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Having visitors

(13 Posts)
MeadowHay Sun 21-Jul-19 21:41:06

Hi, I'm actually vegetarian so sorry for posting this here but there doesn't appear to be a subforum for that and I thought I would likely get most relevant answers here than anywhere else, I hope that's ok.

DH and I are both vegetarian and we have DD1 who is also obviously being brought up vegetarian. We have always been relaxed about having visitors over who if we have a takeaway would order whatever they wanted which would usually involve meat. We are both starting to wonder though what other vegetarian and vegan families do about this when they have children, are you all fine with that or do you have a rule of not having the products that you don't eat in your house? Initially I always imagined that I would not want meat in the house when we had a child so as not to confuse them or encourage eating it from other family members/friends, however on second thoughts obviously they're going to see meat being eaten in lots of other places, so can't see how it would cause any extra confusion at home really. I suppose the other thing as well is that obviously eventually we won't be able to police her eating when she's out and about when she's older, but I still absolutely wouldn't want her eating meat products in our house - but how could I have that as a rule if other family members and friends are allowed to eat in it our house? Or is that just an unreasonable rule entirely? I don't feel that it is because for example I would never dream of visiting a vegan friend and taking along or ordering food that was not vegan to their house, out of respect. In a similar vein I would never go to the house of someone who is teetotal and feels strongly about that and take alcohol with me, I think it is about respect really, however I appreciate that our visitors never think twice about bringing or ordering in meat to our house so I suppose my view point is not the common one!

Just wondering what other families 'rules' are, if they have any?

ChesterDrawsDoesntExist Sun 21-Jul-19 22:23:36

It's not like the world is going to become vegan or even vegetarian for that matter so your kids will see meat and animal product consumption their entire lives. As long as you're not expected to partake then I'd say you have the right idea. You don't need to provide meat but allowing guests to order it for themselves if you're all having a takeaway is good hosting in my view.

I understand not taking alcohol to a teetotal house though. Many teetotal homes I know are the result of someone beating addiction or the result of being affected by someone else's addiction. Also religion could play a part in the no booze rule and that should be respected (even if one doesn't agree with religion)

PurpleDaisies Sun 21-Jul-19 22:27:31

We’re happy to have guests order a meaty takeaway. I would provide all vegetarian/vegan stuff for them myself though.

MeadowHay Mon 22-Jul-19 20:00:13

Purple So at what age do you allow them to eat nanna's chicken burger if they want some of that? Whenever they ask? Or not until they reach x age of more maturity? Or never at home? If never at home, how do you justify that to them when nanna is allowed to eat it in your home?

stucknoue Mon 22-Jul-19 20:16:51

I would think it was totally reasonable for you to keep a meat free house - I'm not in the habit of ordering a takeaway to a friends house anyway.

As to out of the house, once they go to friends houses alone then it's harder, by all means tell the parents but if your dc helps themselves in cocktail sausages it's not the friends parents job to police it. Some kids stick to the family diet, others choose to eat meat

MeadowHay Mon 22-Jul-19 21:26:50

Stuck Not super often but now and again we end up with hordes of family or friends descending on us and staying much longer than expected, lol - not that we mind at all - but end up getting a takeaway to feed everyone as didn't plan to cook etc and lots of fussy eaters in the family too.

Definitely appreciate that when they go elsewhere it's totally a different kettle of fish like. I grew up with different dietary requirements so I do have some awareness of what that's like as a child to have different dietary requirements to your friends etc. As a general rule my parents wouldn't have the products that we couldn't eat in the house though, only very rare occasions for my cousins I remember, maybe a few times a year. And neither me nor either of my siblings was ever interested in rebelling at all with food but I appreciate my own DC might not be like that!

Cyberworrier Mon 22-Jul-19 21:36:10

Hmm, it may not be what you want to hear but I think you are slightly enforcing your views if you are worried about your child wanting to taste granny’s chicken or whatever your example was. I bet they wouldn’t want to try meat, but you know what if they want to try it, they will at some point ( at a friends or school). Doesn’t mean they will become proper meat eaters for life. Either way though, are you really ok imposing your views just like all the meat eaters who have tizzies when children choose to become veggie? I say this as a vegetarian 🤷‍♀️

MeadowHay Tue 23-Jul-19 21:11:34

Yes, of course eventually I won't be able to control everything they eat especially when they're not with me. I understand that. However I will of course try to promote my views and I will attempt to 'enforce' them as much as I can really, I'm not apologetic about that - all parents attempt to enforce their belief systems on their children, it's an inevitable part of parenting. You obviously want to bring up your children in the ways that you think are right and moral, don't you? I don't see how vegetarianism is any different to any other deeply held belief. I don't think it's at all comparable with 'meat eaters who have tizzies when children choose to become veggie' because generally people who eat meat don't do so based on some kind of principled belief system. If they do, then fair enough, but I'm not sure I know anyone who feels so strongly that eating meat is a moral imperative or anything even resembling how DH and I feel about not eating animals.

Cyberworrier Wed 24-Jul-19 20:48:56

I agree meat eaters who have tizzies it is more that they are intensely close minded... but any belief if not continually evolving and questioned can become as single minded.
I completely agree with your not eating animals principles, I just feel it’s important to let children become their own people.
Eg. Explain to your children why you believe eating meat is wrong and why you don’t cook/provide it for them, answer their questions honestly as to why some people do and don’t eat meat, but ultimately let them choose. I think it’s important to teach children that belief/moral questions are complex and it’s not as simple as one belief system being watertight and another being false, that’s not to deny your moral teachings but just to teach them to be open minded and also independent thinkers. Just my take! Obviously we are all different!

MeadowHay Thu 25-Jul-19 20:20:01

Yeah, I do understand what you mean and I aim to keep dialogue open about it of course, but at the end of the day it will still be something I will try and enforce as long as I am able to! My dream is that she will be better than me and become vegan...

MarcMassive Fri 26-Jul-19 10:00:55

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

plantsplantsplants Fri 26-Jul-19 19:24:50

@MeadowHay What's stopping you from making the jump to veganism? It sounds like you'd like to, and it's almost certainly easier than you're expecting! (It was for me, anyway!) Maybe we could help?

FWIW I don't make a big deal about friends/family ordering non-vegan stuff because not coming off as preachy and thus helping them see that vegans aren't nobs seems more helpful than pissing them off but stopping them eating meat for that one meal.

(And my approach seems to be working - carnivores in my family are now regularly eating vegan meals, my mum has stopped using dairy milk in favour of oat milk... Baby steps!)

MeadowHay Sun 28-Jul-19 17:09:36

Partly just don't think we have the willpower sad. We eat a lot of cheese and a lot of chocolate for example. I know that sounds awful and shallow, honestly feel permanently guilty and gross about it all.

The second thing is expense. We are very time poor and on a very low income. To make lots of our quick, easy meals vegan we could definitely do by swapping things for vegan alternatives, however these vegan alternatives would always cost more than the veggie ones. E.g. vegan cheese more expensive than dairy, even vegan Quorn chicken-style pieces are more expensive than the regular one. THe cheapest long-life soya milk I used to buy a couple years ago was still more expensive than dairy milk.

Then there is DD. I'm sure nursery would provide vegan meals but their veggie food is very cheese heavy so I think they would struggle and I would worry she wouldn't be made particularly nutritious vegan food there. I also don't know what we'd do about her milk but I haven't researched that I admit. And finally I worry about her general diet and intake - don't get me wrong, I totally know it's more than possible to have a healthy vegan diet for children. The problem is, despite only being 13 months old, she has always been a fussy eater and I don't know how I could provide her with a healthy vegan diet, if she just point blank won't eat a lot of the things she should be eating. E.g. I already worry about iron intake as it is because she won't touch any dark leafy greens, she won't eat kidney beans or anything, I think the only thing she really eats that is a decent iron source is tomatoes and then she mostly only eats the pulp or tomato soup.

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