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How best can I explain (someday) to my 4 month old that, although we (his father, myself, and him) do not eat meat because we do not eat our fellow animals yet my two older children (11 and 16) from my previous marriage do without causing hurt feelings for either party?<br><br><br><br>
I have been a lacto ovo for about 10 years but my ex husband was a big meat eater so I did not think to raise my first two this way. Since then I my convictions have evolved strongly. I have never 'pushed' my beliefs on my two kids because I thought it would not be fair to them as they were not 'started out' vegi, yet I have maintained a vegetarian household and explained to them what my beliefs are for myself.<br><br><br><br>
Now...I refuse to feed my baby meat but am a bit worried that my son will not understand the diet of my two first-borns and my first-borns will be made to feel defensive about their choices. Any advise?<br><a href="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/0/08/08b20d95_vbattach4734.jpeg"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/0/08/525x525px-LL-08b20d95_vbattach4734.jpeg" style="width:525px;height:420px;"></a>
 

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I'm not clear on one thing - is there ever meat in the house. Do your older kids only eat meat outside of the home?
 

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sorry...not in the home. When we go out to eat, however, it's their choice. Last n ight was my son's choice for his birthday dinner, he chose Famouse Daves and ate ribs. But at home we do not allow animal meat. Older son does not love this situation but has learned to respect it.
 

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We're really the only vegetarians in our family- either side. My ds is 3 1/2. We've always told him that we don't eat animals because WE'RE ANIMALS too, etc etc etc. and we don't want to cause them pain or fear or any of that and that there are vegie choices that are healthier than meat anyway. We also tell him, when he has asked WHY grandpa or whoever does eat meat, that he simply doesn't get it. He wants to eat the animal more then he cares about how the animal may feel when being killed. Well, that's the truth.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggiemama-of2</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Why not explain it to your child the same way you just did to us! It makes perfect sense.</div>
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Yeah. You might be able to incorporate it as part of talking about your older kids having a different dad, and that he believes differently than you do.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Edamommy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
He wants to eat the animal more then he cares about how the animal may feel when being killed. Well, that's the truth.</div>
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This is one approach, but I'm not sure I'd use it with a very young child. The "cares about" part may help them to harbor bad feelings toward their grandparent (or other omnivore). Yeah, it's the truth, but maybe little kids don't always need the (whole) truth.<br><br><br><br>
btw....that is one beautiful baby! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>IamJen</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br><br><br>
btw....that is one beautiful baby! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"></div>
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Yet another baby in dire need of someone to blow on their belly. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:">
 

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First of all, adorable baby!!<br><br><br><br>
Second, I think with young children, and this is my plan for when I've got my own, it's more about setting up the framework for a vegetarian lifestyle. Children are naturally empathetic and connected to animals, and I think by instilling in them a respect and love for animals, hopefully as they get older it won't be so difficult to connect the dots between cute piggy and bacon. I don't think any of it will ever involve putting down your other children or the way they were raised, just focus more on teaching the younger child about loving and respecting animals without mentioning "good v. bad" or "right v. wrong" when it comes to diet.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>rjensen</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
How best can I explain (someday) to my 4 month old that, although we (his father, myself, and him) do not eat meat because we do not eat our fellow animals yet my two older children (11 and 16) from my previous marriage do without causing hurt feelings for either party?<br></div>
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When we know better, we do better. Your new son doesn't have the same mother that your other two children had. You are more than a decade older and you've most likely learned a lot & changed.<br><br><br><br>
Meat eating, like most bad habbits is hard to stop, once you've started. You could tell him that you're sorry that you let your older children develope such a bad habbit, but that it is not their fault. On the other hand, you are very happy that your young son never has to try worry about breaking such a habbit because he's never started...etc.<br><br><br><br>
Another thing though, your young son may try to emulate his older siblings as he gets older, so I'd be careful about them eating meat in front of him while he is young. I think it makes it too normal. Maybe you could take your older children out for (meat) bday dinners one on one? It could be done in such a way that they feel totally special. Then you could have a vegetarian bday dinner of their choice for the entire family to enjoy at home, too.<br><br><br><br>
Good-luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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delicious said:
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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Meat eating, like most bad habbits is hard to stop, once you've started. You could tell him that you're sorry that you let your older children develope such a bad habbit, but that it is not their fault. On the other hand, you are very happy that your young son never has to try worry about breaking such a habbit because he's never started...etc.<br><br><br></div>
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That is brilliant, Delicious. I will remember that for whenever I have kids!
 

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Did you ever see 1900 House on PBS? The wife (and mother of 5) is vegetarian, but her family is allowed to eat meat outside the house. No meat is allowed inside the house. She didn't raise any of her kids to be veggie, but gave them the choice to eat meat if they wanted. It's a great series, even if it doesn't answer you question...<br><br><br><br>
There's no convincing your older kids to stop eating meat? I guess you can always explain it was their choice to eat meat, but you want your youngest to be raised vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
Sorry, I don't have kids (yet) so I can't really give good advice on the matter. Good luck, though!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good advice...talking about meat eating as a habit that will be hard to break. Just like nail biting and smoking... I think I can use this.<br><br><br><br>
My oldest son is 16 and really really loves meat when we are not home. He is kind of a touchy teenager and I don't nag him but I will occasionally talk about my beliefs to him. His philosophy is that the animal meat is already dead and sitting on the grocery store shelf, he might as well eat it. I have tried to explain the concept of demand and supply here and how it affects how many animals are killed but...<br><br><br><br>
My daughter is 11 and is considering becoming vegetarian. I can nudge her more, but I am giving her her own timeline.<br><br><br><br>
I love that 1900 house! I think I know the family you are talking about. I am sure I am not the only parent in this situation.<br><br>
Thanks for the help!
 
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