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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is definitely a post directly to those fellow vegetarians who are that way for moral and ethical reasons....<br>
When I married my husband, he knew I was a veg and wanted to raise our children that way. I also knew he was not a veg. He doesn't eat meat in the house, but recently I started to make his lunches for work with deli to quiet his meat "cravings" - he had been bringing up the idea of having a small refrigerator where he could have chicken or something he could prepare occasionally, or at least have preprepared that he could eat. I figured buying the deli myself and making sandwiches for him to take to work would solve the issue, and I have control of where it's prepared, what it's prepared with and how it's cleaned up.<br>
Well, since I feel strongly about what meat is, etc. I talk to my kids about it from that way of thinking. I AM the kind of person who, if I'm with my kids at a store and we happen to walk by the meat counter and they ask about the meat, I tell it like it is - those are dead bodies. Too strong? I guess yes for my husband.<br>
You see, I happened to be making his sandwich last night, which I can usually do alone in the kitchen, but this time my 4 year old son kept coming over and asking for some. I wasn't in a particularly good mood (my marriage IS strained for various reasons) and I said No, it's dead bodies. My husband heard me and was shocked.<br>
We just had an unresolved fight a little while ago because he told me our son came up to him and said "why do you eat dead bodies" and "don't eat animals".<br>
He thinks now that I and my family are brainwashing our children and poisoning them to think their father is a "monster" and "ogre" (his words) for "eating dead bodies". He said I have to "fix it". I mean, he actually said if I felt that way about it/him, I should just leave and go live with my parents. That if I can't tell our kids that meat is food, I should just shut up about it completely.<br>
I "apologized" to him , for how I said what I said, and only for his sake (you'd think he would have had a coronary by the way he was approaching me with such disgust).<br>
I honestly have no idea what to do at this point.
 

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Strange that he wants his kids raised with certain values (carnist) yet won't instill those values himself and instead puts someone who has different values (you) in charge of the task.<br><br>
You know what it sounds like to me? He seems ashamed of himself and worried he's losing you. It might be helpful to try to show him more appreciation in areas where he's doing things you like. You know, to make sure he understands that you love him and it's just his eating habits/attitudes towards animals that you don't love.
 

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Its a tricky situation, but can be compared to any other situation in a marriage where you both disagree how to raise the kids a certain way. Its all about compromise.<br>
An example of this in my household: I would prefer to home school my kids, my husband says absolutely not that I will make them antisocial weirdoes, and he will never budge on that. He is allowing me to raise the children veg and is even veg himself now, so I won't push the other issue. I think its give and take.<br>
There are some things that are dealbreakers and others that aren't. Something like excessive drinking or drug use around the kids is non-negotiable, but meat eating would be okay. Or in your husband's case- non meat eating should be okay considering it isn't endangering the welfare of his children, and it is more a belief of his.<br>
Many parents struggle over religious beliefs, if they come from different religions. It can even go so far as being a factor in destroying a marriage. The important thing is to be open to a compromise and be accepting of the differences you have in values and beliefs. It can strain on a marriage otherwise.<br><br>
Maybe consider marriage counseling - a place you can go to hash out your differences with a neutral mediator, and sort through what is important to you and your values when raising the kids, and what you can let slide without it affecting the marriage. You already mentioned that the relationship is strained, it can only help at this point.<br><br>
As far as what to tell the kids, it might help to make it a compromise behind closed doors before you both tell them how you feel about meat. There might be a way to put it to your kids that he can be okay with, and allows them to make the decision on their own. You and your husband can negotiate the exact wording of why they shouldn't eat meat - and it can be something he is okay with you telling them and won't ruffle his feathers.<br>
Something like: "Mommy doesn't eat meat because she really likes animals, and animals are mommy's friends. Daddy eats meat because he doesn't feel the same way mommy does, he thinks meat is nutritious for him and helps him feel healthy."<br>
That way you are making both parents feel like they have valid reasoning behind their beliefs on the subject and not stepping on the other parent's toes.<br><br>
Good luck! Its definitely a valid issue and I can imagine why it would be a strain on you.
 

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I think I would call meat something a little less graphic than "dead bodies." I agree that it's pieces of dead bodies, but as far as I have seen, four-year-olds and young children get nightmares easily, and such a strong description might come up in their dreams or they might be ostracized at school later on for the words they use.<br><br>
Maybe your husband should prepare his own food, at least for the time being, until you work out some more love in your relationship that the "little things" don't seem so huge. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
Good luck.
 

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It's animals. The flesh of animals that were once living. There's really no way to sugar coat that.
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>peacefulveglady</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2978202"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Yes i agree you should find a kinder way and tender way to tell your children about what really meat is.</div>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2977764"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Strange that he wants his kids raised with certain values (carnist) yet won't instill those values himself and instead puts someone who has different values (you) in charge of the task.<br><br>
You know what it sounds like to me? He seems ashamed of himself and worried he's losing you. It might be helpful to try to show him more appreciation in areas where he's doing things you like. You know, to make sure he understands that you love him and it's just his eating habits/attitudes towards animals that you don't love.</div>
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This sounds like great advice to me <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>penny79</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2977916"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I think I would call meat something a little less graphic than "dead bodies." I agree that it's pieces of dead bodies, but as far as I have seen, four-year-olds and young children get nightmares easily, and such a strong description might come up in their dreams or they might be ostracized at school later on for the words they use.</div>
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Agreeing with Ahimsa on this- and I was raised knowing what I was eating for as long as I remember (some of my early memories are the meat birds we raised) before I was vegetarian, and it never gave me nightmares.
 

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To have one parent calling it food and the other dead bodies seems like a bit much for a four year old to deal with. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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Four year olds don't get nightmares that easily, and some things they need to just be told the truth about, although they should be getting one truth not two parents telling them different things, but he seems to understand that they are dead animals, that some people like to use as food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry, perhaps I'm a closet militant vegetarian for thinking that meat is dead bodies, but I don't think there is a nice way to say what it is. AND, perhaps if more people were REALLY aware of what they were eating, there'd be more vegetarians? My mom was at a function once that pork or ham was passed around on a plate. when it came to her, she cringed and passed it on to the next person saying "want some pig?" The person was shocked, but she just said "well, that's what it is?"<br>
There's a movie where someone gets a chicken, breaks it's neck and the woman he's with was shocked... the guy says "well, where'd you'd think [meat] came from" and she responds "the freezer section?!"<br>
My kid is bright, he is questioning his dad, but at the same time, not thinking he's a monster in any shape or form (like his dad worries about).<br>
And, my husband is not open to marriage counseling. I said we needed it last night, but he responded with "no, we have more important things to do, such as trying to work together". But we don't work together very well.<br>
Yes, I could have tried to discourage my son when he kept coming up to me while I was making that sandwich by saying something nicer like stating it was turkey, but I was already angry at my husband for something earlier and when you're under a black cloud you don't think of nice things when you're struggling against other things.<br>
My husband has shown me a lack of respect by asking me to say things to me son that I disagree with, instead of saying them himself.<br>
When I asked my son to come into the kitchen so we could talk to him and I let my husband say what he wanted, he started to say junk like pointing at my food on my plate (he didn't partake in any dinner I prepared last night - it was pasta) and saying that "some people look at food like that (pasta) and call it dead bodies, there's food and there is food"<br>
Now, if that's not gonna confuse the kid, I don't know what.<br>
Sorry for the rambling here, but I'm trying to write this while my kids are trying to get my attention.
 

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I used to date a meat-eater and hunter. When we started out, we were both fine with our views. But the more I explored veganism, the more I, and so consequently he, was exposed to the truth about eating animals. How it's unecessary for health, how animals are sentient beings who can suffer, etc. The more time went by, the less he wanted to hear about it to the point that he flat out TOLD me not to talk about it at all in front of him. What really caught my attention with your post was the look of disgust he gave you and the intensity with which he reacted. I'm super familiar with that attitude now and I fully agree that it seems it's because he feels ashamed. When people are forced to face aspects of themselves that they need to re-evaluate, some respond with ardant defensiveness, much like your husband seems to be doing. He probably feels judged. That's how my ex used to put it: judged. So stick with your views, of course, but perhaps have a sit-down chat with him and explain to him that you still love him for who he is and would not expect him to change, but that similarly, he should not expect YOU to change.<br><br>
Honestly, just the mere fact that you are willing to buy meat and prepare it for him should mean a lot about how acccepting you are of him. Personnaly, I refused to buy meat and animal products. Voting with your dollar!<br><br>
Good luck!!
 

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Having meat in the house is bound to be an on-going issue and confusing to the kids. While I know you like the control of making his sandwiches yourself, perhaps he can buy lunch out 2-3 times a week, and you fix him cheese, pb &j, tofurky (who doesn't like tofurky?!?) or hummus wraps on the other days. Let him eat meat away from home - that is the arrangement we came to when I first went vegan years ago. It worked well, and my spouse gradually reduced the amount of meat he ate.<br><br>
Yeah, it's kind of unfair to portray Dad as someone who doesn't measure up morally to the kids.<br><br>
I wonder if he has family or friends who might be fueling this fire? I mean, it seemed to work for the two of you for a while, what has changed?
 

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Like it or not you have to have a house of respect or it will neither be a family nor a home.<br><br>
The best way to encourage a vegetarian lifestyle in your family your child is to win them over with your cooking. I have won over more than one man in my life doing just that.<br><br>
You might want to start with a mea culpa dessert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i agree there has to be respect. If I hadn't been in such a bad mood and said something with a "poor choice in wording", "this" all wouldn't have happened... I still think he has gone way overboard with quite an exaggerated reaction. Our son has shown absolutely no sign of thinking he is a bad person, or worse, a monster, which is what he was afraid of. I apologized for my choice of wording for him, but I did not do as he demanded, which was to tell our son something I disagreed with. He has shown either a worse degree of lack of respect, if not equal, as some might think.<br>
Tonight was our 5 year anniversary and for the 1st time he came home from work without flowers... not even a "happy anniversary".<br>
My vegetarian cooking was what DID win him... I made a meal that he STILL (well, up until a couple days ago I guess) talks about. And he always said what a good cook I was. Now, he won't even share a meal with me and the kids... what exactly do you think THAT behavior shows the children.<br>
No, he feels no shame and has no fear he's losing me... As far as I'm concerned, he's just behaving worse than my 4 year old on a bad day.<br>
And no, I'm not portraying him as being morally inferior... I've only stated that "daddy eats meat, we don't", and they have also heard me refer separately to meat as dead bodies... next time you walk by a counter filled with red, bloody slabs of animal flesh, and your kids ask about it, you tell me what YOU see lying there.
 

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Ok, butting in here now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> My background--married 25 years next month, veg for years, vegan for a few years, hubby omni until then 9-year old son convinced him to go veg. We have all 3 been vegan for about 3 years now.<br><br>
Mr ledboots NEVER would have gone veg or vegan if I had tried to convince or push. He cooked his own meaty stuff; I sprayed a lot of air freshener in those days, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"><br><br>
I know it is hard, but if it were me, I would bite the bullet on this one and apologize. I think "dead bodies" is a tad over the top, I have to say. Do you want to limit your son's friends to veggie kids? If not, he really cannot call other kids' foods dead bodies. It sounds rude and intolerant. Most people in this society are going to continue to eat meat, sad but true. Imho, you are setting up your son to get the crap beaten out of him or ostracized.<br><br>
If it were me, I would never say that again, would apologize to hubby, put the kids to bed, make some popcorn, and pop a comedy in the dvd. Talk about anything except food or animals, and then have some good "alone time". If he is anything like mr ledboots, all will be well.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AlixJ18</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2979941"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Don't tell the truth if it's not nice and full of rainbows and unicorns, yup that's good.</div>
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Nice. Just because something is true doesn't mean talking about it when someone you love is really upset helps. The man is obviously hurt, confused, and afraid his son, a little 4 year old, is going to think of him as some sicko zombie. And he just might if he is told his daddy eats dead bodies. Rainbows and unicorns are for those who run around pretending this is okay.
 

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My kids have known that meat is dead animals for years. We don't usually call it dead bodies though. My son actually did start calling it dead bodies for awhile but it got a very bad reaction from adults and other kids.He now wants to keep his veganism to himself and eat things that look like animal products to other kids.<br>
I can't remember anything postive coming from refering to meat as "flesh" or "dead bodies"in the presence of omni's. If you want to have confrontations with people then using those terms will certainly invite them.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>LedBoots</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2979954"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Nice. Just because something is true doesn't mean talking about it when someone you love is really upset helps. The man is obviously hurt, confused, and afraid his son, a little 4 year old, is going to think of him as some sicko zombie. And he just might if he is told his daddy eats dead bodies. Rainbows and unicorns are for those who run around pretending this is okay.</div>
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You know what the solution is? Daddy stops eating the dead bodies. If the kid is learning that dad is someone that doesn't care about animals, then he is learning the truth, he's not going to grow up thinking his dad is a crazed murderer, he'll just know that he has less compassion than others.
 
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