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Libby Goes Vegan

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Jan 25, 2012

You know I don’t   promote any “isms”–vegetarianism, veganism, raw foodism.  I’m secretly a fan of all those movements. But I don’t adopt them as extremist positions because I think they send most people running for the hills. And I believe that sticking to the idea of eating MORE PLANT FOODS wins more converts.

But I don’t cook/serve animal flesh in my home. My older daughter, though, is a militant vegetarian.

The younger one, Libby, 14, struggles. She admires her sister’s “cause” orientation, and has “gone veg” several times but it doesn’t stick. She goes to her dad’s where meat is a staple, and she caves in, falls off the wagon. She has been looking at vegetarian vids on youtube and studying the issue.

Today she brought me this typed statement:

“I, Libby Pay, am going vegan. I will not eat anything with eggs or milk. Or meat. So I want to make  special veggie foods for myself since the rest of you drink kefir in the mornings. If I have to drink kefir I will be deeply hurt. Anyways, to make my special food I would like these ingredients. Some of them I have already, but just want to make sure I am allowed to use them. I want to be hardcore vegan. You don’t have to be. But I really want to.”

“Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potatoes, fresh kale (to try this one recipe I found), black beans, that seaweed stuff you buy, big carrots, garlic and onion, green and black olives (not needed, just somewhat wanted!), green beans, cucumbers.”

“I feel very strongly about this. If it gets too hard, I’ll just be vegetarian, but I really want to do this.”

A few hours later, she came in with a binder she’d made, with lots of printed material about cruelty to animals and nutritional support for a plant-based diet, in plastic sleeves. The cover page has this printed, in large text:

“WHY I DO NOT EAT MEAT:

“Yes, God may have put them on the earth for us to eat. But in the scriptures it says to eat meat sparingly in times of winter and famine. I don’t think our Heavenly Father intended for the animals we eat to be tortured, stuffed into tight cages for their whole lives, beaten, and to rarely see sunlight. Chickens, pigs, and cows have been chemically altered to grow way bigger than they are supposed to. They put steroids in the animals to make more meat. These animals can’t walk, and are tortured daily.”

I’m so proud of my kids when they stand for something. When it’s something that will benefit them and the world, even better!

Now if I could just get them to take a vigilante stand against SUGAR.

Posted in: Parenting, Raw Food

10 thoughts on “Libby Goes Vegan”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is awesome! I admire her level of thought and preparedness!

  2. Anonymous says:

    A good friend of mine is vegan, along with several of her family members. Together they started a blog where they can share “tried and true” vegan recipes. It’s greenereating.com. Although I’m not vegan, I do try to feed my family “greener” and have used and loved many of their recipes. I hope your daughter finds something she likes there. 🙂

  3. I’m impressed! With you on the sugar though. I will say that at scouts last night my son and one other boy threw the candy they had to open as part of a relay away instead of eating it, yeah!

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a sweet and thoughtful girl!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bravo Libby!, Nothing makes a stronger statement about who you are or what you believe in than your food choices. I didn’t even know what a vegetarian was until in my 30s and the term vegan hadn’t even been coined yet. You made a great decision and have a good head start on most people. John Robbins did it for me in 1987 with the book Diet for a New America but be warned about peer pressure (atleast it was brutal for a guy). Every breakfast meeting, buisness luncheon or out of town junket at meal time was like confessing to being an atheist or worse gay when I ordered non-animal food. Times have changed since then but still… Stick to your guns kid!

  6. Anonymous says:

    That is so impressive, what a great girl!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love it! You must be so proud of your daughter…

  8. I went vegan some time ago because my body wasn’t responding well to meat of any kind (causing digestional issues). When people ask me about it I point out that it works for me but isn’t for everyone. I will not force this lifestyle on anyone. I still cook meat for my husband. Being vegan is the best thing I did for my body because it helps me feel great. Good for Libby. I hope she can stick with it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ropbyn, What are your thoughts about avoiding gluten even if you are not sensitive to it? Some nutritionists say we don’t need the gluten in wheat and that is like glue in the intestines and should be avoided.

  10. Wow, for someone so young to have a fully formed stance on what she should be eating, that’s quite astounding. I wish I had more awareness or at least more care on my health and food choices when I was younger.

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