Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about what sort of parents we want to be to our little boy.
The first thing I know is that I want to use real nappies rather than disposables. My reasons for this are as follows:
* Usual environmental argument – they take 500 years to biodegrade; every disposable nappy that has ever been used is festering in a landfill site somewhere near you; we are surrounded by more raw sewage now than we were in the 18th century as a result of disposable nappies.
* They’re so much cheaper – and we can use them for future babies too.
* They’re nicer on baby’s skin.
* My main reason (as a vegan) is that the absorbent gels in disposable nappies are tested on animals. The animals are fed the gels to test for toxicity and many of the animals used for this die.
Secondly, I want to breastfeed for as long as I can. The World Health Organisation recommends solely breastfeeding for the first 6 months and then continued breastfeeding as part of babies mixed diet up to the age of 2. I’m not sure I will last 2 years of it, but the health benefits and money savings are a pretty good incentive.
Thirdly, we’ve had to consider this more because we’re having a boy, no toy guns and no play stations etc… We don’t want to take all the fun out of life but at the same time we think boys should be playing outside – climbing trees etc… and not sitting in front of a games console all day.
The guns speak for themselves. No wonder men are so much more aggressive than woman (something like 90% violent crime is by men), apart from hormonal aggression, we also condition little boys to play with guns etc… as soon as they’re old enough to walk. It doesn’t strike me as a mere co-incidence that we buy little boys violent toys and then they grow up to have an increased likelihood of violent behaviour.
Finally, we’re aiming to raise all our children as vegetarians (not vegans!). I think a lot of people will think we’re hippies or something for doing this. However, I think it is important that our children understand our point of view and learn a respect for animals and the world around them. If they chose to eat meat as adults, that’s their decision. But we would be failing as parents if we did not pass on our knowledge and understanding of our world. We’re not religious so our children will not have to sit through hours of church etc… The only thing we both agree on as being very important is looking after our planet and not exploiting it. This we want to pass on to our children.