Elle Jupiter, Camille, Vegan, food, parenting

Real Talk: Why We’re Raising Camille Vegan, but We Eat Meat

You probably read that title and thought WTF

The short explanation is that we’re a little off and maybe slightly ass-backward.

Now for the long explanation.  

I was primarily raised vegan. It stemmed from dietary restrictions due to religion, and at some point I decided to venture out into to wild world of dairy! Exciting stuff, right? But seriously … I say that I was “primarily” raised vegan because my mother really tried to mostly provide us with vegan meals, but there were times as a single parent where she had to throw dinner together and sometimes it came from a can or a from a very non-vegan fast food restaurant.  

When I met Jo I was a vegetarian and he probably didn’t even know what a vegetable was. That crazy man would buy two pounds of ground beef and slow cook ONE cheeseburger for himself. Let’s just say he liked his meat.  

About a year later, we got married and moved to New York. I was starting to live vicariously through Jo and his meat adventures and there was a little deli in the LES that I really wanted him to try … Katz. We went. He ate. I watched. And then he CORRUPTED me and convinced me that it was okay to try some meat. I haven’t been vegetarian since and almost immediately after this event Jo transitioned to veganism for 3 subsequent years! Major eye-roll.

At this point we both consume meat and dairy. My family has many hereditary diseases that can be managed with proper diet and exercise. As a parent, I obviously want Camille to be as healthy as she can be and from what Jo and I have found a plant-based diet is the way to go. I respect people’s rights to choose to eat meat or not eat meat. When Camille first started solids we were a little worried that she was not going to receive the nutrients that she needed. Camille’s pediatrician conducted some blood-work. Also, my mother, who is a super nurse, has also analyzed Cami’s bloodwork. I am so happy to report that the munchkin is as healthy as an ox!

I started to engage in some deep reflection as to why we haven’t made the switch to veganism just yet, and I identified four primary reasons (all which seem like BS in hindsight).  

Reason #1: Preference

We enjoy the taste of food made with animal products much more than vegan fare. Like most humans, we eat multiple times a day and we would like to eat things that taste good to us.

Reason #2: FOMO

We currently live in New York and we’re both from New Orleans, aka the food Mecca. *drool* We are constantly exploring new foods and it seems like such a lose to cut most of our culinary explorations out because of a dietary restriction. Don’t make me think about the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. I primarily go for the food vendors… the entertainers are secondary.

Reason #3: Time

You might be thinking, “Time? WTF.” It takes time to master the art of anything new. With all of the roles that I am fulfilling, finding time to experiment with vegan meals just seems like something I only dream about doing.

Reason #4: Consistency & Convenience

In thinking about my past, I haven’t been the best at consistently meal prepping. My modus operandi is that I buy a crap ton of groceries with grand hopes for them, and then I order takeout. *eyes* I also fear that if we go out of town, or out to dinner with friends that we won’t be greeting with many options.  

As I stated earlier, all of these reasons are ridiculous and I need to let them go. Camille is getting older and with each family meal she is starting to desire what Jo & I eat as opposed to what we have for her to eat. We’re at a crossroads where either she’ll have to make a change or we will. It’s not very convenient, financially responsible, or logical for us to continue to operate a household divided by animal products. We have to make changes. Here is a really great resource if you are considering transitioning to veganism. In an upcoming post I will feature my mom’s vegan oat patties which I promise taste so much more delicious than they sound. 


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