Conflicted Vegetarian searching for help.. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-24-2014, 02:23 PM
 
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Good afternoon everyone,

 

My name is Yosef and I was looking for some advice.

 

I grew up on a farm as the son of a farmer/butcher. My father made me and my 3 brothers chop up cow, chicken and sheep meat from the age of 8 on. When I finally graduated high school and went to college I learned about different cultures and I began to despise what my father put me through. Consequently, I became a vegetarian ever since. Today my father runs a very lucrative farm business and sells to some of the major corporations around the US. 

 

The problem I have is that every time I am home to visit my father he slaughters a calf in our honor. I'm then sort of forced to eat meat that night.

 

What can I say to him to make him understand that I've become a vegetarian?

 

Thanks for the help guys,

 

Yosef

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#2 Old 01-24-2014, 04:49 PM
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Hi and welcome Yosef.

 

Wow, quite literally slaughtering the fatted calf :(

 

How about just saying "No thanks - I don't eat meat" and refusing to consume it .... Unless it is literally rammed down your throat I don't see how you can be "forced" to eat it.

 

I understand you don't want to be disrespectful to your father but if he knows you are veggie then he is being disrespectful to you.  Personally I wouldn't go home if it meant a calf being killed especially for me.

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#3 Old 01-24-2014, 05:59 PM
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Wow... Um. Hmm is this like a religious or cultural sort of practise? I have never heard of this before. I agree with quiet-vegan. Explain you have become vegetarian and no longer consume meat. And then just dont eat it. You should never have to force yourself to eat meat. Especially to benifit someone else. Just prepair yourself that your dad may get offended or give you a hard time. If he is a farmer/butcher he may take it offensively because his career is soley based around meat. But if vegetarianism is something truley important to you. Its worth "making waves" so to speach. Stand up for you beliefs.
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#4 Old 01-24-2014, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ellephants3 View Post

Wow... Um. Hmm is this like a religious or cultural sort of practise? I have never heard of this before. I agree with quiet-vegan. Explain you have become vegetarian and no longer consume meat. And then just dont eat it. You should never have to force yourself to eat meat. Especially to benifit someone else. Just prepair yourself that your dad may get offended or give you a hard time. If he is a farmer/butcher he may take it offensively because his career is soley based around meat. But if vegetarianism is something truley important to you. Its worth "making waves" so to speach. Stand up for you beliefs.

 

Ellephants3 and Quiet-Vegan,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

The problem is it is very hard to "come out" in my family. We came from a culture where it was acceptable to process any animal for consumption, even animals like horses and dogs. Luckily they don't allow this practice in the US. He has been slaughtering cows ever since I was 8. Before I thought it was OK because my brothers and I would cheer on my dad and watch as he "processed" them. But NOW, Vegetarianism has become very important to me ever since I went to college and learned about different cultures. Believe me, I am one of the good guys now. I am much happier away from home.

 

But if my father ever found out I was one of "them" he would stop paying for college and I'de be forced to work on his death star forever. Some reason I can't not go home, if I refuse then they won't send me money and I'll be homeless. Killing cows is bad but smelling like a homeless African is worse. Also, they can't force anything down my throat but it is very hard for me to hide it.

 

Can you or anyone think of another way?

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#5 Old 01-24-2014, 07:36 PM
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That makes things really difficult for you :-(

 

I don't usually condone dishonesty but if you can't tell them you don't want to eat meat for ethical reasons could you invent a medical reason for not eating meat (allergy etc.)? Then again, that would possibly just lead to lie-upon-lie and make things worse.

 

Religious reasons?  You have become Buddhist/Jain?

 

Sorry, I'm clutching at straws here I know.

 

I really feel for you Yosef x

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#6 Old 01-24-2014, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullPotato View Post
 

 

Ellephants3 and Quiet-Vegan,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

The problem is it is very hard to "come out" in my family. We came from a culture where it was acceptable to process any animal for consumption, even animals like horses and dogs. Luckily they don't allow this practice in the US. He has been slaughtering cows ever since I was 8. Before I thought it was OK because my brothers and I would cheer on my dad and watch as he "processed" them. But NOW, Vegetarianism has become very important to me ever since I went to college and learned about different cultures. Believe me, I am one of the good guys now. I am much happier away from home.

 

But if my father ever found out I was one of "them" he would stop paying for college and I'de be forced to work on his death star forever. Some reason I can't not go home, if I refuse then they won't send me money and I'll be homeless. Killing cows is bad but smelling like a homeless African is worse. Also, they can't force anything down my throat but it is very hard for me to hide it.

 

Can you or anyone think of another way?


Where are you going to college? I'm sure there are scholarships for vegetarians/vegans, along with academic and athletic scholarships. Good luck.


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#7 Old 01-25-2014, 05:00 AM
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You'll have to balance your ethics with wanting to enjoy the profits of your father's business. Granted, just about no business is vegan, but using your family's money made from slaughtering animals isn't that different from eating a cow. So maybe your ethics will wait until you are earning your own and then can tell him what kind of man you really are.
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#8 Old 01-25-2014, 05:45 AM
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Wow Yosef, what a tough position to be in.

 

I think maybe you have to take a long-term view here: the most important thing is your college education which will enable you to get away and be 100% veggie in a few years time. After all, if you're eating vegetarian most of the time, that's making a massive difference already.

 

In the meantime, I would limit how often you go home, if that's possible, and then eat as little of the meat as you can. You're not going to stop him slaughtering an animal in your 'honor' by announcing that your don't eat meat, and if you lose your funds for college and you end up working at the farm you will feel responsible for more animal deaths.

 

You going vegetarian will probably be seen as a huge insult to your father and the rest of the family (he will probably point out that the money that is putting you through college is only there because of his farm) and also to your culture, so you need to tread very carefully if you wish to remain part of the family.

 

Is it possible for you to get a job to cover your tuition and living costs, or a student loan?

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#9 Old 01-25-2014, 09:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post

using your family's money made from slaughtering animals isn't that different from eating a cow.

 

That might be the case in some ideologies, but from an economic/utilitarian ethics standpoint it's entirely different.

 

The deaths of cows stem from the demand, which increases as prices drop (so things like subsidies ARE an issue), but otherwise holds constant relative to price and public appetite for meat (which is usually only affected by advertisement, or growing public sentiment like animal welfare concerns).

 

The OP spending the family's money from the business does nothing to increase public demand of meat or reduce the price of meat.  If anything, it expends the money that might otherwise be re-invested into the business in terms of advertising or streamlining production to reduce price (which would increase the number of cows killed slightly by increasing demand or consumption).

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#10 Old 01-25-2014, 01:51 PM
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That's a very good point. ^^
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#11 Old 01-25-2014, 05:20 PM
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Yosef -

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences.  :wayne:

 

I would say that your Dad's actions seem to be rooted in tradition.  He might feel like he is "honoring" you in his actions.  That is a good thing.  I'm not sure how your family relationship is, but it seems like you are a close family.  That usually means that you have heart-to-heart conversations.  You could explain to your father that you no longer feel the need for him to honor you in this fashion.  You are an adult & have embraced new ideas.  You must tell him in a way that will not disrespect his traditions. Hopefully, he will embrace your new ideas.  Sometimes, old habits are hard to break.  If he doesn't express any tolerance, explain to him that you are his son, and he has raised you well.  Maybe ask him if he ever had a differing opinion with HIS father, and the similarities here.

 

Good Luck.  :) 


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#12 Old 01-25-2014, 05:26 PM
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Could you try talking to your mom about it first? That so awful that you are put in a spot were you have to eat it or you will not be financially supported. how often do you visit home? and how much longer do you have in college? I dont really know what i would do in this situation. but if anyone ever put me in a position where i had to eat meat. i would totally resent them and most likely would not continue to have a relationship with that person. even if it was a family member. do you have a good relationship with your dad? could you calmly approach him and tell him your feelings on eating meat. let him know that it would put a strain on your relationship if he forces meat on you when you dont want it. tell himyou mean no disrespect to his profession. this is just a personal choices you have made and would love if he could respect that. 

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