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going veggie/vegan - (how) do I explain animal ethics to DD?

(3 Posts)
Writergirl Tue 24-May-11 09:02:02

I have recently gone veggie, trying to be vegan, and my 8 year old daughter is interested, too. She announced she wanted to be veggie a while back, but when I explained she couldn't eat ham she changed her mind!

Anyway, now that I'm taking it quite seriously (and doing all the cooking, too), my daughter would like to join me as she has a notion of what it is about and she has a very passionate environmental/animal streak.

My partner (not her dad) is a bit sceptical from a nutritional point of view (of the 'they need meat' school of thought) but also wants to protect her from some of the darker truths.

As a new vegan I am also trying to swap over to all cruelty free cleaning and cosmetics products and DD is helping me do this - I explained a little bit about animal testing, to her, in a non detailed way.

I feel I might be walking into a tricky zone - she is a bright kid - I don't want to give her an eating complex nor scare her with horrible truths.

How did you guys explain your personal choices if you are not a whole veggie family?

soggybottomflancase Tue 24-May-11 12:18:00

My ds has recently dropped meat from his diet and I've never really eaten meat because I don't like the texture and a meat free diet seems to be better for my stomach. But DP and DD are confirmed meateaters.

I'm not really concerned with the whole butchering poor animals part because humans evolved to be omnivores and we bred animals for meat so the argument that some animals wouldn't exist if it wasn't for humans eating them comes up a lot.

I do however think that the problem is that consumers are demanding more and cheaper meat and the welfare of the animals is therefore compromised and husbandry has all but disappeared from the massive factory style farms.

Also the amount of land being turned into grazing land worries me massively. I read somewhere that the amount of land needed to feed a vegetarian is a lot smaller than that needed to feed an omnivore and that if everyone in the world stopped eating meat we would have a better chance of feeding the growing human population.

On a lighter note there is also the argument about the methane released from the animals bottoms!

NoHunIntended Fri 27-May-11 16:58:47

Why protect them from the reality of what is an unnecessary and vile thing to be a part of? It is how it is, and I think they should know. Meat-eating and dairy-consumption ARE cruel, barbaric things, and I wish I had been better-educated as a child.

I think this amazing seven-year-old girl shows how clearly she understands veganism, and she is well worth a watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDwZwsmBiYI.

wedonteatanimals.com/ is a great book for children, might help clear things up for you and your child.

Come join us on the vegan thread: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/food/984090-Vegan-Vegan-friendly-MNetters-the-new-thread-sign-in-here?

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