Family ‘have lost friends and are victims of online trolls’ after turning vegan
A family have revealed how turning vegan has cost them friendships.
The Robins family from Probus, Cornwall, say they have been blanked in the street and been the victims of online trolling because of their diet choices.
Jacqui and Ryan Robins and their three children, Skye, 15, Skipp, 14, and Cadan, five, do not eat animal products.
They say they have been “blanked” in the street by former friends and that parents avoid them outside their children’s schools.
Skipp has been bullied and had meat waved in his face at school.
The couple publish posts about veganism on social media, but this has resulted in them losing a number of friendships, as well as a falling-out with Mrs Robins’ sister.
“When I started posting about it and raising awareness, I lost a lot of my friendships – because they were telling me to be quiet about it,” said Mrs Robins, 44.
Mr Robins, 37, told Cornwall Live: "There is nothing in schools now to teach kids where their food comes from, how it is slaughtered and the process and all of that kind of stuff.
"So for me, posting was the most powerful thing I could do – I could get things out on social media for people to see and read.
"I got grief from friends back in the Midlands, where I grew up, saying this is not what Facebook is about, stop with the dead images of animals and share family photos instead."
Mr Robins was told online that his veganism was “disrespectful” to his late father, who was a butcher.
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Mrs Robins, who was vegetarian from the age of eight, turned to veganism two years ago after watching a documentary on the dairy industry.
"I was horrified and straight away I didn't want anything to do with the dairy products, because I thought if I couldn't cope with watching it happen, but I was buying the product, I was inadvertently funding it,” she said.
Her father, John, and his wife, Sarah, have also adopted a vegan diet.
Mrs Robins said: "All of the kids have made their own decisions and have recognised why they are vegan.”
She said her five-year-old son Cadan "understands" what happens to animals and doesn't agree with it.
“He knows that the baby animals suffer and are taken from their mummies and he doesn't believe in that,” she said.
She said she was pressured by doctors and midwives to give Cadan dairy milk when he was a baby even though he suffered “digestive problems”.
She said: "I studied nutrition because I wanted to better understand what was going into my food. If somebody tells you your kid needs something, you will buy it and give it to them, even if it's not right."