Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
My children see how I eat and they know why I eat the way I do. But I think it is something they need to decide to do on their own. If my children are out in a restuarant or at a friends house I do not insist they eat vegetarian. When I cook at home I usually make meat for hubby. I don't usually put any on the kids plates but if they ask for some I will not tell them they are not allowed to have any. Just like religion, eating habits are mine to encourage, not enforce.

AM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,825 Posts
Quote:
Just like religion, eating habits are mine to encourage, not enforce.
I totally agree. But then, I wouldn't consider myself an 'ethical' vegetarian. I've chosen to be a vegetarian due to environmental and health reasons, not animal rights reasons. I would probably eat meat if I had to resources to raise my own. I talk about my decision with my children, and they know why I don't eat meat. But they're free to make their own decisions. We don't eat meat at home, but my kids are free to eat meat if we go to a resteraunt or are a guest in someone else's home. A couple of my kids tend to eat meat every time we go out (especially the DS who we adopted at age 5 who is used to seeing meat as something special), whereas my youngest almost never chooses to eat meat. DH is not a vegetarian, although he is okay with eating veggie at home. I don't try to make him convert to vegetarianism either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,213 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,176 Posts
I guess I am in the decide for themselves category. We only eat vegetarian food in our house. Only on *RARE* exceptions do we cook meat for a guest- We have done so only three times in the last decade. When we go out to a restaurant DH will sometimes order something with meat- but that is getting increasingly rare as well. I can't think of a time he has done it in the last two years. Nonetheless, being vegetarian is a choice we have made for ourselves and it may not be the right choice for everyone. We set our example and share our values with them and as they grow they will set their own priorities. As our kids get older if they want to try non vegetarian food then I won't stop them from eating it at a friends house or in a restaurant. I want vegetarianism to be something they embrace because it has value and meaning to them, not just because they had no alternative. I am a UU and that is sort of my approach to religion as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,159 Posts
NameThatMama wrote:

Quote:
My daughter can eat meat (should she choose to) when I feel that she's old enough to make an informed decision about it. Until then, she eats vegetarian.
Yup.
Well said.

So far, my kids aged 3.5 yo and 20 mo, have never asked for meat when we're out. In fact, they avoid it like the plague.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts
It depends on your reason for being vegetarian, I suppose. If you're vegetarian just because you don't like the taste of meat, then it would be easy to let the children decide for themselves. However, as an ethical vegetarian (among many other reasons), I'd have a very hard time watching my children eat meat.

Would you allow your child to kick the family dog? Would you allow your child to deliberately and maliciously pull the cat's tail? (My 7 mo old DS pulls the cat's tail, but she doesn't know any better yet
) I see abstaining from meat as a moral issue.

I know that when I say "I won't allow..." doesn't mean it won't happen! I won't "allow" my children to lie or steal either, but I'm sure it will happen someday anyway. Same way with meat. When they're old enough to drive to McDonald's, there's not much I can do about that then. But I will be able to have a 'No meat in our house' rule.

Ha ha, my oldest is only 2, I'm sure my views will change between now and then! It's easy to be idealistic when I don't actually have to deal with it yet.

Aven
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,270 Posts
Good examples. Avendesora. I, too, view abstaining from meat in the same way as I will teach my children not to hit animals or chase the birds or kill bugs that aren't biting them.

In fact, compared to eating meat, hitting the dog is pretty small - the dog may be annoyed or hurt but at least it's not tortured for years and then killed! Yet so many omnis would be aghast at a parent who let their child hit animals while then feeding them other animals.

Although I am obviously coming from an AR perspective, I also think that the environmental and health aspects of my veganism are very important, so even if my children "didn't care" about killing animals to eat them, I still wouldn't let them eat it because it's not healthy for them or the environment.

Once they are old enough to buy and prepare their own food, they are welcome to make their own choices about meat. I'd be sad but, it would certainly be up to them! No meat in the house, still, but out of the house I wouldn't say anything about.

I also get really frustrated with the idea that forcing your kids not to eat meat is bad but forcing them to eat it is good. Every decision we make for our children when they aren't grown yet is OUR decision. Heck, I might as well let them smoke and go to swingers parties at age 5 too, right? Because I don't want to force my beliefs about health and morals on them? Whatever!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,145 Posts
in our family, we are raising our kids as vegan, until they are old enough to choose for themselves. i'm not sure how old is old enough, but 4 and 2 definately isn't it!

when they are old enough to understand what meat is, and where it comes from, why we're veg, and decide if they want to eat it or not, we'll support that decision. it would be hard for me if they did choose to eat it though

but for now, we're doing it my way because we feel it's the healthiest. and hopefully, even if they do choose to eat meat in the future, they will have a solid foundation of healthy fruit and vegetable eating (not saying meat eaters don't eat fruits and veggies, it's just not the whole basis of their diets is all).

oh, and my hubby eats meat, while me plus the kids are vegan, so maybe it's a little different for us? i would never force my hubby to go vegan (although i'd be thrilled if he did!), so i guess i can't force my kids to *stay* vegan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,434 Posts
We are a vegetarian household and I do not buy meat or bring it into our home. We do not cook it. We don't buy or own leather, fur, skins, etc or products tested on animals or with animal products. We do eat yogurt and eggs (from local places where I have been to the farms and approved the conditons)
If DS goes to a friend's house when he is older and chooses to eat meat, I cannot and will not stop him or make him feel bad for that descision. It is his and his alone to make...when he is older. However, if he eats meat away from home, that is his choice, but in our home we don't eat meat, so we eat that way.
I feel that although I can raise him a vegetarian, teach him why we are vegetarian, teach him a love for the earth and her creatures, when he is old enough to understand, the issues involved with eating meat,I will teach him to explore all sides of an issue and most importantly to know himself...and he can make choices for himself and I will respect them because I will know that he knows what is best for him.
But for now, we know what is best for him and we eat vegetarian!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,528 Posts
I have explained to my children why we are going veg, and I will continue to do so. Whatever they choose is up to them, but I realize that at 14, 12 and 9, I can't "control" everything that they eat like I did when they were toddlers. (My 5 year old is still under my power, though...bwahahaha)

On the other hand, since I make the money to buy the food, and do all of the food shopping and most of the cooking...we're gonna make the switch to vegetarianism if I say we are....


It's like anything else, really. The best you can do is be consistant in your home and set a good example. (Then cross your fingers and hope for the best.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,962 Posts
hmmmm. It's funny because my sister, who is vegetarian, asked me this once about my son (who is almost 3). I was shocked to hear someone else who is veggie ask me how I could justify not letting my son eat meat - but for her (she doesn't have any kids, yet), I think because her hubbie does eat meat, it is a different matter. We are a vegetarian FAMILY. No one is our house eats meat, our pans, utensils, etc dont touch meat. I do not cook meat. For our family it is an ethical decision, which has evolved into a health decision over the years. Now, yes, when my kids are old enough to decide some things for themselves (prob teenager-hood) that is a different matter.

Quote:
Would you allow your child to kick the family dog? Would you allow your child to deliberately and maliciously pull the cat's tail? (My 7 mo old DS pulls the cat's tail, but she doesn't know any better yet ) I see abstaining from meat as a moral issue.
I really agree with this - for our family it is sp ,uch more than just a "choice." And not eating meat really goes along with all of the other values/ morals that we are teaching our children (or trying to at least
) Personally, I dont understand how one can teach loving all things/ kindness/ respect for the earth and all the beings and justifying eating meat. Seriously. But for many, it is apples and oranges
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by mountainsun

And not eating meat really goes along with all of the other values/ morals that we are teaching our children (or trying to at least
) Personally, I dont understand how one can teach loving all things/ kindness/ respect for the earth and all the beings and justifying eating meat. Seriously.
same here and ita.

Before my dd was 2yrs old I went to visit my mom and brothers in NY. My brother (whom had a baby then) liked to harrass me about my choices and beliefs. He said that I was forcing Marley to be a vegetarian because I was. So I, in turn, said that he must be "forcing" Emily ( his dd ) to be a meat eater because he was. It's the same difference. And of course he "tried" to protest that one. ANYWAYS, of course my children are vegetarians. Of course we eat organic and alot of raw. Of course they eat lots of fruits and veggies. What kind of parents would we be to not feed out children this way when we know everything that we do. Vegetarianism is an ethical decision for us, first and foremost. I see my children as extremely blessed to be raised how they are. I only WISH I grew up in a veg household eating whole, organic food.

Thou shall not kill. Why can't people understand this? I mean seriously. It's really quite simple.

Jah created ALL living things. We must love everything and have respect. We are but ONE species in this vast world.

Now I'll say what everyone else has. That when my children are old enough to make that desicion they can. But my children should be well enough educated to make the right choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
I do not think it's fair to let a child decide whether or not to eat meat in this society. They do not understand what meat is or how it got to the grocery store. Perhaps in movies you've seen adults tricked into eating meat which was of a different sort (like human flesh) than they thought. They're "tricked" because they don't understand what the meat really is. So it is most children do not understand the meaning of the meat.
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,951 Posts
I am a lacto veggie. I am the only one in either side of the family. DH rarely eats meat, but that is only b/c I rarely buy it. He orders meat when we go out to eat. He is not a picky eater. He eats whatever I put infront of him. (I am so lucky!)

I will tell dd where meat comes from, and she can decide if she wants to eat it or not. Her choice. But its not something that I am going to prepare often. So that takes some of the choice away, I guess. But she will have a choice when we go out to eat and when we are visiting her grandparents. But if she does not eat meat, she will have to eat a protein source instead. (She wont be allowed to just eat the potato and vegatable) My parents always have Boca burgers at their house for me, so thats what dd would be offered if she did not eat meat.

I never liked the taste of meat, and don't really like the idea of eating living animals, so it was not a difficult decision for me. But a lot of people like the taste, and believe thats why animals were put here. I am not militant about it. I feel it is a personal decision. I don't guilt people for eating meat, and over the years my family quit picking on me so much about not eating meat. It got so much easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,795 Posts
cumulus- I couldn't agree more!!!
until my children KNOW how meat gets onto their plate and are able to buy, prepare and clean up after themselves they are stuck eating veggie in my house.. for me it is a choice of compassion. I don't know how or if I will forbid/restrict it outside of the house, DS has snatched a peice of ham from my nephews lunchable one time :puke but I definitly won't encourage it. My dad thinks I am going to brain wash them?
I admit I am a bit radical about some things but this I won't budge on.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top