Moms Shouldn't Make Their Kids Be Vegetarians on Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving turkeyEveryone should have the choice to eat however they choose. Personally, I eat meat. I like meat. I try to eat ethically raised meat, but sometimes, I'll get that diner cheeseburger and I like it. I'm fine with those who choose to go vegetarian, but some people take it too far and become fanatical. Nobody likes an extremist.

Take this recently-turned-vegetarian mom, who has decided she's going to make her daughter be vegetarian too -- just in time for Thanksgiving. Yes, I too have a vegetarian sister who makes dinner out of side dishes. Which ... good for her. More turkey for the rest of us. But why you'd impose dietary extremes on kids is beyond me.

Why the meat moratorium? She read Jonathan Safran Foer's book, Eating Animals, and decided that factory-farmed meat "is inherently diseased, mutated and produced through torture, there was no way I was going to let it come near my baby." Sigh. Yes, I've read The Omnivore's Dilemma, and seen Food Inc. I've learned from them and decided to make conscientious choices about where I buy chicken, for example.

What I find disturbing about this story isn't that moms get to make food choices for their kids. That's part of being a mom. It's the extreme, and kind of warped, logic she uses to make her decisions. It's all-or-nothing. Meat meat meat! Or meat is evil.

"After all, a year ago I would’ve been preaching the virtues of animal protein and the inferiority of vegetables," she writes.Why does one have to be bad and one good? What ever happened to eating a balanced diet, sometimes having meat, eating fruits and veggies, and letting kids learn about food and where it comes from and make their own choices? 

It's all about finding a balance.

Would you make your kids be vegetarians on Thanksgiving?


Image via knm3290/Flickr

comfort food, dinner, eco-friendly, food, thanksgiving, vegetarian

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nonmember avatar Marie

My fiance is a vegetarian, while I am not. He has no issues with our daughter eating meat. He feels that it is a personal decision to make and he wouldn't force her. She is exposed to both vegetarianism and meat eating; we eats lots of veggies, and tofu and even meatless products, in addition to meat.

Jenn Simmons Perry

See, I don't look at vegetarianism as a dietary extreme? Big deal, no turkey..who cares. I haven't eaten meat since 1997 and haven't missed or craved meat for a single day. Are you making your kid play a sport? Or making them join a club? No, you are making a decision that ou think is best for the kid and isn't affecting, hurting or bothering anybody else. My daughter, at 9, chooses to share my Tofurky, my three younger sons still eat 'real' turkey with my husband...who also has a slice of my Tofurky. I don't believe in eating animals...not my thing...if you agree, Awesome..if not, fine for you. You d with your children as you see best...they are your children.

Angie Hayes

Soooooo, if you were religious and were raising your children as religious people, would you and your husband say hey, lets let the kids decide if they want to skip church today on Christmas because we shouldn't impose our religious believes on our children?


People are vegetarians and often feel so passionate about it as people who are raising a religious family. I am sure your sister doesn't appreciate your demeening tone towards vegetarians and people who bring there children up to be ones.


Have some respect for other people and the choices they make for there own families. You speak of vegetarianism as if it is a horrible thing. It saves animals lives, which last time I checked, we all want to live out our lives and not be eaten. Respect, Kindness, Compassion. That is what VEGETARIAN stands for.

puasa... puasaurusrex

I don't see how it's a dietary extreme...and I am a passionate meat eater. I don't see how not making turkey at Thanksgiving is a big deal at all.

Christen Nichols

Anything that cuts out an entire food group is a dietary extreme, be it vegetarianism, low carb eating, etc. I think it is a bit ridiculous to make your child be a vegetarian, just like I think it would be ridiculous to make your child eat a low carb diet.

early... earlybird11

Angie. Believe it or not some people do raise their kids that way. My parents never once imposed any of their beliefs on me. I have chosen my own path and am a productive member of community. I happen to chose a lot of the same things. But my parents always preached individuality to me and their other children. One sibling is atheist , one child is Christian and I am Catholic who married a Jewish man. We all either own businesses or manage businesses and all have numerous degrees . So before u preach, know !

the4m... the4mutts

I do not impose religion on my child, but I DO impose my diet on them. Its not extreme in any way, its lots of whole foods, healthy grains, and meats. I don't let them gorge on junk food, ever. They're allowed some junk, once a week. Period.

Moral decisions beyond being good people, they can handle themselves when they're older. Healthy decisions are my job.

And I think the author needs to mind her own damned business, and so does anyone who cares what others put into their body. Not your kid? Not your problem.

Angie Hayes

If any of you people think the way animals are raised and slaughtered is moral, you have moral issues. Animals are not raised in these grassy fields where they frollick around and enjoy life until they are executed for us. They are treated beyond horrible and if you think for one second that I would let my 2 and 3 year old make such a choice you are crazy. My children and your children have no idea the horrible things these animals go through, and I bet if you showed a child the inside of a slaughter house and then put a hamburger infront of them and told them this was the cow they just watched die, they would NOT eat it. I am making the best choice for my kids, they will grow up and make a good choice for there kids too and this planet. If it is unhealthy for me and my children to be vegetarians you are wrong. We are healthy, happy, and living without guilt because we do not partake in the killing of living creatures.

the4m... the4mutts

@Angie- and you're entitled to your opinion, just like the rest of us. My kids, frankly, couldn't care less that an animal died to make their food. We also make attempts to buy from places that treat animals better *except chicken, I flat out don't bother*

Life cycle in my opinion. But, its my opinion that I don't push on anyone. Just like everyone else SHOULD do, I keep my eating habits at my own table

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