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 Post subject: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:10 pm 
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Dislikes Rick Santorum
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
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Location: United States of New England
i know there are several people here in this situation.

im vegan, my husband still eats fish/poultry/dairy and we're going to raise Charlotte vegetarian but probably mainly vegan.
she's still too young to really understand any of this but i like to tell her things because i swear she understands way more than i think she does.

so for example she and i rescued a turkey through a farm sanctuary for Thanksgiving and they send you a cute little picture and bio of it (thanks Desdemona for the link!) and we have a couple Ruby Roth books we read.
however it feels weird saying to her "we dont believe in eating meat/hurting animals/etc" when that "we" is really "me"

how do you explain it to them without making your partner sound awful?

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 Post subject: Re: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:13 pm 
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I’m sorry I don’t have any usefull advice, but I just wanted to say that I (think I) understand how you must feel and how difficult this must be.
I don’t have children, but I’m secretly already stressing and worrying a lot about this exact same issue in advance. I’m also already worst-case scenario-ing in my head about all the comments and opinions from the inlaws and other people I’m gonna have to endure, I just knów they’ll have plenty to say about us raising our (hypothetical) kid vegetarian/vegan, and it won’t be nice.
Again, I’m sorry I’m no help at all, I really hope you can find a way to talk to your daughter about eating vegetarian/vegan and not feeling like you’re slandering your partner.

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 Post subject: Re: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:34 pm 
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Chip Strong
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I have that situation with my vegetarian grandkids who have an omni Dad, and trying to be diplomatic about them too, as non-vegans. I try to phrase it as there are lots of ways to make the world a better place and to give back, and not eating animals is only one way. I can't resist adding in that every vegan meal their family does eat is a good thing as it means fewer animals suffer. That reinforces that actions are good, rather than people being either good or bad.

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 Post subject: Re: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:00 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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As a teacher, I learned to shorten off-track or controversial conversations by saying "different people believe different things." That's not much help for your serious situations or long-term circumstances, but it can work in a pinch when you need to be diplomatic.

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 Post subject: Re: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:22 am 
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DH and I decided that we would ultimately let the kids choose when they feel ready, but that a person can go from someone who has never eaten animals to someone who has, but you can't go the other way. Also, I do most of the cooking. So the kids are default veg until they ask to eat something else.

I do phrase things as, "I think..." rather than "we think..." because this is what I think, and they have to decide if it feels right to them. And I don't answer for my husband. I will give a "he feels differently than I do" kind of answer, but if they want more than that, I tell them they have to ask him to explain his own beliefs.

Food is just one in a long line of topics where I have to say, "people believe differently than we do." Beyond not wanting them to think their dad is awful, I don't want them to be self righteous a-holes as they move through the world. So I emphasize personal belief, but that we do not judge or comment on people who are different than we are.


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 Post subject: Re: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
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thanks everyone.
i think you hit on a couple key points that i will try to stick with.

one being *I* believe rather than *we* or *this is bad*
i also want to raise her to respect everyone's choices, not just about food but about everything i just didnt want to confuse her saying eating meat is wrong when daddy eats meat occasionally. i guess the better tactic is "mommy doesnt believe in eating animals, etc"

thanks very helpful!

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 Post subject: Re: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:07 am 
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Wading in to say that while she hasn't posted here yet, Tofulish may be a good resource for you to reach out to, since she has an omnivorous partner and has been successfully raising a (healthy, beautiful, smart, and clearly thriving) vegan daughter for 3+ years now. My partner is vegan and so are his kids, and mine are vegan at home, so this is not a situation I have personal experience with, but it's one I think about pretty often because I know so many people who are negotiating various versions of it.

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 Post subject: Re: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:22 pm 
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So as I mentioned above, we are letting the kids make their own choices (though I will never cook them meat) but as of now both kids have chosen to be veg. They are 7 and 4, and my 4 year old in particular takes it very seriously. My husband mostly doesn't say anything. He respects that this is what the kids have chosen, and just lets everyone be.

My husband has a crazy fear of animals that don't have legs. So basically worms and snakes. My daughter has recently started finding worms in the backyard and playing with them. She also tends to put everything and anything in her mouth due to her sensory processing disorder. DH is super freaked out that she is going to put a worm in her mouth, so today my omni hubby says to her, "Remember, worms are animals, and animals are not food. You don't eat worms." Ha, that's one way to convert them.


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 Post subject: Re: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:29 pm 
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Our experience might help some people?

I'm vegan (long-term), hubs is omni and we agreed to raise our daughter as vegan. I've been vegan since high school, and so I don't really think about it as a choice or an option anymore, and I seldom talk about it because it's just what I do and I'm tired of amusing people who want to argue about me dying without protein, plants having feelings, or God giving us animals to eat. Hubs has tried to stop eating animals but can't manage it, was very supportive of her being a vegan, and doesn't feel threatened by the fact that we don't eat animals. That was key: him being supportive. He didn't come from a family where food was very important, though, because I know some people who have had huge struggles because they don't eat grandma's cooking, or whatever, and this can be a huge sticking point.

So, our daughter was immersed in a happy little vegan world until she was about four and then she realized that other people weren't just eating Gardein and wearing pleather. Huge problem. She was shocked, outraged, and disgusted. We didn't tell her that her reaction was wrong, and we didn't try to minimize it. Since that time she's had lots of questions, to which we respond with research and facts; she still feels strongly about being a vegan, and we're fine with that. Now she's a tween, super social, still (mostly) vegan unless you count her lapses on birthday cake and donuts. There are no vegetarians at her school, and she's the only vegan. She's been on trips with her dad without me, and she negotiates with restaurant staff and others on her own behalf. She considers meat eating to be one of the "Gross Dad Things" that her father does, and rolls her eyes at him in the same way she does when he starts listening to his old folk music records. He's never tried to get her to eat meat, so they coexist peacefully. She does say if he's ever too old to cook for himself he'll be a vegan, so we all have that to look forward to.


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 Post subject: Re: veg*n kid, omni house
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:08 am 
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Tofu Pup
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My husband is omni, I'm vegan, and my 8 y.o. son is vegetarian (/trying to become vegan but that darn cheese!). You've gotten good advice - emphasize that this is something everyone has to decide for themselves and people just have different beliefs about what they should and shouldn't do.

I went vegetarian right after he turned 1, and then vegan 3 years later. Raising him as vegetarian wasn't something I intended to do right away, but since I cooked and fed him the vast majority of time, he was *mostly* veg. My son actually had meat a few times as a very young toddler given by his dad and grandparents, and decided for himself when he was 3 that he wasn't going to eat it anymore. Now he's a hardcore little activist and tells me almost daily that he cannot imagine ever eating meat and that he just doesn't understand how people can do that.

It helps too to tell him that I grew up eating meat, and it took me some time to make the decision to go veg. Or that people don't always know (or choose not to know) about the consequences of their actions, or maybe they're scared of the alternatives, or they don't realize yet how healthy they can be on a veg*n diet; so all those people he knows and loves who aren't veg*n still might become so one day (which may likely be very idealistic, but he doesn't need to know that yet).


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