not only did they give my VEGAN kid cheese.. Update/Email post 16 - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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Just because they are kids doesn't mean they lack sense and will power (that would be me )
See... that's what I'm saying. She had the sense & the willpower, but I'd bet she chose to eat what she did. Let's face it... pancakes are delicious! Ice cream? Nom nom nom... (ha! You can tell who else lacks will power! Boy do I pray for that every.single.day!)

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#32 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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I'd really be interested to know the age of your daughter...after all she's going away camping for multiple days/nights away from her family. Even my 5 & 6yo ask without prompting if an item is vegan when outside the home...even something as benign as a glass of juice.
It sounds like she either doesn't understand what it means to be a vegetarian, or doesn't care to be one herself, but it sounds like she is certainly old enough to shoulder some of the responsibility herself if she wants to maintain the same diet/lifestyle as the rest of her family when outside the home.

As for my kids, 3 go to school, 1 in public school. I ALWAYS prepare food for them to take along, though they can certainly inquire about a given snack if they so choose. But IMO it just should not be the responsibility of the caregiver/educator of an older child to monitor their food intake, even if they say they have it covered, I would not expect them to do so. Maybe if it was a severe life-threatening allergy situation...but then I'm sure they'd be carrying an epi-pen and doctor's note and everyone would be taking it seriously.
In your daughter's case (as I do when traveling) I would have packed her backpack full of Luna bars, dried fruit, dehydrated veggies...maybe some veggie jerky if she's into that sort of thing. Any vegan food she received from the camp would have been a bonus.

I'm very sorry this situation got so out of control. I would have pounced on those involved from the first dietary infraction, ie. the cheese at school. I think they probably thought it wasn't a big deal since it wasn't brought up again, and they relaxed about trying to be more accomodating. :

Will you be writing a followup letter?
What decision have you made about her returning to school? (And I totally agree about the baby chicks thing. )

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#33 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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OP, I'm sorry that you're feeling sad and frustrated that your choices haven't been honored by the school. Just looking at the situation from the outside, it seems that how you choose to handle the situation could have lasting impact (either negative or positive) on your daughter. I don't know how old your daughter is, but is easy to imagine that a young child could easily take on a lot of shame and guilt if she believes that she's being removed from a school that she likes because she ate the wrong foods. Of course, as adults, we can see that the real reasons are the school's disregard of your values etc. but a child is not likely to fully grasp that. She may think: "I ate non-vegan food: I got taken out of a school I loved. I am being punished." You may need to be on the top of your parenting game to help her navigate this in a healthy manner. Just saying "it wasn't your fault" may not be enough. I recall being told that about some event in my childhood, and for years I believed it WAS my fault, and my parents only said that becuase they were trying to protect me. Lots of open listening and helping her process her feelings might go a long way.
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#34 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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I'd really be interested to know the age of your daughter...after all she's going away camping for multiple days/nights away from her family. Even my 5 & 6yo ask without prompting if an item is vegan when outside the home...even something as benign as a glass of juice.
It sounds like she either doesn't understand what it means to be a vegetarian, or doesn't care to be one herself, but it sounds like she is certainly old enough to shoulder some of the responsibility herself if she wants to maintain the same diet/lifestyle as the rest of her family when outside the home.

As for my kids, 3 go to school, 1 in public school. I ALWAYS prepare food for them to take along, though they can certainly inquire about a given snack if they so choose. But IMO it just should not be the responsibility of the caregiver/educator of an older child to monitor their food intake, even if they say they have it covered, I would not expect them to do so. Maybe if it was a severe life-threatening allergy situation...but then I'm sure they'd be carrying an epi-pen and doctor's note and everyone would be taking it seriously.
In your daughter's case (as I do when traveling) I would have packed her backpack full of Luna bars, dried fruit, dehydrated veggies...maybe some veggie jerky if she's into that sort of thing. Any vegan food she received from the camp would have been a bonus.

I'm very sorry this situation got so out of control. I would have pounced on those involved from the first dietary infraction, ie. the cheese at school. I think they probably thought it wasn't a big deal since it wasn't brought up again, and they relaxed about trying to be more accomodating. :

Will you be writing a followup letter?
What decision have you made about her returning to school? (And I totally agree about the baby chicks thing. )

I wholeheartedly agree....BUT the OP mentioned that these were the ONLY choices. If I was hiking 4+ miles fruit and veggies would NOT be enough. You need calories to sustain yourself for physical exertion. In this case, what makes it SO outrageous to me is that my DD would be left to eat icecream, pancakes, etc, against her beliefs, or be physicall harmed by not consuming enough food and having to participate in physical activities.

And in that situation, I would NOT be angry at my CHILD for choosing to eat something questionable/against our beliefs. Even if it happened to be sugary sweetness.

I am not litigious in nature, but this sounds like a lawsuit IMO.

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#35 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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It sounds like she either doesn't understand what it means to be a vegetarian, or doesn't care to be one herself, but it sounds like she is certainly old enough to shoulder some of the responsibility herself if she wants to maintain the same diet/lifestyle as the rest of her family when outside the home.
It seemed to me that the OP's child was not given a choice between vegan and nonvegan foods, and chose nonvegan, but that the OP's child was given a choice between nonvegan food and starvation and chose nonvegan.

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#36 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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the response that we recieved basically said that the aftercare snacks were her (the director's) fault because she choose to "be more accommodating to [our] needs for after school care than to require [our] completion of the forms." (we were never given forms for aftercare but had stated that she was vegan in her school registration).

She also wrote that the camp was notified of K's preferences and that she choose her foods... Of course she choose to eat though- they didn't have healthy options!!!

So, the letter failed to offer any sort of apology, minus her (in my mind) passively/aggressively accepting responsibility for the cheese.
I don't really understand what's going on in the first part of your post... but I'd guess aftercare doesn't have access to her registration. It sounds like a seperate program.

I'd also check with the camp to see what alternatives she was offered. It's worth asking them directly. Absolutely no judgement on your daughter, but all kids can... you know... fudge the truth to their favor.

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#37 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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I think the school have provided adequate food if they offered to do so. I would say her daughter was probably so hungry and just took the sweet, tempting food.

This kinda brings up an interesting topic about raising veggie kids. I never raised my kids to the veggie, though even at 2 and 4 they voluntarily refuse meat (obviously from my example). They also voluntarily refuse milk (again probably because I find it gross). However, they never refuse ice cream, though they will choose sorbet if it is available. I am pretty easy about the whole things and I am just letting them find their way.

While I think the school is ultimately responsible since she is a child, it may be useful for the OP to open a dialogue with her daughter about the whole topic.
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#38 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I only have a minute but I'll post more in a bit..

to answer a few questions though, my daughter is 8 and she absolutely made the choice to eat what she ate (which, I'll admit, would have been my choice too). My problem, however, is that she didn't have other options and of course the child wanted treats and pancakes.

So, she knows that we are ok with her making choices like this, and we make sure to tell her OFTEN that we will never care for her or love her any less if she chooses to not be vegan. In fact, she went vegan before me (completely by choice, when I was hesitent ).

The school also told us that we were not allowed to send any food/snacks and that they had a full kitchen (and 'vegan' was an actual option on the permission slip, like to check, not write in).

I just really assumed they were vegan-friendly and would be able to accomidate. I guess I know better now

(my daughter has stressed, since she's been home, how she would always like to eat vegan. she was sad about the no options- she did love the treats though- the meat was "gross" she said).

k, really gotta run, but I'll be back

(thank you foo all of the replies- I've had a lot to think about..)

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#39 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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We are vegetarian and will raise DD to be vegetarian. Dh is vegan and I was completely vegan for about 7 years, but since a strict ED with DD for several months I've cheated with cheese a few times.

In any case, I would be furious that no vegan options were available it if was an option on the permission slip! I think you should contact the camp directly, too. Ask exactly what vegan foods were available at meal times. I would probably ask for a menu of what foods were provided at every meal for the entire week.

I don't think your email to the school was very direct, though. I would have stated that it was on the permission slip and that no balanced vegan meal options were available. Expecting a child to eat vegetables and fruit only is insane, and I would make that clear in your email/letter.

I agree that it's also possible that your dd "cheated" and feels bad about it, so is maybe not giving you the whole story. If the vegan breakfast was plain oatmeal and the other option was buttermilk pancakes and sausage, maybe she chose to eat the pancakes and sausage?

I think this is a good reminder that if we want our kids to eat a certain way, maybe we need to make sure to talk to EVERY teacher and caregiver, including after school programs and camps. I don't know that I would have thought to do that, but now I will...

I am sorry this happened - I would have a very hard time with it.
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#40 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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I can't believe how judgmental some of you are being towards this child. She ate what she had to eat to avoid getting sick. If you were hiking 4 + miles a day, you would eat the calories as well. She feels bad about it or she wouldn't have told her mother. If she wanted to eat the food, she would have just lied about it. Come on folks, give the kid a break. And the school said they would honor her needs. It was a choice on the registration form. They didn't do what they said they were gonna do. This school is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

Take care of your DD and continue to protect her from people that don't do what they say they will. This is not "Protecting her from herself."

Being vegan is no different than having food allergies. A child who has never had meat will become extremely ill if she eats meat. Just as an allergic child will become ill if they eat the foods they are allergic to. Her body does not have the enzymes it needs to digest meat.

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#41 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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I can't believe how judgmental some of you are being towards this child. She ate what she had to eat to avoid getting sick. If you were hiking 4 + miles a day, you would eat the calories as well. She feels bad about it or she wouldn't have told her mother. If she wanted to eat the food, she would have just lied about it. Come on folks, give the kid a break. And the school said they would honor her needs. It was a choice on the registration form. They didn't do what they said they were gonna do. This school is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

Take care of your DD and continue to protect her from people that don't do what they say they will. This is not "Protecting her from herself."

Being vegan is no different than having food allergies. A child who has never had meat will become extremely ill if she eats meat. Just as an allergic child will become ill if they eat the foods they are allergic to. Her body does not have the enzymes it needs to digest meat.

Kathi
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I'm so sorry this happened to your dd. This situation is just awful.

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#42 of 59 Old 05-01-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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Being vegan is no different than having food allergies. A child who has never had meat will become extremely ill if she eats meat. Just as an allergic child will become ill if they eat the foods they are allergic to. Her body does not have the enzymes it needs to digest meat.

Kathi
I'm sorry but my child having an anaphylactic reaction to nuts is a bit different than a child getting the runs and abdominal upset from the lack of being able to digest meat. Even my ds's less severe reactions have been scary and include his mouth and face swelling. Other people with allergies can have severe intestinal bleeding. Allergies are a lot different. Also this mom said her daughter only had a small amount of meat.

I agree if this school said there would be options, the options should have been adequate. However I still think it's hard to see all the other kids eating things like ice cream and pancakes and your option is not nearly as good as the others. Especially if you are 8. In no way do I think this child is at fault. I think that when we talk about accomodations, our thoughts are different than their's are. Trust me i've been a vegetarian in a out of town hospital for 2 weeks(and my family was only there some of the time).

I do think this needs to be seriously adressed with the school.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
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#43 of 59 Old 05-02-2009, 10:05 PM
 
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Being vegan is no different than having food allergies. A child who has never had meat will become extremely ill if she eats meat. Just as an allergic child will become ill if they eat the foods they are allergic to. Her body does not have the enzymes it needs to digest meat.

Kathi
I can SOOO agree with this!! I ate some chili at my sisters house. She is SOOO good with keeping my Vegan food/spoons separate, but the beans she bought were "chili beans" not regular kidney beans (I later found out when I looked in her recycling bin). I got violently ill after eating it- explosive diarrhea). You can never be careful.

As far as the OP goes- I would have thought she could have eaten vegetarian for the field trip. I'm sorry this happened to your family!! It's pretty cool that they had the Vegan option even though they didn't honor it.

Susan- Vegetarian Single Mom to 9 year old twins!!
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#44 of 59 Old 05-02-2009, 11:12 PM
 
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I'm sorry but my child having an anaphylactic reaction to nuts is a bit different than a child getting the runs and abdominal upset from the lack of being able to digest meat. Even my ds's less severe reactions have been scary and include his mouth and face swelling. Other people with allergies can have severe intestinal bleeding. Allergies are a lot different. Also this mom said her daughter only had a small amount of meat.
I agree - it really is not a fair comparison as diarrhea, while horribly painful and inconvenient in some circumstances, cannot begin to compare to a life threatening anaphylactic reaction a child with allergies may suffer.
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#45 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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I agree with Dakota's mom - the issue here is that the school said there would be options for her, disallowed her to bring food, and then didnt follow through with having vegan options for her. If the school can't/won't they need to say that - not say then can, then don't.

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#46 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 12:58 AM
 
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I agree - it really is not a fair comparison as diarrhea, while horribly painful and inconvenient in some circumstances, cannot begin to compare to a life threatening anaphylactic reaction a child with allergies may suffer.
Yes. I don't think anyone who knows anything about real food allergies would ever make such a claim. It's unfortunate that this happened to the OP's daughter but it's not even close to the same thing.

Healthcare is a human right!
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#47 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 01:16 AM
 
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I agree - it really is not a fair comparison as diarrhea, while horribly painful and inconvenient in some circumstances, cannot begin to compare to a life threatening anaphylactic reaction a child with allergies may suffer.
But it shouldn't be delineated by degrees. It should be equally important to honor a child's food choices as it is for children with food allergies and sensitivities. This is a pretty black and white thing. For instance, no milk should mean no milk, regardless of whether it is because a child has a mild food intolerance, a full-blown anaphylactic reaction, or it is a conscientious choice due to philosophical/religious views. Yes, for some it is life-or-death , and for others, it might cause some temporary discomfort, but regardless, those food parameters MUST BE respected. There is just zero room for error on this, irrespective of the reason. It is not acceptable in any way for the food accommodations to be respected if there was an anaphylactic allergy, but for people to assume that the accommodations were negotiable if the allergy was mild, or if it was "only" an idealogical or religious reason. Frankly, I'm surprised that the mothers with seriously food allergic kids are trying to "pull rank" in this thread, we should all be on the SAME SIDE of this debate.

This is coming from someone who personally deals with both food allergies (not anaphylactic, but causes me chronic pain if I have an offending food), as well as a philosophical objection to eating chicken, beef and pork. I would be just as pissed if someone gave me something with meat in it, as I would if someone gave me something that had gluten in it and it caused a painful flare of symptoms, ESPECIALLY if they had told me that they are accommodating my wishes and my needs. My needs (gluten-free) don't "trump" my wishes (meat-free).
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#48 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 02:02 AM
 
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Sorry not trying to "pull rank". It gets very tiresome when people compare many things to allergies. It also works to discredit allergies is some peoples eyes. Then they might not think much of it when I say my child has a severe allergy. That in turn could lead to a fatal reaction in my child. Yes we are all on the same side. Watching your child have a potentially fatal reaction to a food(or other substance) changes you though. I'm not looking for a debate though, just trying to inform people.

As I said earlier, when we are told someone will be accomodated, we really should ask what that is. Many people think that all vegetarians want to eat are beans and salad. Furthermore, I don't think I would send any child with dietary restrictions to a camp that said no outside food. This school(and the camp) needs to be seriously complained to before this goes any further.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
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#49 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 02:49 AM
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That is awful! I am livid on your behalf. To tell a kid to violate their principles or starve... Well, what is that school trying to teach?

I do have to say that I was at DD's class volunteering for a party and I had to inform the staff that the cereals with marshmallows were not vegetarian. There are many vegetarian Hindus (as well as other vegetarians) at her school and I bet they wouldn't appreciate their kids eating marshmallows. I don't allow DD to have them.
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#50 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 03:16 AM
 
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Sorry not trying to "pull rank". It gets very tiresome when people compare many things to allergies. It also works to discredit allergies is some peoples eyes. Then they might not think much of it when I say my child has a severe allergy. That in turn could lead to a fatal reaction in my child. Yes we are all on the same side. Watching your child have a potentially fatal reaction to a food(or other substance) changes you though. I'm not looking for a debate though, just trying to inform people.
I can see how it can be tiresome, but that is not the fault of people who have special needs when it comes to food, whether they are seriously life threatening or not.

If you had a vegan child in your child's class, and because of that, the staff at school became lax with your child's life threatening allergy parameters, is it the fault of the vegan child? NO!!

I don't allow my child to eat certain things because she has tooth decay that I work very diligently on to try to manage. The things that I do are similar to the things that a mom of a child with diabetes would do. But the fact that I ask for accommodations because of tooth decay, which is not life threatening, does not in any way shape or form "discredit" the needs of a child with diabetes, for which it could be very very serious and life threatening.

If food parameters are being ignored or not taken seriously, that is a huge problem, but don't hoist the blame on those of us that are dealing with relatively minor issues. I am so sorry if anyone is dealing with this, and I hope that there is more education and training out there so that school staff can act appropriately to ensure the safety and well being of all children.
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#51 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 05:01 AM
 
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I can see how it can be tiresome, but that is not the fault of people who have special needs when it comes to food, whether they are seriously life threatening or not.

If you had a vegan child in your child's class, and because of that, the staff at school became lax with your child's life threatening allergy parameters, is it the fault of the vegan child? NO!!

I don't allow my child to eat certain things because she has tooth decay that I work very diligently on to try to manage. The things that I do are similar to the things that a mom of a child with diabetes would do. But the fact that I ask for accommodations because of tooth decay, which is not life threatening, does not in any way shape or form "discredit" the needs of a child with diabetes, for which it could be very very serious and life threatening.

If food parameters are being ignored or not taken seriously, that is a huge problem, but don't hoist the blame on those of us that are dealing with relatively minor issues. I am so sorry if anyone is dealing with this, and I hope that there is more education and training out there so that school staff can act appropriately to ensure the safety and well being of all children.
See the funny thing about this is that I do agree with you on all levels except one. I do not like the comparisons being made. I would be livid if I thought someone fed my child meat. In fact I think it happened one time and I rose a huge stink. They claimed that it was a meatless item but I don't believe it. I do think that outside people don't tend to see issues with feeding just anything to anybody's kid. I think food preferences should be taken into consideration. I just don't see the need for comparison between situations. Rather than say it's like feeding that food to an allergic person, we should describe what doing this to a child can cause. Beyond causing discomfort physically, it can cause a huge amount of psychological upset in some kids. Why don't we address the real issues at hand. Feeding pork to a Muslim could cause huge spiritual issues and has led to litigation. Wouldn't a vegan being fed these things be more along the lines of this? I think that comparing it to allergies also discredits the fact that this is a decision of conscience for many.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
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#52 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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I haven't read everyone's responses, but I have to say that I would be LIVID. They were completely disrespectful to your child, and I would be raising some serious hell. Apples and carrots after a big day full of exercise is completely unacceptable. They said they had vegan options, but they did not. You have every right to be ticked. Three of my children have gone to the same pre-k/kindy. One time, my daughter was accidentally given ham (Green eggs and ham day). The staff felt terrible, told me right away, apologized profusely. I was ticked, but it was obviously a mistake. Had they done something like that deliberately - you're darn right I'd have pulled her out. It puts your child in a horrible place, and the adults should be ashamed of themselves. I'm so sorry she had to deal with it. No freaking way I'd be putting her back in a place that had so little respect for her.
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#53 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to say that we're calling tomorrow and offically withdrawing :

K is happy with it, and we have big plans for our 'outschooling' (as we're choosing to call it). I haven't quite gotten the ok from my partner yet, but I'm the one who has to wake up all three kids, take two buses, get her to school, go to storytimes/playgroups, ride two buses to pick her up and two more to get home (and clean house, make dinner, do baths/bedtime)..

so, I think I'm gonna go ahead and call it: We're Out! (and I feel so much better!)


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#54 of 59 Old 05-03-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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Just wanted to say that we're calling tomorrow and offically withdrawing :

K is happy with it, and we have big plans for our 'outschooling' (as we're choosing to call it). I haven't quite gotten the ok from my partner yet, but I'm the one who has to wake up all three kids, take two buses, get her to school, go to storytimes/playgroups, ride two buses to pick her up and two more to get home (and clean house, make dinner, do baths/bedtime)..

so, I think I'm gonna go ahead and call it: We're Out! (and I feel so much better!)

Congrats on the decision. I'm glad she is happy with it.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
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#55 of 59 Old 05-04-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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Gelatin is not just cow hooves. It is a combination of all slaughtered animal collagen matter. Skin, bones, brain matter, everything that creates collagen.

Kosher may be cow, but most are not. Most contain any and every animal that is slaughtered here in the US, foreign gelatin is another matter. Some countries slaughter other animals for their food.

We are unschooling our son for many reasons, this being one of them.

Piggybacking on your rant because I have had some similar stress with this on the verbal end only thankfully. I have had a few sneaky attempts, but always have been fortunate to intercept it.

I have had it with people thinking that it is fine to just give a little to someones child, what harm would it really do. They would survive. It wont kill them. The jokes I hear are endless and there are days I want to scream SHUT UP! I know, not so pacifist of me, but it hurts.

McDonald's did something similar and still do. They dip their fries in animal fat before frying them for extra flavor. The Hindi, Muslim and other vegetarian religious communities sued and won. McDonald's had to pay for anyone and everyone who had eaten their fries.

People again said frivolous, but why does my personal spiritual belief differ than another persons rights?

How many times I have to tell parents that the marshmallows they have are not veggie. I sell veggie ones and offer to sell them to them if they want to use them, but now most of the time we keep to ourselves.

I don't let Ronnie attend anything alone. I tell him the truth about what it is, which other parents do not. There are days parents joke about oh Ronnie isn't allowed to have our food with the sarcastic are they not just silly undertones and I want to say, what food, oh the dead cow that they strung up by its ankles before they slit his throat or put a nail gun to his head. Oh yummy let me just have a big bite of that dead animal.

I really don't care that others eat meat, but I am tired of the disrespect that we get for having a different choice.

I have a few good friends who are respectful of our choices and take it seriously. I am happy with that.

I have pretty much stopped worrying about the rest who can't be bothered to make a few changes for one moment here and there to have the kids experience a different culture or learn to respect another families beliefs or choices. Their loss as being I am really not caring about other choices people make because the next vegan or vegetarian they meet may be on the other end of the spectrum and not tolerant of their choices.

If I had found out someone fed Ronnie something... it would depend. If it were accidental, I would say please do not let it happen again and I would re-bless him, if it were purposeful, I would probably press charges. I used to say no, that is too far, but now I am learning that is the only thing that really makes people understand. You tamper with my religious freedom and my sons life, then you must be willing pay the consequences. For some reason that is the only thing that people seem to understand or respect.

I see myself transforming from this big pacifist to this almost militant veggie mama and I am not happy about it. I don't like being backed into the corner like this.

My sons soul is just as precious as his physical health. I believe the two are connected. If he chooses to eat meat when he is older, that will be his spiritual choice, even now we ask and he says no, that it is disgusting

Sorry for the rant. Been a rough couple of months on the veggie side of things here too. I did however find a group of veggie parents in the area and have signed up for picnics and trips with them. I think it will help a lot for keeping things simple. I don't want to have to be mama hawk on every single outing we go on.

Peace & Blessings,

Jo

Happy Mum, Adored Wife, Loyal Friend, Triangle API Leader, Proud Vegetarian, Peace Loving, !
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#56 of 59 Old 05-05-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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How horrible!

There is a vegan in my Girl Scout troop this year, and I've taken her to two camp weekends run by others. It seemed obvious to me that there were 3 levels of responsibility for getting her the right food:
1. Her mom wrote VEGAN and SEVERE DAIRY ALLERGY (true) in huge letters on all her forms. She then contacted the camp directors to ask if she should send any food.
2. The girl herself was very firm about needing to know the ingredients of processed foods. She patiently read labels on little cereal boxes until she found a vegan one.
3. As the adult directly responsible for her, I checked in with her at the beginning and end of each meal to make sure she was getting enough.

The only problem we had was that one camp wasn't adequately aware of non-vegan food additives, so the options they offered her were more limited than they thought, and it turned out she just didn't LIKE some of the vegan things they had, such as bananas. The other camp did a fabulous job e-mailing back and forth with her to ask her preferences in cereals, salad dressings, etc. They did have her bring her own chocolate and marshmallows for the campfire snack.

It sounds like you not only got a totally insufficient response to #1, but your daughter was a little weak on #2 (she's only 8; my Girl Scout is 10), and #3 was totally absent. Next time you let her go to something without you, try to have one adult who'll be with her the whole time and make sure she gets properly fed.

String cheese is not vegan. What were they thinking?

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#57 of 59 Old 05-05-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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Just wanted to say that we're calling tomorrow and offically withdrawing :
I'm glad you and your daughter are happy with the change! Hopefully you'll never have to deal with that sort of situation again.

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#58 of 59 Old 05-05-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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I can't believe how judgmental some of you are being towards this child. She ate what she had to eat to avoid getting sick. If you were hiking 4 + miles a day, you would eat the calories as well.i
Erm, no. I absolutely would not. Nor would I have done so when I became vegan as a teen. I would have raised hell until they either fed me some proper vegan food or took me home. And if they refused to do either I likely would have hiked the heck out of there myself when they weren't looking.

I remember a 3 day hiking trip in a nature preserve in 4th grade where they failed to give us ample WATER.
Seriously. They gave us a single DIXIE CUP and said it was our only cup (this was in the days before plastic water bottles were so widely available) and not to lose it. Well, I didn't lose mine, but it sort of disintegrated and leaked, and the water was from those cooler dispensers and was often empty by the time I got to it.
So on the last day, a friend and I decided we would not participate in the long nature hike before departure--I have a good sense of direction--so we set off on the trail I knew would lead directly to the road, then sat there and waited until someone we knew drove along (it was a small town). I was so dehydrated it was terrible. I lay on the floor in front of a fan for 24 hours drinking endless water and oj with no appetite. My father, quite familiar with dehydration from his Navy time in the Phillipines, had a few choices words with the field trip organizers.

And on a Girl Scout camping trip, I remember smuggling in some of those hard-as-rocks granola bars in my pack (again, back in the day before all the soft sports bars and sweet granola bars were around), because I knew the food would suck (I wasn't even officially vegetarian then, but no way would I touch powdered milk, blech). I wouldn't have gone in the first place except that I was obsessed with earning every badge in the book....which I didn't end up doing anyhow because I moved.

Anyhooo...just want to say that if a kid is determined not to eat they crap, they probably won't. But if the OP's daughter chose to, fine. I do feel bad for her that the school dropped the ball so severely. :

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#59 of 59 Old 05-05-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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I can't believe how judgmental some of you are being towards this child. She ate what she had to eat to avoid getting sick. If you were hiking 4 + miles a day, you would eat the calories as well.
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Erm, no. I absolutely would not.
Just because YOU wouldn't - doesn't mean another child won't. My children WOULD eat junk rather then nothing at all.

I am sorry you experiences some terrible times on hikes/camps - this is a big part of the reason we don't send our children to camps (and not because we're strict vegans either), because i don't trust someone else to take care of so many other children and remember the specifics about MY child. My at home 3 to 1 ratios is a lot better then some camps 10 to 1 (just pulling a number out of my hat), then add in that i personally know and am emotional invested in my child

~Kris mama to Alexis (15), Elizabeth (10), Andrew (7), and 1 angel
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