Friday, February 27, 2009

Raising Vegetarians on MisInformation

Daddy Eats Dead Cows
Can a meat-loving father raise vegetarian children?
By Mark Oppenheimer Posted Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, at 6:46 AM ET

My wife, Cyd, is an unlikely vegetarian. Her mother is a genius with a chicken or a pot roast, and their small apartment in New York remains a kosher carnivore's delight. For nights out, her family could walk to temples of meat like Sammy's Roumanian Steak House and the Second Avenue Deli. But as a young girl, Cyd decided that eating meat was unethical, and she resolved that someday she would become a vegetarian. The summer before college, she worked to acquire a taste for eggplant, chickpeas, and other staples of the meat-free diet. She became a fine vegetarian cook; today she can do indescribable things with lentils.

From the time we met, I admired Cyd's commitment to vegetarianism. I had taken baby-steps toward vegetarianism myself: After reading Peter Singer's Animal Liberation in my mid-20s, I had given up chicken, which seemed to me the most cruelly abused of all the factory-farmed animals. Yet when, during our courtship, Cyd said that having a vegetarian household, and doing our best to raise vegetarian children, was important to her, I hesitated (or, rather, picked a long, loud fight). I didn't object to the meat-free household, and she was not asking me to abstain from meat in restaurants or at friends' houses. But trying to raise vegetarian children seemed to be buying trouble. I immediately generated a list of potential problems: Would it be healthy? What would our parents think when we asked them not to serve the grandchildren tuna fish? Would our children feel left out, abstaining from hot dogs at ballgames and birthday parties? Most important: Would they seem like freaks? Read More

There are several things about this article that are upsetting to me. First, when the author talks about factory farms, he doesn’t tell us what one is and makes a blanket inference that all meat comes from a horrible place where they were abused during their lifetime. Second, it seems as though the information off which they made their decision to be vegetarians was based off a book written by a radical animal rights activist in the 1970’s. If they want to learn about where their food comes from, maybe they should talk to someone who grows it. And finally, the terminology used is quite juvenile and really does a disservice to readers. Animals aren’t murdered, they are harvested in a respectful manner so that humans may live.

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