Fam­ily Spot­light

Meet the Schickel/ Sarkodie- Men­sah Fam­ily

Raise Vegan - - Contents -

Meet the Schickel/ Sarkodie- Men­sah fam­ily! Chi- Chi Schickel and Kofi Sarkodie- Men­sah are rais­ing their two boys, Khi ( 5) and Orion ( 2), ve­gan in Austin, Texas. While Kofi is an om­ni­vore, the rest of the fam­ily has been ve­gan for about a year and a half. For Chi- Chi, the tran­si­tion to a ve­gan life­style came as a grad­ual awak­en­ing process. Hav­ing been vege­tar­ian for six years be­fore tak­ing the leap, she could no longer deny what her body was telling her, the down­falls of the food in­dus­try and the ben­e­fits of a ve­gan life­style.

As a new mom, breast­feed­ing opened Chi- Chi’s eyes to the re­al­i­ties of the dairy in­dus­try and the ex­ploita­tion of the an­i­mals it af­fects. She be­gan to ed­u­cate her­self on ve­g­an­ism by read­ing books, lis­ten­ing to talks and watch­ing doc­u­men­taries. Kim­berly Sny­der‘ s book, Beauty Detox, was in­stru­men­tal in help­ing change the way she thought about the anatomy of the hu­man di­ges­tive sys­tem and how it re­lates to what we eat. Over the years, as she con­tin­ued to ac­quire more knowl­edge about ve­g­an­ism she started to feel sig­nif­i­cant guilt around eat­ing an­i­mal prod­ucts. She was be­com­ing aware of the harsh re­al­i­ties of how the an­i­mals in the food in­dus­try are treated and could no longer be part of such cru­elty - it was out of align­ment with her per­sonal val­ues and in­tegrity. The fi­nal shift that helped her fully tran­si­tion to a ve­gan life­style was lis­ten­ing to Gary Yourof­sky‘ s talk, “The Best Speech You’ll Ever Hear.” On April 11, 2017 she went ve­gan and has never looked back!

For Schickel, the best part of rais­ing her sons ve­gan is how good it feels to be con­sciously rais­ing them with a sense of kind­ness, com­pas­sion and re­spect for all liv­ing be­ings and the planet. Their kids have taken to the life­style change with great pas­sion and are quick to tell oth­ers about their ve­gan diet. Schickel noted that this can make so­cial sit­u­a­tions a bit awk­ward. For ex­am­ple, af­ter mov­ing into a new home re­cently, their neigh­bors brought over a cookie bou­quet to wel­come them to the neigh­bor­hood, upon see­ing it, their el­dest son, Khi, im­me­di­ately asked if the cook­ies were ve­gan. It led to a friendly con­ver­sa­tion, but Schickel was aware that it may have come across as if they were re­ject­ing their neigh­bors ef­forts in kind­ness or harshly judg­ing their life­style. She prefers to gen­tly weave the topic of ve­g­an­ism into con­ver­sa­tion as she gets to know peo­ple, which is some­thing most ve­g­ans can re­late to! One thing that has helped the Schickel/ Sarkodie- Men­sah fam­ily in guid­ing their kids on the path of ve­g­an­ism is cook­ing with them. The kids get in the kitchen with their par­ents and learn about the in­gre­di­ents, how to use them and about the health ben­e­fits. Since the time their son, Khi, was two and a half, they have let him use kid’s chef knives so he can help them in the kitchen. Orion now uses them too and they will both help to pre­pare food for din­ner.

They LOVE to chop! They give each son a cut­ting board on the floor, a knife and some smaller pieces of food. A lot of the food they chop ends up in their mouths or on the floor, oc­ca­sion­ally, some will end up in the pot for them to cook, too.

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