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    #160985 - 06/25/13 07:33 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    I can speak for myself. I became vegetarian at 13 after probably six or more years of arguing with my parents about it. I just had, like the OP's kiddo, a visceral reaction to killing animals for food. I wasn't able to differentiate btwn my dogs and cows in terms of why I'd feel okay eating one and not the other. My parents tried to force me to eat meat up until I was 13 which led to huge battles at the dinner table with me crying and being told that I couldn't leave the table until I ate the meat. I'd sit at the table literally for hours crying until they gave in. I'd also slip hamburger patties out of the bun and feed them to the dog and just eat the bun pretending that there was still a hamburger in there. At 13, my mom told me to just cook my own food.

    At 16 I went vegan and have been vegan since. Both of my kids are also vegan. They ate a strict o/l vegetarian diet for part of their childhoods as a compromise with my omni dh and we let them decide when they started asking questions. They both went vegan in the past two years. Dd14 was vegan for the first two years as well b/c dad was living and working out of state during that time and I wasn't going to feed her things I wasn't eating. I am also Buddhist, although I wasn't raised Buddhist, and, for me, my dietary choices are an aspect of that belief system.
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    #160987 - 06/25/13 07:37 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    So far, God willing, long may it last, DD has no problem with being higher up the food chain than her food. She devours fish with relish and even likes sashimi.
    She likes all meat that she has had - I think that living in the country helps she sees hawks taking out other birds etc on a regular basis.

    I bow hunt and her reaction upon seeing a deer that I had harvested for the first time was chortlingly chanting 'venison for dinner' and dancing about. I think it is important for children to understand that there is a food chain and it is a natural part of Life from the 'get go' and it seems to have worked with DD (so far).

    I respect Jainism etc but I could never do it - I like root vegetables too much smile
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    #160988 - 06/25/13 07:37 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    I really do think DDs David Attenborough obsession was key to her choosing not to be distressed by eating meat. Avid fascination with animal development and the natural world was very useful in her being quite matter of fact about death as well as food actually. She learned very young that people and animals die, those left behind are devastated and life goes on...

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    #160992 - 06/25/13 09:26 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I think that some of this may be an innate distress reaction among particularly sensitive children, as well. Some kids are so emotionally OE about this.


    As startlingly empathetic as my DD is (and she is), she has no problem watching me... erm... prepare rabbits for consumption, and has no problem with eating animals. She DOES, however, have a problem with the maltreatment of animals, or factory farming, as it were. She asks a LOT of questions about euthanasia methods, and they are tough questions, frankly.

    But for other kids, death is just plain horrifying, and if the purpose of that death is to serve some human purpose, it's just wrong in their hearts and minds. DD really isn't that way-- and never has been. She knows why animals are used in research, agrees with their use as food and as pets/tools. She seems to have adopted the attitude that animals should be treated very well while they are living, they should be VERY humanely killed (when that is necessary) and that those deaths should not be meaningless.

    I can't really argue with any of that, though I tend to go a bit further than she does there, in spite of my many years of animal research.


    Philosophically, she isn't wired to think of animals as having souls, I think. She also LOVES meat, so I don't think that there has ever been any real chance that she'd wake up some morning and realize that she is eating furry creatures. She's always known and it doesn't bother her. (Weirdly.) Bugs me a lot more than her, honestly.


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    #160994 - 06/25/13 10:31 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    Another belief DS5 has toyed with about animals and food is that he would only eat predators capable of eating him. Sort of a reciprocity arrangement among species. This was short lived since I wouldn't give into his requests for bear and shark.


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    #160995 - 06/25/13 11:13 PM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    Mr W toyed with this last year and he is very empathic. Then he got to see a hawk take down a duck and eat it. The duck was maimed and fought for its life before the hawk won and commenced a messy meal.

    "It is only natural," was his conclusion.

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    #160999 - 06/26/13 03:17 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    squishys
    Unregistered


    I couldn't eat fish or poultry from age four (probably because I have always loved fish and birds), and have been an on again off again vego since 12. I have been a full time vego since I was 25. I have never been able to eat meat on a bone, or eggs or milk.

    DS6 only likes white meat, and DS16m only likes fish. I haven't had the talk about where meat comes from, but I assume my eldest has put two and two together. I'm not going to force my views upon them, I do hope they decide to go vegetarian when they are older. I do a lot of animal activism and charity work fo animal charities and my eldest has asked to join me the next time (he is scared of most animals, but cares about their well-being very much). I think with them growing up with me talking about animals being equal, they will choose to not eat a fellow being on this Earth.

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    #161002 - 06/26/13 06:16 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: doubtfulguest]
    DAD22 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    My daughter used to like a story from an iPad app about Tuffy the pony. At one point, my wife and I cooked some pork and it came out a bit tough. When we stated that the pork was "tough" my daughter misunderstood. She thought we were eating Tuffy the pony. She paused for a bit... and continued eating.

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    #161004 - 06/26/13 06:26 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: HowlerKarma]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    She seems to have adopted the attitude that animals should be treated very well while they are living, they should be VERY humanely killed (when that is necessary) and that those deaths should not be meaningless.


    this, exactly, is DD's position - and it reminds me so strongly of why i quit meat way back in the day. she's very big on treading lightly on the earth and i think she really doesn't want to eat animals when she could be eating something else. LOVE the Michael Pollan suggestion - i've got several of his books on my shelf. she'd be totally ok with those comprehension-wise, and it would really help her extend her thinking on the subject.

    and this is a bit of an aside, but it relates to the sensitivity issue... DD is fine with death in general - she asked about it very early, and really seemed to really process the idea that a living thing will eventually expire. she can calmly project herself into a future where her parents are dead - it's a little weird, but not morbid or ghoulish. i wonder if this is why she places such a high premium on being good to each other while we're all still alive... at any rate, she is also fine with animal research, as long as the animals are treated humanely (and she is TOTALLY aware of these issues, due to her long-standing fascination with surgery/cancer research.)

    and sorry if this is OT, but it's one of my favourite stories about DD, so bear with me for a bit - y'all always understand and i'm so relieved for that. when DD was about 2, she asked me for a small album of photos of my father "so that she could remember him, too." she continues to ask me about him often, and routinely includes him in lists of her family - it's very interesting that in spite of his death, she has managed to build a relationship with him anyway - and that feels like such a gift.

    and thanks all, for your stories and suggestions! they're all amazing and great.


    Edited by doubtfulguest (06/26/13 06:27 AM)
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    #161005 - 06/26/13 06:29 AM Re: the age of vegetarianism [Re: KJP]
    doubtfulguest Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/13
    Posts: 429
    Originally Posted By: KJP
    Another belief DS5 has toyed with about animals and food is that he would only eat predators capable of eating him. Sort of a reciprocity arrangement among species. This was short lived since I wouldn't give into his requests for bear and shark.


    that is fantastic.
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