Tag Archives: vegans

Should Vegans Have Kids?

This question, oddly, seems to have been bubbling among vegan Facebook discussion groups and pages lately.  And I am not sure why.

From what I have seen, most people surprisingly say “no,” with their primary argument being that more people = more consumption and more pollution.  There is more to it, but that is the basic gist.

A few years ago, I too would have probably answered with something similar.  I was pretty anti-child, and vegan (not anti-child, really, just not into it for me).

But a few years ago I was blessed with a little boy and he has changed my life and my view on things.

First and foremost, little Wilder has already influenced the vegan world.  His mom and I decided early on that she would have a vegan pregnancy.  She was pretty much vegetarian at the time, but we wanted our little guy to be vegan literally from day 1.  So he was a great motivation for his mom to move into the vegan lifestyle.

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Little Wilder. A long time ago.

Second, he is a vegan himself.  He has never had dairy.  Or meat. Or any animal products.  Ever.  That is pretty awesome if you ask me.  He even revolts at the taste of the Beyond Burger, I assume because the flavor is so meat-like (and therefore foreign).  So we added a vegan to the ranks.

Third, the child I raise is going to grow up an activist by default.   He is going to grow up asking questions and defending his veganism.  This will undoubtedly make him a supporter of the environment and defender of animals.  How is this a bad thing?

Also, as a vegan himself I wonder how many people he will invite to veganism throughout his life.  I assume quite a few.

So the more I think of it, the more I realize the question is not about ‘should we be having kids,’ but more of ‘should we raise kids to be vegan, appreciate the environment, and become activists?’  I think the latter is obviously true.

Let’s all raise good kids that want to be the future state of change in this World, and not guilt-shame the vegan families that want to be parents.

Are Vegans Ready?

As the man handed me the Uzi, I slid the magazine into the well, charged the handle, raised the weapon and took it off safe.  I aimed at the target and slowly pulled the trigger. I fired.  Again.  And again. And again.

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Me firing said Uzi. Photo (c) Zachary Hill.

 

To my rear stood a group of fellow vegans that got together for a day of shooting.  We didn’t really talk too much about veganism, though we all had our reasons.  We were simply brought together with a common interest.

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Let’s see: An AK magazine, Winchester ammunition, and Miyoko’s and Heidi Ho vegan cheeses.

Under the easy up tent, the grill sizzled with the sound of Tofurky dogs, vegan sausages, and beer brats.

As I handed the Uzi back to it’s owner, I realized at this very moment, this is the future of veganism.

But I don’t think vegans are ready.

You see, on the surface, vegans are a tight-knit group of people that are brought together for a common moral purpose. And, whether for animal rights, personal health, the environment, or other reasons, in the end we are all still vegans.

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The most badass group of vegans.  Photo (c) Zachary Hill.

But veganism as a movement – not just a common moral purpose – is founded on a very strict code of belief.  And, lest you fit, very specifically that mold, prepare to be ostracized. This “deeper” form of vegan resists any view that falls outside the movement.  This is also where society’s stereotypes of vegans originates.

For our vegan shooting day, I thought it would be a good idea to have a raffle and provide the proceeds to a local farm animal sanctuary. In the end, they asked that I not mention we were giving them the money, as they did not want to be “attacked by the vegan community.”  That’s right – a vegan shooting club cannot give free money to a vegan organization, because they are afraid of the vegan community.

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And for me, this is where the biggest opportunity for the future of veganism lays.  The goal of every vegan should be to promote the lifestyle and approach to as many people as possible.  I mean, it’s better for their health, other humans’ health, the animals’ health, the planet’s health, so why not?  Who wouldn’t want to reach the farthest corner of  society?

And yet, sometimes when I drive my Jeep around Portland I get called an “Earth Raper.”  When discussing shooting sports in vegan Facebook groups I have been literally told to ‘GTFO (Get The F&%K Out).’  Because I enjoy shooting.  Steel.  And paper.

I still wonder if vegans are really ready for veganism to go mainstream.

It feels like the really cool neighborhood band that is super cool to see, but they then sign with a major record label, and all the original fans consider them a sell out, and the band loses the cool factor.

That’s what may happen with veganism – it may be mainstream.  Boring.  A sell-out.

And all those original fans will need to find another movement to be all SJW-ey about.

There are Jeeps to drive and Uzis to shoot.