Vegans from all over have come together to support a mother and her young son after she shared a heart-wrenching story about him being bullied by classmates for hosting a plant-based birthday party.
Angel Craine, the mom, opened up about her four-year-old son, Malachi, who was buzzing with excitement for his Pokemon-themed birthday celebration scheduled for the end of October 2023.
But as the party date approached, Malachi's spirits were crushed when not a single classmate responded to the invitations.
In an interview with 7News, Angel expressed her shock and disappointment upon discovering that her son was being targeted at school over his decision to have a dairy-free cake for his birthday.
"They’ve all bullied him and told him they aren’t coming unless he has cow [dairy] in his cake," she recounted, clearly upset by the cruelty her son was facing at such a young age.
"I just can’t get over that kids his age already bully vegans."
Angel, who embraced veganism in 2022, is determined to give her children the freedom to make their own dietary choices.
Malachi himself chose to follow a vegan diet last year after learning about what goes into chicken nuggets, a choice his mother fully supports.
Yet, the prejudice Malachi encountered from his peers over his veganism left Angel deeply saddened.
She told News.com.au, "He still comes home since then and tells me the kids aren’t being nice to him."
Looking for comfort and perhaps a solution, Angel reached out to the Vegans in Australia Facebook group.
She shared Malachi's troubling experience in a post, hoping to find friends for her son who shared their lifestyle.
"My four-year-old son seems to get bullied a lot for being vegan," she explained, "So I’m wondering if there are any people around northside of Brisbane with vegan children that would like to come to his fifth birthday."
The vegan community's response was nothing short of heartwarming.
Angel's post struck a chord with many, leading to promises from 12 children of group members to attend Malachi's upcoming fifth birthday party.
Angel was moved by the support, stating, "He’s always excited to make new friends and is super excited about his birthday."
She noted Malachi's eagerness to connect with kids who share similar interests and values, adding:
"He’s super excited to make friends with similar interests and ethics. I absolutely am in awe of how caring the vegan community is."
Angel couldn't help but express her pride in her son's resilience in the face of bullying.
"I am proud my son doesn’t let the bullies get to him so much and is still so passionate about being vegan and loving animals," she shared.
This story serves as a reminder that children should never feel excluded or bullied for their personal or dietary choices, highlighting the importance of teaching compassion and understanding from a young age.