9yo daughter wants to be a vegetarian, but needs help - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-23-2011, 10:06 AM
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I've decided to go Vegetarian (no dairy, not sure about eggs as we have chickens) about 5 weeks ago. I'm having a very easy time of it. My daughter has expressed an interest in joining me, but she feels overwhelmed by temptation. I've seen the nasty videos (Earthlings, newsclips, etc) but I'm not sure that she needs to see that just yet. When someone around her has meat, she wants it (only if it's steak or burger, not anything else, really). She's requested that no meat be made in the house, but with my husband and other children still eating meat, I'm not sure how far I can go with that. As it is, they have meat in the house about once a week that is like a side-dish, separate from everything else and made just for them.

How do I help her focus on the realities of meat (in the face of temptation) without letting her see videos that are just too raw for her just yet? She's pretty intense and I'm afraid of what the knowledge of the reality would do to her. I don't want her to feel guilty if she wants meat, but I do want to support her own goals of not eating meat.

How would you handle this?
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#2 Old 05-23-2011, 10:10 AM
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Personally, at the age of 9, I showed my daughter small clips of things, so she had a deeper understanding of the truth and reality of where "meat" comes from. She is my only child, is very sensitive and while screening things has been my approach, I do not feel the need to completely shelter her from the realities of this world.

In your situation, unless you were showing all your children (if it was age appropriate), it would be odd though.

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#3 Old 05-23-2011, 10:12 AM
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I would not show her any graphic videos or pamphlets. Instead, I'd take her to a farmed animal sanctuary for a tour one day when it's convenient.
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#4 Old 05-23-2011, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

I would not show her any graphic videos or pamphlets. Instead, I'd take her to a farmed animal sanctuary for a tour one day when it's convenient.

Thanks to both of you. I think this idea will work well and I've just found a pig sanctuary that does tours in the Spring.
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#5 Old 05-23-2011, 01:51 PM
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Yes, showing her the videos is definitely a no-no. I haven't even been able to bring myself to watch those. I agree that gentler teaching goes a long way, so you should definitely take her to that pig sanctuary.

Enjoying the view over at http://forum.veggieviews.com/

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#6 Old 05-23-2011, 02:03 PM
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I think that maybe it's important not to put too much emphasis on the "failures" she will likely have. It's hard for a 9 year old to resist a hamburger, etc. Maybe remind her when she does have a vegetarian meal, that this helps to save animals too.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#7 Old 05-23-2011, 02:09 PM
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The animal sanctuary idea sounds great. Would a children's book on the subject help? That's Why We Don't Eat Animals has gotten a lot of good reviews on amazon. Here's a small bit about some animals on the book's website: http://wedonteatanimals.com/animals.html

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#8 Old 05-23-2011, 05:47 PM
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I personally wouldn't show her the videos, I remember how I felt and can not imagine how a child would feel. Could you take vegan meats to BBQ's for her? Have you discussed in a gentle way why you are veggie?

Went vegetarian on the 27th December 2013!
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#9 Old 05-31-2011, 02:16 AM
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My boy/girl 13 y.o.s are faced with meat choices every day. We make it positive....I let them go to the store to choose a lot of their own lunch items and have them grown their own vegetables when we can. We just started tomatoes a couple of weeks ago.

My best advice is to keep it positive. For example, if the kids at school are eating marshmallows and they pass....they are rewarded doubly when they get home and tell me about it....vegan marshmallows and something else too.

We make it a point to surround them with uplifting books about animals and take them to places where they can learn to appreciate wildlife. They are immersed in a culture in our house of "Do No Harm" (no leather, donating items to shelters, supporting veg. and animal rights causes, artwork of wildlife, movies that promote kindness).

The key is providing them with DELICIOUS kid-friendly foods and CHOICES within the diet we want them to have. It is surprising how many times omnivore kids have coveted what mine were eating because I have made an effort to make their foods tempting in looks and aromas. You put for a little extra effort and it will pay off in spades!
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#10 Old 05-31-2011, 10:31 AM
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I have seven children ages 2 to 10. Early this year we started a 'Daniel Fast' which is largely a vegetarian, if not vegan diet. We all fell in love with it. The recipes we used were simple enough for the older kids to get in on the cooking. This is where we saw their interest take off. Once you give the kids more ownership over their own diets, they tend to pay more attention to what they are eating. Also, the health benefits of a vegetarian, and moving towards raw diet, gave me and my wife more energy and helped our moods stabalize. Kids notice this and are smart enough to make the correlation. So, overall, for us, it was everyone in the family buying into the lifestyle change.

I wrote a small ebook about going raw. It's a simple introduction for anyone curious. It's called 'Truly Raw' and you can get it on the kindle market.
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