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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so okay, my baby's father and I were never married. when we were together I was not a vegan. I am now. Our son, Lucas, is now 9 months old and I would like to raise him vegan (i have so far) but my exboyfriend is a big meat eater and he's fighting me the whole way on this. It's ridiculous! I have given him soooo much information and showed him where vegans get all the required nutrients. I even showed him a brochure written by famous pediatricians saying that children should be raised vegan. He still is refusing to budge. He says that Lucas needs to have freedom of choice on whether he wants to be vegan or not. He's nine months old! How's he gonna have a choice? I think he needs the healthiest diet possible. I will not stand around and let him feed my son poison! But what do I do about it? Do I have any legal right to tell him that I want to feed our son vegan?<br><br>
PLEASE...if anyone has any advice please help me. I hate to say it but I almost am ready to tell him that if there is no chance of him changing his mind then he can't see Lucas. He'll have to take me to court to get visitation rights. Is that the wrong thing to do? I mean, as it is he only sees his son when it's convenient for him. aagghhh *sigh* i don't know what to do...<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":confused:"><br><br><br><br>
please help,<br><br>
jewellz
 

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How often does he see or care for Lucas?<br><br>
Do you do all of the caretaking? Does he pay child support?<br><br><br><br>
If he only takes care of him here and there and isn't living with you, it may be best for Lucas if you just accept that his father will feed him differently from you. A custody battle and parents who can't get along (married or not) would be way more harmful to your son than animal products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
oh wow- that is a tough situation, mama. i am really not sure how i would handle that. i don't know know if it would do any good to point out to your ex that his logic is faulty: of course your son deserves the freedom to choose what dietary and ethical path he will take in life, but one must consider that he can choose to eat meat or dairy later in life. what if he is raised eating animal products, and he becomes veg*n later in life, and has regrets and sadness about that part of his childhood? veganism could always be undone later down the road, if your son so wishes.<br><br><br><br>
i am sure this issue is incredibly important to you if you are contemplating going through the legal system over it. i wish you the best of luck in resolving this difference with the ex.
 

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Be strong SexyVeganGirl; You know it's the right thing, we know it's the right thing; Keep doing what you know is right and it will be better in the longrun. You might need to fight hard for this but you doing this is leading by good example. I'm sure there are tons of vegan moms in the same situation. I hope it all werks out for yous!<br><br><br><br>
peace
 

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That is a sad situation. Will your bf compromise? Maybe he would feel more comfortable allowing his son to be raised vegetarian, but not vegan...then, since you would be doing most of the raising, your son would be nearly vegan.<br><br><br><br>
I think a father is very important, even more important than raising your child vegan.<br><br><br><br>
I hope that you can work something out. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Warning - you asked for advice/opinions...<br><br><br><br>
Raising your child vegan is not as important as having a stable, civil relationship between his parents. It's as simple as that. The ex isn't the only one that needs to compromise; you need to as well for the sake of your child.<br><br><br><br>
When your child is with you, you raise him vegan. When he is with his father, he is raised according to his father's rules. When he is older, he can choose if he wants to eat meat/eggs/cheese on his own.<br><br><br><br>
I realize your dedication to your child and veganism is very important, but you also have to realize that your ex is also looking after the best interests of your baby. Most of us grew up eating meat and we turned out fine. Many people look at it like that and think "it was good enough for me, it's good enough for the baby."<br><br><br><br>
In my opinion, a little cheese or meat occasionally when he's with his father will do far less damage then a court battle. You are 22 years old and a mother. You need to confront this like an adult. Court battles over children should only be used when there is abuse. I don't care about your opinion of meat eating, it is not abuse.<br><br><br><br>
Raising a healthy child that is 80% vegan is better then raising a child who is 100% vegan, but has an angry and bitter father and parents who cannot get along.
 

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I agree with Krista 100%! Court custody battles can become very ugly and usually it is the child who suffers the most. I applaud you for staying true to your morals and convictions, but your son's emotional health is important as well. I don't think that two parents squaring off in court would help. When he gets older, he can make the decision whether or not to be vegan or omni. For now, even if he is 50% vegan and 50% omni, that is a start in the right direction.
 

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Wow, I could of almost written your post, I am in the almost same exact position. My daughter is 2 right now and her father has been pretty much in and out of the picture since she was 8 months. He is a big meat eater and disagrees with a lot of choices that I make for her (such as homeschooling, diet etc.). He is finally ready to establish a stronger relationship with her but he seems to think that all of a sudden it's an equal parenting? He thinks that we have to suddenly compromise on all parenting decisions. Why? Just because all of a sudden she's important to him doesn't mean suddenly he can have a say in parenting choices? It just doesn't seem right.<br><br>
He threatens to get the courts involved if I don't let him take her every weekend to a town that is an hour away to spend a few days there (she has never been away from me for a night). Then he threatens to feed her hot dogs & tells me that he does not want me to homeschool etc. etc.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">I think a father is very important, even more important than raising your child vegan.</div>
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It depends on the father. This guy may not be so spectacular as a dad. This baby can still have a father just not the biological one.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Raising your child vegan is not as important as having a stable, civil relationship between his parents. It's as simple as that.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
In my situation, raising my child vegan is much more important then her having a stable relationship with her biological dad. Sad but true. Not all fathers are created equal, they are not all saints. Why should the mom, the primary caregiver, surrender what she feels is important for a father that is presently in and out of the picture and could very well be permently gone in the future.<br><br>
I personally would NEVER come to a compromise with my DD's biological father. He is not in the position to start parenting. Now if he was in my DD's life from day 1, it would be a totally different situation alltogether.<br><br><br><br>
SVG, you're in a hard situation! Thankfully I don't have to decide yet which I will do. I plan to move, so I will be much further away from my dd's bio. father. I think it's for the best.<br><br>
Unfortunatly once a child is introduced to meat and cheese, it is really hard to go back. I'm sure most vegans on these boards are well aware of how hard it is to wean themselves from cheese and diary.<br><br><br><br>
No one really knows how hard this situation is untill they are in it. I would advise thinking long and hard about this. Try talking to him more. Maybe you should take the court route and get legal rights to your son. Just think of the long run, do you really want this guy telling you what you can and can't do in regards to raising your son? Since you are the primary caregiver, it does give you more authority.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, I wish you luck!
 

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everyone has made some great points, and i hope to expand on some of them. most of them are some legal options.<br><br><br><br>
tova's right, some people make horrible parents--particularly the partially absentee ones. THey make the most demands abotu what the primary caregivers choose, and they spend the least amount of time involved. To these, i recommend that the primary care givers consider getting a lawyer to draw up papers which give up parental consent. That is, the absentee parent signs and gives up parental consent. NO more off and on visitation, no more trying to dictate this or that when they're not even involved.<br><br><br><br>
second, also related to tova's statements, as well as krista's. if you don't already have one, get a lawyer and write out a custody agreement outlining visitation or custody arrangements, etc. You can even have veganism written into the agreement. That is, when the child is with the father, the father will honor the dietary restrictions. If he breaks this rule (and you'll know it), there will be a prescription of what will happen in the agreement--such as no more custody and fewer visitation rights.<br><br><br><br>
but, like krista and mushroom said, there is need for compromise. YOu need to be willing to say "Ok, if not vegan when with you, at least vegetarian. it'll be too hard on his system otherwise (which is a strong health argument. when i have cheese, i get serious gas and can be pretty miserable. so, if you raise your child vegan, he may have the same reaction to cheese, and particularly to meat. SO, perhaps this will help convince your ex as well.<br><br><br><br>
I think that your best bet is to have it written into the custody agreement. It may take a lot of negotiation, but be willing to be more open about other things that you may want to discuss as well and write out in the custody agreement--things like education, religious education, etc.<br><br><br><br>
Also, point out to your ex that just because you raise your son one way doesn't mean that he doesn't have a choice. YOu were not raised vegan, and yet you chose to be one. I know people who were raised vegetarian who chose to eat meat. I know people raised catholic who are now atheist, and vice versa. The main thing is, you want the best for him growing up--a good healthy diet--and that he still has a choice! But while he can't make that choice for himself, you have to be the parent, the logical one who makes good choices for him.<br><br><br><br>
Make sense? Sometimes this simple explaination does the trick.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thank you everyone who has written back already. To answer some of your questions, Lucas' father is basically like a babysitter. He's not around much unless I need to go somewhere(hey, every parent needs a break right?) I have compromised with him sooo much already. I haven't asked anything from him except veganism. a few examples... He didn't want lucas circumsized...i didn't do it.<br><br>
i got pregnant in PA, (where i live now) and moved home to Florida to have the baby because the father walked out on me and wanted me to give the baby up for adoption. He then decided to drive down to florida for the birth...i thought hey...that's great! he wants to participate. i went through a very difficult c-section and lucas was a very collicky baby from the start (the father did not help at all...we fought most of the time he was at the hospital with me) when it came time to sign the birth certificate, he said he needed to think about it. THINK ABOUT IT??? then he came back and said he wanted a DNA test because he wasn't sure if lucas was his. there is NO possibility of him NOT being the father. of this i am 100 percent sure. so i said fine, i would see him in court. he walked out of that hospital and didn't talk to me for the first three months of lucas' life. My mom decided she wanted to move to PA(i was living with her in fl.) so i came back up here and that is the ONLY reason that the father is in his sons life. otherwise i would probably be relaxing on the beach eating fruits and vegetables with my son for the rest of my life and not dealing with this argument with my sons' part-time father! i grew up not knowing my biological father, so I guess i don't feel as if it should be important to my son either. maybe if he was an outstanding father, i would think differently, but unless he cleans up his act, i feel as if i could find better. once again, thanks for all your advise. TOVA...keep me updated on your situation. i'd like to know how it turns out. i feel like i should move too. my sister (lives in Atlanta, GA) wants me to come run her business for her...it sounds great, but i don't know yet if i should take lucas away from his father. the man has potential to be a great dad, he just hasn't put it into effect yet.<br><br>
thanks guys<br><br>
jewellz
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
if i had to raise a son with an omni father i think i would argue that raising him vegan until he was old enough to make the choice to eat meat would make a lot more sense. i'd rather my future kids not eat meat until they can understand where it comes from. then if they make that choice, it's theirs to make but i'd probably be disappointed (in the choice, not them).. i dont know it just makes a lot more sense in my head but i know a lot of people don't see it that way.<br><br><br><br>
good luck w/Lucas' dad, i hope it works out.
 

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sexy:<br><br><br><br>
1. get a lawyer, get the father to give up any and all of his parental rights. He obviosuly doesn't want to be involved--even if he does thave 'potential.' potential amounts to a hill of nothing if he never acts on it. I would have no problem taking this child "away" from his father at this point.<br><br><br><br>
2. get another baby sitter. Yes, "dad" is free labor, but apparently not worth the hassle.<br><br><br><br>
3. if you live near valley forge, pa, so do i. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
4. if you want to move, then move. it's not necessary for lucas to be raised by or even know his biological father. if he's not a good father now, it's very likely that he won't be a good one in the future!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
zoe- i don't know where valley forge is....i'm new to PA...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
I live in Butler, about an hour north of Pittsburgh. Are we close?<br><br>
As of right now, I can't afford a lawyer. I'm in the process of trying to get child support from him through the court. I have an appointment June 23rd. I think while I'm there I'm gonna talk to the judge about custody and visitation and everything that you mentioned. Then I'll figure out what'll take to convince him to let me raise him vegan. Thanks for all the help...GREATLY appreciatied.
 

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Well, if you get child support, then he will most likely take the paternity test or admit he's the father, and at that point, you may end up <i>having</i> to draw up a custody agreement. An agreement will most likely save you lots of trouble in the future, anyhow. Look for a legal clinic. They offer low price or free advice for people or at least can direct you to some local services that might. Hopefully the judge will be able to direct you to resources as well. Let us know what happens.<br><br><br><br>
I wish the best for Lucas and yourself.
 

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I want to add, <a href="http://www.nolo.com/lawcenter/index.cfm/catID/21216A3D-29D5-41CD-A6E214E3E265D942" target="_blank">this</a> has some helpful info on legal issues involving child care and custody.
 

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thalia's right--there are lots of legal aid orgs out there who will help--most through law schools, and the labor is free training for the lawyers in training.<br><br><br><br>
and don't worry, they all have real lawyers who do the "real" lawyering in the courtroom. (because you have to pass the bar before you can speak before the court).<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Bulter is probably5 hours from here! I'm near philadelphia! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> occassionally i head in that direction, but not terribly often. i went with my husband a while back--we had a good time in Pittsburgh. it was really a lovely city (and very affordable actually).<br><br><br><br>
Good luck! and definately keep us posted.
 

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#1- a Great mom with a great job is better than a crappy life with low income and a crappy absentee father any day. -Move away from the dead-beat and go work for your sister. IT'll do the both of you more good than staying where you are, just hoping and relying on someone you already know is unreliable.<br><br><br><br>
#2- I would not get the courts involved over the vegan issue alone, if I were you. I would just leave well enough alone, and stay away from the guy. I don't think the courts will take too well to you wanting to raise him vegan, rather than see his dad- that makes you look like a radical.<br><br><br><br>
Did he ever end up signing his name to the birth certificate? It can be much easier if he hasn't, in many ways.
 
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