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-   -   Do children deserve to know the truth? (https://www.mothering.com/forum/366-vegetarian-vegan/1607765-do-children-deserve-know-truth.html)

shoeg8rl 08-04-2018 04:23 PM

Do children deserve to know the truth?
 
Although I’m not a parent, I have many children in my life, ranging in age from 2-15 years. Excepting one child who is egg free (due to an allergy), all of them regularly consume animals and animal secretions (milk, eggs, and honey). Although, with the exception of the two youngest, they all know that their pork is a dead pig, their eggs come from chickens, and their milk comes from cows, none of them have a clue about the cruel treatment of the animals that they regularly consume. For one reason or another, they’ve been shielded from the truth.

I’m of the opinion that children deverve to know the truth and shouldn’t be lied to. I’m of the opinion that withholding the truth (i.e. not saying anything at all, no matter how relevant) is tantamount to lying. I am of the opinion that, so long as something directly effects a person’s life, that person deserves to know what they are consuming and supporting; i.e. what kind of effect their choices have on themselves and others.

On the other hand, many people feel it’s wrong to tell children about animal cruelty, especially if their parents support animal cruelty themselves. People say that such information might scar children or make them want to become vegan - a decision that might make their parents uncomfortable.

What do you think? Do children deserve to know the truth about their eggs, milk, chicken, and tuna? Or is it only acceptable for them to hear it from their parents (who probably won’t tell them until they decide to go vegan themselves, which might never happen)?

katelove 08-05-2018 02:45 AM

Do children deserve to know the truth?
 
I think parents have the right to decide what foods to offer their children and I think they have a right to decide when and what information they are given.

I think some children could become deeply distressed about certain things and I think parents are usually best placed to know what information their children need and how to share it.

If I was caring for children who were not my own and they asked questions about the origins of a particular food then I would answer the question asked factually but neutrally. I would avoid emotive language and value judgements. If I felt the child was looking for more then I would probably mention it to their parents and let them continue the conversation.

I would, and indeed have, answer(ed) questions about my personal food choices in much the same way. I live in a mixed household. My DH is an ethical vegetarian, I am an omnivore. Naturally our children have questions.


ETA - to answer your title question, I think children can find the information which is important to them as they get older. If a 15yo , for example, has questions about a particular food then they will generally have a number of resources at their disposal to find the answers. I don’t think it is the case that there is “the truth” about food and the rest is lies. I think there are some objective truths and then a lot of decisions to be made based on personal values and circumstances.



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shoeg8rl 08-05-2018 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by katelove (Post 19738421)
I think parents have the right to decide what foods to offer their children and I think they have a right to decide when and what information they are given.

I think some children could become deeply distressed about certain things and I think parents are usually best placed to know what information their children need and how to share it.

If I was caring for children who were not my own and they asked questions about the origins of a particular food then I would answer the question asked factually but neutrally. I would avoid emotive language and value judgements. If I felt the child was looking for more then I would probably mention it to their parents and let them continue the conversation.

I would, and indeed have, answer(ed) questions about my personal food choices in much the same way. I live in a mixed household. My DH is an ethical vegetarian, I am an omnivore. Naturally our children have questions.


ETA - to answer your title question, I think children can find the information which is important to them as they get older. If a 15yo , for example, has questions about a particular food then they will generally have a number of resources at their disposal to find the answers. I don’t think it is the case that there is “the truth” about food and the rest is lies. I think there are some objective truths and then a lot of decisions to be made based on personal values and circumstances.



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Spoken like a true omnivore. I’d be more interested to hear from someone who has a more ethical perspective.

Rumi2079 01-31-2019 03:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shoeg8rl (Post 19738427)
Spoken like a true omnivore. I’d be more interested to hear from someone who has a more ethical perspective.

It totally depends on the kids what they want to turn out depending on thier likes.I remember my friend was vegeterian even though her complete family eat non-veg.So it is a choice.

CatherinaM 02-26-2019 12:10 PM

In fact this is one of the reasons I mostly buy biological products. Those animals have had a better life than regular animals, so I can honestly tell my kids that the products they're consuming didn't involve animal cruelty. And it's not just for my kids, it also gives me a good feeling.

Of course I'm in a favorable position to be able to afford biological products, which are more expensive than regular products. Specially meat is a whole lot more expensive, but we don't eat too much of it and can easily have a few days a week without meat.


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