The Bacon Sandwich vs The Tofu Steak!

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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Comments

  1. says

    Great thought provoking article – I think, just like with every other aspect of parenting, there is no singular right answer. As you say, we all have different ideals and beliefs and this shapes how we raise our children. While our children are at an age where they are unable to make decisions for themselves we make the choices we think best on their behalf, as they grow and become more informed we can explain our reasons and if we think they’re ready, give them more input in certain areas, however I think everybody has certain situations that are not up for debate. Generally I think our children are very lucky, Parenting now is so much more collaborative and open…when I was a child it was much more common to receive a ‘No’ or ‘because I said so’.

  2. says

    This is certainly thought-provoking. I believe we should only cut out anything that is dangerous or not age-appropriate. Other than that parents should not try to restrict their children. I have three children and recently realised that they have never eaten cauliflower. The reason was that neither my husband nor I really like it. However I felt that denying them things just because I don’t like them is not the way I want to raise them. We bought, cooked and ate the cauliflower and found it wasn’t so bad after all.

  3. says

    This is such a great, thought provoking post!

    Personally, I think that my kids should be given a variety of foodstuffs, that’s relevant to their age group, regardless of whether it’s something I like or dislike.

    My twins are too young for bacon; it’s so salty that it’s no something I’d be giving a 2 year old but, equally, I think that vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice, rather than a necessity, so I wouldn’t be enforcing a meat ban if I were vegetarian myself.

    That said, how we bring our children up is entirely a personal choice. We do whatever works best for us, as a family.

    Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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