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If a vegetarian child wanted to eat meat at your house?

(18 Posts)
PrettyCandles Thu 05-Aug-10 10:46:20

I think that up to a certain age, say around transition between primary and secondary, I would follow their parents' wishes and not let them have meat. But from that age I would be inclined to think that they can make their own decisions about such matters, and let them havd meat.

What do you think?

IMoveTheStars Thu 05-Aug-10 10:47:17

I don't think I'd do it..

thisisyesterday Thu 05-Aug-10 10:48:44

i would ask the parents.
and if i was unsure i would not let them

grumpypants Thu 05-Aug-10 10:51:12

No. As the parent of four vegetarians, the damage you would do to my trust in you to have my dcs round would be much greater than the perceived benefit you grant my children of 'choice'. It's not your decision how to parent other people's children, with all the repercussions that would cause, unless they are at risk of serious harm.

minipie Thu 05-Aug-10 10:51:36

I wouldn't, not for any moral reasons but because they are quite likely to upchuck if their stomach isn't used to meat.

PrettyCandles Thu 05-Aug-10 10:57:37

Grumpypants, at what age would you feel it acceptable for your dc to make their own decision about this?

BTW I'm not getting at you or critcising in any way. I'm definitely supportive of your family choices, have no issues with having guests with lifetsyle and religious choices.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 05-Aug-10 10:59:00

I wouldn't. If I know a child isn't allowed sweets or squash by their parents, I don't offer them at our house. What's the point, other than to curry favour from the child by acting like a cool grown up who doesn't obey anyone's rules and who treats children as equals?

whatnolooroll Thu 05-Aug-10 11:00:43

I think children should be able to make their own choices about being veggie or not, when they're old enough to understand. However I think it's a decision that should be made with their parents knowledge and not at a friend's house or in any way behind the parent's back.

Definitely wouldn't do it without some discussion all round.

grumpypants Thu 05-Aug-10 11:02:01

well, i have always felt that at about 16 they could choose meat away from me (town with friends etc) but I am a very firm vegetarian and don't intend to serve meat at home to them. Might change, that's how I feel now. But, the consequences of you allowing them to eat meat would be: me feeling betrayed by you; my dcs possibly feeling guilty or secretive; against you (not you personally) feeling good that you had allowed my dcs choice.

BornToFolk Thu 05-Aug-10 11:05:54

I agree with Grumpypants. I'd be seriously pissed off if another parent gave my child meat because they'd decided he was old enough to choose for himself.
I'd appreciate that parent letting me know that he'd asked for meat, then we could talk about it as a family.

grumpypants Thu 05-Aug-10 11:08:02

I can't really see it coming up tbh - my dcs just eat what's offered (host always knows they are veggies) and i can't imagine them choosing a visit to a friend's house to ask to try mince/whatever as if it's some exciting banned substance.

PrettyCandles Thu 05-Aug-10 11:09:40

So, say your 16yo was eating in my house with my 16yo (in about 7 years time!), and they asked to have what my dc were having, would it be acceptable for me to let them have meat but ask them to tell you about it when they got home, or should I phone you, or ask them to phone you, first? Or a different solution?

Nit that it would be likely to happen, anyway. I would probably serve a vegetarian meL to everyone ifi had a veggie child az a guest. But it could I suppose if the guest was unexpected and dinner was already prepared.

BelligerentGhoul Thu 05-Aug-10 11:10:48

I agree that children can make their own choices and I expect that my children will do many things outside of my home, which I wouldn't allow at home (eg chewing gum) but, as a fellow parent, I would not expect you to be involved in these decisions which are counter to my own choices for my children.

FallingWithStyle Thu 05-Aug-10 11:13:11

Definitely not.
What are the circumstances of you considering this?

grumpypants Thu 05-Aug-10 11:13:15

Say no, not worth upsetting your mother! Like, I don't want to make choices for dd's friend who is not allowed to watch TV, or eat cheesestrings, or ds's friend whose parents have banned sweets. I think one should parent one's own dc/s and step in only when their is a risk of emotional or physical harm to or from other peoples' dcs.

If I did know a child was vegetarian I'd have planned a vegetarian meal so they wouldn't be getting meat anyway. I suppose if they were secondary school age and told me that they weren't vegetarian any more then I might serve them meat the next time round and I probably wouldn't think to specifically check with the parents because I'd assume that they were just telling the truth. If I didn't know they were vegetarian and they asked for meat I'd give it to them.

I would expect, though, that if a teenage "vegetarian" has got to the point of asking for meat at a friend's house he or she will already have been exploring the far more readily available sources of meat that are pretty easily available unless they are under your nose 24/7.

Antidote Thu 05-Aug-10 11:33:53

I suppose I take issue with labeling a child as 'vegetarian' in the same way I would describing a child as 'christian', 'muslim', 'atheist', 'conservative' or any other category that adults use to describe themselves.

IMO children can't be categorised in this way as they have not made their own minds up, because they aren't old enough.

If a child's parents said 'they don't eat X,Y or Z' for whatever reason I'd do my best to accommodate that.

I think if a teenager who had been brought up in a vegetarian household told me they did not consider themselves to be vegetarian I'd ask if they had discussed this with their parents, and if they had not I would suggest they did so before asking me to go against their parent's request. I'd probably check with the parents as well before they came round again.

PrettyCandles Thu 05-Aug-10 11:49:47

Fair enough, I can see that I'm being a bit too liberal in my attitudes.

I've not been in this situation yet, my eldest is 9 and the only teenagers I have so far fed have either eaten what I've offered or said "no,thanks" without asking for an alternative.

But when or if it happens I will bear your responses in mind and avoid getting involved in letting them go against their parents' wishes.

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