When most parents see their babies ready to put something inedible into their mouths, they run over to stop it from happening, but 22-year-old vegan Alice Bender does the opposite, in fact, she encourages it. The Arizona native is going viral on TikTok for a video she posted where she says that she lets her baby, who she said is also vegan, eat "sticks, rocks, dirt, sand, and unsanitized shopping carts." In the clip, she actually hands her baby a rock to put in his mouth and explains, "I do not fear bacteria, in fact I welcome it. I trust nature and my baby."
Bender also notes that a "series of billion dollar campaigns" have shifted the public's perception of bacteria and what is or is not acceptable for babies to do. She also feels that her son is better protected from exposure to germs because she has breastfed him his entire life.
While there were commenters in support of Alice's philosophy, like one who wrote, "This is how babies build their immune system. Go mom," dozens of others chimed in to slam Bender. Comments included, "Some people just shouldn't have children," "That's it, I'm calling CPS [Child Protective Services]," "All fun and games till the baby gets a parasitic infection," "It's literally abuse," and, "My dog does the exact same thing!"
She later followed up the video with another one where she spoke about giving birth to her son without medicine in her bathroom, sleeping with him in her bed on his schedule, and bringing him outside often without sunscreen because "we are not scared of the sun."
It's not Alice's first time going viral. Her parenting style came under fire earlier in the year when she called bedtimes for kids "inhumane" and described cribs as "tiny jail cells." Still, she has 273 thousand followers on TikTok. You can see more of her videos here.
Photo: Kennedy News and Media