FAM­ILY SPOT­LIGHT

Meet the Mass Fam­ily

Raise Vegan - - Contents -

Re­becca, Ellen, Bobby and Leah are on a mis­sion to change t he world, one prod­uct at a time. Af­ter vis­it­ing with the chick­ens and cows at the Wood­stock Farm An­i­mal Sanc­tu­ary, Ellen, the ma­tri­arch, went ve­gan in­stantly and t he rest of t he fam­ily quickly fell in line in t he months t hat fol­lowed. Up un­til t hat point, t hey had been a veg­e­tar­ian fam­ily.

Ellen said that the best thing about rais­ing her fam­ily ve­gan is that they are all in it to­gether. The girls made their own con­nec­tions to veganism and their food, cloth­ing and prod­ucts choices are their own. Re­becca and Leah used to in­vite their friends over to show them how easy it re­ally was to be ve­gan. Most of their girl­friends were very re­cep­tive and any teas­ing by the boys only strength­ened their con­vic­tions.

When asked what was the big­gest chal­lenge she'd faced rais­ing her girls ve­gan, Ellen said t here re­ally were no hard­ships. “We ap­proach our l i fes­tyle with pos­i­tive vibes,” said Ellen. They did have to get t he girls out of bi­olog y classes once in a while if t hey were di­s­ect­ing, but all it took was a l et­ter to t he s chool and a cou­ple of Peta brochures. Ellen re­called t hat t he pub­lic schools were ver y ac­com­mo­dat­ing to t heir choices. When it came to birth­day par­ties and other events, t hey just ate be­fore­hand or ate what t hey could at t he party, which wasn't too hard since t he ma­jor­ity of t heir f riends in mid­dle and high school were re­ally into sal­ads any­way.

Al­though the Mass fam­ily loves to cook, they don't have a goto fam­ily meal. They like to keep things in­ter­est­ing as Bobby and the girls like to post on their ve­gan in­sta­gram ac­counts. @ ve­g­an­food­gal, @ veg­vibez and @ ve­gan­dadnj. Ellen runs an or­ganic CSA, so there is al­ways an as­sort­ment of fresh, or­ganic fruits and veg­gies to choose from.

Ellen's ad­vice to other par­ents rais­ing their kids ve­gan is to “Let your kids help guide the way.” She says to teach them that it's ok that not ever yone is ve­gan and to be a pos­i­tive voice for change. “Veganism is love and should be ap­proached as such. I never said ‘ no' when they were young and wanted the shoes ev­ery­one had, but they knew what sac­ri­fices were made for those shoes. Your kids will come around. Hope­fully their friends and their friends' par­ents will, too!” ◆

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