DP and I can't agree on whether DC should be vegetarians or omnivores.

(202 Posts)
MyNewBearTotoro Mon 02-Nov-15 17:07:41

I am vegetarian and have been for 10+ years. For me it is an ethical decision. DP is an omnivore, he eats a mostly vegetarian diet at home as we eat together but he cooks/ buys himself meat a few times a week. That's fine, I don't expect anybody else to follow my ideals or think my decision is the only or 'correct' one.

We have two DC. 2yo DD is from my previous relationship (her biological father has no contact and DP is to all extents and purposes Daddy) and is vegetarian as she was weaned by me before DP took on a parenting role. DS is 4mo so not yet weaned but will be in a couple of months which is what prompted the conversation. DD is healthy and I have done a lot of research into providing a balanced, healthy vegetarian diet to toddlers as I never considered any other diet for her.

Both DP and I agree that once they are old enough to do so our DC should be free to make their own decisions regarding whether they want to eat meat or not. The problem is we have a different idea of what the 'default' should be until then.

I feel the DC should be fed a meat-free diet until/unless they start showing an interest in eating meat. DP thinks they should be given meat when he eats it until they start questioning why I don't eat it and then we should let them make a decision.

I guess I feel like I don't want to feed my DC a product I see as unethical without their consent. But I can see that to my DP, who feel eating meat is ethical and 'normal,' it seems like I am pushing my own morals on them. I guess the problem is I see eating meat as the abnormal and he sees not eating it as the abnormal - both of us want our children to eat a normal, healthy diet but we disagree as to what that means.

Is one of us being unreasonable? Is there an obvious compromise or will one of us have to back down? And is it obvious from the outside which of us should back down because we seem to have reached a stalemate.

Whatthefoxgoingon Mon 02-Nov-15 17:11:25

Default position of the human race is omnivorous, whatever the ethical standpoint. I vote omnivore, with dc deciding for themselves as soon as they are able.

grumpysquash Mon 02-Nov-15 17:14:51

How about: DS eats vegetarian when you prepare the meals, and has occasional meat if he's eating with DH? You need never buy or prepare meat.
I've got a vegetarian friend with a meat-eating DH. They eat veggie at home 99% of the time, but there is the occasional father and son bonding over a bacon sandwich moment...... (Obviously their DS is older, I wouldn't give bacon to a baby!) Their DS also had the meat option school dinner some days if he wanted it.

DisappointedOne Mon 02-Nov-15 17:15:17

I've been vegetarian for more than 25 years. DH is an omnivore. DD (5) was BLWed from our plates, and enjoys most kinds of meat. It's her decision to make whether she wants to eat it or not at each meal, and she understands that I choose not to eat meat.

I do make sure I know where all of the meat that comes into the house comes from though. Ethical all the way.

goodnightdarthvader1 Mon 02-Nov-15 17:16:22

Omnivore is the default. If they want to be veggie, let them decide when they want to.

IoraRua Mon 02-Nov-15 17:16:24

I'm on your DPs side. An omnivorous diet until they can decide themselves sounds like the option I'd choose.

DisappointedOne Mon 02-Nov-15 17:18:00

They may have problems digesting meat if it's not introduced for many years.

Ebb Mon 02-Nov-15 17:18:21

I am vegetarian, dp is not. I have brought the kids up as meat eaters. If they choose to become vegetarian then that is their choice. I was brought up veggie. I have tried meat but can't bear the texture.

msrisotto Mon 02-Nov-15 17:18:39

It's tricky but I think you are being the more restrictive one and that is more unreasonable IMO as it deprives them of something they might enjoy. They won't be consenting to eating meat or not eating meat so that doesn't help the decision making process. Also, in terms or normal/abnormal - only 10% of the population is vegetarian so technically, you're the abnormal one!

Mulligrubs Mon 02-Nov-15 17:18:46

I think all children should be raised omnivores until they're old enough to decide whether to be vegetarian or not.

MajesticSeaFlapFlap Mon 02-Nov-15 17:19:35

Dh is a strict vegan. Im not and love meat.

They eat vegan when he cooks and meat when i do.
Ds1 is a teen and has chosen to eat meat. Ds2 is 5 and just eats whats infront of him.

ShutUpLegs Mon 02-Nov-15 17:20:15

We made the decision to go with omnivore until the kids can decide for themselves. I do make sure that the meat they have is as ethical as I can - locally sourced and well-slaughtered with minimal miles traveled - that kind of thing. So far, we are shaping up to have one veggie and one meat-eater, I think.

KittyandTeal Mon 02-Nov-15 17:20:27

My DH and I are the same as you and your DH. I decided that dd would eat meat until she decided not to.

However, I insist on free range high quality meat for dd and don't cook it (I'm scared of not cooking it properly)

CMOTDibbler Mon 02-Nov-15 17:21:36

I think omnivore is the way to go as your dp eats meat at home and out. You don't want to get into 'no you can't have some of dps whatever' arguements

Micah Mon 02-Nov-15 17:22:58

If it's ethical, compromise by buying ethical meat?

We eat pretty much veggie, but when I do buy meat I try and buy it from farm shops/known sources. Same with eggs/dairy.

More expensive, but it's only once a week.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 02-Nov-15 17:23:47

Omnivore is the default and as I understand people can struggle to digest meat if it is not introduced when young so you are almost enduring your children adhere to your "correct" way, whilst insisting they can choose when they're old enough.

usedtobeaperson Mon 02-Nov-15 17:25:14

We had similar dilemmas when our first born came along. The decision was taken out of our hands in a way as he was unable to process gluten and dairy and I felt taking meat out too would leave him with very limited diet so he was raised a meat eater. Interestingly at 11 he has now chosen to be vegetarian while his 6 year old sister really enjoys meat.

Florin Mon 02-Nov-15 17:26:06

Let them have meat when he cooks it. It isn't quite as simple as not letting them have meat and saying they can have it when they are old enough to choose. We have a friend that had never had meat then decided she wanted to eat meat but it took a long time for her to manage it and it caused her a lot of pain while her gut learnt to digest it so a child would associate eating meat with pain.

gleam Mon 02-Nov-15 17:27:00

I'm vegetarian and dh is not. Neither are the kids.

I thought it was wrong to impose my choices on the kids.

Funclesmuck Mon 02-Nov-15 17:28:09

Both dh and I are meat eaters, Dcs are all veggi. I think that you and dh won't have much of a problem as you are both prepared to talk through the issues raised. Just let the kids eat what they want/reach out for, and keep the ethical stuff out of it for now. At some point they will express their preference(and probably change their minds) so don't worry about it.

harshbuttrue1980 Mon 02-Nov-15 17:28:29

Pescatarian could be a compromise?

harshbuttrue1980 Mon 02-Nov-15 17:29:20

I also forgot to say that what is "normal" is cultural. I'm a vegetarian and I was raised as a meat eater, like most white people. Among my Indian friends, many have been vegetarian from birth, are perfectly healthy, and count it as normal

DragonMamma Mon 02-Nov-15 17:31:04

I would say omnivorous until they can decide otherwise for themselves.

BestZebbie Mon 02-Nov-15 17:31:22

I'm veggie and DH is not, we have always had a meat-free home and that didn't change when we had our DS, so I vote vegetarian until they can actually understand what choosing to eat meat involves (so at least old enough to be aware of death as a concept, for instance).

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Mon 02-Nov-15 17:31:51

I think it's easier on the body if ds was omnivore then if he chooses to be a vegetarian in later life then it's easier for the digestive track to go vegetarian then it is to introduce a new food.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now