I’m Raising My Baby as Vegan, and People Call Me a BAD MOM Because of It
A woman, pregnant with her first child, revealed on social media that she would be raising her child as vegan. Immediately she was faced with a wave of heavy criticism and mom-shaming comments. However, the 32-year-old clapped back and explained exactly why she’ll be going forward with her decision.
Her own veganism journey started a long time ago.
Lucy Watson’s adoption of a plant-based lifestyle began long ago and the decision to do so was rooted in a childhood memory. Growing up on a farm that raised various animals, she was exposed to animal cruelty from early on and when a pet-like sheep named Maisie was taken for slaughter when she was just 6 years old, she vowed to abstain from meat.
She was a vegetarian for most of her life, but in 2016 made the transition to veganism. In an interview, she explained she did so because she had a vivid dream in which she was a cow that had her baby taken away, prompting her to investigate dairy industry practices. The decision was made easy after watching the documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014). As of 2023, the 32-year-old, better-known for her feature in the reality TV show Made in Chelsea, has already authored two bestselling cookbooks about vegan diets.
She refuses to break her promise to the animals.
As she enters motherhood, Lucy is dedicated to passing on her values to her child, as she stands by the idea that veganism represents more than just a dietary choice — it’s a pledge to animals and a dedication to living with compassion.
On a Q&A on Instagram, on September 2023, Lucy stated she would be raising her baby as a vegan and explained that she had made a conscious effort to meet nutritional needs, in order to guarantee a healthy pregnancy.
In fact, she revealed that during her pregnancy she focused on consuming less processed food and incorporating whole foods into her diet, and ensuring she gets at least 60g of protein daily, as it’s essential for the baby’s growth. Lucy also takes a vegan-friendly supplement. However, despite listing all the extra measures she took to ensure a healthy approach to the pregnancy, she faced a lot of criticism from her followers regarding her baby’s diet growing up.
She was flooded with hate comments on social media.
Lucy’s plans to raise her unborn child as a vegan have sparked countless mom-shaming comments from people concerned about the child’s nutrition. Some questioned her decision, suggesting that children should be allowed to choose their diet, while others expressed concerns about the potential for child neglect, emphasizing the importance of a varied diet for babies and toddlers. The criticism includes accusations of being an unfit mother and claims that children require proper food rather than a vegan diet.
Despite all the criticism, experts might actually stand on the opposite side of the debate.
Experts believe plant-based diets can be safe for babies and toddlers.
Safety is a common concern when it comes to babies and veganism, especially regarding whether it is safe for babies aged 0 to 12 months to avoid meat, dairy, fish, and eggs. For most children in this age range, offering a plant-based diet is considered safe and healthy, according to a pediatric dietitian expert.
Introducing solids, recommended at around 6 months of age, to a vegan baby’s diet, while avoiding animal products, doesn’t have to compromise their health or safety. However, meal planning may be more complex compared to an omnivorous diet, it’s particularly crucial for vegan babies to ensure they receive the right amounts of protein and fat.
Still, there are some exceptions. A vegan diet may not always be the best choice for children, similar to adults, and certain circumstances may warrant caution. Children who are extremely picky eaters or have feeding difficulties could be at a higher risk of nutritional inadequacy, and therefore a vegan diet for them might not be the best choice. In cases where a child has health or medical conditions that hinder their ability to eat or digest food, it may be advisable to reconsider a plant-based diet.
It isn’t the first time, and it likely won’t be the last time people hardly criticize a mom in the public eye. Paris Hilton herself suffered from online hate after posting photos on Instagram of her child. Recently, she clapped back at trolls who criticized the size of her son’s head.