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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Y'know, I feel like I'm constantly trying to explain to my five year old why we dont eat at Mcdonalds like everyone else she knows does, or why we dont eat scrambled eggs or bacon, and pepperoni pizza like the rest of the world. Sometimes I worry that shes gonna be a rebellious teenager one day sneaking out of her bedroom window to go to Mcdonalds and buy herself a Big Mac, I mean, what if raising her Vegan makes her turn into a rampant deer hunting carnivore when she leaves home for the first time. I mean, most of us purposely try to do things opposite from our parents when we grow up, at least I know I did,(my moms a meatwrapper by the way). I dont know, I just hope she doesnt resent me later on, become a carnivore, and pour salt in my wounds by killing herself her own Thanksgiving turkey, or even worse, opening up her very own Mcdonalds franchise, could you imagine the horror.
 

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The rebellion might be a factor, but do you think her system would let her? Mightn't she get violently ill upon eating a burger if she'd never had one before? I've heard people discuss it on the boards before... never experienced it myself.
 

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Generally if kids aren't raised eating meat, their systems can never fully tolerate and they are disgusted by it. There might be exceptions to this rule, of course, but the life long vegetarians I have known are all like that.

lovenlight,

linz
 

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My son's only 3, but he's never been tempted. I think it's important for kids to have good vegan parents to model themselves after. My son dosen't even recognize certain things as food, like the candy at a store. He'll say ,"Ewww mom, meat food". My husband is also vegan, so he has a male role model, who shares his veganism. Most of our friends are veg. On www.vegfamily.com they have a playgroup listing, where you can look for other vegans/vegetarians in your area, or post your own.
 

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I would say if your teenager's rebellion consisted of eating a few hamburgers, you'd have gotten off lightly.


Actually, though, all the people I've met who were raised veg are still veg. It doesn't seem like they're much interested in meat having never developed a taste for it to begin with. Granted, I've only met about three people who were raised veg.


It sounds like your five year old is just curious like all five year olds should be. As long as you provide her with honest answers, there shouldn't be a problem.
 

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I am curious as to what all of you with children say to explain ethical reasons. I don't have kids, but I imagine it has to stay age appropriate to something they understand, and though I wouldn't sugar coat it too much, but it can't be overwhelming emotionally to them.

Have any of you compared eating cows with say, dogs and cats? How do they respond? At what age do you think children are capable of understanding that the meat in restaurant actually came from once living animals? I am not sure they fully understand death, but I would think at 5, a child could understand hurting animals.

Maybe it would be good to read stories together about helping animals, or some of the vegetarian books out there. A back and forth discussion where the child asks for information at their own pace might be most effective.
 

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Well, when you're a kid, there are a lot of rebellions that take place. But just stick with it. They'll be fine.

As a teenager, they may wish to go get a mcdonalds, but you should let them do so. Your aim should be to bring up a kid how you want to, and then you need to let go at some point. Hopefully, when they're a teeneger, they'll want to stay vegetarian. However, do mak it clear to them that you'll love them the same even if they do want to eat meat. You'll want to wait until they're mature before you let them go though. And if they do choose an omnivourous diet, and you're proud of a vegn kitchen, then you can always say that eating meat outside of the house is Ok, but not inside.

But don't sweat it. She'll be fine. Kids are naturally curious.
 

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Thalia, I just read something in my Mothering magazine (a very natural-approach to parenting) on someting similar to what you're asking. The leter dealt with enviornmentalism, but can be applied to veganism too (in my opinion).

The woman suggested that children be allowed to enjoy their youth, and not have all the worry of adults. It is important to bring up the positive aspects of a life-decision. Being too negative will lead the child to believe that they can't make a difference and they become apathetic.

I personally tell my son that we love animals of all kinds, not just dogs and cats and that it's important to treat them with respect. I have told him that in order for someone to be able to eat meat, an animal must be killed, and that we've chosen to be vegan for this reason. My son is 3 an is very empathetic towards animals and people. If someone is upset, he will go over to them and try to help. His grandparents dog is sick, and he lays with him and tells him how he wants him to feel better. He does not understand death yet, but he does understand hurting/pain. I try and be honest with him, without making every moment of life seem like it has to have a vegan agenda.

Sorry for rambling!
 

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You know, no, I don't worry about that. I worry about real stuff...like getting her to look both ways before crossing streets, keeping her safe, making sure we have food and a place to live and a good life.

If parents spent all their time worrying about what will happen when our childen get past the age range of our 'control', we'd never sleep. And we must sleep, because it takes a lot of energy looking after those little buggars.

LOL...so that falls under 'least of my worries'. I just make sure I'm teaching her healthy habits, good values, etc. And I leave the rest up to the higher power (however I see him/her)
 

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zapmama,

I guess you have to take that chance as a parent. You shouldn't feed her unhealthy food or switch her diet just for the slim chance that she may rebel one day.

Anyway, usually people always go back to the way they were raised. So even if she goes through a meat & junkfood stage, she will most likely return to her vegan ways later on.

Also let her know that you don't mind if she eats meat if she really wants to (make sure she makes an informed choice though) If she knows this, she won't have anything to rebel over.

I was raised vegetarian and I never rebelled but that's because my parents never made a big deal about it and I also had lots of support from my big family.

Quote:
or even worse, opening up her very own Mcdonalds franchise, could you imagine the horror.
lol, that would be the ultimate worst!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I often cringe at the thought of my son turning into a carnie.

So far, he shows no interest in meat. He was once offered Gold Fish at daycare and they called me because he was crying that he couldn't eat his other food because it touched the "fish". He is always disgusted by the grocery store and seems very sensitive to the smell. He also can't stand to drive or walk by places cooking meat. He once asked a man in a grocery store (who was buying eggs), "Are you going to EAT those??!!" Hehehe.

He is very passionate about it (yeah!)-

However, there are times when he gets upset over cake at birthday parties, candies with gelatin (all he can eat are those mambas), and other crap.

I do occassionally allow him to have pizza or a cheese enchilada (when he is at a birthday party or other celebration and all they have is PIZZA)- He is perfectly fine with vegan pizza- even makes them himself! I hate it though. I just don't want him 1) to feel left out or embarassed about his vegetarianism or 2) feel resentful towards me or vegetarianism. That is what I fear would drive him to take up meat eating.

I do share with him the reasons (including pictures and articles and such) that we do not eat meat, eggs, dairy. I explain the process and I also ask him questions so he has an opportunity to arrive at his own conclusions and feel that he has made a choice.

He is very sensitive to animals, also. He becomes very upset when other kids kill bugs (and he has been in schoolyard fights over this).

Once I got out of bed and walked to the kitchen. I walked past a full glass of juice and saw a bug floating in it (didn't even realize it was still alive). I thought, "DAMN- what a frickin' waste!"- My son got up moments later and I heard him scream, "MOM!! There's a bug drownin' in my juice!! Get out of the way!"- He ran to the sink and placed the bug on a papertowel, dried off his wings, and set him free out the window. I was so moved.

I hope he stays that way...
 

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This is why though I have never 'forced' vegetarianism on my daughter. We were omnis until she was four and a half, and she still likes chicken. But we talk about the reasons for being vegetarian quite often. There's no meat at home, but when we are out, she can choose what she wants. Still she eats very little meat (twice a month now?) and never asks for it anymore except on the rare occasions we do eat out. I don't think it is a big deal. I think rebellion happens when we can't accept as children age that they actually do become responsible for themselves and their own choices. And when we try to force them into 'our mould' or who we think they should be. When we learn to discipline ourselves to let them be who they are instead, the need for rebellion (at least the awful kind that we are ALL a bit afraid of) goes away. As long as you are raising them to make their own (informed) choices, I think they'll turn out just fine.

B
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i'm a vegan (for ethical reasons) and so is my son. it's really important to me that he stays a vegan, but i honestly can't imagine him swaying the omni way. i have no desire to eat a dog and so why he a cow? a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy!
i also wouldn't find it acceptable for him to be racist, sexist or homophobic.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised that if a once veg*n kids rebelled, it may just turn out to be a healthy, temporary phase that makes them explore their own reasons for wanting to be veg*n if they go back.

Even the Amish let their youth spend a year living in the modern world (so I've heard) before they can fully commit themselves to the lifestyle.

I love these stories about your children. Makes me want to have some.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Thalia



Even the Amish let their youth spend a year living in the modern world (so I've heard) before they can fully commit themselves to the lifestyle.

I've never heard that. I do know some Amish youth have been leaving their communties more frequently than in the past (many still return.)

The ones I knew as a kid would have never, ever approved of their children leaving.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Tame

I've never heard that. I do know some Amish youth have been leaving their communties more frequently than in the past (many still return.)

The ones I knew as a kid would have never, ever approved of their children leaving.
Well what I was talking about is that they are not officially a part of the church until they have come of age, so certain liberties are often given. I don't know where I heard of the year away, maybe I was wrong on that, but adolescents, near where I live, are given liberties to explore the "English" world. I've read news articles about Amish cocaine dealing and gangs.

http://cjonline.com/stories/052901/tee_amish.shtml

http://www.cwru.edu/menu/research/amish.htm

The first story is particularly interesting. It talks about our local problem of Amish drug abuse, drinking and buggying, and other teen rebellion. From the article
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On this night, deputies report "Buggy all over the road ... headed toward (State Route)168 1 mph."
It even says that some like to drive around in pimped out buggies with large sound systems.
 

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Ahem...

Q: What goes clop, clop, clop, *bang*, clop, clop, clop, *bang*, clop, clop, clop, *bang*?

A: An Amish drive-by shooting.

<<If I offended any Amish with this joke, the line for complaints about Tame forms to the right.>>
 

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Tame, the only Amish who would be reading your joke would be the teens in their "rhumschpring" years (or however you spell it in Pennsylvania Dutch).


Thalia, I've heard countless stories, too, of wild Amish teens doing things that many non-Amish parents won't allow their teens to do. Apparently in the Dover/New Philadelphia area of Ohio, the prostitutes are mostly Amish teen girls (who've obviously purchased non-Amish clothing.) Then there are the drinking parties in the woods. Hundreds of buggies gather, and as soon as the police show up, everyone scatters on foot into the woods. If the police catch anyone, the Amish teens pretend like they don't speak English and only Pennsylvania Dutch. That part is really almost funny.
 

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Anyway... pertaining to rebellion from veg*nism, as much as I'd hope that my future children will stick to the veggie path in which I intend to raise them, how they live their adult lives is up to them. Most people do what they know and what they're comfortable with as kids, even if it's not mainstream culture. I'm sure it will help if my children have vegetarian playmates, too. By the time I'm raising children, it should be a little easier to find children being raised veggie-ly, what with all y'all wonderful VBers who will probably have kids someday, too.
 

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The best way to avoid rebellion is to allow choice. Children and teenagers who have a sense of autonomy, self integrity, and compassion give those traits back to the world in everything that they do... but, first you must to be willing to lend those attributes to them.

It sounds like you might be putting a lot of pressure on her not to dissapoint you when you say things like "pouring salt on your wounds". Be careful that you're not conveying the message that you think she's a bad girl, or breaking mommy's heart, simply because she's curious about why everyone else get's to have a grand ole time eating meat and cheese under the beaming eyes of their parents approval.

Have you ever asked her what she thinks she might be missing out on by not eating at Mcdonalds? I was never allowed to go fast food restaurants like Mcdonalds or Burger King when I was a child. From the commercials on t.v. I thought I was missing the best party in town. I thought Ronald Mcdonald and the McBurglur lived there, showing all kids a really good time. When I was about nine or ten my uncle came to town and brought me, and my sisters, to McDonalds. I ordered a Big Mac, fries, a vanilla milk shake and apple pie. I remember sitting on those hard plastic chairs feeling very ill. It was nothing like I had imagined it to be. I didn't even make it half way thru the sandwich. I remember my uncle thinking it was so funny. His two kids who had serious weight issues ate at Mcdonalds all the time and I considered them so worldly.

I've never been to Mcdonalds since, but I did go to Burger King a few times with friends when I was a teenager. At the time, I thought their chicken sandwich was just wonderful. By the time I went away to school I was over it.
 
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