Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<p>DH is omni, the kids and i are vegetarian (inc. eggs and milk).  DS is 6 and wants to start eating meat.  I've given him all the speeches about animals being our friends, not food, and how animals are treated before they're slaughtered, etc. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>What do you do in this situation?  At what age should i give up and let him try it?  Or shouldn't i at all?  Part of it is Daddy-worship, part is that i let him eat seafood (long, stupid story involving Daddy's opinions), part is probably just wanting to be like his friends. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm just not sure what to do here, and would appreciate some input from other Mamas who've been through this--or have plans of what they'll do when their kids pull this crap.  Ahem.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
<p>It may not be the popular opinion, but I think kids are their own people and have every right to make their own choices in life.  We're not veg anymore, but were for years and years, and I would let the kids eat meat when we went out or at friends houses, because I sure as hell wasn't going to cook it! LOL!  The meat at the deli from the natural food store is already cooked and free-range and all of that, so they could buy that when we were eating their anyhow.  i think it's about showing them that you respect their choices.  Maybe he just wants to try it, see what it's all about, and then he'll realize it's really not that big of a deal.</p>
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mommy2Austin

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,404 Posts
<p>Kind of other side as i'm not vegetarian any more but when i was about 7 or 8 my mother decided we should be vegetarian.  I hated it.  I just wanted to be able to eat what i wanted to eat (my mother was actually weird about food, so a lot of this probably doesn't apply) and i felt incredibly controlled and manipulated by her many speeches on health benefits and what my siblings and i referred to as the Poor Baby Animal speeches.  I already had an opinion on it all (i knew really nice people who bred their own meat and saw that they did not, in fact, treat their animals badly or harm them and so on) and i was just incredibly angry.  I seem to remember i went on hunger strike over it and my father eventually put his foot down with my mother and told her to let us eat what we wanted and not cook it for us if she didn't want to.  Within 6 months she was also eating meat again (which is another reason why ymmv).  I actually did become vegetarian by my own choice for years as a teen, but then began eating meat again later on.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think you can share your moral code with your kids, but i don't think you can enforce it.  If i were in your shoes i would let him know i didn't approve ONCE and then let him eat meat if he wanted.  It's his life.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
<p>If he has his own reasons for wanting to eat meat, just as you have your own reasons for not wanting to, I don't see why you would stop him.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I let DD choose when she was old enough to understand that animals die for her food, etc. and she chose to eat meat (she had been veg up until then). At this time, I am no longer veg either, but at no point during my many years as a vegetarian/vegan did I ever plan to force my children to abstain from animal products if that wasn't their choice.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
<p>On the flip side, I was 6 when I became the only vegetarian in my family because I felt bad for animals. I stayed a complete vegetarian until my mid-twenties. If that decision could be respected by my family, I would respect the reverse too.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,006 Posts
<p>Since part of your household is omni it doesn't feel right that he can't have the choice to eat meat. Not sure how you handle meal times but can't he choose between what your husband is eating and what you are eating?  I mean he is already eating seafood so I can see how that would confuse a child. I mean fish/shellfish *are* living creatures too.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>It would be one thing if your whole house was veggie.  Then you could say in our home we don't eat animals and then maybe add  "However if you curious about meat next time we visit (insert close omni friend/relative) maybe you could cook something together or share a meal"? But since you aren't I say respect his choice.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,825 Posts
<p>I'm vegan, dh is pescetarian, ds is vegetarian and dd is omni. Dd first tried meat at my parents' house. It was ham. She loved it. She tried some chicken nuggets at her aunt and uncles. She loved them. She asks for them occasionally at home, and I buy those things for her. Many people would argue that I'm not vegan when I buy dairy, eggs and the occasional meat for my family. I simply want my kids to learn how to make their own choices. They don't need to be just like me or have the same beliefs as I do. I try to give them as little to rebel against as possible. If I forbid meat, they may end up going to McD's every day when they have the means to do so. I just try to educate them on what goes on in the animal production industry, why we buy organic (and/or local when possible) animal products. We talk a lot about fast food and other restaurant meats and why they aren't good choices.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I agree with pps that when the whole house isn't on board with one diet, it is very hard to control what others eat. I think it would be much easier to make your argument if the whole house ate the same way.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
<p>It is hard to say he can't be like daddy and eat what he does.  And if he eats fish he is already not a vegetarian, it is a hard lesson to teach a 6 year old when most of his favorite people are doing it.  Will he or has he tried it already from friends and dad?  </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
<p>he is already not a vegetarian and his own father kills animals. It is probably difficult for him to take you seriously. As a vegetarian, I would never under no circumstances allow anyone to eat meat in my house so I would probably tell my daughter that she can eat meat once she is old enough to kill the animal herself or something like that. In your case, I think that you need to have a serious talk with your DH about what you want to teach your son. You really can't expect him to understand that meat is not food if it is in your fridge.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
<p>My daughter who does enjoy eating meat periodically is torn about the eating of animals. I have always told her, if she doesn't want to eat meat, I would make her vegetarian meals. Her love of meat usually wins out but it may be not in the future.  I am sure if I was actively involved in raising and butchering of my own animals that would probably the end of my meat eating. My mom grew on a farm and never got used to that aspect of farm life.  Since we do meat, if an animal died for my use, I try not to waste any of it by throwing it away. If I do have throw the meat, I say an apology. Kinda a wierd I know. I try to feed my daughter healthy at least 80% of the time and what does my 10 year daughter tell me as we are walking through the grocery store" I am tired of organic peanut butter can we get Jif". I told her if she has children she'll probably do the same thing and feed them healthy. She told when she is a mom she is going to have her own stash of Fruit Loops. Poor child all she gets is healthy cereal.Ha Ha</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
<p>My advice would be to let him eat meat if and when he wants to but explain that it will only be if the situation presents itself, such as at someone else's house. I have a six year old and I know if I told her she couldn't do something she wanted to that she constantly saw her daddy doing she would resent it. It could also make a child feel bad for wanting to eat meat if you are constantly telling them that they are wrong for thinking that.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>What about taking him to a farm to see the animals, maybe seeing them would make him not want to eat them. If he still wants meat then perhaps treat it as an occasional thing, something that is eaten seldom because of the cost of meat from animals that lived a nice life and were slaughtered humanely. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,460 Posts
<p>Have you asked him why he wants to eat meat?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Do you guys eat meat substitutes? If you don't already, then maybe you could compromise & buy him some veggie turkey or whatever. Of course that won't work well if you're already doing eating them.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If your DH eats meat in the house, yeah I think this will be a tough thing to enforce, especially if your DH is not totally on board.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS is 22 months and has asked for meat but he's young enough that I'm able to dissuade him pretty easily. He does talk about how "Daddy eats cows but Mommy and (DS) don't eat cows" and I'm trying to help him understand it all the best I can. But DH agrees that DS should be vegan like me for now & mostly or totally veg*n in the future. DH eats meat when we're out (so maybe a couple of times a month) and he would like DS to have that option as well when he's older, which I guess may be a reasonable option IMO though it's far enough off that I haven't given it too much real consideration yet. Anyway, back to my point, our household is meat-free. Once or twice a year we have guests who bring meat (we've even prepared meat for our meat-eating company on rare occasions though we're getting better, we managed to throw DS a totally vegan bday party aside from the brownies someone unexpectedly brought). So I guess I think it's an easier concept to get across, "we don't eat meat in this house" -- I really don't know how it would work if DH ate meat at home.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,753 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>soso-lynn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281412/ds-wants-to-eat-meat-bad#post_16081298"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>he is already not a vegetarian and his own father kills animals. It is probably difficult for him to take you seriously. As a vegetarian, I would never under no circumstances allow anyone to eat meat in my house so I would probably tell my daughter that she can eat meat once she is old enough to kill the animal herself or something like that. In your case, I think that you need to have a serious talk with your DH about what you want to teach your son. You really can't expect him to understand that meat is not food if it is in your fridge.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
Did I miss something? Does her DH actually kill the animals? If he doesnt hunt, I seriously doubt her DS would think that his father was a "animal killer" because he eats the meat. Maybe there is another thread somewhere that further explains this comment?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Im veg, DH is omni, and so far, DD is veg too. I dont plan to allow her to have meat until she is older. That being said, I personally think that if you are going to allow your DS to eat meat, you should buy him local, hormone free meat.  My opinions about meat are less about the fact that animals arent food, and more about the fact that hormones filled, antibiotic ridden, poorly treated animals are not food. Take it for what its worth to you, but Id rather my kiddo eat rare steak from the farmer down the road than processed chicken nuggets or hot dogs. If its being "just like his friends" that your DS is wanting, he simply wouldnt get it in my house. I might buy him meat, but I wouldnt be buying oscar meyer weiners.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,777 Posts
<p>I believe that one should only eat what they are personally willing to kill themselves.  Yes, I have viciously ripped carrots from the ground with my bare hands.  If DS was to express a desire to start eating fish, he would need to learn how to fish.  (The funny thing there is that I'm the parent, who knows how to fish, not Dh who eats fish.)</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
<p>I skimmed through responses but I agree with people's sentiment of it not being a good idea to force your child to not eat meat. Not that that's what you're doing. However, I also think there is a way to kind of inspire kids to love and care about animals vs. telling them to. Maybe you could take a trip to an animal sanctuary, or sponsor a chicken at an animal sanctuary? You could all name it and go visit it and stuff. I think fun things like that that inspire the feelings of not wanting to eat chicken because you love your sponsored chicken could be a fun way to go about it. I also like the if you want to eat fish, you go fishing sentiment, something I've been meaning to do, but it's pretty difficult how we live right now unfortunately. I think at an animal sanctuary, going on a kids tour or something and having him pet the cows and all that could help too.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Have you watched the Sarah Silverman on why she became vegetarian youtube video? Her Dad took her one thanksgiving to go get a turkey from a nearby farm, and you pick your turkey and then the farmer chopped the turkey's head off right there. Maybe taking your son to go pick out the meat he wants to eat would be way too intense for a child, but I do think it is something *every* person who eats meat should do past adolescence. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>This does make me thankful my husband and I are on the same eating page, as I think it makes it all a lot easier.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
<p>My daughter eats meet because it's her choice.  She's knows I don't eat meat.  Her Daddy does.  I didn't become vegetarian until I was older so who knows maybe she'll be veg too one day.  It's a really hard decision!!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
<p>Are you vegetarian primarily for health reasons?  If so, then I think a little bit of meat now and then is not unhealthy.  But, if being vegetarian is for ethical reasons, then I think its completely fine to insist that your children eat ethically.  We don't permit children to walk around punching other people just because we want to let them make their own decisions in life, so why is eating animals different if the reason for being vegetarian is ethical?  In this case, I'd be ending the seafood eating!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately, since DS is nearly 5 and really wants to be just like his omni father in every way, down to eating animals.  He loves animals, but keeps insisting he wants to eat them too.  DH and I have a deal where the kids will be vegan until they are 14 at which point DH will take them to see animals being slaughtered and then the kids can eat whatever they want.  DH eats whatever he wants to outside of the house and eats vegetarian inside the house.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Is there middle ground for you and your DH?  It is hard when the parents eat differently, since the kids are so aware of that difference.  In regard to wanting to be more like his friends, I'd see if there is any veggie group around so your children could have a few vegetarian friends.  Also, I'd recommend developing a few more super fabulous veggie meals, so that both your DS and your DH are wowed by how delicious veggie food can be.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
<p>We are vegan for health reasons. Dh and I switched from eating absolutely everything, to being vegan, over night. To me, its simple, I wouldn't let my 6 yr old smoke if she wanted to try it, just like I won't let her eat animal products. When she is old enough to be in charge of her health, what she eats will be her choice :)</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,460 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Carolyn_mtl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281412/ds-wants-to-eat-meat-bad#post_16099737"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We are vegan for health reasons. Dh and I switched from eating absolutely everything, to being vegan, over night. To me, its simple, I wouldn't let my 6 yr old smoke if she wanted to try it, just like I won't let her eat animal products. When she is old enough to be in charge of her health, what she eats will be her choice :)</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><span><img alt="yeahthat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yeahthat.gif"></span></p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,955 Posts
<p>I think I am in the minority here... we are all veg.  We have a meat-free house for the most part- I mean, if we are having omni company, we ask that they don't bring meat over if they plan to cook it here or use our plates (this is the rare occasion that we use paper plates).  But if we are getting takeout, they eat what they want... so, I look at it like this: we feel that it is wrong to eat meat (for us).  We plan to raise our children by our beliefs until they are old enough to make their own educated decisions.  When we moved in together (my now DH and I), we agreed to have a meat-free house.  He was omni at the time and I told him he can eat whatever he wants out of the house.  That helped alot till he went veg.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My mom raised me by her religion and said when I move out of the house, I can do what I want... and I did.  For us, we want our kids to live by our rules.  Obviously if they are out at their friends' house when they are 16 or whatever, I can't control what they eat, but I want to just raise them the best I can and hope they make the decisions I would want them to make.  I understand your position though, if your husband is omni, it must be difficult. have you checked out the vegfamily site?  That seems to have lots of info... good luck.</p>
<p> </p>
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top