Lifestyle Choices

This is one of those questions I’m almost afraid to ask, because everyone means well but ye Gods can it spark a fight.

I started out reading a Cracked.com article about the “6 Insane Conspiracies Hiding Behind Non-Profit Groups.”  Say what you want about the site, the articles, factuality and all that.   More often than not I am amused at what I read.  Granted, for the most part I believe a non-profit that does good things is a good thing, regardless of who’s behind it.

But the article linked back to another article.

This article is about one couple who were jailed for the murder of their infant.  The infant died of malnutrition because they were vegans so they refused to feed their baby anything but apple juice and soy milk.

Now, from reading this article and a few others, I’m led to believe it wasn’t so much what they fed the child, but that they fed him far too little and never took him to a doctor.  I mean, the kid only weighted 3.5 pounds.  He was 6 weeks old.  That’s about how long you survive due to malnutrition.  They were doing this from the start.  The law claim the cupboards were empty at the time of arrest.  I’m sorry but if you have a family, you need to have food in the house.   They parents claim they didn’t know he was in danger until minutes before he died.  To me it seems like a crock of shit.

Back to the point.

I don’t believe there’s any one right way to raise a child.  But I know the human body needs certain nutrients to grow and be productive.  Most people who choose a vegetarian or vegan diet make sure that they supplement the nutrients that they are loosing with their other food choices.  I know a vegetarian who didn’t do that once and she was always sick and loosing her hair and stuff because her body didn’t have the nutrients it needed.  But most do take the time to research what they need to replace in order to live healthy.

It got me thinking about a friend of mine who is always touting the raw food diet (she’s on a 3 month raw food only detox diet that’s like a raw vegan) and whether or not she ever wanted kids and about her choices and how those choices affect others.  Mostly, I thought about how as teenagers or adults, we think through what we need to do if we change our lifestlye.  But small children and especially infants don’t have that choice and they need a lot of nutrients to grow properly.

My wondering brought me to a question.  Do you think that, as a parent, regardless of your lifestlye, you should force said lifestyle on your child?  I can see being a vegan parent but knowing that your child needs more and letting them come to the decision to join you or not.  I understand it might compromise your beliefs, but is that something you should force on your offspring?  Like religion or political stance, should it be something you live with under your parents until you make the choice to stop, or should you make the choice to do it as you grow older?

One of the other things I thought of too is how the child is going to feel growing up.  If you grow up in a house that allows nothing, and go to school and see kids eating burgers and the like, what do you think?  I know I as a child always wanted what I couldn’t have, which seems to be the norm for most kids.  But how does that affect you as the parent?  Do you make the offending products (like meat and dairy) off limits?  You can’t watch the child 24/7.  Do you punish the child if you found out they ate a burger at school because they were curious?  Or would that border on the realm of ridiculousness and in some cases cruelty?

And think of the feelings of the child.  To me, your child has more of a chance not only growing up feeling ostracized but the stricter your rules, the more likely you’ll have a very rebellious teenager.  Are you actually making parenting more difficult down the road?

I, for one, think that, regardless of how you chose to live your life, that the child needs to grow up with milk and meat in their life.  Not only for all the nutrients and stuff it carries, but because of the parenting challenges your lifestlye might have.  This way of living is your choice, but let your child come to the same conclusion.  Especially as they grow, and you can educate them in what you think is right, they may gravitate toward you.  But you have to make allowances if they decide not to.  Just as if they decided they wanted to be Muslim when you’re Catholic or a Republican to your Democrat.
I’d really like to know what others think.  I’ll edit this as I get response.

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~ by ladyruby07 on December 1, 2010.

One Response to “Lifestyle Choices”

  1. So…as your Mom should I comment?? LOL
    Your Dad and I had a very simple parenting philosophy – it wasn’t about us, it was about you (and your sister too.) While I understand that everyone has their particular believes, feelings, philosophies, I balk at the idea that they must be imposed on others.
    I am an Aquarius after all!
    Particularly children. Children are like sponges, they really do soak up everything around them. Whether we want them to or not!
    Exposing children to different experiences, tastes, textures, cultures, arts, movies, philosophy allows them to evaluate for themselves (with guidance from Mom and Dad) how things feel and what fits for them.
    For me, it was never about creating a Mini Me; making you do things the way I did them, or follow what I wanted to do. It was about allowing you to become who YOU were going to be. What YOU liked to eat, what YOU thought about experiences and situations, how YOU felt about life, the universe and everything!
    (Thank you Douglas Addams!)
    In my opinion, the job of parent is to raise an adult. To raise a reasonable, rational, responsible, functioning member of society who contributes in a positive way and gives back. Not whether they’re vegan, or Republican, or atheists, or whatever!
    Unfortunately, my experience is that a lot of people have raised…..children…..who never quite get there. Whose only thoughts are about what THEY want, what THEY have and who owes THEM. Because we have spent the better part of the last three decades giving kids medals for showing up, instead of encouraging excellence, it seems that there are an awful lot of big babies out there!
    That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong! 🙂

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