I had an interesting discussion with a collague today, he was telling me about a vegetarian couple he knows, and that their 5-year-old is also being raised vegetarian.
Then he went on to say that people (even this kid) should be able to decide what they eat. Apparently the parents deny this kid meat also during visits to granma's etc. My collague's main argument was that kids should't be denied this kind of thing, but let them decide themselves.
It didn't occur to me at the time, but on the way home, that isn't this a very typical example of seeing a thing in your personal moral light? Like, I would drop off my chair if I heard him say that 5-year-olds should be able to decide, say, whether or not to eat a frog, or hit another child, or cut the neighbour's cat's tail off. These are all things most people see as morally wrong, and therefore it's seen morally good to teach the child not to do these things. Apparently for my collague eating meat is not morally wrong, and therefore the kid should decide: he sees eating meat as an act that can be compared to choosing what to wear for kindergarten, rather than something comparing to picking a fly's wings off and leaving it to suffer.
I await the day when we'll finally be there, that meat is once and for all compared with torturing and killing with your own hands, rather than something 'normal' !
I think the overwhelming
I think the overwhelming thing that comes across to me out of that conversation is "to each their own". It's none of my business if someone is vegetarian and raises their children that way, in fact I know of several such families. I certainly wouldn't be talking about it to someone else and imposing my opinion that it's wrong! (if that was my opinion, which it's not)
To me that's the beauty of people, their right to choose what they want for themselves and their families and it's not my place to impose my opinions on them.
That's a very thoughtful
That's a very thoughtful comment - thanks Sinéad!
When my kids when to my Mom's house, I always knew that they would have things that I wouldn't necessarily let them. She always had lots of candy and treats which we keep to a minimum at our home. The big issue with meat or not, however, is that if the child hasn't been eating meat and then eats some at grandma's house, the child may end up ill.
There are many reasons for abstaining from eating meat, including religious. I raised my daughter in a mostly meatless household, however if we went out, the choice was hers. I do know that if you maintain a vegetarian diet you can at the least become uncomfortable and at the worst ill when eating meat. As for your colleague...he can raise his kids as he sees fit and let others do the same. You will never start a quicker argument/fight then when you try to tell someone else what is right/wrong, good/bad for their kids. When my daughter was young I had people act like I was over-protective, neurotic because I wouldn't let her drink "just a sip" of beer, or sit in their laps while they were smoking.
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