My Struggle with Transitioning My Kids to Vegan Eating

I struggle a lot with whether or not I should be more proactive in ensuring that my kids eat only vegan meals, even though we eat a lot better as a family than we did just two short years ago.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, it's routine for my boys to eat a vegan diet at home, but when I send them out into the world, that's a different story.

My two oldest sons spend about two weekends a month (and holidays) in Maryland with their dad, who is not a vegan/vegetarian.  They have an awesome dad, and enjoy their visits, but often return home vomiting or complaining about stomach aches since eating on those visits is very different.  My kids don't eat meat or much fast food here, so their little bodies go into shock when those foods are reintroduced. 

The logical response may be to pack their food for the weekend, but I know in the long run this biweekly task isn't very realistic (at least 8 meals and snacks would need to be packed).  Or, I could ask their dad to not give them any dairy, eggs, or meat, but that may be overwhelming being that he isn't a vegan. Also, since I refuse to allow anyone to tell me what to feed my kids, I owe him the same respect as their father. 

I know my children weren't born into a vegan household, but that still isn't an excuse for me not to teach them about food as I learn. One of the major reasons a vegan lifestyle is important for our family is for health reasons, but there are a few other concerns I have that cause me to battle myself about them consuming animal products.

Some of those ethical reasons are:

Knowing that much of the grain production in this country is being given to cattle raised for food opposed to starving humans is unsettling to me.

Knowing that nearly 70% of deforested land in the Amazon is exploited for grazing, resulting in destruction of fragile ecosystems and excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is unsettling to me. Source

Knowing that diseased animals are being exploited and forced to live in tight quarters to line the pockets of food companies in bed with the government is unsettling to me.

I wish I could write this with a clear solution for other families that may be going through this very thing, but as of now, I don't have any solid answers.  

I guess the point of this post is to show that everything isn't always perfect when adapting to this way of eating; especially when you're a blended family.

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