I love the title of my Blog. . . it makes me feel like a super hero! In fact, being the parent of a vegan youngen makes me feel like a super hero too. . . so it's very fitting : )
I decided to write this Blog because my son, Jess, became a vegetarian at 11yrs old (for compassionate reasons - more on that later) and then moved into veganism about a year ago (at 15yrs old). Having been a strict vegetarian myself prior to my pregnancy, and with his Dad having been vego for 30+ years, I wasn't particularly daunted by Jess's decision to move into 'veg-land'. We rarely ate meat of any description anyway and he had never been drawn to it.
I made a decision when my son was born to allow him to make choices about his food - veg or not. This was important to me, because I had seen vego kids in the past ranting at meat-eating adults about their choices, only to respond to questions about why they chose to be veg with "I don't know. Because my parents said so" or something to that effect. It just made me think that if Jess was to work it out for himself, it would have a deeper meaning, and that it would go far further than just 'not eating animals'.
Having said that, we didn't eat meat at home for the first few years of his life (but did when we went to others' homes) and I was always completely honest with him about the source of the food he was eating. I explained that, for example, 'chicken' actually came from a chicken. You wouldn't believe how many parents don't tell their kids this - many kids grow up having no idea that the food they are eating is an animal - I find that bizarre to this day! When we did eat anything that came from an animal, we would say "Thank you chicken!" as a way of acknowledging that we had eaten an animal - it was really beautiful and created a real sense of empathy with the animal and an honest, loving curiosity about the life of the chicken and how it came to be on our plate.
So. . . after a few years as a vegetarian, Jess decided to become a vegan. And this is where my sometimes resistant (how can I make beautiful vegan food???), sometimes nervous (he will waste away!!!), but mostly proud (what an amazing, compassionate kid!) journey into being a supportive Mama and a great vegan cook (still trying) began. It has been pretty hard, I have to admit. Jess is super athletic and he dabbles in body building. He has a crazy-fast metabolism and is very tall and wiry. A huge challenge to make sure his nutritional needs are met - not to mention trying to find size 15 shoes (this is not a typo) that contain no leather. Finding size 15 is nearly impossible - finding leather-free is enough to send me to the corner into the foetal position.
I want to share what I've learnt, now that I've stopped resisting and started really enjoying vegan cooking. I hope I can inspire some people to support their kids in their own journey and to cook some beautiful food. Tune in next time for a recipe and a bit more about our ongoing journey. I'd welcome any input in the comments section below. . .