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Discussion Starter #1
I was at a family cookout thing, eating some pasta and diced tomatoes, when my cousin Nathen, who is 7 years old, comes up to me and asks,<br><br>
"Why aren't you having any meatballs?"<br><br>
Me: " I'm vegetarian" (not wanting to go into the whole vegan issue with a 7 year old)<br><br>
Nathen: " What's that?"<br><br>
Me; "It's when you dont eat animals because they are your friends."<br><br>
Nathen; "Ok." (leaves)<br><br><br><br>
Ten minutes later:<br><br>
Mom: "Do you want any meatballs Nathen?"<br><br>
Nathen: "No, I"m vegetarian, like Amanda"<br><br>
Me: *glee from hearing that come from him*<br><br>
Mom: "You teach him that?!?!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/inquisitive.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":stinkeye:"><br><br>
Me: "....... "<br><br>
Nathen: " No, I dont eat animals. Animals are my friend, like Buggy (our cat)."<br><br><br><br>
I don't know if this is gonna be a long lasting thing, but he didn't eat meat the whole night. I'm wondering if I should print out some stuff from peta kids to give to him, or just try to explain more to him by myself.<br><br><br><br>
Any thoughts?
 

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I don't spend much time around kids, but it seems like they are SO ready to do the right thing when you give them the least little bit of information. Or... maybe they're just imitating someone they look up to.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, I would think it depends a lot on what Nathen's parents think about it. If teaching Nathen more about vegetarianism is going to antagonize them, better not to be too pro-active with him. Just let him know you're happy to answer any questions he has.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smitten.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":smitten:"> What a cute response.
 

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Very cool, as long as it's not going to cause problems between the mother and the child, I think it's awesome.<br><br><br><br>
This may be "forgotten" after the first night, but you've definitely planted a seed. When I became vegetarian 2 years ago, I still remembered when my father had told me about what Hindus were and why they did not eat meat. Dad: "Because every animal has the right to live."<br><br>
Me: "I believe that."<br><br>
Dad: "If you believe that, then you can't eat meat."<br><br><br><br>
It might be 20 years later, but I remember that conversation quite well.
 

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You have planted the seed, that is all. And what did his mother think you were teaching him...how to smoke crack? (No disrespect)<br><br><br><br>
It's like me and the home schooling issue, they assume! And it is my job to educate them...on both issues. (Referring to vegetarianism and home schooling)<br><br><br><br>
I love defending my daughters decision to no longer eat meat!!!
 

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yeah it depends on the parents. if i did that to my niece or nephew i'd never hear the end of it. but if your aunt or uncle is open minded you could give them the info to give to thier kid
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Treklady</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
You have planted the seed, that is all. And what did his mother think you were teaching him...how to smoke crack? (No disrespect)<br></div>
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No, it was my mom that asked if I was teching him that. My aunt, his mom, is cool with the whole thing. In fact, Nathen doesn't eat any kind of meat except chicken at home, and no meat when I babysit. I give him spinach and chickpea nuggets and other stuff like that, and he thinks it's cool.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>aotto08</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
No, it was my mom that asked if I was teching him that. My aunt, his mom, is cool with the whole thing. In fact, Nathen doesn't eat any kind of meat except chicken at home, and no meat when I babysit. I give him spinach and chickpea nuggets and other stuff like that, and he thinks it's cool.</div>
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If his parents are ok with it, there should be no problem with you giving him more information.<br><br>
I would probably approach your aunt as a courtesy and receive her permission first. Maybe like "Nathan seems interested in vegetarianism, would you like me to give him some information on how to be healthy and not eat meat?". Avoid giving him farming information or about how animals are mistreated, especially if his parents eat meat still.<br><br>
Mary
 

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That is so cute! I would not get into the whole vegetarian thing with him too much unless mom and dad are ok with it. As he gets older he can make that change himself. Until then keep being you. You are setting a great example and showing him that there are other options out there. Way to go.
 

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Aw, that's really sweet...<br><br><br><br>
I do think you should talk to him more about it! I remember being around that age and wondering occasionally why my family and I ate meat. My babysitter went vegetarian at one point when she was around 16 and my parents ranted and raved about how she was going through her "teen rebellion stage." I wish she'd have spoken to me about it and helped me understand. (At that age, it's hard not to believe what your parents tell you ... it took me a long, long time to realize how wrong they were when they said "Well, if she really wants to be vegetarian she better take off those leather shoes and belt! What a hypocrite!")<br><br><br><br>
I think it's great your cousin has someone who he can look up to and who can explain the issue to him clearly. It might be a good idea to speak to his parents first though, so they don't think you're trying to butt in and influence their son... they'd probably be a lot more willing to cook him meatless dishes if you assure them he can be healthy on a vegetarian diet at his young age. Who knows, maybe they'll follow their son's lead! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the advice! I have talked with them about it, and since he eats only chicken anyway, no other forms of meat, it would not be that difficult for him to change over to a vegetarian diet.<br><br>
Strangely, my extended family is more accepting of my veganism and will make special food when I come over. It's my parents that have a tougher time with it, but not as much as before when I first started.
 
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