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In bizarre news this week, a vegetarian mother in Bristol refused to let her five-year-old son see his dad for an entire year, partially because she was afraid said dad might serve the kid meat. Now, the media has for sure been known to one, post stuff that’s not entirely true and two, likes to make non-meat-eaters seem crazy in general, but if this is true it’s really crazy. According to The Telegraph, there were possibly some other issues at play. The mother’s lawyer offered that she had a right to be legitimately concerned that the father would feed the child meat or expose him to danger by failing to make sure he wore a car seat belt. Additionally, her lawyer argued that reintroducing the child to his dad after such a long break would cause both the boy and his mother emotional harm.
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Wow right? So, I get the seat belt issue, if it’s a real concern, and we can’t be sure of the whole story here, but honestly, keeping your child from the other parent due to fear of meat in their diet seems extreme. It’s unbelievable that one parent would force their child to become alienated from the other parent due to a diet choice. Custody battles played out due to irrational fears can seriously affect a child in a very real physiological way. Plus, unless there’s abuse, it’s in the best interest of all kids to be around both parents. It’s insane that more parents don’t realize this. And I’m not just spouting off without context. I’m vegan (used to be vegetarian) and my son was raised vegetarian because when he was born, his dad was also vegetarian. A few years ago, after my son’s dad and I had already separated, said son’s dad went back to eating meat. Did I freak out and keep my son from his dad? No – because that would have caused some real damage. Did we discuss diet and such, sure, but diet choices are less important than time with both parents in my opinion. In the end, in this case, Lord Justice Underhill ruled the boy’s welfare outweighed his mother’s fears over diet and other issues and the mother was told that the son might be sent to live full-time with his father if she failed to comply with the court’s decisions over parental access for the dad. Unless there’s something I’m missing here, I think the court made the right decision. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.