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"vegan education" and other people's kids

I would seriously like some opinions from those who are vegan but not directly involved in this situation.  As background, I am not vegan but respect those who have made that choice for themselves.  (I am here to learn to cook some things I otherwise would not eat)  As a parent, I would expect vegan parents to teach their kids why they are vegan in an age appropriate way. 

The only "real life" vegan I know is an actress in local community theater.  DH was in a play involving several kids in the cast.  I was the costumer/stage manager so I spent a lot of time with the cast back stage.  I did not see this happen but heard about it from several sources.  The vegan cast member was telling the kids in the cast that milking a cow is sexual harassment.  Now, I can see where she could honestly have that position but I believe it was not her place to bring this up in front of a 6 yr old girl.  I do not think 6 yr olds should have a concept of what sexual harassment is and if they do, it should come from their own parents, not someone else.  Now a discussion on milking cows equals sexual harassment with high school students I would not have an issue with.

So, what are your "rules" for recruiting new vegans?

whoever that person is they have mental problems... honestly, i cannot believe someone said that!!! and to young children!!! even as a vegan i think this sounds INSANE!!!

rules for recruiting non vegans: show them a video if they are old enough and willing/ wanting to watch... eating yummy food and passing out the recipe, talking about where their food comes from NOT when they are eating it... i dunno at 6 all i would really say to a kid or do would be like "i love all animals, so i don't want to eat them" or take them to a farm animal sanctuary so they could get to know and love farmed animals as more than objects...

this person is nuts!

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yeah that's inappropriate to say to 6-year-olds. like amy, when my kids at my summer camp/dance class ask me why im vegan i say because i love animals and i don't want to eat them.

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First thing I'd like to add here is that for most of us (I believe), we don't view being vegan as belonging to a club, religion, or association that requires active recruitment to convert people to our way of thinking.  Being vegan is a personal choice, the same as being an omnivore.  I would agree that most vegans want everyone else to be vegan because we think it is the healthiest way of life, for animals, for the environment, and for us, but very few of us are actually out there trying to convert people.

That being said, I totally agree with amymylove's comments.  That woman was totally inappropriate with her comments and sounds like she definitely falls in the vegan militant minority.  She had no right to say those things to six year old children.  When adults ask me why I'm vegan, I tailor my responses to how well I know them and what I think would be easiest for them to understand.  When children ask me, I put my decision in the first person perspective - "I love animals so I don't want to eat them, I feel better when I don't eat animals, I think I'm more healthy when I don't eat animals" etc.  We all have worked out our own responses when people ask, but I don't personally initiate conversations about being vegan unless it's situation appropriate and I never make derogatory comments about omni's to children.

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Thanks for your input.  I came here looking for recipies that both my ovo-lacto vegetarian daughter and I (lactose intolerant) could eat.  Rule out meat for her and milk for me and this seemed like a good starting point.  She picked meat off her plate and fed it to the dog as a toddler so her decision really did not suprize me.  I grew up in a house that experimented with different foods a lot so to me good food is good food regardless of what "tradition" it comes from.  Over the last several years, I have found myself picking vegetarian/vegan options when available and enjoying them but having no clue what to do with a dried bean, tofu, or other "strange" things to make them edible myself.  I grew up in rural PA and had friends that thought the family dairy cows did double duty as companion animals.  The only time I saw my grandfather come close to loosing his temper was after a hunting trip when he swore at a bow hunter who did not track and take the deer he injured.  The big rule:  never aim a gun at anything you do not intend to eat and if you injure it, you finish the job and don't let it suffer any more than needed.  Second biggest rule:  don't waste.  In this vain, I have no moral issues with eating animals if they are treated as well as possible (I want to be reincarnated as a kobe cow) and have no problem with animal by products even if I choose not to eat meat since it is keeping the waste from a landfill.

It is easy to pick up the enviromentally friendly culture in the Pac, NW.  I am working on treading lighter.  It just makes sense.  I have been arround long enough to realize most things have unintended consequences so I try not to jump on very bandwagon that promises a better future but to see what the down side is going to be and pick the "lesser evil".

Bottom line, I doubt I will ever live a "no dead animals" lifestyle, let alone a "no animal products" but I think if you all have such good recipies, my kitchen might come pretty close some day.

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Thanks for your input.  I came here looking for recipies that both my ovo-lacto vegetarian daughter and I (lactose intolerant) could eat.  Rule out meat for her and milk for me and this seemed like a good starting point.  She picked meat off her plate and fed it to the dog as a toddler so her decision really did not suprize me.  I grew up in a house that experimented with different foods a lot so to me good food is good food regardless of what "tradition" it comes from.  Over the last several years, I have found myself picking vegetarian/vegan options when available and enjoying them but having no clue what to do with a dried bean, tofu, or other "strange" things to make them edible myself.  I grew up in rural PA and had friends that thought the family dairy cows did double duty as companion animals.  The only time I saw my grandfather come close to loosing his temper was after a hunting trip when he swore at a bow hunter who did not track and take the deer he injured.  The big rule:  never aim a gun at anything you do not intend to eat and if you injure it, you finish the job and don't let it suffer any more than needed.  Second biggest rule:  don't waste.  In this vain, I have no moral issues with eating animals if they are treated as well as possible (I want to be reincarnated as a kobe cow) and have no problem with animal by products even if I choose not to eat meat since it is keeping the waste from a landfill.

It is easy to pick up the enviromentally friendly culture in the Pac, NW.  I am working on treading lighter.  It just makes sense.  I have been arround long enough to realize most things have unintended consequences so I try not to jump on very bandwagon that promises a better future but to see what the down side is going to be and pick the "lesser evil".

Bottom line, I doubt I will ever live a "no dead animals" lifestyle, let alone a "no animal products" but I think if you all have such good recipies, my kitchen might come pretty close some day.

wow, SV-- I disagree with you about a lot of stuff! lol... but at least we can agree on two vital points: 1) the person with the sexual harassment comment to six-year-olds was at best wildly inappropriate/ at worst clinically mental; and 2) VW has some totally kick-ass recipes.  :)

Beyond that, I'd just say... never say never.  ;)

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wow, SV-- I disagree with you about a lot of stuff! lol... but at least we can agree on two vital points: 1) the person with the sexual harassment comment to six-year-olds was at best wildly inappropriate/ at worst clinically mental; and 2) VW has some totally kick-ass recipes.  :)

Beyond that, I'd just say... never say never.  ;)

HCM, I only stated most of what I did because this is the board to disagree on.  Any other board and I would keep most of this to myself out of respect for those I know i disagree with (almost everyone here).  After all, I am a guest here.

I rarely use words like "always" and "never" because I have found they are the quickest way to get myself proven wrong.  :>  I have noticed I am getting much pickier over what little animal products I do consume.  There is a major quality difference based on how the animals are treated but even then I am finding I am pretty much apathetic to actually eating them with my husband and son. 

If you were to visit, I would not cook for you because I know my kitchen is not vegan.  I would take you into downtown Portland to eat because there are a lot of places we could find good food that would be acceptable.

BTW, DH asked me what my goal for the summer is this year.  I responded that I was going to find 21 vegetarian/vegan recipes the whole family would eat.  (I won't be counting junk food in that list)

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HCM, I only stated most of what I did because this is the board to disagree on.... I rarely use words like "always" and "never" because I have found they are the quickest way to get myself proven wrong.  :>  

Agreed X 2!

This is def'ly the place to post ANY kinda potentially controversial opinion(s)!... disagreement is healthy, and can be quite friendly when approached in the right spirit. Nothing clarifies your own thoughts like explaining/ debating them with other people who hold different views. I think it's tremendously helpful, even if we never agree on 'x' topic under discussion.  :)

Also: I would never decline an invitation to someone's home just 'cause they don't eat like I do! We could potluck it, or I could graze at your fruit bowl while you guys ate whatever you fixed, and we could chat & enjoy ourselves... I can't speak for anyone but my own sweet self, but I don't expect anyone to jump through hoops b/c of how I eat-- I can enjoy a good dinner party anywhere with good company, even if I don't eat the standard 'main course'... I've got seitan jerky & trail mix in my bag, just in case: so no problem!  ;)

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BTW, DH asked me what my goal for the summer is this year.  I responded that I was going to find 21 vegetarian/vegan recipes the whole family would eat.  (I won't be counting junk food in that list)

sounds like an awesome goal and it makes me happy when anyone actually goes through the thought process of what they are actually consuming...

Also: I would never decline an invitation to someone's home just 'cause they don't eat like I do! We could potluck it, or I could graze at your fruit bowl while you guys ate whatever you fixed, and we could chat & enjoy ourselves... I can't speak for anyone but my own sweet self, but I don't expect anyone to jump through hoops b/c of how I eat-- I can enjoy a good dinner party anywhere with good company, even if I don't eat the standard 'main course'... I've got seitan jerky & trail mix in my bag, just in case: so no problem!  ;)

This exactly! I hate when people make a huge fuss over what I will eat... I find it kinda embarrassing! Just eat what you want, I might ask a few questions in advance and bring something extra... No biggie :)

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Somewhat of a simple rule when talking to children about anything: Be honest but not overdramatic. You may honestly feel that milking a cow=sexual harassment but that's not something you say to a child. Children do not fully understand the concept for sexual harassment so they're going to generalize and/or come to other conclusions based on what you've told them. A better way of going about that with such a young child would be to tell them that it hurts the cows during the milking process and because you love animals, you don't want to cause the cow pain (or something along these lines) so you don't drink milk. If when they're older, they ask you about it again or have specific questions then you can elaborate more.

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Somewhat of a simple rule when talking to children about anything: Be honest but not overdramatic. You may honestly feel that milking a cow=sexual harassment but that's not something you say to a child. Children do not fully understand the concept for sexual harassment so they're going to generalize and/or come to other conclusions based on what you've told them. A better way of going about that with such a young child would be to tell them that it hurts the cows during the milking process and because you love animals, you don't want to cause the cow pain (or something along these lines) so you don't drink milk. If when they're older, they ask you about it again or have specific questions then you can elaborate more.

I can totally respect that answer if a kid asked the question.

HCM amd Amy, I would feel bad if I was eating a dessert you could not share because I used the "wrong" sugar or some other simmilar situation.  I just concider it really rude to eat something in front of another (especially a guest) and not have enough to share or if it is  something you absolutely know they can/will not eat.  Part of the culture in the area I grew up is that guests are always fed and to refuse to eat is also an offense.

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(potlucks: WOOT!!!)  :)

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ahhhh culture and tradition... don't you love it... i don't really give a shit about sugar ftr there are more important things in my opinion than freaking out over sugar and how it might be filtered with bone char or whatever... if it says "bone char filtered" on the damn bag i wouldn't eat it LOL... did you have a bad experience with someone who was vegan? i swear we don't all yell and scream and throw paint on people :)

oh and ya, potlucks are a dope idea <3

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did you have a bad experience with someone who was vegan? i swear we don't all yell and scream and throw paint on people :)

oh and ya, potlucks are a dope idea <3

I have recurrent contact with "Miss milk= sexual harrassment" due to theater activities.  I have also taken a few classes at Portland Communuty College and of course run into some of the "young kids" (who are young enough to be my kids) who have way more passion about their lifestyle than knowlege or common sense.  I ran out of fingers to count times I overheard someone ranting about meat eaters while eating Jello.  :-\  We also have more than our share of "green freaks" in the area and the two groups have a lot of overlap.  The CC is full of people who want their vegetarian/vegan food served with compostable tableware and then complain that the food is not really cheap. 

On the other hand, I could go for a potluck with people who are a bit more down to earth than I am used to.

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are there that many vegans in portland?! if so, i might want to venture... so cal is veg friendly but still...

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Portland is the vegan mecca.

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At such a young age I'd "recruit" simply by saying that animals are my friends, and I don't eat my friends!  Then, I would hand out vegan cookies, and if I really wanted to get my mitts on them, I'd let them eat raw cookie dough because it's egg free.

I think the sexual harassment line was inappropriate.

Personally, I have an issue with parents who think kids are so fragile they should never learn anything outside the norm until after puberty.  I got into an argument with a relative because she didn't want to explain to her 10 year old kid that uncle Bobby was gay.  Personally, I say if your kid is old enough to know that mommy loves daddy, they're old enough to know that some boys love other boys and some girls love other girls.  I'm not saying draw the kid a diagram, give him a condom, and tell him to experiment until he figures it out, but what are you so afraid of?  If your kid doesn't know about straight sex, then don't feel obligated to tell him about gay sex, but to pretend like members of your family don't have significant others of the same gender is just weird to me.

I mean hell, if your kid knows what a Christian is, then why are they too young to know what a Jew, or a Buddhist is?  If your kid knows that some people eat meat, then what is so complicated about explaining that some people don't? 

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I don't think that's a very accurate comparison.

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hmmm, I took it for an approach or world view, more than a comparison-- "kids should be told the truth about stuff, in an age appropriate way, whether you agree with a certain thing or not"... because we live in a diverse world, and you don't have to have a huge amount of intellectual maturity to understand that 'this exists, and so does this, and people think/ feel/ act in different ways'... idk, that's just my interpretation; not that veg*nism is comparable to sexual orientation or religion, but that the same approach is a good idea when talking about these things to kids.

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hmmm, I took it for an approach or world view, more than a comparison-- "kids should be told the truth about stuff, in an age appropriate way, whether you agree with a certain thing or not"... because we live in a diverse world, and you don't have to have a huge amount of intellectual maturity to understand that 'this exists, and so does this, and people think/ feel/ act in different ways'... idk, that's just my interpretation; not that veg*nism is comparable to sexual orientation or religion, but that the same approach is a good idea when talking about these things to kids.

Thank you, that's what I meant by it, :)

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are there that many vegans in portland?! if so, i might want to venture... so cal is veg friendly but still...

portland is the vegan capital of the country. There are tons and tons and tons of vegans there.

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