Argument with my autistic son about being vegan.

Hog

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I have two sons. The older autistic son insists on having animal products such and milk and cheese. Instead of arguing with him, I lie and say that our milk and cheese are animal-based products. I asked my son, "If you can not taste the difference between the vegan and nonvegan, then who cares?" I asked him to watch farm animal abuse videos, but, he refuses to watch them. The concept of being connected to his food source is entirely foreign to him.

My next step to converting him into a vegan lifestyle will probably involve some sort of bribery.
 
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Poppy

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I have a mentally disabled adult daughter. She says she's a vegetarian and hates meat. But what she hates is meat that looks like meat and needs a knife - steak, pork chops or roasted chicken. If it's ground and shaped to fit on a bun, she thinks that's fine and you can't convince her its meat. So she eats hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and sausage patties, all the while saying "Its not meat, it's a hamburger!" Lol.

She no longer lives at home, so we don't have to feed her regularly, thank goodness.
 
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Hog

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Thank you for your reply. At least, I know that I am not alone.

I will probably offer my son a faster Internet connection or a new computer if he can accept the vegan lifestyle. Maybe, I should have junk food Fridays to bribe him.
 

Forest Nymph

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Autism has different levels of severity. For example I think high-functioning autistic Greta Thunberg understands exactly why she won't eat animal products, and this reason is all-consuming for her in a pressing way that actually transcends "normals"...but I know a lot of people who are on the autism spectrum are more impressed by personal tastes and textures than anything else.

It sounds like your son cares more about what he originally believed was healthful or nutritious. My ex-partner was like that. I believe he was undiagnosed on the autism spectrum, because his mother said *They* (the great Holy They) knew something was "wrong" with him by the time he was in Kindergarten, but as a loving mother of an Only Child, she was having none of it. None of it.

Fast foward to my meeting him as a very intelligent and precocious young man. He could spit facts for days about Italian art house directors and underground music, but to the point that it was actually annoying. Like when we were living together I was often subjected to long monologues about Lucio Fulci or the Misfits. I could have learned so much more from him if he just slowed down and stopped dumping information, but that was his disability. His "disability" (which I still think of a different ability) made him a genius really when it came to things like art house film, more so than literally any other hipster I've ever met anywhere in my entire life (in my entire life, but of course, I've never met the great ones who make the films etc.)

But you see, he had to have all of his films and music in alphabetic order. If they went out of order, he would scream. He would sometimes yell, throw things, and break things. That's why we broke up. I didn't understand at the time that this was him expressing frustration that he couldn't control without medication. But I suspected. I suspected he needed medication, and so did my mother. Who wants to live with that? Someone who starts screaming because things aren't in alphabetical order, or because you laugh at the title of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (he got offended because it's such a great film and I was stupid enough to laugh). For his credit, I can say that he was very clean, organized, well-dressed, friendly, conversational and willing to please at any cost when he decided I was one of the Things He Was Obsessed With.

Which brings us to the problem. He only identified with things he was obsessed with. His family, his movies, his music, and eventually me. He also had this attitude towards food. He thought vitamin D milk was healthier than skim milk because it had vitamin D on the label (how to explain that all dairy milk had vitamin D added?) He thought River Phoenix died because he was vegan. He would encourage me to eat multiple yogurts when I wouldn't eat meat (I was a vegetarian then). But he would really only eat certain foods. You could take him out to dinner but because it was all so foreign, instead of feeling happy, he would feel uncomfortable and always order the exact same thing.

I don't know him anymore. It was decided several years ago that was not possible from either direction. But I've never forgotten how specific he was about what he ate. It was really irritating to me, as a person who loves variety. I probably fell in love with him because his knowledge of underground Italian film was so exotic. What a laugh.