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Hi everyone,<br><br>
I'm going to my sister's house at the weekend for lunch. They aren't vegetarian, so they are kindly cooking me a separate meal. The trouble is, they have a 5 year old son who is bound to ask why I'm not eating what they are, and when I explain I don't eat meat, the age-old question "why?"<br><br><br><br>
Does anyone have any advice about explaining why I'm vegetarian to a kid? I would probably say "because I don't want to eat animals," but apparently they have only told him that meat "comes from the fields," not that it was once an animal. I don't know if it is my place to break this to him, but I don't want to lie and say "because I don't like meat" or something similar.<br><br><br><br>
Part of me wants to tell him it's beacuse of the way the animals suffer before they die, but I don't want to upset him or my sister by introducing a topic he may not be able to cope with yet.
 

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"Meat comes from the fields"? Wow... One thing I might do is talk to the parents, so that you would not say anything that would violate their values.
 

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I would talk to the parents, and be sure they are ok with you talking to him... or to ask them to have an answer ready in case he asks you.<br><br><br><br>
If they say it is ok, you can say the not wanting to eat animals thing... My kids know we don't eat meat because the people aren't very nice to the animals and I don't think that it is ok to treat the animals like that. (Well, my 4 year old, anyway. The 2 year old is oblivious as of yet)
 

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NEVER tell another parent's child that meat comes from a cute little cow that was brutally slaughtered to make his happy meal. That is not your right.<br><br><br><br>
I have a friend with 3 kids ages 3, 6 and 10. They all know my husband and I are vegetarian. When they ask why, I tell them, "because I never really liked meat, and now that I'm a grown up, I make my own food and I don't eat meat." They figure stuff out on their own when they are ready, and exposed to other people. They know that I don't eat food that has any parts from animals, and they know how to read labels to look for things that I can eat. "YOu can eat this!!!" they cheerfully exclaim, and they even try to imitate me, "Mom, i'm gonna be vegetarian today, just because veggielove is here". I am VERY clear that being vegetarian is a choice you make when you are older. Because I don't want to cause a rift with my friend, and its hard enough to raise 3 kids on one salary while working full time without having to make special meals for them. I really think that her middle child, a son, will be vegetarian one day. When he's old enough and ready, I can be a guide for him. But until then...<br><br><br><br>
I know that its my right to NOT feed my kids meat, and I have no more right to try to convince her kids to stop eating meat than she does to feed my kids hotdogs behind MY back.
 

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When my 5 yo honorary niece asks me why I don't eat meat, I just keep it simple and say, "Because I don't." That has worked so far. I let the parents give any reasons they choose beyond that.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggielove</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
NEVER tell another parent's child that meat comes from a cute little cow that was brutally slaughtered to make his happy meal. That is not your right.</div>
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I'm going to raise my child to believe that republicans are the incarnate forms of satan himself and that the KKK are to be worshiped as gods, oh and all black people are no smarter than monkeys, because apparently being a parent gives you the right to raise your child in any way shape and form you desire with no ill consequence from society.<br><br><br><br>
because hey, its your child right?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>troub</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I'm going to raise my child to believe that republicans are the incarnate forms of satan himself and that the KKK are to be worshiped as gods, oh and all black people are no smarter than monkeys, because apparently being a parent gives you the right to raise your child in any way shape and form you desire with no ill consequence from society.<br><br><br><br>
because hey, its your child right?</div>
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I bet you say that to all the ladies. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"> If we all treated meat eaters like KKK members I think we'd probably have a pretty hard time living. No good to teach kids much about meat when they have no control over their diets. Sure, getting them all malnourished, eating disordered and obsessive compulsive is perfectly legitimate so long as we bring them to "our side". No, no. Let them grow up a little and learn on their own, most of us did that and are are no worse for wear. Have your own kids to raise veggie, and guide other people's kids when they are age appropriate (able to fend food for themselves.)<br><br><br><br>
And hey I DO think republicans are evil, my kids are learning that one ;-)
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>BeckyHew</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
but I don't want to lie and say "because I don't like meat" or something similar.</div>
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That's not really a lie.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggielove</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
NEVER tell another parent's child that meat comes from a cute little cow that was brutally slaughtered to make his happy meal. That is not your right.<br><br><br><br>
<snip><br><br><br><br>
I know that its my right to NOT feed my kids meat, and I have no more right to try to convince her kids to stop eating meat than she does to feed my kids hotdogs behind MY back.</div>
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Although I generally agree with a "hands off" approach regarding other people's kids and various lifestyle choices, I believe there is a difference between giving an honest answer to a direct question and proselytizing. I don't believe in lying to children, whether I am their parent or not. Although I wouldn't try to be dramatic or upset the child, I would have no problem saying "meat is part of an animal, and I don't want to eat animals". That's not trying to convince the child of anything, or interfere with the other family's choices, it's just stating a fact (meat is animals) and a preference (I don't want to eat them).<br><br><br><br>
Likewise, when around other people's children, I don't try to advertise my politics or religion, but I won't pretend to believe what the parents do if I don't.<br><br><br><br>
Children are human beings, and although certain facts and viewpoints may need to be simplified or softened when introducing them for the first time, I don't believe in deliberately misinforming a child who asks a sincere question.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">I would have no problem saying "meat is part of an animal, and I don't want to eat animals". That's not trying to convince the child of anything, or interfere with the other family's choices, it's just stating a fact (meat is animals) and a preference (I don't want to eat them).<br></div>
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Well said, Seusomon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":wayne:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Seusomon</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Although I generally agree with a "hands off" approach regarding other people's kids and various lifestyle choices, I believe there is a difference between giving an honest answer to a direct question and proselytizing. I don't believe in lying to children, whether I am their parent or not. Although I wouldn't try to be dramatic or upset the child, I would have no problem saying "meat is part of an animal, and I don't want to eat animals". That's not trying to convince the child of anything, or interfere with the other family's choices, it's just stating a fact (meat is animals) and a preference (I don't want to eat them).<br><br><br></div>
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I entirely agree with you - I don't want to "convert" them, because that is their choice and I don't agree with forcing my opinion on others, but likewise I don't think children should be lied to. My partner and I have already agreed that if we have kids we will be as honest as possible with them. I think your reply of "meat is part of an animal and I don't want to eat animals" is great - not overly dramatic, but equally not misleading them into thinking meat magically appears out of the freezer.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>troub</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I'm going to raise my child to believe that republicans are the incarnate forms of satan himself and that the KKK are to be worshiped as gods, oh and all black people are no smarter than monkeys, because apparently being a parent gives you the right to raise your child in any way shape and form you desire with no ill consequence from society.<br><br><br><br>
because hey, its your child right?</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Hey! 5 pts for attempting to derail yet another thread.<br><br><br><br>
Did someone piss in your oatmeal recently?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>BeckyHew</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I entirely agree with you - I don't want to "convert" them, because that is their choice and I don't agree with forcing my opinion on others, but likewise I don't think children should be lied to. My partner and I have already agreed that if we have kids we will be as honest as possible with them. I think your reply of "meat is part of an animal and I don't want to eat animals" is great - not overly dramatic, but equally not misleading them into thinking meat magically appears out of the freezer.</div>
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Agreed. The kiddos I've worked with in schools often asked why I wasn't eating hamburgers, chicken, etc. Most of the time, "I don't eat food that comes from animals." was a sufficient answer for them (ages 3-6). They'd shake their head and say "oh" and then go on with dinner or talk of Power Rangers or whatever. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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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>
Did someone piss in your oatmeal recently?</div>
</div>
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_o/
 

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If someone asked me that, I think the ideal would be to provide a honest answer. I don't see why kids cannot be given a straight answer to a straight question. So I could say something like I don't want animals to be killed for me because other concepts might be too hard to understand.
 

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I think I'd go with the straightforward thing too. My line would probably be "because I prefer not to eat animals". The element of "preference" makes it clear that this is a matter of personal choice and the sentence is short but to-the-point and will (at least with 5 year-olds) probably not lead to a complicated discussion.<br><br><br><br>
It's a bit like religion and a child asking you why you go to a different church. The kid just wants a simple explanation. This does not automatically mean the kid will convert.
 

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You can say to him that it's your personal choice of your life philosophy. And tell him that when he grow a bit older he will get to know a lot of philosophies and life styles and understand the essence.
 

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^ I don't think a small child would understand what you're talking about, Meicsweb. At all.<br><br><br><br>
Telling him that it's a personal preference not to eat animals sounds fine to me.
 

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I don't think a kid understands the concept of "personal preference" or "personal choice". That's why it's better to leave that out. Another reason to leave it out is if you believe in animal rights and not animal welfare.
 

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However, you don't want to tread on the parents' toes, especially if you're good friends with them. That's a silly way to break down a great relationship.<br><br><br><br>
If you don't want to get into "personal preference", then I'd suggest telling him that you don't like eating nice animals, and now that you're all grown up you don't anymore.
 
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