Grandmothers are often renowned for spoiling the grandkids and letting them get away with all sorts that parents wouldn’t usually allow. However one grandma reduced her 13-year-old granddaughter to tears after forcing her to eat fish. The teenager was hugely upset and went home to her mother crying, which she doesn’t do very often. Was the grandmother out of line for forcing the vegan child to eat fish?
The child, who is very adamant about not eating animal products was “forced to sit down and eat creamy salmon spaghetti” that her grandmother had cooked, the mother explained on parenting website Mumsnet. Despite having explained to the mother-in-law about the child’s diet, the older woman still fed the child an animal product. “Stop fussing – meat is good for you! Now sit down and eat it, you ungrateful child,” the grandmother reportedly said.
So the mother took to Mumsnet to ask whether she has a right to be annoyed at the older woman. The majority of women on the site agreed that her anger was justified. The grandmother had no right to force the child to do something against her will. “I’d hit the roof if I were you,” wrote one woman. Others labeled the grandmother’s behaviour as “totally unacceptable” and “bang out of order.” Another woman even called it child abuse, she said: “You don’t force children (or anyone!) to eat something, whatever the reasons.”
With regard to what should be done about the situation, someone on the site suggested that if the grandmother cannot respect the child’s diet and wishes, visits should be restricted or supervised. Another agreed, saying it would be “much simpler than trying to argue with someone who is blatantly an idiot.” Some women thought the father should have intervened and stood up to this mother about the issue. “He needs to find his spine and tell his mother to either shape up, or ship out,” wrote one.
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Although it isn’t clear whether the child’s parents were vegan, the 13-year-old made a decision to not eat meat products and that should always be respected. Children are often raised to love animals from books and TV shows, so why should they be forced to eat meat just because other people do? Vegans have been penalised for “forcing” their children to follow the meat and dairy-free diet and there was even talk of making the diet illegal for minors in Italy. But some argue that forcing your child to indulge in meat products because you do is also a form of abuse.
What do you think? Would you allow your children to go vegan?