View Full Version : Kids Speaking Openly
01-09-2003, 06:41 PM
My daughter is five and I was just thinking about how open she is about being vegan. She will tell her friends that she doesn't eat meat, eggs or milk, if the situation calls for it. I of course don't discourage her, although sometimes she will comment or make a noise (Yuck! or Bleh! etc.) if she sees someone eating meat or something. She is understanding more and more that most people still choose to be omnivores, and even though we don't agree with it, we still need to show respect. Sometimes she tells her friends that she doesn't eat dead animals, and it appears that they don't know why she would say such a thing! They don't know yet that they are in fact eating 'dead animals'.
One day she came home from school with candy that a boy in her class had given to her. He told her that there wasn't any animal ingredients in it. He said his mom checked for him, so that he could give it to her. I thought it was very cute, and nice that he would think about her this way! I also thought it was strange how a five year old is much more accepting of others than adults are. I think adults should take a lesson from children! Kids have genuine compassion. Somewhere along the way we (adults) lost that compassion. I think as vegans, we found it again.
Anyway, I was just thinking about that.
Take care. :)
01-10-2003, 10:07 AM
Yup, that's true!! Kids are so much more vocal and open-minded, aren't they? It certainly does seem that some kids are naturally more sensitive to the plight of animals than many adults I know. However, if parents are prejudiced and narrow-minded, I often wonder how long their kids will be able to retain an open mind and compassion for their fellow creatures.
My friend's little daughter saw a chicken being slaughtered on TV. Disgusted, she turned went to her mother and announced that she did not want to eat chicken because it's cruel to do so. Her mother snapped at her, "Chickens are made to be eaten. You'd better stop watching TV...all that nonsense is robbing you of your ability to think for yourself."
Furious, the mother marched to the father and complained that their daughter was watching too much TV and surfing the net for far too long, and the overexposure to the media was filling her head with outrageous ideas. "She wants to stop eating CHICKEN, dammit!" she spat.
At dinner, the girl refused to eat chicken and demanded more vegetables. The parents oohed and aahed while gorging on their roast chicken, trying to tempt their daughter with her favorite food. This went on for two days, and at last the little girl broke down and decided to start eating chicken again.
This is a true story. I really hate it when such things happen.
01-10-2003, 10:33 AM
By the way, I think you've got a really cute daughter :)
01-14-2003, 04:43 PM
Sylver- my kids sound similar to your daughter :p It's a pity they live in different countries, they'd get on well! Jasper (6) is very vocal and confident about his veganism, and Lily (nearly 4) is following in his footsteps. every time we go to the supermarket and they see the meat section (unfortunately you can't miss it) they start saying "Ughhhh! Yuck! meat, how gross!"etc, in really loud voices! Yesterday we were in a supermarket and we passed a cheese dispay that smelled really ripe. I said to the kids, "can you smell that?" and they said "yes", and I said "that's cheese", and they both screwed up their noses and said "it smells DISGUSTING!". Ha!
Recently Jasper had a school trip with his class, and they were having a shared picnic, so of course I started to stress and plan, but his teacher was amazing. She told the class that it would be great if some people could bring vegan food that Jasper could eat, ann said that she would make a vegan pizza. Jasper said all these kids were coming up to him and telling him about the vegan things they were bringing. He ended up beiong able to eat nearly everyhting, and the kids were really happy that they'd included Jasper. A few kids came up to me after school and said "we brought lots of stuff for Jasper to share!' and I told them how great that was, and how happy it made Jasper and I. So, I agree, Kids are wonderful!
Also, reb-granger, that story is horrifying! It reminds me of that show "frontier house", when the little boy got really attatched to the pig and he was heartbroken when they killed it, and his mother was explaining how that's the "cycle of life", and that animals are there to be eaten! When I was about 4 I apparently stopped eating meat for a year when i found out what it was. I don't really remember this, I guess my parents eventually co-erced me into eating it again, but maybe that's the grounding for who I am today.
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