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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:25 pm 
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I was vegetarian off and on starting at age 11, and I officially gave up meat when I was 13. I became vegan at 15.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:39 pm 
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I was 13 when I decided to be vegetarian...We watched "Super Size Me" and "The Meatrix": http://www.themeatrix.com/ (my teacher was a vegetarian). I always enjoyed eating meat and had never really thought about it before, but after I saw those two things, it just seemed ridiculous to NOT become vegetarian.

I was really solid for a year, until one time I decided to "reward" myself by eating a chicken burger at red robin. My taste for meat instantly came back and for the next four years I was always on this "am I or aren't I" fence - I always felt guilty when I ate meat, but I also really liked how it tasted.

Finally when I was 18, I decided to look up vegan just for the hell of it - to see what it was about. I was led to this here PPK, and the food porn section. The food porn is what did it for me. I said to myself, "THIS is veganism?? Count me in!"
I slept on it, and when I woke up in the morning, I told my mom: "Alright. I'm vegan now. Can you get soymilk on your next grocery trip?".

I've had some hiccups (mostly secret guilt disgusting fast food hamburger eating - I am 100% sure that american meat has addictive chemicals in it), and I get a lot of shiitake from people, but it just makes me feel nice to not feel so damn guilty all the time.

The end.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:03 pm 
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I was pretty young when I became a vegetarian. About 6. I found out where meat came from, then I had a terrible dream that we ate our dog. (I know, awful) Then I made the connection that I love my dog and we would not eat him, and so why would I eat other animals.

My parents were super supportive - my mom became a vegetarian too.


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:12 pm 
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I was already 16, I was on a school trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:33 pm 
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mooo wrote:
i went vegetarian when i was 10. i feel like that was the age when i became a conscious human being, and caring about the suffering of animals is just sort of part of who i am. i went vegan at 17 when i gained the knowledge that the reasons i was a vegetarian actually obligated me to be vegan.


Same here. When I was 10, one of my friends had an adult friend who was vegan and an animal rights activist, and a bunch of us decided to stop eating meat. It just made sense the first time I thought about it—I always loved animals. My mom tried to sneak meat into my food at first, but my father and grandmother went vegetarian too in the next couple years. Then when I was 17 some vegan classmates pointed out that milk and eggs were obtained by similarly cruel means, and being vegan just made sense too.


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:09 pm 
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I went vegan at age 12, and then after about a year I reverted to being a vegetarian at 13 and was until I went vegan again at 22.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:49 pm 
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I became a vegetarian when I was about 12. My brother raised a pig for 4-H and I loved to play with her (she was so smart and sweet). When she was fully grown my brother was supposed to sell her at the fair's auction but instead my parents decided to buy her from my brother. They had her butchered and stuffed her carcass into the freezer in the garage. I had never before made the connection about where the food we eat comes from. This horrified, saddened and sickened me so much that I knew I couldn't eat meat anymore. What's really disgusting is that every time my family would eat that meat they would always say, "Mmmmmm, Snuggles is SOOOOO good. You're missing out." crassholes.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:53 pm 
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I had wanted to be a vegetarian since I was probably 13 but my parents wouldn't have it, and I thought it would be much too difficult to maintain if my parents weren't supporting me (since I was too young to know how to do much cooking). My initial reasoning was basically that I didn't like meat, but it obviously has become a lot more than that. I went vegetarian when I was 16, fully vegan when I was 18!


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:44 pm 
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i was about 11, but i still ate marshmallows and stuff that had animal products in it; i didn't realise that they weren't vegetarian. i stopped eating all that shiitake when i was about 16 because i started actually researching vegetarianism.


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:45 pm 
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I was vegetarian off and on since I was 8, after watching a Nick News segment on kids who were vegetarian; my parents were cool about it most of the time I just didn't have the self control. I finally went vegetarian for good at age 16 out of nowhere, and vegan at 17 after trying it out for a week and realized that cheese was not actually that interesting.

It's my 4 year veganniversary this month!

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:47 pm 
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i went vegetarian at 11. when i was younger than that, i always thought it was something i would do when i was a grown up (because then i would be old enough to decide what i would eat) -- but then when i was 11 my best friend went vegetarian & i was all "hey! you mean i can do this now?" (unfortunately, his vegetarianism was short-lived . . . pretty sure he didn't make it a full month.)


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:49 pm 
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i was raised a vegetarian and am now in the transition to being vegan at 19.


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:00 pm 
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I tried to go vegetarian many times from age 6 or 7 on, but without any support or ability to cook for myself it never lasted more than a few days. I just hated the taste and texture of meat and the idea of eating dead bodies disgusted me. When I was 14 I was eating some chicken and there was a big purple vein in it, and I was just DONE. I was old enough at that point to figure out how to feed myself. I ate a lot of tofu pups and cereal. I went vegan at 16 as soon as I met some vegans and found out what veganism was. Originally I was mostly vegan for animal rights reasons, now I'd say it's 60/40 animals/my health.


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:40 am 
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I went vegetarian when I was 4 or 5.

I still remember the moment clearly. I was eating KFC in my kitchen with my family and our neighbors. I looked down at the drumstick in my hand and finally made the connection that this food used to be an animal--an animal who had a mother and father just like I did. I threw that drumstick in the trash. It was all very dramatic.

My parents tried to force me to eat meat for months afterwards, but I was a stubborn child. Eventually they let me be vegetarian, but were always very careful about my nutrition.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:53 am 
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bittofraw wrote:
I was vegetarian at 15. The frog dissection in 9th grade paved the way. My teacher was extra cruel and didn't use ether, he just poked a hole into the frog's head and declared them brain dead.

I didn't have much support. I ate a lot of spaghetti.


Traumatic!! = (

I love all your stories on this thread, PPKers, velly eenterestink.


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:29 am 
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I went vegetarian when I was 8 or 9. I don't recall the exact reasoning, but I think it probably had something to do with the flim Babe (not the most sophisticated basis for a moral epiphany, but it worked I guess).

Also, I recently read that the actor who plays the farmer is a vegan and animal rights activist, which is pretty cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:42 am 
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I went vegetarian at 10, originally to annoy my dad. (I was a lovely child.) But after a day or two I realised, hey, I actually did want to be vegetarian after all. I'm not sure where the idea really germinated; we had a vegetarian neighbour whose kids I used to hang out with sometimes, so maybe that was it? I definitely didn't have one "oh my god, this is an animal" moment like a lot of you; it came pretty gradually. I do remember the day I realised that my leather shoes were made of animals, though - about two years after I went vegetarian - I was appalled.

I went vegan age 13; I stumbled on a vegan community on Livejournal and read all about battery hens and so on. I said I wanted to be vegan that night but my dad refused to buy me vegan stuff, so it didn't stick until a couple of months later when I put my foot down.

My mum has always been pretty supportive, she's an ex-vegetarian; my dad wasn't too happy about the vegan part but he came around eventually.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:21 pm 
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fupapack wrote:
beyond age, is there anything else we can give you that may be insightful or helpful?


Well, you advance through the stages when you are presented with a situation that gives you cognitive dissonance- that is, something that makes you realize that your current moral thinking may be inadequate. (Did anyone actually read the article I posted?) My guess is that I made the advance to a higher stage at the same time I decided to be a vegetarian.

I found another article that discusses how "gifted" children advance more rapidly through the moral stages, getting where some adults don't even end up before they are teenagers. (I struggle with the use of the word gifted because, what does it mean, really? I never made it into the gifted program at school, but anyone who knew me could tell you that I was "gifted.") http://austega.com/gifted/moralKohlberg.htm

I'm just having a hard time believing I was a stage 5 or 6 at age 11 when most people don't ever get there. (Less than 20% of adults reach a level 5 or 6 reasoning, according to Kohlberg's study.)

I think I mainly just don't want to make it look like I'm tooting my own horn.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:23 pm 
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Jessy wrote:
I was pretty young when I became a vegetarian. About 6. I found out where meat came from, then I had a terrible dream that we ate our dog. (I know, awful) Then I made the connection that I love my dog and we would not eat him, and so why would I eat other animals.

My parents were super supportive - my mom became a vegetarian too.


Ok, so by Kohlberg's stages, that's probably a stage three. Although now I'm second-guessing myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:37 pm 
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I can remember wanting to be a vegetarian for as long as I knew what meat was, but thinking that it would have to wait until uni because my parents just wouldn't understand. (I was a very people-pleasing child.) I actually made the decision when I was 15, probably due to a combination of increased self-confidence and a really horrible video about slaughterhouses that we were shown in school.


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:39 pm 
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I tried to go vegetarian at 11. I was a junk food vegetarian for a while until my parents freaked out and basically shoved meat down my throat. I went vegetarian again when I was 14 (Halloween, 2008!), this time I was really informed about nutrition and cooked all my meals so my parents were more supportive, and let me do what I wanted. And I think I went vegan sometime last year around February, at 16. It kind of happened, so I'm not too clear on the date.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:32 pm 
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Pigglety wrote:
I went vegetarian when I was 8 or 9. I don't recall the exact reasoning, but I think it probably had something to do with the flim Babe (not the most sophisticated basis for a moral epiphany, but it worked I guess).

Also, I recently read that the actor who plays the farmer is a vegan and animal rights activist, which is pretty cool.


And this is why, if you stick around and post enough, you will eventually graduate from being a tofu pup to hearting James Cromwell.

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:36 pm 
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I am super skeptical of the proposed link between moral development and giftedness, at least using Kohlberg's ideas. His stages are criticized for favoring one path of moral development (so women and people in non-western societies tend to score lower) and the idea of giftedness also tends to be very narrowly defined. Also, the article you posted says that young vegetarians are using moral reasoning, contrary to what Kohlberg (and Piaget) thought was possible, which I think suggests that the ideas need to be revised or applied differently, at least.

Psychology makes me so cranky.

editing to add: Vegetarianism (or eating meat) don't by themselves imply a stage--it's just what reasoning you use. Also, I don't think it's tooting your own horn either way--if you were using stage five reasoning, then say so. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:13 pm 
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Abelskiver wrote:
I tried to go vegetarian around age 12 but without my parent's support it didn't stick until I was out on my own at age 21. Now, for about a week at age 5ish I only ate cheese sandwiches because I told my mom I didin't like her cooking and she said that was fine, I was free to fend for myself. So if you count that. :)


Same story here. I tried to go vegetarian at 14, but my parents didn't do anything to help me. I don't blame them. They had limited income, and I didn't have money to buy my own food. Internet access was still pretty limited in the mid nineties, so I had limited information about veg*nism. (did I just date myself?)

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 Post subject: Re: Children vegetarians and their moral development
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:07 pm 
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I made the decision to be a vegetarian at 6, but was occasionally overruled by my mom and fed the occasional hamburger or "no thank you" bite of meat at family dinners. The last time I had meat was when I was 14 and visiting my grandparents in Arizona. My crazy grandmother made me sit at the dinner table until I ate the piece of steak she insisted I had asked for. I think I held out for about 3 hours before I stuffed it into my mouth, left the dinner table, and went to the bathroom and spit out as much as I could into the toilet.


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