“When you have children…”

A couple of days ago, while drinking cosmos during happy hour before going out to see the Sex and the City Movie, my friend asked me if I “would send my children to [alma mater] Macalester.”

I responded by telling her that if yes, some how I managed to procure a child under my guardianship who was of appropriate age to consider a college education, I could afford to send them to an elite liberal arts college, and they were interested in going to Mac, I would be supportive of them if they chose the school.

Like many, I’m sure, I frequently get asked if I would be interested in raising my children vegan. Like many, I’m sure, I’ve been asked why I would be unwilling to “just let them choose whether or not they eat meat” (ironically, ignoring the fact that meat-eating is in itself an ideology)

This question (problematically) assumes that:

1) That I intend on being a mother (because I’m a woman)

[note: this also assumes heterosexuality and participation in a patriarchial society that places value on women based on their reproductive abilities… similarly to our non-human friends]

2) I will be the sole person to decide my childrens’ diet (because… I’m a woman of color?)

3) Carnism, like whiteness, is rendered invisible and therefore “normal” (because, just as we live in a white supremacist world, we live in a specieist one)

I can’t help but wonder if men get similar questions upon informing others of their veganism.

I just had to drop in here, and ask you all: what are the implications of veganism on women of color who are already too frequently deemed unfit mothers?

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3 Responses to ““When you have children…””

  1. Art Blog » “When you have children…” Says:

    […] Amalgamated’s Weblog put an intriguing blog post on "When you have children…"Here’s a quick excerpt […]

  2. Cy Says:

    audacious situation, patient and poignant analysis. more veggie power to you!

    xoxo,

    Cy
    http://www.ConcoursestoRadiantHealth.org

  3. Melissa Says:

    It implies that mothers have no right to choose a lifestyle for their children if it does not conform to a Judeo-Christian, heterosexist, capitalistic ideology.

    I find that a curious response – you should give your child a choice whether to eat meat or not. I certainly was not given a choice; I had to eat what was put on my plate or starve (well, not really). It never occurred to me that I could have a choice to not eat meat.

    The assumption is that adults treat children like people – capable of making independent choices – when in reality, adults impose their belief systems on children without full and open explanation while expecting (demanding) full conformity and unconditional acceptance.

    I always respond with, did your parents give YOU a choice about whether you wanted to eat meat or not? Did your parents give you a choice AT ALL about the types of food you could eat? Did you have to engage in manipulative behavior to get access to certain foods (junk food, fast food, etc)? I never get a clear answer.

    If you were raised Catholic and converted to Hinduism as an adult, no one would ask if you’d give your child a choice to pick their own religion or spiritual practice.

    When my male friend told his coworkers he was vegan, one man replied, “I thought only women did that?”

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