www.whyville.net Jan 2, 2004 Weekly Issue

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Vegetarianism is a big part in today's modern world. About 4% of the world are vegetarians, and the numbers are ever increasing. I'm sure there are a number of good reasons for this, and I recently investigated one specific reason I think might be a primary cause.. I asked myself; "Is it OK for parents to not feed their young children meat, in following your own belief on vegetarianism?"

My parents could have acted upon me to make me in several ways to make me become a vegetarian. They could have scared me into hating dead animals. Many children across the United States and Canada have been told that meat comes from dead animals, and that hamburgers are the insides of a dead cow, for the purpose of scaring them into vegetarianism. I believe this is a despicable way to treat children, because it does not show the true morals behind vegetarians. If children do not truly understand the facts of why or why not to eat meat, they should feel free to digest what they feel like eating.

It has been shown that eating meat after avoiding it for long periods of time will tend to make you sick. If this is true, then how can you not feed a growing child meat? It would make them sick if they ever tried it, and not allow the child to make a fair choice. Children should have their own free will to choose the foods that they would like to eat. If you denied children meat for their growing years, they would be have a very difficult time changing to meat-eaters. On the other hand, a child that is fed meat until he/she has matured, will more easily switch to vegetarianism.

It is clear to me that it is unfair to not feed a child meat. It is only fair to provide children with a fair choice. Scare tactics should not be involved, because they provide a negative influence on the child's decision.

How can you get your children to become vegetarians? Your children will already be interested in your own vegetarianism, and probably take leaf from that. They will grow accustomed to your likes, and eventually grow out of meat. However, children do not like being different from other children and will want to eat meat at parties and while they are out with friends. The only thing parents should do now is tell their child the moral reasons for being a vegetarian, without overdoing it.

So remember your freedom of choice, and give your children the same.

This is deriko, taking off his thinking cap... goodnight.

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Editor's Note: Interesting position, deriko. But how do you feel parents should teach their kids what meat is? Should they not tell kids that meat is, in fact, dead animals? It's the truth, and those of us who eat meat probably ought to come to terms with that, or be hypocrites. Perhaps you mean that kids are told in such a way to scare them -- stating not just that meat is dead animal, but describing how the animal is slaughtered, all-too graphically?

What do you folks think? How much is too much? When does an attempt to be informative go too far? This can apply to topics other than your diet, like sex, disease and violence in schools. Perhaps "too much" isn't the right way of phrasing the question: How much is just enough?


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