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To Veg or Not To Veg- That is the question!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi Mummas!

 

Just wondering how you decided if you were gonna raise your kids as vegan/vegies?

I am a vegetraian and have been for 10 years now. My soon-to-be-hubby (  joy.gif !!! ) is not a veg, however all nights that we are at home we eat vege.

Its only when we go out that he will choose a steak rather than a something vege.

 

Just wondering why/how you deciided to raise bub as veg?

My fiance and I were talking the other day and he had a theory that they would just eat what we eat- so Veg all the time except when fiance makes a special met dish for himself.

I was fine with that until I realised that means my little bubba could be eating dead animals by age 1!!

 

So what was it for you? How did you decide? Is bub mainly veggie/vegan? or completely?

How does this work??

 

:) Ta!!

post #2 of 16

When we were dating, my (now) husband said, "I want to eat with you, so when we eat together, I'll eat vegetarian." 14 years and a couple kids later, we're still doing that.

 

When we discussed kids, I figured they were his kids too and he had the right to choose their food. I just said, "Please, no hot dogs." Then our son came along and I was horrified at the thought of him eating meat. I think I asked if we could raise him vegetarian, at least until he could decide otherwise...which is what we've done.

 

I've been pretty heavy-handed. "I don't think the cow wanted to be eaten." "If we ate chicken, it would be like eating one or our own chickens." etc. At 5 our son is definitely a vegetarian by choice. (Or at least around me he is.)

post #3 of 16
My DH was omni until we got together and ever since he has eaten mainly vegan -- 100% vegan at home but eats meat or dairy when out, which isn't more than 1-2x/month. He feels it's healthier (& so do I), so that was the main reason we decided to raise DS vegan. It's also important to me that if/when DS chooses to eat meat or other animal products, he does so consciously -- with an understanding of the fact that he'd be eating an animal, as well as some comprehension of the other issues involved.

At the same time, we kind of feel like it's a decision we'll abide by only for as long as it works. So if for some reason it doesn't seem to be a good choice anymore (say, too many allergies restricting his diet, health problems that could be alleviated by consuming animal products, too many control issues surrounding food, financial issues, etc.) then we'll definitely re-evaluate & be open to him eating meat sooner rather than later if that seems like the right choice. So we haven't said, "DS will be vegan until X years old and then he can start making his own choices," but instead, we're just taking it one day at a time, and there is currently no reason for him to have meat.
post #4 of 16


 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

When we were dating, my (now) husband said, "I want to eat with you, so when we eat together, I'll eat vegetarian." 14 years and a couple kids later, we're still doing that.

 

When we discussed kids, I figured they were his kids too and he had the right to choose their food. I just said, "Please, no hot dogs." Then our son came along and I was horrified at the thought of him eating meat. I think I asked if we could raise him vegetarian, at least until he could decide otherwise...which is what we've done.

 


This is exactly how it happened with us, too.  I couldn't bear the idea of putting meat into my baby's pure little vegetarian system.  DH joked about giving her a hot dog at her first ball game, for awhile, just to see me turn purple.   But DH finally decided to go vegetarian himself, about 8 months ago, and it's been working out really well for him, so we're probably going to end up being a fully vegetarian household. 

 

IME, the hardest thing about having a vegetarian child is trying to ensure that other people don't give meat to your toddler/older child.  I have to be really careful at parties, etc., especially around people who don't necessarily know that we're veg.  People love to give food to kids, especially junk food, and before you know it your toddler's gnawing on a piece of pepperoni pizza or something.  grossedout.gif

 

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comtessa View Post

>

IME, the hardest thing about having a vegetarian child is trying to ensure that other people don't give meat to your toddler/older child.  I have to be really careful at parties, etc., especially around people who don't necessarily know that we're veg.  People love to give food to kids, especially junk food, and before you know it your toddler's gnawing on a piece of pepperoni pizza or something.  grossedout.gif

 


Eeek!! That hasn't happened to us yet, although we've had some close calls (I guess I'm lucky that DS is clingy, he's not likely to be off somewhere getting fed by some random person). Honestly, one of my biggest motivators to keep DS vegan is that it cuts out 99% of the junk food people seem to want to offer him. It's much more well-received when I say, "No, he's vegan," than if I explain that I don't want him eating junk! I really don't get the compulsion to feed other people's children.
post #6 of 16

my husband and i are pretty lazy vegans. more or less 100% at home, less so when out... i don't purposely buy non vegan things but i'm bad about checking labels and about saying no when offered something that probably has dairy or egg in it. my husband is probably only really vegetarian... he doesn't go out of his way to eat non-vegan things but is even worse than me about thinking about ingredients. anyway, our dd is 18 months and about the same amount vegan as us. if someone offers her a piece of cake at a birthday party, she can have it, but her daycare only offers her soy milk and vegan items when she's there. and of course, at home she's vegan. my husband made some noise a few months back about wanting her to "experience" meat, but i kind of flipped out and it hasn't come up since. i know what people mean about the idea of putting non-veg things into her pure little system! i lost it when i found out my mom had fed her a whole cup of yogurt, even though she'd had incidental dairy in crackers or whatever... just that she purposely gave her something like that annoyed me! 

post #7 of 16

When I became vegan, it wasn't a question that Ava would be vegan too, because it was values based as much as it was for health. My eyes have become open to what "meat" really is, so Ava will be raised with that same awareness. I've already taken her to Farm Sanctuary with my husband, who is not fully vegan but eats all vegan at home. The problem in the beginning was, how to tell the in laws. I delayed telling them for a while till I could bear it no more. If this were just for health, then no way would I enforce that on Ava. I'm sure there will be a period of rebellion, or exploration to be like others, but I'm confident she'll come back. Instead of an authoritarian approach, I plan on being open, honest, and sincere. Right now she's only two so doesn't have a clue about it. If I see that she took a piece of garlic bread from someone's plate, I'm not going to take it from here cuz she'll throw a fit. When she gets older and understands she can advocate for herself.

post #8 of 16

My little boy who is 2.5 was not vegan initially, because I was only vegetarian and hadn't fully processed what was behind meat and dairy and eggs. A year after I became vegan, it was really irking to me that my son was eating cheese and eggs. Thankfully, I never did give him cow milk, so he didn't get hooked on that. At the rate that some kids drink milk, I think that could be really hard to cut out. So, I had kind of been telling him about how meat is animals that were killed and how milk is taken from cows and the baby cows can't drink their mommy's milk and get killed. But he still ate cheese. Then I just said, we're not going to eat it anymore, and it was much easier than I thought. He did really like eating cheese with his little nannyshare friends, but now he's very adamant that he doesn't eat anything "have cows in it" and if there's something that looks good and I point out it has animal products in it, he just moves on to something else. He knows "v" is for "vegan" and checks whether things are vegan first. My husband is omni, but Liam hasn't questioned yet why daddy eats animals. My husband isn't passionate about eating meat or defending meat consumption, he just is used to it and isn't motivated to change. He eats the worst factory farmed meat and meat products and dairy and egg products most of the time, from what I guess. He just doesn't want to think about it. So, we have plenty of animal products in the house and Liam gets a lot of practice in discerning what's vegan and what's not. I get a lot of hope from the veganasaurus kids interviews, and I hope he at least keeps that consciousness. 

post #9 of 16

My husband and I are both vegan, and of course our 11 year old son is as well.  We are all happy and healthy.  We are planning to begin TTC again next year, and that baby too will be vegan.  It's about a few things for us - ethics foremost, but also our health and the environment.  I can't imagine living any other way.  

 

If there comes a point when my son no longer wants to be vegan (which I don't see happening as he's very passionate about it; but hey you never know about the teenage years!), I won't "force" him to be vegan.  However, this will remain a vegan household and I will only buy vegan food.  So if he is old enough to get food elsewhere that is not vegan, then he's going to do what he's going to do.  It has to be his decision at that age (and I hope he makes the right one!).

 

I do feel for those of you who have omni partners, though, because that has to be tough when it comes to the kids!

post #10 of 16

Yeah, I'm feeling really lucky that DH has decided to go veggie!  I know he never would have made that decision if I'd pressured him about it -- so I'm seeing in this a life lesson for a number of things in our marriage... :)

 

BTW, welcome to MDC, Sabrina78!  Glad to have you here. 

post #11 of 16

Thank you!! smile.gif

post #12 of 16

I guess I'm one of the few vegetarian mamas not raising a veggie baby. I've been a vegetarian for 7 years and my hubby just "converted" last month so we don't eat meat at home and I don't go out of my way to buy it for my son. However, I've decided that I'm not going to forbid or deny it either. We live in Peru for part of the year and vegetarianism is still a pretty foreign concept there (for the most part.) I'm also pretty moderate in my views---I choose not to eat meat but I don't necessarily think it's the right choice for everyone. When in Peru, I often eat food that has been cooked with meat when it's offered to me....I just eat around the meat. A lot of it has to do with respect for cultural differences.

 

Since my son is only 15 months old, we still make all of his food choices for him, but my plan is to eventually let him decide what he eats. If he chooses to eat meat, it's fine with me, I'll just do my best to make sure it's organic, humanely raised, etc. I definitely plan on explaining my beliefs to him as he gets older but I don't expect him to make them his own beliefs.

post #13 of 16

For us it was an easy decision because we fully believe we are eating the healthiest diet possible so why wouldn't we be certain to provide the same for our children?  Especially since I have girls (and the higher up on the food chain they eat the more they will build up environmental contamination in their breasts which is then concentrated for their own children) I worry about their future choices in life and I want to give them the best start possible.  If they choose a different path when they are older at least they will be making the decision for themselves rather than as a young child not fully understanding all the ramifications of their choices.  To me, handing my child a pork chop or ice cream cone would be no different than giving them a cigarette or a shot of whiskey... sure, none of those things is going to destroy them in the immediate, but if all they know is that everyone around them is partaking they aren't really getting a fair picture... and really for young kids that's all they have to go on so it isn't a fair choice to them at all.  While at this point in my life I do consider myself an ethical vegan (for most of my life I was merely a dietary vegan, only eschewing animal foods for personal health reasons), I would not make the decision to raise my children this way solely based on my values since I cannot envision the world my children will live in I feel very passionately about them forming their own value system and I fully support their decisions there even if/when they conflict with my own -we all need to find our own paths.  However, from the perspective of health I am absolutely insistent about raising them vegan and without nonfoods (flavors, additives, etc.) until they have a full and complete understanding for themselves of all the factors and potential risks and consequences involved, including an awareness of addiction and stimulant effects, etc. 

post #14 of 16

It was an easy decision for us because DH and I both went vegan shortly after our first baby was born and thus had a completely vegan household.  We've even had fairly long stints as raw-foodists and our children ate that way with us during those times as well. 

 

Since your fiance eats mostly veg, and you eat veg, and you want the baby to eat veg, feed the baby veg.  It's no big deal.  Just tell him that you prefer that the baby eat no meat.  There's no reason to feed baby meat when your fiance eats it, and there's plenty of things your fiance can feed your child that don't have meat so that they can eat together.

 

Is your fiance insisting that you feed the baby meat?  Because really, you don't need to give solid food until the baby is a year old or older even, so it's not like the decision has to be made now.  You have lots of time to convince your fiance. :)

post #15 of 16



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gitanamama View Post

I guess I'm one of the few vegetarian mamas not raising a veggie baby. I've been a vegetarian for 7 years and my hubby just "converted" last month so we don't eat meat at home and I don't go out of my way to buy it for my son. However, I've decided that I'm not going to forbid or deny it either. We live in Peru for part of the year and vegetarianism is still a pretty foreign concept there (for the most part.) I'm also pretty moderate in my views---I choose not to eat meat but I don't necessarily think it's the right choice for everyone. When in Peru, I often eat food that has been cooked with meat when it's offered to me....I just eat around the meat. A lot of it has to do with respect for cultural differences.

 

Since my son is only 15 months old, we still make all of his food choices for him, but my plan is to eventually let him decide what he eats. If he chooses to eat meat, it's fine with me, I'll just do my best to make sure it's organic, humanely raised, etc. I definitely plan on explaining my beliefs to him as he gets older but I don't expect him to make them his own beliefs.



 I'm in the same boat, with an omni husband and 2 omni kids, though they rarely eat meat. DS doesn't really like most of it from the taste anyway and DD is currently on the verge of wanting to become vegetarian but at the same time liking certain meats (bacon..) still and isn't sure if she can give it up. I'm not pressuring her, she knows my reasons behind being vegetarian [since almost 6 yrs. now] but I don't want her to make a decision for my sake! Would I love/prefer if the entire family were vegetarian/close to vegan? Of course!!! Until then I can only try to provide them with other yummy food so they grow up and realize, meat isn't really 'necessary' and yet better to be without! I can only hope!

post #16 of 16

No kiddos yet, but they'll definitely be raised veg. If I view the practice of eating meat as unhealthy and unethical, no way would it make sense to feed it to my babes! My kidlets can choose for themselves when they're old enough to understand the ethics of meat eating, but even if they decide to become omni, I will not cook them meat.

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