Not 'forcing' veg*n on your kids.... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 58 Old 08-09-2006, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am completely dismayed to see veg*n moms claim they don't want their child to feel guilty for the choices they make. I'm sorry but as a mom it is my duty to instill a sense of right and wrong in my children. IF YOU DO SOMETHING MORALLY WRONG YOU SHOULD FEEL GUILTY. That's your conscious telling you "Hey I shouldn't do that." And yes going back to the dog analogy. If your kid kicks the dog at 7 years old is he old enough to make that decision? Should you not try and make him feel 'guilty' for it?

What are we doing if not trying to raise our children to become kind, considerate and caring adults? If that is your goal I doubt making sure they feel no guilt is a good way to achieve it.
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#32 of 58 Old 08-09-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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i'm with those who talk about being forced into eating meat - i never liked meat, my parents ate meat, so they fed me meat, and therefore i was forced into eating meat.

i agree w/ cumulus - until a certain age, kids can't possibly understand where animal products really come from, and unless they decide at an older age (like teenagers) that they don't care about the suffering or the health aspects or the enviro aspects . . . no animals or animal products!

why should my child live a lifestyle that is my beliefs, compromised? how is that anyway to grow up?

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#33 of 58 Old 08-09-2006, 12:37 PM
 
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great thread. of course now i have to kill it by adding my $.02! lol

i do believe that you can 'force' anything on childre, wether that be eating meat, being vegan, your religion, what color you should or should not wear, blah blah blah. last night DH came home and told me that his boss literally believed he HAS to eat red meat once a day to stay healthy. apparently his father taught him this. if his mother would make poultry or fish more then once in a row his father would sit her down in front of the kid's and inform her all their health was at stake (no pun intended). to me that's a degree of forcing.
i'm with the mentality that veganism, like religion, is to be taught and lived in the home even enforced but never forced. if you lean your kid's head back and shove a handfull of 'ethics' down their throat they're going to rebell. not always, but more often then not. my girls will be raise knowing three main things in our home. if they choose to follow them i will feel i did my 'job' as mom. if not, then i will feel i have failed but they will still be my children. i will never find an excuse not to be their mother! i really believe that if i force fed any one of these things it would back fire and be taking away their free will. just as if i were to be a steak and pork mom and not let my child explore veggies at all.
so do i think being vegan always means without exception that you're forcing your beliefes? not anymore then getting dressed them every morning is forcing your belifes on your children. but i do believe a fanatical form of veganism where your children know that they won't be your children anymore if they so much as look at a cow and want a taste is forcing.

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#34 of 58 Old 08-09-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by magstphil

i do believe that you can 'force' anything on childre, wether that be eating meat, being vegan, your religion, what color you should or should not wear, blah blah blah.

i'm with the mentality that veganism, like religion, is to be taught and lived in the home even enforced but never forced. if you lean your kid's head back and shove a handfull of 'ethics' down their throat they're going to rebell. not always, but more often then not. my girls will be raise knowing three main things in our home. if they choose to follow them i will feel i did my 'job' as mom. if not, then i will feel i have failed but they will still be my children. i will never find an excuse not to be their mother! i really believe that if i force fed any one of these things it would back fire and be taking away their free will. just as if i were to be a steak and pork mom and not let my child explore veggies at all.
so do i think being vegan always means without exception that you're forcing your beliefes? not anymore then getting dressed them every morning is forcing your belifes on your children. but i do believe a fanatical form of veganism where your children know that they won't be your children anymore if they so much as look at a cow and want a taste is forcing.
That is also how I feel. I will love my kids whatever they decide. I hope they value their Religion (no sex until marriage), Education (atleast 4 year degree), staying drug free, not getting arrested, and not eating meat. But, I will not have much say in these things once they are older/teenage. Teens can be pretty sneaky and not get caught. (I do not have any teenage children, but I did work in a psych hospital on a child and adolescent units.) I don't want them to have to hide things from me, for fear of getting in to trouble.

Sure, I can drag them to church every Sunday and holiday no matter how sick they are, and force them to say grace before meat free meals. But then what will happen when they stay over a friends house, and get a taste of "freedom"? Or should I keep them locked in their bedroom until they move out?

My belief is that you have to pick your battles once they get older. If I have to budge on one of these things to maintain a close relationship, it will be the meat free living. : I am hoping dd will be like me and not like the taste of meat, so it won't be a battle at all. (But I doubt I will be so lucky!)
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#35 of 58 Old 08-09-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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Very interesting thread.

Our household is omni but mainly vegetarian due to food allergies.

I have recently spent a week with a dad and son. Dad is vegan. Son is 5. Son is vegetarian. He is not vegan, per se, because he asked if he could eat the cheese (cow) at the table and Dad said yes. There was also meat on the table and Son turned his nose up at it. This was the Son's choice with Dad's support.

When we discussed eating meat, the only situation it would be alright was if the animal was raised and butchered by the family. This way the children would now what it takes to put a piece of meat on the table.

This felt like a very honorable way to handle the situation when it came to children and eating. The Son was always very in control of what he was eating but Dad gave guidelines, appropriate guidelines for a 5 year old.
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#36 of 58 Old 08-09-2006, 08:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by defectgrrrl
I am completely dismayed to see veg*n moms claim they don't want their child to feel guilty for the choices they make.
that is a blanket statement that does not pertain to what i said (if in fact you were referring to my post)

i absolutely want my child to feel guilty for the choices they make...if in fact THEY made those choices. if my child chooses to kick the dog - and the dog gets hurt (or even he doesn't get hurt for the matter...it wasn't a nice thing to do) then yes, he should feel guilty for hurting him. but - my son did NOT choose to be raised vegetarian...he had absolutely NO SAY in what he ate as an infant and young child. he has NO SAY in whether he can eat meat in this household....because i will NOT make it. and yes - at 7 he may be too young to understand enough about the meat process to make an informed decision, but - i do not homeschool and he is not always with me. i have to trust that the years i've had making his decisions for him will impact him in the way i am (like be the little voice in his head) but i cannot MAKE him NOT eat meat when he is not around me. i know for a fact that he will tell people he is a vegetarian and not eat meat at people's houses. but - what happened at school was that he accidentially assumed that the meat was veggie meat...ate it...and once he realized it wasn't he felt guilty about it and chose to hide it from me.

that being said - as he enters junior high and high school (down the long road) he may start to wonder just what the hell a real burger tastes like...and if he wants to try it - then i by no means have the right to tell him no...and i won't. i will again discuss what he did and how he felt and if he understands what he did etc...probably even hand him a book to read at that age.....but i will never love him less if he chooses to eat meat.

will you love your child less if he/she is another religion? gets pregnant as a teen? or any other situation you feel is morally wrong? vegetarianism is the same thing...imho
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#37 of 58 Old 08-09-2006, 08:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by magstphil
my girls will be raise knowing three main things in our home. if they choose to follow them i will feel i did my 'job' as mom. if not, then i will feel i have failed but they will still be my children.
ot - but you shouldn't feel like YOU failed if your girls choose to NOT follow your beliefs. in fact - if you are open with your girls...being honest with them...giving them the pros and cons of situations (if in fact there are pros AND cons)...stating clearly and quite frankly your reasons for holding your beliefs.......and your girls then choose something else after weighing the options for themselves..then in fact you have raised strong, independent thinkers.....and that should be applauded.

of course - you never stated what the 3 main things in your family are...so i am just assuming they don't state the obvious...like we do not steal
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#38 of 58 Old 08-09-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mcmrymoon
ot - but you shouldn't feel like YOU failed if your girls choose to NOT follow your beliefs. in fact - if you are open with your girls...being honest with them...giving them the pros and cons of situations (if in fact there are pros AND cons)...stating clearly and quite frankly your reasons for holding your beliefs.......and your girls then choose something else after weighing the options for themselves..then in fact you have raised strong, independent thinkers.....and that should be applauded.
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#39 of 58 Old 08-10-2006, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I never said I would love my child any less if they chose to eat meat. I will always love my children, ALWAYS. To assume any mother would love her child less for any reason will always be false. And yes when they are teenagers I will have less control. But...I will not condone my children contributing to the torture and slaughter of innocent sentient beings. Nor would I condone them using drugs. I guess I just feel a little different. Veg*nism, too me, is different from religion. Where as all religions are a way to worship the divine, eating meat is not a way to keep from killing innocent beings. As I have stated before it is my goal to raise my children to become kind considerate caring adults and i will do everything in my power to make that happen. Too me that means not flip flopping on big issues like the importance of (yes I've said this phrase over and over) not torturing and slaughtering innocent animals. If I have one goal above all else it is to not raise apathetic children. That being said, even if they turn out to be serial murderers I will love them with all of my heart and soul.
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#40 of 58 Old 08-10-2006, 12:19 PM
 
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I don't get that sentiment either ( to the OP). I feed my kids vegetarian just as I make them live in the same house, and wear the clothing that I approve of, and make them have a certain world view.
People get way to strange/defensive about veg'n living. It is what it is.
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#41 of 58 Old 08-10-2006, 12:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by defectgrrrl
As I have stated before it is my goal to raise my children to become kind considerate caring adults and i will do everything in my power to make that happen. Too me that means not flip flopping on big issues like the importance of (yes I've said this phrase over and over) not torturing and slaughtering innocent animals.
i don't think anyone else here feels differently. we are all trying to raise our children the same way (to be kind, considerate, caring adults) and i don't think anyone is flip flopping on their view of the importance of being vegetarian. the issue was on accepting your child's decision - if he/she chooses to eat meat - regardless of all your efforts to raise him/her differently.

anyway - the good news for all of us is that being a vegetarian isn't as weird as it was as recent as 10 years ago...so hopefully our children should have a much easier time staying veggie outside the home
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#42 of 58 Old 08-10-2006, 12:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cumulus
Also, if you look at a human being's life in terms of what they leave behind, what they consume each day and what they leave of it, each day carnivores leave behind a growing pile of bones and other body parts: a legacy, a body count. Each new baby, however, starts out with a body count of zero. Nothing that breathes has yet been killed for its sake only. Allowing them to eat meat before they fully understand its meaning is to deprive them of a life that never asked the life of another. Edna St Vincent Millais has a poem entitled, "Dying is all I will do for death." It's my intention that, unless my children decide otherwise when they are fully-comphrehending beings, all my children will do for death is to die themselves long, long after I'm gone knowing they've done nothing for death and much for life.
I applaud the conscious choice to abstain from eating meat (I was veg from the ar perspective), but the naivite of this viewpoint always astounds me (as organic gardener & small farmer). Things die if you will eat. You can be a Jainist & minimize it as much as possible, but things (mammalian & avian things- I'm making the assumption that the destruction of millipedes bothers you less) do live in cornfields & compost heaps & are killed when you eat veg*n. You oughtn't be especially smug because you chose a litter of mice to die to feed you instead of a cow. I weep over the suffering inherent in life (and try to be as ethical an omni as possible, inc raising my own hens- I can't do the factory egg thing), but playing as though my mere existence doesn't directly cause death & suffering, veg*n or not, is just that, play.

Do it because you feel it is right, but don't play games with your own head (or at least those of your kids) about the nature of reality & life on earth.

The necessary Disclaimer: the majority of veg*ns I know both online or irl are neither smug nor complacent & if it is not obvious, it is not the abstention from animal products I am decrying but the attitude that because of such, death is not served. That is not a religious or metaphysical observation, merely a witness of reality.
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#43 of 58 Old 08-10-2006, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TigerTail
I applaud the conscious choice to abstain from eating meat (I was veg from the ar perspective), but the naivite of this viewpoint always astounds me (as organic gardener & small farmer). Things die if you will eat.
so true, and if you drive, and if you build a house....but like you said, it is a conscious choice to REDUCE suffering and for me at least, this has spiritual applications as well as nutritional.
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#44 of 58 Old 08-10-2006, 02:58 PM
 
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it is a conscious choice to REDUCE suffering and for me at least, this has spiritual applications as well as nutritional.
I think this sentiment differs alot among veggies. Maybe this is why some feel that they are "forcing" something on their children, because it is not a moral/ ethical issue..

A main reason that I went veggie years ago was something I read in a book about Buddhism once - that the negative energy trapped in animals that have been slaughtered is not good to put into your body. I really feel that this is true. The slaughtered animals die scared, alone and in a terrible way. And this is not the stuff that you want to put into your temple (body.)

Sorry, I know it's OT - but really, we consider our vegetarianism to be immensely spiritual in nature, and that is why I feel pretty strongly about my children not eating meat until they understand what exactly they are eating - and I do not think that this realization is possible until at least teenager-hood.

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#45 of 58 Old 08-10-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mountainsun
Sorry, I know it's OT - but really, we consider our vegetarianism to be immensely spiritual in nature, and that is why I feel pretty strongly about my children not eating meat until they understand what exactly they are eating - and I do not think that this realization is possible until at least teenager-hood.
ok - lets go a different route here - so what happens then if your child eats meat when you aren't there..and you find out about it later? how do you monitor what your non-teenage child is doing when they aren't with you? how do you make your child to not eat meat when you aren't there?
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#46 of 58 Old 08-10-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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so what happens then if your child eats meat when you aren't there..and you find out about it later?
Well, they are never leaving my sight! (attempt at humor)

This is honestly a huge challenge as a veggie parent! And as my oldest son is only 3, I have not really had to deal. And I am sure that there will be a few follies, and in your dc's situation, I think you responded really well (to the whole sausage thing).

BUT, OTOH, my son went out to eat w/ my parents last week. My mom got a turkey sandwichto which my son asked her "what is that?" She told him it was meat and he said, "Oh, we dont eat meat." : And dropped it. He is almost 3. That is pretty much the extent of what we have explained to him so far, that our family "doesn't eat meat." We have pretty much left it at that (for now). At this point, he didnt want to try it, didnt really care (i was pretty amazed, actually).

Anyhow, like I said in a previous post, too, I wish there was more for veggie families/ children IRL then there is because SO many people just do not get it. And it does worry me a bit. I personally would not shame/ make him feel guilty if he tried something, either accidently or on purpose. I guess I just hope that when the time comes that he is away from me more, he just knows what to eat/ not eat. Kinda like how your son thought it was veggie sausage

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#47 of 58 Old 08-10-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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when that has happened, we talk about giving thanks to the animal
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#48 of 58 Old 08-11-2006, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mcmrymoon
ok - lets go a different route here - so what happens then if your child eats meat when you aren't there..and you find out about it later? how do you monitor what your non-teenage child is doing when they aren't with you? how do you make your child to not eat meat when you aren't there?
What happens when your child tries drugs when you are not around?

I'd take them to the farm sanctuary and show them videos. We'd have the "a boy is a dog is a cow is a chicken" talk. What do you think I'd do, tell them no big deal no harm done?
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#49 of 58 Old 08-11-2006, 07:28 AM
 
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when that has happened, we talk about giving thanks to the animal
Wow, I really like that. That is powerful.

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#50 of 58 Old 08-11-2006, 08:25 AM
 
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Well, they are never leaving my sight! (attempt at humor)

This is honestly a huge challenge as a veggie parent! And as my oldest son is only 3, I have not really had to deal. And I am sure that there will be a few follies, and in your dc's situation, I think you responded really well (to the whole sausage thing).

BUT, OTOH, my son went out to eat w/ my parents last week. My mom got a turkey sandwichto which my son asked her "what is that?" She told him it was meat and he said, "Oh, we dont eat meat." : And dropped it. He is almost 3. That is pretty much the extent of what we have explained to him so far, that our family "doesn't eat meat." We have pretty much left it at that (for now). At this point, he didnt want to try it, didnt really care (i was pretty amazed, actually).

Anyhow, like I said in a previous post, too, I wish there was more for veggie families/ children IRL then there is because SO many people just do not get it. And it does worry me a bit. I personally would not shame/ make him feel guilty if he tried something, either accidently or on purpose. I guess I just hope that when the time comes that he is away from me more, he just knows what to eat/ not eat. Kinda like how your son thought it was veggie sausage
thats exavlty why my baby will never get fake meat. i dont wantot confuse her. its very easy to be at a friends hose friends mom offers a hot dog,kid think oh not dog! ok ill have one!!
not to mention how bad all that stuff is anyways but yeah my babe isnt getting anything fake to prevent problems down the road

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#51 of 58 Old 08-11-2006, 09:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mcmrymoon
ok - lets go a different route here - so what happens then if your child eats meat when you aren't there..and you find out about it later? how do you monitor what your non-teenage child is doing when they aren't with you? how do you make your child to not eat meat when you aren't there?
well i've got quite a ways to go before i get there, but it is my overly optimistic hope that my child(ren) will know that i will always love them and won't be mad at them for experimenting (whether it be meat or drugs). although i certainly hope they abstain from both, i certainly can't force them to do anything when i'm not around. all i can do is talk to them and hope they understand my feelings on such matters and hopefully they'll feel the same.

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#52 of 58 Old 08-11-2006, 11:00 AM
 
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I have not heard the same thing when it comes to parents giving their children meat. Why isn't that considered the parents forcing their meat eating onto their children?

While my children are young it is up to me if they are veg or not but obviously as they get older it will be their choice.

That is always my argument when people confront me about raising DS vegetarian. Why is it wrong or controlling for me to choose not to give my child meat, but to put meat on his plate (and to push it if he doesn't want it, as many parents I have met do) is not contolling his choices?
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#53 of 58 Old 08-11-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mountainsun
My mom got a turkey sandwichto which my son asked her "what is that?" She told him it was meat and he said, "Oh, we dont eat meat." : And dropped it.
I had similar things happen to my kids when they were a bit smaller and had people tell them "it is fish not meat" or "it is turkey, not meat" so for some "meat" means "cow, pig, mammal...." So now we say "nothing with a mother". When my then 3 year old came home and told me her teacher gave her fish, and I said " sweetie, we don't eat meat" she got SO upset because the teacher told her it was ok. : I made it a BIT more clear to the school and assured my child no harm done, and I wasn't mad, etc.

My almost 11 year old has told me she plans to be an omnivore (her words) when she is older, but promises to only buy free range or wild.At least she is giving it some thought which is my overall intent, to create some consciousness in my kids!
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#54 of 58 Old 08-11-2006, 12:46 PM
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That is always my argument when people confront me about raising DS vegetarian. Why is it wrong or controlling for me to choose not to give my child meat, but to put meat on his plate (and to push it if he doesn't want it, as many parents I have met do) is not contolling his choices?
I don't think it's controlling to choose not to give him meat, but perhaps it is to prevent him from eating meat if he wants it.

I'm an omnivore, but my only child first went vegetarian from 6 to 8, and then a year ago she went veg again (and she may have had some veg periods in between; I can't really remember). I never tried to coerce her into eating anything she didn't want to eat, because I really don't feel like it's about me.

I hope I'm not intruding... I read here to get information to help me feed my daughter, and I do cook veg most of the time because it's a waste to cook two separate meals... and I know plenty of omni parents with veg kids.

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#55 of 58 Old 08-11-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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thats exavlty why my baby will never get fake meat. i dont wantot confuse her. its very easy to be at a friends hose friends mom offers a hot dog,kid think oh not dog! ok ill have one!!
we try to not call "fake" meat products by their meat counterpart name, in hopes to avoid confusion.......like it's not a burger, it's a veggie burger, and it is ALWAYS veggie sausage. Never "hot dogs" but veggie dogs.

When ds gts a bit older, we will delve into what meat "really" is, and by then hopefully he will be able to distinguish between the two. We try to be as age-appropriately honest as possible - And hen my ds starts going to people's houses and such without me, they will know exactly what he can and cannot eat - I will not be shy about saying ds does not eat meat. I always have something on hand for him to snack on now as it is - this holds true for family too. I am pretty outspoken about us being vegetarian; ie. it really is not a joke and no, ds does not eat meat.

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I had similar things happen to my kids when they were a bit smaller and had people tell them "it is fish not meat" or "it is turkey, not meat" so for some "meat" means "cow, pig, mammal...." So now we say "nothing with a mother".
This is actually what my dh says to people - "nothing with face." He says it because SO many people down here do not consider fish to be meat. Heck, some dont consider chicken to be meat. And you dont run into alot of veggie men in these parts :

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#56 of 58 Old 08-11-2006, 02:51 PM
 
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When my then 3 year old came home and told me her teacher gave her fish, and I said " sweetie, we don't eat meat" she got SO upset because the teacher told her it was ok
just. wow.

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#57 of 58 Old 08-12-2006, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That is a good point about the fake meat. My kiddos eat Tofu Pups a lot. Now we will surely call them tofu pups and not hot dogs! As for the rest of the fake meat, it seems a good reason to continue not buying it. Some aren't bad (like the tofu pups) But have you looked on the ingrediant list at some of that stuff :
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#58 of 58 Old 08-12-2006, 09:48 PM
 
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I am mostly vegan and we don't have meat in the house. My oldest has started eating it when he's at friends' houses and I'm comfortable with him making his own choice about it. I don't like it, but he knows what it was and where it came from.

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