Not an issue for a while, but.. (meat related) - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-06-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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I truly have zero respect or tolerance for a person who can't see that the life of a baby and the life of a chick are not morally equal commodities.
Zero, eh? Someone who believes that a widespread practice is immoral typically learns to deal with that by refusing to partake in the practice but not condemning those who do. You'll find that, for instance, that people who are pro-life believe that abortion is murder but generally don't believe that people who have had abortions should be punished as murderers. People who are opposed to the death penalty are able to have civil conversations with those who support it. People who believe in nonviolence can still respect and tolerate soldiers. Throughout history, our standards have changed, because first a few, and then many, people began to see things as immoral.

And standards vary widely across cultures. In some cultures, the norm is that animal lives are viewed as being as important as human lives. Can you really not tolerate that? And what does it mean to not tolerate that? If, for example, you met a Hindu who felt that animals, as reincarnated souls, are morally equal to humans, would you run away screaming like you'd just seen Uncle Fred on the table?
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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"Someone who believes that a widespread practice is immoral typically learns to deal with that by refusing to partake in the practice but not condemning those who do."

I have no problem with that tactic. Nobody who has adopted that tactic runs shrieking from the dinner table. The abortion example is a good one - I know many people who are antichoice, some to a very great degree -but I have never had an issue with an antichoice person of my acquaintance delivering a polemic screed in front of my kids, or during a social or event, or at all, actually. That's one big reason why I think the "you people are MURDERERS" dinner-table debacle is a red herring. People do not do that, unless they have some severe emotional and social challenges orthogonal to their vegan ideology.

I think maybe "respect" and "tolerance" aren't completely in alignment here. I can't say that I have any respect the doctrine of male headship, for example - but I tolerate it, in that I don't spend my days protesting outside of Bob Jones University. I won't be picketing PETA, either.

People really do have the right to make their own lifestyle choices, including the adoption of religious and philosophical positions that I find practically untenable and/or morally repugnant. And I don't think that the OP's choices are either! They are fine choices! I hope that her husband agrees and that Grandma can be dealt with in a way that allows for a strong relationship in the long term! I'm sure the OP hopes for that as well!
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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Anybody who thinks of themselves as the tolerant missionary and me as the cannibal-equivalent is not welcome in my home, let alone at my table. If a person really equates animal murder with human murder, then I don't see how they could form or maintain any kind of emotional bond with meat-eaters.
Perhaps because you are so intolerant of vegetarians' beliefs, you find it difficult to imagine other people with very strong beliefs that nonetheless are able to commune with people who don't share them?

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Having raised both, I truly have zero respect or tolerance for a person who can't see that the life of a baby and the life of a chick are not morally equal commodities.
You have zero tolerance for the person, or the belief?

I am pretty specific in my beliefs but I can tolerate many people, with the understanding that every single person on this earth is mistaken about a heck of a lot, including myself.

I would MUCH rather sit at a table with a tolerant person who believes I'm wrong about eating chicken than with an intolerant person who thinks I'm right about chicken!

I mean, have you ever looked at it from the chicken's point of view? Sure, you're bigger and you THINK the chicken is stupider, but you don't really know that (it's all based on the unproven assumption that brainwaves = intelligence, which has never been proved because that relies on a further assumption, that expression of intelligence = intelligence).

I mean, you don't even know I'm not a computer.

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But seriously. This theoretical aggressive radical vegan - the one who runs shrieking from the dinner table and ruins Thanksgiving - is a red herring. The OP is certainly not mired in that kind of extremism. She knows that people are more important than poultry. So I'm not sure why we're borrowing that level of trouble here.
Really? She hasn't said so.

And frankly, running screaming from a table is a different issue entirely from asking someone politely to please not feed her children dead animals until they can fully comprehend what they are doing and choose it.

I didn't bring up someone screaming running from a table.

I brought up specific beliefs about animals and humans. Not screaming from a table.

You seem to want to paint people with different beliefs as rude (though rudeness is not inherently connected to beliefs about the sanctity of life, human or otherwise), and you do not tolerate people with different beliefs about the world. Why would you suggest that vegetarians do otherwise?

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Old 08-06-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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If a person really equates animal murder with human murder, then I don't see how they could form or maintain any kind of emotional bond with meat-eaters.
This is what I was thinking. I can't imagine being married/partnered/willingly raising a child with someone who practiced some moral equivalent to human murder. Never would happen. Which is why I suggested it be compared to something more like an ethical choice to only buy fair trade or humanely raised meat (I don't think I buy the whole thing about these choices only being beneficial if practiced by whole communities, I think they can have the same effect as one single vegetarian, if I buy 1 humanely raised chicken then that was one less chicken that lived a sad life on a factory farm). I was trying to imagine some situation where my husband and I might not see eye to eye on the moral implications, but where I could still tolerate maintaining a relationship with him. Since the OP is in a (seemingly) loving relationship with a man who eats meat, I made the assumption (based on my own experience) that while she has made the ethical choice not to eat meat, she doesn't see it as the moral equivalent of murder.

Also I have certainly known other people who felt the need to control the interactions between their children and other family members so much that would seek to control things like what kind of presents they received from family members. As much as I personally value things like buying fair trade and such, I wouldn't personally put that value ahead of me and my child's relationship with our family.

Of course every parent has the right to be the ultimate decision maker on what they're child eats, wears, and plays with. That doesn't change the fact that sometimes everyone is happier when the parent chooses to relinquish some of that control. If the choice comes down to letting the child have the choice of eating meat when they are with grandma (I say choice because I have never in my life been able to force my child to eat something they didn't want to eat) and severely limiting the child's time with Grandma (of course assuming that aside from the meat issue this would be an otherwise positive relationship), which choice would cause the least amount of trouble and heartache?

All this being said, I do have to agree that the OP's MIL is being passive-aggressive. If it was my MIL making jokes about going behind my back against my parental wishes I would feel hurt and distrustful, and I would probably feel like limiting my child's time with her as well. That doesn't mean though that that is the best way of dealing with the situation.

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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"You have zero tolerance for the person, or the belief?"

The belief. As you say, a person can be deeply mistaken (in my view) about a whole heck of a lot of things still be a decent human being and deserving of my respect. But just as I won't sit still and listen to an explanation about how God intends men to be in charge of women, I wouldn't sit still and listen to an explanation of how a farm animal's life is worth just as much as mine. Both ideologies are inherently degrading and dehumanizing to me, and I don't allow other people to degrade me without offering up some kind of protest. I pay them the respect of assuming that they did not mean to offer me a grave insult, and I explain what my boundaries are on the issue.

Again, this has NEVER happened to me when I was interacting with a vegetarian. With ideologically motivated sexists? All the time. PETA has occasionally been incredibly offensive, but no individual vegetarian or vegan that I have ever met has felt the need to dehumanize me and mine in order to prop up their ideology.

junipermoon wrote:

"I can't imagine being married/partnered/willingly raising a child with someone who practiced some moral equivalent to human murder. Never would happen."

I don't think it ever does.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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That's one big reason why I think the "you people are MURDERERS" dinner-table debacle is a red herring. People do not do that, unless they have some severe emotional and social challenges orthogonal to their vegan ideology.
Smithie, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that you are the person who brought up the hypothetical veg*n who screams and flees at Thanksgiving, back in post #77. Why did you even bring it up if you think it's a red herring?

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Old 08-06-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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Smithie, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that you are the person who brought up the hypothetical veg*n who screams and flees at Thanksgiving, back in post #77. Why did you even bring it up if you think it's a red herring?
That's what I was thinking... I mean... I don't really get it.

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Since the OP is in a (seemingly) loving relationship with a man who eats meat, I made the assumption (based on my own experience) that while she has made the ethical choice not to eat meat, she doesn't see it as the moral equivalent of murder
Possibly not, but she may still feel it's very important and have philosophical beliefs that she holds dearly about it. For example, that it's only morally permissible to eat meat if it's eaten with reverence.

I just think people's beliefs about animals and people and their rights are do not fall under the category of practical considerations about what will eventually make a child a good person.

For example, a grandparent could never spank. However, she may have the right to ask a child not to touch the china. The former is about the child's human rights. The latter is a practical consideration that will affect the child, but in a minor way.

Vegetarianism is for many people about the rights of animals. I really do not think it's fair of people to suggest it's a minor issue.

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Old 08-06-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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The screaming-from-the-table-bit started when somebody (forget who) asked me how I'd react if I were served a human head. My point was, if the reaction to being served meat were the same as the reaction to being served a human head, then the person who reacted thusly is out of their everlovin' mind and I don't tolerate that level of crazy at my dinner table.

But, I have never heard of a vegetarian or vegan reacting in that manner and I do not believe it is a common problem. I actually socialize with a lot of vegetarians IRL. If I am surrounded by people who think I am the Hitler of chickens, then they are certainly managing to keep quiet about it.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, Thanks for all your comments and input! I feel like I have a pretty good idea about how to deal with this. I had to go out of town to deal with some family issues (my side), so I have kind of abandoned the forum for a couple of weeks. It seems like there were just a couple of issues that I wanted to clear up. I cant quote everyone, so I just want to make a few things little more clear:

*MIL is not concerned with respecting my desicions about food, but she eats cheetos and mustard for dinner on a styrofoam plate at least once a week. So Im dont really feel that she has room to disrespect me.

*DH is not vegetarian, but he was for several years and he was when I married him. His mother has dealt with him being an on again off again veg/vegan for over 10 years. He tries to make ethical choices about the meat he does choose to eat, but he has been known to break down and buy a Wendy's burger every now and then. However, I usually pack his lunch and it us usually vegetarian or with local meat.

*MIL is very controlling. She controls what time we go places, where we go, ect. I have had to push and fight to have Christmas at my house this year (b/c its MY babys first Christmas and I .want. her. at. home. I mentioned it all last year while I was preg and she laughed it off. I demand to be listened to every now and then. (She also gave DH a dog once without asking me...she just has no respect)

*I am not morally opposed to killing animals for meat. I dont really think that humans have the right to treat animals poorly while raising. I am morally opposed to the conditions they are kept in and the gross things they eat, and the nasty hormones and anti biotics that are injected into them. I also think that a person should have to know what they are eating and not have it come in plastic from the grocery store (this pretty much goes for all food, not just meat). Id rather someone hunt and kill their own meat than buy it from the store.


So, UPDATE:

I talked to MIL and to my parents about not giving DD meat until we have told them that it was ok. My parents said ok. MIL said she guessed that would be fine. I made a comment about how much it meant to me and that I would have a hard time leaving DD anywhere where I thought that someone would feed her meat. She said she wouldnt feed her any meat, meat products, or very much dairy until we said it was ok. So, I am going to trust her to respect me in this. I feel like if she does it even one time, DH will respect my desicion not to leave DD with her.

Again, THANKS LADIES! You were all so helpful with this issue. I never thought I would have to deal with it so early in her life, but it's great to know that Im not alone! I ♥ MDC!!!

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