What Sort Of World Are We Leaving For Our Children?

For many years the above question never really bothered me because I didn’t have any children of my own to worry about.

A few months ago, that changed when my partner’s daughter was introduced into, and became part of my life.

Having a little person in your life is full of challenges and one of them is to do the best that you can so they grow up into the type of person that will make a positive contribution to society.

As part of that process, we encourage her to think for herself when faced with an obstacle or hurdle, and that minor set backs aren’t something to get upset about.

She is at that age where she asks a lot of questions about things, and as frustrating as the constant questions can be at times, we are both trying to limit the “Because I said so!” answers.

The little one is vegan, and it is amusing to hear the things that she says when we walk past a butchers or the fish section at the markets. Though I must say it was amusing to hear her scream out “Yuck!” when an order was called out whilst we were waiting for our coffee yesterday.

Whilst both of us are hoping that she does stay vegan through out her life, and doesn’t rebel too much when that time comes, it has got me thinking about things a little bit more.

What will ‘the movement’ be like in 5 or 10 years time?
Will it be full of people who think that the status quo shouldn’t be changed or challenged?

[GARD]How will I explain to her that it is Ok to criticise and say what you want about animal agribusiness, and a majority of the time you will get a pat on the back for it. Especially if you point out an untruth or misleading statement that they have made.
Though she had better not even think about pointing out any errors that a vegan makes anywhere.

How do we encourage her to question the things that the mainstream media and government tell her regarding what to eat, and wear, etc? Yet she will be expected to accept everything that the ‘vegan community’ says without question.

Is it possible to teach her to be confident with the fact that she is vegan, when challenged by those who aren’t, yet at the same time, tell her that she has to keep her ideas to herself if they challenge the status quo?

How can we teach her that yelling and screaming at people won’t encourage them to go vegan when there are people yelling and screaming at me trying to convince me that yelling and screaming does work?

How can we teach her that questioning authority is a good thing, yet questioning an ‘animal advocacy’ or ‘animal protection’ group shouldn’t be done under any circumstances?

Will it be possible to teach her to challenge herself and always strive to be the best that she can be, yet be resigned to the fact that ‘the movement’ in Australia will probably be exactly the same in 10-15 years time as it is now?

Will it be possible to teach her to stand up to bullies in the school ground and workplace on the one hand, and then on the other tell her that she will have to remain silent about the bullying that exists within this social justice movement?

If it is our job to leave things in a better place for our children than the way that we inherited it, how can we improve the movement so that it is something our kids want to be part of it?

2 thoughts on “What Sort Of World Are We Leaving For Our Children?”

  1. Hi! Wow! I have had similar thoughts myself.. It is hard enough to explain to someone so young why you do the things you do WITHOUT having people who oppose your beliefs surrounding you every day, and without the back-up of the wider community.. I cannot imagine how hard it will be for myself and my partner trying to raise a little vegan. But so many people have done it before and succeeded with little rebellion.. (fingers crossed for the kid that won’t), and I guess it’s just something everyone has to face when the time comes!
    Good luck 🙂 I look forward to hearing more about it!

  2. This is a really interesting and problematic article. How *do* we teach our children to question societal norms, when questioning what happens and what is considered a relative societal norm inside the vegan community is considered inappropriate? Do we teach our children that it’s essential to question what’s expected of us .. sometimes … depending on who we are questioning? That seems ridiculous!

    Of all the places, a movement for social justice and equality should be the place that questions and reflexivity are embraced, but it seems that’s not the case in most instances, and that’s not something we should be teaching our children if we hope they’ll grow up with the ability to be rational, thoughtful, and with a vision to make serious changes in the world.

    Lets teach our children to be thoughtful, and to expect answers … from everyone – not just from those whom we oppose.


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