I guess I'm just a stickler for accurate labeling. I get that the kid eats no beef. There's no misunderstanding there. It's the label I don't like. He isn't a vegetarian. That implies some kind of choice, some agency, some free will. A kid has no choice but to eat what mom and dad set down in front of him at dinnertime. If an inmate at Sing Sing, eating $5/day of food tried to boast that he was really on the SNAP Challenge, hoping to awaken America to the inadequacy of public food assistance, we'd all laugh. We'd laugh because it would be a fucking joke. Do you get me? You see my point?
A person with no say in the matter can't be called a Vegan. They are, to repeat myself, a person from whom non-Vegan foods have been compulsorily withheld. You can't call that unfortunate person a Vegan any more than you could call a starving African villager with no access to meat a Vegetarian. A person who is desperate for a little chicken but can't afford any is not a Vegetarian, and neither are your children.
Now here come the Vegan parents, ready to set me straight. "You couldn't be more wrong." they're saying in my imagination. "Little Sophia/Isabella/Emma came to ME and ASKED to be vegan. She was HORRIFIED by the idea of animal slaughter. She would WEEP bitter tears at the mere sight of a hamburger. I twisted nobody's arm. I am proud of my little Jayden/Mason/Connor/Langdon/Tate and his own initiative to be a strict vegan."
Great. Bravo for him. While he munches on a rice cake, let me introduce you to some more kids. Here's some kids who believe whites are the master race.
Here are a few that think God hates fags.
Here's one that thinks Jews are apes and pigs.
I guess what I'm saying here is, kids are... impressionable. If a kid grows up in a Vegan home, and is taught from the tenderest age that meat-eating is murder, then surprise! You end up with an eager Vegan cadet. You get a kid who can't wait to be Vegan. Am I supposed to be impressed? There's a reason we don't let kids vote, drive cars, get married, run for office. They've got tiny, immature brains.
There was this sad little girl I grew up with. She was a family friend. Her dad put her on a no-sugar or reduced-sugar diet. I'm not sure exactly what is was, but the part of it I saw was that she had to be carefully segregated and monitored at all the birthday parties. Her father's condition for her attendance at the party was that she get no sugar. And kids parties - in case you're unaware - are like sugary bacchanals. They are the one time when all dietary rules are relaxed and kids gorge themselves on sticky fistfuls of candy, cakes, sodas. And here was this girl, glum and miserable, being carefully shielded from the whole spread. Some of the parents would actually get angry. This was torture for the girl and everyone could see it. Maybe she had been persuaded at home that sugar was evil, but when you go to a party and see everyone else indulging with no ill effects, you're bound to question the faith. I picture her now, pushing 40, bone-skinny and having shrieking nightmares about cupcakes. What was the point of that regimen? Was it so the dad could boast he was raising a sugar-free family?
Adults can make choices. Kids parrot what they've been taught to say and eat what they're allowed to eat. They are no more Vegan than this kid is not cold and dead.