Made of Stars

Hi! I'm Ally, an Aussie mamma to 4 tiny vegans. At Made of Stars, I promote plant-based foods and support vegan parenting. I write about the joys and challenges of raising vegan children, and I post a regular series called: 'My A-Z of Veganism'.

Ally is a winner of Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2013

What's your favorite vegan or vegetarian friendly product?

It is hard to narrow it down to one!

I am a fan of green smoothies and soy lattes, flax seed crackers and dark chocolate. So, our high-powered blender, coffee machine and dehydrator are my favorite kitchen products.

In terms of my favorite product made by an Australian vegan company, that would be CocoLuscious Organic Coconut ice cream. It is palm-oil free, and comes in 16 flavors. My favorite flavors are peppermint choc chip, and cookie dough.

What's the biggest misconception people have about being a vegan or vegetarian?

Many people believe that veganism is difficult and involves deprivation.

Some people regard veganism as a 'diet' rather than a philosophy or ethic.
Interpreting veganism as a diet blinkers people to its ethical underpinnings.

A healthy plant-based diet is merely one facet of veganism. Moreover, I have never felt deprived of delicious food.

I am a vegan because I abhor violence. I choose to live in concert with my belief system. I can not support a system that maims, traumatizes, and kills sentient beings.

Happily, I can live in concert with my beliefs while enjoying scrumptious, vibrant foods.

What's your best tip for families who want to start living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle?

Take the leap!

I know there is a school of thought that argues that change should happen slowly, one baby step at a time.

I tend to take the approach that the sooner you 'throw yourself' into a vegan lifestyle, and start reaping the positive health impacts, the sooner you will feel energized and encouraged to continue on the vegan path.

I also recommend reading, researching, and networking with vegan families (if you are lucky enough to know any!).

My children have been vegan their whole lives, so I don't have experience with transitioning a non-vegan child to a vegan diet and lifestyle. However, I believe in being honest with children within the bounds of an age-appropriate context.

For example, a simple comment, like the following, may be appropriate to initiate a discussion with a young child:

'I have found out something new about some of the foods we eat. Chickens don't like it when we take their eggs, so I have decided that I won't eat or cook with eggs anymore. I like chickens and want to be kind to them'.

Young children usually have an affinity for animals, and do not want to hurt or upset animals. Obviously, it may be appropriate to provide more complex information to an older child.

I have been a vegan for nearly 17 years. It is one of the best life decisions I have ever made. My vegan philosophy is intrinsically linked to who I am as a person. It informs and influences all facets of my life.