Were you raised vegan/vegetarian? What are you now?

I’m curious if we have any Dopers who were raised vegan and/or vegetarian by their parents, and if it has stuck as a lifestyle or if they left the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle behind once they started doing their own cooking and food buying. It seems like people who raise their kids to be vegetarian or vegan are doing it from a moral perspective, almost like a religion (and in some cases it actually IS part of a religion), and some people raised with religion stick with it, and some don’t, so I’m curious how that plays (played) out with vegetarianism.

I was - and for the most part remain so. My parents were Hindu, not that they were strict or anything but there was no meat cooked in the house.

When I went to college and lived in a dorm, I got my first taste of chicken but did not really care too much for it. So, at 43 I remain mostly a vegetarian and will very occasionally order a chicken dish when eating out.

I was a vegan when I was kid but in the age of 11 my parents send me to the boarding school and there we have to eat everything they cook…So I started eating chicken and other meat as well…

Hmm, not a lot of people raised vegan or vegetarian - maybe I’ll have to start this thread again in 10 years. :slight_smile:

I was raised where meat is king. Almost like an anti-vegetarian.

Now I only eat cute fuzzy animals a couple times a week.

I didn’t answer since I thought the question implied no choice by the child but values enforced by the parents from birth ( morally no different to having meat-eating expectations by parents, or having tee-totalism or drug-free impositions ).

However, I chose to be vegetarian at the age of 5, and this was obviously facilitated by my mother’s agreement ( I do not delude myself that I would have been strong-willed enough to triumph against opposition ), because I don’t like animals being hurt for any reason. She later became vegetarian herself, and when I was around 19 we became vegan, initially reluctantly on my part, mostly because I found vegans unnecessarily smug around vegetarians. Been vegan since, but I don’t worry about odd lapses if I was served milk or something.

Corpse-eaters seem a lot more moral and outspoken about their own meat-eating virtuousness and the wickedness of vegetarianism than the latter. And allied to that traditional horror against norm-departure are the occasional arguments from the bible, quite as if I care

Heh - this actually did make me laugh out loud. :smiley:

This is similar to my husband’s background. Meat was rarely to never cooked in the house, but they’d get it every once in a while if they went out to eat.

Growing up in the Midwest of the U.S., I ate meat with every meal.

My husband and I have blended our different backgrounds pretty nicely with respect to food. We don’t eat meat often, but do cook it at home sometimes. Most food we eat is spicy or tastes good with extra spice added (if it was left out for the kids, for example) and I frequently make vegetarian Indian food. For us, meat is more an optional condiment than a centerpiece.

Huh, this hasn’t really been my experience. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a fairly vegetarian-friendly area, but my experience is that I hear about equal amounts of moral outspokenness from both groups. The vegetarians and vegans might be a bit more outspoken in my experience, but not by much. I will note your “corpse-eaters” label seems to imply a moral judgement (which I imagine you are aware of).

As for my upbringing, my parents were vegetarian but they weren’t dogmatic about it and didn’t require that we not ever eat meat. I mostly didn’t growing up, but when I was over at friends’ houses where meat was served I might have some if I liked it. By the time I was an adult my parents had become much less strict in their own diets, but still didn’t eat a lot of meat. These days I’d say they eat even a bit more meat, mostly fish.

I probably have a similar diet, eating more meat than my mom and less than my dad. It’s usually a smaller component of the meal when I eat it, and I don’t eat it every day. I try to eat well-cared for animals, though I’m probably not as diligent about this as I could be.

There are large amounts of traditional meat-eating families around the world — let’s face it, most of the world defaults to animal eating — who take not only intrusive interest in non-meat regimes, loudly proclaim how much meat they love to eat and how it is necessary to health; but try to tempt one with morsels of flesh, and ask such questions as ‘Do you eat chicken ?’.
Some in the stodgier parts of the Midwest even, possibly not so much on the coasts: and don’t get me started on sitcoms: men in sitcoms love and revere meat more than anything in the whole wide world. ( Slightly subverted in Monk with the visit to the frank factory. ‘My doctor can’t understand it’ )

Not really: just factual, not moral. A large amount of life and death is veiled with pretty lies. Moral would imply both an ability and wish to change others’ behaviour.

i’m sure they appreciate the effort.

Was raised vegetarian (Hindu parents) and unlike others in this thread, they are a bit fanatic about it, at least my dad (he doesn’t even like watching ppl eating meat on tv, but he is a bit of a drama queen so whatevs). They never, ever eat meat or fish. My parents will eat gelatin, however, and eggs/dairy. Also they wear leather and my dad takes fish oil supplements. So they are kind of hypocritical about it.

About a year ago (at the age of 25) I started eating meat, and about a month ago took it up enthusiastically. I eat everything but cow.

Raised in a meat and potato family, started refusing to eat meat at 2ish, was totally vegetarian by the time I was ten, still am at age forty.

Well, looks like we got over that fear of smugness. :rolleyes:

Your choice of the word “corpse” indicates that perhaps you aren’t aware that it usually refers to a dead human body, not a dead animal body, therefore making your comment appear judgemental rather than factual.

I really don’t see a lot of difference between humans and other mammals… Cats, bears and wolves generally have more abstract worth.
Alive that is.

My mom is and was a strict vegetarian. My Dad is not, but respects my mothers wishes to not have any meat in the house. There were four kids and we were raised mostly vegetarian. Our parents didn’t force it on us and we were allowed to order it when we went out or have it at a friends house. We just never had it at home or in our lunches, etc.

Today, of the four of us, two eat meat and two (including myself) are vegetarian.

But…but Cow totally WANTS to be eaten! :stuck_out_tongue:

Can I offer a related anecdote? We have some acquaintances whose daughter has been a vegetarian since the age of four years old. She was not raised that way by her parents though, she adopted vegetarianism as a result of a pre-school field trip to some kind of fish farm. The children all got to catch fish with rudimentary poles and were allowed to keep them. The little girl thought “keep them” meant she would have a pet fish. When she saw the staff gutting and cleaning the fish to wrap them in paper to be cooked later, she had an epiphany: When her parents said “we’re having fish for dinner” they MEANT it. “We’re having chicken for dinner” the really meant it was a chicken… :eek: Words like “steak” and “bacon” had never really hinted at what it was they were eating, but she started asking and refusing to eat animal flesh. Dairy, IIRC, is okay though because she hasn’t yet determined if animals suffer, but she knows it’s not dead.

When her little brother got a bit older she indoctrinated him into the vegetarian lifestyle too. So the parents eat meat, but the children, now ages 12 and 9, do not. The boy however has a weakness for bacon.

Edit: Her fish was not gutted and killed, she demanded to have it back and released it back into the water.

My aunt & uncle were vegetarians, based more on health reasons rather than animal rights issues. Their daughter, my cousin, was raised from birth as a vegetarian. She’s in her mid-30s and is still a vegetarian, although her parents started eating meat again a few years ago. To my knowledge, my cousin has never strayed from her vegetarian diet. She has four kids and two of them are vegetarians; the other two are occasional meat-eaters.

The difference is that if I was a bear I would eat you, and not worry at all about the morality of the situation. Implying that a cat has more abstract worth than most humans might be why people give you crap about your opinions on the value of animals.