Planting Seeds

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on December 7, 2009

Just a short while ago, we gathered with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving. In commemoration of this holiday, my daughter’s kindergarten class had a collaborative soup day where each child brought in a vegetable that they then prepared and added to a class soup pot. In the days leading up to the soup day, classroom parent representatives sent out a list of other ingredients and supplies needed. In looking this list over, I immediately noticed the request for 6 cups of cubed cooked turkey, and quickly inquired as to whether a vegan soup would also be available. Apparently, a humane soup option had not crossed the minds of organizers, but nonetheless, they readily agreed to my suggestion.

The list of kindergarten students who opted for the turkey-free soup option.As I arrived on the day of the event, I thought to myself that perhaps my daughter and I would be the only attendees enjoying the vegan soup. I was surprised and very heartened to learn however, that her kindergarten teacher had not simply prepared a vegan soup for us, but that she had asked all of the students whether they would like the turkey soup or the vegan soup, and well more than half of the class decided they wanted the turkey-free option. It was interesting as well to watch the reactions from these children’s parents as they arrived and learned of their child’s preference.

While I have no illusions that this experience alone will cause these children and their families to become vegan, I hope that, at a minimum, it helped to raise this important issue with them, and may lead to further thought and actions down this road in the future. Moreover, it again illustrates to me the power that we all have to encourage, through our individual actions, the sort of positive changes that can help lead to a better society and life for the non-human animals among us.

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