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Teaching children

Cows don't die from milking.

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Trevor Trevor NSW Posts: 90
1 20 Jan 2011
I find myself rapidly moving towards veganism but as the father of a 5 year old I just don't know how to answer the question "Why don't you drink milk, cows don't die when you milk them".

I often talk with my daughter about why I don't eat animals and she accepts this without question, but how do I tell her about the dairy and veal industry without traumatising her.  Many of her best friends at school are the children of dairy farmers and I really can't put her in a position that may lead to her being an outcast (we live in a rural community with only 26 kids in the school, they even have excursions to the dairy farm).

At  only 5 y/o I don't think that she should be burdened with knowing all of the sins of  mankind, I know it's easy not to have dairy in our house but when we go shopping and she asks for "yoghurt, cheese slices, ice cream etc. what do I say?
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Karen Karen Australia Posts: 993
2 20 Jan 2011
Unleashed Admin
Hi Trevor, can you get 'Soy Life' youghurt, Tofutti cheese slices and So Good icecream where you are? That could at least solve the shopping dilemma!

I'm sure there are some vegan parents who can offer you some good advice on what to say to her. She sounds like a very thoughtful young child happy
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carinaforkeeps carinaforkeeps NSW Posts: 484
3 20 Jan 2011
That is a toughie.

If it were my child, I would probably just explain that I don't believe taking anything from an animal; that a cow's milk is not for us, but for her baby.

If you want to touch on the veal industry ever so slightly, I would just explain that the calves get taken away from their mummy because we think cow's milk is OURS, not theirs.

I guess she's too young to hear about mechanical rape.... !!!
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Karen Karen Australia Posts: 993
4 20 Jan 2011
Unleashed Admin
Especially if you're in dairy country, it's important that if you do tell her about the industry, it relates specifically to Australia.

In Australia we don't have a big veal industry (thank goodness), however, most bobby calves are simply sent to slaughter in this country. They are taken from their mum's on their first day of life and then trucked straight to the abattoir usually around 5 days old. Not any 'nicer' than veal really, but that's what tends to happen in Australia.

I think though that the "cow's milk is made for calves" sums it up pretty well. It's crazy how many grown ups don't stop to think that *milk* is designed for babies! wink
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..1 ..1 TAS Posts: 2265
5 20 Jan 2011
I personally would tell her that I'm lactose intollerant, and then when she's old enough I'd tell her about veal.
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Trevor Trevor NSW Posts: 90
6 20 Jan 2011
Thank you all, It's the one subject I struggle with.

I only committed to being a vegetarian last year and now I'm desperately trying to go Vegan.  

It wasn't hard initially because we rarely ate meat anyway but taking away things like yoghurt from a little girl that grew up with them is tricky.

I won't lie to her but as I said there are some things that at her age she doesn't need to know.  

Unfortunately our local supermarket doesn't offer many vegan alternatives (I think I'm their only market), fortunately she (Rachel) is very caring and I know that my hard work will make her a better person.
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Contreras Contreras NSW Posts: 349
7 20 Jan 2011
Trevor said:
Unfortunately our local supermarket doesn't offer many vegan alternatives (I think I'm their only market), fortunately she (Rachel) is very caring and I know that my hard work will make her a better person.
Try ordering online their are plenty of stores like vegan perfection and cruelty free shop!

Not sure about what to tell your daughter though, you could try playing the natural card that animals are only meant to be on milk the first few years of their life and no other animal continues weaving then humans (by choice) or you could mention some of the health courses with dairy but i am not sure.
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TofuUnleashed TofuUnleashed TAS Posts: 986
8 21 Jan 2011
Karen said:
Hi Trevor, can you get 'Soy Life' youghurt, Tofutti cheese slices and So Good icecream where you are? That could at least solve the shopping dilemma!

I'm sure there are some vegan parents who can offer you some good advice on what to say to her. She sounds like a very thoughtful young child happy
Are you sure that Soy Life is vegan? I thought it had a non-vegan bacteria or something...confused
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carinaforkeeps carinaforkeeps NSW Posts: 484
9 21 Jan 2011
TofuUnleashed said:
Are you sure that Soy Life is vegan? I thought it had a non-vegan bacteria or something...confused
I don't know how I came to the conclusion, but I didn't think it was vegan either.....
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Contreras Contreras NSW Posts: 349
10 21 Jan 2011
TofuUnleashed said:
Karen said:
Hi Trevor, can you get 'Soy Life' youghurt, Tofutti cheese slices and So Good icecream where you are? That could at least solve the shopping dilemma!

I'm sure there are some vegan parents who can offer you some good advice on what to say to her. She sounds like a very thoughtful young child happy
Are you sure that Soy Life is vegan? I thought it had a non-vegan bacteria or something...confused
Yeah i think the bacteria is cultured from diary then removed.
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