A four-year-old boy who was allegedly bullied by his peers for having vegan treats at his birthday party has been flooded with support after his concerned mother put out a call on social media.
Soon-to-be five-year-old Malachi Craine was devastated when his fellow pre-schoolers snubbed his Pokémon-themed party after discovering the cake would be dairy-free in line with his vegan diet.
The Queensland child was subsequently “bullied”, his mother, 27-year-old Angel Craine, told 7 News – with the children taunting Malachi that they wouldn’t come to his party unless his cake “has cow [dairy] in it”.
“I just can’t get over that kids his age already bully vegans. [Malachi] was pretty sad that no one wants to be his friend or come, but he’s pretty resilient,” Craine said, noting that despite informing the school management about the bullying, nothing had changed.
“He still comes home since then and tells me the kids aren’t being nice to him.”
After none of the invited children returned their RSVPs, Craine took to the local Facebook group ‘Vegans in Australia’ in a bid to save her son’s big day.
“My four-year-old son seems to get bullied a lot for being vegan. Apparently none of his friends want to come to his birthday if he has a vegan cake and are always being rude about him being vegan all the time,” she wrote to the group.
“I’m wondering if there are any people around northside of Brisbane with vegan children that would like to come to his fifth birthday?”
Malachi’s story was quick to tug on the heartstrings of fellow vegan families, prompting a wave of support. Rallying together to make his fifth birthday one to remember, the local community reached out with offers to attend – with 12 children now set to join his birthday festivities at the end of the month.
“He’s always excited to make new friends and is super excited about his birthday,” Craine told news.com.au.
The mum-of-two said she transitioned to veganism last year but made it clear that her young sons weren’t forced to adopt the diet. However, Malachi – after realising what exactly chicken nuggets were made of – decided to follow in his mother’s footsteps and asked to become vegan in January.
“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 said.