My MIL Tricked My Vegetarian Daughter Into Eating Meat

Family & kids
month ago

A woman and mother-of-2 has found herself in a tough situation because of an incident with her mother-in-law. She thinks what happened was very serious, but her husband isn’t quite on the same page, and he claims she’s exaggerating. As such, the woman turned to social media to figure out what to do.

She wrote:

“My 9-year-old daughter became a vegetarian about 8 months ago (her friend’s older sister’s influence) and takes it surprisingly seriously, given her age. For some bizarre reason, my mother-in-law has a serious problem with it and hates that my husband and I allow it. We had a small confrontation about it a few months ago, but she seemed to back off after I made it clear I wasn’t interested in her input.

On Friday night, we had dinner with my husband’s parents and she served spaghetti. It was a meat sauce for the rest of us, but when she gave my daughter her bowl, she said, all sweetly, ’And a special veggie sauce just for you.’ Halfway through her bowl, my daughter started to panic and asked my MIL if she was sure there was no meat in the sauce. My MIL insisted there was none. I took her plate to inspect and sure enough, there was beef in her sauce. When I stated there was indeed meat in it, my daughter immediately began to cry.

I took her into the living room to calm her down while my husband confronted his mom. She, at first, insisted it was an accident, but after he established he didn’t buy that for a second, she admitted it was intentional. She said she thought by reminding her how delicious meat was, she would ’give up that vegetarian nonsense.’ She said she couldn’t see what the big deal was and suggested we get our daughter therapy because the fact she cried over it was ’very troubling, and a sign something is wrong with her.’

At that point, I insisted we leave. In the car, we explained to our daughter that there was nothing wrong with her and that her grandma was 100% in the wrong. She seemed to have already come to that conclusion on her own, though.”

“My MIL sent a half-assed text apology to my husband last night. Basically saying, ’I shouldn’t have done that, but [insert essay about why eating meat is no big deal and daughter overreacted here].’ He hasn’t responded because we’re still trying to figure out what to say and how to handle the situation.

I’m beyond livid. He’s trying to figure out things to say to get her to understand our daughter’s feelings, like asking her how she would feel if someone tricked her into eating a dog. However, I strongly feel like we shouldn’t have to do that. We shouldn’t have to defend our daughter’s personal choice not to eat meat and her right to have that respected. We shouldn’t have to try to validate her feelings of being deeply upset after she was tricked into doing something she is strongly morally opposed to by someone she trusted.

I told my husband I don’t trust his mother to feed my kids anymore. He thinks I’m overreacting, and we should give her a second chance once the dust settles with this, but my trust is gone. She took it upon herself to decide my daughter was ’wrong’ for being a vegetarian and tried to ’fix’ her. She decided she knew best and ignored not only my daughter’s boundaries, but ours as her parents, not to push meat on her.

It also worries me because our 5-year-old has a peanut allergy that she scoffs at. She’s never tried to sneak her peanut products, but she’s dismissed it as ’probably not serious’ and has said how people ’outgrow allergies, so she probably will too.’ After this incident with the meat, I’m terrified she’ll decide to ignore that food restriction too.

What do you guys think? Am I overreacting for feeling like she shouldn’t be given a second chance when it comes to feeding my kids after this?”

Perhaps to the mom’s surprise, everyone in the comment section of her post seems to have sided with her, reassuring her that she isn’t overreacting at all.

  • You are not overreacting. Your husband is under-reacting. I’d say no more meals at MIL’s for some time, maybe ever. © BuckRose / Reddit
  • Your MIL doesn’t need to understand your daughter’s feelings, she just has to respect them. Between her disregard for one child’s vegetarianism and her comments about your other child’s peanut allergy, I wouldn’t trust her to feed your kids for a very long time. Your daughter’s hurt feelings over being fed meat will be nothing compared to an adverse and potentially deadly reaction if she decides to feed your other child peanuts! © Agitated_Enthusiasm / Reddit
  • The body can react very badly to eating something it hasn’t been used to for a long time. The enzymes to properly digest it are missing. This could have made your daughter very, very sick. Stand your ground. © bored_german / Reddit
  • To me, this is a huge red flag. Especially with your comment that your little one has a peanut allergy that your MIL also does not take seriously. I suspect that if she had gotten away with the meat sauce incident, she would have later “tested” the peanut allergy. At the very least, she showed a clear disregard for your older daughter’s autonomy, which is never okay. I would not allow the kids to eat at her house again. © Salinabenita22 / Reddit
  • I doubt your daughter wants to eat at grandma’s again, no matter if your husband “allows” it or not. I’m a pescetarian myself, and I wouldn’t touch a thing that woman has prepared anymore. Also, I know someone who became a vegetarian at elementary school age when he made the connection between the chicken on his plate and the living breathing chickens he has seen, and he still is a vegetarian to this day. For most of us, it’s not “just a phase.” © DoctorsHouse / Reddit

Every family has its problems and quirks, even those of famous people. On Reddit, a few people decided to tell us what it’s like to be related to a celebrity, and we even found out how Keanu Reeves had a broken relationship with his dad.


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