The ethics of vegan parenting

My wife and I disagree on whether or not to feed Lamia meat.

My wife believes that Lamia should be raised vegan, and can choose for herself when she is older if she wants to eat meat. I believe we should feed her meat so that she knows what she is choosing when she is older, if she wants to become a vegetarian. I refuse to force our dogs to be vegetarian, so I expect no less for my daughter.

Omnivore is the default setting for humans, right?

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10 Responses to “The ethics of vegan parenting”

  1. I have to disagree. Omnivore is only the default setting if you make it that way. I think it would be great for your daughter to be raised a vegan and decide when she’s older which path she wants to follow. Great question, I think this is something many people are struggling with!

  2. I think this is more about which value system you’ll both subscribe to in raising your child than it is vegan vs. vegetarian vs. omnivore. Since you have differing viewpoints, it’s something you’ll want to negotiate respectfully.

    The trick for you will be that I suspect she’s used to you ceding to her on issues of parenting. If that’s the case, than this may be the first time you’ll challenge and may not be received as well as had there been other co-operative agreements along the way.

    This same kind of balancing act goes on in other families, except the value system struggle might be around religion or politics or culture. In all those realms both of you can find voices that support your viewpoint and refute the others’. The thing is, at the end of the day those voices are outside your family, and so they really don’t count for much.

    Just some thoughts.

    Regina (who originally was not going to touch this subject with a 10 foot pole).

  3. Jensboys Says:

    My point of view is that a childhood without a McDonalds Hamburger and Nugget obsession is no childhood at all 🙂

    Good luck to you my friend … and to your wife. This is a touchy subject for many, and a very personal one.

  4. dizzydreamer528 Says:

    be incredibility diligent if you do decide for her to be vegan as well- its hard for children to eat enough options to get a balanced diet- very hard in terms of volume for certain key vitamins or so my professor told my nutrition class repeatedly.
    -alisha

  5. It’s my less than scientific opinion that kids are pretty good at choosing what they like to eat at an early age.

    Bean hates meat. He has expressed this since he was about Lamia’s age, rejecting meat-based baby foods and gobbling up veggies. We cheerfully indulge his passions for tofu and pasta and cheese pizza. It is a bit puzzling for me, a dedicated carnivore, but I am happy to have him eat what he likes.

    So my suggestion is to offer Lamia some choices of lean meats along with meatless products and see if she expresses a preference. My guess is she will. Good luck; this is a tricky one.

  6. thanksgivingmom Says:

    All the kids in my family are such picky eaters that we have to give them as many options as possible or I think they’d starve! Some of them don’t like red meat but are crazy about chicken. Some will only eat hot dogs. Seriously. I’m with Coco on this one – give her the options and see what make her be the tie breaking decision! haha

  7. bluecrow Says:

    At what age do you want your daughter to start getting some great qualities such as: compassion, loving all beings, caring about the environment/her health? Would you rather her be like every other person that has no idea how animals start from a tiny baby-being and are transformed into food? Would you rather her have, not only the compassion to eat humanely, but also the strength of character to choose this way of eating when she gets older? I have three kids that eat a completely vegan diet. They have good appetites, love food, and know that meat is the remains of what once was a living, breathing animal. They choose to eat vegan because they know that it is right for them to do it. More right than the death of an animal.

    What I’m saying is that she should be given the chance and option of a vegan diet at a young age. Since meat-eating is the “mindless” norm for most people, she will have that option thrust upon her when she is older. There are only three reasons people eat meat: they like the taste (pretty selfish), they have always done it, or they feel that they would be wimps if they don’t. You don’t need meat to live. You can get your protein, iron, B12 from other sources. Vegan sources. How young is too young to start being noble?

  8. Keep up the great work!.

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