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An interresting conundrum.

I figured that this was the best place to ask this. While I currently have no children, my boyfriend of 5.5 years and I were talking about kids. I raised the question of whether or not he would be ok with raising our kids as vegetarians (he's an omnivore). He flat out said no. He said something about "imposing vegetarianism on them" and "taking away the choice of eating meat" Now I have a problem. I would rather have vegetarian kids (considering I will probably doing a bulk of the cooking, since he can only cook 2-3 things anyway). So any good advice on convincing him? (I know we aren't married or having kids yet, but I'd rather get this settled now over later)

HALP!

Sounds like he needs some nutrition education. This is what I would suggest:

1. Find lots of good data supporting the superiority of a vegan/vegetarian diet for kids
2. Suggest feeding them only vegetarian foods while they are too young to choose.
3. Agree that when they're old enough to make their own decisions, they can choose to eat meat. (Although if they're well educated, they won't want to! But don't tell him that... ;) )
4. Sounds like he needs to cook if he insists they eat meat. No way should you be expected to do it!!

I'm no longer w/ my daughter's dad, but at least I can say he totally supports her vegan diet! Sounds like you have a challenge on your hands, but with a little love and patience I'm sure you'll work it out.
Good luck!

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Haha that would be a dealbreaker for me. But yeah quintess gave some pretty good advice

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Sounds like he needs some nutrition education. This is what I would suggest:

1. Find lots of good data supporting the superiority of a vegan/vegetarian diet for kids
2. Suggest feeding them only vegetarian foods while they are too young to choose.
3. Agree that when they're old enough to make their own decisions, they can choose to eat meat. (Although if they're well educated, they won't want to! But don't tell him that... ;) )
4. Sounds like he needs to cook if he insists they eat meat. No way should you be expected to do it!!

I'm no longer w/ my daughter's dad, but at least I can say he totally supports her vegan diet! Sounds like you have a challenge on your hands, but with a little love and patience I'm sure you'll work it out.
Good luck!

1) Yea, do you know of any good sources I could use?
2) I did
3) I did
4) He knows (when he comes over I make my sister cook it... slimy things are gross, and she knows what the heck she is doing)

Haha that would be a dealbreaker for me. But yeah quintess gave some pretty good advice

Well, I knew him long before I went vegetarian, and he has other qualities. The only problem is one of those qualities is he is as stubborn as me (this is going to be fun *sarcasm*)

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Well, for resources/books I would say these are some good options:
1. Anything by John McDougall
2. Dr. Spock--noted for his beliefs on NOT giving kids cows milk!
3. My book (www.radianthealth-innerwealth.com) --I've put a fair bit of kid-friendly info & personal experiences in there, as I have a 6-yr-old who's been vegan since birth

I agree that it's not necessarily a deal-breaker. Sometimes a non-veg companion can be more compatible in general... despite their gross eating habits!!
Good luck...I feel for you! :)

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Thank you!

And I know. He's so sweet and wonderful otherwise.

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My mom sort of said the same thing to me when we were raising our first one (8). She said that it wasn't fair because we "weren't giving him a choice". I pointed out to her that she didn't give me a choice either, as a child. I ate what was put in front of me. At no point, did she say, "would you rather eat this dead pig, or some broccoli?"
We raise our kids with our values. We don't really give them choices, do we, about where we should live, what religion we should practice, or what we should eat. That's what parenting is-passing on our values until they are old enough to form their own.
So the argument about it not being fair for the child really doesn't make sense.

My DH and I were once in the same boat, but the talk came up after he was already born. It was when he was ready to start eating regular food. I won :)
Anyway, why don't you say that you'd like to have them be vegetarian for the first few years until they can make up their own minds. All along you can be explaining veg lifestyle to them, and when it comes time to make a choice, they will more than likely not choose to eat animals. Hopefully your dh won't be doing things like telling them that veg lifestyles are unhealthy and that you have to eat meat and that's what animals are for. That can be confusing to a child-to hear both extremes.

I also educated my DH a ton along the way, and now he is vegetarian. Not to say that it will happen for you too, but you never know.

It shouldn't be a deal breaker, but he should at least respect your lifestyle and your desire to raise vegetarian children. If he doesn't, that would be a deal breaker for me.

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As far as resources, show him the video hespedal posted recently at http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=30557.0, or (for a larger screen) at (www.) youtube.com/watch?v=7qC-_peW6i0.... it's a PBS doccumentary that's a really good introduction/ overview/ summary of all the reasons to eat a plant-based diet-- health, environment, ethics...

Regarding the 'let 'em choose' argument, I frequently raise the flip side of this issue with inlaws (etc.) who try to say it's 'natural' to eat meat: "How many years had you been eating it, before you decided that? Have you *ever* considered whether that's actually a good idea? 'Cause if you do, you won't." Most haven't ever even questioned it... b/c it was an ingrained habit before they reached the age where abstract thought is possible (some of them *still* haven't reached that age, apparently, but that's a different problem-- teehee!)...

From a psych/ neuro standpoint, at about age 8 (many girls) to 9 (many boys) is a magic time of consciousness shift... kids at this age are able to weigh arguments/ think abstractly to some degree, where kids younger than this tend to see the world in concrete terms/ have difficulty separating fact from opinion. Younger than 8: they're going on habit, or what someone tells them, regarding food choices-- not informed personal decision. In the course of your discussions, I'd absolutely reject any provision for allowable 'choice' of unhealthy (animal!) foods before this age, for a hypothetical child.

About the relationship... because this is an ethics thing (as well as a child wellbeing issue, w/ health considerations & all), I'd be very concerned if my sweetie either couldn't understand or didn't care about how important the issue is to me. Whether he agrees with you or not, I think part of being in a relationship is valuing things important to the one you love...

I'm the chef at my house; hubby's an omni (though, after 5 years of living with me, even at restaurants he now orders veggie entrees more often than not-- slow but steady progress noted!)... but he would never expect me to cook something I find immoral & gross. I would be offended if he ever asked (which he won't!), because he knows that this is a big ethics thing for me... similarly, though I don't share his religious views, I would never give him grief about them; it's the same thing. So... if your guy can't understand & respect your choices-- and, yes, that would be an important part of the rearing of a child together-- then I think that would tell you something important about him, & about the relationship.

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He respects that I'm a vegetarian and my views as such. Kids are at least a few more years down the road for us and I think we can work it out by then (we are both so dang stubborn but we can usually compromise). I'll probably talk to him later on today and see how that goes.

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I really really don't want kids, and I'm not sure why I stepped into this part of the forum... but for me personally, if I did have kids (god i hope i don't haha) I'd want them to be able to make their own choice on whether or not they wanted to eat meat, etc. But of course there would be a problem with what to feed them before they can talk and give you their input, so I'm not sure what you'd do there. You could compromise and maybe give them an organic, grass fed, etc meat-based baby food (ugh) once a week and make them more of a "flexatarian" until you were able to explain your dietary choices. I look at it like I do religion. If I had a kid (once again I hope not...) I'd want them to be raised as a Christian, because I am one, but when they were old enough I'd let them know there were other options out there as well. I guess I'm all about letting them develop into their own person and giving them choices. I know from experience that the more you force your views on your kids the more they'll rebel, unfortunately my poor parents never realized that haha

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Well, that's what I was thinking (I know better than to shove things down people's throats) but I seriously doubt any baby on this planet likes meat baby food (my sis used to bawl her eyes out when my mom gave it to her)

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Man I don't blame them. About a year ago, before I went veg, I attended my first baby shower. We played the "guess that baby food" game and wow those meat ones were absolutely disgusting. And it didn't taste like meat, it tasted like... idk what it tasted like, it was the weirdest thing. I think it subconsciously inspired me to become vegetarian haha

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there is this video my sister showed me of some guy tasting baby food, and he couldn't even swallow the meat one. Besides, fruits and veggies are better anyway. I don't even think my baby cousins liked them when they were that small, and they are the most non picky children I have ever seen.

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