The thing I find hard and have struggled with for years is the things I've seen in animal doco's (well after i decided to become vego) and with my own eyes after rescuing chickens from a factory farm etc. and to be honest it haunts me still. I won't ever eat meat but I have such an affinity with animals and i find the intolerable cruelty some of them face before they get to our plate very distressing. Its hard to explain but it's something I think about a lot and it's great that things are slowly changing but it does upset me still, a lot. So I want to protect my child from all of that until he's well old enough to understand, if that makes sense. I think it's very important to tell him where his meat comes from when he's of the right age but I don't want to mare his childhood with too many home truths. I want to teach him to respect animals, all animals not just dogs and cats. I'll want to spend time at farm stays etc. or hopefully have our own so he can be around chickens, cows, sheep etc. and realise if he does eat them we have to have respect for them and treat them kindly. I don't want him to know the horrors of factory farming etc. Until his psyche is old enough to cope with that which will be quite a long time.
Great thread because this isn't easy stuff when you feel so strongly about it. I want to try to find a way for my child to know when the time is right, why i am vegetarian and in the mean time, teach him to respect animals, especially the ones he eats. That may be easier said than done though!
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21-11-2015 07:10 #21
Want to raise my daughter a vegetarian but hubby a meat eater..
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21-11-2015 14:48 #22
I am vegan and my partner is vegetarian. We are raising our son as an ethical vegetarian (tho he has limited dairy and eggs- he only has soy milk unless something is cooked and contains dairy and hates eggs and muffins so only eats eggs if in a cake)
I would prefer to raise my kids vegan but I compromised with dp. And our kids can choose later if they want to be vegan/vegetarian/omni.
I don't see it like he is missing out on anything and dp has as much right to raise our kids with what she believes just as I do. And I secretly hope my kids will choose veganism as they get older
Children don't 'miss out' on things. It's all in the state of mind. If you truly believe in something then passing that to your kids is only natural. If you say 'they are missing out' then they will feel it. If you make the enforces on what they CAN eat then it's no big deal.
Plus you can buy tvp and make 'mince' like spaghetti bolognaise, or make sausage rolls with nutolene, veg and flavouring, you can buy vege sausages or nuggets, coconut icecream or yogurts. So we eat the same sort of foods as everyone else, just made with different ingredients.
22-11-2015 08:20 #23-
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22-11-2015 09:31 #24
Im sorry,I dont have advice about veggo, but I had the 'meat eating' talk with my 4yo recently. She asked about where the meat came from, &I was as honest as I could be, pretty much saying that we kill the animals and use their bodies to eat. I dont want her to feel like I ever deceived her about what she was eating. I said to her that some people choose not to eat meat,because they dont feel ok about eatins animals. I asked my DD if she felt ok about eating animals. She said 'yeah' and went back to consuming her steak, lol. I think with either option, you can just give them the info as honestly as you can & let them make their own choicw as they get older. Good luck with it, I understand how difficult it would be for you to allow her to eat meat when you feel so strongly about it.
22-11-2015 10:22 #25
I think it's great and have no disagreements with anything except to say maybe be careful of how important it is to you that she chooses "kindness over taste". That can be quite a loaded statement, as it sort of implies that only unkind people eat meat, and that will be very difficult for your child to reconcile. She may think "Im bad or naughty or Mummy won't like me if I like meat." Or she may get the impression you think you are morally superior to your DP, which would be very hard for a child who loves both their parents and thinks both parents are good people. Of course you probably wouldn't or don't think those things if she did eat meat or about your DP, I'm just thinking of my own experiences and my own 6 year old, and how kids have immature cognitive processing styles and tend to think in those types of black and white ways about their parents. If you have big expectations for your child in that way you can inadvertently put a lot of pressure on a child and it can cause you distress and conflict. I mean, your daugther could grow up to be a very loving, empathetic, kind individual who consumes meat and I think it's important for a parent with a strong value system (religious, vegan, whatever) to accept that their child/children may grow up and walk a totally different path- and that's okay. That's just something to keep in the back of your mind and consider how it might influence the way you interact with her about meat.
Last edited by Lilahh; 22-11-2015 at 10:27.
23-11-2015 18:52 #26
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23-11-2015 18:59 #27
I do think too for me it's more about teaching my child to treat animals, all animals, with kindness and respect rather than just teaching him about eating or not eating meat. I always had a natural affinity for animals as a child so it was an easy jump at 12 to not want to eat them anymore.
For me I want my child to know what cows and chickens and sheep are and to treat them kindly, and to volunteer at the animal shelter like I did as a teenager. I want him to have empathy for animals and that's so much more important to me than if he eats meat. I would hope if I can instil that in him as a child, he might choose when he's old to eat meat that's free range etc. if he does want to eat meat. It's pretty hard to make a choice to be vego and stick to it, if your heart isn't in it. That affinity for animals and the need to be kind to them has to be built, if that makes sense.
23-11-2015 21:15 #28Senior Member
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I agree with Lilahh about they grey areas in between. Totally for you to decide what you think is best for your child, it's just about how those principles and values are introduced and managed throughout her childhood.
I'm no expert but vegan/vegetarians will probably always be a minority opposed to those that eat meat, so I guess she will have to feel comfortable enough with those around her at day care/school/friends growing up who eat meat and know they are not 'bad' for doing so.
The little girl that I nanny comes from a vegetarian/vegan household and there have been conversations that have left me a little awkward because I eat meat around her and she is trying to comprehend her house hold beliefs and then deal with how they differ to mine. There have been some interesting questions arise from her, only because she is trying to figure out her world. I just try and give an honest answer to what she asks without reflecting any judgement from either side of the fence.
I'm not sure if my post was even any help... I guess I'm just trying to say that you have every right to have your beliefs and values in your home, it's the grey areas in between that can make it a challenge, not the lifestyle itself.
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25-11-2015 19:27 #29
Thanks everyone for your feedback! It's been great food for thought and I'll keep all of the points in mind
25-11-2015 20:10 #30
I don't eat red meat (and have a range of other foods I don't eat including most dairy), was a vegetarian for years and my DH is a meat eater too, so understand somewhat. With DS I introduced all foods including meat and unfortunately he is his daddy's boy all over, loves sausages and spag Bol etc, I would not deny him. I just try to buy the best quality, humane organic grass fed meats I can. Having said that, my boys eat red meat maybe once a week and we have mainly fish and vegetarian meals. DS (4) has never questioned why I don't eat red meat but I am sure the time will come and I am uncertain how to handle it. It's tricky, I do want him to make his own decision yet I don't think I'll be cooking up massive steaks and chops as he grows up either, it repulses me! When my DH is away (often), we have fish, eggs salad etc so I don't have to cook meat.
Luckily my DH is actively trying to reduce his red meat consumption so it's not too bigger issue. But I think it's important for DS to make his own choice when he is old enough to do so.
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