When it comes to toys, most usually only require the thought "could this physically or emotionally scar my child in any way?" And when that answer is a "yes," we usually go ahead and purchase it and let Pearyn make a lifetime of memories with it (or, you know, 10 minutes, usually the amount of time it takes her to get bored with a new toy).
In the event the toy is not categorized as "safe," it's usually because it's a part of the emotionally scarring variety, as in, either sexist or not vegan.
Since I covered "Sexist Kitchen 101" last night, I figured tonight I would answer all those burning questions non vegans have about toys and what makes some of them an issue for our cruelty-free family.
You might be thinking to yourself, "Oh my gosh, shut up about this already, you're just being overprotective, over analyzing things or just being plain dramatic."
Who knows, maybe I am.
But one thing is for sure; there are several toys out there that do not exactly fit into our "animals are our friends, not our personal property or amusement" sentiment.
From farm toys, fridge magnets, books and dvds depicting a well cared for, happy go lucky cow and chickens pecking around enjoying time in the sun, it's obvious we start lying to our children at an incredibly young age. While I'm certainly not suggesting we fill a two year old in on the gruesome life farm animals live as a soon-to-be commodity, I think it's less than honest and less than good for our kids to paint a completely false picture for them. Why not skip the whole farm crap in general? Who really wants to get into the ifs ands and buts of factory farming, vegan or not.
Which brings us to the current toy in question, Pearyn's new kitchen.
The kitchen itself isn't anti-vegan in any way, in fact, it didn't even come with the cheap assortment of plastic junk food most offered, but instead a set of dishes, bowls, cups and silverware. Yay! But because of the lack of food accessories, we did find ourselves standing in the toy store aisle comparing the pros and cons of each plastic food accessory kit offered.
There were some riddled with sunny side up eggs, chicken wings and "Fresh" card board milk (because you know, something that is the milk of another species and has to be dramiatically cleaned and filtered before fit for most humans' consumption seems 'fresh' to me), we ended up settling on a set pertaining mainly fruits and veggies, with a few hot dogs and a hamburger thrown in there. We decided we could always say those were our vegan mock meat counter parts anyway.
While we know we can't shield Pearyn from everything non vegan forever (we live in a very non vegan world), I'd like to think our home is the one place where she won't ever feel like an outcast or ever have to worry about being anything other than herself.
Whether that is a vegan or not, only time will tell.
Until then we can only do our best to make the right choices for our little one.
And the first choice we made regarding this kitchen, was to dress it up a little more veg-friendly style.
I think it's pretty cute if you ask me.