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Thread: Should kids eat fake meats?

  1. #1

    Question Should kids eat fake meats?

    I'm undecided about this and have been thinking about it alot lately. I don't buy very many fake meats because, aside from being ridiculously expensive, I tend to think that if my son grew up eating them he would develop a "taste" for meat (which he doesn't really seem to have now). But, on the other hand they have so much protein in them and it would make meal planning alot easier for me because I'm still used to having some sort of meat as being the center of a meal. Does anyone else think that kids growing up on "fake" meat will be more likely to want the real thing when they're older? This is my main concern...

  2. #2
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    Personally, I give my child 'fake meat' because he is such a poor eater, and likes things he can eat as 'finger food' - these work well with him. He has never been given 'real' meat at home (not 100% sure whether my parents have ever corrupted him), so the thought of eating animals appalls him, and I pray he will always feel like that.
    I don't particularly want to give hime 'fake meats', but purely because I feel that there shouldn't be a need for him to have them when there are so many other lovely foods. Unfortunately, as I say, he's a poor eater - even though he was breastfed and then weaned on to fruit and vegetables.
    My only real problem with 'fake meats' is that they are so over-processed, and often very salty.

  3. #3
    MzNatural's Avatar
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    I give them to my daughter a few times. I made sure I give her raw vegetables along with the ‘fake meat’. We rarely eat processed foods. I am thinking of making my own fake meat to have on hand to use occasionally.
    My daughter was breastfed as well, still nursing at 17 months. She is hard to predict at times she will eat a lot and other times, forget about it. She ate sauerkraut yesterday. She did not want it today when I put a tiny serving on her plate.

  4. #4
    I eve's Avatar
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    Are these tofu foods really 'fake meats'? Do we call soymilk 'fake milk'? Or vegan cheese, 'fake cheese'?
    Eve

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    MzNatural's Avatar
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    No they are not really 'fake meats' but they are sometimes advertised that way depending on the product they are in. I sometimes refer to them as ‘fake meat’ or alternative meat’ depending on whom I am around. I started seeing products marketed as ‘fake meat’ and ‘meat alternatives’ in 2000. I tend to stay away from too many processed foods. I never had eaten processed vegetarian meals before. Another vegetarian mentioned them to me as a ‘quick meal option’. The ones I saw seemed to be marketed as ‘fake meats’ or ‘meat substitutes’. Up until that time I had been making my meals, and occasionally going out to restaurants. I occasionally use processed foods in my meals. I rarely go out to restaurants because I prefer to cook. It can make it easier occasionally using processed foods. I never ate the Vegan cheese until this year. I drink soymilk a few times each year.

  6. #6
    ConsciousCuisine
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    I give my daughter vegan "cheese" and soy and other protein analogues when:

    1) They are on sale or I have a coupon (we got soy slices for sandwiches for less than a dollar a package this way just yesterday)

    2) She is having friends over or for a special occasion (They LOVE "Gimme Lean" Faux-Sausage and English Muffins)

    3) She has not been eating as many beans and legumes or fortified milks or is going through a growth spurt or has been working a lot (auditions/rehearsals etc.) and I feel the extra B-12 and Protein will serve her

    4) She asks for them!

  7. #7
    MzNatural's Avatar
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    That would be the main reason why I purchase the food, my daughter. Last year she mainly nursed and towards the end of the year I introduced a few mashed fruits/vegetables. My daughter likes some of the foods processed foods available. At times she can be very selective. It is a quick meal option. I imagine, as she gets older I will use more. Especially when she has friends over. The chances of having Vegan playmates are very slim. Hopefully that will change as the year’s progress and people see the positive benefits of Vegan/Vegetarian lifestyles!

  8. #8
    I eve's Avatar
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    The Seventh Day Adventists company here, Sanitarium, is increasingly adding egg white, whey, honey, to their products. Reading their ingredients listings on their products is becoming tiresome too - their soymilk, eg, called So Good, has a listing that reads like a chemical cocktail. They are the biggest advertisers, so people automatically go for their stuff, but when I see So Good, I tend to think No Good.
    Eve

  9. #9
    Northern Lights's Avatar
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    Quote Mrs.X
    I grew up on fake meats and never have once been able to even think about eating real meat, ive tried beef jerkey and thats as far as ive ever gone.

    I hated it the texture was unbarable knowing i was eating muscle

    I am also a Seventh Day Adventist and they have many companys that produce fake meats and such "worthingon" and "loma Linda" brands spacifically. Also there is a "newstart" cookbook that is supported by SDAs that have many good vegan recipies
    Hello Mrs. X I've joined a 'healthy eating club' organized by friends that are SDA. Once a month we get together for a great vegan potluck. It's been a wonderful opportunity to introduce my husband to more things to eat that aren't omni, and more people that eat well (including guys!)

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    Personally, I think fake meats are great....Although they're expensive, they're convenient and full of "good for 'ya" stuff. I doubt eating fake meats would encourage meat-eating. They're two totally different things. Vegan kids are raised with the vegan philosophy, as well, so they'd know that eating animals is wrong. Anyway, that's my two cents...

  11. #11
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    i wish i could eat fake meats!
    "you dont have to be tall to see the moon" - african proverb

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    Hi,

    Maybe I shouldn't comment here since I don't have kids, but I think the mock meats are a great way to bring a wee bit variety to meals. As a kid I really found vegetables dull, so getting veggie sausages etc were a nice treat for me and honestly, I would say they were more of an incentive for me to be and stay veggie than they were to eat real meat.

    If I had kids I would definately let them have mock meats sometimes and I'm sure it would only make them realise what a wide range of foods they have available on a veggie/vegan diet.

    Just my tuppence worth.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    Same here - I haven't got/will never have kids, but I think "fake" meats are brilliant, especially for sandwiches - there's only so many hummous salad sandwiches a girl can take =) and the ones I get are really cheap (possibly cheaper than real meat, I don't know), at 79p a packet from Morrisons, Redwood Food Co.'s Vegi Deli Slices couldn't be better. I don't think it would encourage kids to eat meat... since you don't have to refer to them as "fake meat" or "meat substitutes."

    P.S. Evilfluffbunny, I adore your signature - The Holy Grail is one of my all-time favourite films!! Tim the Enchanter has me almost wetting myself every time =D

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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    P.S. Eveilfluffbunny, I adore your signature - The Holy Grail is one of my all-time favourite films =) Tim the Enchanter has me almost wetting myself every time =D
    It's mine too! Tim the Enchanter is also my favourite character and the whole killer rabbit bit is just hilarious. Hee hee, I need to get out more...

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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    I agree. My 3 children love the 'meat alternatives', especially when they have friends visiting. But they(the older 2 anyway) hate the idea of eating animal meat and try to discourage their friends from doing so!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    So long as you educate your child as to the fact that meat is rotten flesh then I think it unlikely your son will be a meat eater. My wee fellah eats mock meats, as well as loads of other foods, and he has no desire ever to eat a dead animal.

    Mary

  17. #17
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    what worries me about fake meats is the packaging they seem to always come in - they come in so much plastic that can't be recycled.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  18. #18
    spo
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    Quote Gorilla
    what worries me about fake meats is the packaging they seem to always come in - they come in so much plastic that can't be recycled.
    Now that's a good point, Gorilla. I never thought of that while I'm stuffing down those vegan hot dogs!
    I am going to put those wrappers in the recycle bin instead of just chucking them in the garbage.
    Thanks
    spo

  19. #19
    feline01's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    Quote Mozbee
    "Should kids eat fake meats?" If vegan fake meats do what they advertise do, then to me I'd hestitate before introducing my child to a food which is attempting to replicate the taste and I suppose texture of cooked carcass. It may start to seem like a rather mixed message to a young child.
    As an adult I don't want to eat anything which is trying to be meat-style even in vegan form.
    Good point, Mozbee. I'd rather avoid that stuff for our kids. They are highly processed and very expensive-2 things I'd rather avoid . My son gets so excited when he gets a tray full of beans to snack on , that makes me much happier than if I saw him with a piece of veggie bacon .

  20. #20

    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    On the other hand my son has eaten mock meats, and now feels that he knows what meat products taste like, and therefore has missed nothing. As well as eating vegan bacon, beef, fishless fingers etc, he eats a wide range of other foods - his current favourites being veggie samosa, home made sushi, avocado salad with wild rocket leaves, lentil and chickpea dhal.

    If I had made an issue of him not eating meat analogues there is a chance that he would have been irresistably curious as to what he was missing. Now he knows that he was missing nothing, and prefers lentils, chickpeas, seaweed, nice crusty bread and salads instead. How many nine year olds could you say that about?

    There are enough perceived pressures on vegan kids without saying that they cannot eat vegan products because they taste like meat. I am happy for my son to eat a vegan "cheezly" burger (in fact I expect him to eat at least one at the Birmingham festival!) The only reason for a vegan not to eat something is if it is not vegan! Or if they have an allergy of course.

    My advice would be to feed your kids a wide range of everything vegan. Make sure they know why they are vegan, talk to them respectfully at all times, and explain your rational for things. My son used to help me check ingredients while he was still in the special seat in the supermarket trolley. He used to look into other shoppers trolleys and say things like "oh, that poor dead hen," or "oh, look at that poor dead fish." There is no way that he would be tempted to eat the actual decomposing corpses of other animals, precisely because he knows that they are other animals.

    A redwoods fishless finger on the other hand is vegan. So why not eat it? It is not a dead animal. And a vegan child who might have been tempted, because they wondered what corpse tasted like, won't become a flesh addict because you fed them a vegan mock meat. They will probably decide, like my son, that they would sooner make sushi or stuffed peppers for their dinner!

  21. #21
    kriz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    Quote Realfood Mary

    There are enough perceived pressures on vegan kids without saying that they cannot eat vegan products because they taste like meat. I am happy for my son to eat a vegan "cheezly" burger (in fact I expect him to eat at least one at the Birmingham festival!) The only reason for a vegan not to eat something is if it is not vegan! Or if they have an allergy of course.
    Good point, Realfood Mary. I don't have kids, but I would like my child to be able to eat a wide variety of vegan foods including some mock meats. I grew up without meat and I make absolutely no connection between a veggie burger and a hamburger. The only reason why I would not rely on mock meat everyday is that it's usually highly processed and that is not a plus in my book, of course. Other than that, I think it's convenient, a good source of protein, and very yummy!
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

  22. #22
    I eve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    Although I don't buy mock meats for myself, when I went on a picnic with my grandchildren, I took some "Not Bacon" as well as other foods. One grandson said, "I like the Not Bacon, do you have any Not Bread to go with it?" Actually that grandson is now a vegan.
    Eve

  23. #23
    realfood neil
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    Thanks Kriz. I am a fifteen year vegan, (47 year old man) and although I sometimes get a craving for certain meats - chicken and bacon - I would never eat them, because I know that they are the dead bodies of hens and pigs. I am not one of these vegans who feels sick when they smell meat. I grew up on the stuff, and if I am hungry the smell of bacon will make my tummy rumble. (It makes my partner Mary and Séamus our kid want to heave.) But I never feel like I am missing anything, because I can have mock meats that take the craving away. Even if there weren't mock meats around I still wouldn't eat dead hens or pigs, or anyone else, because I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did ate meat. I still feel horribly guilty about the fact that I ate a chicken one month after going veggie, and that was over sixteen years ago.

    What I mean is, a redwoods rasher is not a dead pig, so why not eat it? It tastes good!

  24. #24
    realfood neil
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    I just thought I should add what some others have said here - no vegan will be tempted to eat meat if they remember what it is! It is the flesh of an animal, not food. So long as you make sure your children understand that there will be no problem, like Kriz says, and it looks like he/she is a life long veggie, so more of an expert than me!

  25. #25
    Kumem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    Quote realfood neil
    Thanks Kriz. I am a fifteen year vegan, (47 year old man) and although I sometimes get a craving for certain meats - chicken and bacon - I would never eat them, because I know that they are the dead bodies of hens and pigs. I am not one of these vegans who feels sick when they smell meat. I grew up on the stuff, and if I am hungry the smell of bacon will make my tummy rumble. (It makes my partner Mary and Séamus our kid want to heave.) But I never feel like I am missing anything, because I can have mock meats that take the craving away. Even if there weren't mock meats around I still wouldn't eat dead hens or pigs, or anyone else, because I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did ate meat. I still feel horribly guilty about the fact that I ate a chicken one month after going veggie, and that was over sixteen years ago.

    What I mean is, a redwoods rasher is not a dead pig, so why not eat it? It tastes good!
    I feel exactly this way. I grew up on meat, until I went vegeterian, and always loved it. I do sometimes miss eating meat, but never would. It's like being in the matrix/meatrix; part of me wishes that I had never found out exactly what goes on and therefore didn't feel guilty about eating meat. However, that is now such a tiny part, because overall I am so relieved that I can eat whatever vegan food I want without feeling guilty.
    I have only been vegan for a short while and stocked up on fake meats. However, I have found that most are still in the freezer because I am enjoying other things that I never really bothered with before. My addiction at the moment is 4 bean salad with pitta and the fake meats are not getting a look in!

  26. #26
    realfood neil
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    That Matrix thing is exactly right. Part of me wishes I could plug myself back into the matrix and forget what is going on. I do vegan campaigning, and sometimes I get tired and depressed about the lack of support, even from fellow vegans. I wish sometimes I didn't know what the real world was like, and could have just carried on managing a rugby club. But we know what we know, and we live with it. I couldn't live with myself if I went backwards, and I never will. I just can't understand how people do go backwards, what is going on inside their minds. They are worse than people who never knew the truth. They know the truth and choose to ignore it.

    If you don't tell kids the truth one day they are going to want to know what "real" meat is all about. They will want to know what they have been missing all this time. They might try it like some kids try drugs and stay on it. If you bring them up knowing the truth and teach them the right way they will not want to try "real" meat. Nobody starts off having kids by worrying they will behave immorally so I don't think veg parents should be any different. If you credit your kids with some intelligence they will make the right choice. Giving kids the message that meat tastes so good you can't even taste a vegan version without being addicted to the stuff will just make meat more fascinating for the kid, and them more inclined to wonder what they are missing.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    We certainly plan on telling our kids the truth about meat and if they express a desire to eat meat, we plan on arranging a trip to a slaughterhouse first. I don't think that just because we don't feed them fake meats that they will turned into crazed carnivores though. I repeat what I said earlier, my main issues with them are the fact that they are highly processed foods which I'd prefer the kids to avoid and because they are way too expensive.

    Gotta admit, I'm a bit blown away with this sentiment that my kids, raised from birth as vegans, will turn to meat if we don't feed them mock meats.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    Hi Feline

    Don't worry, I think you are reading too much into what Neil says! As far as I can tell you are feeding your kids a really good broad vegan diet, relying not so much on fake meats because you don't like them - not because they are "banned." If your kids were to express an interest in tasting them you wouldn't tell them not to, would you? It is like my son, he has had one Linda McCartney's Deep Country pie since they went vegan again. I am not about to let him start living on them, they are junk! But now he knows what that kind of pie tastes like, and it is not an issue with him. He would still sooner eat sweetcorn on the cob, or home made sushi with avocado filling.

    The problem would only be if mock meats were presented as something to be avoided on moral grounds. Health and finances are a different matter. At some point your kids are going to eat mock meat, and surely that wouldn't be a problem to you? And therefore it won't be a problem to them. They will carry on eating the healthy foods that you have accustomed them to in their childhood.

  29. #29
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    Quote feline01
    We certainly plan on telling our kids the truth about meat and if they express a desire to eat meat, we plan on arranging a trip to a slaughterhouse first.
    forgive me if this sounds a little stupid, as i've never been to a slaughterhouse and have no desire to, but would the people in the slaughterhouse really just let you walk in there with your kids??

    nice one Mozbee BTW
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  30. #30

    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    No, the slaughter guys would chase you with great big steely knives. I speak from experience here... not that I brought Séamus with me when I visited the bloody place. Well, maybe... I was a few weeks pregnant at the time, though it hadn't been confirmed yet.

    Hmm. I would bring your children to an animal sanctuary, to meet animals rescued from farms. Séamus knows pigs and chickens personally and would no more eat a dead hen or pig than he would a cat, dog or guineapig. So make sure your kids know animals individually, adopt them etc, so they always know that a pig is an animal. That should sort it!

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    What were your reasons for going to a slaughter house Mary?

  32. #32

    Default Re: Should kids eat fake meats?

    I'd gone veggie, and all my family were telling me that I was believing propoganda from books, and that it wasn't so bad for the animals. I knew they were talking crap, because the animals were still dying, but thought if I could tell them what I had seen with my own eyes they would have to believe me.

    So I found a small local slaughter house near where I lived, rode up on my bike, and turned up at the door, saying I was writing a book and would they let me in. Fuck off love I was told. So I walked around, until I found an open door, and walked through it.

    Thank god I took my bike, that's all I can say. I didn't get very far in (far enough that I could smell it, and you could hear it from a way off) before some guy in a once white body suit (you know the kind of all in one thing) covered in blood came out and started swearing at me. I was in an ante chamber of some sort, I tried to walk through the plastic flaps that hang down, and saw the silhouettes of bodies moving from a line - cows I think, but didn't get near enough to see. I could hear them screaming, but the bloke shoved me out, and when I carried on persisting he picked up a meat cleaver, and yelled at his mates to get me.

    I never ran so fast in my life.

    So technically I don't know what I am talking about, because I never got in. But I tried, and I know what those places smell like. Piss and blood and fear.

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