Raising vegetarian children is a topic I have written about before, somewhat sheepishly, as a vegetarian who lapses once a month or so. Now comes this much better piece, in that it is more sophisticated, from a publication of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (which they charmingly refer to as "HUGSE," pronounced hugsey). A bit of it here:
And, of course, the bigger, lagging question, he said, is why do independent vegetarians make the decision not to eat meat in the first place? He initially thought these children might have a special affection toward animals. But with pet ownership so widespread, even among meat eaters, that explanation is unlikely. Other possibilities, proposed by Harris and audience members, were that independent vegetarians have a greater understanding of suffering or are born as vegetarians. Harris also offered one more suggestion.
"Most of us receive an enormous number of messages that eating meat is a good thing, one associated with celebrations," he said. "Most of us who eat meat and look at our plates don't think about the slaughterhouse. My sense is that these children have a more complicated relationship to that plate."