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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Hello, I have been vegan for a little over a month. Cold turkey after catching some slaughterhouse footage on an old Oprah episode. That 15 minutes has changed my life more than I could possibly imagine. I did nothing but cry the first 2 weeks and was and am so ashamed and angry at myself for going through life with "blinders" on. Now that my eyes are open I want EVERYONE to feel what I feel. Well, that's not happening. I just want to choke every meat/dairy eater. I am so angry. Animal product EVERYWHERE. I am just sick. I am married with a 12yr old son and they are still eating meat. I will not buy or prepare meat or dairy in the house but I know they are sneaking fast food. Do you think it is appropriate to show my son some slaughterhouse footage? Like what I saw on oprah? I want him to understand where his burger comes from. Thanks for letting me vent. Like I said, life as knew it over. Heidi

Responses (8)

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 09/04/14 05:58:57

    :Remember that you were once a meat-eater, too, and have patience with others. I know it's not easy...I've been facing this dilemma for almost forty years!

    I think it's entirely appropriate to show a 12-year-old where meat comes from.

    My essay, "Thinking About Food" won a contest at the Vegetarian Site in 2002.

    It addresses exactly what you're talking about. The essay is reproduced in one of my books.

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    Posted by Haydensmom at 09/04/14 08:07:56

    Thank you. Much appreciated. :)

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    Posted by AllyG at 09/10/14 01:26:40

    I don't think I would show a 12 yr old slaughter videos at all. I believe in a gentle approach. Cook yummy and inviting vegan meals. If you are the main cook in the household then you don't have to compromise your beliefs if they clash with others. However I do think that getting the family on board will make life easier. Preaching, and guerrilla tactics don't always work.

    I'm vegan and my husband and adult sons are not vegan. We had honest talks about how it could work (or not) as I wasn't vegan when we met. My husband happily eats the vegan meals I prepare, and if we eat out then we either share vegan or he eats meat and I eat vegan. I don't EVER comment on him eating meat, as he doesn't EVER complain if we've been to five different restaurants and left because they don't have anything suitable for me to eat.

    Your son is old enough to hear your views and gain some understanding. He may not agree, he may not want to be vegan too. In time, maybe he will if he sees your example of how a vegan lifestyle works. If he sneaks out for fast food, then that's not something you can control.

    Read around vegan families and getting them on board. I'm sure other vegan mums have had similar issues.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 09/10/14 03:31:21


    Slaughterhouses are a reality. I wonder whether it's such a good idea to shelter kids from realities such as war, domestic abuse, and animal cruelty. And as they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words".

    If you go to my website and contact me, I'll gladly send you a copy of the essay mentioned above.

    Humans do some horrible things and kids at some point must become aware of this...

    "Until we see what we are, we cannot take steps to become what we should be."
    -Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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    Posted by AndyT at 09/11/14 23:11:09


    very happy that you made the connection.

    You might start with something a little more light. I think the book "That's why we don't eat animals" by Ruby Roth (actually for pre-schoolers) is a good introduction to the subject.

    I guess there are also other documentaries that are supposedly not as gruesome as "earthlings" (admit that I have not seen that one yet, as I went vegetarian some 25 years ago already)

    Best regards,

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    Posted by Tigra220 at 09/12/14 13:10:59

    Welcome to veganhood, Haydensmom!

    I think that showing the slaughterhouse footage really depends, and varies from child to child. When I became a vegan, my children were 8 & 13. First, I took them to a presentation that I did on veganism. There were no visuals, just my explanation of the horrors of factory farming, etc. My daughter, the youngest, was very upset and shaken, so I knew that visuals would be too much for her. My son, however, was sad for a little while then I'm sure he and his dad got a burger later. My son also went to visit an actual farm (w/ a slaughterhouse) in Branson, MO (school trip). He stopped eating burgers for about a week, but then he went back. He's grown and he continues to flip flop to this day on his meat stance.

    I think (some) boys, at that age, with the violent video games and gory scary movies they watch (if allowed), can handle more visuals than we'd expect. So only you know your child. If he's more of a sensitive soul, I wouldn't show it to him. I would instead go with Andy's suggestion above. If he has tougher skin, I think it'd be ok. You can always monitor his reactions as he's watching it, and turn it off if it appears that it's getting to be too much for him. Or break it up and talk with him after some scenes if he begins to get emotional.

    I know it's hard. I always kick myself for not raising my kids as vegan from the get go.

    Good luck with everything. :)


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    Posted by AllyG at 09/12/14 13:19:23

    I saw a few vegan picture books at our library. What a great idea.

    I stand by my initial comment that showing twelve year olds graphic slaughterhouse videos isn't appropriate. Thanks Ahimsa32fa for pointing out that we live in a violent society. I'm also unlikely to show a 12 yr old graphic war, domestic abuse, torture videos of either animals or people. I'm sure you mean well, but I'm already vegan and don't need to visit your website to be preached to.

    My son found the PETA website on his own, before I was vegan, and watched some slaughterhouse videos when he was about 14, it horrified him, but he still eats meat. I'm more likely to get him to get the food I prepare by making it tasty and appealing, than "here, sit down and watch this" and he's not 12 either.

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    Posted by Haydensmom at 09/23/14 12:39:51

    Hello all and thank you so much for your advice. My original post was 3 weeks ago. I have since calmed down a bit. I was sooo angry and wanted everyone to flip their switch from omni to vegan just as I did. I am now just trying to be happy, positive and answer questions from friends and family. I do all the cooking so my family eats what I prepare. Vegan dishes. most have gone over quite well, some not so much but so happy they are willing to try. My son loves animals so much I just had to show him a little bit of footage so he knows how his food gets to his plate. This was from the Oprah show and was not too graphic. He was sad and understands how I feel. He asked me to please not cry again when I showed him. I was a weeping mess that first month. He still eats meat, just not on my watch. I totally agree, guerilla tactics do NOT work. I have made some really good food, lost some weight and most importantly, saved some of my fellow earthlings. I am so proud of myself and my decision to go vegan. Not something I usually say about myself, but I really am. Thanks for listening. :)

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