Monday, November 23, 2009


I'm a cruel mom!

It says so right there on page 20 of the October 2009 issue of Parenting (which only arrived last week, for some reason).

Yep - 63% of moms say I'm cruel...

I am bewildered.

Here's the question: "Is it cruel to make your preschooler follow a vegetarian diet?"

And 63% of moms say YES!

I thought cruelty had to do with things like spankings, or time-outs. Or hiding the ice cream at the bottom of the deep freeze. Or rationing the trick-or-treat candy. Or not letting her date until she's 21. Or making her help with the chores.

But tell me how keeping meat off the table is cruel? Please? I don't understand. My kid eats what I eat. Is it cruel to lower her risk of heart disease and cancer? To make the environmentally-friendly choice?

Believe it or not, she hasn't been salivating over the McNuggets and fish sticks. And she can make her own dietary decisions when she can buy and cook the food herself.

Can we please reserve the word "cruel" for actions that truly deserve it?


(If you won't let your daughter date until she's 21, that's your choice. No judgment from this corner.)

Off my soapbox now...


Randy, Ally, and Wes said...

Oh my gosh! Well then, I guess I'm "cruel" too. Although when one actually investigates the treatment of animals in the dairy/meat industry, one could turn that judgment right around . . .

I have a pocket pediatrician book that recommends a vegetarian diet for children under the age of 2. They get all the protein they need from either breast-milk/formula (in Wesley's case soy milk), so there is no need for animal products.

Mike and Katie said...

Yeah, like feeding children non-food items like Red #40 and Blue Lake whatever. I remember getting a hard time because I wouldn't let my first son have chocolate cake at a birthday party. He was 15 months and paid no attention to what everyone else was eating. Of course, the people who cried, "Cruel!" the loudest were overweight.

BaronessBlack said...

How bizarre! We're vegetarian at home, but if we go out, or we're eating at other people's houses and meat is on offer the children are very welcome to try it.
So my children have eaten and do eat meat if they wish to. But they know that it's something we don't have at home.
We're Orthodox Christians and we fast for Advent and Lent. The children are too little for fasting, so we give up chocolate instead. I'm sure people would say that was cruel, but the children appreciate their Christmas chocolates and Easter Eggs much more than most other children!
We also try to teach them about where food comes from, not to take more than they can eat, and to be thankful and respectful for what we have, rather than complaining about what we don't!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

That's absurd. I suppose if you let her eat Happy Meals 24/7 you'd be kind. *eyeroll*

Cassie said...

Wow, that's messed up. I don't really try to feed my son a vegetarian diet, but there is really only one very specifically cooked type of meat that he will eat, so he pretty much is on one. I guess I'm a cruel mama too!

Prasti said...

21? that's not old enough! emma will not be dating until she's 30. actually we're going the old school route and arranging the whole marriage for her.

and you're not cruel for not allowing her to eat meat. we eat meat, but do mix it up w/ some meatless meals too...but i wouldn't say it's cruel to keep your kids from over-eating on foods that are not so healthy for them! you are being kind!

Madeline said...

That's ridiculous. We aren't vegetarians, but the majority of our meals don't include meat. To say that a vegetarian diet is cruel is flying in the face of science. It is in fact much healthier. Oh. my. what kind of crazies did they interview?!!

ShEiLa said...

I guess I am not one of the 63% fugure. YOU are just fine. Guess what? Parenting is about what YOU think is right for YOUR child.


I think that is bewildering.


Brooke said...

not a veggiesaurus myself, but i agree 100% that the people who are truly displaying bad parenting skills are the ones that let them eat whatever they want (one guy i work with fixes chocolate chip pancakes for his son most every night) with no regard for health or nutrition.

even at that, its not "cruel". how about child abuse, if you'd like to speak about cruelty.

Such The Spot said...

I'm sure the things I do leave my teenage daughter calling me cruel (or at least thinking it) on a pretty regular basis. I'm with you though. Vegetarian is suddenly cruel? Please.

Pamela said...

I suppose they didn't ask the cow or chicken's mommies, now... did they! hmmm. ha ha ha ha.