Mum who only feeds son vegan food explains why she will never let him eat ice cream
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A mum who only feeds her son vegan food has spoken out about why she will never let him eat ice cream – a product that ‘infuriates’ her.
She said she ‘always expects’ healthcare providers to raise an eyebrow about his diet but has not yet experienced any criticism from anyone.
"I'm starting Jasper off on a plant-based diet until he's old enough for me to explain why,” Annabel explained.
“After that, he can make his own choices about what to eat."
She added: “I'll be surprised if he turns out to love animals and doesn't choose to be vegan - because he'll be so educated about it.
"But maybe he won't care, and then I'll be totally fine with it. Maybe he'll be a hunter (I have enormous respect for hunters - they catch from the wild and consume the meat, which I see nothing wrong with).
"All I want is for people to have all the information. If you couldn't bring yourself to do those things to those animals yourself, don't pay someone else to do it for you. That's the message I want to install in my son."
Annabel, who is from London, said the one thing that disgusts her most about all of the animal product industry, which she believes is worse than eating meat, is the artificial insemination of cows - who then have their calves taken away from them.
She said: "I've always loved animals, so it's amazing that it took me so long to join the dots on this. I only stopped eating meat in 2011.
"But learning the truth behind dairy farms through the documentary 'Earthlings' was the most shocking. You can't be a vegetarian on ethical grounds and still eat dairy. It's so much worse than the meat industry. I was so devastated that I had to give up cheese."
Annabel said if her parents had told her the realities of animal products, she would have turned vegan there and then.
She is now so against the dairy industry that she made a TikTok video about why she will never give Jasper ice cream - a food that 'infuriates' her because it is so often given to children by parents who aren't giving its production a second thought.
She said: "It really saddens and infuriates me. All these kids eating something that comes from such a cruel, dark place and they have no idea, usually because their parents don't.
"We teach our children to be kind and gentle to animals while feeding them the produce from animals who have suffered unthinkable abuse.
"It takes a lot of restraint for me not to say to mums I know: 'Would you want your dog or cat to have the life of a factory-farmed cow? No? Then don't buy ice cream!'
"I try not to lecture people about this unless they ask, but I wish this stuff was taught in school - grisly footage and all."
Instead, Jasper has a varied diet that includes meals like oatmeal, coconut yoghurt, cinnamon, chia seeds, and prunes for breakfast, potato, sweet potato, peas, carrot, silken tofu, and other ingredients like lemon juice for lunch; meals of chickpeas and beans, as well as her breast milk and vegan baby supplements.
Annabel plans to give Jasper a choice about veganism when he’s old enough to understand – and in the meantime, she’s advising any parents also thinking about raising their children vegan to educate themselves as much as possible.
"You have to supplement Vitamin B12, for example,” she said.
“And don't deprive them of treats! Fake chicken nuggets and dairy-free ice cream are delicious and completely indistinguishable from the real thing.
"Most importantly, be honest when they ask you difficult questions about where food comes from. They're never too young to get the facts."
Sas Parsad, a nutritionist at The Gut Co, said: "Raising children on a vegan diet can be carried out safely when proper planning and attention to a child's needs are considered.
"A healthy gut can still be supported through a well-balanced diet as long as the child is provided with essential nutrients like protein, iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
"Although there is not a definitive answer to whether children raised on a vegan diet are less likely to get sick, a well-planned vegan diet which promotes good gut health can provide many health benefits.
"These benefits include lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers and supporting a strong immune system.
"It is, however, important to ensure that children receive all the necessary nutrients for their growth and development as deficiencies in key nutrients (such as vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids) could potentially impact on their immune system and overall health for the worse."