Thursday, December 04, 2008

Black Friday Made My Baby Non-Vegan

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Karen woke me up at 6:30 am to say that she and Jasper would be heading out to do some shopping, I didn't think they really needed me (so I stayed in bed for another three hours). Low and behold, Karen says the sight was eerie: a totally empty Babies R Us. She scooped up doorbuster sale items without any competition, including huge boxes of diapers for pennies per pamper. Karen also grabbed cases of Earth Best Organic Baby Food at 50% off.

"First chicken, then humans!"

Well, wouldn't you know it, the cases of baby food included a chicken dish. Karen confronted me with this news saying that, "We're going to have to decide if we're going to feed Jasper meat." I'm thinking, "well, it's almost decided now since it's been purchased" (and I hate to throw away food and my ethical choices often take a backseat when bargains are concerned...). On the other hand, the matter isn't settled. No. Not until the internets have had their say. So please do chime in. We need input. (FYI: Karen eats meat, sparingly, and I don't - seafood, dairy, and eggs are my only animal products)

For a little background, and to help get your debating juices flowing, Jasper is eating all kinds of veggies and fruits and momma's breast milk. The only thing that sticks out is yogurt. That's Stoneyfield Yo Baby organic stuff and yes, it was ripped from the utter of another species (intended for baby cows, no less - just sayin'). But, Jasper loves the stuff. He sometimes refuses all other food until we give him yogurt. Does that make Jasper a junkie for animal products? Who knows. Is it a slippery slope that will make it impossible to feed him veggies and one day result in him eating "meat and cheese only" as I once required as a child? Or as an adult, will Jasper become one of those non-adventurous eaters who thinks they need to have meat on every plate? Do any of you have vegetarian babies? If so, how are you handling this stuff?

Preemptive update: don't make me post ground-rules for this discussion. Keep it cordial, use "I statements," and have a sense of humor. Cheers.


  1. We decided to give Finn a wide eating base and get him to try everything. He's not squeamish and will try about anything in a restaurant - from salad to octopus. At home he is a bit pickier. He loves yogurt and cheese but has a take it or leave it approach to meat (fish he loves). He really enjoys the sausages from Belmont Butchery but picks at store bought hot dogs and most others cuts of meat. We ask that he tries a bite and then leave it to him. Veggies and other dishes we push a bit harder.

    At the baby food stage they should get as wide an array of choices regardless of the whatever diet the parents may be on. Just make sure it is well balanced. One can make arguments for veggie, carnivore or omnivore. I don't want to play games with my child following whatever the current fad diet may be touted. Lots of veggies pastas and such, reasonable amount of dairy and sparingly on the meats.

    That being said a baby/toddler/small child should eat what the parents eat. A child may feel odd if different meals are being prepared for them. If your vegan, feed them vegan. If your a mixed household (like the Guards) then, when you make meat and non-meat dishes. give him both. I would encourage vegans and vegetarians to expose the child to other foods when going out to eat or when their child is visiting friends so they can make an informed decision about what they eat when they get older. I would also encourage people to not pass on their 'food-phobias' to their kids. I have a friend who rarely (as in never) eats any kind of vegetable and has passed this on to his kids. Not a healthy lifestyle.

  2. Believe it or not but I didn't eat meat until I was around 4 years old. I now eat meat on a regular basis but don't by any means feel that it is vital to every meal.

    If you are hesitant to decide now about whether or not he will be a meat-eater, you could always donate the chicken baby food to the Food Bank or some other such organization.

  3. The poop's gonna hit the fan, now.. (& if he's breast feeding, he's hardly vegan..)

  4. I love Yo Baby yogurts too, and I've still managed to avoid the slippery slope and stay golden veggie for nearly 18 years!

  5. These are nicely tempered responses. We'll see how long that lasts. The "vegan" headline was meant to provoke vegans and because it fit more easily into a headline and because I do feel a little funny giving the kid dairy from another species. But, what's good for the goose... Also, there's the argument that whatever mom eats, basically goes into the baby through the breast milk. I'm going into this rejecting absolutes, accepting degrees of contradiction, and pretty committed to imposing my will on the baby when necessary. We've already bought him a drum, but hippy parenting isn't going to be the law of the land in the Guard household.


This site has moved to
Please comment there instead.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.