I Love Children....

....….is not something that people who know me well would expect me to say. Except for your kids, they’re the best! Emma on the other hand is a pediatric nurse - but that could be just for the money. In all seriousness the innocence, fascination, and obsession kids have with animals is something I LOVE and gives me hope.

In a sense we were all born animal activists. Stuffed animals, toys, movies, cartoons, books, our first words and sounds, and the list goes on - it was all animals, all the time. And we certainly would have never wanted to see an animal suffer or be mistreated. So how did we go from being such tender hearted little creatures, devastated seeing Bambi’s mother or Simba’s father die (spoiler alert) to participating in the unspeakable suffering of the 50 billion animals that are killed every year for food? 

Sadly, slowly over time our hearts were hardened. 3 meals a day for 30 years was enough cognitive dissonance for me to say I was an ‘animal lover’ yet refuse to look in to where my food was coming from. I was rescuing baby bunnies in the yard, stoping traffic to move a turtle, and signing countless petitions to help animals - yet I was consuming them and their products. Deep down I knew what was going on but didn’t want to come to terms with it - because I knew it meant I had to change. As if my temporary discomfort was worth all the suffering I paid for. 

As a kid, if I had known what was going on, there is no way I would have been able to eat a chicken nugget or drink a glass of milk. Animals were friends and we don’t eat friends. I understand there is plenty of misinformation and propaganda out there to muddy the waters but why as adults don’t we approach animal rights with the simplicity of a child? Why try to rationalize what we know is wrong? Why refuse to look at where our food really comes from? Why let our earth be destroyed just because we like the way something tastes? 

Thankfully my excuses ran out. My only regret is that it didn’t happen sooner. My body is not only lighter but so is my mind. I think clearer, have more energy, and feel more at peace with nature and my animal friends. I can’t think of a better way to start 2018 than by going plant based. Sure, there are things you’ll need to learn, foods you’ll need to buy, and like anything worth doing will be a small pain at first. But don’t let that stop you - you and your family are worth it. 

I’ve had some people excitedly tell me they were ready to go plant based but didn’t want to involve their kids because they were still growing and developing. As Dr. Greger points out in his book vegetarian children are actually 1-2” taller AND have a higher IQ. And more importantly, those developing humans, enamored with animals, need their parents to honor that affection by not feeding them beef flavored baby food, happy meals, milk and fish sticks. Don’t condition them to do something they’d be heartbroken over if they were able to understand. If they had a voice, and if they knew what was going on, they’d say “stop it, those are my friends. They have families, they feel pain, and they want to live just like us.” The golden rule has never been more true.