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 Post subject: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:14 pm 
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This has been making the rounds today, and the more I think about it the more irked I get. Why can't this woman simply be proud of her daughter's compassion and strength of character, instead of undermining her agency and questioning her ability to know her own mind? It strikes me that the one who lacks the necessary "sophistication...to actually engage in philosophical dissection" in this scenario is the mother, not the child.

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013 ... ung/?_r=1&

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:23 pm 
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I've edited your subject to be slightly more descriptive. I'm certain there are a billion rage-inducing NYT articles out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:32 pm 
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So the takeaway seems to be "she asks difficult questions and gets sad at death". I don't understand why this was written. The daughter has not only a much kinder ethic than her mother but also a much higher distress tolerance, which is a good thing. She feels sad and just lets herself recognize that there are ugly things in the world, while her mother contorts herself and seems to come up with "I'd rather she turn a blind-eye to suffering because I don't like my baby being sad".

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:33 pm 
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I don't feel any rage as much as wonder at what the point of the article was. She's concerned that her kid will be left out or teased? Aren't we all.


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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:36 pm 
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I rather like it. It's navel gazing, but that's the genre.


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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:36 pm 
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brian wrote:
I've edited your subject to be slightly more descriptive. I'm certain there are a billion rage-inducing NYT articles out there.
Excellent point; thanks!
j-dub wrote:
So the takeaway seems to be "she asks difficult questions and gets sad at death". I don't understand why this was written. The daughter has not only a much kinder ethic than her mother but also a much higher distress tolerance, which is a good thing. She feels sad and just lets herself recognize that there are ugly things in the world, while her mother contorts herself and seems to come up with "I'd rather she turn a blind-eye to suffering because I don't like my baby being sad".
Pretty much. "If only my child would happily and obliviously eat chicken nuggets like the other kids, how much simpler and more pleasant her life would be (for me, because I wouldn't have to think about things that threaten to make me uncomfortable)."

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:14 pm 
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mollyjade wrote:
I rather like it. It's navel gazing, but that's the genre.

Exactly, and her daughter is amazing. Maybe the mother too; the daughter couldn't have made the transition at age 4 without her help.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:22 pm 
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Huh, I didn't read it as "my daughter's vegetarianism makes me uncomfortable, and I wish she'd change" but "my daughter's vegetarianism makes her special, and I'm somewhat proud of it, but I also worry that it's making her life unnecessarily difficult and of course I don't want her life to be any harder than it needs be because she's my freaking kid."

It's a meandering piece either way, but I didn't find it offensive personally.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:47 pm 
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Is this some kind of parody? Some kind of parody of the most middle-class person ever to exist? Because that's how it reads to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:57 pm 
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It seems always to be (only) veganism or vegetarianism that gets handled this way. Do a lot of Kosher-keeping parents decline to raise their children that way because their lives would therefore be more difficult? (What if she goes to a friend's house!) Do a lot of, say, TV-hating parents decline to keep their kids from TV because they'd be different from their peers? (What if she goes to a friend's house and the friend just wants to watch TV!)

The idea seems to be that religion and other philosophical matters are essential and intrinsic to being human. If they cause inconvenience, oh well. We'll just have to deal with it. But ideas about what to eat (and why!) are somehow... extra. Unnecessary. Selfish. Inherently anti-social.

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My daughter’s choice has, from the beginning, fared somewhat more controversially outside our household, where I’ve often fielded suggestions about the dubiousness of letting such a young child make a major decision about her own nutrition, let alone stake out a moral position that has the ability to make the adults around her defensive. Aside from the theatrical protests, she never evangelizes to friends or family on the topic, and we’ve had many conversations about the relative position of privilege that allows us to walk into a well-stocked grocery store and choose tofu in the first place.

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At field day in kindergarten, I watched her carefully unwrap her hummus sandwich amid a throng of kids being treated to boxed lunches of chicken fingers, and felt a pang of guilty sadness. What had I gotten her into?


Ugh #1: The world would be better off if the little girl would stop just being so darn different.

Ugh #2: How come the privilege argument only goes this one way? In most of the world, eating meat is out of reach. It's too expensive. But it's the people eating it morning, noon, and night who are the ones pointing out the meat-abstainers' privilege? There's a HUGE amount of privilege in being able to go into a grocery store and buy ALL THAT MEAT! Just because it's traditional (to us) doesn't mean it's universal. That meat is the "default" food is an accident of history, culture, and economics, not of human nature.

Ugh #3: It's not all about you.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:10 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
It seems always to be (only) veganism or vegetarianism that gets handled this way. Do a lot of Kosher-keeping parents decline to raise their children that way because their lives would therefore be more difficult? (What if she goes to a friend's house!) Do a lot of, say, TV-hating parents decline to keep their kids from TV because they'd be different from their peers? (What if she goes to a friend's house and the friend just wants to watch TV!)

The idea seems to be that religion and other philosophical matters are essential and intrinsic to being human. If they cause inconvenience, oh well. We'll just have to deal with it. But ideas about what to eat (and why!) are somehow... extra. Unnecessary. Selfish. Inherently anti-social.

Quote:
My daughter’s choice has, from the beginning, fared somewhat more controversially outside our household, where I’ve often fielded suggestions about the dubiousness of letting such a young child make a major decision about her own nutrition, let alone stake out a moral position that has the ability to make the adults around her defensive. Aside from the theatrical protests, she never evangelizes to friends or family on the topic, and we’ve had many conversations about the relative position of privilege that allows us to walk into a well-stocked grocery store and choose tofu in the first place.

Quote:
At field day in kindergarten, I watched her carefully unwrap her hummus sandwich amid a throng of kids being treated to boxed lunches of chicken fingers, and felt a pang of guilty sadness. What had I gotten her into?


Ugh #1: The world would be better off if the little girl would stop just being so darn different.

Ugh #2: How come the privilege argument only goes this one way? In most of the world, eating meat is out of reach. It's too expensive. But it's the people eating it morning, noon, and night who are the ones pointing out the meat-abstainers' privilege? There's a HUGE amount of privilege in being able to go into a grocery store and buy ALL THAT MEAT! Just because it's traditional (to us) doesn't mean it's universal. That meat is the "default" food is an accident of history, culture, and economics, not of human nature.

Ugh #3: It's not all about you.
EXACTLY: all of this. Thanks for being more articulate on this subject than I could be. (In fact, have you ever considered writing a blog? Just an idea.)

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:11 pm 
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Hey, weird: the comments aren't awful.

(And, no, I've never considered blogging.)

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:23 pm 
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I duuno, I just had to laugh at the 'hummus sandwich' thing. FFS. My 'delicate sensibilities' led me to choose vegetarianism as a 6 year old. My parents where all 'meh! whatever! its one less person we have to find the pennies to buy meat for!" (I paraphrase) Cripes, it's not as if they ever really cooked. And that was the damn '80s. A peanut butter piece for school lunches was de rigueur. Even in UnAmerica.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:37 pm 
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I kind of read the whole thing as an annoying humble brag, honestly.

"Oh gosh, my poor kid, preferring to eat her hummus sandwich while the other children gorge on fried chicken, golly gee I hope she doesn't feel left out because she's capable of making moral choices and they're not! teehee!"


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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:43 pm 
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interrobang?! wrote:
I duuno, I just had to laugh at the 'hummus sandwich' thing. FFS. My 'delicate sensibilities' led me to choose vegetarianism as a 6 year old. My parents where all 'meh! whatever! its one less person we have to find the pennies to buy meat for!" (I paraphrase) Cripes, it's not as if they ever really cooked. And that was the damn '80s. A peanut butter piece for school lunches was de rigueur. Even in UnAmerica.
Ah, but such an attitude would preclude the earnest, navel-gazing solipsism-in-concerned-parent's-clothing that makes this type of piece so. very. profound. I mean, her kid is denying herself the wonderful "treat" of chicken fingers (?) that the other, blissfully ignorant children so happily enjoy! The fact that she's eating {{{SHUDDER}}} hummus because she chooses to do so - and has done so for almost half her life - is irrelevant, since it is clearly her mother's feelings about the situation that really matter. (The question, "What had I gotten her into?" pretty much says it all. It seems clear that the writer's child has made and committed to her own decision, but for whatever reason she just can't deal with the fact of her daughter as a separate ethical subject whose views are not her own. Boo hoo; get used to it.)

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Last edited by Desdemona on Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:45 pm 
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eta:
annak wrote:
I kind of read the whole thing as an annoying humble brag, honestly.

"Oh gosh, my poor kid, preferring to eat her hummus sandwich while the other children gorge on fried chicken, golly gee I hope she doesn't feel left out because she's capable of making moral choices and they're not! teehee!"


^yup, yup.

Do kids even get given chicken to take to school? That's just forkin bizarre.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:26 pm 
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I didn't read past the chicken finger part because huh? She wants a hummus sandwich and so it makes you sad and that's something you've gotten her into? I'd like it much better as an Onion article.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:38 pm 
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annak wrote:
I kind of read the whole thing as an annoying humble brag, honestly.

"Oh gosh, my poor kid, preferring to eat her hummus sandwich while the other children gorge on fried chicken, golly gee I hope she doesn't feel left out because she's capable of making moral choices and they're not! teehee!"


Yes


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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Quote:
My daughter is bright, and her ideas are far from childish, bearing striking similarity to Peter Singer’s belief that one’s own interests shouldn’t count for more than the interests of others.


BAHAHAHA! Translation: My child is a very special snowflake.

Its kind of funny to read this on the same day that the Education Secretary is under fire for comments about the objection to common core coming from white soccer moms who are horrified that their children aren't Very Special Snowflakes. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/20 ... rban-moms/

Maybe we'll start seeing more conscientious objectors, or maybe the next development will be Brooklyn hipster toddlers doing artisanal butchering or making their own small batch gingerbeer. Very Special Snowflakes!

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:02 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Maybe we'll start seeing more conscientious objectors, or maybe the next development will be Brooklyn hipster toddlers doing artisanal butchering or making their own small batch gingerbeer. Very Special Snowflakes!
URGH. I wish I didn't think this was entirely possible/probable.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:07 am 
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I have to agree with Footface. "It's not all about you!" That is the most offensive thing to me. "I read her Charlotte's Web and now she won't eat animals." Get over yourself. All three of my kids read Charlotte's Web: One's vegan, One's vegetarian and the third refers to ham as Wilbur as she asks for a second plate. They are their own people lady .. get out of your child's way and let her be. She is awesome but not because of your helicoptering.


And Tofulish..the Secretary of Ed thing...ugh. It;s not white soccer moms who think their kids are special snowflakes....it's people with an education who recognize the core standards and standardized testing makes teacher's robots and students good test takers period. (I am talking to Mr Duncan not you of course )

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Disclosure: I didn't read the article, just went to the page to see if the author gave her name.

I am, in general, absolutely disgusted with parents who use their children's stories like this. It's exploitation of the child for the gain of the parent, with no benefit, in my opinion, coming to the child. In fact likely just the opposite - the child may have to deal with backlash she is not prepared for (because she is a *child*).

I don't care what crepe people want to write about their own lives or what personal information they want to share on the internet but I am adamant about people not writing in a public forum personal information about their minor children, or using their lives as material.


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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:33 pm 
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This reminds me a lot of my mom when I wanted to become vegan when I was 12. I became vegetarian the year before at 11, and had been reading more and more and realized that I wanted to be vegan. I told her about it and her response was "I just want you to be happy and go get ice cream from the ice cream man like other kids and not think about these things. Kids shouldn't care about these issues." I wrote her a detailed document, 10 pages of nutrition and cooking ideas and plans, another 5 of my reasons and sources to show the facts about how factory farming hurts people, environment, animals, workers, etc. She still didn't relent, so I just did it in secret I guess, and every few months we'd get in a fight when I didn't eat something she was trying to make me eat about how I was doing "that vegan thing again" haha.

The part that made me most pissed was that she thinks her daughter isn't smart enough to be vegetarian or something, yet her daughter is having thought provoking conversations about ethics, so how is this the case?

Also,I thought parents normally teach their children about new concepts, and she admits teaching her kid to read was good since it opened the world of literacy to her, so why is it bad to supposedly introduce her kid to ideas she's "too young and immature" to understand?

If she actually was too immature to understand, why would she become a vegetarian? It seems like she gets it, or else she wouldn't make a sacrifice of things she assumedly used to like to eat, if she didn't have a concept of the reasoning? It seems like that is proof alone she is mature enough, she has stuck with it for 3 years so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:20 pm 
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About parents wanting to teach their kids new concepts... Well, sometimes.

Overheard last week at the grocery store:

Kid, maybe 5 years old (looking in deli case): Mommy, are those brownies?

Mother: No, that's falafel. You wouldn't like it.

The End.

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 Post subject: Re: Mildly rage-inducing NYT post re: Child veg*ns
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:31 pm 
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If anyone had overheard my poor mother and I in the produce store, they'd have thought she never let me try anything new. I had (hell, still have) the deplorable habit of homing in on any new, exotic, and/or expensive produce item, demanding it, and then hating it/not eating it. She started saying "no" the second I reached for any unfamiliar fruit.

I miiight have learned my lesson after the uncleaned, not dethorned nopales though. Maybe.

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