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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a real dilemma. I have never been a big meat-eater. 6 months ago, I became a vegetarian. My DH is not veg, but he is very good about eating many meatless meals and making sure that there are options for me when we eat out. When he craves meat, he buys it and cooks it himself. We are raising our daughter as a vegetarian. So far, my friends and even my in-laws have been understanding, if not supportive. My mother is confused (How will you ever get any protein!?!) but she has been "indulgent." (She and my father are divorced.) I live several states away from my family, so I don't see them often.

You are wondering where the problem comes in- well, here goes.

My father owns and operates the family business. It has been in the family for several generations, beginning with a pushcart. The business is a meat processing plant and slaughterhouse.


Some more background- My mom married my dad when I was 5. He is not my biological father, but he adopted and raised me. I do not know my bio-dad. He has been a good dad and I love him very much. However, we are not "close" in the way where we have heart-to-heart talks or anything. I know he loves me and he has always provided for me, but we still have a superficial, though nice, relationship.

My dad is visiting us this weekend. He only does this once a year. We only see him about twice a year. I want this to be a nice visit.

He does not know I am vegetarian. He would be incredibly hurt, I think. I am afraid that he is going to notice that there is no meat in my house. When he asked me over the phone if I wanted him to bring us any meat, I said " no, thank you" and he paused. Usually he brings us a very large supply. At dinner tonight I had to ask the waiter if my pasta could be made with marinara instead of meat sauce. He noticed. DH made a joke about not ordering veal because he didn't want to upset me. (He forgot, but covered by saying he knew how I feel about baby animals. My dad knows that I have always refused veal.) My dad is not a stupid man. He is going to notice.

How am I going to explain to this man that I reject the industry that fed and clothed me? That the thought of what he and all of my relatives do for a living makes me ill? That he is a murderer of sorts in my mind?!

I mean, my father looks a large number of animals in the face each Thursday and then kills them. But he is still my dad and I love him. To me what he does is inhumane, but to him, it is carrying on a hundreds-of-years old family tradition that feeds his family. He is a proud man. He is going to feel rejected.

I have no idea how to handle this.
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I think because this is your father, whom you love, you don't have to go into every reason you have decided to
become vegetarian. Instead of focusing on the murdering of animals side maybe you could focus on the health
side. Tell him that meat isn't appetizing to you, that your stomach doesn't handle it well. Sometimes I believe
that white lies, to spare another's pain, is better than creating a long standing rift.
 

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:

I was going to say almost exactly what janna said.

it's not a rejection of him personally, and he should understand that. he's gotta be wondering why you turned down the gift of meat if he normally brings you a lot of it. i think you oughtta come clean.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by trinity6232000
I think because this is your father, whom you love, you don't have to go into every reason you have decided to
become vegetarian. Instead of focusing on the murdering of animals side maybe you could focus on the health
side. Tell him that meat isn't appetizing to you, that your stomach doesn't handle it well. Sometimes I believe
that white lies, to spare another's pain, is better than creating a long standing rift.
:

I definitely would specifically not mention the murder part.


I've gone through something slightly similar with my mom, who's a WONDERFUL allopathic family doctor, and very much believes in vaccinations. I don't. Do I tell her I think she's shooting poisons into babies every day? Nope. I just say "this is the decision we've made for our family" and also tell her how proud I am of her, how literally random people in the street say "Oh, you're Dr X's daughter?? We LOVE her!", how greatful I am for what she did/does for me, etc. Not that I play this all up or anything, but it's as much a part of our relationship, and a more important part, than that I disagree with her on this one issue.

You love your dad, and he loves you. That's what matters. Focus on that, and help him focus on that.
 

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It would probably be painful to him if you called him a "murderer".
Not eating meat is what you have chosen- and it is not up for debate.
You are not rejecting HIM- but to him it might seem that way if you get into a big discussion and try to explain your views and make your points.
I'm sure you can find lots of other things to talk about.
 

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"health reasons".... that could include the health of the animals.


"Dad, my cholesterol was a bit high, I'm trying to get it down." "This new diet only lets me eat meat on days that don't end in Y"
 

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ITA with the "health reasons" or make up a more elaborate, detailed health related story. You're seeing a naturopath for xyz condition and they have you on a vegetarian diet for 6 months, or something like that.
 

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Well, since you were never a big meat eater anyway, I would just tell him that you don't eat meat anymore because you don't like it.
 

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Yeah, I'd focus on the health reasons. Maybe even say you'd had some problems and aren't eating meat "right now"



-Angela
 

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Many of us come to a point in our lives where we grow up and realize that our parents were WRONG. Take heart in the fact that as your dad he will still love you even if you disagree. And realize that you are not alone a million other people out there face the same situation with a myriad of variations.
 

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"I have developed an allergy. It hurts my stomach to eat meat. I am steering away from it."

Not the full truth, but right now it WOULD hurt your stomach!

*shrug*

I am a big fan of rigerous honesty, but if you do not think that is something you are up for, the allergy is a good opt-out. I do not drink alcohol, but trying to explain that while I am an alcoholic that does not mean I am tempted constantly, mentally ill, dangerous, weak-willed, just have one, etc... It is easier in some situations to say that it does not sit well with me. I could see the same working for meat in your situation, maybe?
 

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That's odd - I don't drink, and almost always all I have to do is say "I don't drink", and that's it. Every once in a while I'll have someone ask why (or "why not??"), but 95% of the time "I don't drink (alcohol)" does it for me.

(I've seen many a veggie do the same "I don't eat meat" although that does tend to get follow up questions a bit more. In general, I like simple, straightforward statements like that.)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Arwyn
That's odd - I don't drink, and almost always all I have to do is say "I don't drink", and that's it. Every once in a while I'll have someone ask why (or "why not??"), but 95% of the time "I don't drink (alcohol)" does it for me.

(I've seen many a veggie do the same "I don't eat meat" although that does tend to get follow up questions a bit more. In general, I like simple, straightforward statements like that.)
I agree. I don't drink and if someone offers me a drink I just say "No thank you, I don't drink alcohol" and that's it.

That being said though, she was raisied in a meat eating family. My dad is a big hunter, I have hated it since I was little. I still haven't told him that I've stopped eating meat.
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I definitely wouldn't make up reasons and lie about it.

That being said just make it simple. You don't have to go into the murder aspect of it, just tell him how you feel as simply as possible if you think he'll be hurt. But don't back down mama, stand up for your choices. It's YOUR choice, you shouldn't have to explain yourself to anyone.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all of your replies! Sorry I haven't responded sooner- we have been out and about with my dad. The visit went pretty well. My dad didn't mention anything about my not eating meat. DH told me that he is pretty sure he DID notice, because it turns out that he brought a small amount of meat with him to give to us. He pulled DH aside to mention it to him. I didn't even notice. When we went back to my dad's hotel with him, he gave it to DH as "that stuff I brought for you."


Now, knowing my dad, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. It really could be coincidental. I sort of hope that it isn't and that this is all the reaction I'm going to get. The whole visit was very pleasant, so it would have been the best possible outcome.

I have a feeling that there will be more of a reaction when DD is older and we aren't giving her meat, but we'll see.

If it does ever come up, I don't want to lie about it. I am not sure exactly how I'll explain, but I won't mention murder or animal cruelty, of course! I don't want to hurt my dad and he wouldn't understand, since he would never see what he does that way. I have at least a few months before there is any likelihood of us seeing each other again, so I will definitely be giving it some thought. The holidays will be especially interesting, since we will also be seeing (and probably eating with) my grandfather, brother, uncle and cousins. They also work in the family business and are more "outspoken" than my dad.
 

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I'm glad to read that things went well.

I can totally sympathize with you. I grew up on a dairy farm, and we had our own butcher shop on it, working in it wrapping meat was my first "real" paying job. My uncle(dads brother) runs the family sausage company.....the list goes on. DH and I became vegetarian a few short months ago. I was afraid to tell my dad too. Not because I thought he would be mad, but just because I know he wouldnt "get it". I told my mom we made the switch(she was very happy about it) and she slowly broke the news to my dad
I was pleasantly surprised with his reaction when the subject came up. DH and I have been very open about it and act about it like we do any other subject that may come up.

It was weird telling him though....and im so glad I had my mom to "cushion" the shock for him.
Since then he has been to our house and had "Beef" & Broccoli Stir-Fry and Cashew "Chicken" and has 2nd of each meal.
 
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