A father has sparked backlash for admitting that he was feeding his son non-vegan food without his wife knowing.
The 32-year-old man took to the popular Reddit forum “Am I The A**Hole,” where he asked fellow users if they felt he was in the wrong. Since it was posted last week, his viral post has received more than 7,900 comments from users debating his actions.
The Redditor began by explaining how he and his wife, 33, have been married for eight years and share a 12-year-old son. When their child was around six years old, his wife decided she wanted to be vegan.
“She was sent the documentary Dominion by a vegan friend of hers, and ever since [she] has said non-vegan food is ‘revolting’ and refuses to eat it,” he wrote. “After a long conversation, I agreed to go vegetarian and be vegan in the house and around her, which she was happy with.”
After speaking to a dietician, both parents ultimately decided that their son should follow the vegan diet as well. Up until a few months ago, their food restrictions didn’t appear to be an issue.
“Things have been fine with this arrangement, until a few months ago when I began finding wrappers from non-vegan candy and even burgers from McDonald’s in my sons school bag, which he had been buying with chore money,” the father said.
“I had a conversation with my son and he confessed he felt lonely and excluded eating vegan around his friends, and that they always had much better candy than he did and it wasn’t fair,” he continued.
Upon hearing his child’s woe, the father decided he didn’t want his son to spend money on snacks, let alone waste his vegan school lunch. The Reddit user wrote: “I decided I didn’t want him spending his pocket money on snacks and throwing out the vegan snacks we actually brought him instead of buying games etc, it made no sense.”
“But I also know the way my wife feels about non-vegan products,” he went on. “So, I began buying my son what he wanted on our way to football practice instead.”
Eventually, his wife discovered what he had been doing and “flipped out.”
“She called me an animal abuse enabler and a few other names and said I was corrupting our son,” the man wrote. “Now she is not speaking to me, our son panicked and told her I had bought the snacks for him and he didn’t know they weren’t vegan.”
However, the Redditor said he wasn’t upset with his son for exposing him, writing: “I don’t blame him for that.”
Many Reddit users flocked to his viral post, where a majority of commenters seemingly supported the man’s efforts to buy his son non-vegan food.
“I think we’re also forgetting this is a 12 year old boy. Anybody who has spent time around a growing boy knows that they eat nonstop, literally they can eat an entire roasted chicken in a day and still be looking for food,” one person commented.
Another added: “I think the issue is that, while it’s possible to get all the nutrients being vegan, it takes significantly more effort to get it, and just like everyone else, decreasing nutrient density does not help.”
“I don’t know any doctor that would suggest a vegan diet to anyone. It’s hard to get everything you need. I really don’t know one that would say that it’s a good idea for a kid at that,” one user remarked.
“Forcing a vegan diet on your child is child neglect in Germany and therefore you can face serious legal consequences,” someone else claimed.
Meanwhile, one vegan person agreed that the father was not in the wrong for giving his son non-vegan food.
“We humans are designed to eat meat - it’s a perfectly normal thing for our bodies to do. In fact, I’m the abnormal one NOT eating meat,” they wrote. “I’m old enough to have made that choice and I’m happy - your son shouldn’t have it ‘forced’ upon him at such a young age, when building bonds is so important.”