When I have kids - do I give them the choice or try to pursuade them? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-24-2011, 09:37 AM
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Ok I haven't got kids yet - but I'd love to hear some stories and advice from you about raising kids as Veggies and/or Vegans.

I'm very open on the topic - my boyfriend is a meat eater and I'm a vegan which suits us both fine as he will eat vegan with me at meal times and if he wants some meat he'll buy some. Fair play.

But when it comes to having children I feel we'll be a little more opinionated - I would love my children to be vegan or veggie and love animals in the way that I do. However my boyfriend says we should not push them and let them make their own decision. I don;t want to scare them with horrific videos (which is what turned me) but sometimes I think you need to see it to believe it.

Let me know what you think
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#2 Old 08-24-2011, 10:09 AM
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Well I don't think that raising them as veg*ns is any more pushing than raising them as meat eaters. In the begining you make the decision for them. Later in life they will see what they want to do. I wish my parents raised me veg*n, lol
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#3 Old 08-24-2011, 12:02 PM
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I cook vegan/ vegetarian meals for my family only. Luckily my husband is a vegetarian, but if he wanted meat he can get it elsewhere.

The same will go for my kids. I will always cook vegan meals, (right now they eat a vegetarian breakfast and lunch- but I try to make a vegan dinner for all of us), and if they someday desire to eat meat- they are perfectly free to. I imagine the question will come up someday and I'm contemplating how I will answer, why "Johnny" eats meat in his house and my kids don't. If they go to Johnnys house and his parents make meat- and they are educated and old enough- they can decide for themselves if they want to eat it.

My kids are serious animal lovers, and I'm going to use that to sway them. We plan on visiting farms and zoos and pet stores as much as possible and teaching them respect for animals, and why we don't eat them. Hopefully they are into the idea too.

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#4 Old 08-24-2011, 12:32 PM
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When we had kids my hubby was transitioning to veg so it was not really a question of how we would do it. When you have little kids they dont make food choices unless its between two things you offer. So by offering them two healthy options (vegan) they learn thats how to eat. Of course if they ever want to change when they are older they will but you are the parent and from pregancy through the tot years you have control. Def work it out before having kids.

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#5 Old 08-24-2011, 12:59 PM
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Hi!

First, don't worry about how to raise kids right now unless you and your boyfriend are serious. Just worry about protecting against pregnancy and STIs, ok?

Second, I can tell you what we're doing. We're raising the kid(s) vegan. If/when they are old enough to decide for themselves that they want to eat animals, then we will "allow" that, but we will not encourage or support that. In other words, they can eat animal products when they go to a friend's house or when they buy it with their allowance at a restaurant, but they will eat the food we buy and make when at home - vegan food.

Obviously, it's easier for me since my husband and I are both vegan and we share the same values. We have similar opinions about religion and politics, too, so it's unlikely we'll have major conflicts about how to raise our kids. (I have to say, there's a LOT to be said for partnering with someone who shares your core life values. You will be more supported in ALL life decisions. Your partnership will likely be stronger and your relationship is more likely to last longer. THat's a statistical fact.) The real issues for us are the other family members who have different values - grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. So... we decided that we will encourage them to feed our children vegan foods but we won't force it.

I have LOTS of faith that any child who spends substantial time with us through young childhood will grow to become an animal lover and will stay vegan or at least vegetarian/ nearly-vegetarian. I don't think it's very likely that our children will become huge carnivores, at least not for any significant amount of time (maybe as a sort of rebellion in teen years). I have a feeling that our children will make it clear to adults that they don't eat animals. I was like that as a child and my nephew is like that now too... so I have faith my own children will have the backbone to stand up for themselves, others, and justice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegan-victoria View Post

I would love my children to be vegan or veggie and love animals in the way that I do. However my boyfriend says we should not push them and let them make their own decision.

What your boyfriend might not understand is that eating animals is not a neutral position. Raising children to consume other sentient beings without the need to do so and consequentially damaging the environment and causing unparalleled animal suffering is a value-based decision. Your boyfriend has declared - with each bite of animal product - that his taste buds or his tradition or his convenience are superior to animal's interests in freedom from pain, freedom from death. Raising children to do the same is teaching those children those values of human superiority, environmental destruction, and wanton animal cruelty.

Moreover, the vast majority of society will be pushing your children to be nonvegan. That's a simple fact of life right now. Most people are not vegan or vegetarian. Most people will expect and encourage your children to eat animals. They will encourage that at meal times and also in stories, songs, TV shows and movies, etc.

So, it's naive to think that you'd have to allow your children to eat animals at home in order to present the option of animal eating to them. Unless you totally isolate them, they will learn about what other people do eventually and they will realize that there is another lifestyle. There will be a sort of "balance" in what they learn from you vs what they learn from the rest of the world. If you feed them animal products, there's no balance at all. So raising them vegan IS giving them a free choice.
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#6 Old 08-24-2011, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for the info Elainev, I cook Veg meals and and I cook some meats(no offense please) for my husband, If our future children wants to eat meats while they are older they are ok out of my house. As we learn new meals that are Animal and Veg friendly we are bring less and less animal products in the house, Its up to you and your spouse or partner how you bring up your children.
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#7 Old 08-25-2011, 02:54 AM
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First, don't worry about how to raise kids right now unless you and your boyfriend are serious. Just worry about protecting against pregnancy and STIs, ok?

Don't worry we've been going out FOREVER theres no worry about that and we have spoke about having kids and we both want them, together - just not yet!
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#8 Old 08-25-2011, 05:22 AM
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Second, I can tell you what we're doing. We're raising the kid(s) vegan. If/when they are old enough to decide for themselves that they want to eat animals, then we will "allow" that, but we will not encourage or support that. In other words, they can eat animal products when they go to a friend's house or when they buy it with their allowance at a restaurant, but they will eat the food we buy and make when at home - vegan food.

Obviously, it's easier for me since my husband and I are both vegan and we share the same values. We have similar opinions about religion and politics, too, so it's unlikely we'll have major conflicts about how to raise our kids. (I have to say, there's a LOT to be said for partnering with someone who shares your core life values. You will be more supported in ALL life decisions. Your partnership will likely be stronger and your relationship is more likely to last longer. THat's a statistical fact.)

That's how I did it too. It worked out beautifully.

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#9 Old 08-26-2011, 06:47 PM
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What Elaine said.

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#10 Old 09-13-2011, 02:54 PM
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My mother raised my sister and I vegetarian even though our father is a meat-eater. She never pressured us but did let us know that she would not serve meat. I think you should make the decisions about food while they're young. When they get older explain your reasoning for your choices. If they understand (and they should since they live with you) they'll probably adopt a similar lifestyle.
I have never felt limited in the food choices I grew up with. My mother cooked dishes from all around the world so I have an interesting taste in food which I'm proud of.
And remember at some point your kids might have some issues with being "different" and asking questions about why you choose foods that are different than the mainstream. Eventually they should understand.
Hope this helps.
I'm definitely raising my children vegetarian too btw!
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#11 Old 09-15-2011, 02:00 PM
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I Believe you should give them free choice - otherwise thts like cruelty and not givin em freedom
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#12 Old 09-15-2011, 02:04 PM
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it also depends on the household. we don't have meat or dairy in the household, and that's not going to change.

The Big Bad.
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#13 Old 09-15-2011, 02:11 PM
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I stopped eating meat when my children where 12, 8 and 2 so I have left them to chose for themselves. Sometimes we all have veggie or vegan meals but if they want meat then I will cook it for them while teaching them why eating meat can be bad. Though I would of shown them these things even if I did eat meat because I think it's important as if they don't know what's going on with things (not just meat) then they can't make an informed decision on what they do
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#14 Old 09-19-2011, 11:24 AM
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Raise them as veggie, then when they get older and ask (and they will) go ahead and cook them the hamburger to try. Lace it heavy with ex-lax.
They will more remember the 12 hours on the toilet than they will the meat when all is said and done.


P.S.
Im kidding, do NOT do this to your children, or anyone else for that matter.
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#15 Old 09-19-2011, 12:48 PM
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My niece has a 6-year-old daughter, and she's being given the choice to eat meat, or not eat meat. Her daughter's daddy is omni, and it just seemed the easiest way to go. (We're a Vegan/Vegetarian/Omni family), and my niece says, "Her body, her choice." There's no fighting or tears (or, at least, less fighting and tears, anyway) with that.

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#16 Old 09-26-2011, 11:48 AM
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My kids have always eaten what we ate, so when I was omni they ate omni. I went vegetarian a few years ago and have made many vegetarian and vegan meals for my kids and husband, but I have also never pushed any of them to give up meat unless it was their decision since they were not born into a ve*an home kwim? I just take comfort in knowing they consume far less animal product than other kids, and consume WAY more healthy veggies! My oldest, who is 9, made the connection of where her food comes from all on her own a few months ago and decided to go ovo-lacto vegetarian on her own, and I couldn't be happier, but she still knows it is HER decision. I know when I was growing up the more my parents pushed me to conform to their ideals..the more I rebelled I just gently answer her questions and hope she chooses the right path for herself. I hope my younger 2 (they are almost 4) choose the same path at some point as well, but it will be their decision also....same with the husband.
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#17 Old 09-27-2011, 07:15 AM
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My husband and I stopped eating meat a little over a month ago. I am trying to transition to vegan, but having a harder time with the dairy than I do with meat. I have 6 year old twin girls. They have asked about why mom and dad do not eat meat and are curious, but we have not stopped them from eating meat. They are eating less meat than when we ate meat, but I am going to allow them to make the choice. One of my daughters told me a few days ago that she is not ready to be a vegetarian yet, but she will let me know when she is. I would prefer that my daughters eat a vegetarian or even vegan diet, and if I had made the change when they were younger, I would not have given them meat. However, since they are 6 years old and know what they want, I am going to let them make the decision.

If I had been vegetarian or vegan when they were born, I would have raised them vegetarian/vegan.
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#18 Old 09-27-2011, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy77d View Post

My husband and I stopped eating meat a little over a month ago. I am trying to transition to vegan, but having a harder time with the dairy than I do with meat. I have 6 year old twin girls. They have asked about why mom and dad do not eat meat and are curious, but we have not stopped them from eating meat. They are eating less meat than when we ate meat, but I am going to allow them to make the choice. One of my daughters told me a few days ago that she is not ready to be a vegetarian yet, but she will let me know when she is. I would prefer that my daughters eat a vegetarian or even vegan diet, and if I had made the change when they were younger, I would not have given them meat. However, since they are 6 years old and know what they want, I am going to let them make the decision.

If I had been vegetarian or vegan when they were born, I would have raised them vegetarian/vegan.

I think you are doing the right thing!
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#19 Old 10-18-2011, 10:11 AM
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I suppose I have not been on this site long enough to be contradictory. Regardless, here is what occurs at my abode.

My wife and I are vegetarian, though my wife does eat some fish (let us avoid semantics for now). She has an adult son from a previous marriage who until recently was a omnivore, so she is accustomed to preparing meat. I would like to raise our three children vegetarian, however it is preferred that they feel that they made the decision themselves. It sounds peculiar in that parents are entitled to instill their values, however if the children feel that it was their choice, they would be more likely to maintain the virtue throughout their lives.
As of know, my 9 y/o girl does occasionally eat poultry and crab. My 5 y/o girl will on rare occasion do the same. The 7 y/o boy, is a very proud vegetarian. I am fairly sure that girls will come around.

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#20 Old 10-18-2011, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegan-victoria View Post

Let me know what you think

I think it's a total 'no-brainer' ..

We don't wean our children onto cigarettes so as they can choose if they want to be non-smokers later in life, f'rinstance, do we?
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#21 Old 10-18-2011, 11:03 AM
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.. and my niece says, "Her body, her choice." ...

Your niece is talking bollox purp.

It is not her (own) body she is eating and the ex owner of the bodies she is eating were given no choice in the matter whatsover.
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#22 Old 10-18-2011, 11:10 AM
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I Believe you should give them free choice - otherwise thts like cruelty and not givin em freedom

Said a spokesman for the most allegedly intelligent species on the planet.
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#23 Old 10-18-2011, 11:47 AM
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We were omni when raising our kids... but the only food choices they had was eat what we served them or go hungry for the meal. Obviously when they got older and had their own money they had more choices available to them.

I don't see how it this would be any different in a veggie family.

Interesting thing both of our older children, even though they don't live with us, have started consciously making better food choices (not that they ever ate horribly). My son said last weekend when we visited him (and bought him some groceries) that his mom and my eating habit changes were starting to rub off on him. Keep in mind we never ate too poorly and always had home cooked meals and packed their lunches when they were in school. Pop was a convenience for when we went camping, never had it in the house, ditto for sweetened cereals etc...

Our youngest eats pretty well too, but he is held hostage to his college's cafeteria atm.
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#24 Old 10-21-2011, 04:39 AM
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Because my wife and I are both vegetarians, there was no discussion about how to raise our son and daughter. They are both adult now and still vegetarian.

But if your partner eats meat, it is very difficult. There always will be a discussion. You are not only having a problem with your partner, but also with the rest of the family and your friends about raising children.
We didn't have any discussion with anyone about our vegetarian lifestyle.

My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#25 Old 10-22-2011, 02:12 AM
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My earliest memories is of my mum and dad transitioning into vegetarains. My mum gave up meat completely when I was 8, my dad gave it up completely a yr later. When we were growing up, there was always vegetarian food on the dinner table. Sometimes all the dishes would be vegetarain except a bit of fried chicken or a stirfried meat dish for my grandma, grandpa, me and bro. When we go out withmy parents, it's almost always to vegetarian restaurants. When we were in school however, we'd eat ehatever we liked. In my teens I tried going vegetarian for 3 years but gave it up for (bulls**t) reasons when I moved to Australia for uni. Now that I'm in my mid 20s, I'm older and have consciously made the decission to become a lacto vegetarian. It's been 4 months now and I don't think I'm ever going back to eating meat. I feel so much healthier and I've even lost a bit of weight. My brother has mentioned on many occasions that he wants to become a vege too but he likes prawns/crab too much to give them up. I've suggested that he become a pescatarian first and then slowly wean himself off it. He's only 20 now... so time will tell. I'm actually considering going vegan too but I tried it fora day and found it hard. I really hope to marry someone who is a vegetarain at least. It would make like so much easier. If I were in your situation, I'd raise my kid(s) the way I eat-- whether it's lacto veg or vegan (if i do make it there before i have kids) and let them chose what they eat when they grow up.

I have a Nepalese friend who tried going veg but his Omni mum said it wasn't normal for boys to be vegetarain and it'll look weird when he goes to relatives' homes and refuse to eat meat. The guy had good intentions but the mum shot it down. Even his siter whose my freind said girls are the ones who are usually vegetarains (we're Hindu by the way..many Hindus are vegetarains). Total BS if you ask me.

I say feed your kids the food you eat. WHen they gorw up, let them eat what they want. Dont encourage it, but allow it.

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#26 Old 10-23-2011, 05:32 AM
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When meaters raise their kids, they raise them without question - yet their lifestyle is most questionable. Vegans, as long as they are supplying the children with the best nutritional diets should do the same. It is normal to be a vegan, and only the attitude that it's an interesting alternative will make it a negative thing in any light. When you choose to live as a vegan, that's a convinction - not just a choice. You can raise your own child to what is normal to you, and you know that society and life will offer questions and choices to them as they grow up and that you can put forward why it's better to be a vegan when they learn to ask. Just as meater kids will at some point ask their parents why some other people are vegetarian, only to be given a terrible misinformed answer.

As for the other parent, it's time to make a decision with them - not on a forum without them. Sit there and say like "I respect your choice to eat meat, but it's factual that it's not as good as being vegetarian. Therefore I want to raise our child in the best possible way." some arguments you may want to use. "Human eating habits are learned behaviours, unlike animals." "Smoking is a learned behaviour, saying a child should follow a parent's learned behaviour (when it's unhealthy or c cruel) is like saying kids should always smoke if their parents do because it's 'normal'"

and the rest of it, there's loads of evidence you can put forward if you encounter resistance. http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural.html is a great place for lots of info on it to show that, while he doesn't have to be vegetarian- he does have to give his child the best possible start and that being raised asif vegetarianism is normal is a better way to live.
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#27 Old 11-03-2011, 08:10 PM
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We make the choices for our children, no matten what the choice is. Eating meat is not an option in our family, neither is smoking or drinking-we just don´t do it. Until our children are fully capable of understanding the consequenses of the choises they make, we as parents make the desicions, that is a part of parenting. To us, it would be doing our children very wrong to asume they want to eat animals, ethically we could never justify that. However-we have made the choise of not raising our kids vegan, although their dad is a vegan, the kids do eat egg and drink milkbased products sometimes. That is not optimal, but a choise we made for our convinience.
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#28 Old 11-06-2011, 01:35 AM
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I was brought up in a vegetarian household with the rules "no meat in the house" and "dad will not buy meat." Both me and my brother ended up vegetarian, me as soon as I was old enough to understand what it meant, and him when he was a bit older, I think late teens. If you teach your children your reasons behind not eating meat and demonstrate that you can be healthy without it, then they will make the best decision for them. You can't stop them eating meat, you can only not provide it for them.
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