vegetarian kids?

allyvera18

I've been a vegetarian for quite a few years now. I eat dairy and eggs, and a fairly well balanced diet. I don't have any kids now, but I was discussing this with a friend the other day. She asked me if i'm going to raise my kids as vegetarians, and I didn't know what to say. Personally, I could never go back to meat again, and it would be hard for me to serve my kids meat because I would have to buy it and cook it which goes against what I believe in. But my friend pointed out that if I raised them vegetarian, they might never have a chance to decide for themselves if they want to be one or not since the sight of meat may disgust them like it disgusts me. I really want my kids to make their own decisions. Nutrition isn't really a concern because I've been practicing it for a few years and researching it and I feel like I would provide adequate diets (with dairy and eggs of course) for the kids. I know the kids will miss out on mcdonalds and pepperoni pizza at parties but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Any vegetarian parents out there? What do you do?

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michelle_aol_com

I'm not a vegetarian, but two of our sibling families are. Both have kids and they both serve them vegetarian at home. Kids could care less. It's only when they go to school and birthday parties, etc. that they'll notice a difference. At that point they can make a choice about whether to eat the hot dog or not. As long as you don't make a big deal out of disliking meat, and only say that you choose not to eat it, I can't see why it would be a problem.
BTW, I serve meat all the time. I have two smaller kids, 4 and 2 1/2. Guess what's sitting on their plate every night that they don't really want anyway??? Kids don't really like the texture of meats until they're older, I've found.

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heatherchristi_yahoo_com

I am a vegetarian, I have been since I was a kid. I have chosen not to raise my children as vegetarians, even though I am still one. I am not raising them vegetarian because of how I felt growing up as a vegetarian. I have always felt that this is a decision that I did not make, it was forced upon me, although it is so deeply ingrained that now I could not imagine eating meat. I have always been resentful of that. It may not seem like a big deal that a kid eats differently than other kids, but it always felt like a big deal to me when I was small. Since my mother was a vegetarian, I may have eventually decided on my own to be one too, but since I didn't get to choose for myself I will never know, I am not a vegetarian based on my beliefs but because of my mother's beliefs that animals should not be killed for food, and I would never do that to my kids. Maybe someday my kids may choose on their own to become vegetarian, but I won't force it on them because it is a decision that requires a lot of commitment for the rest of their lives. People ask me why I am a vegetarian, and I have no real answer. I guess it is just so brainwashed into me that I don't view meat as food for myself. I know my mother had the best of intentions, but I wish she had done things differently. I know it would have been hard for my mom to buy and serve meat to us, and since it goes against her beliefs I suppose it would not have been fair to expect her to- but she would tell me over and over why it was wrong to eat meat, we weren't allowed to have it in the house at all, and she would make me feel so guilty if I wanted to try a dish that contained meat outside of our home. I think there is a difference between exposing a child to your beliefs, which I do, my kids know why I am a vegetarian, and forcing your beliefs upon them.

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ferrifamily_yahoo_com

I don't see anything wrong with raising them vegetarian. They can still make the choice when they grow up and if they've never developed a taste for it then they don't have to eat it. Every family has foods they eat and others they don't and kids don't have the opportunity to develop a taste for everything. I know a family where there are three generations of vegetarians, all healthy and happy.

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Peaches2_02_hotmail_com

I think its AWSOME that you are considering both sides, kudo's to you!

I agree with all the above posts, especially Christine. She actually went through it ...you cant ask for more than that. Christine made soo much sence. Kudos to you to Christine!

Sorry, I have no real opinion since I am not vegetarian, but justed wanted to applaud you~

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Bugs

My co-worker is a vegetarian and her spouse isnt although supports her meals except for holidays. His daughter and her daughter are both vegetarians at home but when they go out to dinner or to a friends house they eat what the please which is usually chicken fingers. It is fair for a child to decide on their own but there is also no reason that you must cook meat either.

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allyvera18

The vegetarian at home and meat at other places is a good compromise, but I'm concerned that raising them vegetarian will make them not like meat at all. I turned vegetarian completely on my own (all of my family and friends love meat) and now it disgusts me and i'm afraid that my kids will associate meat with disgust before they are able to form their own opinions about whether or not they want to eat meat or not.

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Peaches2_02_hotmail_com

It wont turn to disgust unless you teach that.

How you react and handle this has more of an impact than what you tell them to do.

This is more an issue about you than your kids.

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doctormiriam_yahoo_com

My son chose on his own to be a veggie since he was an infant. He use to spit out the baby food that contained meat. He has never swallowed a meat, chicken or fish product. He won't eat eggs. We worried so oo much about his development. Turned out to be "gifted" and at the top of the growth chart. So don't fret, but do give your child B-12 supplements.

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AdellaBedella_usa_net

I don't know what to tell you to do, but I do know if you don't introduce meat now while the kids are younger, chances are high that the kids won't like it when they are older either. I have some really good friends who were born in India, but have lived in the US most of their lives. They were raised vegetarian. One doesn't eat animal products like milk and eggs and two eat everything. My friends have tried various meat and seafood products and just don't like the taste. One of these friends has gotten to where he will eat chicken if it's in something like a casserole, but won't eat it alone. The others don't even try anymore. Meat just grosses them out.

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tygerr_canada_com

Jasmin and I are mostly vegetarian (can't give up the fish and seafood) and really haven't had any issues. I've always allowed her to eat meat if she's at GrandMa's or if her school/daycare has a pizza party or something. Now that she's five she's much more aware of the fact that we don't eat meat and I'm able to explain some of the reasons why. You'd be surprised how much young kids can understand if you just give them a little credit.

We did face a dilema a while ago; we were going to have an "eat out" night and I told her she could pick the restaurant. She of course wanted McDonalds (great). I explained that there wasn't really anything there for me to eat, and that McDonalds sometimes did not-so-nice things to animals and the environment (I've been boycotting McDonalds for years) but she was insistant (proof of how they brainwash kids at a young age through excessive marketing).
I made a deal; we'll go to the big McDonalds with the playplace just this once but in the future if she wants McDonalds it will have to be in the foodcourt at the mall (so mom can get some veggie-japanese food). So far this has worked out really well; something for you other veggie-moms to keep in mind!

I guess my way of doing things is "try to EXPRESS your beliefs and values TO your child wrather than PUSHING your beliefs ON your child" and just hope that they grow up okay!

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Didldadldo_aol_com

Well...my daughter is vegetarian...mostly because I don't believe in giving htem meat the first year, and she just doesn't want to eat it now. Although she will eat some fish.

One thing to consider is that when you don't eat meat regularly - when you do eat it - it can make you sick. I was completely vegetarian for a few years - and I had to be careful when I ate out...I might get something like Black Bean Soup that appeared to be vegetarian but because it was made with sausage - or whatever - it would make me sick. I have tlaked to many veg's who said the same thing!

I don't think meat is necessary for health reasons...but if you have a moral objection to eating meat because you think it is wrong to kill animals for food...I don't see how you could allow your children to eat it. I don't think that is fair to your belief system either.

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kyosan_earthlink_net

I'm in the same situation as you allyvera18, and have decided that I'm going to raise my adopted girl vegetarian. I know that killing animals for food isn't necessary and want to raise my daughter valuing and avoiding harming all sentient life including animals.

I won't try to force her to be vegetarian when she goes out on her own but will try my best to instill those values in her, especially when young. I figure that If I don't try to instill these values in her and let her go entirely her own way she will likely be influenced by the MacDonalds culture and not be a vegetarian. I feel that, an important part of parenting is teaching values and these values are very important.

Like you, I'm a long time vegetarian and am comfortable with the nutrition aspect and I will find good ways to handle social issues. I've already found a considerable amount of constructive vegetarian parenting advice on the Internet and there are also good books covering nutrition and social issues for vegetarian kids.

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socrates

It's a bad idea to raise kids vegetarian.

(1) Kids hate to be different than other kids, and when their friends eat hamburgers and they are not allowed to, they will feel like outcasts and this will hurt their self-esteem.

(2) Children need the protein in meat. It's hard to get all the amino acids needed for growing chilren. Thus children who are fed vegetarian diets wind up being shorter in stature, which is unfair to the poor kid.

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mom4boys

Of course you need to ensure all their nutritional needs are being met, and since you're already an experienced vegetarian then you already know how--I'm only mentioning it because I have had friends who "suddenly" decided to go vegetarian with their kids in tow, and thought salads and pasta are all you need to survive. People who decide to go this route really need to know what they're doing, do some research and plan it out.

Our family has gone "more" vegetarian in recent years but have found we simply can't cut out meat altogether--mainly because with 5 guys in the family, they find they just can't get "filled up" unless they have some meat in their diet. They play a lot of sports and find even pasta just doesn't stay with them as much as chicken or fish does.

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kyosan_earthlink_net

Hi socrates. Thanks for your reply. Here's a reply to the 2 points you brought up
(1) Kids hate to be different than other kids, and when their friends eat hamburgers and they are not allowed to, they will feel like outcasts and this will hurt their self-esteem.

I disagree that we should raise our children to be the same as others. And, I disagree that being different will make a child have less self-esteem. In fact, being different might make the child stronger and have more self-esteem. It even seems to me that, following the crowd just to blend in is itself an act of low self-esteem. It's saying I'm afraid to be different. I wouldn't want my daughter to behave like that. I would want her to try to be the best person she can be even if that means being different. Of course, if there does turn out to be a serious social problem as a result of my raising my daughter vegetarian I would reconsider it; I'm not going to do anything that would hurt her. But there are many people in America that raise their children vegetarian and the kids do fine. A while back I asked this same question on a vegetarian board and a girl that had that same experience responded. This is what she said:

I'm not a parent or anything... but I know what it;'s like being the only vegetarian in a class. When i was younger, it was a little hard because of all the questions I got. Vegetarianism isn't exactly common knowledge here, and everyone from the teachers down to the youngest classmate usually didn't know about what it was and all that. As a kid, I had to put up with answering all sorts of questions and all sorts of reactions. My classmates would ask me if I crave to try out meat and stuff, and I say no, cause i never tried it and i can't crave for something i'm not familiar with. Also from a young age, i knew that what they were eating, was either this cute cow, or some sort of animal.. and seeing it alive then seeing it dead gave me the shivers.

It is hard.. but it's a good experience, it made me unafraid of being different. And it sort of instills in a person a feeling that they don't need to be like everyone else to be able to have friends and be part of the 'in' crowd. It makes it so that a person doesn't have to give in to peer pressure easily.

I started having to deal with this when I was about 6.. when I reached 11, it didn't even matter when classmates made faces.. they actually liked my food!

Your second point was:
(2) Children need the protein in meat. It's hard to get all the amino acids needed for growing chilren. Thus children who are fed vegetarian diets wind up being shorter in stature, which is unfair to the poor kid.

This is one of the popular misconceptions about vegetarianism. Please read the ADA's Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets (link provided below). The ADA is a very reputable source for dietary information and they clearly state that properly planned vegetarian diets are fine for children.

Here is a link that might be useful: ADA's Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets

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kyosan_earthlink_net

Hi mom4boys. I agree pretty much agree with what you said. You said:

Of course you need to ensure all their nutritional needs are being met, and since you're already an experienced vegetarian then you already know how--I'm only mentioning it because I have had friends who "suddenly" decided to go vegetarian with their kids in tow, and thought salads and pasta are all you need to survive. People who decide to go this route really need to know what they're doing, do some research and plan it out.

I couldn't agree more. Some people become vegetarian overnight and don't know what to eat. Like you say it is a good idea to research and plan it out first. I didn't myself feel comfortable about becoming vegetarian until I took a nutritional science course at a community college. People don't need to go that far though, especially not today. There is good information on the Internet to help people get started. There is even a Vegetarian (actually vegan) Four Food Groups plan at the PCRM web site. I find that the AMA (American Dietary Assiciation) and VRG (Vegetarian Resource Group) are also reputable sources of information on vegetarianism. Like you said, it's especially important to know what you are doing when thinking of changing your families diet. And, it's a good idea to change gradually. And, it's not just a matter of fulfilling nutritional requirements; it's also important to find foods that your family likes and fills them up.

they find they just can't get "filled up" unless they have some meat in their diet. They play a lot of sports and find even pasta just doesn't stay with them as much as chicken or fish does.

Well, I'm sure it is possible. I'm a big guy myself (6'2" @ 185lbs) and I do fine without any kind of meat. I have a moderate amount of physical activity. It's just a matter of consuming enough calories and eating foods that stick with you. Fiber also helps; it prevents people from getting hungry because it slows the digestion process. Persons that are very athletic need to eat more or higher calorie foods to make sure that they don't have a negative calorie balance. I'm not trying to convince you to serve only vegetarian food to your family. I'm just making a point that being physically active doesn't make vegetarianism unworkable.

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starbaby

Allyveral, it's great that you are seriously pondering this issue before having children. I also think that it's great that you want your children to make their own decisions. Refreshingly, you don't appear to see vegetarianism as the way of the "righteous" and you don't intend to impose it upon your children as the "right" way to eat. Here is my advice.
It is important to introduce a variety of (healthy) solids at an early age, around six months at the latest. It is true that waiting too long, limiting food choices too severely, and serving a lot of junky snacks will encourage picky eating and that will be problematic for years to come. Beans (cooked moist and cut into tiny pieces) are a great choice for babies. You should also include some poultry because other protein containing foods like dairy and eggs should not be introduced for the first 12 months. And, of course, your attitude toward food is very important. One of the infants at the child center where I work is part of a strict vegetarian family. We do the cooking at the center and he always needed special meals. Since he wasn't allowed other foods to build him up (cheese, whole milk, peanut butter, eggs) until he turned 12 months, by the time he reached that age he was underweight and bruised easily. More importantly, he was confused. He was at an age when it is important to experiment and gain appreciation of a variety of foods. He didn't understand why certain foods were "forbidden" to him, why he couldn't eat what the other babies were eating. I can just picture him, 10 years from now being a bona fide steak, bacon, and hot dog junkie!
Anyway, good luck. You seem to be doing your homework. I'm sure you'll make an informed decision when the time comes.

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Kyo_San

starbaby, you said:
You should also include some poultry because other protein containing foods like dairy and eggs should not be introduced for the first 12 months.

I don't think so. Please read the Vegetarian Diets -- Position of ADA paper. Besides, poultry isn't vegetarian.

And, there is nothing wrong with practicing vegetarianism for moral reasons. I don't quite understand why, but some people can't accept others practicing vegetarianism for moral reasons (they seem to be quite disturbed by the idea). I'm sure many of those same people accept Catholics being Catholics and Muslims being Muslims and don't belittle their beliefs and practices. So, why can't they let Ethical Vegetarians be Ethical Vegetarians; why do they belittle their beliefs and practices.

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freckles2

Here's my 2 cents. I'm not a vegetarian. In fact, we live on a farm and raise beef and lamb. Our beef and lamb are raised very "ethically". In fact, they are babied. But as a meat producer, I even agree that some people eat too much meat.

Starbaby, I too have to disagree with you. My dd (now 20) had allergies when she was a baby and the doctor told me to give here nothing but soy milk until she was one year old. She was not malnourished by any means. After a year of age, I slowly started her on cereals, fruits, etc. Meat was the last to be introduced when she was around 2.

I respect everyone's right to eat what they want as long as they feed their children a nutritiously balanced diet. Kyo San has very good points for respecting the vegetarian diet.

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starbaby

Freckles, I would never disagree with a doctor's advice. Soy is often not recommended for infants because it can cause allergies, but a child's own physician knows that individual child's needs and exactly how to ensure that those needs are met through an optimal diet. It sounds as though your baby had very special needs. Thank goodness that you had a competent, caring doctor and that she is healthy. My cousin's little girl had many problems with allergies and reflux, and keeping her healthy was a struggle for that first year. She's doing great now- whew!
Kyo, why so defensive? I never said that people should not be vegetarians. What you do is your business, but others should not have to conform to your beliefs. It is difficult enough raising children and teaching them respect, dignity, and the difference between right and wrong without having to extend it to their eating habits. Health reasons notwithstanding (such as Freckles' baby's allergies) I simply think it is wrong to seek control of anyone's diet except YOUR OWN.
I did read the article that you recommended. It does not adequately address the special dietary needs of infants. I work in child development, and am required to stay updated about children's nutritional needs. Why don't you try any of these websites:
www.momshelpmoms.com/solids.html
www.storknet.com/articles/childnutrition9-12.htm
www.ironpanel.org.an/AIS/AISdocs/childdocs/Ccauses.html
Yes, people can be healthy on vegetarian diets. They can do this by supplementing their diets with foods that are not appropriate for babies. The information about babies dietary needs is very consistent. The only disagreeing information that I have seen is the information that is geared specifically toward vegetarians. Experts who are neutral and focused solely on infant health warn against dairy products, eggs,nuts, and nut butters for the first 12 months. The iron panel mentions that vegetarian and semi vegetarian practices are a common cause of iron deficiency in babies. Supporters of vegetarianism contradict all this. You can't argue that the vegetarian experts are not biased in favor of the vegetarian lifestyle, so of course they are going to say that it's ok to feed these foods to babies in lieu of chicken or turkey (it's true that babies shouldn't have red meats or fish). Why should we believe the vegetarians over the majority of general nutritionists and pediatricians?
A parent should seek to give their baby the optimal diet that will meet the baby's nutritional needs, not the "good enough" diet that will meet the parents' ethical needs. Thank you.
p.s. I know poultry isn't vegetarian. What do you think I am, an idiot?

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Kyo_San

starbaby,
The paper I referenced is from a OBJECTIVE source; the ADA (American Dietary Association) and is NOT a vegetarian organization, and they are NOT bent on vegetarianism. They are the largest association of professional dieticians in the world and very reputable. They clearly say that properly planned vegetarian diets are nutritionally adequate for ALL age groups. In fact, they even have a book on vegetarian diets for children, which I'm going to buy.

You said: Yes, people can be healthy on vegetarian diets. They can do this by supplementing their diets with foods that are not appropriate for babies.

I'm not an expert in nutrition, but know enough and have enough experience as a vegetarian (14 years) that I know you don't know what you are talking about. I know it's hard for some people to accept, but think about the fact that in India over 50% of the people (men, women and children) are vegetarian; that's over 500 million people. They've heen practicing vegetarianism on a large scale for thousands of years. So many people wouldn't be doing it for so long if it didn't work.

Many people practice vegetarianism for religious reasons. Hinduism, Jainism and Mahayanna Buddhism advocates vegetarianism. You probably wouldn't object to practicing vegetarianism for religious reasons. But, you don't like to see vegetarianism practiced for ethical reasons. It's ironic because these religions advocate vegetarianism as part of the practice of ahisma. (avoiding the harming of sentient life), which is the same reason why Ethical Vegetarians don't eat meat. I could have said "I'm raising my daughter vegetarian because that's part of our religion" and probably avoid this conflict with you. I could have truthfully said this because, I am a Mahayanna Buddhist.

But, even if I wasn't a Mahayanna Buddhist I would still be a Ethical Vegetarian. There are many Ethical vegetarians of all religions because there are people of all faiths (or no faith) that believe in ahisma.

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starbaby

Then why is it that the vegetarian info sites are the only ones which advocate giving those foods to babies? Did you even look at the sites I recommended about INFANT NUTRITION?
Hello! I'm talking about BABIES and the nutrition they need for the first 12 months. These are the issues that allyvera was concerned with.
Yes, vegetarianism works. For the last time, I never said it didn't. But NO, it is not optimal for infants. The vegetarian toddler under my care is still alive and reasonably healthy, as well as quite energetic. He is also still short, skinny, easy to bruise, and wants to eat everything in sight, regardless of what his parents want. Is he alright? Yes, he is. Is he where he could be? NO. Little ones, as I have said, deserve an OPTIMAL diet. Vegetarian eating is not optimal for infants. Get over it.
Furthermore, I myself really don't care to eat meat. Generally, given the choice of something else, I will turn it down. Am I healthy? I sure am. But I am an adult. I am long familiar with the world of food, so my tastes are fully developed. My body and immune system are also fully developed, so I can eat any alternative protein and iron source that I desire without the risk of developing allergies or deficiencies. This is not the case with children under 12 months. After their first year, once most foods have been introduced to them and their allergies and personal tastes have been determined, they can do just fine eating a vegetarian diet if they wish to do so. Again, it should be their choice- as long as foods are nutritious, no one else has the right to decide what they are and are not allowed to eat. And if they are given an example rather than an order, they are most likely to choose to eat as their parents eat. But screw up before those first 12 months are up, and you are going to have some problems during those toddler years.
By the way, there are some people who think FRUIT has feelings! How would you feel if, all through your childhood, your parents only allowed you to eat produce that had already rotted and fallen out of the trees?

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Kyo_San

starbaby,
Read the ADA paper again. It is from a NON vegetarain site. They are objective and highly reputable. This is what they say:

Well-planned vegan and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy and lactation. Appropriately planned vegan and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets satisfy nutrient needs of infants, children, and adolescents and promote normal growth.

If you are caring for a vegetarian baby that was malnourished it doesn't mean that vegetarianism doesn't work. Purhaps, the parents didn't do their homework and didn't know how to feed the baby. This could happen in a vegetarian or non vegetarian family.

I'm not going to stoop to the level of responding to the fruit has feelings argument.

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starbaby

I did read the report again. How many times are you going to tell me to read it (and change my view based on that one paragraph) without you reading and responding to any of the three sites that I recommended?
Why not respond to fruit has feelings? Whether it is true or not (and I reeeeally don't think that it is) it is what some people believe. They are as entitled to their beliefs as are you and I, and have every right to exercise their ethics by eating dead fruit. But they are not entitled to push it onto others.
You keep repeating yourself. You keep saying to read that report, and that nothing is wrong with ethical vegetarianism. Despite your accusation to the contrary, I have no problem with people eating vegetarian for moral reasons. I do have a problem with vegetarians who impose their morals on others. I have an even bigger problem with parents who deny their children the best nutrition available because they (the parents) have a need to be vegetarians and make their children do as they do. The child at my center (he'll be two next month) has been getting 2 healthy meals and 1 healthy snack a day from us, ever since he was 6 months old. His parents barely had to feed him anything else at home. I doubt that they are uninformed vegetarians because they are healthy-looking, physically fit adults. But the child is not thriving the way he could be, and you should see the look on his face whenever he finds a bit of chicken at the snack table and a caregiver has to snatch it out of his eager little fist. I'd understand if he was trying to eat a cockroach, but chicken is good for him.
While the site that you keep recommending may be objective, you do not appear to be. It doesn't seem that you have read any of the information that I told you about, and you don't seem willing to address the point that I made about teaching vegetarianism to children over 12 months (that have a doctor's approval to eat meat alternatives) by setting an example for them. I am not and never have been anti-vegetarian, but you seem to be incredibly anti-meat. Live and let live applies to everyone. Children's diets should meet their own needs, not their parents', and when they are ready they should make their own choice to give up meat. Kyo, read the sites I recommended and face the fact that most of the information out there simply does not agree with you.
Allyvera (OP), what's up with you? What have you decided?

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allyvera18

Wow didn't mean to spark a war here. What I've decided is that I really don't need to make that decision now. I'm still in college and I want to be in a steady career before starting a family so I have years to go. I appreciate all of your feedback. I understand the potential problems with nutrition. I just don't see how meat in the babyfood jars will sufficiently help nutrition. I eat eggs and dairy, so certainly my child will too, unless he doesn't like it or allergies or whatever. I guess a lot of it is left up to who I marry. If I marry a vegetarian, I'm almost positive the kids will be raised vegetarian in the house. Outside of the house, they can eat as much meat as they want if they so choose. However, if I marry someone who eats meat and who wants it every night, then the child will be free to eat meat if he wants to also. Sorry to start an argument here. I was just wondering about people's ideas.

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starbaby

Don't be sorry Allyvera. It's good to think about these things in advance. Posting this thread probably encouraged people to think a lot about childhood nutrition as well as vegetarianism. Both are more complex than most people realize, and, to do either of them properly, one must be informed. I hope everyone who saw this thread learned something. Allyvera, your decision is very sound. Good luck with college and with being a mommy someday.
p.s. those little meat sticks in the babyfood jars are no different then vienna sausages! that's just junk! they don't need to have meat until they are being weaned away from jar foods anyway.

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the4toofs

I was born and raised vegetarian. I am now 30 and have two small (7 and 3) kids of my own. My husband is NOT a vegetarian. We decided to raise them vegetarian. I wanted my kids to grow up knowing what meat was made out of. All these people who feel the kids get "jipped" by being vegetarian feel the opposite that I do. I want my kids to know it is dead animals they are eating. Which they are aware of. non-vegetarian kids have no choice in what they eat. There parents throw meat in front of them and they eat it without even knowing it used to have a face. My kids see my husband eating it and they see that I don't and they know what it is. They can make their own choices as they grow. Right now they are so in love with all animals they cannot imagine eating them. We do eat eggs, cheese, and milk. Which does come from animals, but no animals were killed for them. I only buy Egglands Best eggs that are roaming chicken farms. They are not in 1 foot square cages. And they feed their chickens vegetarian too. Like nature meant it to be. And we are in the process of switching to soy milk and cheese. (Getting used to it) And...just so there is no question my kids are both in the 95% for their height and about 75% for their weight. They are very healthy.

Have a great day everyone!!!

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Kyo_San

Hi the4toofs,
You have a good point; kids (especially when young) don't have much choice what to eat. Whether they are raised vegetarian or not, they have to eat what their parents provide for them. There are many children that want to become vegetarian as teenagers (or younger) and their parents don't allow them or discourage them. So, it's not really an issue of kids having freedom to choose. I think it's largely a cultural thing. Eating meat is much a part of Western culture. As a result, myths and negative attitudes about vegetarianism have developed.

I believe in being as honest as possible with children and think that young children should be fully aware of what meat is when they are ready to understand it. I became lacto-vegetarian at age 31. Spiritually, it was a great feeling. I envy those, like yourself, that are vegetarian from birth. Some children raised vegetarian later eat meat when they move out on their own and some choose to remain vegetarian. To many long time vegetarians, eating meat is unthinkable.

My wife and I are adopting a Chinese girl; we should have her in about a year. We plan to raise her vegetarian. If she is lactose-intolerant (many Chinese are) or doesn't like cows milk, we will probably give her B12 fortified soymilk. As I'm sure you know, vitamin B12 is the only nutrient that is lacking in an entirely plant-based diet. So, vegetarians need to use B12 (produced by bacteria) supplimented products if they only consume small quantities of or no dairy products.

I would like to ask you: at what age did you become aware that meat is the flesh of slaughtered animals (if you can remember). Thanks.

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freckles2

We all have our opinions about the rights and wrongs of eating meat.

However, I have a question for the4toofs - I just checked the Egglands Best website and it doesn't say anything about the chickens living conditions. (Maybe I missed something.) It does state they are only fed vegetarian. Actually our cattle and sheep are also fed vegetarian diets as the livestock feeders asked for a voluntary ban of animal byproducts in feed due to scrapie and mad cow. I just can't imagine that Egglands Best produces that many eggs on free ranges. But as I stated, I may be missing something.

And I don't want to come across as a smart a** but do your kids wear only vinyl or cloth shoes? I ask this because one day we were in a pizza parlor waiting room and a teenager was going on and on about eating vegetarian pizza because she didn't want to eat an animal. My daughter looked at her leather shoes and asked her where do you think your shoes were made of? Here reply was - well that was different!

I guess I would think if you are going to be vegetarian for ethical purposes - you would need to go the whole way and not eat anything that came from animals. What do you think happens to those chickens and cows when they have fullfilled their purposes? It is my understanding that a truly vegan diet does not even eat organic food that has been fertilized with animal manure.

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Kyo_San

Hi freckles2;

You asked the4toofs some good questions. She hasn't answered your questions yet, perhaps she doesn't visit this site often, so I'll explain how I see some of these issues.

I agree that eating meat and using leather aren't really any different from an ethical stand point; they are both products of slaughtered animals. Technically, vegetarian means not eating: any type of meat (including fish and poultry) or any byproducts of animal slaughter. So, technically, persons can use leather and still call themselves vegetarian. Some ethical vegetarians use leather and some go a bit further that just being vegetarian and don't use leather.

For the shoes, there's more to choose from than just vinyl and cloth. From what I understand, any shoes that say 100 Percent Manmade Materials don't contain any leather. Since I live in the desert and it gets hot here in the summer; I usually use canvas shoes in the summer since they breathe well. I use shoes made out of manmade materials that look like leather shoes in the winter. I buy inexpensive shoes from stores like Payless, but there are nicer (and much more expensive) shoes specifically made for vegans available.

I think that most people practice ahisma (avoiding hurting sentient life) to some degree. Various people practice ahisma to different degrees and draw the lines at different places. Some people are not vegetarian, but: don't kill or eat other people, are kind to their pets and support laws that: protect wildlife and put certain restrictions on animal slaughter to reduce the suffering of the animals. Some people are ethical vegetarian, but use products like leather. Some people are ethical vegetarian and don't use leather and avoid using any products that the production of involves animal suffering or slaughter. Some people (vegan) avoid eating or using any products that involve animal exploitation; and they believe that: if it was taken from an animals body or was produced by an animal it involves exploitation. In todays world it's almost impossible to practice veganism perfectly and vegans acknowledge that they they can't do it perfectly and some go to further extremes than others.

The point is that, not practising something perfectly doesn't invalidate the practice.I'm sure that done of us that belong to a religion practice our religion perfectly, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't practice it. And, none of us are the perfect parent, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to be the best parent we can be. There certainly is nothing wrong with being sensitive to the plight of other sentient life and trying ones best not to harm it. Even if we don't do as much as we could do, doing something is better than doing nothing and doing more is better than doing less.

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elfinidae

starbaby, i've looked at the sites you recommended (2 of which, by the way, I had to search for the article because the links didn't work--still having trouble with the ironpanel site), and they don't seem to contradict anything any of the vegetarians here are saying. your arguments are not based from anything in these articles, but from personal experience (the baby who bruised easily, etc.). the web sites merely suggest things like offering rice cereal as baby's first food and not to introduce nuts, citrus, honey, meat or milk for at least the first year. nowhere in any of the articles there does it say anything against beans, tofu, legumes, etc. or suggest chicken to supplement baby's meals.

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starbaby

Yes, beans are a good choice for babies (I mentioned that in my first post) Tofu, as it is a soy product is generally not reccomended because soy is a common allergen at such a young age. If a child has problems with dairy then a doctor can decide whether soy formula is the way to go, though that isn't necessarily a green light for all soy products. Likewise, just because a formula-fed baby is thriving, that doesn't mean that they are ready for whole milk, cheese and other dairy products. The sites may not specify exactly what to feed babies (I'll look again and check other sites to clarify) but they do need protein sources. Once they reach 6 months, breastmilk and formula do not meet all of their needs. Aside from beans, poultry is an appropriate food choice because most of the other sources of complete and essential proteins shouldn't be introduced during that first year.
Try the ironpanel again, it is a good source. My information is based on personal experience AND what I have read on those sites and other sources. As I am employed in a child development center, I'm required to stay current with these issues.

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the4toofs

Hi,

I never said I was vegan, I am vegetarian. There is a difference. And no, we do not wear any leather or suede. I try my darndest to not use anything an animal would have been killed or harmed for. Like I said, we are in the process of switching to soy products (cheese and milk). My parents became veggies in the early 70's. And not for any reason other than they loved animals too much to eat them. I feel the same.

Are you all aware that alot veggies don't eat Jell-O?? Why?? Because gelitin (sp) comes from horse and cow hooves. I knew that as a young child. Also if you want to get technical the cheese that we all eat everyday is made by way of animal products. Yes, for the milk but also for the enzymes. Which come from scraping the inside of a cow's stomach. (Obviously after they are dead) You need enzymes to make cheese. I am trying so hard to switch to soy. I will say honestly it's tough.

Kyo San, to answer your question...I'm not sure how old I was when I was aware that meat was from slaughtered animals. As long as I can remember. At about age 10 or so my dad wanted to bring me to a slaughter house to give me the real idea of how it's done. He never did (thank God) My son was 3 when I told him. He was watching t.v. and a McDonalds commercial came on and he said that the burgers look yummy. So I told him it was made from a dead cow. He was horrified, but now at age 7 I believe he is a veggie for life. I give my kids honest answers about ANYTHING they ask me. To the best of my knowledge.

Just so you all know too there are so many ways for we vegetarians to get our protein. Yes, tofu, but also lots of other things. I use alot of Morningstar Farm brand foods. They have veggie, hotdogs, burgers, bacon, sausage, chik patties, and chik nuggets. My whole family loves them (including my meat eating husband ) and they are high in protein and pretty low in fat.

For me being vegetarian is the way I am and will always be. There is no turning to eating meat now. I do not put down meat eaters it is everyone's own choice. Mine is to be meat free.

Have a great day everyone.
Angela

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Kyo_San

Thanks the4toofs. Thanks for answering my question. I decided to wait for my daughter to say something like why don't we eat meat and then answer truthfully. I'll tell her that to produce meat animals must be killed; the meat is taken from their bodies. We don't eat meat because we don't want to see that happen to them. I'll also bring her in contact with animals in the hope that she develops empathy for them.

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ChristineNJ

Angela,
Actually, not all cheese is made out of animal derived enzymes- some companies use enzymes from non animal sources. I don't have my list in front of me right now, but it is worth checking into which cheeses are vegetarian if you don't want to give it up altogether.

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Kyo_San

That's right. Some cheese uses rennet from plant sources and some cheese uses rennet from bacteria sources. The cheese you see in ordinary markets usually doesn't say where the rennet comes from. But, if you go to health foods stores or places like Trader Joe's you can find it.

Also, there are alternatives to using gelatine from slaughered animals. The gelatine in Jell-O and Gummy Bears is derived from slaughtered animals. But, there is a gelatinous material derived from seaweed called agar-agar. The Asians use it in their food and you sometimes see it in Western food. I think there are also other alternatives.

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ChristineNJ

Here is a list of rennetless cheeses I found online. HTH!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rennetless Cheeses

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Kyo_San

Thanks ChristineNJ. I didn't know about that list. It will make my cheese buying easier.

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the4toofs

Yes, I thank you both ChristineNJ and Kyo San for your information. I will check it out.

Have a great night.

Angela

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phyllis_philodendron

My only concern is that maybe telling a t hree year old that Hamburgers are "made from a dead cow" might be using scare tactics. I know this is the truth, but at three years old children have very different perceptions of the way things are than adults. (Read the post "Death, God and MOnsters") I can remember thinking things as a child and being afraid, and as an adult remembered how I perceived these seemingly ordinary things as a kid. But you know your child, I guess. However, every child is different.

I also disagree with the poster who said that children basically are forced to eat whatever's on their plate. This may be true with some, whose parents have no respect for their kids; but I think most parents realize their children may not like a particular product and don't even bother trying to feed it to them. This could include meat. Children from an early age are able to express their feelings about a particular food - have you ever tried to feed a baby something they don't like? They will make horrible faces, spit it out, etc. If they don't like it, they won't eat it. If this happens to be meat, then the parent should be in tune to this and try to supplement the diet with something else. But if a kid likes meat, then he likes it - he has made a choice. Sometimes a child's taste buds change - I used to love beets as a child but haven't eaten them since. You could at least give your child the chance to try it but maybe you are afraid he might actually like meat. I knew a woman whose 7 year old daughter was basically a vegetarian on her own; the parents weren't. THe girl basically didn't like any kind of meat and wouldn't eat it, and the mother couldn't and wouldn't force her to eat it, because she knew she'd get no where. I also think that an average child can deduce that meat products come from dead animals - children aren't stupid. Some are just more sensitive than others.

Just a thought.

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Kara_PA

. I do have a problem with vegetarians who impose their
morals on others. I have an even bigger problem with parents who deny their children the best
nutrition available because they (the parents) have a need to be vegetarians and make their
children do as they do.

The problem with this argument is that it can be made about anyone and anything -- after all, parenting is partly about making children do as their parents do. You could have a problem with parents who force their religion/values/sexual orientation/career choices/whatever on their children.

Most vegetarians make deliberate, conscious choices about their food and diet. Surely your center has more than one child whose parents think that a diet of hot dogs, chips, and kool aid constitutes a well rounded diet, thereby denying their child the best nutrition available, and forcing their diet on their child. The same can be said for ANY diet.

More than half the world's population practices some form of vegetarianism, either through choice or necessity. The one case above was an abberation (and maybe not even due to diet).

I'm not a vegetarian; I'm just unhappy with the poor argument being made here.

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Kyo_San

Hi Kara.
Purhaps you haven't looked at all the posts above in this thread. I hate to keep harping on it, but please look at the Vegetarian Diets -- Position of ADA (American Dietetic Association) paper. They say:

Well-planned vegan and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy and lactation. Appropriately planned vegan and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets satisfy nutrient needs of infants, children, and adolescents and promote normal growth.

The AHA (American Heart Association) also endorses vegetarian diets. If you are not familiar with these organizations, I suggest you read about them and find out who they are. Both are highly reputable and neither are vegetarian organizations. There are also a number of studies in the US and other countries that show that vegetarians overall have fewer health problems than non-vegetarians. I'm sure that well planned vegetarian diets are nutritionally as good as any other diet.

And, as mom4boys correctly pointed out, new vegetarians need to do research to make sure that all the nutritional requirements are meet.

As far as forcing views on children goes, you must admit that parents are ALWAYS tying to influence their children and teach values. They teach them things like to: be good citizens, have good manners, not be prejudice. Many bring their kids to church and sundayschool and have them baptized as babies. I think that these type of influences are generally accepted.

I intend to raise my daughter as a Mahayana Buddhist and a vegetarian. And, I am not going to rule over her with an iron fist, but want her to be exposed to these because I believe that they are very valuable and would like her to at least understand them and hopefully she will have an appreciation for them. If she hates them, then I'm not going to force them on her.

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Kara_PA

Kyo San, the beginning of my post was cut and pasted from a post from starbaby (on Jan.8). I was SUPPORTING vegetarianism and making the same point you are: that whether you choose a meat-less diet or not, whatever you do as a parent, diet or otherwise, you are imposing your choices on your child. That's a fact of life about parenting.

When I previewed the post, it was pretty obviously a cut & paste job. It did reformat when I submitted it, but what I wrote (including: Most vegetarians make deliberate, conscious choices about their food and diet. Surely your center
has more than one child whose parents think that a diet of hot dogs, chips, and kool aid constitutes
a well rounded diet, thereby denying their child the best nutrition available, and forcing their diet on
their child. The same can be said for ANY diet. ) should make it pretty clear that I am NOT critical of a vegetarian diet.

Thanks.

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Kyo_San

Hi Kara PA.
I was kind of confused about the post. I didn't realize that part of it was quotes from someone else; I should have realized it. Now after you mentioned it, the post makes sence to me. I'm sorry for the confusion; and thanks for the clarification.

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starbaby

Kara,
Calm down. Anyway, in response to what you said, I do have a problem with parents who force such things upon children, (career choices, sexual orientation, etc.) My opinion is that parenting is NOT about making children do as the parents do. It is about setting limits within the boundaries of safety, health, the law, and respect for others, and providing options and choices. You (as well as others) seem to forget what I said before, that, when given an example, children will usually choose to eat as their parents do. If so, then great, no problem. If not, there should still be no problem. A child in a vegetarian family who chooses to eat meat is not making THE WRONG choice, they are making a DIFFERENT choice, a choice that they have every right to make. If parents teach their children that they are WRONG for having ideas, feelings, opionions, and needs that do not match the parents', then they are setting the children up for all sorts of problems, and we all know that.
I seriously doubt that anyone with two brain cells to rub together actually believes that hot dogs, chips, and kool-aid make up a healthy diet. Yes, parents feed this to their kids, but not because it is nutritious. They do it because it is EASY. And parents often cop to doing whatever is the easiest. If an ill, or fatigued parent serves this kind of meal on occasion, it is relatively harmless, and probably a nice treat. If a parent serves this everyday, then they are lazy and negligent. And, furthermore, parents the world over have figured out that it is easier to spank than it is to teach. What do we say to those parents?
I reiterate, that parenting is about teaching and providing options, not about making the children do as parents do. Children are people in their own right, they are not extentions of their parents. And there are three things that adults cannot force upon them; sleeping, toileting, and EATING. However, these are the three things that parents most frequently seek control over, because these things often come into conflict with the parents'own needs. Parenting is a complicated dance in which a balance must be struck between these needs. I feel that making a child be a vegetarian sways too far in the direction of putting the parents' needs first. Once again, children will usually follow the example they are given, so there is no reason to arbitrarily forbid them to eat meat. I believe that parents who do this do it because it is EASIER for them not to have to provide their children with alternatives to their own choices, or, as Phyllis pointed out (smart lady!) because they are afraid that their children might actually like meat, and choose not to be carbon copies of their parents. OH MY GOD! God forbid that your child might decide to eat meat! God forbid that your child may not believe your religion! God forbid that your child may want to be a dancer and not an accountant! God forbid that your child may date outside your race! God forbid that your child may be a homosexual! It is a cataclysm! What is the world coming to when people decide to make their own choices?
Back to reality. You say that my argument is poor, but I strongly disagree. Your argument is that parenting is partly "making children do what the parents do" and I think that THAT is poor- it might be comfortable and convenient for the parents, but it is far from optimal for the children.
Starbaby
p.s. I am a psychology major, so I am a consumer of information, and I believe in statistics. Please let me know where I can find the statistic that indicates that "more than half the world's population" practices some form of vegetarianism.
p.p.s. Again, I am not against vegetariansim. Eat however you please, for it is your body and your decision. And I am grateful that so many vegetarians have shared so much information because I am not a big fan of meat and I need other sources for its valuable nutrients. But if, on occasion I do have meat, I do so without guilt. That is every person's right. It is strctly a personal choice, one that should never be forced, and one that should be respected.

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the4toofs

Starbaby,

I am a vegetarian mom, so in your opinion you think I should buy and cook meat for my children even though it is against everything I have known and believed in all my life. When I have always told them when they are somewhere else that it is their choice. NOT! I also have a question for you? Have you not fed your kids meat and given them the choice?? I doubt it. You cook casserole's and dinners with meat already in them and give it to the kids with the families meal right?? That is not a choice. You're showing them it is okay to eat dead animals and also nothing they should ever be concerned about.

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Kyo_San

I love the4toofs argument. It's true that I choose to be vegetarian later in life after moving out on my own. I wasn't given the choise whether or not to eat meat as a young child. My parents were feeding me meat at a very young age before I knew what was going on. If I had the choise I would have rather been vegetarian all my life and never have eaten meat. So the argument about freedom of choise can work both ways.

In order to really give freedom of choise the child would have to choose what foods to eat before being given regular foods and would have to make the moral decisions at that point. This is impossible at a very young age, so the parents have to make the decisions for the child. The child can change her/his diet later in life if she/he desires. And, a lot of vegetarian parents allow their children to decide whether to continue to be vegetarian when they figure their children are mature enough to make their own decision. Even though my parents didn't make the right decision for me, I don't blame them. They did the best they could, and couldn't anticpate the values I would develop.

Another thing is the fact that children don't grow up in a vacume. They learn and are taught values from their parents and from society. They, do, independantly make some choises but to a large extent peoples values are determined by their parents and the culture they are brought up and live in. And, I think that some people are more independant than others and eventually develop values that are quite different than the norm in their culture (I'm a good example of that), but most people pretty much stick with the values they learn from those around them.

And, starbaby, I hope you realize that what you are doing is trying to impose your values on us ethical vegetarians and our families. You say that morally it doesn't matter whether people eat animals or not. Well, this is your opinion; to me and to other ethical vegetarians it does matter.

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starbaby

The4toofs, get a grip! You have made assumptions about my life that have no basis in reality or anything that I have posted. Had you read my posts or my page accurately, you might have realized that I am a college student who works on campus with infants and toddlers, that I have not yet married and begun my family, and that I am not particularly fond of eating meat. Yet you somehow have envisioned me cooking up meaty casseroles, stuffing them down my kids' throats, and teaching them that it is OK to eat dead animals. Where is the logic? (by the way, since you have kids, I'm sure you know how impossible it is to feed them something that they do not like!)
Kyo, once again, you have misquoted me. I never said that, morally, it doesn't matter whether people eat meat or not. Conversely, I have frequently stressed that people's morals are their own personal choice, yet you are trying to accuse ME of imposing my morals on others. Well, ask yourself these two questions:
Who is the person on this thread who has sifted through others' comments (real or imagined) quoted (or misquoted) the portions that they found disagreeable and deliberately tried to shoot them down?
Who is the person who has never made a comment indicating any respect for those who choose to eat meat (as most meat eaters show respect for those who choose not to eat it)?
Who is the person who created an entire new thread simply to attack Phyillis for not agreeing with them?
Not me.
For the millionth time, I'm not anti-vegetarian, and I am inclined to turn down meat. As a choice (not an order)I think that vegetarianism is great. You have yet to acknowledge that fact in any of your arguments. Why is that? Is it so important for you to be RIGHT that you can't accept the possibility of merit in people's opinions when they are not in total agreement with you?
p.s.
Argumentation and debate are normal and healthy, but not once you reach the point of trying to call people on things they never even said or did. If you want to convincingly argue with people you should debate the things that they say, not the things you have imagined them saying.

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phyllis_philodendron

I think, that if you served "casserole's and dinners with meat already in them and give it to the kids" that if they don't like meat, they will pick it out and not eat it, for crying out loud. How many kids pick the mushrooms off a pizza? (or adults for that matter) How many kids pick off the frosting, eat it, and leave the cake part behind? It's not that hard to pick the meat out of a casserole if they don't want to eat it.

BTW, Starbaby, thanks for defending me. ;)

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Kyo_San

Hi starbaby.
I just want to clear up that, I created a different thread because I figured this one was long enough. But my idea didn't work because this one is still being used. I wasn't trying to make my disagreement with Phyllis stand out more.

Beside that, I'm not saying anything else. I don't see any point an discussing this subject any more; it's already been discussed to death.

Have a great night. (as Angela would say)

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Kara_PA

Starbaby, you've missed the point -- and my blood pressure never went up.

Part of being a parent is making your child do as you do. Not in the sense that you're coercing, forcing, or otherwise holding a gun to the kid's head, but in the sense that you are modeling, teaching, condoning/condeming, and limiting.

It's an extension of linguistic relativity. What we know, how we perceive reality, is either determined by, or filtered through, our language (the Sapir/Whorf hypothesis). For children, what they know, what's possible in their world, is what is within the parameters their parents set.

A devoted vegetarian could easily make the same charge that you do ("I feel that making
a child be a vegetarian sways too far in the direction of putting the
parents' needs first.")-- that by denying a child a vegetarian diet, the meat-eating parent is forcing her/his morals, values, and "meatful" diet on the child, and putting the parents' needs first. It's a poor argument because it's not falliable -- you can make it about anything. A Catholic could say that a Jewish father taking his child to Temple was denying them baptism in the Catholic church ... or vice verse. Get it? You yourself say that, when given a choice, children will do (eat) as their parents do. You have to acknowlege that it's the same thing about meat, too.

And, while it's nice to have ideals and to lecture parents about "reality" when you're a college student without kids (believe me -- I'm a former college student and current college professor, so I *really* do know), your statement about getting "Back to reality" is off target. My son often doesn't want to wear his coat, would prefer not to hold my hand and to run headfirst into traffic, and would probably prefer cheese puffs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner most days. Do I "make" him do otherwise? In the sense that I present different options, enforce, safety, help him make better choices -- you bet your @ss I do. But he has a number of dolls, and I'm careful not to talk about when he grows up and gets married, or make cute remarks about him having a girlfriend. At 19months it's impossible to tell whether he's heterosexual (and, since my area of research is in gender, identity, and communication, these are issues I'm especially aware of).

There are things parents can -- and should control. We'd be negligent otherwise. And, while there are things that we cannot, and probably should not, control, as PARENTS we have to do what is best for our children, our families, and ourselves. That's not selfish, that's human, and it's necessity. And let me tell you, it sure as heck isn't convenient or comfortable 99% of the time. Boy, I hated it when people said it to me at your age -- but it's true that you won't, can't, will never know until you have your own child. At which point you'll probably be eating your words. Most of us are.

The information on vegetarianism comes from a cookbook we have. I haven't looked up the primary source - and, frankly, I'm not going to waste the time to do so. While I don't have the blind faith in statistics that you do (after 8 or so stats/methods courses, I'm more accurately critical/analytical), given what I know about the majority of the world's religions and worldwide ecnomic/nutritional intake, I'm satisfied with the statement.

I also find it ironic that your "OH MY GOD"s -- of children growing up to be a dancer, or gay, or of a different/no religion -- are being levied against vegetarians ... who generally happen to be more liberal than not.

For the record (again), I do eat meat -- I had beef tacos for dinner tonight. My 19mo son, however, had morningstar farms soy hot dogs, organic cheese, and carrot/mango juice we made.

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azmom

Telling a three year old that Hamburgers are "made from a dead cow" is definitely a scare tactics.

To be fair, you should also telling the child he is eating dead vegetables, dead fruits, dead plants and the dead baby of plants (such as soy bean).

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phyllis_philodendron

Thank you, Azmom!

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shyladyUK

My DD turned ME vegetarian and it's the best thing she ever did. If you read about all the health risks connected with eating meat you would realise that you are doing your children the biggest favour you could ever do.

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phyllis_philodendron

Maybe health risks in the UK - I would be afraid to eat beef there, too.

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the4toofs

azmom, my kids are well aware that anything that grows is living. And as soon as we pick, cut, or pluck it, it is dead. They make their own choice there.

Some of you will never see the way my children and I eat as healthy or normal. Whatever. And yes, I would like my children to grow up somewhat like me. I feel I am a good person with values. Most people like me. My children and I both appreciate all forms of life. (including plants) And they are both sensitive, caring people themselves. I would love to take some of the credit for that.

I will not be checking back on this forum. Too many people have thrown this issue way out of hand.

And starbaby, your way of saying "get a grip" and "calm down" as your first sentence in reply to someone really stinks. You could try to be a little nicer.

Have a great day everyone!!
Angela

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shyladyUK

It's not just beef that is dangerous. With all the antibiotics and steroids and hormone growth additives that animals are force fed or injected with, EVERY animal is a potential death trap, ANYWHERE in the world.

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freckles2

Well I've been watching this thread with a great deal of interest and I understand everyone's opinions because they have been for the most part opinions. While I do raise sheep and cattle, I still respect peoples wishes to not eat meat. But shylady is now stating a mistatement. Not EVERY animal is injected with antibiotics and steroids and hormones. We raise sheep and cattle and our livestock are not injected with steroids and hormones. And the only time that our livestock receive any antibiotics is when they are sick. Would you want our animals to die because we don't treat them? Our lambs that we sell for market rarely receive antibiotics because we make sure the ewes are healthy prior to having the lambs. The only treatment that are cattle receive (if they are not sick) are vaccinations. Please back your statment up with facts not mistruths. You can also readily buy any forms of meat (pork, poultry, beef and lamb) that are organically and/or naturally grown.

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Kyo_San

Hi Kara PA.

You made some good points. I can appreciate that just conceptualizing about children is much different than actually having children and being responsible for them.

Another thing is, I think you made a really good point about not making remarks to children that suggest that they should be straight unless you know for sure that they are straight. It's hard enough for people to be gay without feeling the need to live up to their parents sexual expectations for them. As I understand it, people's sexual preference is already wired in at birth. Is that true?

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freckles2

Another comment that I failed to make in my previous message. If we do give an antibiotic to an animal that is to be slaugthered, there is a FDA mandated withdrawal period. For example if we give a antibiotic called LA 200 and we must wait 28 days after administering this antibiotic before we can send to slaughter. However, as I explained above, we rarely have a need for antibiotics in our livestock because we are careing farmers and provide good clean facilites.

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Kara_PA

Kyo San,

It's debatable. But whether it's sexual orientation (biological) or preference (choice), I want my son to know that we will always love him -- and respect all others.

Freckles, thanks for the information. I've been chosing organic dairy products for my son because I'm concerned with the transmission of antibiotics and hormones -- particularly growth hormones.

It's nice to hear from a farmer who provides a healthy and clean environment. I've been involved in a couple of anti-hog factory fights around here, and I think that if most people knew the condition of corporate livestock "farming" there'd likely be a lot more vegetarians -- or people shopping for your product!

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