an animal will never be capable of the same sorts of thought processes and emotions that humans are because their brains are not wired to. As others have said, it is the circle of life. I do find it sad that an animal has to die for even organic meat. But as an intelligent, educated person who was raised to be respectful of others, I recognize that these feelings belong to me. I can share them and hope for the best but I have no right to insist my way is the only way anymore than any of you. I love animals, have pets and do not think choosing to eat animal products is wrong. I am sorry to those I offend but I do not see the death of an animal as cold-blooded murder and to equate a person who does eat animal products with a rapist or murderer is simply ignorant whether you wish to believe it or not. And yes, I’d like to know if all of you being so very critical are pro-life as well because if I was faced with the choice to save my unborn child or stop an animal from being killed for food, you can damn well rest assured my child would win. I’d also like to know if you own a a car or have ever owned a car with leather interior. Please hear me: I respect all of you for your commitment to your choices but don’t lose site of the fact that they are choices, and all of us have them. No one is more entitled to them than the next.

Milissa April 3, 2015 at 10:16 am

Also, I believe Angela allows all these comments because she is obviously an open-minded, compassionate and tolerant person with enough strenght of character, not to mention intelligence, to understand that this isn’t about right and wrong. It’s about choice and by allowing all comments she is clearly showing that. Good for you, Angela! I am so impressed with all the comments from people who get what the purpose of your blog is and so disappointed in those who are just looking for a fight.

Heather April 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Thank you for taking the time to be so honest about something so personal. In life we have our choices to make for ourselves based on our own beliefs and values. There is absolutely no right for one human to judge another and put themselves above your own personal decisions in your family. I have struggled with the thought of what we will do when we have children. I live in Mexico, however, I am Canadian and my man is Mexican. He comes from a very meatcentric upbringing and probably never give up on eating meat. I am extremely lucky, as you, that he eats everything I make. love it even, and has been making healthier plant based choices since we started dating. This has filled my heart with much warmth coming home to his own freshly made plant based meals was something I didn’t think would ever happen. But as you have said we have discussed the topic of our kids, when we decide to have them, and I believe that we will adopt a similar philosophy. In the house will always be plant based but at family members and outings if they choose they will have the opportunity to try. Of course in a plant based house children are generally raised with an education of where meat comes from and I have a few friends, meat eaters, who’s kids asked these very questions and gave up meat on their own. It was their choice they just didn’t see the need of eating their animal friends. Thank you for standing up for yourself and know that you are awesome, making changes and inspiring so many others. There will always be haters but this when you know you are really doing something great!!!! Keep moving forward and never stop believe you have an army behind you :) xo

Heather April 3, 2015 at 12:51 pm

On a side note…. when did one calling themselves VEGAN become such a religious like cult movement. I feel the judgements are coming close to those that are from one Christian sect and defending their views to another. We are all human and imperfect. If someone calls themselves vegan and eats a loaf of bread that was made with eggs ….. oh the horror’s. Isn’t this a journey and shouldn’t we all be encourging each other instead of finding reasons to discredit one another for perhaps not being what we are, simply a human??

Kelley April 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm

This is such a well-written and thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing your life like you do and for being so open. It’s encouraged myself and my husband to eat significantly differently. We’re not vegan or vegetarian, but we’ve cut our meat down to once/week (buying locally raised, organic meat) and our baby actually prefers a plant based diet (his favourite food is lentil curry :) ). What I appreciate most about this post is the attitude of thankfulness. Much of the world is not afforded the luxury of deciding how they eat, they are simply lucky if the are able to eat. Clean water, healthy food at our finger tips and resources to go out and purchase it is certainly a lot to be grateful for. Thank you for bringing that point up!! P.S. Your book is beautiful and is my go-to gift for friends and family!!

Cara April 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Why not just call yourself a strict vegetarian? We decided that was the best “label” for us. We do eat like vegans, but don’t eschew (used) leather, down, wool etc. because we feel they’re kinder on the environment. We also have carnivores as companion animals. And when people say “oh, you’re a vegan,” we politely correct them and explain that “vegan” is much more than just a diet. We do this because just as it’s incredibly annoying to have someone tell us vegetarians can eat fish and chicken because a customer, or a friend is vegetarian and eats them, we feel it’s unfair to be thought of as vegan when we’re simply strict vegetarians.

Marie @ The Frog Blog April 3, 2015 at 6:29 pm

I am sorry that you received some negative comments for this decision. What works for one family does not necessarily apply to the next! I believe that many eating disorders are born out of labeling one’s diet (if I am not “allowed” to eat dairy, how about I binge on cheese when no one is looking?).
Your honesty and transparency are always very much appreciated!

Alex Mckay April 3, 2015 at 7:52 pm

I have struggled with this Issue aswell! I am in a similar situation to you , our household is Vegan for the most part. With my husband Eating what I make for him but eats meat and dairy on occasion. I have 2 little ones and im often criticized for “not giving them what they need to grow big and strong” (false!!). I always give my 2 year old the choice of what she is eating, when we eat out at restaurants she is welcome to have the Mac n cheese or chicken fingers if she so pleases but at home we eat vegan. Growing up in the country also doesn’t help because we are surrounded by farmers that almost take offense that I am Vegan even though I do it in a very peaceful and non-invasive way. I think a lot of the Vegans that are criticizing you are more of the extremist type, just ignore them and keep on doing what your doing!

Monica April 4, 2015 at 1:17 am

Angela only you and Eric can make the right choices for your daughter and no one opinion on this blog really matters. And as a parent there will always be someone who disagrees with your choices. With that being said, you have made my family of omnivores a little healthier just by offering healthy recipes that I can share with my family and I thank you for that! One problem with veganism in children is that they do not fully understand it. Anyone who has taken a psychology or ethics class will know that children do not have the moral and ethical capacity of an adult. When children go to a friends or families house they simply do not understand why they are not able to have pizza, hamburgers, or ice cream like everyone around them. It breaks your heart telling you children no to such things and having them miss out as well. The only thing that really matters is feeding them healthy foods and teaching them that they have the decision to make for themselves when they are able. A hard part of being a parent is knowing that you cannot make all the ‘right’ decisions for them. All you can hope for is that you teach them well enough to make the right decisions for themselves. If you give them choices in food now, they will not wonder what they are missing out on as much later. I think that you have made a fantastic decision by not labeling your daughters diet and letting her live life and try things out (what infant and toddler years are all about!) A mothers instinct is a very strong and natural thing, much more natural than any diet. Do not let anyone deter you from what you feel is right for you and you beautiful baby girl!

Janine April 5, 2015 at 8:59 am

I love you just a little bit more now. You share my belief system. I really believe in allowing people to make their own decisions without judgement. I think by finding something you have embraced and sharing it with people you are encouraging others to try what has worked so well for you. Your website has influenced me a lot and I eat a plant based diet much more often than I used to. I think many people see a vegan diet as one of deprivation and you are changing that. Kudos to you Angela. Not everyone will agree with you but more people do than you even realize

Mischa April 5, 2015 at 11:53 am

We struggle with this question, too! Our son eats a vegan diet (and is a very big, healthy boy!) but we occasionally let him eat non-vegan foods at social gatherings (like cake at birthday parties or muffins he helped bake at school.) He is only two, so he hasn’t quite realized that other families eat differently than him, but he also understands that he doesn’t eat animals or things from animals. Ultimately, it will be his decision whether or not to stick with a vegan diet. We plan on giving him lots of information (when age appropriate) about where animal products come from, something that I think many kids don’t get, because the information is not pretty. It will be interesting to watch him decide over the years!

Talia April 5, 2015 at 6:32 pm

I think your decision’s PERFECT! I know that feeding little Adriana plants galore (especially YOUR recipes) will result in her loving plants and considering mom’s vegan lentil loaf her favorite comfort food that she requests when home from college instead of meatloaf! :-) I’m also in love and living with someone of the opposite diet! [I wrote a whole blog post about that works!!: http://bit.ly/dateoppositediet] While at first I thought that being a “mixed couple” would be problematic, I’ve found that by leading by example, I can inspire him to eat healthier without an ounce of nagging – his love for meat and dairy has virtually vanished over the years (and has been replaced with a love for green smoothies and tempeh!).

Fathima April 6, 2015 at 1:49 am


Claire Kleinman April 6, 2015 at 10:37 pm

I was raised Vegetarian because my parents were vegetarians and that is what they cooked and what they knew. Once I learned what it meant to be a vegetarian I was thrilled, I loved animals and felt proud knowing I was protecting them. My parents decided to feed me food aligned with their beliefs until I was old enough to decide for myself. They never denied me of any food, and aside from a piece of pepperoni I was inclined to eat (which I couldn’t tell apart from the soy alternative), I was tempted to eat meat. Sure there were pesky kids along the way who just didn’t understand or felt guilty because they too wanted to help animals, but I am so glad my parents raised me with the knowledge and freedom they did. I am 18 now and have been vegan for two years and live at home, I cant tell you the last time I saw milk in the fridge. It is a personal and sensitive topic often grounded in culture, all you can do is be honest about why you choose to eat what you do, and no matter what your child will be grateful. After all, mothers cooking is always the best cooking.

PS. I got my mom your cookbook for mothers day! (It was really a gift for the both of us)

Claire Kleinman April 6, 2015 at 10:38 pm

*never tempted to eat meat

Laurenne April 7, 2015 at 5:36 am

We take a very similar attitude with our daughters, me and my husband went vegan a year ago so obviously all we cook and eat at home is vegan (your book has been a godsend in that by the way – so thanks!). However when the girls go to party’s etc they will occasionally have dairy / eggs / non vegan sweets and if they were insistent they wanted to try meat when we were at relatives houses etc I would let them, but I tend to find they prefer to stick to the foods that are more familiar to them anyway.

My eldest at 3 years old is just starting to understand a bit more now and ask if things are vegan etc, and make her own decision on if she wants to eat them or not. We are pretty honest with her in an age appropriate way that meat is made from animals, dairy taken from cows etc. but we think it’s really important to live consensually and never want them to feel restricted by us and rebel, so we are pretty chilled about it when out etc and as they get older I’m sure they’ll do their own experimenting / researching etc and do what think is best for them :)

Good luck with the weaning, this is where the fun / mess really starts :D

Andrea D. April 7, 2015 at 5:48 pm

I think it’s great that you’re gonna let Adriana choose for herself!. I’m vegetarian transitioning to vegan and have two month old twin boys. I plan on raising them vegan because to me it would be the healthiest thing for them, but if at some point when they’re older they decide to stop, I will support them 100%. Tmi, but I don’t produce enough milk (like maybe an ounce a day) so my babies have to be on formula. I’ve noticed that the formula doesn’t sit very well with their stomach, so I don’t think they tolerate it well (they don’t seem to have a problem with my milk). I guess it’s just another reason for me to raise them vegan.

Linda April 8, 2015 at 9:48 am

This is the first comment I have made on anyone’s blog, but I was so impressed by your thoughtful, mature and loving report about your plans for your daughter’s diet that I had to tell you. I am sorry you have experience hateful comments about your decision–what a shame. I commend you for your decision and heartily agree with it.

Let me also tell you that I frequently visit your website, love your food and have purchased your first cookbook for myself and my daughter and am planning on purchasing your second one. Your avocado spaghetti is a much loved staple at my table

Nicole April 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm

After reading everyone’s comments, I would like to offer this response: it is not right to suggest that anyone who does not choose a vegan life for themselves and their family is lacking in compassion towards animals or the earth. It makes it sound like vegans have no empathy for those who choose another way. There are many reasons that people eat as they do. Lead by example not by words.

Tania April 8, 2015 at 5:34 pm

When you have a child, your priority becomes doing what’s best for the child’s health and that means sometimes letting go of your own choices. Angela, I appreciate your focus on great nutrition and a balanced approach to life and to raising your daughter. And I commend you for putting you and your family’s needs first and not feeling pressured by opinionated people (all kinds). One thing I’e noticed from trying to eat healthier is how defensie people become (i.e your too healthy/you’re not healthy enough/oh your one of those moms…etc…) Just keep doing what you’re doing, because you are doing it fabulously!

Milan April 9, 2015 at 1:44 pm

New to your website…gotta say this post is actually what made me feel like exploring it further. I have been curious about reducing my meat intake but found the “all or none” approach way too intimidating on many sites.

Your honesty and openness is so refreshing. Having watched my older sister struggle with disordered eating for years, I’m so glad that you’re not going to label your daughter’s diet for her. I cannot stress how inspirational I find your healthy attitude to food (and the journey it took to get you there).

Thank you for encouraging young women everywhere :)

JVH April 10, 2015 at 2:52 pm

First off, most of the comments here are awesome and encouraging. But wow, there are also a lot of judgy people commenting on this. It’s fantastic to care about animals and how they are treated (we need much more of that in the world), but if you aren’t even kind to other humans, or even likable, then what’s the use? Don’t you think there is bigger tofu to fry? Also, let’s not forget the environmental impact from the cultivation of many plants for food (e.g., water demands for chickpeas, lentils and asparagus, or the whole quinoa debate). Vegans don’t have the monopoly on ethical eating. But I am willing to bet that most people here try their best to eat in ways that are kinder to ourselves, animals and the planet. Can we please celebrate that instead of judging people who don’t live up to our standards?

Laura April 13, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I am really disappointed at this post, just because your husband is omni why should that matter? Your husband is a grown adult that know where is meat comes from, even if it’s organic, cage-free or whatever it is, it’s still the dead flesh of another animal who wanted to live. I don’t understand why people say that if you’re a vegan raising your child vegan then you’re imposing your choices on this child, but if you’re an omni everyone just assumes you’re doing the right thing. This is ludicrous! You say you want her to try different foods but she doesn’t have the ability or conscious understanding where her food comes
From and the suffering that it implies, that’s why parents make choices for their children, including diet wise and values, then when they get old and have the full understanding they can choose for themselfs. But to say she needs to try different foods and decide on her own is ridiculous, given her age.

I don’t understand why a vegan would raise a child to eat meat and animals,
Doesn’t make sense.

Kayla Panchmatia April 16, 2015 at 8:09 pm

I do agree, by raising your child to eat omni or meat you are imposing as well and just as much as raising your child vegan. Only way out would be to not feed a child and see what they do to sustain life! lol probably not too ethical hey ;)

Courtney May 10, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Exactly, shes being a horrible mother and person.

K Bourne April 14, 2015 at 3:51 am

This comment thread just goes to show that there is no place on the internet that is safe from angry/crazy people. Extremism is dangerous in all forms.

I love the the new foods I’m introduced to through this blog and I think Angela seems like a wonderful mom. I hope that when I’m a mom some day, that I will have the ability to provide as much lovingly prepared meals as Angela provides her family.

Molly April 14, 2015 at 5:13 pm

I’ve been a vegetarian for over 10 years and I’m constantly asked whether or not I’ll be raising my two kids that way!


Des April 14, 2015 at 9:59 pm

I really, truly, hope all you vegans are pro-life…otherwise you’re the world’s biggest hypocrites. I also find it amazing that you (the holier than thou vgns…not the kind ones) tout compassion when you have none for humans unless they believe just like you. Yes, teach your children to be little jerks who worship animals and hate the murderers who eat them. I’m sure they’ll do a lot of good reaching out to others to save animals.

Angela, I am impressed with your healthy and balanced decision. It’s also a great decision to make in order to be respectful of your husband and not just steamroll him with your beliefs. I was a vgn for year (yes, a real one….PETA and all that jazz). Now I eat mostly veg, love vgn foods, and the only vegetarian in my house is my five year old, who is well on his was to veganism as he is very passionate about animals. I am supportive and standing up for his rights to not eat gelatin or rennet or any other hidden meat crap, but I am also teaching him true compassion. For all life. Not animals as superior. As a christian I do not believe animals are equal to us in anyway…and the nonbeliever who quoted the bible as a means for Christians to be veg needs to study a bit more. That said, abusing animals is wrong. I would just differ with a lot of you on what constitutes as abuse.

Anyway, thanks for being real.

Courtney May 10, 2015 at 5:02 pm

I dont have compassion for humans that think killing animals is ok. Those humans are worse than anything.

Hailey April 15, 2015 at 9:24 am

Angela, I hope that these comments do not discourage you from continuing your baby shares. I love them and look forward to them and have a daughter a few weeks older than yours. I also appreciate your honesty and feel that it does a lot to make all of us healthier. I am not vegan, but have eaten much more plant-based since following your blog. We all have to live our lives the way we see fit and have no right to ridicule and judge others. You have made a huge, positive difference in MANY people’s lives and that’s what matters!

jenna April 16, 2015 at 4:07 pm

We are a vegan family. Our children eat vegan. They were breast fed for three years. One is still nursing. The hardest part is my family understanding our plant based diet. They don’t understand we have made a healthier choice for our children. And birthday parties that serve awful pizza and store cake! My child has cried because she feels left out. Only recently have her true friends been kind and considerate enough to buy a vegan cupcake or cookies for her and her brother. She is only seven and has always been vegan. It is also very hard traveling and feeding your children plant based meals. Your decision sounds like a great one based on our experience. I wish you all the best.

Kayla Panchmatia April 16, 2015 at 8:02 pm

I am Vegan mostly because of animal cruelty issues and only somewhat due to health. I personally do not condone taking the life away from an animal big or small and so would not personally feed my child anything but vegan food. However, the bf eats meat and so if he were to cook meals and feed her, I would just ask that the meat/dairy/eggs at least come from “humane” sources. (Quotations around humane because the animal ends up dead in the end which I consider not humane but at least from a source where they were able to live their shortened life not only pain and suffering free but also with joy). I would also expect that other family members respect that and feed the child only vegan or else “humane” meals. I would quite honestly be upset if my child were to start eating meat and give no regard or care as to where the meat came from such as a factory farm.

Karissa April 16, 2015 at 10:01 pm

I read this right when you posted it, and it really got me thinking about WHY we label ourselves. It’s such an odd thing to do, and really unnecessary. You are inspiring people to try new things whether part of a plant based diet or just a supplemental meal, thats amazing and does more for the “vegan movement” then spreading negativity, blame and judgment. Who would want to be a part of that?

Lori April 17, 2015 at 11:45 pm

Loving your book. Please consult with a doctor, kids need animal fats in some quantity for their brain development. Vegetarians get animal fats, vegan do not and some children have gotten irreparable damage.

Courtney May 10, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Lies. All lies. You clearly know nothing. Animal fats arent needed at all. Just fats are. Avocados are one of many options of HEALTHY fats.

Judith April 20, 2015 at 10:35 am

There are plenty of fats in a vegan diet: avocado, nuts, seeds, coconuts and coconut oil, olives and olive oil, and other oils. If you go to:
veganhealth dot org/articles/realveganchildren, you’ll see examples of many children who have been raised vegan since birth and are thriving. There are no problems with brain development in any of these children.

Dr. Richard Oppenlander, author of Comfortably Unaware, has raised his three children as vegan from birth and they are all healthy adults.

If a child is not fed enough calories, whether omnivore or plant based diet, there will be serious health issues.

The only nutrient vegans need to supplement is B12. All other nutrients are found in adequate amounts in a plant based diet.

Jay Dave April 21, 2015 at 1:58 am

I hear much about not wanting to force values down their childs throat – and letting them choose. If your value – lets say it’s veganism or vegetarianism – not consuming or contributing to the unnecessary deaths of other living beings. That value is important, taking the line of I’ll let my child know and they can decide – is a view I see taken by people who are not strong in their belief. You’d rather let society, media, peer pressure subtely force the value of eating meat, animal products down your childs throat.

Compassion, Kindness – those who choose this path of being vegan. veggie must cultivate this for themselves and ALL other beings – your children, animals, non-cute animals, insects – everything.

I was raised up in a lacto-veggie household with three other siblings. I am ever so grateful for my mum’s teachings and remember the ethics, morals, values (yes, at the time via Hinduism) that she instilled in me – by discussion, saying I cannot eat meat, eggs, poultry and such – and strong reasoning, examples, discussions. I have never wained – I knew deep down within me that it’s wrong. My mum didn’t take a flakey half assed approach, she’s a strong confident woman and dedicated to the Hindu vegetarian values she has – that determination, dedication has rubbed off on all her children.

Not being confident, strong and firm in your beliefs and not passing that intensity on to your child – I believe you are just going to let the stronger (in this case – the media, peers and pressures from all that crap) instead pollute the mind of your child.

Ashley April 22, 2015 at 9:30 pm

Angela – please don’t let all the rude people stop you from posting about your beautiful daughter. I love your updates!

Courtney May 10, 2015 at 5:11 pm

We arent being rude. We actually care about her daughter.

Julie April 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

I really hope some of these comments don’t dissuade you from posting more baby updates. I really miss hearing about Adriana. My 2nd little girl is almost 12 weeks and I love reading your updates and seeing what’s ahead. It is ridiculous how much I have forgotten from only 2 years ago!

Cherie April 24, 2015 at 1:15 pm

I’m sure this approach will work out well for you. I have an 11 year old who was raised in a similar way (as far as diet goes anyway ;-) ). His dad is a total omnivore and I am vegetarian and never cook meat. So, at our house the meals are either vegan or vegetarian, mostly vegan. However, when eating out, at Grandparents, etc. meat is often part of the equation. I wish it wasn’t, but overall I am happy that both my dh and ds eat well at home and often order vegetarian or vegan options when eating out as well.
What I have found interesting is that while my dh will eat almost any meat, my son only eats his dad’s favorites, so that’s an improvement at any rate.
Another funny thing that has happened over the years is my husband has gone from being slightly embarrassed by my dietary requests at conferences, etc. to ordering the vegetarian options for himself as a default. He says the meat at these things is always horrible and he would find himself jealous of my meal, :).

Darrah April 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm

I’m so disappointed that you have stopped posting. Even the food page doesn’t have anything new. I think by letting the negative comments get to you, you will only lose your fan base. It is frustrating to keep checking one of your favorite blogs and seeing nothing new for weeks on end :(

Anna April 24, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Well, I’m sure she’s quite busy creating and testing recipes for her second cookbook and taking care of Adriana. :) I don’t think the lack of new posts are only because of the recent negativity

Courtney May 10, 2015 at 5:11 pm

She already lost her fan base by being a hypocrite and a bad mom.

Carly May 19, 2015 at 4:59 am

Seriously you need to get a grip. Someone is not a bad mom for making a decision about allowing their child choice. People have different values. I am an atheist and will bring my child up to know about religion but not to practice one, but I do NOT go around calling people who bring their child up Christian bad parents for “instilling lies about the sky god and indoctrinating and forcing them”. I respect our differences and their choices.

Cristin April 24, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Keep blogging!!!!!! I miss all of your recipes and baby updates!

Ruth Bush April 29, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Hi Angela. I’m mostly vegan and my husband eats meat. I feel similar about the topic but we are choosing to raise our son with a meat-free diet. I would also like to make it as dairy free as possible. When he is older, he can choose to eat whatever he wants too. I was raised on meat and potatoes and I came into my own with seeking out knowledge of the harsh food industry. I hope he will do the same but it will be his choice:)

xoxo Ruth

Virginia Macgregor May 1, 2015 at 9:28 am

Dear Angela,

First of all, thank you for ‘you’ – the authentic, lovely, positive, down to earth you. I really enjoy reading your blog and cooking from your beautiful cookbook – which, wonderfully, I managed to get in the UK. Second, I am so, so keen to share your experience of being a mother. I gave birth to a little girl, Tennessee Skye, on the 3rd of March 2014. She is a complete joy – though an exhausting one too! I’ve struggled a bit to keep up with my healthy diet as preparing things with her in my arms – she’s not that keen on being on her own in a chair or on the floor – is a real challenge. But I have tried to draw her into the process and to explain to her what I’m doing and what ingredients I’m using and why. One of the real struggles I’ve had is with her food. She has only just started eating properly and she is now 14 months old. She is quite fussy, despite my attempts to give her a wide range of food. I so want her to grow up loving good, wholesome, yummy food, willing to try anything and I have the same philosophy as you of leaving her to decide – and my husband isn’t vegan either, and is a little more resistant than your Eric to trying my cooking, but I’m working on it! All this to say that I would LOVE you to post the occasional baby friendly recipe that is made from delicious whole food, packed with goodness and colour and planet kind ingredients. I know you’ll probably say that you’re happy just to give Adriana the same as you eat, but I thought it might be nice to have a few recipes especially for them…Tennessee often finds the things I love a little spicy or odd – she pulls a face! Anyway, just a thought. But thank you again, that’s the main reason I wrote. Have a lovely day, Virginia

Jordyn May 1, 2015 at 1:30 pm

I am so glad I happened upon this article! When I became vegan last year, I knew that my husband would have no interest in it (at least not right away). We struggled with what my daughter could and could not eat. Eventually, we came to the agreement that she would be vegetarian until she was 5, and then she could make her own decision on what she wanted to eat.

Its been hard for me, because as a mom you want the best for your child and if I feel like I am eating the best, I want the same for her. But this article has really helped me to let go a little bit. Her dad feeds her well, and everyone in my family is aware that she is vegetarian. Shes happy and healthy and that’s all I can ask for.

Thanks Angela for your words, and all your amazing recipes! Oh She Glows is my go to for new ideas :) :) :)

Courtney May 10, 2015 at 5:13 pm

A 5 year old isnt capable of deciding what is good for them and the planet. If she decides to drink alcohol, its your fault.

Katie May 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm

I love this healthy attitude about your daughter’s diet and I think it shows a great deal of respect and love for your child. There is way too much “food shaming” in our culture today and you are absolutely right; it is because we are so privileged that we even get to discuss it. As a Christian, for example, I believe that we are allowed to eat whatever we want and whatever is available, but we are also called to be good stewards of the earth and animals. For me, that looks like going vegan because my body and my circumstances are a good fit for a vegan diet. Others may honor those same beliefs through difference choices. The respect you are showing your daughter by allowing her to choose reminds me of my own mother. She always encouraged me to simply become myself, and I’m incredibly grateful to her for raising me that way. :-)

Sarah May 7, 2015 at 10:50 am

I loved reading your opinion on this! My boyfriend is a vegetarian but I am not, and I am constantly trying to find more insight on how to respect his beliefs. Great post!

Courtney May 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Honestly, I think you’re being a horrible mother. Its not good for her diet at all, and no your husband is not healthy. Everything you said is just so illogical. So if family eat rum balls in front of your daughter and she wants to try it, its ok. Thats what your logic is. I cant believe you even married someone who isnt vegan. He kills animals. He is a killer. And you are raising your daughter as one. Its NEVER been about being healthy. Its about protecting and helping animals. Its about saving the planet. Stop being so stupid and selfish. I bet you’re fine with her eating McDonalds poison. Probably give her vaccines too!!!!

Yolie May 16, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Are you serious? You are a monster! I hope you some poor child doesn’t have to endure a life with you as their mother. Self rightous freak! Get some help and find some happiness! Peace sister

Anna May 18, 2015 at 1:17 pm

I hope one day when you are seeking compassion and understanding from others, their words will be less judgemental and nasty than the words you are throwing at a perfect stranger. You may not agree with her decision, but there are ways to respectfully disagree and not resort to nasty name-calling.

Sarah May 12, 2015 at 12:46 pm

At my house, there’s one person who eats 99% vegan, and the other eats 99% paleo. We’ve talked endlessly about the pros and cons of each – nicely and compassionately and kindly. We learn from each other and put what we learn into action, in the best way we can. And we have much more in common in our dietary values than one might think.

Those who follow the vegan lifestyle have the absolute moral high ground, and yes, I agree it would be wonderful if the entire world could exist like this.

Then there is all the recent research proving that the paleo diet – which in its pure form eliminates grains, legumes, dairy, sweeteners and most fruit, and includes only pasture raised meat and veggies – reverses autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, neurological disorders, and a whole host of other complaints. It also drastically reduces the risk of Alzheimers and dementia in old age (see Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter), and just seems to create overall healthier people. However, the true paleo lifestyle is completely unsustainable for this planet at its current population.

So I – the wannabe vegan – am trying to figure out how to eat true “vegan paleo” to avoid the health risks of lots of grains.

And in the end, I think the best way to effect change is with compassion, understanding, and patience – meeting people where they are with kindness.

Angela – you’re amazing and have truly helped me feel more enthusiastic about cooking and eating! Thank you so much!

Kerstin May 13, 2015 at 1:59 pm

my children are grown now and yes I would definitely feed them vegan from birth on, because I know how healthy a vegan lifestyle is.

Kerstin May 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm

my children are grown now and I wished that I had fed them vegan foods from the beginning of life, since only in my later years of life have I found out how very healthy this vegan lifestyle is

Jill May 19, 2015 at 8:56 am

My son is 15 1/2 and he ade the choice to be a vegetarian at 8. Before that time, he would try different animal foods and even go on and off with strictly vegam. He even tied a stint as a fruitarian. I would add supplements if we thought it necessary. As a baby and toddler he had many allergies and could not eat dairies, wheat, meat, and some other stuff. I know his restriction to dairy and wheat created a hyper try it all later on. He has been taught about nutrition, sustainability and flexibility. He taught us about compassion. He becomes distressed about the chopping of trees, he wont hurt a mosquito ( because its a mom feeding her baby) and feels compassion toward all. He does eat some dairy now but knows it does not feel good when he eats too much and we buy any eggs/ dairy from friends where we can see the care and health of the animals. My husband eats meat when out. As the cook who makes everything from scratch, I will not cook flesh. If Quinn wanted to eat it, it would be his choice and he is fully informed and he would need to cook it himself and clean up or eat it when away from home. It is like everything else in parenting, you model the best you can, provide them with information, including differing views, show respect and support and get out of their way as best you can to make choices and mistakes. Trust your instincts and be ok that you will probably tweek your approach many times.
Best wishes!

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