OP, a 25-year-old woman, became a vegan at the beginning of the year after watching the documentary Dominion, which depicted the mistreatment of animals. Since then, she has been cooking her own food, including stews, curries, and chili, and has not kept any meat in her house.
One day, her friend and her 6-year-old child visited her house, and when the child asked for a ham sandwich, OP explained that she did not keep the meat in the house and did not eat it because it required killing animals.
The child started crying and asked his mother why she fed him dead animals, and OP’s friend got upset with her for telling the child where food comes from. Later, the friend sent a text message to OP, calling her names and accusing her of imposing her extremist views on her child.
OP did not go into graphic detail about animal cruelty and did not try to convert the child to veganism. She only answered a question honestly and quickly without thinking about who she was talking to. She believes that children have a right to know and understand what they are eating.
It is a Difficult Dilemma
Understanding where meat comes from can be a very difficult subject to discuss with young children:
“I’m mixed on this. This feels like you should ask your mom a question. Just like if a kid asked where babies come from or who is god. I don’t feel like you were in the wrong, but I feel like you were in the wrong, lol. Your choices are not wrong, but kids are so impressionable.”
It is not a clear-cut issue for this Redditor. They suggest that there may have been a need to discuss revealing this information with the child’s mother. Young children learn the realities of life slowly as they find this complex world difficult to comprehend. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the OP could have spoken to her friend before revealing the details.
Ultimately, OP did not lie to the significant child. In that sense, the OP is justified in pointing out realities. However, some due care should have been taken to ensure their friend was informed of what their child was learning and when. This would most likely have been the case when asking where babies come from, so it should have been the same in this situation.
There Was Another Solution
Here is a relevant illustration made by a Redditor in the thread:
“As a 25-year vegetarian, I have been in this position. If a kid asks, I don’t go into detail. Usually, “What foods do you not like? Broccoli? That’s how I feel about meat; I just don’t like it.” Not my place to tell how the sausage is made; that is a discussion with parents when they are young and can’t grasp the realities of factory farming. When they are older and more mature, able to make decisions about their diet, then it is more appropriate.”
This is an excellent example of what could have happened. The writer clearly distinguishes between telling a child the blurry truth and the real truth.
They highlight the significance of allowing parents to have the responsibility to raise their own children. Moreover, they suggest that only when someone is an adult can they form their opinions and choose their lifestyle. It appears to be a far more reasonable approach, which many other commenters appreciate.
It Should Not Be a Secret
A large cohort in the thread has indicated that OP was correct in saying what she said.
“I disagree; knowing where food comes from is important.”
Many are in agreement. OP has her views and the right to be truthful to those who ask. Ultimately, it is not unknown information, the child was going to find out about the source of meat eventually.