Vegan Poem from Parent to Child

I found this poem back in March of 2013. This would have been right when my son was turning one which meant he could start eating some of the same foods we are. I can also vividly remember how stressed I was about making sure my wife and I do everything we can to get the right nutrients each day and now I had to do the same for my son. This seemed like such a daunting task, and quite frankly still is. It is hard to get any child to eat food other than sugar! Anyway, I re-read this poem and it still resonates inside of me. All of the extra planning we have to do, the extra criticism we get, its all worth it knowing that we are raising a child to be compassionate (He's 2 and already says that we don't eat animals because it hurts them and we don't drink cow's milk because its for their babies to grow big and strong!). Here is where the original poem can be found. I thank the author for writing it!


You'll never watch an elephant standing on her head

You will see amazing acrobats and painted clowns instead.

You'll never color Easter eggs or eat a “Happy” Meal

Instead you'll give pigs belly rubs – You'll know chickens dream and feel.

The clamor from the ice cream truck won't be music to your ears

You will know your Soy Delicious caused no suffering or tears.

You may hear a gentle gobble as you softly stroke a turkey

And give thanks that she's alive as you're eating your Tofurky.

While other kids buy leather shoes and eat at Chuck E. Cheese

You'll be kissing cows and feeding goats and saying “soy please!”

Being different can be hard I know – This world is often cruel

Maybe you'll be laughed at by the other kids at school.

But compassion is a vital gift that too few share with others

And your heart will not be filled with guilt the way it plagues your mother's.

So don't ever be embarrassed or ashamed because you care

You'll be uniquely beautiful with an empathy that's rare.

And when you see a rescued lamb and touch his thick warm fleece

You'll feel no sadness or remorse – You can look at him in peace.

What took so long for me to learn, I'll start teaching you from birth

And your footprint will be much tinier on this fragile earth.



Taking Compassion beyond the dinner table: Adopting a Pet!

My family recently decided to adopt a dog from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Her name is Lilly, and our reasoning was sound, but in need of a premise. Our first dog, Tootsie, was purchased from a store similar to PetSmart, but one that focused its intentions on adoption rather than accessories and food. This should have been a red flag, but unfortunately we had too much ignorance about puppy mills. This was also long before we were vegan and had watched the chilling and tear jerking documentary Earthlings, which exposed the overbreeding of domesticated animals. So, we brought Tootsie home and couldn’t have been more excited to our first real responsibility as a couple, a tiny dog in need of love and care. She was great and was the main focus of our attention until our son came into the world in 2012. Being the good family dog that she was, Tootsie was very eager to see Harper and took his punishments well over the last few years. Recently, Megan and I decided Tootsie could really use a companion of her own. It was just the way she looked at you when you came home from 10 hours at work, with those big bulgy eyes, but somber looking face. Although dogs rarely show their emotion and are always happy to see you, we just knew this would be the best way for Tootsie to spend her time away from us. This led to me visiting the ARL almost daily for 2-3 weeks. When the Vet was checking Lilly out for release to us, she mentioned that although the paperwork said the owner could no longer take care of her due to the owners health, that it appeared Lilly had been bred a number of times and was no longer useful to the breeder. Wow. I just don’t understand how people can be so insensitive to other sentient beings.

Although its taking some time from each dog to get used to the other, it will be great to see them grow old together. I know I wouldn’t have as much compassion for other species if it wasn’t for my journey into becoming Vegan and the eye opening experiences I have had. This compassion led us to help a dog in need rather than taking the easier route and buying a small cute cuddly puppy. I urge you to check your local shelter and give a dog a chance that they never got at their previous home. Just remember, no matter what that dog has been thru, if you treat him/her well, that tail will be a waggin when you come home.

I would love to hear your story on adopting a pet! Post them below!