I recently read an article questioning whether parents should dictate their children being vegetarian when they are too young to make their own choice.
Firstly, I would like to thank my fellow blogger, who is campaigning for every child to ‘experience the joy of a bacon sandwich’. The article proved a very interesting read, particularly for me, a born vegetarian, raising two vegetarian children.
In all honesty, my initial draft of this post was in outrage and defensive to the core. I have since then had more time to think and it has become a household topic of discussion, sparking some interesting questions for debate.
Why is it that we we raise our children with certain restrictions in place?
The world has become a smaller place and there are now a much wider variety of experiences we can expose our kids to. Schools offer a much wider variety of subjects. Restaurants cater for a wide range of dietary requirements including kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. Our children have the opportunity to learn more languages and live abroad at younger ages. Primary schools have ipad lessons for 4 year olds.
We want to expose our kids to as much as possible and in a world where we are encouraging our children to be open, why do parents exert so much control? It starts from the smallest of things. We dictate everything our children do from what time they should wake up, to what they should eat, wear and do. One of the most iconic entrepreneurs of our time, Steve Jobs (Founder of Apple), used to walk barefooted.
I wonder how many parents would allow their children to go to school without shoes. Imagine a world without control, where children could decide what they do, how they do it and when they do it.
Should parents dictate their children are vegetarians when they are too young to make their own choice?
I set out to answer this thought-provoking question but I am still unsure, battling each side of the debate in my mind. We as parents do what we perceive to be right or wrong within our own belief system. Yes, in the majority of cases, we do impose this on our children with the small things and the big.
We send our 5-year olds to parties, carrying a brand new leather handbag and wearing designer leather shoes, with a note requesting the hosts to respect and honour our child’s vegetarian dietary requirements.
A dairy cow’s life span is limited to four or five years. Within that time, they continue to be artificially impregnated and pumped with hormones to produce over four times as much milk as they would naturally.
So is it right to offer our children milk and deny them bacon?
Our children develop their own value system based on the values lived by parents. If parents are vegetarian, is it right for us to go against our own value system in order to offer an unbiased view of the world to our children?
What is our role as parents? How do we decide where to draw the line? Is our perception of right and wrong flawed or is there even a right or wrong? What do you think?
Inspired and in response to: http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2015/03/11/vegetarians-let-your-children-make-their-own-eating-choices/
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