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“Forcing” Vegan Options in Fairfax

In this morning’s Washington Post, Maria Gold reports that Fairfax County schools now offer vegan options to their students ("A Veggie-Laden Lunch Line"). The program is such a success that the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has awarded the school system an A in its School Lunch Report Card.

What caught my eye, though, was a short sentence near the end of the article that is reminiscent of something I hear all the time and take umbrage with. Peggy McConnell, the food and nutrition director for Fairfax schools said: I don’t support forcing the vegan option on every person. We have a right to choose.

The funny thing is, before the new program, an animal-based diet was forced on every person. This is the first time vegans have real choices (other than eating french fries everyday, which I can sometimes do).

Whenever I even ponder the thought of having children at the tender age of almost 40, people ALWAYS ask me if I would raise my child as a vegan, and when I say "yes," they find a way to tactfully tell me that I’d be imposing my beliefs on the child. The most common issue vegan parents have is combatting the notion that they’re imposing their beliefs. The hypocrisy of it all can be maddening for them.

Every parent imposes their beliefs on their children, either implicitly or explicitly. If you choose to raise your child on an animal-based diet, you are telling that child that you approve of that diet nutritionally, ethically, and morally.

Let’s be honest: the way we eat, shop, invest, celebrate holidays, serve our community, worship, and relate to one another all transmit a set of values to our children without saying a word.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Ed McColgan #

    Isn't it funny/sad that the choice of a vegan meal is automatically forcing everyone to 'go vegan' but not having any say about the preprocessed junk that is normally offered is not forced upon the students. Also, these people who feel the need to 'correct' your choice of raise your child as a vegan should get a life it is not their business. I know it is hard for some to believe, but a vegan diet can be as healthy or healthier that one drowning in high fructose corn sryp and partially hydrogenated fats. I would even start on the sickness of factory farming. Besides all parents 'impose' their beliefs on their children, usually it is referred to as guidance.

    August 30, 2006

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