A fascinating way of broaching the topic of veganism with young humans without coming off as condescending or obnoxious: Hi Fyv (Healthy innocence For young vegans).
Earthling Ed (Ed Winters) has become the vegan MVP so far this year. In great part, this is thanks to his ability to keep his famous cool and accept the immovable fact that veganism is a gradual change and a long-term goal, rather than an act of submitting other people to accept our beliefs because we think them ‘superior’.
In his last video, Ed visited a school in The Netherlands to teach 10-year olds the ways in which animal exploitation is causing climate change and provides insufficient nutritional value to our bodies.
I won’t spoil the contents of the video, as you should definitely find the time to watch it. It will teach you the subtle and crucial ways in which we can teach the youth about the consequences of their actions and enhance their critical thinking now – rather than later. Time is running out and we need our children to think of tomorrow, today.
Notice, the young humans in Ed’s video were incredibly receptive and understanding. They delivered insightful questions. Take for instance, the perceptive and oft-heard query: “isn’t veganism going to create more deforestation?”. In his ever-so-kind tone, Ed explained that plant-based diets require far less agricultural land than omnivorous diets, since the large majority of crops on earth are used to feed cattle and poultry.
It’s clear to me why it seems easier for kids to adopt plant-based diets: their sense of awe, healthy innocence and compassion. Their primitive defenses aren’t triggered when confronted with identity-challenging arguments, and they don’t try to fabricate arguments to protect bad habits. Rather, they ask questions, receive answers that urge them to engage in morality-based questioning, and as a result are empowered to think in a logically sensible fashion towards other beings that suffer at the hands of animal agriculture.
I loved Ed’s video so much I searched for it twice, and in my foraging stumbled on another fascinating video: a TEDx Talk from a 10 year-old vegan by the name Genesis Butler.
In her talk, she she tells the story of her turning vegan at only six years old. She explains her transformation was thanks to a simple question she asker her mom: “where do chicken nuggets came from?”
She goes on to recount her shock at discovering that 5-minute showers use up 25 gallons, whereas a half-pound burger uses up 1300 . If Genesis realized the impossibility of so-called environmentalists continuing to consume animal products, shouldn’t we all?
“I see a lot of people in their eco-friendly cars with their “Save the Earth” bumper stickers but they are in drive-throughs ordering burgers”Genesis Butler
So what’s the take-away? We need to deal with opposing and challenging views with the healthy and innocent perspective of children. From this stance, we will have access to our innate sensible logicality that affords us the ability and need to respect all life forms. How do we accomplish this? Older generations should be perpetually searching for ways to boost their compassion and open-mindedness for the sake of our planet and all those who are and will inhabit it.