Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Vegan Since Birth

Published on September 27, 2009 by   ·   39 Comments Pin It
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Lot’s of you Gals n’ Guys have told us you are planning on (or currently) raising vegan kiddies.   When we met handsome, charming, and very vegan Ayinde Howell and he told us he had been VEGAN SINCE BIRTH we couldn’t wait to hear his story!

“So what do you eat… Grass??”

This was a question I often got from the kids at Hennery Foss High School, to which I’d shyly respond, “No, I eat tofu and stuff, you know…” Not that that really helped. Tofu, let alone the word Vegan, was not even really a part of the American vernacular in the early nineties. The reaction to my response would inevitably come as a twisted face and look that unmistakably said, “weird…” At the time, I was a Vegan, Rastafarian, home schooled till high school, baggy pants wearing, typical teenager desperately trying to be perceived as cool. So, to avoid the drama, I would go somewhere private and eat my bagged lunch – generally a tofu sandwich and some blue corn chips made by mom that morning – and then come to the lunchroom and say that I wasn’t hungry or just eat fries. Oddly enough, I was never tempted to try the chicken nuggets (whatever part of the chicken that is) that all of my peers ate tirelessly everyday. I guess somewhere deep down I believed in what my parents were doing.

By the time I was 16 I had already been exposed to Yoga, raw foods, and regular fasting (master cleanse at 10 years old, yeah, thanks again dad…).   I had found a small crew of kids that kinda understood my story but I was still keeping up appearances by eating fries and popcorn when at the mall or at football games.   My home life was strictly filled with lots of tofu, tempeh, and organic whole foods – we had a huge vegetable garden and even a flour mill! My father had a wholesale license and was not afraid to use it; everything from pounds of fresh Flax seed we “had” to eat on our homemade (vegan) yogurt to homemade kombucha   (that’s one creepy mushroom), sprouted grains, unrefined sugars, coconut water – you name it, we had it…in bulk!

Fast forward ten odd years to a conversation that really struck a chord with me. I remember off handedly mentioning to my one of my co-workers that I grew up vegan, and blah blah blah… I stopped to notice that her mouth was hanging open.   She said, “Oh my God can I take you to Florida to meet my mother-in-law so she can see a real live vegan from birth?!” I chuckled but she was dead serious. Now I look around and notice that people are falling all over themselves to “go Raw,”   “go Vegan,” Whole-Foods-this, Organic/Local-that, and I realize that not only have my “crazy parents” placed me miles ahead of everyone around, but that I’m also a living testament to the life that it seems a worldwide energy is striving towards.

So allow me to debunk a few myths:

  • Soy is not the devil. I’ve eaten Tofu, Tempeh, and Soy milk for my whole life and I am not over loaded with estrogen or growing Boobs and my Penis works just fine! The Soy “issue” lies in non-organic processed GMO foods that we all over consume (about 92 percent of all soy beans grown in the us are planted with GMO seed, and about 50% of all livestock diet is that GMO Soy. The other half is GMO Corn. Thanks Monsanto!) But, hey soy is cheap to produce and a great source of protein and cows eat it, corn and   (wait for it…) Grass and manage to have enough protein.   Food for thought indeed!
  • Raw Food is not the Holy Grail! However, I have personally seen multiple cases of people using raw food to cure themselves of cancer, Candida and other major illness that come from processed meat, sugar and carb heavy diets. You do the math: fill yourself with toxins from processed meat, overload your system with processed sugar, fats and carbs… and your body and immune system say     “F you!” Then give yourself organic, whole, unprocessed, and uncooked foods that the body can absorb the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals from, your system rejoices and starts working properly, and everyone thinks it’s a miracle… Duh!

Or you could just do this: have a fully integrated, raw, cooked, fresh, organic, BALANCED, plant-based diet from day one and skip all the drama…

Of course, you should see a nutritionist and DO your Research! My parents took a very educated risk with me.   You should know your specific body type and its needs, and that of your children. Notice I said nutritionist, not doctor – western medicine hasn’t caught up to this yet; according to them I should have been dead a long time ago… Suckers! Looking back on my upbringing, I can’t say that I’ve had any major illnesses and to this day I rarely get sick. I’m not saying I’m perfect but take it from a life-long Vegan – all babies don’t need cow’s milk! The food pyramid is out-dated! The vegan lifestyle is exponentially much more accessible and so much less “risky” than it has ever been. Even outside major city centers (except for some parts of the Midwest), the term vegan vegetarian is well known. This new thing called the Internet is a pretty good tool as well (want to know what to make for dinner? Google, baby.) Bottom line: it takes more than just listening to the first thing you hear; look deeper.

To all you future vegan baby mama’s As my Mama would say, “do your part, by not contributing to the death and suffering of any being on this planet, the person you will help to create will have an open mind, a higher vibration, and can truly change the world…” not to mention a much smaller carbon footprint and in my case, quite a sexy individual (modesty not included).

young & sexy

Ayinde is a very healthy and very foxy man - inside and out.

Watch Ayinde’s newest music video below to see a real live vegan-from-birth in the flesh! ;)

Ayinde Howell is an Entrepreneur and Creator of Film, Music and Food, as well as an avid Yogi and certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher. He is currently creating quite a stir as executive chef at the JivamuktTea Cafe in Manhattan, NY.

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Readers Comments (39)

  1. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » Vegan Since Birth girliegirlarmy.com/blog/20090927/vegan-since-birth – view page – cached Lot’s of you Gals n’ Guys have told us you are planning on (or currently) raising vegan kiddies. When we met handsome, charming, and very vegan Ayinde Howell and he told us he had been VEGAN… (Read more)Lot’s of you Gals n’ Guys have told us you are planning on (or currently) raising vegan kiddies. When we met handsome, charming, and very vegan Ayinde Howell and he told us he had been VEGAN SINCE BIRTH we couldn’t wait to hear his story! (Read less) — From the page […]

  2. Sarah Panullo says:

    Great blog! I really enjoyed reading it. There is a lot of info too. Go vegan!

  3. justaguy says:

    fantastic blog! as a man who plans on raising his children vegan this was a very encouraging read. keep up the good work buddy and stay sexy.

  4. Krysta says:

    What to do if the parents disagree about what to feed the child? Where does one begin to find scientific and credible research that is specifically about infant and children’s health?

  5. Chloe Jo says:

    Krysta: Credible research? There is nothing more credible than “THE CHINA STUDY.” This exhaustive presentation of the findings from the China Study conclusively demonstrates the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Referred to as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology” by The New York Times, this study examines more than 350 variables of health and nutrition with surveys from 6,500 adults in 65 counties. In terms of support, I recommend: http://www.vegfamily.com: (Info for vegetarian families; includes product reviews and contacts to veg playgroups), http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/pregnancy.html, http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/veganpregnancy.htm: (Nutritional info on vegan diets for pregnant women), http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/veg_diets_for_children.html(Nutritional info on vegan diets for children from world-reknowned Physicians,) http://www.pcrm.org/health/prevmed/building_bones.html (Parents’ guide to building better bones for kids), http://www.cyberparent.com/nutrition/osteoporosisimpotencecancer.htm (The low-down on how dairy products aggravate osteoporosis, not prevent it,) http://www.choiceusa.net (For parents who want to get vegan meals into their children’s schools)
    I also recommend: http://www.perhapsmedia.net/p4_portfolio.html (An amazing short film on Vegan Kids!)
    and http://www.VeganDad.blogspot.com (A Vegan Dad cooks for his family.) In terms of the parents disagreeing… that’s a tough one, and really an inside job that I’d advise a good therapist for because I see it raising a ton of issues. I wouldn’t have even considered marrying a man who wouldn’t be open to raising my kiddies vegan.. so for me this issue was discussed with anyone I dated long before kids were in the picture. If he watches “Earthlings” and reads “The China Study” and still wants to feed your kids meat.. I’d be pretty shocked.

  6. brook says:

    great blog! i look forward to future ones from this amazing vegan-from-birth gentleman.

  7. Ari Solomon says:

    Yes!! What a fantastic piece! Really loved reading this – thank you!

  8. Eric M says:

    As for science and credible research, don’t forget that the the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals (the ADA) just revised its diet recommendations to the following:

    “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or VEGAN diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle including PREGNANCY, LACTATION, INFANCY, CHILDHOOD and adolescence and for athletes.”

    my capitalization of course…

    http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/advocacy_933_ENU_HTML.htm

  9. CK says:

    Sorry, but this is just wrong, wrong, wrong. A baby’s brain can not develop properly on plants alone. Read The Vegetarian Myth.

  10. i didn’t know you were a ladies man?!

  11. Suasoria says:

    I’m sure it’s news to Ayinde that his brain did not properly develop as a baby. He seems pretty well developed to me. (And damn sexy.)

    A book that cribs from industry-funded research doesn’t pass for science just because it agrees with the cultural norms.

  12. Krysta says:

    Thanks Chloe! I have read the China Study, but I don’t remember it going into specifics about infant and children, but I will definitely look again.

    CK:

    You are absolutely right! Baby’s brains can’t develop on plants alone. Their mother’s milk is the best source of so many important nutrients, fats and antibodies. Which is why breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year.

  13. Georgia says:

    CK: Are you living in a TREE? Vegans don’t just eat PLANTS!! We eat everything CARNIVORES eat (protein, lysine, calcium, etc etc) – just in a different form. CLEARLY you have never been to a vegan restaurant or read a vegan book. Even DR SPOCK himself advocated for a vegan diet for children later in his life.. and talked about how HORRIBLE dairy is for children. Perhaps you should have done some actual research before opening your trap. PS – I am Mother to two ABOVE AVERAGE (in intellect and growth) children… who are vegan.. SINCE BIRTH. Read a book or twenty.

  14. Rebecca Z Callahan says:

    JAI!

    Ayinde: You are an amazing inspiration to us all. Thanks for sharing your story – I never knew all those details! I would love to take some vegan cooking classes from you at the Jivamukti Cafe soon.

    As an RN and women’s health care nurse practitioner student, I am looking forward to reading more research on all modalities holistic, including vegan diets and more “scientific” evidence-based studies that show that yoga cures so many ailments and diseases. Hopefully I will be able to contribute to that body of knowledge in some small way one day.

    Om shantih,
    Rebecca

  15. Jennifer Jayne says:

    Foxy, sexy…call it what you will. You turned out quite alright and definitely spin to a higher vibration…

    Was your mother totally absolutely vegan when pregnant?! Enquiring women of childbearing years want to know.

    JJx

  16. Ayinde says:

    Sooooo what do u call me ? My brain functions just fine, and has since well as long as I can remember…change is ok, just go with it…

  17. Ayinde says:

    Ok that last one was for ck… And yes my mom was vegan while pregnant as I’m told…and I was feed breastmilk, avacado and banana for the first couple years of my life

  18. Nicole says:

    Hi Ayinde,

    Great to hear you’re still sharing your story and getting the great words of wisdom out there about veganism. It really is the best way to live and let live.

    Rock on dude!

    ~ Nicole (veganryche from Seattle :-))

  19. Jessica Golden says:

    Awesome

  20. Taylor says:

    Ayinde’s family owns the Hillside Quickie restaurants in Tacoma and Seattle. The most amazing vegan soul food. I eat there at least once a week! Anyone in the area should definitely go. hillsidequickie.com

  21. danai kougiouli says:

    so well said….excellent and entertaining piece:)

  22. gretchen says:

    what an inspiration your family is, ayinde! thank you for sharing with us all!!!!xoxox

  23. Margarita & Sejal says:

    Nice blog… Here with Sejal and we were talking about how we can relate. Perhaps more her than I but I was raised in a family that made alternative food choices so hiding to eat was a normality but now we can be free to eat… Meat free!!! Wheee! Looking forward to more informative blogs. Bring it boy!!! – Margarita

    sejal hey ayinde it was really nice… i was also raised vegan….it’s good massage

  24. AfroDandy says:

    We have similar backgrounds, I am also the product of a vegan pregnancy. Sometimes I just gaze at my mother in amazement.

  25. jenni says:

    Wonderful post! It’s so encouraging to hear about all the courageous mamas and papas of the past who paved the way for more vegan babies! My partner was raised Hindu and vegan and it gives me hope and encouragement for my little one as he struggles with what we eat. I sometimes wonder if creating a dialogue with children about the more spiritual aspects of “taking the death of an animal into your body” (such as Ayinde’s parents did and my partner’s parents did also), creates an even stronger understanding for kids about being vegan. Thanks. Great food for thought. xo.

  26. Ayinde, you rock! Yes, vegan since birth. This is amazing.

  27. Mark says:

    I raised four children on a vegan diet, starting
    with mom’s vegan breast milk. All of them are
    healthy and highly intelligent. Rock on Ayinde!
    Peace!!!

  28. Tamar says:

    Wow! Ayinde – you are an inspiration!

  29. James says:

    just like 30s are the new 20s so Vegan may just be the new cool thing (not to mention healthy and responsible).
    If only I could stop eating sushi :( (it tastes so good , uggg..)

  30. Chloe Jo says:

    James.. methinks if you had your mercury levels tested – it would get you off the sushi. That’s what did it for a good friend of mine. ALSO – be sure to use our search engine for a piece we printed here called “Fish and Chicken Don’t Grow on Trees” – it’s a real eye opener (most sushi is covered in lice.. ugh). I was a sushi addict. It took me forever to lose the taste for it.. but I did. It’s about discipline.

  31. ayinde says:

    Yes! More Vegan Babies! I’m loving the responses to this!

  32. Fran says:

    What a great piece and what a cool guy! Abt the mercury and sushi, a very close friend had his levels tested, and was very nearly glowing. Scary stuff I mean its in the news all the time. When you start hearing that babies, nursing moms, pregnant etc should limit fish (or anything for that matter) to xx times week or month, come on. Who decides what an allowable limit of poison is ok?

  33. Great Post Chloe!
    – more, more ,more

    on raising the little ones totally pure, cruelty- free, vegan- it is such a hot topic, I’ve got several friend going through this right now-
    so thanks-Elizabeth

  34. I suffered from stomach pain and burning mostly, couldn’t sleep well and just hated those extra pounds I couldn’t get rid of no matter what I did. Now I stumbled upon this system that is easy and it doesn’t require expensive medication or difficult exercises.

  35. Joseph says:

    Vegan is the future. Evolve.




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