Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby in the near future, and it seems that Meghan, who eats a mostly plant-based diet herself although she is not a strict vegan, hopes to raise the baby as a vegan. She has encouraged Prince Harry to reduce his consumption of animal products and eat more fruits and veggies, and to cut back on participating in some of the traditional hunting activities of the royal family. Now we hear that the couple are discussing how best to raise their baby, and whether or not it can be a vegan child.
They would be in good company. Recent British-based research has found that one in 12 families in Britain are raising their kids as vegan, mainly for health reasons, since animal products in the diet are linked to a wide range of health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, while plant-based diets are linked to optimal health outcomes. In addition, many people are starting to recognize that eating lower on the food chain by reducing animal products is much better for the environment, and it saves countless animals from suffering and death.
There’s plenty of evidence that raising a child vegan is a very wise thing to do. Here in the US, it is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that “appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.” All the evidence points to children who are raised vegetarian being much healthier than their meat-eating peers, and even gaining some specific advantages. Children raised vegetarian are found on average to grow an inch taller and to have 5 more points on their IQ.
We hope that Meghan and Harry are able to set a good example for families throughout the world by raising their child vegan.