How far is too far?
I understand that childhood obesity and our nation's addiction to fast food is quite an epidemic today, and as a healthy vegan I am all for promoting and passing on healthy eating habits to our future generations.
Last week, however, an event happened that angers me greatly. My thirteen year old cousin brought a book home from school that all of the students were supposed to read. It was a book about fast food and the horrible ingredients that are put into these foods and how they cause illness and obesity. The next day the teacher showed the class a movie. This movie showed an actual slaughterhouse and explained in detail the process of killing chickens, pigs, and cows for their meat. The teacher was so disgusted that she turned the movie off. One child ran out of the classroom crying. And my cousin? She has not eaten since.
My Aunt is beside herself with worry and called me for help (I am a recovered anorexic). Natalie (my cousin) will only nibble on a piece of pasta or take a bite of broccoli and say that she is "stuffed". She is afraid of becoming obese and afraid of what is in her food. She is already losing a great deal of weight and apparently is quite proud of it.
Is it just me or was a line crossed here? Do schools have the right to do this to our children? I believe that it is a parents decision to raise their child as a carnivore, vegetarian, vegan, WHATEVER they want. I am just wondering what anyone else thinks of this.
no I don't think that goes too far
I think kids should know where food comes from. If you are not ashamed of eating meat and feeding your kids that food than why not let the kids see where it comes from. I would not want my young kids seeing that but they do not eat animal flesh and it would make them cry. But if we ate meat then yes if you can eat an animal you should see hw it is killed. I think fims like that should be shown in every school.
I think your cousin has other issues that have nothing to do with the film. She would be eating a lot of veggie food if it was just the film. The issue about fat seems to come from other issues at home or school.
Last edited by rawmom2006; 09-24-2007 at 10:39 PM.
10 pounds released and more to go
I think it's important that children know the truth and I commend the school ( of ALL places) for trying to instill that in these students in a society where many school lunches are actually contributing to the problem of childhood obesity. HOWEVER...when dealing with things of a delicate and graphic nature, I feel the schools should have sent out permission slips along with some kind of warning or synopsis of the movie and let the parents and the children decide if they wanted to watch said movie or not...kinda like they used to do when I was in school and we had to get consent to watch movies dealing with puberty or when I was in high school, there was a film shown about when babies are aborted and we had to get consent forms signed for that and it let us and our parents know that it would be graphic and disturbing and all that.
So, that's my only thing...perhaps they should have first had the teacher or SOME-one view this film before just showing it and then sent out something to the parents.
After learning about additives and chemicals in food, she is completely paranoid that there is something bad in every food. So there is the fear that she will be fat, the sorrow for the animals and the fear that her food is poisoned, be it a veggie or a cow. She has never had these issues before, she is a very healthy girl. I did suggest that she may have underlying issues, but it saddens me to see this happening in my family.
I have been vegetarian since age 12 and plan to raise my children vegan, and I would LOVE it if the world were vegan, believe me! However I will not preach to those who chose to eat differently than I do, just as I would not want a meat eater to preach to me about diet. But I feel that at 13 you are very impressionable, and a movie that shows animals being slaughtered is a rather violent way of demonstrating how to eat healthy. Why not have a nutritionist come to the school? Why the graphic in-your-face images?
I guess I am sensitive to my cousin starving herself because I have been down that road and almost died. I don't know what I'd do if my child were petrified that a vegetable could kill him or her.
Ditto. I told my aunt that they should have signed a consent form, just like our parents did when we watched a sex-ed tape about the birthing process.
Originally Posted by Rawkinlocs
Her school is forward thinking, which is great. They are not allowed to pack sugary snacks for lunch, they MUST brown bag lunch and it is inspected by a teacher to make sure it's healthy. Birthdays are not allowed to be celebrated with cake or treats at school. I think it's great. But the video? Eh.
Now is a good time for you to gently and lovingly educate and inform of things from a different perspective. Give her a book to read that will show her that it's okay to eat veggies and fruit, esp. organic if she's really that concerned. But this can be turned around and this may be just a temporary thing that she's going through that will work out and she'll be back to normal, perhaps with a fresh outlook on what she eats. But Auntie, you can help guide her from this point...show her how YOU eat and that it's okay to eat and that not everything is bad, etc. etc.
I think that the effects of a fast food/high fat diet should be discussed in school at every class level. The film seems too graphic for children at that age. The teacher should have prescreened the movie and realized that before showing it to the class. In a college Literature class we read a very graphic short story about a pig slaughter house and it grossed me out. There were no pictures. The pictures in my head were bad enough. I could almost smell the smell of death because the writing was so vivid. It really did kind of make me sick and I was 30 years old. I say bad call on the teacher/school's part. Did they send out permission slips? I just came back to the computer and noticed some other replies. I really think that having such a strict food program is not a good idea. Children need to learn to make good food choices. I can't believe they check their lunch bags! Now that is too far.
Originally Posted by NYbutterfly
Last edited by Dj 247; 09-24-2007 at 11:06 PM.
I second Rawkinlocs - nows the time to give her information on good food...give her some raw/vegan nutrition books. Anything about how beneficial the foods that God gave us are!
It sounds to me like she's in a place to receive vital information :)
I'm hopefully on my path to becoming a health psychologist with an emphasis on educating people about whole foods nutrition...realistically some of that is going to begin in the school system..
I believe that the teacher had good intentions but her lack of sensitivity saddens me. Maybe a better choice would have been to have a counselor there in the room to facilitate a discussion during or after the video. I've seen some graphic footage in my research that has been too much for me, so I can sort of imagine how a younger person would feel not having a choice.
Best wishes to your cousin. Perhaps once she moves past this trauma she will be moved to educate herself further on nutrition and wellness. I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason and positive things are yet to come. :)
I agree. I did tell my aunt to not worry if she never eats animal products again, using myself as an example. This is a very meat and potato kind of family, but I told my aunt to offer her all the support she can for her food choices, and she does. The problem is that she chooses to eat... nothing. At my age, this would simply be a fast, but at her age it's something to look at more deeply.
Originally Posted by SmilingRawDancer
These responses are really helpful to me and my family. Thanks you guys!
if the kids are going to eat the stuff they should know the reality of what it is. i knew from a young age..and i was never anorexic, that's an entirely different can of worms, you can't blame those issues on education of what goes in our body! i mean you can say they shouldn't have to see that stuff..but if they are going to eat flesh...why are we pretending it's not ..what it is?
punish the deed not the breed!!!
It sounds to me like she is just using this as an excuse to cover her eating disorder. At age 13, she should know what is in her food. My daughter is only 9. She knows how to read a nutrition label and knows the difference between regular and organic food.
As for the movie, I don't think it is necessarily too graphic for a child of that age. But then, I didn't see the movie. I do recall being horrified at having to disect animals in biology class, but I also know why it is that we did it and why it wouldn't work so well to use a dummy model.
I do believe there are underlying issues and this just opened the door. Maybe do a test. Explain to her about organic foods and how they don't have the pesticides and additives in it and provide her with many organic foods. If she then still is heavily restricting then I'd question in more depth if this is an ED beginning to unfold or not.
~Dream For Life~
Incurable means curable within.
I think there absolutely should have been a permission slip sent home to the parents. I've watched the movies on PETA's site Meet your meat, etc... and while I am glad I did they are horrifically graphic. Yes it is the reality, but the way to approach a child is drastically different from what is appropriate to smack an adult in the face with. If I were a parent of a child in that class I would be royally pissed!
I don't believe your neice has any underlying eating disorder but was shocked by something in a very graphic way that she had no ideas about at a very impressionable age. Is it good that she won't want to eat meat?? Yes! But I think now would be the time, as others said, to encourage her in positive ways...to educate her and make her feel comfortable again with better and healthier choices.
Wishing her the best...you are an invaluable resourse to her now~
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