You HAVE to do things... (spin-off) - Page 9 - Mothering Forums
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#241 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Who's choosing it for anyone else? My opinion shouldn't really matter either way to anyone with regard to how they raise their child ya know? I mean, I would hope that maybe something I said that affected someone or made someone think would promote them to possibly reflect on aspects of their parenting -- just is the case with the things I have read on here and such that have given me pause...

That is the beauty of us all being able to have differing opinions ... someone thinking me being a vegan (or extremely strict vegetarian, I do *slip* rarely) might be just as insane and crazy and whatever as me thinking mandatory church is.

However, there is solid, 100% proof, non disputable, on record, videotaped proof of the suffering of animals and the impact on the environment... while there is no solid evidence that one is damned to hell if they don't go to church on Sunday, but I digress...
All I am saying is that when you (or anybody else says) that our values arent a good enough reason to coerce our children into anything, but yours (vegetarian/veganism) are. Or that a strong belief in animal rights is rational and objective but a belief in heaven and hell is not.
Perhaps there is documented proof that some animals are abused. I am not arguing but it is your personal choice that makes it important to you. What matters is not that animals are abused. What matters is that it is important to YOU and that is why you choose these values. And it matters not whether there is documentable proof in the existence of hell. What matters is that it is important to somebody and they choose those values for themseves.
An ethic is an ethic. And if preventing your child from violating your ethics until they reach some arbitrary age where you think they are capable of deciding is a reasonable reason to use coersion for you. It is equally reasonable for everybody else, regardless of the nature of the ethic.
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#242 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 04:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Yeah, I am way into non-coercion and will try my damndest to practice it in nearly every situation, but cmon, limits people. Cat poop and dead flesh, my limits...because though other people don't agree and that's cool...to US, in our family, meat is as nasty as cat poop and certainly has a heck of a lot more ethical implications...
For any given issue, we all stand somewhere on a huge continuum, with the two endpoints being the most extreme. Most of us fall somewhere inbetween. There is one for bf'ing for example. On one extreme would be "never tried, never will". On the other extreme maybe "bf until dc was 12". Most of us would be somewhere inbetween, "bf until age 3, self weaned, except for cut off night feedings at age 2". I get so sick of people standing in their place on the continuum line and telling everyone downwind of them they are wrong. Then there is the person a few spaces upwind on the continuum telling that person they are wrong. Why is it the exact point we may be standing in is the only position that is correct? At some point the judgemental attitues just become silly.

I'm NOT saying you are doing this cc, but your quote above is a perfect example of you clearly stating where you fall in the continuum of this type of parenting that is being discussed in this thread (mutual consideration/non-coercion). That is great. I just hope/wish you and others in this thread can/do/will respect where others' "limits" may fall.

Seriously, the mothers participating in this discussion are probably some of the very best mothers in this country, all of your children are as lucky to have you as you are to have them. Some of these posts in this thread are starting to sound like splitting hairs between great parenting and great parenting.

~Tracy

Rockin' mama to Allison (9), Asher (5) and Alethea (3), head over heels in love with my sexy husband, Tony.

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#243 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 04:20 PM
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Johub, what is to stop someone from thinking that it is o.k. to coerce their children into their deeply held beliefs? This is a natural thing for humans to do, of course, and it would be hard to accept that the beliefs were deeply felt if the parents didn't try to pass them on.

Boundary conditions must be set. Hands up for all who think that it's o.k. for Simon (or your child[ren]) to harm other children or adults? How about the family cat or dog? Not causing or contributing to the needless suffering of another being is an easily justified boundary condition. I see no sound reason to accept the boundary condition of not harming other humans without extending it to include nonhuman animals as well. So unless you're going to accept the position that it isn't o.k. to insist that children do not harm other children and other humans, I'm not seeing how it is not o.k. to expect that they also lead lives that respect nonhuman animals as well.

So yes, some people will insist that aliens are coming to earth on December 14th and they must sit in a circle to be taken away to paradise. They will feel compelled to coerce their children to sit in wait for the aliens with them. They may feel this with all of their hearts. That other people feel their beliefs strongly and some of them (even most of them) may be wrong, and their beliefs may even harm their children, is no reason to deny the acceptance of boundary conditions such as the belief that it is wrong to cause needless suffering to animals, be they human or nonhuman.
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#244 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 04:25 PM
 
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originally posted by Dal
Johub, what is to stop someone from thinking that it is o.k. to coerce their children into their deeply held beliefs? This is a natural thing for humans to do, of course, and it would be hard to accept that the beliefs were deeply felt if the parents didn't try to pass them on.

Boundary conditions must be set. Hands up for all who think that it's o.k. for Simon (or your child[ren]) to harm other children or adults? How about the family cat or dog? Not causing or contributing to the needless suffering of another being is an easily justified boundary condition. I see no sound reason to accept the boundary condition of not harming other humans without extending it to include nonhuman animals as well. So unless you're going to accept the position that it isn't o.k. to insist that children do not harm other children and other humans, I'm not seeing how it is not o.k. to expect that they also lead lives that respect nonhuman animals as well.
I don't *Think* Joline has a problem with someone not allowing their small child to eat meat as it is an ethical belief for that family. I *Think* Joline is saying that everyone has different beliefs, and that one shouldn't say it is ok to insist on X,Y and Z for their child, then tell others who want to insist on A, B and C that it is wrong to insist on those things for their child because A,B and C are not as important or ethical as X,Y, and Z. I *Think* Joline is trying to point out that we all have different things that are important values to us so may insist on different things with their child.

~Tracy

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#245 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 04:27 PM
 
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A lot of it comes down to what you believe about agency, doesn't it?
At what age does a child become a moral agent? At birth? At 2 or 8 or 12? Or does it depend on the issue? If not at birth, then who decides? The govt has concluded that 18 year olds have enough moral agency to participate in war but not to buy cigarettes or alcohol :

It seems problematic no matter what. If you say at birth, a hundred issues could be named where we wouldn't necessarily trust a child's judgment, from running into the street to playing in polluted sludge. If they develop agency over time, then what determines when they are "of age" (in general or on a particular issue)?

Boy this thread has me thinking so much!
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#246 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dal
Johub, what is to stop someone from thinking that it is o.k. to coerce their children into their deeply held beliefs? This is a natural thing for humans to do, of course, and it would be hard to accept that the beliefs were deeply felt if the parents didn't try to pass them on.

Boundary conditions must be set. Hands up for all who think that it's o.k. for Simon (or your child[ren]) to harm other children or adults? How about the family cat or dog? Not causing or contributing to the needless suffering of another being is an easily justified boundary condition. I see no sound reason to accept the boundary condition of not harming other humans without extending it to include nonhuman animals as well. So unless you're going to accept the position that it isn't o.k. to insist that children do not harm other children and other humans, I'm not seeing how it is not o.k. to expect that they also lead lives that respect nonhuman animals as well.

So yes, some people will insist that aliens are coming to earth on December 14th and they must sit in a circle to be taken away to paradise. They will feel compelled to coerce their children to sit in wait for the aliens with them. They may feel this with all of their hearts. That other people feel their beliefs strongly and some of them (even most of them) may be wrong, and their beliefs may even harm their children, is no reason to deny the acceptance of boundary conditions such as the belief that it is wrong to cause needless suffering to animals, be they human or nonhuman.
But YOU are the one creating the boundary condition. Not everybody accepts that causing suffering to animals is the same as causing suffering to other humans. That is a value that YOU have and YOU uphold. And you have every right to do so.
But another parent has equal right to create a boundary condition based on whatever is of value to them. And they are likely to think that whatever their obvious boundary condition is is just as objective as you think yours is.

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#247 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 04:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alamama
A lot of it comes down to what you believe about agency, doesn't it?
At what age does a child become a moral agent? At birth? At 2 or 8 or 12? Or does it depend on the issue? If not at birth, then who decides? The govt has concluded that 18 year olds have enough moral agency to participate in war but not to buy cigarettes or alcohol :

It seems problematic no matter what. If you say at birth, a hundred issues could be named where we wouldn't necessarily trust a child's judgment, from running into the street to playing in polluted sludge. If they develop agency over time, then what determines when they are "of age" (in general or on a particular issue)?

Boy this thread has me thinking so much!
yes yes yes!!
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#248 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 05:16 PM
 
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Johub, what is to stop someone from thinking that it is o.k. to coerce their children into their deeply held beliefs? This is a natural thing for humans to do, of course, and it would be hard to accept that the beliefs were deeply felt if the parents didn't try to pass them on.

Boundary conditions must be set. Hands up for all who think that it's o.k. for Simon (or your child[ren]) to harm other children or adults? How about the family cat or dog? Not causing or contributing to the needless suffering of another being is an easily justified boundary condition. I see no sound reason to accept the boundary condition of not harming other humans without extending it to include nonhuman animals as well. So unless you're going to accept the position that it isn't o.k. to insist that children do not harm other children and other humans, I'm not seeing how it is not o.k. to expect that they also lead lives that respect nonhuman animals as well.

So yes, some people will insist that aliens are coming to earth on December 14th and they must sit in a circle to be taken away to paradise. They will feel compelled to coerce their children to sit in wait for the aliens with them. They may feel this with all of their hearts. That other people feel their beliefs strongly and some of them (even most of them) may be wrong, and their beliefs may even harm their children, is no reason to deny the acceptance of boundary conditions such as the belief that it is wrong to cause needless suffering to animals, be they human or nonhuman.
Every parent has values they want to pass on to their children. On one extreem you have the parents that have their children live by the parents values, no questions asked and by force if necessary. On the other end are the parents believe children learn values by watching parents, discussion, testing theories, questioning. Then comes the non-coercion distinction--what do you do if they don't agree with your theories? Some believe if an issue is important enough they need to put their foot down. Others believe they can provide information and guidance, but the decision is ultimately up to the child (whether it be toothbrushing, going to church on Sunday or veganism).
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#249 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 05:17 PM
 
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I think veganism is a non-issue not because veganism is "holier" than other issues, but because kids eat what's in the house until they reach an age much older than 2. If meat isn't in the house they don't eat it. Kids generally just naturally follow their parents on this kind of thing until they hit an age where there's interest in rebellion, self-discovery, experimentation, etc., which is certainly older than 2. 12 was just a guess but I imagine it's in that ballpark.
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#250 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 05:25 PM
 
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I strongly disagree.
My children eat at all sorts of places and with all sorts of people.
They have meals with family members and at restaurants and snacks at playgroup. Some go to public school and even if they take their lunch their friend next to them might offer a chicken nugget or a ham sandwich.
Will all caregivers also be vegan? Will the child only be within the home for every meal until they are 12? Will the child never go to restaurants? Inside convenience stores? etc. . .?
My children eat a LOT of things that I do not personally offer them or choose for them.
It would take an awful lot of sheltering to create a situation where a child was not exposed to or offered meat before age 12.
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#251 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 05:28 PM
 
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I didn't mean "exposed to no meat at all" - I meant the chance that a child would completely reject veganism. Like say, "I've thought about it and I disagree - I will not be a vegan" and maybe want to bring meat and dairy into the house. I'd have to guess that any kid would end up having at least a little meat and dairy by 12 no matter how careful parents were.
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#252 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 05:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee
I didn't mean "exposed to no meat at all" - I meant the chance that a child would completely reject veganism. Like say, "I've thought about it and I disagree - I will not be a vegan" and maybe want to bring meat and dairy into the house. I'd have to guess that any kid would end up having at least a little meat and dairy by 12 no matter how careful parents were.
But the point isnot really that the child will fully reject veganism, because even when children reject the beliefs of their parents they often go back to them in the long run. But the point is will the parent coerce the child into never eating or tasting meat or animal products when that child shows an interest? Regardless of whether or not they have fully accepted or rejected veganism as a value.
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#253 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 05:48 PM
 
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But the point isnot really that the child will fully reject veganism, because even when children reject the beliefs of their parents they often go back to them in the long run. But the point is will the parent coerce the child into never eating or tasting meat or animal products when that child shows an interest? Regardless of whether or not they have fully accepted or rejected veganism as a value.
If vegans don't offer their kids meat then it isn't at home. If the grandparents know the parents aren't vegans, they aren't likely to give the kids meat. So they might get a bit here and there from friends if the kids trade lunch food at school or something, but just not having meat around to give the kids isn't terribly coercive. If the kid is old enough to reject the parents' choice and the parents try to compel the kids into remaining vegan, then that is coercive.
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#254 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:04 PM
 
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Even if the grandparents do not offer it to the child. Just the sight of seeing somebody else have something they have never had is often incentive enough.
If they ever see somebody else eating meat, regardless of whether or not it is offered to them directly, they are exposed to it and potentially might ask for it or a bite.
If they should go to a restaurant because family is going. Mom and dad know there are vegan items on the menu but there are other things as well. THe child could ask for something that is not vegan. And then it is coercive to say "no you may not have that". Or say the family goes to a wedding or a holiday party. Even if parents plan ahead and feed the child first and bring something appropriate to eat, children get curious about what others are eating.
For some children this is a non-issue becuase they do not like to try new things. For others anythign somebody else has is appealing.
And what some moms are saying that while in all other circumstances they would provide a 2 year old with adequate information and then respect their own choice. If the circumstance should arrive that this same 2 year old should ask to eat meat, they would give them adequate information and hope the child does not continue to want to try it. But if the child should choose to have meat anyhow, they do not have that choice.
If it is coercive to refuse to allow banana splits for breakfast. It is coercive to refuse to allow meat. If the child asks for it.
I do agree that it is not coercive to just not have it in the house or to refuse to buy or cook it yourself.
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#255 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:07 PM
 
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I see a difference between going to a wedding reception and wanting a meatball on one had, and offering it at home. I agree that it is equally coercive to not allow your child to have a meatball from the buffet line if the child says it looks good as it is to coerce in any other way. But I don't think a vegan should have to buy meat and dairy groceries.

I think we actually are agreeing 100% LOL so I don't know what point we're making to each other.
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#256 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Look, I don't believe ANYONE can be completely free of coercion of some kind in their home. It would be highly unrealistic. Some hard-core TCS'ers and such will even call playful parenting coercion because even by making a game of it you are coercing your child to do something they didn't want to do in the first place (i.e. "I bet you can't put on your shoes faster than I can!!!!" when the child didn't want shoes in the first place, but you make it fun for them, so they wind up doing it.)

It is not my intent to create an environment completely free of coercion, with my children or anyone I deal with because I would be killing myself trying to live up to a standard that I don't feel is realistic for anyone.

The way I intend to live, namely regarding my daughter, is in an environment completely free of any kind of manipulative coercion, any force, and attempt to live as much as possible in an environment where she is not coerced at all. Some days I will achieve this, most days probably -- but I, nor anyone here, presented with extreme circumstances, can say they will never coerce their child to do or not do anything ever...that is not realistic.

Where we find arguement I think, is that just because I admit that there will probably be a situation of coercion rarely, despite great efforts to avoid it -- I still know that it is not optimum, I still don't have it in my "tool box" as a regular means of dealing with my child .... while some parents here do. That is okay for your home, no one is suggesting anyone here is a bad person or parent, or that I am better or whatever ...

I hope this clears up some confusion. I am against coercion, just as I am against yelling...but I can't sit here and say in the 18 (+?) years my daughter is in our home, that I will NEVER raise my voice with her --- yet it is something I will strive not to do and will probably succeed a much larger percent of the time than I fail.

Living consentually to me does not mean that my life and interests cease to exsist the day my daughter entered our life. Animal activism is something that I have worked on for 10 years, something that is a huge part of my husband and my life -- and while I would never force my daughter to a rally, or make her paint signs or pressure her into marching or signing a petition, or whatever ...these things will be in our home. Similarly, as one poster said, having meat in the home of a vegan (one who is for ethical reasons) is not a mutually agreeable solution. As I mentioned earlier, if my daughter got involved with some Nazi skinheads....it would not be mutually agreeable that she hang a swastika flag on our porch.

I attempt to be as non=coercive as possible, but when my daughter is stepping on the fine line between her choices and the harming of another person or being, I am erring on the side where the other person or being is NOT going to be hurt or killed. At least in my home. Yes, I realize there will be a time where she may want to try meat and all that and we covered that, but people seem to think it is so coercive that I won't have a steak in my freezer ready to cook the day she expresses an interest.

This isn't really about meat anyway, and I am sorry it veered to that topic. It is about the fact that we (hubby and I) believe that every person and animal has a right to exsist peacefully on this Earth, in as much as we can do to see that happen ---and just as I wouldn't allow my daughter to push someone down at the playground because they upset her, or she felt that was how she wanted to express her anger or whatever, I won't introduce animal products to her simply to satisfy an innocent curiosity about a "food" that comes from a once live creature and an industry she can't possible digest at such a young age (hell, I couldn't digest it when I was a teenager, which sparked my activism)


ETA: Okay, you can honestly say you can see NO difference whatsoever between a vegan banana split and a once living, breathing, creature that lived and died a life of torture? I mean, no matter whether you eat meat or not, you can't see any distinction?
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#257 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:16 PM
 
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I think we actually are agreeing 100% LOL so I don't know what point we're making to each other.
Well, your discussion helped clarify things for me! I wonder if ScubaMama or ambdkf has had any issues like this come up, where the thing the child wants to do is morally repulsive to them, and they can't present enough information to talk them out of it?

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#258 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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I see a difference between going to a wedding reception and wanting a meatball on one had, and offering it at home. I agree that it is equally coercive to not allow your child to have a meatball from the buffet line if the child says it looks good as it is to coerce in any other way. But I don't think a vegan should have to buy meat and dairy groceries.

I think we actually are agreeing 100% LOL so I don't know what point we're making to each other.
Yeah I guess we are! We are arguing the same points to each other and we already agree and just didnt know it!
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#259 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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and just as I wouldn't allow my daughter to push someone down at the playground because they upset her, or she felt that was how she wanted to express her anger or whatever,
How will you stop her? Will you physically restrain her? Will you remove her from the situation against her will? Isn't that coercion? What if your dd turns out to be aggressive, one of those toddlers you always have to shadow? Then what?

Pat, have you ever had this happen? Do you physically stop your son from hurting others?

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#260 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Did ya read my whole post or what?

Of course I couldn't stop her if I were too far away to prevent it, but I would prevent it if I could and I agree that it would be a form of *force* I suppose -- I never stated in any of my posts that I avoid coercion at all costs, even to the detrement of people and defenseless animals...it is just not something in my "tool box" as it were to defer to in the many situations described (bedtime, tooth brushing, car seats etc)...
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#261 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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Okay, you can honestly say you can see NO difference whatsoever between a vegan banana split and a once living, breathing, creature that lived and died a life of torture? I mean, no matter whether you eat meat or not, you can't see any distinction?
This is subjective, I think you're on both sides of the fence here. Because for me, yes, I'd much rather my dd have steak and eggs for breakfast than a vegan banana split, which I'm assuming has a high sugar content. I'd even coerce her into it. But I'd never force my dd to go to church, and I'd let her go to the Disney store if she wanted. Just passing on my values, she can do with them what she will.

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#262 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, the decision between sugar content and partaking in an act where an innocent, defenseless creature is enslaved, tortured, caged, beaten, crowded, prodded, electrocuted, then murdered, with no ability to ever in their short life live one day the way nature intended... well, bring on the sugar....
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#263 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:32 PM
 
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ETA: Okay, you can honestly say you can see NO difference whatsoever between a vegan banana split and a once living, breathing, creature that lived and died a life of torture? I mean, no matter whether you eat meat or not, you can't see any distinction?
Yes I can honestly say so. But only because I think that if one should believe that a child is fully rational and able to make choices for themselves what is right "for them" it is inconsistent to then say "except in this circumstance"
If it is coercive to limit choices based on what I think is an acceptable breakfast (an argument made earlier in the thread) it is coercive to limit choices based on what I think is acceptable food.
And if a child is truly fully rational and fully capable of understanding pros and cons in all of these circumstances that have been argued. Then I cannot see how this same child, who has been trusted from birth to make these decisions, is suddenly incapable of fully understanding in this one area.

And if one judges whether it is an appropriate thing to say to a child based on whether or not they would say it to an adult, and they would never say to their husband or their neighbor "No you may not have that meatball" then it is inconsistent to say so to their child.
And if a parent is really a mentor and is there to give advice and not to control their child. it is inconsistent to change that role at a moment's notice when meat is the issue.

So to me it is not about meat versus banana split. It is about whether a child is rational and their own agent, or not. Whether a child can be trusted to make all of their own decisions except when personal safety is an immediate concern, or not.
I have a hard time thinking a child is fully rational and capable of making their own decisions from the very beginning including ones which impact their health and happiness, but not when it comes to mom's ethics.

But back to the beginning of your last post. I heartily agree that even with the best of intentions there are times we do not live up. I am against yelling, but I have yelled, and I probably will again. etc. . .
we all can only do our best.
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#264 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I can respect your opinions, though I don't agree. It is hard to come to an agreement on certain things when ethics are so vastly different in this case. I assume you eat meat and see no problem with it and that is a choice you have made, however, just as I can't put myself in the position of someone who sees nothing inherently wrong with it, as much as I may try, it is very difficult I think for someone to put themselves in a position of feeling the way I do and have felt for 10+ years. Fair enough.

I think though, that when we digress into issues of "well, bedtime might be an ethical issue" and such, it gets a bit silly. I would probably laugh out loud if someone said to me that making their child go to bed at 8pm on the dot, whether they were tired or not, wanted to or not, was an "ethical" issue to them, and that if force was the way they did it, child kicking and screaming, then that is the way it has to be.

With the meat issue, there are a bunch of mutually agreeable solutions, as there are a bunch of products out there that I could cook (and have cooked) for meat eaters where they wouldn't know the difference.... now I would never knowingly lie to my child and say something is a hot dog made from lips and butt when it really was a "not" dog made from soy... but if my child saw someone eating a hot dog and wanted that, I would buy not dogs and she would most likely eat them no problem .. and I would probably be utterly shocked if she said, "no, no, this looks exactly the same as what that guy had, but it is NOT lips and butt!!"

The same with meatballs, burgers, chicken nuggets and the like... there are all impressive vegan alternatives that would most likely be an agreeable solution to someone who simply wanted what someone else had...which would probably be the case with a very small child. It wouldn't be so much a situation of "I WANT A DEAD ANIMAL ON MY PLATE!!!"... as it would be wanting something they saw someone else having... and if I could provide the look, texture, and similar taste, without the cruelty...that is a mutually agreeable solution in my book...

ETA: We are talking a small child here, we already covered if my daughter could actively ask for "meat" and understood what it was...which I think would be younger than 12 (as a pp mentioned) but I don't know exactly what age)
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#265 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:52 PM
 
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That sounds like a mutually agreeable solution.

I guess I just don't see that it would come up often. I have vegan friends and if their kids are here I don't serve meat or dairy and my dd eats the same thing the vegan kids eat. I have a friend with a diabetic daughter and when she's here everyone eats what the diabetic child can eat. My guess is most vegan families surround themselves with friends who support their choices and don't offer meat and dairy when they're around? If that's the case, then meat probably doesn't just appear as an appetizing option very often.

I can see the wedding reception line as an issue though. I suppose you could say, "that's made with meat but I can make you some vegan 'meatballs' when we get home" and go for a mutually agreeable solution that way. At some point though it seems like a child would be old enough to say, "I don't want vegan 'meatballs', I want those ones and I want some meatballs now. I don't care if they have meat." How old are children when they do that? A younger child is more likely to just want meatballs RIGHT NOW and not be comforted by having any kind of meatballs later.
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#266 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 06:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I can respect your opinions, though I don't agree. It is hard to come to an agreement on certain things when ethics are so vastly different in this case. I assume you eat meat and see no problem with it and that is a choice you have made, however, just as I can't put myself in the position of someone who sees nothing inherently wrong with it, as much as I may try, it is very difficult I think for someone to put themselves in a position of feeling the way I do and have felt for 10+ years. Fair enough.

I think though, that when we digress into issues of "well, bedtime might be an ethical issue" and such, it gets a bit silly. I would probably laugh out loud if someone said to me that making their child go to bed at 8pm on the dot, whether they were tired or not, wanted to or not, was an "ethical" issue to them, and that if force was the way they did it, child kicking and screaming, then that is the way it has to be.

With the meat issue, there are a bunch of mutually agreeable solutions, as there are a bunch of products out there that I could cook (and have cooked) for meat eaters where they wouldn't know the difference.... now I would never knowingly lie to my child and say something is a hot dog made from lips and butt when it really was a "not" dog made from soy... but if my child saw someone eating a hot dog and wanted that, I would buy not dogs and she would most likely eat them no problem .. and I would probably be utterly shocked if she said, "no, no, this looks exactly the same as what that guy had, but it is NOT lips and butt!!"

The same with meatballs, burgers, chicken nuggets and the like... there are all impressive vegan alternatives that would most likely be an agreeable solution to someone who simply wanted what someone else had...which would probably be the case with a very small child. It wouldn't be so much a situation of "I WANT A DEAD ANIMAL ON MY PLATE!!!"... as it would be wanting something they saw someone else having... and if I could provide the look, texture, and similar taste, without the cruelty...that is a mutually agreeable solution in my book...

ETA: We are talking a small child here, we already covered if my daughter could actively ask for "meat" and understood what it was...which I think would be younger than 12 (as a pp mentioned) but I don't know exactly what age)
I agree that it is a mutually agreeable solution in the long run. Assuming that there is a time lapse. Or the child is responding to a commerical or something where the food is not otherwise immediately availible.
But in the buffet line for example or at a party where there an appetizer plate. You dont have the time or resources to quickly run to the store and into the kitchen to come up with that mutually agreeable solution.
It is either yes or no. You have opportunity to tell the child what it is and why you do not eat it. And then if the child says "but I want to try it" you have to make an immediate decision whether or not coercion is necessary, or whether or not to respect your child's choice.
But I 100% agree that most of the time a mutually agreeable solution is availible, especially when the request is not immediate.

On the other hand I would be loathe to suggest somebody elses values are "silly".

Joline
eta, Oh and I really have no difficulty understanding why some personal values might be extremely important to a person, regardless of the value. The fact that I am not vegan does not make me unable to understand when somebody has made a moral commitment to something.
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#267 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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My goal for her as she grows, to feel as if she had had a choice, she would have chosen us.

The act of me bringing her into the world doesn't give me authority over her choices and her body, and her life. Yes, I will happily provide a roof, clothing, food, guidance, love, acceptance, understanding, a soft place to fall -- I love being her mom and I want her to know that we are responsible for her safety and well-being... but that her body, mind, heart and spirit are her own.
I haven't had a chance to read through the whole thread, but I just got goosebumps reading this and had to say so . . . I hope our son grows to feel and know the same about us.

Daughter since '68 ~Sister since '72 ~Wife since '97 ~ Mama since DS 5/03& DD 10/08
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#268 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 07:27 PM
 
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OK. I am not saying that veganism should be the exception to non-coersive parenting. What I am saying is that I need some pointers to either help come up with some common preferences (like cc's meat substitutes) or ways to let go of the idea that I must impose my values on dd. I NEED HELP! Where is Scubamama?

But kidding aside, I DO think there is a difference between the "ethics" of a banana split for breakfast and the "ethics" of veganism. If I tell dd my theories on veganism at the age of 2 where she is unlikely to understand much of it, she might eat a hamburger. By the act of eating that hamburger she will be irreversibly damaging (as in killing) the cow the burger was made from. If I tell my dd my theories on eating too much sugar for breakfast and she does so, she gets a sugar buzz early in the morning. This effects her and maybe me if it makes her more hyper for a few hours. No permanent damage done.

Is that a licence for coersion? I do not think so. Will it be hard for me to do it in practice? Heck yes! Which is exactly why i am trying to figure it out now before it comes up.

And to those of you who posted about the meatball in the buffet line....that will upset me just as much as bringing it into my house. I will be upset because an animal suffered and died for it. It has little to do with where it was consumed. However, again, that is MY problem and not dd's.

I am not very good at this non-coersive parenting stuff yet. i trip up on much simpler issues than veganism so maybe I should worry about the easier stuff first. but just because I am not perfect and do occaisonally coerse does not mean I think it is OK. For any issue. Violence, religion, veganism, illegal issues etc.....

If my end goal is to have a dc that grows up to be completely free in making her own sound theories and decisions, i have to allow her to make these choices no matter how painful they are for me. And frankly, I am quite sure that if I forbid that meatball, she is much likelier to ditch veganism forever than if I just share my theories and support her ability to make that decision.

I just do not think I can watch
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#269 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks...

Wel, Joline, if we are ever in a buffet line at a wedding, you will be the one I will think of if my daughter throws a tantrum over a meatball sorry, trying to lighten the mood.

Anway, again, no one is perfect and though we all strive to be the best parents we can be, we are going to slip every now and again...and we all have our lines in the sand.

I never claimed to be completely non-coercive, but as much as possible, my daughter's choices will be her own ... but my "line in the sand" so to speak, is when a choice of hers directly harms another person or being. Of course, I don't intend to be manipulative in this... I would NEVER say something to my daughter like "gee, it hurts mama when you don't eat your vegetables"... to me that reeks of manipulation and control. However, if she were to begin pummeling another child or something, of course I would stop it. No one else deserves to be physically hurt just because my child "chooses" to hurt them... I guess I feel the same with animals. I know over a certain age, there will be nothing I can do to stop her, and again, she wouldn't be treated any differently, or "punished" or anything if she did decide to eat meat...but as a small child, I cannot knowingly provide something to her that had to suffer so, and die to appease a curiosity. The same way (if I could prevent it) I would not allow her to stone a bird with a broken wing to death to "see what happens"....
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#270 of 434 Old 11-16-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by johub
Yes I can honestly say so. But only because I think that if one should believe that a child is fully rational and able to make choices for themselves what is right "for them" it is inconsistent to then say "except in this circumstance"
If it is coercive to limit choices based on what I think is an acceptable breakfast (an argument made earlier in the thread) it is coercive to limit choices based on what I think is acceptable food.
And if a child is truly fully rational and fully capable of understanding pros and cons in all of these circumstances that have been argued. Then I cannot see how this same child, who has been trusted from birth to make these decisions, is suddenly incapable of fully understanding in this one area.

And if one judges whether it is an appropriate thing to say to a child based on whether or not they would say it to an adult, and they would never say to their husband or their neighbor "No you may not have that meatball" then it is inconsistent to say so to their child.
And if a parent is really a mentor and is there to give advice and not to control their child. it is inconsistent to change that role at a moment's notice when meat is the issue.

So to me it is not about meat versus banana split. It is about whether a child is rational and their own agent, or not. Whether a child can be trusted to make all of their own decisions except when personal safety is an immediate concern, or not.
I have a hard time thinking a child is fully rational and capable of making their own decisions from the very beginning including ones which impact their health and happiness, but not when it comes to mom's ethics.

But back to the beginning of your last post. I heartily agree that even with the best of intentions there are times we do not live up. I am against yelling, but I have yelled, and I probably will again. etc. . .
we all can only do our best.
Thanks, johub, for so eloquently saying what I was trying to. I think Pat said this as well, either you coerce, or you don't.

Mommy to kids

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