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.