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From: vegan wanna-be ( -
Subject: Re: Living with Omnis/3yr old confused
Date: January 5, 2007 at 6:23 am PST

In Reply to: Living with Omnis/3yr old confused posted by BEK on January 3, 2007 at 8:46 pm:

Let me first say that I could not agree more strongly with Keith. Dinner time should be a time of family love and harmony, not a time of discord. Emotional scars from parental discord are probably worse that whatever an omni diet might do to a child.

Once the two of you agree, I would encourage a positive approach to veggie foods. If veggie foods are simply more tempting and delicious, they will be eaten more and animal products will be eaten less. I am not saying that animal products should be sabotaged (by, say, oversalting), but that veggie dishes should be the best thing on the table. Then, let everyone eat what they want without criticism.

I have been vegetarian for more than 10 years now, and I still remember my first veggie experience. I lived in an "omni" family which served a lot of meat - huge quantities, every meal. My omni friends joke that I was probably the only kid who grew up saying "Not steak again, mom!"

One day, we went to visit an elderly aunt who was Seventh-Day Adventist. Mom warned us not to complain about the "weird" food, but just politely eat whatever she served, and it probably wouldn't be that bad. Well, my wise aunt put a treat on the table - she called it "bubble bread" but I have also heard it called monkey bread or pull appart bread since. it was little balls of part-whole-wheat yeast dough dipped in margarine and cinnamon-sugar, and piled in a loaf pan, allowed to rise, and baked like a loaf of bread. I don't remember if I ate anything else on the table, but I LOVED that bread, and my siblings and I went away thinking vegetarian food was the best thing we ever tasted. In retrospect, the bubble bread wasn't that all "healthy" but it was vegetarian, and created a positive experience for me with vegetarian food.

I have done similar things with the kids in our family - serving a decadent pie that they knew had tofu, or something like that - so that the kids start to think of the veggie food as the "good stuff" and the meat as the "I have to finish this before I'm allowed to have dessert" stuff.

Even if they don't go all-veggie, if they eat less meat and more vegetarian food, by choice, you've done so much to help them and animals. A vegan diet may save 93 animals a year (If I remember the number correctly) but even saving 40 animals a year is a huge stride in the right direction, and a huge benefit to everyone's health.

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