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(278 Posts)
Bbarb Tue 25-Feb-20 13:55:56

Am I being unreasonable in my concern of the brainwashing my GCs are getting at school by teachers who are encouraging them to shun meat? Not just meat either, but animal products such as eggs and milk and leather shoes.
I would go as far as mentioning some of them are having these ideals forced into their little brains and giving them (well my g daughter) bad dreams of little lambs being 'tortured to death' so that greedy humans can flourish.

Septimia Tue 25-Feb-20 14:31:07

No, you're not.
If veganism is considered a 'faith/belief' system, then no-one should be preaching it to children. They are usually taught about all faiths at school, so veganism shouldn't be pushed.

I don't mind people being vegan if they abhore the thought of eating animals. Some of their attitudes to animal exploitation can get a bit extreme, but they're entitled to their opinion. What's more, fluffy little lambs don't go to slaughter - by the time that happens they're nearly full-grown with mucky bums and not nearly so attractive.

And going vegan won't save the world because only having plants won't give a balanced ecology.

I'd complain to the school and ask for a balanced viewpoint to be given.

jenpax Tue 25-Feb-20 14:41:36

Have you actually seen this in action at the school or might it be taken out of context? I find it hard to believe that teachers would be permitted to preach a personal belief to young children in this way, if it is the case, then it should be raised as a formal complaint with the head in my opinion, and I speak as a vegetarian of 30 years and now a vegan

GrannyLaine Tue 25-Feb-20 15:30:33

I think before any complaint to the school, I'd want to know exactly what was the topic in the classroom. A big difference between discussing different points of view about what we eat and 'brainwashing' or 'ideals being forced on them'. TBH I think that would be a pretty unlikely scenario.

felice Tue 25-Feb-20 16:24:24

As I have posted before I do a lot of catering for friends etc.
I hosted a Burns Supper here and a Woman arrived, I always ask for peoples allergies and food preferences so I can cater for everyone.
She sat down and I started the proceedings, the whole works.
She came to the buffet table and announced that she intended to complain as she had recently become vegan and there were animal based products on the table.
For fs it was a Burns Supper, it included Vegan options and she knew this in advance.
I and others were not sympathetic, she has eaten here many times and always praised the menu.
She took some homemade bread and sat in a corner in a huff, and drank a lot of wine.
Later I informed her I used yeast in my bread and the wine was not vegan. Petty,,, me,,,no…..
No sympathy I am afraid, I have a few vegan friends and they know I will always respect their food choices.
I was really p****d off as she spoiled a good evening .
What really annoyed me was she expected there to be NO meat dishes at all available, only Vegan.
To me that is just rude and showing no respect for others.

Gaunt47 Tue 25-Feb-20 16:38:49

The fad about veganism will die down eventually. Reminds me very much when about 30 years ago I came out as a vegetarian. Oh but you eat chicken don't you, was one response, also it was extremely rare to see vegetarian dishes on restaurant menus. But now they're commonplace.
So veganism will be absorbed into the mainstream, and quietly dropped by some adherents.
Children at school being encouraged to alter their diet is dangerous IMO.

GagaJo Tue 25-Feb-20 16:45:04

I'm sorry, but I have to roll my eyes at the thought of teachers indoctrinating children like this.

Teachers are FAR too busy managing a HUGE national curriculum requirement to have time to indoctrinate little Johnny. Plus breaktime and lunchtime duties, after school meetings, after school revision sessions, lesson planning (and on and on).

Anyone that works in a school knows that these things DON'T happen. A passing comment, possibly. Certainly not an ongoing process. If for no reason other than children do not spend any more than one hour 3 or 4 times a week with one teacher. They move around rooms/teachers from subject to subject.

Try ringing the school. The last student who made a comment about me to her mum that was taken further was hugely embarrassed when she had to back down and admit that I hadn't done OR said the things she'd complained to her mum about, and that she was just annoyed because I wouldn't let her sit with her friends.

rosecarmel Tue 25-Feb-20 16:51:45

The practice of eating plant based diets will continue-

Most people don't solely eat animal products anyway-

Davidhs Tue 25-Feb-20 16:59:51

Veganism is a only a faith if it is a strongly held philosophical belief, a religion if you like, being a dietary vegan does not qualify. As such I can choose to agree or disagree in the same way as I may do with Jehovas Witnesses or one or two other “faiths.”

If I was arranging a function I would be happy to provide dietary options to fit in with others, in the same way I would expect vegetarians or vegans to show me the same courtesy.

vegansrock Tue 25-Feb-20 17:15:06

Well most of us were “brainwashed” into thinking meat eating is essential for life and animals are merely here for the convenience of humans and can be treated like industrial products, that to raise awareness that others might not think like this is just balancing the argument maybe? One stroppy vegan shouldn’t be used to generalise to all either.
I also wouldn’t assume that all the teachers at the OPs GCs school are proselytising veganism, maybe they are just getting the children to see about different effects on the environment, how best to deal with the climate crisis, the destruction of rainforests etc. Which is all good imo. Yes, veganism will become more mainstream and more common, more awareness, more choice.

agnurse Tue 25-Feb-20 17:21:29


The main concern I have about veganism in children is that they may not be aware that a vegan diet has to be carefully planned, to ensure that one consumes all of the essential amino acids. (While I don't think it's necessary to have a "complete protein" in every meal, it is necessary to ensure that one consumes foods that contain all of these amino acids, and most plant foods don't have all of them in a single food.) In addition, most vegans require a vitamin B12 supplement if they are not eating food that is fortified with it.

For the record: I have nothing against children or adults being vegan. It's just that they have to be aware it isn't as simple as "just eat the potatoes and veg on the table and avoid the meat and dairy".

phoenix Tue 25-Feb-20 17:28:39

If the majority (please note that word) of people went vegan we would be in a right mess!

vegansrock Tue 25-Feb-20 17:39:05

Since meat eaters diet has been fortified, by giving supplements to cows, most plant milks have as much protein, calcium , B12 etc as dairy milk. Yes, there has to be more awareness of healthy eating and an awareness of what constitutes a balanced plant based diet wouldn’t go amiss. phoenix no one is expecting the whole world to become vegan overnight, what we might expect is a gradual evolution into a greater reliance on plants and a gradual decline in consumption of meat and dairy. Of course, environmental catastrophe might force revolutionary change, who knows. One of the greatest threats to the planet is overpopulation, but that’s another issue.

Daisymae Tue 25-Feb-20 17:44:50

I think that its quite likely that veganism will be mainstream in their lifetime if for no other reason that meat production is unsustainable. I think children should be made aware of the facts of meat and dairy production. Its pretty hard to defend, particularly the industrial production processes.

Bbarb Tue 25-Feb-20 18:47:07

What prompted me to write that was the sight of my grandchild working herself up to tears the other night when we went out for a family meal. She's 9 and she did end up actually (meat of crying and she tried to explain to her Gdad how he was a murderer for wanting his steak lightly cooked.
I must say I find the sight of bleeding meat on a plate very unpleasant, and I have no problem with a vegan diet for those who want it - BUT it was the story which emerged as to Miss *** showing a recording at school about abatoirs which had me concerned. The child now refuses milk, eggs, cake, biscuits as well as meat and fish. Without proper nutritional training how are her parents to know what to feed her? Doesn't she need some extra vitamin (I seem to have read somewhere) that humans can't synthesise ourselves? (or am I mixed up with that one?)

Please, I beg you all, don't lets get into an argument over whether or not to eat meat.

anniezzz09 Tue 25-Feb-20 18:53:29

Daisymae and vegansrock I agree. Meat eaters find it very difficult to be challenged. I imagine that any school teacher is very careful these days as to how issues are presented. It is important to know the detail and not just react. I can't see it's useful to tell children it's ok to eat a lamb because it's grown up a big and has a dirty bum!

Phoenix not sure what kind of mess you mean. As daisymae says the facts of meat and dairy production are unpleasant and unsustainable. As we become more aware of sentience in animals, the way they are treated becomes more questionable. Meat productions is wasteful and costly to the environment, crops are grown to feed animals instead of people. Here's a fact: Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Vegetarianism and veganism both require thought about nutrition and diet. With care, they are healthier, vegetarians live longer and avoid many chronic diseases.

Daisymae Tue 25-Feb-20 19:26:24

All of my grandchildren have been vegetarian at some point after finding out the facts of meat production. However none has kept it up, I have never commented although everyone who has a meal here manages without any animal content and no one goes away malnourished. I would think that the best thing to do is to ensure a balanced diet, keeping calm. It's much easier nowdays with so much in store that caters for all diets. Lots of cookbooks, Youtubers etc. etc. available. Maybe the family could join in a meat free Monday? It would help diffuse the situation. Pasta or Lasagne cooked with vegan mince is perfectly acceptable to carnivores and no hassle to cook. Lots of vegan foods are vitamin enriched although a supplement with B12 is usually advised. I would check out the vitamin advice for children.

phoenix Tue 25-Feb-20 19:49:20

Years ago I had my own clock of sheep (between 30 to 50 ewes). Yes, we need lambs for meat, but all of my animals had the very highest standard of welfare.

When it was time for "the final journey" we booked the first slot at the local abbatoir, borrowed a trailer, loaded the animals ourselves and took them.

They had the minimum amount of stress possible, and the meat tasted better for it. (Stress produces adrenalin, which hardens the muscles).

When I mention "mess" a couple of things that come to mind are the processing and waste products involved in producing alternative milks (soya, almond etc), plus the amount of land that would have to be given over to plant production rather than grass or pasture.

Large arable farms are not interested in trees or hedgerows, and the removal of these results in more water run off (my journey to work these last few weeks has seen so much more standing water on the lanes and roads).

If wool or leather isn't worn, what replaces it, how is it produced? Artificial materials aren't especially environmentally friendly, flax, linen and bamboo need large areas of land, and the processing of those bring problems too.

I think that an (albeit) idealistic way is to go back a couple of hundred years, where meat and plant based crops were produced and sold locally, no transporting animals God knows how many miles, with the benefits of (some) modern practices i.e. veterinary medicines for animal welfare, crops that are reliable and disease resistant without resorting to GM.

phoenix Tue 25-Feb-20 19:50:18

Flock, not clock! Damn thing!

phoenix Tue 25-Feb-20 19:51:35

Damn, bred not need!

anniezzz09 Tue 25-Feb-20 20:59:39

Yes, I agree that modern farming practices are harmful to animals and the land. I've spoken to more than a few farmers who produce differently for their own tables! It would be 30 years ago that a farmer told me about the effects of stress on animals sent to abattoirs and the deleterious effects on the meat. You can also question how scrupulous farmers are about use of various drugs (not all, but some) before slaughter.

A young lady farmer I had long conversations with told me, amongst other things that her family always ate organic, never the ordinary non organic veg they grew. Non organic potatoes are sprayed 8 times. Not about veganism directly I know but allied to general high standards in farming.

It's true that the trend towards plant milks also carries a cost but the problem is always people wanting a substitute combined with marketers spotting a market. In the end, too many products for two many people.

phoenix Tue 25-Feb-20 21:21:55


I chose not to go organic with my sheep, as that would have meant not being able to use some things (such as wormers) which I felt were beneficial to them.

However I did used to double the withholding period that is required or recommended between treatment and slaughter.

anniezzz09 Wed 26-Feb-20 02:04:38

I'm not sure I could have gone through with the slaughter but it sounds like you gave them a good life. The small field beside our house has three sheep basically kept as lawn mowers! They're fascinating to watch, definitely not unintelligent. smile

Esspee Wed 26-Feb-20 03:46:00

The BBC webpages currently have an article about vegan diets which is scientifically based. (Unfortunately I don't know how to do a clicky link)
I hadn't realised that the brain changes through inadequate diet (i.e. a diet deficient in essential components) have been scientifically proven and measured and shown to be harmful. In particular the effect on children's brains is extremely worrying.

Davidhs Wed 26-Feb-20 06:50:38

I find myself agreeing with Vegansrock the main threat to the planet is overpopulation - and no one is doing anything about it. Even the population in the UK is increasing by 250,000 each year, it’s mainly migration but it still affects us