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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is a bit of a rant, but here's the story. We (my husband & I) received as a gift from his incredibly nice, wonderful Aunt, an entire Lambskin. It's a gift for our new baby girl, for her to roll around on because it is soft. Apparently it is a fairly traditional gift for babies.

Now, my husband is omni, but even he doesn't want this thing. We are raising Sofia to be vegetarian - how in hell can I teach her the things I want to, and then say 'now go play on your carcass, dear" !!!!

The thing is is that his Aunt really is a beautiful lady, and she doesn't know me well at all, likely doesn't even know that I'm a vegetarian. I know she put a lot of tenderness into this gift, and can only assume it cost a lot of $. But we still can't keep it. So we figured maybe we would try to find a charity for single, low-income moms, and we could donate it there.

Anyway, my husband wrote an email to his parents (who, BTW, are super-hippies. My husband was even raised on a hippie commune until he was about 10- NOT veggie at ALL, though) asking them what he should do. Should he say thank you and tell her the truth, or thank you and tell her a lie, or just plain thank you. Here's where it gets REALLY interesting.

His mom writes back and says that we HAVE to keep it, it's Sofia's not ours, therefore not our decision, all the OTHER kids kept theirs, even one who is a vegetarian, it would be disrespectful to THE LAMB not to keep it, lambs have been serving humans since the beginning of time, and we should not repay their generosity with disdain, blah blah blah. Then they go on to tell my husband that he has changed. They're really quite upset.

Now if this were just some random people, fine. But it's not. It's my husband's parents, and it's really making him sad. He thinks they're being ridiculous, but none the less, it hurts him that this is causing strife. Also, they are Sofia's grandparents, and I really want things to be amicable. They have always been wonderful, and I know they are good people, but AAARRRGGHHH!!

They are REALLY doing a good job of making us (me, at least) not want to go visit them anytime soon.

Grrrrr..... sorry for the rant, but Thanks in advance for the input.
 

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If a movie with inappropriate content was sent as a gift for Sofia, would they say you have to keep it because it was for Sofia? As her parents you can censor what she is given and exposed to. The gift if not in accordance with your morals and with how you wish to raise your daughter. You have no obligation to keep it, imho.

I think donating it is a very nice idea. I wouldn't know how, but should you tell the aunt? You don't want a toddler-size leather jacket in a few years do you? You might think about contacting her and being honest, "Thank you for your thoughtfulness, but I am vegetarian, and we are raising Sofia to be as well, and it is not in accordance with our values." or something like that to get the point across not to give those things again to you.
 

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If my parents reacted like that to my email, I would be pretty cranky.


You would think of all the people who might understand and try to respect your POV, it would be a couple of hippie parents who'd lived in a commune and already had one veggie sibling.


Im not sure if you were looking for advice or not, but it might be a good idea if you and your husband have a chat with your inlaws asap about how important this is to the both of you, because this is one of those silly family misunderstandings that could easily escalate into not speaking or visiting for years. Have a talk with the auntie too if you haven't already, you never know, she might be more understanding than your inlaws
 

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i think that they're striving for a child-soveriegn approach. it is likely that even if a film of questionable or inappropriate nature was given to sofia, they would assume that you should keep it, saving it for her until she is old enough to determine whether she wants to view it or get rid of it or keep it (or any combination thereof).

in the child-soverign approach, parents take the perspective that the child is able to choose--eventually--what is best for that child. since it was a gift for the child, and not for the parents, it is up to the child to choose what to do with that gift when s/he is older.

now, if you were to take this approach, but consider the exposure "questionable" then you could always store it until she is old enough to make a decision about it without having an emotional attachment to it due to use. after you have guided her in your own beliefs and perspectives of animal treatment and how that relates to animal skins, and then show her the gift that aunti gave her and ask her if she would like to keep it or give it to charity so that other mothers who do not have much can benefit from it.

chances are, she'd donate it at that time.

on a related note, my parents took a semi-child soverign approach in my upbringing. one christmas, i was sent a movie by a friend of my parents as a gift. apparently, her daughter who was the same age really 'loved' this movie. when i opened it, it was one that my parents had not allowed me to see in the theater due to it's rating. my father did see it (he previewed all of our movies), and he felt that aside from the rating, it was inappropriate.

because i trusted my father's judgement and knew that he always had my best interests at heart, i willingly gave the movie to my neighbors--who had no children and also hadn't seen the movie. they seemed pleased to recieve it (or take it from me), and i was also pleased to both please my parents and them by making a 'good decision.'

in college, i saw the movie and thought "goodness, what a horrid lesson in this film." (it was one of those tom cruise top-gun type movies where women always end up like wimps or chumps) i realized then why my dad felt it was inappropriate--none of the content was particularly 'graphic' or anything, but he didn't want me to take the perspective that these relationships were healthy and appropriate, and that i should give up my inherent dignity and worth to be valued by tom-cruise like idiots.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReginaCeltarum View Post

If a movie with inappropriate content was sent as a gift for Sofia, would they say you have to keep it because it was for Sofia?
I sent my 7-year old niece a few boxes of hardcore porn, 5 bottles of whiskey and a human fetus in a jar. If her parents will deny her what is hers, I'm gonna be ****ing pissed.
 

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hehehe.

i wouldn't be pissed if the parents gave it away. if that's what they wanted to do. i was just asserting an alternative construct.
 
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Quote:
I sent my 7-year old niece a few boxes of hardcore porn, 5 bottles of whiskey and a human fetus in a jar. If her parents will deny her what is hers, I'm gonna be ****ing pissed.
if my parents recieved this bountyload as a gift for me when i was a kid, and while feeling it inappropriate for me to have at that age- when i couldn't make my own ethical desicions about it- didn't keep it for me, and offer it to me when i turned 18.... i'd be ****ing pissed.

not so much about the foetus in a jar... but the other stuff....

hehehe.
 

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I think you need to come clean with the Auntie, and have a chat to the Grandparents.

I wouldn't want my child rolling around on a nice dead thing either. I'll bet I get one when I have kids too, they're really popular in NZ. I think I'm going to have to specify that before I have any kids. Thanks for the warning.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

I sent my 7-year old niece a few boxes of hardcore porn, 5 bottles of whiskey and a human fetus in a jar. If her parents will deny her what is hers, I'm gonna be ****ing pissed.


I snorted.
 

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Where do the grandparents have a say in this? The gift came from your Auntie... discuss it with her. I would say that your in-laws were being rude, but you guys did ask.
I guess this sheds some light on what their values are and what yours are. I definitely understand the value of a "special family gift." If such a gift violated my values, I would probably give the relative in question a warm hug and thank them, then say, "I regret that I can't accept this, though I really appreciate the meaning behind it. I am glad you love our daughter so much. We just don't believe in using animals for any reason. Thanks, though." and hand it back.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

you could always store it until she is old enough to make a decision about it without having an emotional attachment to it due to use. after you have guided her in your own beliefs and perspectives of animal treatment and how that relates to animal skins, and then show her the gift that aunti gave her and ask her if she would like to keep it or give it to charity so that other mothers who do not have much can benefit from it.

chances are, she'd donate it at that time.
I actually like this approach a lot. Of course, with this approach, you have to be able to accept the fact that no matter how you raise your child, he/she *may* not entirely share your beliefs either, when grown. It happens.
 

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I say, take a picture of the baby on the lambskin, send the picture to the auntie, then box it up. When the child is old enough that she would never need to be viewed on/with the lambskin by the auntie, donate it. That way, you don't offend anyone, and you don't actually have to use it.
 

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Without knowing more details to modify it, I'd go for honesty. Call the aunt, explain the situation, and see if you can return it. If you can, then you are creating less demand for the skins (one less purchased). Most people aren't so fragile that they can't hear the truth (some will go ballistic, but you said this person was nice).

You're going to be dealing with family gifts and food at family functions for a very long time. It's best to be upfront about it now, so you can get it over with and not deal with this kind of thing constantly. They'll accept it now or eventually regardless.

Quote:
I say, take a picture of the baby on the lambskin, send the picture to the auntie, then box it up. When the child is old enough that she would never need to be viewed on/with the lambskin by the auntie, donate it.
It seems like these kinds of elaborate misrepresentations frequently lead to lies and evasions. One may be asked, "so how does she like the lambskin?" or whatever. Or she may be upset that it was donated - like it should be a keepsake of babyhood. I'm not sure that it's worth it in this case.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid_child View Post

I say, take a picture of the baby on the lambskin, send the picture to the auntie, then box it up. When the child is old enough that she would never need to be viewed on/with the lambskin by the auntie, donate it. That way, you don't offend anyone, and you don't actually have to use it.
The only potential issue with that is the relative would have no clue where they stand on the matter. Who knows if they might send a toddler leather jacket or shoes or something? It should honestly and politely be made known that certain gifts are off limits because of their values.

In all honesty, i think it was a tactless gift to give, not knowing how the recipients feel about it. Even back when I ate meat I hated the use of fur. And I know omnis who feel that way too.
 

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ok, i know this is only marginally related, but it got me simmering.

one of my friends and fellow yoga teachers--who is not vegetarian, etc--was ranting and raving about a woman who came to one of her classes in a fur coat (it was snowing yesterday!). this friend wanted to get together with me to talk about how to 'talk to' this woman about the 'cruelty of wearing fur.' i told her we'd meet for coffee.

so, we meet. and she comes in wearing Ugg boots and an Ugg shearling coat. And i said to her, first thing--how can you condemn her for wearing the fur of one animal (fox or rabbit or whatever) while you wear the fur of another (lamb/sheep)?

she was 'sheepish' then. she realized that she is wearing fur, and then i asked her--what, really, is the difference between fur and leather? ah! sheepish again!

of course, she hasn't stopped wearing that stuff--she just stopped ranting and raving about other people wearing 'disgusting, cruel fur!"

anyway, had to share that. made me laugh.
 

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You said that the aunt doesn't know you very well. Therefore how likely is it that she will know whether or not you keep the gift or donate it? You also said you "couldn't keep it" - and you shouldn't be made to live with something that completely repulses you. So, write the aunt a lovely thank you note and donate the skin.

If anyone asks, tell them the truth. But there's no need to make a stink - just quietly get rid of the thing.
 

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>>

So this is a bit of a rant, but here's the story. We (my husband & I) received as a gift from his incredibly nice, wonderful Aunt, an entire Lambskin. >>

This won't protect against STDs.

ebola
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
First off, you're funny ebola.

Ok - update. I had more or less left the solving of this situation up to my husband, as it's HIS family.(with my input, of course
) He finally decided that we would send it back to the aunt, letting her know that we truly appreciate the thought, but it is not in accord with the values we want to teach Sofia. He sent a letter to his parents explaining this, and asking them to respect our decision, if at least for the peace within the family. His mother replied that although she still doesn't agree, she does agree that it IS our decision, and said she spoke to the aunt, and that the aunt takes no offense to that, and will find something else for Sofia. So everything turned out well. Thank you all for your advice.

Sevenseas - yours especially was helpful.
 
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