Conflicted about class trips to zoos/farms - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 4 Old 04-18-2014, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
berrymama's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: WI
Posts: 684
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I know there have been various discussions about zoos, but could not find anything specifically related to this so....


We are vegetarian. We do not consume eggs, and we consume very little local cheese and yogurt.

My son is 6 years old and his class has an upcoming trip to a dairy farm, where they will get to 'milk a cow' (by hand, I am sure they won't get to see the milking machines), see the calves, and feed other various animals. This is not a factory farm, but I still do not support taking calves away from their mothers and stealing their milk, etc. My son knows about factory farms, and I explained that this one won't be big and scary looking, but they still eat many of the animals there, take away the calves, etc. He says, "well, I won't have to drink the milk, right?"


So my dilemma is that I don't feel good about him going (we also have to pay admission). I want him to know it is good to stand up for your beliefs and not do things that are not in line with your beliefs. We do live in Wisconsin and there are a lot of smaller family farms, but I also don't want him to get the picture of happy cows in his head as that is not the norm (maybe that is a silly reason). But he wants to go, because his whole class is going and he doesn't want to be left behind. There is a local animal sanctuary that we could visit together as a family that I would much rather support. On the other hand, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite because this is a small dairy operation, and probably similar to the ones that we get our cheese/yogurt from. I think part of my problem with this particular situation is that while it is a working farm, they are also charging admission for animal viewing, making it more zoo-like.


I think that the next trip will be to the zoo (though that one is a bit more obvious to me).


I would appreciate insightful thoughts on this situation. At what age do you let your child make these kind of choices for themselves? Ultimately, I want my children to be able to choose for themselves given all the available information, but am feeling that at 6 years he doesn't get that by giving people our money, we are essentially saying we support what they do. Sorry for the long ramble...

knit.gifMarried to my best friend, mama to two boys (12/5/07, 2/12/10) and a sweet little girl (5/2/13).

berrymama is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 4 Old 04-18-2014, 01:54 PM
dueinsept14's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

I would factor in the size farm.  If they do a lot of these tours then they must charge as it is taking away from the business and they would have more animals if they were not doing the tours.  The cost would be a factor-is it a few bucks and reasonable? Or is it zoo admission priced?


Do you personally know the farms you get your stuff from?  Or can you find a local/reasonable one to show him?


I would try to go myself before allowing him to go just to see how they are.  I hate to say have him be the odd ball that missed trip.  I know how that felt and how out of place to hear the stories next few days.  Especially when the kid wants to go.

dueinsept14 is offline  
#3 of 4 Old 04-18-2014, 02:08 PM
katelove's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,940
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 225 Post(s)
You could look at it as giving them money=supporting them. Or you could look at it as spending some money to allow your son to see where his dairy products come from (I know it's not the exact farm you use but sounds like a close enough set up for them to be analogous) in order to make a more informed choice. Look at it as research for him.

He may or may not share your values regarding farming as he grows older. This could be a step on his journey towards making his own, informed decision, as you already have.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

katelove is offline  
#4 of 4 Old 04-30-2014, 02:10 AM
P.J.'s Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,551
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

I wouldn't forbid it if he really wants to go. Experiences like that add up over a childhood and could cause him to rebel and actually start not giving a shit about meat, eggs, milk production, etc Know what I mean? Like the kid who's strictly forbidden from watching tv who then becomes obsessed with trying to catch some tv at friends'. If he knows about factory farms and milking machines and such, just inform him that almost all milk comes from those places and is NOT hand-milked and that while his experience on the farm can be interesting and somewhat educational, it does not represent reality these days. Maybe this visit will help him connect with cows more and reinforce your food choices. In any case, talk to him about it before and afterwards. Make it a teaching opportunity. Good luck!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
P.J. is offline  

Vegetarian , Vegan

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 13,873

27 members and 13,846 guests
artume______ , blessedwithboys , bugmenot , cfaokunla , ChristinaLucia , Deborah , esg , gizzypeach , hillymum , jamesmorrow , JElaineB , Katherine73 , kathymuggle , lhargrave89 , littleliddy , Mirzam , moominmamma , NaturallyKait , RollerCoasterMama , sarrahlnorris , shantimama , Springshowers , sren , thefragile7393 , zebra15
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.