Do you think children should be brought up vegan or vegetarian?

Alexia

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There are some people that do, but is it wise and right to impose this on them when they don't have a choice?

I've not been faced with this dilemma yet, but I have discussed it with friends and we all decided a fair thing to do was to bring them up on a vegetarian diet and if there were issues, then consider adding other types of protein. Once the child was a teenager or able to understand what meat was, then give them a choice of what diet they wish to follow.

For those with children, would you bring them up as vegans/vegetarians?
 

Torialou

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I think that it is alright to make meals in the home that at vegan and vegetarian as long as the children like them but I do think that if a child shows an interest in trying a meat out of the home, as long as we are not talking junk food then they should be encouraged to try and make their own minds up. No one should ever have values forced upon them as far as I think even Children.

I can see your thoughts about them deciding as a teenager but I actually first became a vegetarian at 8 years of age, fully my choice, my parents did and still do eat meat. My mum was open minded enough and has never stopped me, I then became vegan and over the years moved onto my current diet through choice.

I would also worry that if I did not give them the choice they would not just go behind my back at parties or trips into the shops with friends to grab burgers or something at a fast food place just because they are banned and they want to try them.
 

Alexia

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The school my cousin's children attends has vegetarian option for school lunch which is something I didn't have, so it's more accepted these days. Even places like Burger King had a kids vegetarian bean burger so it's possible for children to be vegetarian in their everyday life.

Given that it's easier to incorporate vegetarianism into a child's life there isn't a reason not to these days. I do think they should have a choice later on, but educating them into a healthy way of eating can also prevent obesity and other dietary issues.
 

erilol

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Who can trust children to come up with their own mealplan? To quote my favorite blogger, Vegan-because-****-you,

Parents need to stop forcing their beliefs down their children's throats when it comes to what they eat! ALL PARENTS should not impose their views on their children.

You can't feed them meat, because then you're forcing your belief that non human animals have no right to life and deserve to be killed for a 5 minute meal down their throat.

You can't make them eat only plant based foods, because then you are FORCING YOUR RIDICULOUS belief that non human animals deserve to live free from human oppression down their throat.

THE ONLY SOLUTION IS OBVIOUS--let the child have 100% control over what they eat. This is an excellent idea, a generation of children with a dietary intake of legos and f*cking dirt.

SO LONG AS NO ONE IS FORCING THEIR BELIEFS ON ANY KIDS IT IS FINE.
 
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SweetPea

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Unless being Vegan/Vegetarian is a new lifestyle being adopted, and the children are already grown (and most likely been given meals that were not vegan/vegetarian based), then yes...they may be given the same type of foods being eaten by the parents...(i.e if before the child is born, the lifestyle existed, then certainly, with the various benefits to gain, why not bring them up on same?).
 
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The vegan diet is very nutritious and includes so many delicious foods, that are more than adequate for the growing child. I think it is a form of love to feed your child the best diet for them. I have watched numerous children grow strong on a vegan diet, and become productive adults.
 

Vickeree

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I'm still on the fence about my future children being brought up as vegan but I would definitely limit if not eliminate all the processed food and extra sugars that most children grow up with and train them to eat whole healthy food instead. It's much easier to start them early on a healthy diet than change it when they grow up and they can transition into eating only vegetables much easier if they want to later in life.
 

SweetPea

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I'm still on the fence about my future children being brought up as vegan but I would definitely limit if not eliminate all the processed food and extra sugars that most children grow up with and train them to eat whole healthy food instead. It's much easier to start them early on a healthy diet than change it when they grow up and they can transition into eating only vegetables much easier if they want to later in life.

Good points Vickeree :) I agree that it does help the children in the end, in so many ways... They will receive much needed nutritional benefit and it will assist in a better transition for them. A price cannot be placed on the significant value they receive and the number of health maladies they will avoid.
 

jillyan10

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I don't think so. Being a vegan is a choice to make by the person and you cannot insist children to become a vegan unless they want it too. Children mostly like something sweet so they like eating fried chicken with ketchup and pork, but not vegetables. It is a good discipline thought to let them eat a little of meat and a little of vegetables so that the nutrients there body needs will be met.
 

kim1984

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I'm still on the fence about my future children being brought up as vegan but I would definitely limit if not eliminate all the processed food and extra sugars that most children grow up with and train them to eat whole healthy food instead. It's much easier to start them early on a healthy diet than change it when they grow up and they can transition into eating only vegetables much easier if they want to later in life.

This is really my philosophy too. I don't know that I would make that choice for my child to be vegan or not - and my husband isn't vegan and that's perfectly okay by me (no judgement here, it's a personal choice for people)...but he has a say in our child's life too. I never want to be a pushy vegan because I think all that does is alienate people and make people think veganism is some sort of cult where we all wear aluminium foil hats and chant mantras all day. I think giving my child a balanced diet with minimal processed food and sugars to me is the best approach. Then if later in life they want to be vegetarian or vegan then that choice is theirs to make.
 

Josie

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I'm struggling with this now. I've raised my children to be themselves at all cost. I will not impose my beliefs on them or hold power over them. But it's my job to guide them.. keep them safe and healthy and I've seen and studied enough to know that meat isn't healthy, setting aside the dark side of it. Sure, many live long lives on it, but that's a weak argument for it. Better safe than sorry in my books.

Anyway, both of my children were raised on meat. I thought human beings needed it. I was wrong. After seeing what actually goes on in the meat and dairy industry, I became vegan overnight. And so did my children, because I pay for the food lol. They didn't even notice at first, because we barely ate meat as it is.. but then I brought all of this to their attention so they would be informed and make up their own minds. As sad as they were about what the animals are going through, they were raised on meat, like meat, and didn't want to give it up. One of them is old enough to decide for himself at this point, so he's eating meat again. The other though.. I'm struggling. For now we've agreed that when he's out with others or he's paying for it himself, he can eat whatever he wants, it's his body, but I hope he respects his father's and my feelings and doesn't expect us to contribute financially to the suffering of animals or prepping his body for poor health down the road. It's out of love, not dictatorship lol. So far it's working for us.. none of us want to impose on the others, so for the time being, this is how we do it. I still feel bad though, because I know he craves it.. but I'm trying to get over it, because I'm doing something for his health, and the lives of others, it's not a bad thing.
 

Jesse

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I don't have kids yet, but when I do I'm going to be honest with them about where meat and animal products come from. Then I'll let them decide on their own. I think it's cruel to force your own diet on your children. They'll probably eat vegan until they're old enough to make their own decisions and to understand what it is theyre eating, but then they can decide on their own.
 

nytegeek

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I think kids should be brought up eating what you eat. When they get a bit older let it be their choice. Provide them with information so that they can make an educated decision.
 

kianthras

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I personally believe that once children reach a certain age they should be given the choice of what they want to eat (assuming all choices are nutritious). However, until they reach the age that they should be fed meat, simply so that they are exposed to it and don't find it weird. Because we are in societies that primarily eat meat, its not fair to our children to shelter them from something they are going to see a lot of, and will inevitably get made fun of for. Once they are of an age to understand completely their choice, then they should be able to make that choice and commit to it fully, rather than having it forced upon them.
 

nytegeek

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People that are vegan for moral or ethical reasons might have a problem feeding children meat. Now if they choose to eat it when they are old enough to decide that is different.
 

Josie

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Exactly. I'm not capable of willingly putting down money towards suffering. Animal suffering, human suffering.. no suffering. I don't support it in any way unless my life depends on it and that's not exactly support lol. My children may have been raised on meat until recently, but I know vegans who have raised their children the same way and they aren't made fun of for it. It's not weird to not eat meat just because it's always been done. If you want to live like a caveman, have at it lol, better clear out your entire kitchen.. and house.. the woods are thataway.. but we don't have to anymore. It's not necessary for our health (a lot of science even says it's awful for your health.. especially whatever that factory raised mess is in the grocery stores) and it's not necessary to do things to fit in with a mind numbed crowd anymore either. My kids can eat whatever they want when it's someone elses dime, but I will never contribute to it as long as I have a choice.
 
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Monica

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This conversation triggers so much emotion... I have two children, ages 1 & 3. I am not okay with feeding them meat. Just today, my husband said his friend is coming over tomorrow and they are grilling steak together. I instantly commented that we needed to make an additional meal for the kids and I. He didn't disagree but I just wish my entire family could eat vegan, or vegetarian at the very least. I don't want to even see meat at my house!

As long as I am constantly preparing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, I am comfortable with my young children eating as I do. When I start to slack in cooking and make more quick meals or too much peanut butter and jelly, then I let my husband give them any meat he prepares. My husband is actually very supportive and happily eat every meal that I prepare for him. I am very fortunate to have his support. As I do most of the shopping and cooking, I get the say in what I'm serving everyone. I am a health fanatic, so while my main reason for skipping meat is to stop supporting the cruelty of it, I am also constantly researching how to maintain a healthy diet without meat and dairy.

It took a little bit of time for my three year old to stop eating meat. I harshly explained the reality of it... "It's dead animals." We had one of our pet chickens get picked up by a hawk and it had a huge affect on her heart. I explained to her that "people eat chicken just like hawks, but we can decide not to... We don't have to eat chicken because it's not nice." Ever since her the loss of her pet, she hasn't wanted to eat meat. I do let her eat meat while we are out of the house though. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't. I try not to show disgust if she tells me she ate meat. I don't want her to sneak it and indulge when I'm not around... so I am working on being more respectful of her choices.
 

LilAnn

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There are some people that do, but is it wise and right to impose this on them when they don't have a choice?

I've not been faced with this dilemma yet, but I have discussed it with friends and we all decided a fair thing to do was to bring them up on a vegetarian diet and if there were issues, then consider adding other types of protein. Once the child was a teenager or able to understand what meat was, then give them a choice of what diet they wish to follow.

For those with children, would you bring them up as vegans/vegetarians?
Yes, they should. If you can make them eat healthy through out their childhood they are more likely to have healthy eating habits when they grow up and move out on their own.
 
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nytegeek

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I am frustrated by people that feel the need to impose their diet on others. One of my sisters decided to remove meat from her diet when we were young and still at home. Nobody objected or tried to dissuade her yet she felt the need to try and force her choice on the rest of the family and it was very frustrating.
 

Monica

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I am frustrated by people that feel the need to impose their diet on others. One of my sisters decided to remove meat from her diet when we were young and still at home. Nobody objected or tried to dissuade her yet she felt the need to try and force her choice on the rest of the family and it was very frustrating.
There is just a lot of emotion involved in giving up meat, especially when one completely cuts it out of their diet and opens their eyes to the reality of what they've been paying for their entire lives. Death. It doesn't matter the reasons for it (tradition, religious regions, you grew up eating it, etc etc). It's hard to watch other people eat meat, when you personally have been researching about alternative, cruelty-free options that are just as nutritious. It's also hard to remember how you blindly ate meat in the first place... The point is your sister probably had a lot of built up sadness and anger about the unnecessary animal cruelty and death occurring. And when no one else understands your compassion, it's fricken difficult to exist. That's how I feel.