Misconceptions About Crunchy Parents and Where to Find More Information
Welcome back and thanks for checking out Part 3 of this Confessions of a Crunchy Mom series! If you’re just joining us, check out Part 1 and Part 2!
Being crunchy has been an extremely beneficial lifestyle transition for our family, and I live in gratitude every day that we have gained so much knowledge that not only betters my husband’s and my life but that we are truly setting up our little man for a healthy life straight from the get-go. I get teary-eyed thinking about it. With this newfound knowledge and alternative lifestyle has also come discomfort from others, questions, and many misconceptions about what our lifestyle means. I’d like to dedicate this final post of the series to address some of the main misconceptions we’ve experienced (and then I’ll provide resources for you guys to start checking things out for yourselves!).
Misconception #1 – Where do you get your protein/iron/nutrients from?
This is probably the question we run into most frequently. As soon as someone hears that we are vegan, immediately the shift of the conversation goes to, “but where do you get your protein? How is S getting all of his important nutrition?”
I have to be honest – initially, I was a little offended by this question. My thought was always – “don’t you think I would do what’s best for my family?” But then I realized that just as I had been raised, most people are raised to think the one and only way to get nutrition is from meat. So when people ask us about this, it’s not that they think I’m stupid or trying to harm my family; they genuinely don’t know any other way to get nutrition other than meat.
Plant-based diets are being recommended more and more by doctors and other medical professionals because the research is starting to accumulate showing that meat is not needed to sustain a thriving life, and in many cases (almost all), it actually is detrimental to our health. Yes – even those free-range, no antibiotic chicken breasts you’re eating. I am not a doctor; I do not have my degree in food science, nutrition, etc., but I am extremely passionate about it and have learned to research scholarly articles from medical professionals and organizations so that we can make these decisions for our family.
Plants provide all of the essential amino acids, vitamins, mineral, nutrients, proteins, etc. that we need to be healthy and happy. In fact, most people who consume meat actually are eating TOO MUCH protein! Here are some examples of where we get our protein:
Misconception #2: Crunchy parents are all hippies that base their information off of Facebook memes.
This makes me laugh, but I can totally see what people may think this! In every group, there’s always those people. It can be a sports group, a crunchy moms group, a breastfeeding group, a food group, etc. – there will always be those few bad apples who troll. But when it comes to being a crunchy parent, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Being crunchy means you do extensive research, to the point of exhaustion most times, so that you know that the choices you make for your family are the best ones. As I mentioned in my previous post in this series, this is not intended to downplay the importance of doctors and medical staff. However, I highly encourage everyone to do their research in EVERY decision they make for their family, especially for their children. Medical professionals are human beings, too. Sometimes, they’ve only been taught certain aspects of treatment or prevention approaches; sometimes they didn’t sleep for 36 hours and are thinking foggy; sometimes they just make mistakes. So whenever there is a decision to be made (antibiotics, vaccines, surgeries, diet changes, medication, etc.), a crunchy parent will exhaust themselves seeing if there are more natural solutions. Unfortunately, information used to educate medical professionals is not necessarily unbiased, so crunchy parents have come to accept that medical interventions are not always in the patient’s best interest, regardless of what the latest meme says.
Misconception #3: Crunchy parents just want to rebel and do things differently.
Again, I can understand why people might think this. We’ve been asked on several occasions – “why can’t you just follow what we’ve done for years? Why don’t you just do what the doctor says? Why do you have to always be different?”
Let me clear that up easily – we WISH we could just do things the easy way. We WISH we could trust every doctor and what they recommend. We WISH that we didn’t have to read every label of every food item and personal care item we use. But that’s not the world we live in, so we continue to “be different” so that our son grows up with a higher chance to not deal with chronic illness, eczema, stomach problems, migraines, allergies, etc. Believe me – there have been plenty of days and nights where I get so frustrated and I cry and I get mad and I curse at the fact that our country does not always do things for the best interest of the people but instead for the vested interests of lobbyists and big money. I just want to not have to think about things for a day, not have to see if dairy or chemicals were sneakily placed in foods that we want to try. It can be exhausting at times, but once your eyes have been opened to the details that are so carefully hidden, you can’t just ignore the facts. The goal is much bigger than my small frustrations. The goal to live a thriving, happy, prosperous and healthy life is always worth it, even if it is “different.”
Misconception #4: Crunchy parents think they are better than non-crunchy parents.
This one really makes me sad. I’ve seen more and more things on social media lately bashing moms who choose to live aligned with nature. There have been blog posts, memes and ugly conversations in mom groups that have suggested that crunchy moms think that they are better than everyone because of the lifestyle they live. I speak for myself (and I think many others will agree) that living a crunchy lifestyle really has everything to do with our immediate family and nothing to do with anyone else’s lifestyle. My husband and I have done the research we have and have chosen the lifestyle we live based on that research. If someone else does not parent or live their life the same way we do, it doesn’t bother us! As parents, it is our job to do what we think is the best for our family and I hope that each of you do that for your family as well. There are some things about the crunchy lifestyle that are just facts, whether or not people want to believe them (antibiotics disrupting gut flora, GMO foods working as hormone disruptors, disposable diapers having chemical treatments, etc.). These things are true and it is every parent’s choice on how they want to incorporate that information into their lives. That doesn’t mean I judge you or look down on you if you do things differently than me.
On the flip side, there are also some things about the crunchy lifestyle that aren’t for everyone. And that’s okay. Crunchy parents generally don’t get into the crunchy lifestyle thinking, “how can I make ______ feel like they’re inferior to me?” Being crunchy usually involves wanting to connect with other people, share knowledge and spread love through relationships. It’s not about putting others down or making people feel bad.
Resources for a Crunchy Lifestyle
If this series has sparked any interest or you want to just understand why we have made the choices we have made, I want to provide some links, literature, etc. for you to check out on your own time. I share these things because they have made a huge difference in our lives, and I hope that on some level, they will change your life, too.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing – it’s almost 50% off right now!
How Not to Die
The Minimalist Baker
Oh She Glows
Plant Based Jane
Veggies Don’t Bite
That Mom Life Blog
CDC Vaccine Info
CDC Vaccine Additives
Ingredient Lists for All Vaccines
FDA Standards for Personal Care/Cosmetic Products
European Union Personal Care Standards
Avanchy Bamboo Plate & Spoon
Vegan Skincare, Makeup & Nutrition
Lillebaby Complete All-Seasons
Siliskin Reusable Food Bags
I’d love to hear your feedback about these resources and my thoughts on living a crunchy lifestyle. I’d also be more than happy to chat with you about your transition to a crunchy lifestyle! Thanks for joining me in this series, and I hope just one thing touched you or helped you in some way! Until next time, friends.
Health, wealth & happiness-