To tell Dsis (9) that if she "won't sit at a table where people are eating non free range turky" that she can eat her christmas dinner alone on the balcony.

(312 Posts)
honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 17:55:10

My lovely adorable and slightly precocious little sister is 9 and has been a self declared vegetarian since she was about 4.

My family are coming to stay with us for Christmas and my mum has kindly offered to cook Christmas dinner which is fab as I am due to give birth on the 8th (but feel like the baby is happy in my tummy and won't be here till much closer to Christmas.) I was talking to my mum and sister today about what I should buy for dinner, they fly to us on the 23rd and we have a christmas day celebration with my DP's family on the 24th so I need to get prepared. I went trough all the vegies and stuff for a nut roast, then I said maybe I will get a big chicken instead of a turky and my little sister said well you had better make sure it is free range as I won't sit at a table where there meat that is not free range, I said to her that is fine she can sit on the balcony and eat her dinner.

AIBU and a nasty big sister, I will look for a free range chicken but I don't often buy meat and I have no idea if you can even buy free range chickens in the country we live in.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 01-Dec-12 17:57:22

Your sister sounds like she is being precious and a bit of a brat, but she does have a point!

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Sat 01-Dec-12 17:57:51

I wouldn't want to eat non-free range either so yabu.

StuntGirl Sat 01-Dec-12 17:58:13

Her principles are admirable but she won't get far in life with that attitude And that's coming from a strict vegetarian. Send her to the balcony grin

littlewhitebag Sat 01-Dec-12 17:59:00

Sounds entirely reasonable to me. She will be a guest in your home and she needs to learn that people have different views. You are not asking her to eat it and you are providing her with an acceptable alternative. If she won't sit at the table that is her problem not yours.

3littlefrogs Sat 01-Dec-12 17:59:19

I admire her principles, but her manners are somewhat lacking.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 01-Dec-12 17:59:27

YABU. Christmas is a time to be inclusive. Surely you could find a way of letting her share the space without having to stick her on the balcony.

ENormaSnob Sat 01-Dec-12 17:59:29


Precocious brat.

3littlefrogs Sat 01-Dec-12 17:59:57

X posted with stuntgirl. smile

ImperialSantaKnickers Sat 01-Dec-12 18:01:24

I've seen what sort of life a bog standard chicken (and turkey) has to endure - I won't have anything other than free-range eggs and poultry in the house. If you're still very large/have only just given birth, and cannot source free range in the country you live in, get the ingredients for the nut roast and get dsis/mum to cook it!

squeakytoy Sat 01-Dec-12 18:01:34

god, if she is like that at 9, I dread to think what a pain in the arse she will be in her teens..

she isnt even eating it, and unless she is going to inspect the labels, how on earth would she know if it was free range or not..

JustFabulous Sat 01-Dec-12 18:03:15

Good to have principles.

Even better to have manners.

coldcupoftea Sat 01-Dec-12 18:04:16

Aww bless- I remember embarrasing the hell out of my gran at that age by throwing stones in the river as we walked past people fishing 'to scare the jfish so they will swim away!' grin . I too was an early and very militant veggie.

She does have a point though- can you take her with you to look for a free range one, so at least she will know you tried?

Kalisi Sat 01-Dec-12 18:04:18

You don't have to do anything. Just get the meat you want and if she wants to make a stand then let her.

MrsWolowitz Sat 01-Dec-12 18:04:48

What squeaky said.

Free range is much more ethical but she is being rude and precocious.

Tell her to wind her neck in or sit on the balcony.

ImperialBlether Sat 01-Dec-12 18:06:39

Just what I was thinking, squeakytoy - how would she know?

StuntGirl Sat 01-Dec-12 18:06:46

<Applauds Just Fabulous>

Whoknowswhocares Sat 01-Dec-12 18:07:03

Just buy whatever turkey you like and tell her it's free range. She might be able to tell by taste but seeing as she will only look at it, she won't be able to tell!

Of course if you were her mother, my advice would be to punish her for being a rude brat! She is perfectly entitled to her opinions but that does not give her the right to ride roughshod over everyone else and certainly not the right be behave like a rude pain in the arse!

Pancakeflipper Sat 01-Dec-12 18:07:37

She's not eating it and she has a decent meal, so what's her beef? or her turkey or her chicken? Hee Hee- did you see what I did there?

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 18:12:36

It's a good point that she won't know, she can't read the language here so I will just tell her it is free range. I think they don't have free range chickens here because it snows for 6 months of the year here so they can't really go outside, we buy barn chicken eggs so I will try to buy a barn chicken to eat.

I did tell her a free range chicken in Sweden was called a frozen chicken but she didn't think the joke was very funny.

Ducklings45 Sat 01-Dec-12 18:12:48

just tell her it's free range. Dispose of the packaging well and she'll never know. Congratulations on the pregnancy smile

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 01-Dec-12 18:13:56

What squeaky said ....
Wasn't there a scene like that in Outnumbered where the awful older sister is making a big thing about how much nicer the free range chicken tastes but actually theyounger sister has lied and just cooked normal.

JustFabulous Sat 01-Dec-12 18:15:13


LynetteScavo Sat 01-Dec-12 18:15:14

She would have more of a point it she were going to eat it. As she isn't, I think it's perfectly acceptable to lie pretend you think it's free range.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sat 01-Dec-12 18:17:09

YANBU and I would lie to her either.

She need to learn that other peoples values are not the same as hers and that people shouldn't have to change to suit.

Does she never eat out? Is she planning on never eating out all?

I think she should learn to be polite when a guest in someones house.

squeakytoy Sat 01-Dec-12 18:17:18

I suspect she may be clever enough to find babelfish and translate... just bin the packaging before she arrives..

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sat 01-Dec-12 18:17:58

Oh yeah and what Lynette said.

Since she isn't going to eat she is definitely bu.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 01-Dec-12 18:18:52

I don't think you should lie. If you genuinely can't get a free range bird, then explain to her why and say that you tried. And let her eat on her lap in another room, not outside. I'm sure she'll sneak back in when she hears the rest of you having fun, and if she doesn't she could come to the table so you can all eat Christmas pudding together.

squeakytoy Sat 01-Dec-12 18:20:01

only if it is a vegetarian pudding.. grin

ImperialSantaKnickers Sat 01-Dec-12 18:23:46

My reading of the OP was that you had originally gone nut roast, but were now going chicken or turkey and that dsis was going to eat that too. If so, it is utterly immoral to lie to her about what she's eating. If she's going to be eating a separate nutroast whatever the rest of you end up with on the other hand... well, it's still not very nice.

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 18:24:48

I think that actually once it comes to it and the excitment of christmas day and a new baby is entertaining her she will forget the ethical dilema that is the turky, I hope so anyway!

I am a lovely big sister to her normally, we take her on holiday and she is like my first baby. I just think she needs to be told her opinion however ethically sound does not mean other people have to bend to her especially when she won't even be eating the food.

She reminds me of myself, I cried at my grandparents house one christmas when the turky was put on the table, my mum was pandering to my emotions and saying I wish she had just said oh don't be so silly!

JustFabulous Sat 01-Dec-12 18:24:56

No no no no no

refusing to eat at the same table as everyone else is just rude

no excuse for it

she is making a point in an appaling way and being only 9 she needs telling before she gets worse

if it was my dd i would be mortified and embarrassed

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 18:25:46

Oh no, she will have a nutroast to eat, also some quorn fillet type things, I would never give her meat.

Cozy9 Sat 01-Dec-12 18:50:37

She sounds like a precocious brat! YANBU.

specialsubject Sat 01-Dec-12 19:14:00

no leather shoes, I hope? This kind of 'principle' is usually very half-arsed, although at 9 she can't be expected to be smart enough to think it through.

She sits on the balcony unless she has some manners. Actually that applies at any age.

Punkatheart Sat 01-Dec-12 19:19:57

I have chickens...they are adorable, full of character and they love their spoilt free-range life. Sorry...but I am with your Dsis. She sounds as if she has opinions and principles...good for her...

SminkoPinko Sat 01-Dec-12 19:24:12

lol. She sounds ace. I wouldn't give her too much attention over it. I think it's cool that she has principles but as others gave said it's part of growing up to learn that not everyone agrees with you and that it's quite a fine line between stating your views and imposing them on others in a rude way.Just buy a range of stuff you will all enjoy according to your principles not hers. I expect she won't make an issue of it when it comes to it but if she wants to leave the table and miss all the feasting that's her look out, I'd say!

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 19:24:41

Punkathearts my sister also has chickens that I hate as she made me hold one telling me it was friendly and it pecked me on my gum! Maybe I should tell her to bring one of her own free range chickens, that might be just too mean!

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 01-Dec-12 19:26:56

I'm liking your sis, she cares about animals.

MrsWembley Sat 01-Dec-12 19:28:01

I'm sorry, but can everyone who had told the OP that she is BU and should get a free-range bird read the whole thread!!angry

She can't, or at least has said it will be very difficult. If she's thought enough about it to post here then I'm fairly certain she's thought about where she could source one.

elfycat Sat 01-Dec-12 19:28:30

Buy a free range one but then refuse to confirm to her if it is or not and hide the packaging.

<-- balcony that way.

CheeseStrawWars Sat 01-Dec-12 19:31:40

I think fair enough for her to say she won't eat it, and I salute her principles. But refusing to sit at the table is not really the way to make friends and influence people. Tell her everyone will be focusing on her behaviour, rather than her point, if she refuses to sit with you.

Meglet Sat 01-Dec-12 19:39:04

I like your little sister. She might be a bit of a madam but I don't blame her for not wanting to eat free range meat.

Sitting on the balcony is daft though, unless it's hot and sunny then she's probably got a good deal.

My dad dug up a turnip for his Xmas dinner when he was 5 as he was vegetarian and his parents didn't quite believe him before then.

MammaTJ Sat 01-Dec-12 19:41:31

You sound like a lovely caring big sis, so whatever you decide on the day, given the circumstances will be fine!!!

Seriously, you have said she may be distracted by new baby/Christmas/seeing family and forget her ethics. If she does remember, she knows where the balcony is!!!

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 19:42:28

My sister is great, I am proud of her awareness and morals. I just feel she needs to learn to be more diplomatic about her opinions!

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 19:43:37

It's pretty easy to get a free range chicken and I agree with her sentiments of she's a hardcore veggie. Wouldn't hurt...

Lia87 Sat 01-Dec-12 19:44:54

Don't 'make' her sit on balcony for xmas! Poor thing ha ha
but don't change the meal, especially if she's not eating it. just leave it to her to decide where she sits and i'm sure she'll change her mind on the day. If not she has impressive determination!

I wouldn't lie to her, but I would just stay calm and say that "this is the turkey, it was raised XYZ. If your principles won't allow you to eat at table with us when it is served you can eat <wherever> and that is fine. It's up to you" and let her decide.
My no3 son refuses to eat pork and pork products, (long story, not for religious or cultural reasons) and we don't make him, and we don't lie to him. That said, he somehow decided that "Cumberland" isn't pork (in sausages) and we eventually established that he pictures Cumberlands as little furry creatures roaming the fells "like Haggis but in England" and have never bothered to correct him either.
I think if his reasons for not wanting pork were idealogical then I wouldn't do the "cumberland thing" - it would make a difference. Just because someone is young doesn't make their opinions and principles invalid or less "worthy" than adults.

SoupDragon Sat 01-Dec-12 19:55:04

She isn't eating the turkey so yes, put her on a separate table if she can't be well manned wink

Simply tell her that it is not free range, and that you respect her principles so she may choose whether to sit at the table or elsewhere. I think it's right to show respect for the fact that she has thought about it and made her choice. But she has to realise that she can't impose her views on everyone else, and also that having views and sticking to them may sometimes have a cost in terms of inconvenience or lack of enjoyment.

The meal is what it is.
You have provided her with an alternative to suit her views/diet.
Any further choices are entirely up to her.

apostropheuse Sat 01-Dec-12 20:07:19

She's not being asked to eat the turkey.
She's being provided with a vegetarian dinner to her liking.
Not everone has the same beliefs or principles.
We should all respect one another's beliefs.
She's being a precocious little brat.

Tell her she's free to eat her dinner whenever she likes. Don't pander to her nonsense. She's the one who's missing out.

splashymcsplash Sat 01-Dec-12 20:10:40


She is a child, you are the grown up in this situation. Sending her to the balcony would be extremely immature.

Surely you would buy free range anyway?

Willowisp Sat 01-Dec-12 20:14:13

I think I might have turned round to her & said something like, well thank you for your opinions, your request will go further if you ask nicely...go & have a rethink.

I'm curious that a 9 yr old knows the about a free range dd is 9 & wouldn't have a clue, even though all our meat is free-range or organic.

I like her principles...her style needs working on !

Loislane78 Sat 01-Dec-12 20:15:20

There's a chat to be had about other people's views (how does she manage at school lunch BTW?) but in the meantime.... whilst I don't normally advocate telling free range porkies, how will she know?

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 01-Dec-12 20:20:01

It's very common Willowslip. They do it at school. Dd is always going on about free range & fair trade until one day my mum turned round to her and told her that she was very privileged and done people struggle to afford food at all never mind free range!

SoupDragon Sat 01-Dec-12 20:23:06

Did those of you saying "just get a free range turkey, it's easy" not see this bit: I think they don't have free range chickens here because it snows for 6 months of the year here

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 20:26:46

Tesco do free range? I agree, I think her principles and she's only 9 so can't expect her style to be any different.

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 20:28:12

Willowwisp that is a good way to put it. I think she knows about free range things from my mum as they buy free range so mum would ask us when we were young to go and pick out some free range eggs when shopping.

I'm not sure about school lunches, if she goes to a party at mc donalds she takes her own food, it is lucky she is charismatic.

TeddyBare Sat 01-Dec-12 20:30:10

Sweden definitely does have free range meat but turkey is relatively unusual in general because it's not the traditional Christmas dinner in Sweden.
I admire your dsis's principles and I think she does have a point but she could do with a few lessons in manners. That said, she's too young to be able to make her own Christmas plans and she has a legitimate moral objection so I think you do have to try to accommodate her. Do you have to have turkey? I know it's traditional but so is having everyone at the same table.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 20:32:48

Don't beat her principles out of her at 9... She's right anyway... Non free range poultry is cruelty. Indulge her, let her make a difference and work on her style slowly...

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 20:35:35

I'm not sure if it has to be turky, I don't eat much meat myself and never buy it, the only person who really wants the turky is my stepdad, my brother doesn't eat meat and me and and my mum would be happy with nut roast, DP won't know what a traditional British christmas dinner is anyway.

I will ask my stepdad if turky is vital and maybe a chicken would be ok. It's good to know that free range chicken is available in Sweden, I guess they are not Swedish chickens.

CheungFun Sat 01-Dec-12 20:36:31

Honestly, if she's not eating I'd tell her it's free range and lie!

Just make sure she doesn't see the packaging grin

Procrastinating Sat 01-Dec-12 20:36:39

I was an early vegetarian too and I would not have sat at a table with any kind of meat on it. I used to cry when I opened the fridge and saw murdered animals in there. Think yourself lucky OP, it could be worse.

Whoknowswhocares Sat 01-Dec-12 20:40:44

But surely the point is that she doesn't stop her friends eating their burger at McDonald's? She clearly realises that is a no go area and her family deserve the same consideration

It is fine to have principles. Admirable in fact
But teaching her she can dictate to others is wrong.

evilhamster Sat 01-Dec-12 20:41:40

You're in Sweden? I remember when I tried to find free range turkeys in Iceland...It didn't end well!

If you can get the barn, that's a good idea, but tell her how impossible it is and also tell her that at least she's got food to choose from.

She needs to learn some manners, but it's a good thing she wants free range. It's a bad thing she complains about it. Have principles, also have manners.

coppertop Sat 01-Dec-12 20:44:34

I would explain that if she expects people to respect her preferences about the food she eats, then she needs to extend that same courtesy to others. She doesn't get to decide what other people are going to eat.

I certainly wouldn't pander to her, either by buying free-range or by pretending that it was free-range.

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 20:46:58

Maybe I will serve reindeer, that is about as free range as meat can be!

ImperialSantaKnickers Sat 01-Dec-12 20:48:39

shock at how many posters think it's acceptable to lie about the origin of food. LoisLane and CheungFun on this page alone. Would you lie to an adult the same way?

spoonsspoonsspoons Sat 01-Dec-12 20:49:16

Rudolph, yummy grin

I'd not bother with the turkey if only one person is bothered about it, have duck instead

MidniteScribbler Sat 01-Dec-12 20:50:20

I prefer to buy free range products for my own home (although I'm not vegetarian), but would never dare to question a host on what they are serving.

Your sister is going to have to learn that not everyone shares her principles and being vocal and obnoxious about her is not going to win any friends in life. There have been one or two people that no longer get invited in our friendship group due to their comments during dinner of "poor widdle animals" and "murder".

GhostShip Sat 01-Dec-12 20:51:24

YANBU at all, but I give it to her, she's standing by her principles although it is making her seem like a brat.

I can't help but like her.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 20:51:39

She does get to decide if she will eat at a table with people eating non free range meat... Don't make her choose. It's silly, encourage her to believe in her principles. It's something to be very proud of.

diddl Sat 01-Dec-12 20:57:01

OP-if you want to buy free range & can, do so.

I don´t see that you should have to for your sister to sit with you though.

Her principles are admirable but if she carries on like that she's going to end up the far side of obnoxious and yes as big sis you owe it to her not to let that happen. She's obviously bright so rather than lying you need to help her towards a more reaasonable (and polite) way of expressing her principles. Or she'll end up like DS's brattish 13yr old mate who had the cheek to tell me my food smelt of death as I was making a ham sandwich after I'd just kindly made him a cheese one !

Her principles are admirable but if she carries on like that she's going to end up the far side of obnoxious and yes as big sis you owe it to her not to let that happen. She's obviously bright so rather than lying you need to help her towards a more reaasonable (and polite) way of expressing her principles. Or she'll end up like DS's brattish 13yr old mate who had the cheek to tell me my food smelt of death as I was making a ham sandwich after I'd just kindly made him a cheese one !

OwedToAutumn Sat 01-Dec-12 21:03:16

DD1 (13) has a friend like this. She used to be a real PITA about it. She has improved as she has seen how unpopular it has made her to be constantly spouting her opinions.

(Was it nasty of me to tell her that if she ate eggs, she was complicit in cockerels being killed, and if she ate dairy products, she was complicit in calves being killed?) wink

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 21:05:35

She's only 9... Let's remember how we were at that age and how simplistic things seemed. She's asking her sister after all not someone she barely knows.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 21:07:57

Seriously, nothing wrong with principles... If more people stood up for what they believed and had confidence to speak out, the world would be a better place. Don't enforce social norms... Some of them are bollocks.

diddl Sat 01-Dec-12 21:09:07

At that age I ate what I was given & was grateful tbh.

OP is taking her preferences into account by cooking something that she will eat.

Why does she also get a say in what everyone else eats-isn´t that up to them?

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 21:09:29

Plus others will enforce their norms on her... Families job is to keep her confident and thinking critically.

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 21:09:33

I think I will have to have a chat about the difference between asking and explaining why and telling and giving ultimatums.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 21:11:18

Because she's right. Non free range poultry is cruel. She's not saying I don't want brussels so no one else can have them. She's making a very intelligent and valid point.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 21:12:04

Good idea honeytea smile

MrsMerryMeeple Sat 01-Dec-12 21:12:42

Apparently the entire consumption of whole turkeys in Sweden is about 1000 per year. There just isn't the volume to make investment in alternative farming techniques profitable. There is also the fact to consider that most of Sweden is under snow for a large part of the year, so putting turkeys outside would not be kindness to animals!

If you are looking for animal friendly meat or products in Sweden, look for the KRAV label. That standard most often requires that farmers raise their animals free range, organic.

The biggest turkey company I know of is Ingelstas's. Another that claims to have ethical techniques (not sure what that means) is Hagbygård.

nellyjelly Sat 01-Dec-12 21:12:49

Good for her I say.

whathasthecatdonenow Sat 01-Dec-12 21:17:00

I wouldn't make an ultimatum like your sister did, but sitting at the table with someone eating a bird that had suffered terribly throughout it's life would make me extremely uncomfortable. I would suck that up and cope, to be polite, but it would be difficult for me. As a child I would have lacked the filter and been more assertive. There are only really two subjects I get on my high horse about, and animal welfare is one of them. However, I hope I now have the tact to be the uncomfortable one, rather than make others uncomfortable. At 9 I doubt I would have. Although, to be honest, I don't tend to have a close relationship with anyone who doesn't care about animal welfare, so perhaps the situation wouldn't occur.

judefawley Sat 01-Dec-12 21:17:54

Good for her, I say.

We only buy free range meat. I applaud her for not eating the meat, but not sitting at the table is a bit ott.

stifnstav Sat 01-Dec-12 21:21:00

Not at all relevant but I thought I'd share - studies show that free range birds have higher mortality rates than battery birds.

I'm quite amazed that after all this wine I can actually recall what a study in 2009 said. Bye bye now!

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 21:26:48

To be fair, mortality rates aren't necessarily an indicator of quality of life? Battery animals get more drugs? You can't argue for battery poultry when it comes to quality of life.

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 21:27:31

mrsmerry that info is fantastic thankyou! i think we will take a drive up to hagbygård next weekend (if im not in labour.)

whathasthecatdonenow do you have such extreme views on the welfare of people and not have any close relationships with people who for example wear clothes made by children?

MrsMerryMeeple Sat 01-Dec-12 21:32:20

You're welcome! smile

whathasthecatdonenow Sat 01-Dec-12 21:32:20

I don't have such extreme views on the welfare of people. As I said, two subjects make me get on my high horse: one is animal welfare. Generally I don't like people as much as I do animals, with some exceptions. I don't tend to discuss people's views on child labour outside of the classroom, tbh, but I do tend to only associate with either vegetarians or those who only eat ethically treated meat.

TwinklingWonderland Sat 01-Dec-12 21:32:42

Yabu. She's your sister, so it's good she feels able to talk freely about her feelings to you. It is an emotive subject, I remember being horrified by all sorts of things at her age - Nazi Germany, leather, the meat industry, feather pillows, war, fois gras. Tbh I'm still horrified by these things, but have had some of the emotion seep away...

It's great that she's such a thoughtful and principled child.

onyx72 Sat 01-Dec-12 21:33:13

She has a point but at 9 your sister should eat what she is given and be grateful.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 21:37:31

It really pisses me off that just because she is a child she has no right to express her principles. Eat what she is given? This isn't the dark ages? We have evolved? At least some of us have.

diddl Sat 01-Dec-12 21:38:30

Of course she should be able to talk about it-and expect to eat what suits her.

But I don´t think she should try to force others to do something that she wants by in effect threatening to ruin the meal for everyone.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sat 01-Dec-12 21:42:45

She's not threatening to ruin the meal for everyone. She's simply stating that she won't be at the table? Her choice... And your choice. She's not being silly she has a very good reason amongst family who should support her in her beliefs. She's not asking for no meat... That would be not compromising. She's asking for free range. She's comprising and adults should be able to do the same especially in family setting. Respect...

honeytea Sat 01-Dec-12 21:43:52

whathasthecatdonenow I respect your views but I do hope my sister will not grow up to not want to be around me because of my meat eating.

I really think that Dsis has the right to voice her opinions but I feel like she needs to learn an appropriate and more effective way than giving ultimatums.

We are both strong willed and our mother is (very kind) but a push over, she has encouraged our opinions and confidence. It is interesting because when my and Dsis are together we are very close she is like my first baby but the dynamic is very different to that we have individually with our mother.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 01-Dec-12 21:46:47

I would lay her a lovely place at a separate table, beautifully laid with a nice table decoration, personally, and be entirely positive about it (but tell her she's welcome to move if she changes her mind).

It's cool that she's thinking about animal welfare but she can't dictate to the rest of you. If she wants to follow through and make a stand, good for her.

whathasthecatdonenow Sat 01-Dec-12 21:48:27

honeytea, I think you misunderstand me. My family are generally farmers. I still have a close relationship with them. They care for the animals they farm and treat them well. They would not cage chickens. I have no issue with others eating meat that is ethically sourced. I would not have a relationship close enough to eat with people who could condone the mistreatment of animals. I don't necessarily think that is an extreme stance, I just wouldn't be able to find common ground with someone like that.

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Sat 01-Dec-12 21:54:35

My friends dd won't eat tinned tuna fish, however, she's loves tinned tuna.

It's the same... We don't tell her ....same sort of thing really

socharlotte Sun 02-Dec-12 00:08:08

She sounds a complete PITA

cory Sun 02-Dec-12 00:20:18

iirc there was an overhaul of fowl welfare in Sweden some time ago and the ordinary frozen chickens you find in the shops have been reared under conditions similar to our free range barn chickens (which is why they are so expensive), so not like our caged chickens

as you say, you clearly can't have free ranging poultry of the British type because they'd freeze to death and it would be cruel, but I don't think you get the battery hens either

or at least that's what my family tells me

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 00:22:37

Cory that is great news, solves the problem!

Pictureperfect Sun 02-Dec-12 00:27:34

I think like others said she should learn when to express what she will and won't have and that she can decline the meat herself but let others eat it. However good for her for sticking to her beliefs

Cahoootz Sun 02-Dec-12 00:30:58

I wonder what she will do on the plane if the people around her are eating non free range meals. confused

StuntGirl Sun 02-Dec-12 00:31:34

I don't think honeytea was being serious about sending her to the balcony people hmm

However she's right that her sister shouldn't dictate what everyone else eats. She doesn't want to eat it, she's made her choice, and that's fine. As a child she doesn't get to dictate the rest of the families choices.

musicposy Sun 02-Dec-12 00:31:38

I'm liking your little sis, she sounds like the kind of person the next generation needs, willing to change the world and not at all apathetic. My DD2 is like this and has been a strict veggie since 8, though now at 13 she's had to learn a little that she makes her choices and other people make theirs.

Try telling her you catch more flies with honey than vinegar - in other words, ultimatums are not the best way to get people on her side. I reckon she'll get that more as she gets older; 9 is still very young. Sounds like you have solved the turkey dilemma anyway if you can explain a little about welfare in Sweden. Have a great Christmas!

StuntGirl Sun 02-Dec-12 00:32:21

Cahoootz grin

musicposy Sun 02-Dec-12 00:37:32

"It really pisses me off that just because she is a child she has no right to express her principles. Eat what she is given? This isn't the dark ages? We have evolved? At least some of us have."

Absolutely, crunchiebar. I am proud that my DD became veggie at 8 depsite living in a non veggie household, because I'm proud she can think for herself and make her own life choices. The number of people who said to me "if she was my child she'd eat what I put in front of her" staggered me. Why? You wouldn't do this to an adult; you would respect their views even if you didn't agree with them. I don't get people who say "little madam". Why are you allowed to have opinions as an adult but not as a child? The OPs little sis just needs to learn that there are other ways of getting her point across - and that's just a maturity thing which will come in time. But good on her for having principles and ideas this young. Do we really want to raise a generation of children who just defer to everyone else and can't think for themselves? I don't.

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 00:37:37

cahootz grin

I guess what I did was give her an ultimatum that out trumped her ultimatum which was to say she was welcome to eat on the balcony, it wasn't very grown up of me I should have explained to her why she can't dictate what other people eat. I wouldn't actually make her eat on the balcony there will be too much snow anyway I'd have to shovel it clear and I won't have time for that!

MidniteScribbler Sun 02-Dec-12 02:39:18

musicposy, I would have no problems if my son decided to become a vegetarian at some point. I would also happily provide vegetarian options at meals. But I would not stop eating meat myself, and if he wanted to put on a strop about me eating meat at my own dinner table, then he could prepare his own meals.

Part of being a parent is not only teaching your child to have principles, but also teaching them how to behave in polite society and how to get your message across without alienating people. There's a time to be vocal about your opinions, and times to just shut up and take the moral high ground.

ravenAK Sun 02-Dec-12 02:54:13

Personally, I think you should make every effort to source a non-intensively reared bird (battery poultry is hideously cruel - I'm with your little sis here), & if it can't be done, just cook veggie.

HOWEVER, if you don't have a problem with factory chicken, then that's your choice to serve it. Equally, it's your sister's choice to eat apart from the main table.

She's not being a brat. Her age isn't really relevant here IMO - what would you do if she was 19? Do that.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Sun 02-Dec-12 03:10:51

" I won't sit at a table where there meat that is not free range,"

i would simply have said "no problem" and let her decide where she wanted to sit on the day. if non free range is what i usually bought then i wouldn't be changing my plans for her, nor would i even raise an eyebrow to her announcement.

sashh Sun 02-Dec-12 03:15:00

Isn't 'free range' a British thing? Maybe she should bring one with her - little brat.

quesadilla Sun 02-Dec-12 07:25:40

Can't get over these people saying how "lovely" and "ethical" she sounds. Sorry OP, sure your sister is lovely and knowing about ethical good production is good but children encouraged to think their opinions and views should always take precedence over others grow up to be selfish, antisocial adults. Tell her to eat the turkey with good grace and moan about it later in private if she has to.

cuillereasoupe Sun 02-Dec-12 07:55:20

Fight fire with fire. Tell her that because of the snow issue the only free-range options available have to be flown in and isn't she worried about the food miles? grin

fluffygal Sun 02-Dec-12 08:32:00

How dare a 9 year old express herself? Little brat, she should eat that turkey and be happy with what she's given. Children should be seen and not heard!

I guess the people with the above views also think the 14 year old girl who got shot for standing up for her education was a brat who should have been happy with what she had? I personally think its great that she's standing up for what she believes in, maybe just guide her OP on how best to express it though!

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 08:32:28

"It really pisses me off that just because she is a child she has no right to express her principles. Eat what she is given? This isn't the dark ages? We have evolved? At least some of us have."

Some people seem to have missed the point that the child is not being made to eat the meat. She is behaving brattishly by trying to dictate what people eat. No one has the right to decide what others eat, whatever their own principles or age.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 08:34:41

Tell her to eat the turkey with good grace

She is being provided with a vegetarian meal! She isn't being made to eat the turkey!

quesadilla Sun 02-Dec-12 08:51:31

OK, I forgot about the veggy option. All the more reason not to indulge her in this situation. fluffygal how ridiculous (and how self-indulgent) to compare a situation where a woman has been brutalized for expressing free speech in a regime that oppresses children with an entitled teenager seeking attention (sorry OP but that's basically what this is about). No one is repressing this child or forcing her to eat something she doesn't want. They are simply asking her to show some respect for her family members and learn that she cannot expect everyone to bend a family celebration to her whims opinions. Its called growing up and learning to function as part of society.

PerryCombover Sun 02-Dec-12 08:57:15

Let her have her principles. Nice to see them.
Show her the info you have on organic and that you are trying to accommodate
That should do it

Cool that you are taking her seriously and teaching her to respect herself and others

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:02:33

She sounds great and hopefully Cory's info has resolved this. If she's concerned I would set her up a table for one, beautifully decorated so she can make her stand during the main course. Don't crush her principles at such a young age smile

CheungFun Sun 02-Dec-12 09:10:25

ImperialSantasKnickers yes I think I would lie to an adult as well as a child. If they were actually going to eat the bird then of course I would buy free range, but otherwise I don't think I could be bothered to have the argument discussion to persuade them. Yes I'm a terrible person I know wink

I just think Christmas should be a time to relax and enjoy the day with family rather than have big talks on good versus evil.

MrsWolowitz Sun 02-Dec-12 09:10:53

fluffygal what a stupid comparison!


honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 09:27:40

I think if it was an adult having such a strong opinion I would say "great, that's fine, can you bring a free range turky with you.

diddl Sun 02-Dec-12 09:31:25

Well that´s the other thing-she wants you all to eat free range, but isn´t in a position to supply it!

Well, moot point as it sounds as if you are going to be able to anyway.

I think a lot of people do try to free range for Christmas even if they can´t afford it at other times of the year.

Good for her, it's people like her that will change the world for the better.

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 09:38:05

Gosh...what a huge difference of opinion. I disagree entirely that people should not be persuaded to behave nine (not an entitled teenager ques) it is perfectly possible to have a strong voice and believe in your convictions. There have been plenty of things wrong with the world and people have stood up for what they believe.

Whether you think the treatment of animals is important is a huge debate but actually, I believe that the way we treat other species, as well as our own, is of importance and shows what kind of society we live in. Empathy, compassion and decency are very important - they are fading fast. Human beings have a tendency to be arrogant and think that as top of the food chain, they can cause suffering so that they can have a nice meal.

This is a sensitive little girl speaking out to a collective conscience. That's what activism is all about. Yes Fluffygal may have had what seems like a crass way to try and explain it - but there have been plenty of causes where people have been told to shut up....apartheid, women's rights etc.......the people involved have not shut up, or been swayed. Not a comparision observation.

I worked in auctioneering a long time ago and lots of people spoke out about fur...a horrible industry (you have no idea) ....they even issued bomb threats to the auction house when those sales were on. (I wasn't part of them - I worked in fine art) and eventually...they were stopped.

Conscience...we all have one of varying degrees. The world needs passion, people who speak out..if the cause is right. Treating animals with respect and decency before we slaughter them? Basic.

cuillereasoupe Sun 02-Dec-12 09:56:53

My suggestion upthread was tongue-in-cheek but actually it might be a useful way of showing the girl that things aren't as black and white as she thinks. Personally I care more about food miles as an environmental issue than I do about animal welfare, as I think it has a greater impact on the long-term health of the planet. It might be a good way to get her thinking around the subject and that it isn't her way or the highway.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 09:57:44

Good for her, it's people like her that will change the world for the better

Since when have dictators changed the world for the better? wink

Agree Punk, it's basic stuff.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sun 02-Dec-12 10:00:57

agree punk smile

cuillereasoupe Sun 02-Dec-12 10:01:42

punkatheart, does the "they" being stopped in your post refer to the bombers or to the auctions?

I don't have a problem with fur personally. I have more of a problem with hundreds of Bangladeshis dying in clothing factory fires to supply Disney with cheap clothes:

Again, I applaud the girl's conscience, but she needs to be made aware sooner or later that not everyone will agree with her, and that doesn't make them wrong.

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 10:03:05

Yes the food miles are an interesting thing to bring up, also the carbon footprint of my family flying to see us.

My mother is ver proud of her lack of carbon footprint, walking/cycling whenever she can and buying local but they travel around the world so in my opinion that counteracts the good and she probably has a pretty average carbon footprint. My mum also maintains that she can "borrow" some of my brother's positive carbon contribution (he works designing renewable energy sources) but he also enjoys regular long haul flights, I have said that I don't think my brother gets to count the energy he produces as his own carbon footprint (never mind donate some to his mother) as it is the people who use the renewable energy who get to count it as their carbon footprint.

Anyway, as you can see the discussion over our christmas dinner will be interesting if not a little un festive.

Mu1berries Sun 02-Dec-12 10:03:05

wow. if she is thinking of it in terms of rights, let her know that she doesn't have the right to ruin everybody else's christmas. other people have the right to a peaceful happy christmas. Next year she can cook christmas lunch for 15.

If you were planning on feeding her a battery turkey knowing her beliefs then I would say it wouldn't be fair, but I would be explaining to her about the right and wrong way to discuss what other people eat and how her wording would come across wrong to some and be inflammatory. She's at the age now where being guided onto the right way to discuss things will help her, rather than let her carry on the way she is.

quesadilla Sun 02-Dec-12 10:12:07

OK she's not a teenager. But principle stands. Punk this is not "activism" it's just wanting to be the centre of attention.

It's interesting that people think that if you care about the welfare of animals being stripped alive for their fur, then that means you cannot care about the welfare of factory workers in Bangladesh. It is possible to do both, I do.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 10:27:24

She's 9 hmm

I know how she'd be treated in this house...Death Stare...followed by a terse observation that the life of a battery-caged chicken will seem like Paradise compared to the Seven Hells I'll put her through if she doesn't stop so rude and ill-mannered in my home

She would then be handed a tea towel and told to dry some dishes...

Mu1berries Sun 02-Dec-12 10:30:41

Yes laQueen, caring about causes is admirable. my own ten year old is a bit shallow. she wants curling tongues hmm but there has to be a realisation that one 9 year old can't dictate to a large bunch of adults. There is a lack of self-awareness there on 9 year old's part. Part of growing up but it wouldn't do her any favours to believe that she can show up, not contributing financially to the cost of the meal, not preparing it or clearing up and yet TELL the people who are paying for it and doing the work how to do it 'right'. I wouldn't tolerate that from my 10 yo. The actual cause is beside the point.

LifeOnACrunchieBar Sun 02-Dec-12 10:31:14

I cannot believe some of the responses on here. Compliance and conformity are not the be all and end all. In fact, it's more important to know when to be compliant and conform and when not too.

Mu1berries Sun 02-Dec-12 10:32:20

But it's not about compliance. It's about her thinkning that she can tell the adults what to pay for what to prepare and cook whilst sitting on her ass directing from a comfy chair.

Mu1berries Sun 02-Dec-12 10:32:58

huge difference between "compliance" and thinking you can tell a large group of adults how to spend their money and behave. HUGE difference.

cuillereasoupe Sun 02-Dec-12 10:33:50

I don't think I suggested caring about one precludes the other, did I? My point is that OP's sis needs to realise that the moral high ground is relative and culturally determined. I happen to live in a place where fur doesn't register highly as a moral issue.

Mu1berries Sun 02-Dec-12 10:35:38

I do agree that you should learn when to be compliant and when to speak out though. Yes, and often on here you'll read threads from women whose mothers in law look after their toddlers forty hours a week for £100 a week and they give out that the mothers in law let them watch a bit of tv or gave them a biscuit. there's a time to weigh things up and either say thank you so much but I'll take over and do it myself, OR, as you are doing all the hard work i will privately make a few concessions and I will smile and say thank you.

I wouldn't expect a ten year old to get this, but adults shouldn't be indulging her.

yes. your sister is right and good for her.

specialsubject Sun 02-Dec-12 10:36:27

absolutely. If she were really that principled she wouldn't be taking a massive flight for a few days, and she wouldn't be attending a lunch where there might be non-free-range food. So the best thing is that she stays at home, working to contribute to her own food, fuel and clothing like kids in some countries have to do. Of course she is a pamperered nine year old and can't do that.

or she politely refuses the turkey, eats the rest and shuts up until she is old enough to work to pay to live her life as she chooses. Just like the rest of us did when confronted with family traditions that we didn't like.

quesadilla Sun 02-Dec-12 10:37:00

Crunchie: but no one is asking her to "comply" with anything. The OP is giving her a veggie alternative. She is essentially asking to be allowed to disrupt the meal and embarrass her family to make a point which she could make quite adequately - without compromising her principles - just by talking calmly about it rather than having a strop at Xmas dinner.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 10:42:38

Not a damned chance in Hell that a 9 year old in my home would ever be allowed to dictate to, and sneer at a group of adults - whilst sitting on her bum not contributing in any physical/practical or monetary sense to the proceedings.

MummytoKatie Sun 02-Dec-12 10:43:25

Question - in Tescos yesterday there was a food bank collecting.

If you can only afford to do one of donate to the food bank or buy free range which should you do? Or maybe which would you do. Do the fact that Tescos ups your foodbank donation by 30% make a difference?

How is a 9 year old supposed to contribute financially? Presumably she has no choice as to where she spends christmas? If she objected to the air miles and refused to go, that would make her even more of a 'brat' in some people's eyes?

At 9 years old, you really don't have much of a say in anything, it's put up and shut up until you can leave home.

drjohnsonscat Sun 02-Dec-12 10:50:52

It's easy to have principles when you don't have to pay for them. I would tell her you would love to do that but can't afford the extra expense so she will not get any presents but the money will go towards having a free range bird shipped out to you. Since she cares so much she'll be delighted.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 10:52:00

If she feels so very, very strongly, then how about she saves her spending money and buys the free-range chicken herself hmm

No? Thought not... hmm

JenaiMathis Sun 02-Dec-12 10:52:12

All free range isn't more humane than all non-free range. <helpful>

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 10:53:14

And, if she doesn't get pocket about her contribution is that she forgoes her Xmas present from you, and instead you buy a free-range chicken...

No? Thought not... hmm

Mu1berries Sun 02-Dec-12 10:53:33

I'm teaching my kids not to make a fucking song and dance cabaret if some food they don't want to eat is put on their plate at somebody else's house. Ignore it, eat around it, say thank you. You're not obliged to let teh host know precisely where they fell down in your opinion!

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 10:53:43

oooops X-posted with Dr

Kalisi Sun 02-Dec-12 11:00:29

In all fairness, she is not expecting or demanding that anybody else do anything. She is merely stating that, according to her principals she cannot bring herself to eat at the same table as a caged turkey. Best way to deal with it is by not dealing with it. She can make her stand on the sofa, you can enjoy your dinner without any steely looks at the table. Everyone sleeps soundly grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 02-Dec-12 11:00:49

I am amazed at how many of you are applauding her manipulative and attention-seeking behaviour.

If she wants to be a veggie, then of course she can be, but to try and dictate to other people is hideous.

My aunt was/is a militant vegetarian, and used to come to my parents house and try to dictate what food my mother served. She is now completely ostracised from the family because she never learned how to be diplomatic rather than trying to dictate and impose her views on everyone about this and many other subjects.

I don't think that it's attention seeking. It is something that she cares passionately about and she needs to learn how to contain that while not being rude to other people.

It's part of being a 9 year old and becoming educated in social norms ( if that is what is important to you).

ConferencePear Sun 02-Dec-12 11:04:19

Since she is being extreme why don't you try the opposite extreme ?

Tell her while you're eating your non-free range turkey she can kneel on the balcony and thank God that she has the luxury of choice when so many are starving.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 02-Dec-12 11:04:50

Kalisi - clearly though, she was expecting that no turkey be served, rather than that the OP call her bluff and ask her to make the sacrifice of family company for her meal.

If she does genuinely go and sit elsewhere to eat her meal, then I will applaud her - but there is nothing noble, principled or anything else in throwing a tantrum and expecting everyone else to fall over themselves to comply with your wishes. That holds true whether you are 9, 39, or 99.

Dancergirl Sun 02-Dec-12 11:07:25

Where's your mother/father in all this? Aren't they responsible for her discipline (and teaching manners)?

Kalisi Sun 02-Dec-12 11:08:55

Either way calling her bluff is the best option. It's not a bad thing to have principals but it's best to learn quickly that the world will not change for them and which sacrifices are worth making.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 11:12:22

Agree with Kal it's good to have principles...but people will listen to your principles, and respect them (and you) a whole lot more if you conduct yourself in a polite, socially acceptable way.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:14:41

Oh yes, the Scandinavian Poultry problem. I dont envy you honeytea! grin

If you do go to a delicatessen to buy a turkey, mind that they dont have the trimmings in a plastic bag inside the turkey cavity, before you put it in the freezer - It is going to make defrosting it, just a tad more complicated if you have a plastic bag frozen inside your bird.

If you go for chicken, can you get proper chicken which is not frozen, in the supermarket? In Norway, this is not possible. I have to go to the butchers, and buy two very small birds at £20 per bird, to feed a family of four....

Lilithmoon Sun 02-Dec-12 11:15:50

I think your sister sounds fab and you should be proud of her strength of convictions.
She needs learn how to frame her opinions a little more diplomatically to make sure the message isn't lost!
I do find the name calling on this thread a bit off...

ConferencePear Sun 02-Dec-12 11:19:41

Yes, the name calling is a bit off but ......

At nine she will think that she is the centre of the universe and able to control everyone around her. It will do her no harm to begin to learn that this isn't necessarily so.

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 11:23:54

Activism stopped the fur one wanted the hassle.

'the world will not change for them'?

I am glad that so many people are changing the world. The world will and does change. All the bloody time.

It's odd that people assume she is attention-seeking....I really don't see that at all. She is not asking people to be veggie...she is asking that the family buys a free-range turkey ffs. Surely that is not such a big deal?

There has been no tantrum. She has expressed her opinion a number of weeks before the event...not at the table. There is time to get a free-range turkey.

I understand what you say abput militant vegetarianism, your aunt has made you shudder at the thought of it. I feel that shouting about veal in a restaurant (as I have seen someone do) is rude, crass and does not help the cause. I would never bring up the subject when people are actually eating. That is bad manners and to spoil everyone's meal would be selfish. However, a discussion and a reminder of principles some time before the event is very different.

I applaud your sister, OP. Give her a high five from me. I am older now but I am lucky enough to work in animal conservation - wolves to be exact. If ever wants to come up and see the wolves, I would be chuffed to have her there. When she is older, she could even come and walk with them.

I spend much of my time talking animals, with biologists, conservationists and a friend who has just finished her PhD on farming and farming practice. Trust me, air miles are not the only issue - although an important one. But that's a whole new story and for people who are not interested in food or where and would be a boring one.

I will never stop loving animals and loving nature. Let's hope that this determined little girl doesn't either....

JenaiMathis Sun 02-Dec-12 11:28:49

I've never understood the objection to fur tbh (farming methods/endangered species not withstanding). If you're going to eat meat and wear leather, you might as well wear fur.

I used to think a lot of the campaigners were probably a bit thick.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 11:31:25

The fact is that there is no problem here.
The child is a vegetarian: fine she can have the vegetarian meal that will be provided for her
The child does not want to sit at a table where there is a non-free range bird: Fine, she can sit on the balcony elsewhere. As others have said, I hope she's put the same demands to the airline.

She does not get to dictate what others eat.

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 11:34:43

Dogs and cats are not endangered...but they are made into fur.

We do not eat a number of animals from whom we obtain fur.

Methods are cruel and fur is is a luxury item for wealthy people, not a necessity like food. Using up all of the animal...yes of course that is sensible. But fur farming?

Campaigners are not thick. They are educated.

cuillereasoupe Sun 02-Dec-12 11:34:59

I was reading a very interesting article recently about "speciesism" in conservation. Cute and fluffy mammal = gets protection, ugly/buzzy and irritating / insect/amphibian = doesn't. OP, your sister sounds bright and sparky, I bet she'd enjoy debating the relative merits of vegetarianism vs. air miles vs. workers' rights wink

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 11:35:39

The little girl is not a guest. She is a member of the family who are hosting the party. It is HER house.

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 11:37:33

I think a lot of people are seeing this as the op having a right to a hassle free meal with her dsis at the expense of the dsis who will then have to swallow her moral principles to facilitate that. It seems rather unreasonable to expect the child to be the one to be more mature, especially as she has already tried to compromise (free range meat rather than no meat) although in a rather undiplomatic way. As a dc she doesn't get any choice in where she spends Christmas but that doesn't mean the adults in her life should force her to go against her principles just because they can and it would make their lives easier. It might be that in 10 years she chooses not to have meals with people who are serving meat but at the moment she can't avoid it. It would be rather unfair and decidedly un-sisterly to use her vulnerability / dependence to avoid compromising.

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 11:37:36

Yes we love the cuddly. That's why often wolves are a hard sell. But considering that last month I cuddled an Arctic wolf while another sniffed my bottom...I am very slanted....

Narked Sun 02-Dec-12 11:37:45

Good girl.

cuillereasoupe Sun 02-Dec-12 11:40:58

Funny, I'd have said wolves enjoyed a considerable degree of visibility in the conservation world, with high-profile advocates like Helene Grimaud. Certainly more so than your average endangered nematode.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 11:42:45

she has already tried to compromise (free range meat rather than no meat)

But she isn't being made to eat the meat at all.

StuntGirl Sun 02-Dec-12 11:46:15

It isn't her house, it's her sisters house. My brother and I are best friends, we are incredibly close and see each other almost every day as we live down the road from each other. I am very comfortable in his house and get on fantastically with his housemates, who happen to be some of my best friends. It's still his house. I am still always a guest in his house.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 02-Dec-12 11:48:47

Punk - less of the 'people who are not interested in food or the why or where' thank you. That exact sanctimonious attitude is precisely what is off-putting among people who consider themselves activists.

I care very much where my food comes from. I only buy free-range meat and eggs, I buy locally wherever possible and am concerned with issues like food miles and ensuring that food producers in Britain and elsewhere are able to make a profit and look after their landscape while still rearing animals or growing crops in an ethical and sustainable manner.

Doesn't mean that I think the OP's sister deserves a 'high five' for trying to blackmail her family. That kind of self-centred behaviour should be addressed in children regardless of what the motivations or reasons are behind it. The fact that is so often isn't these days goes a great way to explaining why we have such a grabby, selfish society emerging.

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 12:03:09

Wolves are visible yes, but still hated by many...

I don't see blackmail here at all. I don't consider that I am sanctimonious either. A lot of people have no interest in the source of their food. That is their choice. I didn't say they were right or wrong. Or that I am a better person. I'm not.

Expressing an opinion is self-centred? Not in my household.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 02-Dec-12 12:04:55

It's actually great that she's going to learn the lesson that "It's easier to fight for your principles than live up to them" so early in life. Many people don't get the opportunity till much later and are unbearable hypocrites in the meantime. She will thank you for preventing this happening to her, even as she's eating her nut roast on the balcony.

JenaiMathis Sun 02-Dec-12 12:07:04

Agreed; I have yet to see a nematode fleece cuillereasoupe grin

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 12:07:23

punk it's exactly your sort of righteous/dogmatic attitude that turns sympathetic people off activism.

Just thought you should know.

valiumredhead Sun 02-Dec-12 12:08:10

I wouldn't give her the option of eating her dinner anywhere else other than the table with everyone else, otherwise you are just encouraging her to be rude.

Tell her it is free range and tell her to behave herself.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 12:08:58

It most certanly isn't the 9 year old's house. It is the house of her elder sister, and she is a guest in it, a welcome one certainly, but still only a guest.

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 12:11:00

Thank you, LaQueen. If the idea of not having battery hens and chickens is dogmatic and righteous, then I am happy with that. It's something I feel strongly about.

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 12:11:48

Family. Not merely a guest. There is a distinction.

Punk, you don't come across as self righteous at all, it's always the first insult thrown when other don't agree with you. You have been very polite towards those who apparently champion manners but have posted in less than eloquent terms.

waltermittymistletoe Sun 02-Dec-12 12:14:39

I haven't read all of the replies but I'm shocked at the people defending your sister.

IMO this is less about her principles and more about her manners. Which are lacking.

She's being invited in your home. She's not being asked to eat the meat. Yes it's great that the she has her morals and stands by them but she's nine FFS. She needs manners putting on her.

Your mother should not be letting her away with behaviour like this. She hasn't yet learned to discuss her opinions and preferences in a mature way (naturally since she's a child) but she MUST learn that you can't behave that way. Especially in somebody else's home!

YANBU in not allowing a spoiled little madam to dictate what you can or cannot buy.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 02-Dec-12 12:15:08

Expressing an opinion and demanding that others conform to it are two totally different things. Can you really not grasp that?

grin At the idea that the people who wear wolf fleeces are doing it to promote wolf protection.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 12:17:59

Many people have very strong feelings on the matter Punk.

Just because you are dogmatic, rude and mildly annoying about how you express them doesn't mean that you care more just means you haven't learned to exercise any charm or diplomacy while expressing your opinion. That's all.

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 12:18:20

I know she isn't being forced to eat meat (and in fact I suspect that might be illegal in Sweden as children's rights to religion and belief are protected there and vegetarianism is a recognised belief in the EU) but there are many vegetarians who choose not to attend meals where other people will be eating meat. As she is a child she isn't able to make that choice but that doesn't make it okay to force her to go against her principles. Would you equally force a Hindu child to eat at a table someone else was eating beef at just because you could, and you have different beliefs? I think respect goes both ways and that means the op does have to respect her dsis's principles, especially as the dsis isn't even able to avoid the situation yet. If dsis had actively chosen to go to Sweden for Christmas then it might be more reasonable to expect her to put up with the choice she has made, but it sounds a lot like she doesn't get to choose. If you're forcing someone to do something then for your pleasure or convenience then the least you can do is adapt it so that it doesn't contradict her principles too much.

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 12:19:34

walter - it's not really an invitation if she can't decline it so I don't think your point stands. I agree she did a bad job of phrasing her objections but that's to be expected for a 9 year old.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 12:20:21

This 9 year old is a family guest. Probably allotted more privileges than a regular guest ...but still only a guest.

For a while, when I visited my Mum, she was living in a house that DH and I actually owned. However, I still considered myself a guest in her home - and behaved according to her wishes.

DameFannyGallopsBEHINDyou Sun 02-Dec-12 12:21:37

Haven't read the whole thread but for heaven sake manners do not trump principles. Imagine where that leads.

waltermittymistletoe Sun 02-Dec-12 12:24:28

Teddy of course my point stands!

If you took your children to visit friends/family would you allow them to do and say whatever they wanted? Be rude, obnoxious, disobedient because YOU made the decision to visit and they had to comply?

HildaOgden Sun 02-Dec-12 12:27:12

I'd be very tempted to let her follow through on her principles....if she is refusing to sit at the table,then let her use the alternative you have kindly provided (ie,the balcony)

I'd also tell her the old saying...'you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar'......if she is being dictatorial about her principles,she will alienate others from the validity of those principles.If she sat at the table and calmly answered any questions about her choice regarding vegetarianism ,then that is more likely to persuade others to join in.

Rather than viewing what looks like a petulant preteen having a sulky strop on the balcony.

(I wouldn't try fob her off by disguising a non-free range turkey,she is on to you now and will see it as her mission to expose you!!)

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 12:30:25

If my dc had a really good reason for not wanting to go somewhere (something like knowing a bully would be there, or yes it opposed a moral principle for some reason) then I wouldn't take them there. I don't think it's reasonable to disregard someone else's feelings or beliefs just because they're too young or vulnerable to be able to stand up to me. I definitely wouldn't treat my own family that way especially if I wanted a nice Christmas. You can't bully someone into tolerating the disregard of their principles and then expect them to carry on being cheerful and treating you with respect.

cuillereasoupe Sun 02-Dec-12 12:32:17

Wolf fleeces aren't directly about wolf conservation, but there is a link: they are about creating an image of wolves as noble creatures that then feeds into their relatively high standing in the conservation world.

I shall start making and selling nematode fleeces forthwith, there's obviously a market for 'em grin

quesadilla Sun 02-Dec-12 12:42:46

Yes, principles are (usually) more important than manners. But again, people, for the umpteenth time she's not being asked to compromise her principles, her sister is preparing an option in order to avoid her having to do this. What she is actually doing is imposing her opinions demands on her family at cost and embarrassment to them. Having a debate about food production is good. Declining to consume food which is produced in a way you don't like is good. Forcing a bunch of relatives to dance to your tune on this at cost to them is not good, its spoiled and selfish.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 12:43:50

You can't bully someone into tolerating the disregard of their principles and then expect them to carry on being cheerful and treating you with respect.

Equally, you can't bully someone into doing what you dictate.

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 12:45:40

punk thank you! I will talk to her about going to see wolves, she is very aware of bears as we go skiing in bear territory and her main worry is that if she was attacked by a bear the bear would be killed.

I don't think it is attention seaking from my sister as she has lots of attention as she has 5 grown up siblings and 2 parents so she is pretty much always the center of attention, she is used to bossing our mum around and my mum would probably say to her fair enough we will buy free range turky.

ANy ideas for some ethical animal bassed pressies?

I wouldn't want to sit at a table full of people laughing and joking over a turkey which will almost certainly have had the worst life it could possibly have had. I admire your sister. I suppose to her (and to me) it's just like a group of people making merry over a plate of kitten, or a plate of pet hamster. Heartless and crude.

But that does present you with a dilemma. Let her have fun being a martyr out on the balcony, I guarantee she will love "sacrificing" Christmas lunch and picturing herself a a lonely, misunderstood crusader grin you grow out of being a self important nine year old, what's more important is how much she cares and how compassionate she seems to be.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 12:46:47

An Oxfam goat? grin

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 12:48:37

quesadilla, would you feel comfortable eating somewhere where something you had a moral objection to was being served? Could you sit next to someone eating whale, live animals, monkey, polar bear, people etc (choose one which you oppose the eating of) and feel like it had no effect on you as long as you didn't have to eat it? I know I couldn't sit at table with someone eating any of those things and as an adult I would avoid that situation. A 9 year old can't avoid it (unless she goes to the balcony) but that doesn't mean she would feel any better about it.

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 12:50:12

Equally, you can't bully someone into doing what you dictate.

The difference being that the op doesn't have a moral objection to free-range meat, it's just inconvenient to get hold of.

valiumredhead Sun 02-Dec-12 12:51:03

teddy I could and I have (except for live animals!) - as long as I don't have to eat it I have no objection to what others put it their mouths.

waltermittymistletoe Sun 02-Dec-12 12:51:31

But Teddy, the OP is not forcing her to abandon her principles.

She's seeing to her dietary requirements and has explained the difficulty in getting a free range turkey/chicken.

She isn't being forced to do anything. Presumably she wants to see her sister and new dn!

I just think a nine year old bossing a grown woman around and making demands is awful. I would never allow my children to act that way!

quesadilla Sun 02-Dec-12 12:56:39

Teddybare I have frequently had to eat around people eating a lot of food which I don't like and think is ethically questionable -- my DH comes from somewhere where they eat a lot of meat and offal and the like. I don't eat it (I eat meat sometimes but not offal) but I would consider it beyond rude to take myself off in a sulk and ask to eat separately because I don't like it. Admittedly I don't have any ethical objection to meat eating, but I find offal disgusting. But I wouldn't dream of asking to be allowed to eat at a separate table from them.

I would never expect someone to be forced to eat something they didn't agree with but I don't see why they should expect other people who don't share those views to modify their behaviour on my behalf. Its self-centred and disrespectful. Once again, the OP is catering for her sister's strongly-held ethical beliefs. She is well within her rights not to eat the turkey but she can't expect all her relatives not to eat it just because she doesn't like it. And by sitting at a different table she is making the whole meal about her and her beliefs and basically making her parents and sister feel like sh**.

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 13:01:32

(Off topic, but where were you to be near people eating people? Did the person die of natural causes and then get eaten or is it more Hollywood-style sacrifice than that?) I also think that is probably quite an unusual approach. There are a lot of vegetarians who avoid meat in general. I'm not sure there are many 9 year olds with that level of detachment and emotional maturity.
Walter - it would appear to be the case that this particular vegetarian is the sort of vegetarian who would choose not to be around people eating meat. That is a principled argument and she is being forced to abandon it. It is possible to get free range meat in Sweden and it is apparently also possible to get ethically farmed turkeys, so there are options. I think disregarding someone else's moral principles, especially when it's for convenience, is awful. I would never treat anyone that way and I hope my dc wouldn't either!

Really, you would feel like shit?
You would feel fine being responsible for the death of an animal, never mind supporting the demand for a horrible inhumane industry, but a child eating away from the table (which is what happens with us anyway- children eat separately) spoils the whole thing for you? Bit screwed up IMO.

Angelico Sun 02-Dec-12 13:06:48

I love precocious kids grin Her morals are admirable but as others have said she needs to learn that other people have different views and sometimes good manners are important too.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 13:07:32

That is irrelevant, Teddy. You still can't bully people into doing what you want.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 13:09:18

Incidentally, my opinion has nothing to do with the age of the person trying to bully the others. It would be the same if she was an adult.

quesadilla Sun 02-Dec-12 13:09:35

quirrel think you may be confusing me with the OP. Don't know what the OP's view is. Personally, if a member of my family had strong views on not eating animals I would very much respect that and try within reason to cater for it. What I wouldn't do is enable this family member to dictate that everyone else present had to refrain from not eating them too. I don't think its reasonable for one person's principles, however strongly held, to be given automatic precedence over anyone else's. Call that moral relativism if you like, but I think its just self-centred and bad mannered.

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 13:10:17

quesadilla I would see a distinction between not liking a type of food and thinking that the way it is produced is unethical. If you dislike a food then simply not tasting, smelling or touching it is probably enough. If you object to the way it is produced then it's the existence of it that is the problem. Clearly no one can change the whole world, but they can choose to avoid situations which feature unethical elements especially if you were hoping to have a nice time. I have no intention of google searching for images of child abuse on Christmas day because I hope to enjoy the day and that would put a damper on things for me. I would choose not to attend an event where those images were being featured on Christmas and if I were forced to attend I would be somewhat resentful about it.
If her family feel bad about her choosing to avoid the problem by sitting somewhere else then that's a shame, but I don't think that the family feeling bad should be prioritised above respecting the beliefs of someone (even if they are young enough to force).

TeddyBare Sun 02-Dec-12 13:12:38

Soupdragon, I think you're being rather unfair interpreting this as a child trying to bully anyone. She is simply trying to avoid something she finds unethical. No one wants to be confronted by things they find unethical. Avoiding them is not really bullying anyone.

quesadilla Sun 02-Dec-12 13:16:24

I take your point on the distinction between inethical and disgusting food, but comparing someone cooking a non free-range turkey for their family's christmas meal with googling for child porn is totally over the top. I'll say it again: no-one is asking her to compromise her beliefs. She is simply being asked to tolerate the fact that there are other people with whom she is eating who aren't eating the free range stuff. She cannot expect to go through life totally avoiding situations where she eats adjacent to people who eat things she doesn't like and she's creating a lot of embarrassment and hassle (and probably upset) for her family by seeking to do so.

Mumsyblouse Sun 02-Dec-12 13:29:09

I very much doubt that this is being driven by her principles at all, unless she refuses to go to any fast food restaurant, or any restaurant, 99% of which don't serve free range food. Would she really not go in any setting without free range meat? Does she eat her school dinners with her school friends?

I think it is no coincidence that this has arisen over a meal all the family will be attending, in which she already gets heaps of attention, This is attention seeking in the extreme when her own beliefs about eating meat aren't being brought into question.

My husband's family are from a culture where wearing fur is commonplace, so is shooting and eating and trapping animals for food (in the countryside), giving children a bit of alcohol from an early age, attending religious ceremonies which aren't my personal choice and so on. Imagine if I made my own protests everytime I went there about every single moral choice I disagreed with? I have friends whose children are brought up in extremely different cultures (e.g. sacrificing animals at feasts)- should they show their distain for the locals by refusing to sit with them to eat (this in most cultures is about as rude as you can get)?

She is used to being the centre of attention, and to be honest even if you sorted this out, by getting a free-range turkey/chicken (which I do myself), I'm betting she would move the goalposts and find something to object to in the lack of free-range gravy or whatever.

Mumsyblouse Sun 02-Dec-12 13:31:42

I'd just clarify I don't make my children eat anything they don't want when we go into their father's culture, nor do I. But I wouldn't allow them to disrespect their hosts by getting up and leaving the table (sometimes we have to pour the alcohol into a plantpot!)

WilsonFrickett Sun 02-Dec-12 13:33:38

If the op was in the uk she would have ordered the free-range organic turkey already - that much is clear from her posts. The problem is she's trying to balance her SD's desire for a traditional turkey with her DSis desire for that turkey to be free range, and that seems to be impossible in Sweden.

I can't help thinking the solution is not to serve turkey? Serve a traditional Swedish meal?

zeeboo Sun 02-Dec-12 13:36:55

What a spoilt little shite she sounds. No adult, no matter how 'principled' would be allowed to behave like that in my house and I certainly wouldn't tolerate it from a 9 year old!!!

'Spoilt little shite'sad

diddl Sun 02-Dec-12 13:43:17

OP-does your sister agree all the food that your parents eat?

And if not, does she eat separately?

I think it´s great that she cares in this way.

It would also be great if there was no demand for non free range /eggs from battery hens because everyone could afford free range.

Zeebo and what a lovely, polite, tolerant person you sound! are you in the habit of calling children shits? would you tell her calmly and helpfully that she was spoilt and a shitty person? You're talking to her sister for christ's sake. If anyone said that about my younger cousins I'd be furious- and they're a handful at times, no doubt about it.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 02-Dec-12 13:48:29

zeeboo "What a spoilt little shite " - What a horrible thing to say about a child with a social conscience!

You allow yourself to speak about a child like that, somebody's little sister, and you still think you can take the moral high-ground about "principles".


NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 02-Dec-12 13:49:05

What a twat you sound, zeeboo...


Yeah, part of it might be because she likes the drama of it all. But if she's taken seriously and praised for taking a stand (although she could have done it less imperiously), it might grow into something really admirable and useful. If she's not patted on the back and fussed over, she won't be spoiled.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 02-Dec-12 13:50:15

It's not a matter of affording free range. Egg/meat are not an essential part of the human diet. If you can't afford free range then eat eggs/meat less often/not at all.

diddl Sun 02-Dec-12 13:53:07

"I can't help thinking the solution is not to serve turkey? Serve a traditional Swedish meal?"

Why shouldn´t OP serve what she & her parents would like to eat??

ItsAllGoing very true. We don't need that much protein. An adult female only needs 40g of protein a day- milk on your cereals is 8g of protein, so 20% is used up already. An adult male needs 50%. Less for a child. We're the only species that continues drinking milk after we've been weaned onto solids, when we don't need it, and we're nowhere near the largest land mammal.

Sorry, 50g for a male!

WilsonFrickett Sun 02-Dec-12 13:58:39

Tbh diddl I didn't get the feeling that op was all that bothered about serving turkey and I'm sure there's a response further back where she says the only person who has asked for it is DSD. Op also says she eats and serves meat rarely. Essentially I'm reading this as only two people in the family as being bothered about turkey IYSWIM. In which case, avoid the conflict and eat something else.

ravenAK Sun 02-Dec-12 14:03:19

Because she's living in Sweden & can't buy chicken/turkey without supporting horrendous cruelty, if it's not possible to buy anything but battery birds, diddl.

Obviously if she's not in the least bothered by this, then it's chicken on the table & dsis on the balcony, & fair enough if that's her decision!

Or she could decide to serve a veggie meal this year; parents can have free range chicken any time in the UK, & OP can eat battery chicken when the veggie sister's not there.

I'm not saying it'd be wrong for the OP to stick to her guns & tell her sister to lump it, but giving the bird a miss altogether this once doesn't seem such a massive sacrifice to me, tbh.

BeanieStats Sun 02-Dec-12 14:14:27

Why is this even an issue? She's nine. She has no input in to the decision making process.

Just tell her what's going to happen and leave it there.

diddl Sun 02-Dec-12 14:18:21

I thought that OP was going to look for free range anyway as it is available?

Sorry, missed about only one person being bothered.

I guess they´ll be having traditional Swedish fare at the ILs on the 24th?

I think it´s more the attitude of the little sister?

I´d be pissed off if I was told what I must serve in my own house by my little sister-even if I agreed!

ravenAK Sun 02-Dec-12 14:20:46

I think the issue with that approach is that she's already said she won't be at the table if battery farmed meat is on it.

I have an 8 year old vegetarian ds myself. Not only would I not want to force him to sit at a table where, as far as he'd be concerned, I might as well be dishing up fricassed kittens, I'm not sure I could physically drag him there.

It certainly wouldn't be a very festive meal for anyone...

Beanie it's not an ordinary time though, it's Christmas, when you try to accommodate people as much as poss. If you were forced to witness something which personally upset you very much, would that be festive, wouldn't that make you resentful?

I think the OP's balcony suggestion is fine. Yes, it's not the best solution, but I think people's unhappiness at her being a few feet away is probably less than her unhappiness at having to sit through a meal which could be unbearable for her. Plus Chrismas is for the kids a lot of the time, got to admit it.

diddl Sun 02-Dec-12 14:28:07

I know that over here there are no longer eggs for sale from hens kept in "battery conditions".

That´s an EU thing, isn´t it & also applies to UK?

Husband seems to think it´s also not possible to buy non free range chicken here either.

If so, that´ll soon be happening in UK also?

RedToothbrush Sun 02-Dec-12 14:32:14

Make your sister pay for the difference in cost between free range and none free range out of her pocket money. Otherwise she puts up with the arrangement. She is not being asked to eat it. I would have much more sympathy if that was the case.

Instead she is just a spoilt brat who needs to learn a few manners when visiting other people and needs to learn that free range might not be affordable for all.

P.S. Make sure you have pigs in blankets too. I bet the little madam hasn't even considered that...

To be honest, a lot of the "free range" labels are horribly misleading. They might not be kept in cages, but a lot of hens still live in disgusting and horrifically cramped conditions. Unless you take eggs from your own hens that you keep and raise yourself, I'm not sure how sure you can be whether you're making a humane choice or not. And the misinformation doesn't stop there. The big battery hen campaign a while back celebrated as a big success I think managed to get cages enlarged from the size of an A4 page to the size of A3. Very sad and disappointing. Campaign lost momentum- hens got hardly any extra room.

diddl Sun 02-Dec-12 14:54:14

Well that´s the thing-there´s barn reared(?)-but how cramped & how much outdoors?

Obviously better than battery.

But as you say, you don´t really know.

waltermittymistletoe Sun 02-Dec-12 14:57:34

Teddy she's nine. So she has a lot of learning to do.

Part of that is learning to have manners, be respectful to other people and tolerant of their way of life.

Being a vegetarian does not give you the right to be a bratty little madam who dictates what people can and can't do.

There are ways of getting your view across without resorting to tantrums. She doesn't know these ways yet because she's in her formative years. This is where her mother should be teaching her.

I'm not saying she's not entitled to her morals on this one. And I don't think she shoudl be ignored. But this sort of behaviour is unacceptable and she needs to be taught that or she's be a horror!

The thing is, did we have factory farms a hundred or two hundred years ago? The demand for meat must have been so much less, because it was more expensive, was it to do with the creation of a middle class? Which comes first- the demand increasing and factory farms being created or prices dropping and the demand increasing? chicken or the egg wink we need an economist.

Have you seen this video? it makes me laugh and cry at the same time smile

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 15:04:58

Honeytea - as far as presents are concerned...of course I would recommend you adopt a wolf for I recently reviewed a book called The Wolf Princess...which is really good. I was just thinking what to do with it...if you would like it, let me know. I would be happy to send it to her or to little stroppy animal soul to another. Can also recommend some books on drawing wild animals....there are lots of things.

I still think that opening up the debate and talking about it all is fantastic, instructive and interesting.

I think that cultures that hunt meat, wear the offcut fur - that's natural, normal..the way of the world. Piling chickens up in a prison or giving a pig (an intelligent creature) a home in which he or she cannot even turn around - is not a thing I could ever condone.

Free-range gravy mumsy...wouldn't that be a bit.....messy? wink

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:08:01

Maybe you can give her a voucher for one of the nocturnal Wolf watching trips at the Wolf Sanctuary just outside London?

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:09:03
Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 15:11:23

To all those who suggested that the OP buy a chicken, throw away the packaging and claim its free range: the difference is obvious immediately as intensively farmed chickens have their hocks cut off so the burns from sitting in piss and shit are not visible.
Free range chickens don't get hock burns as they are able to stand and move around.

I love your sister!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 02-Dec-12 15:31:58

quirrel that video is so sad. It is one of humankinds less admirable qualities to be able to compartmentalise things in their heads in that way. I bet that the majority of the people cooing over that cow eat meat.

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 15:47:28

At home my family only eat free range meat so she is happy, I think she has decided that it is more important to be able to socialise with her friends at school lunch time and parties than to question what is in their mc chicken burger, but she feels relaxed enough with family to make her opinions known.

We will be having a big Swedish celebration on the 24th and that hasn't even come up in conversation, i suppose she just excepts that she can't dictate to my DP's family what sort of meat they are allowed to serve. We were on holiday staying with my DP's mother and she had sweetly made my sister a vegie alternative that had fish eggs in, she just thought that Dsis would eat it because she ate chicken eggs, I can see the logic. Dsis was very good and just left the bits with fish eggs.

She goes busking on her keybord but that money goes to a charity that helps displaced people have tents and cooking equipment and basic living tools I would feel bad to send her out busking to buy a turky/chicken as we could afford one (if there was one to buy.) I have just never seen anything advertised in the super markets here or when you go out to eat, I guess if all chickens are barn chickens then maybe it just isn't an issue. Animal rights are not as thought about in Sweden, they are very concerned with human rights but animals are seen in a practical way, hunting (for food not just fun) is very normal when I go over to my DP's relatives they show me photos of the latest kills.

I am on the verge of just buying organic beaf, I think it is much tastier than chicken and we can make yorkshire pudding yummy!

The present ideas sound great! punk the book sounds magical smile

I see your point. But I fell a bit in love with the woman who said that her whole family had turned veggie because of Maxine smile
Just seeing the cow running at the end made me do that very undistinguished snorty/teary/laughy thing. There's heartwarming bits!

WilsonFrickett Sun 02-Dec-12 16:22:10

quirrel twas the industrial revolution. Before that, more or less everyone lived on the land or in small towns where food was bought from markets. Industrial revolution coincided with the enclosure movement and the industrialisation of farming, part of which was in response to suddenly having these enormous cities that had to be fed, so it was all interlinked. But basically, people stopped living on and off the land and couldn't feed themselves through produce that they'd grown or reared themselves, thus creating a market at the same time as technology and social change made a gap that farming for profit could fit into.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 16:30:23

It is get problems leave it to her to decide where to sit. If you ignore her I doubt whether she will take herself off.

ravenAK Sun 02-Dec-12 16:51:23

I do organic beef when we have carniverous ILs for Xmas. smile.

I'd agree it's a generally 'happier meat' than poultry because of all the 'barn-reared' etc misdirection that goes on. & yy to yorkies! Yum.

Thanks Wilson smile

Jux Sun 02-Dec-12 17:48:24

OK, I haven't read the thread, but your sister needs to learn that she can't impose her choices and views on others, and to show tolerance towards other views. Perfect time for her to start. By the time she's 12 she'll be 'human'!!

quesadilla Sun 02-Dec-12 18:26:29

Sorry OP but I think it's highly significant that she is not taking the same tack with your DH's family. If it really were that strongly held a principle she would extend it to all social events. You said yourself earlier that she is used to being able to boss your mum about. I'm sure she is genuine in her beliefs and cares about this but if it really important she would be extending these demands to every situation not just the ones where she has a history of being able to win.

For me letting her eat on the balcony (or wherever) would basically send her a message that she can dominate every social event and for me that's a bad principle for a child. Principles are important but if they can be compromised for your DH's family they can be compromised for you...

Punkatheart Sun 02-Dec-12 18:27:14

She is more human than most, Jux. Humanity is about compassion, strength of feeling.

You really need to read the's a great debate....

cuillereasoupe Sun 02-Dec-12 18:37:15

What quesadilla said.

ImperialSantaKnickers Sun 02-Dec-12 18:56:27

Goodness a lot's happened since I was last here, back on page 4...

I'm constantly amazed by the number of people who launch in with their tuppence ha'penny, without reading the thread - sometimes without reading the OP properly. I know it takes a few minutes to read through, but it saves wasting time writing out advice that it turns out OP has already heard and accepted! It also stops posters looking like a twat when they make an identical YABU reply to someone three pages before...

Meanwhile did we ever discover where ValiumRedHead had sat at a table with people eating human flesh - my mind is boggling.

Oh and OP - agree about the organic beef option - and the yorkshire puddies - it is the Knickers Towers celebratory meal of choice too!

Jux Sun 02-Dec-12 20:15:27

blush that's me told! Sorry.

merrymouse Sun 02-Dec-12 20:28:53

I think I have a solution that will keep everybody happy.

Ask one of your hunting relatives to provide the food - that would be free range!

To be fair on your sister, although I think your response is reasonable (you are just pointing out the practical consequences of her decision), I think making heartfelt, but rather black and white and impractical declarations of personal values is just part of growing up.

MidniteScribbler Sun 02-Dec-12 22:14:31

The thing is here, that the sister wants everyone to only cater to her for dinner, ignoring the fact that for the step dad, turkey is something that is important to him for christmas. Why should he miss out on what he enjoys just because the child is throwing a strop. She is being catered for, and needs to accept that there are times that not everything on a dining table will be exactly what she wants.

OP, why don't you ask her to research free range turkeys in Sweden and find out where you would source one from? Tell her that it's important to your step dad to have turkey and christmas, and you would like to serve free range, but don't know where to get one in Sweden. Perhaps her doing the research herself and coming up empty handed would make her realise that it's not just as simple as trotting off to the corner store to get one where you live. It's easy to be principled when you can have your principles catered to in any tescos. Not so easy when living in some other parts of the world.

cumfy Sun 02-Dec-12 22:51:55

So does DM ensure everything they have at home is free range ?

honeytea Sun 02-Dec-12 22:56:17

Yep they have chickens so the eggs come from their own chickens, then all the meat is free range but DM doesn't cook meat very often anyway.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Dec-12 23:01:46

Cook what you like and show her to the balcony if she has a problem with that! YANBU.

Thamesmead Sun 02-Dec-12 23:07:49

If you're willing to encourage her to continue such poor behaviour at the age of nine by giving in and/or lying to her, then be prepared for this to not be the last wildly rude demand from her. Not for this visit, not for the future. If she doesn't want to eat something for what ever principle I fully support her. But if she wants to be a demanding jerk in other people's homes about those principles, I'm amazed you and your parents encourage this.

"That's your choice. Please leave the room then." I wouldn't dictate to her he has to eat on the balcony - dont give her the opportunity for martyrdom by behaving as badly as she is. She has made a decision and principled stand. That doesn't mean everyone else has to let it bother them in the slightest.

StuntGirl Mon 03-Dec-12 01:14:01

Sorry OP the fact she doesn't make a fuss at school/parties/your IL's show me just how principled she is - only when she knows she can get her own way!

I think her principles are wonderful, I do. But she will very quickly find life difficult if she takes such an extreme stand. And perhaps as an adult she will - like the pp who doesn't associate with those who eat non free range food. And as an adult that will be her choice. As a child her family should take into consideration her requests - as you are doing - but you ultimately get to make the final decision.

Bessie123 Mon 03-Dec-12 01:29:21

Your dsis sounds awesome

Bessie123 Mon 03-Dec-12 01:56:21

Oh and I am LOVING the way laqueen bangs on about manners while being embarrassingly rude to punk

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 03-Dec-12 02:30:15

Your Dsis sounds lovely. She's doing an awful lot for other people & the plant already, at 9 - more than most people on this thread saying she's a brat and/or a kid and should do as she's told hmm

She is clearly trying to work within the boundaries of things she can & can't control. She's clearly close to you so has stated what she will do if the meat isn't free range, but accepts in other situations she is expected to be more polite and conform - which is partly good & partly a shame.

She obviously sees you/your home as an extension of her immediate family & home (which you are/seems like it is) rather than say visiting an aunt or something. They have free range at home so she was just reiterating how important it is to her. You could have either said, this is my house (thus infering it's not hers/her business, which really wouldn't be very kind) so I will do what I want and if you don't want to sit at the table, that's OK (you didn't need to threaten/offer the snowy balcony) or you could have said 'Dsis - we don't have the same 'free range' options here as you do in the UK, I will look into it and get the one that has been treat the best while it was alive that I can find' - instantly taking the fire out of the situation.

It was predictable what most of the responses would be though as soon as 'vegetarian' was mentioned. We aren't popular on MN.

Morloth Mon 03-Dec-12 03:59:49

Meh, all too hard.

Just do what you were going to do anyway. Tell her if it isn't free range so she can decide where to sit and just forget about it.

She is still learning how to behave, its fine - she will learn that she can't control other people's food and that might mean that she sometimes ends up eating alone, it isn't a big deal.

No need for any dramatics or knocking yourself out trying to find free range if it is really tricky.

differentnameforthis Mon 03-Dec-12 04:12:04

So she is being punished for her beliefs? Not great!

Oh & calling a 9 yr old with strong beliefs precocious & brat. Nice move!

Precocious is a neutral/positive term-just means they're more advanced than their peers?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 03-Dec-12 07:40:50

Nobody's calling her anything because of what she believes: it's the way she's threatening to behave that is at issue.

Blu Mon 03-Dec-12 07:59:42

If a fully grown MIL issued an ultimatum like this then some of the comments on this thread would be appropriate. But she is 9, young, unskilled in social subtleties, probably told that standing up for her beliefs is good.

Tact is one of the hardest things to learn. Give her time, and help in the form of open discussion rather than a 'backatcha' challenge.

I don't see how taking her literally and asking her to sit somewhere else is punishment, anyway. If people were more relaxed about Christmas it would be a lot less tense for many.

exoticfruits Mon 03-Dec-12 08:21:10

I would just leave the problem with her and not get involved. Just say 'whatever' and let her choose her own seat.

honeytea Mon 03-Dec-12 09:03:32

I used the word precococious in terms of thinking/acting above her age, I guess most 9 year olds main concern at christmas is the gifts and if they can eat choclate for breakfast.

She isn't a brat, she is a very lovely thoughtful child, she just needs to learn how to use her charm to voice her opinions rather than try to manipulte the situation.

I am very proud of her smile

Punkatheart Mon 03-Dec-12 09:11:51

Bessie - don't worry. My chickens are up, armed and have a licence to kill if any more ill-mannered comments appear. wink I gave one some raisins this morning and she made purring noises. Nature. Can't beat it.

I love the image (by exoticfruits) of an adult saying 'whatever.' It reminds me of a suggested solution to teenagers who wear their trousers round their backsides. Do it yourself! They hate it!

Good for you being proud of her.....and have the most wonderful Christmas. I was your sister it will make me smile to think of that fierce little spirit....

ImperialSantaKnickers Mon 03-Dec-12 09:17:57

Still no explanation about the eating of human flesh... <wanders off again>

~BTW never mentioned in any of my posts that I admire your dsis and your plan to tell her about the amazing power of tact and negotiation rocks - can I be at least the third poster to say 'catch more flies with honey than vinegar' ?

socharlotte Mon 03-Dec-12 11:50:57

'Not a damned chance in Hell that a 9 year old in my home would ever be allowed to dictate to, and sneer at a group of adults - whilst sitting on her bum not contributing in any physical/practical or monetary sense to the proceedings'

This exactly

Mu1berries Mon 03-Dec-12 12:04:17


valiumredhead Mon 03-Dec-12 12:10:50


BelleDameSousMistletoe Mon 03-Dec-12 12:20:18

I love the sound of your sister.

You know you just need to explain about the inclusive/manners bit and let her make her own mind up (although I'd go for the beef myself - much nicer).

MrsBethel Mon 03-Dec-12 14:28:04


A 9 year old is being childish. Deal with it.

QuacksForDoughnuts Mon 03-Dec-12 14:40:29

How do people know the child isn't making any practical contribution? She could be peeling all the veg and making dessert for all we know, the OP hasn't said either way. Don't see why her dad can't be the more mature person and eat something different (vegetarian food or moose/elk - a creature where the fight would be a bit fairer!) for the sake of harmony between the rest of the family...

Punkatheart Mon 03-Dec-12 15:25:19

A 9 year old IS a child - so they are bound to be childish. Stamping on them in a Victorian manner is not the answer. However, I do agree that she can be taught to be more tactful rather than blunt...but then again, she is speaking to her sister and they know and love one another well. My sister and I are very blunt with one another. There is no harm in that. We have never ever fallen out.

BupcakesAndCunting Mon 03-Dec-12 16:06:43

I would punt her off the balcony like a rugby ball, she would be closely followed by her nut roast.

Punkatheart Mon 03-Dec-12 16:07:51

Blimey, Bupcakes.

(makes mental note to strike Bupcakes from babysitting list)

BupcakesAndCunting Mon 03-Dec-12 16:08:35


diddl Mon 03-Dec-12 16:10:57

"Don't see why her dad can't be the more mature person and eat something different"

She´s getting what she wants to eat-why shouldn´t her father?

If she demands that they all become vegetarian-should they do that too??

LaQueen Mon 03-Dec-12 19:11:24

This is a classic example of short term pain, for long term is encumbent on parents/older siblings to teach children how to behave in a socially acceptable manner that is appropriate to the situation they are in.

It makes the young child's life infinitely smoother through life, if they can acquire these vital life skills at a young age.

honeytea Mon 03-Dec-12 19:58:20

free range chicken update, we went to the shop today and all the eggs are free range (inomhus which means inside house which is probably kindest as it is -16 today) but non of the chickens said free range on them, lots said raised ethically to improve the quality of the meat maybe that means free range.

I am still leaning towards beaf we will see what my parents think smile

JustFabulous Mon 03-Dec-12 20:14:43

If she is always the centre of attention maybe it is time that changed a little..

Punkatheart Mon 03-Dec-12 20:16:52

Talking to one's sister? Honestly. Saying what you mean? Hardly inappropriate. Stamping and making a scene at the table might be.....but it really is important to make a distinction here. There has been no tantrum at the table, has there?

You can't go wrong with beef, honeytea. Cows run wild and free....

honeytea Mon 03-Dec-12 20:19:18

No there has been no tantrum, I don't think she would tantrum with me, my family are amazed at how well behaved she is when we are together but I think that is because i am strict but also we are often doing fun things.

Punkatheart Mon 03-Dec-12 21:23:19

All children are generally the centre of attention. It goes with being a child,

exoticfruits Tue 04-Dec-12 07:30:03

A good word 'whatever'.(smile)
She has just made her statement. I would just say 'OK' in a vague manner and not discuss it further. Do your own thing, set her a place at the table, without comment. If she says anything, just say in a bored, vague tone, ' well, see where you can find a space to take it' and ignore.

merrymouse Tue 04-Dec-12 18:13:30

raised ethically to improve the quality of the meat

I think its like non free range chickens, but they get to listen to

The Moral Maze on Radio 4

LaQueen Tue 04-Dec-12 20:15:24

As always exotic and I are in perfect accord when it comes to child-rearing wink

I would be totally nonplussed by the child, and just wouldn't be able to take her seriously. I would be inclined to pat her on the head, smile and say 'Yeah, right, whatever you want darling, sit where you, where did I put those plates?'

honeytea Sun 16-Dec-12 19:26:45

Just a little update, we bought some beef today (nice organic beef) so we are all set for Christmas.


WorraLorraTurkey Sun 16-Dec-12 19:37:07

God I've just read this thread with my mouth hanging open shock

She's Lisa Simpson isn't she? grin

Sorry but I'm leaning towards Bupcakes idea here....

ReallyNotTotallyStupidPromise Sun 16-Dec-12 19:47:21

I hope you have a good day grin I still think she sounds lovely.

honeytea Sun 16-Dec-12 19:50:04

Thank you! I hope the day goes well, I am overdue by 8 days and will be induced on friday if there is still no baby so I might not even be here to worry about the dinner!

PessaryPam Sun 16-Dec-12 19:58:23

FFS just lie to the little shit, every one happy. You can torment her with the truth later xxxx

PessaryPam Sun 16-Dec-12 20:02:49

He he strike me from the babysitting list too.

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