Is Breastfeeding Vegan?

When I was pregnant, people would ask me, “Are you going to breastfeed?” and I would proudly and enthusiastically reply, “Yes! I sure am!” And then, with a smirk on their faces, some of those people would ask, “Yeah, but is breastfeeding vegan?

Wait a minute. What?!

Of course breastfeeding is vegan!” I would reply. And then, almost always, they would reply with

Oh yeah? But breastmilk is an animal product. That’s not vegan!

I guess it’s time to call in the vegan police. Or at least look up the definition of veganism according to the Vegan Society. (You know, the people who invented veganism.) According to them, “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

Breastfeeding certainly fits this definition, when referring to a mother willingly breastfeeding her child. Because when you breastfeed your child, no one is exploited or harmed. It’s not like cows milk, you see. When you take milk from a cow, you can’t ask the cow permission. The cow is a slave. And that cow’s milk? She intended that milk to feed her baby, not some human who wants an ice cream sundae. If someone came up to me and pumped some of my breastmilk, and took it away from me and my son… I would be livid. That’s his FOOD!! Without it, he is hungry. If you take milk from someone, be it a cow, a human, a goat, a camel, or a cat… Their baby goes hungry. So unless you like starving baby animals, you really should think about going vegan.

Yeah, ok. Ok. But is vegan breastmilk healthy for babies? Won’t they be all skinny?” All mammals give their babies breastmilk. Even the herbivores. Elephant babies are not skinny, and they grow that way from their mother’s milk. As long as a mother is eating a balanced diet and getting all of her necessary vitamins, then her breastmilk is going to be perfectly fine for her baby. She doesn’t need to be eating meat and dairy to make that happen. Lots of my vegan mom friends have pudgy babies that grew big and strong on nothing but their mother’s milk! It’s not only possible, it’s incredibly healthy.

Sure, you may have heard some horror stories in the news about some crazy vegan parents who starved their baby to death. Let me let you in on little secret: Vegans don’t let babies starve to death. Good vegan parents will do everything and anything to make sure their baby is healthy. Even if that means giving them food or medicine that’s not vegan, to save their life. After all, vegans don’t let our pet cats starve to death because they require meat in their diet. But under most circumstances, healthy moms and healthy babies do just fine thriving without animal products, and it’s never an issue.

So yes my friends, breastfeeding is vegan. It’s vegan, and it’s the most natural thing in the world. Let’s support mothers and babies instead of questioning their vegan-ness. And if you really want to do something big to support breastfeeding, you should consider going vegan. Because there a millions upon millions of breastfeeding mother cows being separated from their babies, their milk stolen, while their babies are killed for veal. We would never treat human mothers this way. We would never treat dogs this way. Why do we think it’s ok to do it to cows?

To read more about the dairy industry and how mothers and calves are treated, visit:



My son Samuel and I, engaging in the happy, healthy, beautiful, and VEGAN act of breastfeeding!