The Meat and Potatoes of Child Indoctrination

American Thinker | Monte Kuligowski | Jan. 15, 2009

The Today Show recently featured a segment with Madelyn Fernstrom, a diet and nutrition expert, in which parents were taught how to facilitate their children, “some as young as seven, eight and nine,” who “choose meatless diets.”

Who knows whether it even occurred to the Today Show producers that in many traditional cultures kids don’t choose what to eat for dinner; many are happy just to have dinner. Regarding the people having emigrated from traditional countries to live in the States and the traditional people having been born and raised in America, the premise of the segment — that young children are free to choose to radically alter their diets — is shocking, to say the least.

After the announcement that children are going green, culinarily speaking, the segment proceeded right into explaining the different kinds of vegetarian diets. Not a single question was raised about whether kids should be independently choosing for their parents the acceptability of the grocery list and how the special-ordered provisions are to be prepared. (Neither was the question raised of whether grammar school kids possess the maturity to make such life altering decisions.) And, no attention at all was turned to helping parents reinforce to their children that mom’s menu is balanced, healthy and good for them. No advice was given on how to explain to youngsters why the family’s carte du jour of meat, fish and poultry dishes are really okay.

Instead, the program was focused on helping parents accommodate children who come to them saying, “I’m now just going to eat fish and veggies” or something of the sort. In that situation, the politically correct parent must not ask his kid if he got a job and if he will be shopping for his special-order items with his own money. Instead, according to the show, one must not “panic” and get it right by learning about vegetarian diets and how to prepare them.

Interestingly, although children of all ages presumably may demand custom made meals, Ms. Fernstrom draws the line when it come to dairy products. Children “have to have dairy” in their diets, she says, creating an absolute.

But what if the postmodern child chooses to drink only soda pop and rejects all dairy products? Then what? Does the postmodern parent actually force little Jonathan to consume dairy? The morning show segment didn’t touch upon that appalling thought. Moreover, what if little Adeline chooses to eat only veggies (and no fish) or only whole wheat pastries and natural chocolate based items?

Is it wrong for mom to gently inform her second grader that she will not be preparing special or separate meals? Many parents try to accommodate the preferences of their children, but are unwilling to totally revamp the set of choices. And what about parents who give their children the option of eating what is set on table or going hungry? Do those positions constitute violations of the United Nations’ Declaration of the Rights of the Child? Is that where America is heading? Or does the child already have legal preeminence over the parent?

One reason the child’s choice to go meatless is virtually unimpeachable to the postmodern parent involves the why behind the child’s decision. Kids aren’t making vegetarian choices out of dietary and health concerns (after all, we’re talking about elementary school children); they are being influenced by the dogma of the liberal progressive agenda of which they are under constant bombardment via government school lessons, the Internet and You Tube and the media.

Regardless of their ages, their choices carry the power of political correctness — the irresistible force of the spirit of the age. When Meredith Vieira asked, “Why are kids making dramatic diet changes?” Ms. Fernstrom stated that for some (and it seems that, for most) the decision is “an ethical one.” Ms. Fernstrom noted that children are influenced by a number of factors — whether it’s concern over their “carbon footprint,” or to do something “for the environment,” or for the “ethical treatment of animals.”

Surreal, but true — kids are going veggie based on brave new ethics. In every generation there is peer pressure to do right. Today, the progressive adults have simply redefined right and wrong and have redirected the youth to pursue what is right.

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1 thought on “The Meat and Potatoes of Child Indoctrination

  1. If only I had been born a bit later! I decided to become a vegetarian at the age of five years — I guess the vast Left wing conspiracy got to me early. After all, I did watch PBS a lot . . . “Sunny days, chasing the clouds away . . .” Anyway, every time that I gave up meat, my mother would tolerate it for a few days and then violently stuff chicken salad or something like that down my throat. A few months later, we would repeat the cycle. We would go through this for years until I was a teen, by which time I had given up. When I left for college, I became a vegetarian again and have remained so.

    Anyway, I agree that parents should parent and not follow, but it may be good to accommodate children every now and then when it won’t hurt them to do so.


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