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Hello (again) from Santa Cruz


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Hey all, I've been away from the forums for a while for a number of personal reasons. I've been reinventing myself personally, including doing a ton of IT training to further my personal career and really do the side projects I've been wanting to do for years. I'm making it happen career-wise (though I'd really like to be in the organic health industry in some way!). I also have a new daughter (now about 5 weeks old) and that's added a level of commitment that's kept me away.


I'm not currently vegan, but I want to be sometime again soon. It's been difficult to make it happen for a slew of reasons (which I'll likely highlight later and need to work through with all of your help). Our family is lacto-ovo vegetarian (eggs and cheese only).


I was running the vegancycling.com boards for a while, but decided to discontinue for lack of being vegan and doing any cycling, apart from not having any time on my hands! But I'll be riding to work for the first time in a couple years starting Jan. 2, 2007. I can't wait to get fit again.


Anyway, I've been visiting the boards here recently and peeking in and all the fun is still here, so I'm looking forward to getting back in the groove!


Looking forward to talking to you all again!

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Welcome back Matt! I had often thought about you and wondered where you had been. I even looked you up on myspace to see what was new


Thanks for the re-intro and we're glad to have you back!


Congratuations on your daughter and your work progress.


All the best and thanks for coming back to join us!

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Thanks Matt! I've been working really hard to build a great vegan community here and it is coming along well. A bunch of people have been meeting in person on a regular basis and there are lots of events going on all over the place. We're happy to see the group grow.


I'm glad you are getting inspired again. I'm the same way. I find motivation and inspiration from so many of the people here.


All the best!

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Thanks, everyone!


Any suggestions you have are welcome on this primary issue of me (and our family) becoming full, ongoing vegans.


My child's been in day care for a while, until my wife gave birth. He's 3 years old, and hasn't been eating vegan due to what they served at the day care. We offered to provide some vegan meals, but they told us we could not because they would lose a chunk of their government funding unless we supplied ALL the meals for EVERY time he ate at day care. With our busy lives, this became an insurmountable task. Switching day cares was not possible because most in our area have 1-2 year waiting lists which makes an immediate switch impossible. But now he's home (and staying out of day care with mom until August), so this really is no longer an issue.


However, the primary sticky issue now is a relative who is pro-meat/dairy for children. My wife highly respects and is close to this person and actually feels she owes her a lot for what she did for her earlier in her life, long before I met my wife. I won't go into details, but needless to say, this relative's opinions holds a lot of weight in her mind--more, quite often, than I do. Despite giving exhaustive resources for protein sources, the health benefits of veganism, etc., this person is not only not convinced, but militant and zealous to the point where she's saying we're not raising our kids right if we do that. I've spoken to this person directly about this, but we've hit a wall in getting along, much less speaking about much in common.


At this point, this particular relative I can never hope to convince, and every time we visit this person as a family, immediately when we end up back home he's eating cheese, eggs, etc. (fed by her) because my wife is lecturing me how our son is not getting enough protein. (I have a strong hunch that they are talking about this in private when they get together due to the immediate, 'overnight' change.)


Anyway, though my wife and I have a good relationship, this issue is particularly sticky, and it leads to some arguments, though over time I end up convincing my wife (until the next time she and this relative get together) that veganism is the way to go, and we feed our son well for a while. So I've kind of taken on a "as much as possible is better than nothing". But it's been bothering me for a long time.


So that's basically it. I can't convince this other person, and my wife is influenced by her so much that there's a deadlock there, too. So I feel I'm fighting an uphill battle with two people instead of one, and I'm the one that cooks all the meals and gets the end-around treatment if I don't cook something with animal protein.


Incidentally, this person's ex-boyfriend was (and still is) a vegan (and has been for 20+ years), and this was clearly one of the things that caused an issue in THEIR relationship as well.


Anyway, my wife is behind veganism in principle and when she's not in contact with this relative everything is fine. It's just this influential relative that seems to affect everything else, but I have to deal with it, I guess.


Thanks for listening.

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Hey Matt, we don't know each other yet, so 'hello'.


I don't have a family of my own yet but I can relate to your personal history, in that everyone around me would always criticize my choice; I try to never criticize theirs unless they make me to but they, however, feel like they have a duty to go, taking out all the naughty vegan nazi's out there. Fortunately I have an iron will and I don't pay that much attention to the negative feedback. But things start to get a bit harsh when the same nasty talk stems from the very mouths of your family, and you suddenly realize, how come they're still buying that crap, while it is obviously an illusion to think that the consumer has the whip hand. I almost feel sorry to tell it, but my parents have never been supportive of my choice to go for a vegan way of life, and they still think my diet is deadly wrong as humans are meant to eat meat ('if that were the case they would not have to cook it and they'd have a better digestive system' is a part of my answer) and that sooner or later I'm going to have to pay the full price. It is said that parents strive to get the best for their offspring, but I don't feel like I've been supported in any way. But then I guess there's no point in arguing with people who don't even bother gaining information about what goes down their throat, so as a reaction of being upset I'm thinking to myself, 'great, now they, who eat filth every day, think they are wise enough to lecture me about what healthy food is, what is the world coming to anyway?!'. Of course I quickly get over this disdainful reaction as I remind myself that I'm by no means physically inferior, I mean... I don't feel like I've been missing strength or vitality. Besides, what do they keep telling us? A healthy mind is the sign of a fit body, indeed (okay, I kind of rewrote it, hehe).


Instead you should try out a different approach, by saying that your kids don't need to eat eggs or cheese to survive, but what there is in that, very much like people who make the mistake of saying you need cow's milk for your bones to grow normally; YOU DO NOT, you need calcium, and calcium is also to be found in other vegan alternatives. Does Mickey need milk coming from a goat just because it has calcium in it and it is apparent that a mouse can't survive without that? Come on!

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Thanks for those additional welcomes!


dudeofthedead...I'm right there with you. The family thing, as I said before, is delicate, but I appreciate your comments. I even BROUGHT Diet For A New America with me last time because it has s great veggie protein synopsis, but this relative REFUSED to even look at it...crazy stuff...she's got some grudge there somewhere...


But yeah, you are right on about all that stuff, and the propagated myths and media is extremely hard to overcome with these people who have been fed it from day one...


I talked to my wife about it tonight, in fact, and she was right on board with the veganism thing. She knows it's the way to go for our family and kids...and she knows that it's really up to her to make the choice for herself over this relative...it might take some practice for her to discuss it with this relative.


I'll let you know how it goes.

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Hey Matt! Welcome back, been wondering where you were. I figured you were busy with the fam and stuff. Glad to have you back!


It's not odd that you have a pro-meat relative, as I'm sure most of us do. However, it is a bit odd that the pro-meat relative is SO close-minded that they won't even consider a different way, or reading Diet for a New America (or any other veg-related book, I'd guess). It just seems like there might be more to that story than just a diet preference -- when I read that the relative had a vegan ex-boyfriend, it made me wonder a bit if she has some leftover resentment that she's taking out on you and YOUR family (the "YOUR" intentionally capitalized to stress that it's not HER family). Just a thought.


Anyway, welcome back to the board. Hope to hear soon that you're back on the (bike) saddle as well.


If Loveliberate is lurking about, I'd love to hear his take on this matter (of raising vegan children amidst family pressures).

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Hello Matt & Welcome Back!


I'd was wondering what you were up to as ya hadn't been active here for awhile. If you feel like sharing, on-list or off, I'd enjoy hearing more about your training/side-projects as well as your families recent birth experience (homebirth?), new baby & all. It would be great to meet you & your family - so when ya'll coming up here for a visit?


I'm concerned that what I write may come off as harsh &/or judgemental - please understand that this is genuinely not my intent. I know what it is like have a family & to not have much time or money. I've been vegan for about 15 years. My wife & 3 kids are also vegan - the kids since before they were born. I work full time & then some! My wife is in school full-time, 2 of our kids are in school & the youngest stays home. We "live paycheck to paycheck" as the saying goes & while we're doing just fine, we're well below the official poverty line financially.

Only since we've lived here in Portland for the past couple of years have we consistently had a vegan community, including vegan parents & kids, close by.


What is your & your wifes motivation/s for being vegan? As a parent, I consider being vegan and raising my children vegan to be one of the best things I can do for their and my own health. Not to even mention how important it is for the earth and animals...


Do ya'll know very many other vegan families and kids in your area? It sounds like ya'll & perhaps your wife in particular could greatly benefit from having a supportive community of vegan parents & kids. Do ya'll know about the Vegan Parenting yahoo group - http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/VeganParenting/


I'll admit to being a bit stunned to read that you decided to go "lacto-ovo"... vegetarian (eggs and cheese only). And that you haven't been cycling either! I only know you from what you've posted online but I sure did not see any of that coming!


The daycare really should provide vegan options but I understand how difficult things like that can be sometimes. We've chosen to always send food rather than try to get our kids school to provide vegan options. How was sending food an "insurmountable task" for ya'll?


It sounds like this relative of yours has some serious issues that may not be worth your time dealing with. If they are willing to judge you so harshly & at the same time so closed to hearing what you have to say - it may be best to simply minimize or eliminate the role they have in your lives. At least until they're willing to be respectful towards ya'll.


I'm glad that you and your wife are communicating and are generally on the same page - that makes things a lot easier. That said, if she is being swayed so heavily by this relative then perhaps she needs to do some more research & introspection... It may be a great thing for your wife to respect this person & to appreciate what they have done for her - but the relative needs to respect your wife, you & ya'll's choices as well.


My sincere best wishes to you & your family. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if I can be helpful in any way - even simply as a empathetic, like-minded person to vent your frustrations with!


Hey Finn,

I'm always lurking about! I just haven't been able to post as much lately due to work, etc...

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Thanks for the comments. I wouldn't have posted if I was concerned about harsh or judgmental responses! I'm pretty open minded and enjoy constructive criticism and take most things that way rather than being offended.


About my wife, that's an interesting point: "What's her motivation?" That's a key to it I had not even considered, ironically enough. The fact she is "balancing" the views of this relative and mine, there likely is really no motivation for becoming vegan. It's disappointing, but it's frankly most probable, otherwise she would have strongly held to one view or the other. I'll ask her straight up; I've frankly never discussed her motivations...


I'm already cycling again and feeling great, getting some fun rides in and commuting to work each day and dumping the car deal. I appreciate your comments and such. I'm eating vegan again and frankly have been after we returned home from the holidays December 26. That's not saying much, but my motivations are health-related more than ethically motivated (don't shoot me), but I absolutely respect and appreciate those who go vegan for animal rights and ethical reasons.


I would also still like to visit Oregon soon; we are also living paycheck to paycheck but should ease up in a couple months due to career improvements...maybe that would be a good time.


I appreciate your feedback and it's great to talk to you all again!

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That's not saying much, but my motivations are health-related more than ethically motivated (don't shoot me), but I absolutely respect and appreciate those who go vegan for animal rights and ethical reasons.


I'm sure you can combine the three afore-mentioned reasons; I am for one doing it for all that.

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