Posted by Cascadian at 10/08/09 22:56:04Hi mumbee,
Yes, there are tons of vegetarian and vegan kids in the world today! All 3 of my kids have had vegan diets since day 1 plus both their mother and I were vegan before the babies came along. Sadly, it seems very common to have veg*n children with parental or other family members who object strongly to the kids choice. It is a tricky situation due to the fact that there are such strongly differing opinions involved...
My belief is that to the greatest degree practical, and just like all people, the children should have their wishes respected by all involved. Were I in your situation I would strongly advocate for and support the children's choice to be (at least) vegetarian. I also would not purchase or prepare non-vegan foods for the children.
Do you know why it is that the father objects to the children's diet and/or their ability to choose to be vegetarian? Perhaps he is misinformed or fearful about vegetarianism in some way and needs to be educated / educate himself on the subject?
Posted by patrickbritton at 10/18/09 12:32:08When I went Vegetarian I still allowed my son to be fed meat. I didn't want to tell others not feed him but I quickly came to my senses and have decided not to feed him meat anymore, or allow others to do so.
My family does not approve of this. Of course, he's my child, so I'll do as I please. I know it's best for him, he's not being hurt by not eating meat.
My family thinks it's wrong. They feel like I am keeping important vitamins from him, like I am abusing him. That's how meat eaters think. You have to eat meat, you can't be healthy without it.
Of course that is wrong, but I'm sure that is what the father thinks.
Posted by yvo at 10/30/09 12:24:04I have two young kids (age three year old and one year old) and my girlfriend and I have decided to raise our children pretty much vegan. Sometimes they some vegetarian cheese and sometimes organic dairy products.
What mumbee is saying sounds quite familiair to me, although we get a lot of support from our close family. What I find difficult is the social aspect of raising our kids vegan/vegetarian. At the former daycare they looked at me as if I was from a different planet when I told them Jippe (my oldest son) didn't eat any meat, dairy products or other animal products.
Also in daily life. All the candy filled with gelatine (not to say colouring, sugar and such...)they offer to my kids without asking me first. Plus of course the never ending questions...
I didn't realize the social aspect would be so intense. I experience it as a whole new part of the animal rights struggle. Let me explain by an example: Very often people think my kids miss out on so much. Yeah, they don't get sticky pre-fab whipcream cake from the supermarket when it's their birthday. Instead we make the cake ourselves with Jippe in charge of the kitchen! (and me cleaning up after afterwards, but that's a different story...). So it takes more time, it takes more energy and creativity. And very often it's not the easiest way to raise our kids vegan... but it surely feels right.
The fact people think my kids miss out because they don't use animal products in their lives shows us we still have a long way to go by achieving animal liberation.
On the hand; that's also the beautiful aspect of raising your (grand-) kids vegan/ vegetarian. You're setting a great constructive example and showing the people there's certainly an alternative. Birthdays are awesome with muffins and salades and chips and icecream and such.
About the discussion... what can i way? It's always the vegetarian/ vegan who has to defend himself/herself. I don't think we are the ones who should explain themselves. I'd like to turn the question to the omnivor: why are you eating meat? Why are giving your kids meat with all these chemicals and hormones in it? And so on and so on.
Posted by photosynthesize at 11/12/09 16:59:25I am a teen in a mostly vegetarian household. My mom raised me vegetarian, and I have only ever had meat a few times like pepperoni pizza at friends' houses. I am now a vegan out of my own choice, but I am disenheartened that my mom has given up and is not raising my much younger sister as a vegetarian and allowing her to eat meat. I can say that my mom raising me up as a vegetarian is the best thing she could have ever done for me. If it weren't for her, I would have probably never gone vegan.
Posted by Tom at 11/19/09 12:36:29When we are around family with our 19 month old son, and my tough guy uncle says "oh, so you're forcing him to eat what you like", I always gently reply "actually we are just not forcing him to consume foods derived from violence, I wish I was never conditioned to like them". He usually just trails off with the whining after that. Though I have to admit, he's become a big fan of our food nowadays and, when not goofing on us for being veg, he raves about it to everybody :-)