today's vegan advice column
My sister Jo-Anne was surfing around looking for ideas for her son's birthday party, when she came across the following letter on a message board and immediately sent it to me. She knew I would have an answer for the poor misguided woman who wrote:
Please help me! My family (me, hubby, 3 kids) are vegan. We're
committed to this lifestyle and have been for 3 years now. But
somethings getting to me. It's this "thing" that other parents have
got with having their children's birthday parties at McD's or Hungry
Jack's (Burger King). What is up with this? I just don't get it. A
few years ago (not too many) kids had their parties at home in the
backyard with a few baloons, etc and it was a lovely family afternoon.
But now... well, my little boy was invited to ANOTHER party today. I
would love him to be able to go , but it's at one of THOSE places.
Yuk. I'm trying to keep my principles because I REALLY believe in
them . I know I'm doing the right thing, but how do you explain this
to a 6 year old. The invitation was handed to him at school this
morning and the card says "Ahoy, it's a Pirate Party!!!" Naturally
this is REALLY appealling to a little boy, whose classmates are all
excited about it. My son is the only one who can't go. He looked at
me with those big eyes when I said "I'm sorry honey". I've said no to
half a dozen or more of these Happy Meal Parties so far, and it's
getting me down. What can I do? Please help.......... Thanx
My answer is below.
Dear Ms. Vegan,
Perhaps you should re-examine your priorities. While holding steady to your principles is an honorable thing, turning your child into an outcast is not.
When he looks at you with those big, sad eyes, what do you feel? Do you feel pity and sadness, perhaps an empathy with him, much like you feel for the cows and chickens that end up on a platter at McDonald’s? You should. Your son is missing out on important social interaction because you won’t let him step foot in a place that you abhor. I can almost see your point. Almost.
At six, he is too young to determine what his own principles are in this regard. Why not let him go to the parties, but bring his own lunch with him. McDonald’s also serves salads and I’m sure the parents of the birthday child could arrange for your son to have that instead of cow meat. You could even feed him before he goes to the party, and let him just play the games and spend time with his friends.
You are actually being a selfish prig, Ms. Vegan. How do you think your child feels every time he gets an invitation and he knows he can’t go? He’s in first grade, I assume. That’s the age when kids forge friendships that will last through most of their school years. Are you going to be surprised some day when your child is in his room crying that he has no friends? One day, that kid is going to end up in a black trenchcoat, holding a machine gun and then he’ll not only shoot his entire class, but he’ll head to the nearest farm and kill some cows, sheep and pretty baby lambs. Just to spite you.
Seriously, is going to kill you to let the poor kid go the party and jump in the ball pit and watch a lame puppet show? If he smells like dead meat when he gets home, give him a bath.
Get a grip, woman. You’re messing with your son’s childhood and some day you are going to pay for this in psychologist bills and psychotherapy when he determines he resents you. Of course, you’ll look for the variable root cause and determine that it’s all the fault of capitalist pigs who forced you to keep your son away from his carnivore friends because he might get sucked into the vortex of Ronald “Satan” McDonald and grow up to be a Republican or, worse, a butcher.
Wouldn’t that be funny?
Hope I helped.