Veganism has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people opting to follow the plant-based diet and parents even choosing to raise their children with no access to animal products. However a researcher has now found that the lifestyle choice can actually lead to family rifts.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Deakin University researcher Dr Alexa Hayley said that families with vegan members are suffering “conflict and angst”, especially when it comes to raising their children as vegans.
Hayley told the news outlet that parents are becoming reluctant to allow grandparents to babysit their children in case they allow them to tuck into animal products, against their wishes to raise them without consuming the likes of dairy or meat.
“When grandparents babysit the kids and feed them non-vegan foods, parents can get very distressed by this because there’s this element of feeling that their children have been contaminated,” she told the Herald Sun. “It is something which comes up repeatedly and it can lead to a loss of trust.”
The researcher, who is currently studying the impact that veganism can have on relationships, said that this can lead to parents stopping the grandparents from spending time alone with their grandies, out of fear they will break with the parents’ chosen diet.
“Sometimes they say they won’t be taking the kids back there again because they can’t trust them to look after them,” she added. “Which is really sad because you can see the grandparents are honestly just thinking that the grandkids are lacking something and wanting to feed them.”
The question of diet is not the only area of parenting in which views commonly differ either, with younger generations now being strenuously opposed to the practice of smacking children.
However this form of physical punishment is likely to be something familiar to Baby Boomers and the generations before them, and a recent study found that three in five grandparents believe that today’s parenting styles are worse than when they were raising their own children.
The 2017 study revealed that more than half of the 1,000 grandparents surveyed believe that their grandkids are going to be less capable, self-sufficient, and resilient adults than their parents. Furthermore, they don’t think today’s kids are going to be as moral as the ones they raised.
While many also said that today’s parents focus too much on rewarding their children, rather than punishing them when they do wrong.