peta (peta_andersen) wrote,
peta
peta_andersen

Vegetarian Children?

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Joe and I are both vegetarians, and happy about it. Granted, it wasn't very easy at first, especially for Joe (I've never been a big fan of meat - it was a seafood habit I had to kick). But, now that we're expecting (six months along on Wednesday), we've been considering the ramifications of our vegetarianism.

Sure, I have to be a little extra careful with my diet while pregnant, but what about after I've had our little Pikachu? Will he grow up to be a vegetarian? Will we say no to meat products at grandparents' places? Will he always order vegetarian meals at restaurants? What about fast food? McDonald's, Burger King, KFC - many childhood "treat foods" are brimming with meat.

That's when I stumbled across this article on Slate.com. Granted, it doesn't exactly address our situtation - neither of us eat meat - but it does raise a few interesting questions. What do you think?

From "Daddy Eats Dead Cows", by Mark Oppenheimer:
My wife, Cyd, is an unlikely vegetarian. Her mother is a genius with a chicken or a pot roast, and their small apartment in New York remains a kosher carnivore's delight. For nights out, her family could walk to temples of meat like Sammy's Roumanian Steak House and the Second Avenue Deli. But as a young girl, Cyd decided that eating meat was unethical, and she resolved that someday she would become a vegetarian. The summer before college, she worked to acquire a taste for eggplant, chickpeas, and other staples of the meat-free diet. She became a fine vegetarian cook; today she can do indescribable things with lentils.

From the time we met, I admired Cyd's commitment to vegetarianism. I had taken baby-steps toward vegetarianism myself: After reading Peter Singer'sAnimal Liberation in my mid-20s, I had given up chicken, which seemed to me the most cruelly abused of all the factory-farmed animals. Yet when, during our courtship, Cyd said that having a vegetarian household, and doing our best to raise vegetarian children, was important to her, I hesitated (or, rather, picked a long, loud fight). I didn't object to the meat-free household, and she was not asking me to abstain from meat in restaurants or at friends' houses. But trying to raise vegetarian children seemed to be buying trouble. I immediately generated a list of potential problems: Would it be healthy? What would our parents think when we asked them not to serve the grandchildren tuna fish? Would our children feel left out, abstaining from hot dogs at ballgames and birthday parties? Most important: Would they seem like freaks?




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