As parents watch their children grow up, they often find themselves startled to discover that their children’s personal beliefs might begin to veer considerably away from their own.
Most parents accept this, however grudgingly, as they want their children to be their own person and discover who they really are.
Other parents have a bit less patience for this, mandating that as long as they are living under the same roof, they live by their rules.
The son of Redditor Rude_Water_6037 was beginning to become interested in trying some food that was against their family’s religious beliefs.
Something the original poster (OP) flatly forbade.
However, when the OP’s brother learned this, he decided to let his sibling and nephew see for themselves whether or not they liked this forbidden delicacy, serving it to them without telling the OP what it was.
When the OP found out they were tricked into eating this food, they were anything but understanding and lost their temper.
Wondering if they overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for yelling at my brother and sister-in-law & calling them ‘bastards’ for giving us cow meat for dinner?”
The OP explained why a recent dinner with their brother turned into a fairly intense family row:
“My son is nine-years-old, and we’re Indians who are living in the USA.”
“There are various items which are prohibited in the ‘religion’.”
“It includes cow meat.”
“Recently, he talked to me about some of his friends were talking about how they have eaten beef, and that he wants one as well.”
“I refused, and in the end he agreed with it.”
“We recently stayed at my brother’s house.”
“My son informed him one day, that he wants to have cow meat, but that I would not allow that.”
“My brother agreed to help him have it, and also told him ‘As they did not give it to you, we’ll also make a plan to make them have it as well’.”
“Yesterday they said that they were making meat for dinner, and I said sure.”
“When it was served, I noticed that it tasted somewhat differently, so I asked him about it.”
“He laughed and said ‘that’s beef. I want you to taste it as you’re so against it’.”
“‘F*ck your controlling attitude’.”
“I was shocked, and a really huge argument that ensued.”
“My son was continuing to have it, but I asked him to stop, and in the end my brother was yelling at me himself and that he wanted to teach me a lesson.”
“I called then ‘back-stabbing bastards’, and in the end I left the house.”
“I also gave my son a well-deserved dressing down and he’s now grounded for a month.”
“My brother and his wife are saying that I overreacted, though, and that they only did it as I was ‘controlling’ towards my son.”
“There are also moral reasons why I am against it.”
“I don’t really mind if my son’s not religious, but the cow is a sentient creature.”
“I’d be just as upset if he said that he wants to eat dog meat, or cheat on his partner, etc.”
“Perhaps there shouldn’t be a rule against these things legally, but you can still ask people to not do that.”
“My wife was also present and got tricked into having the meat.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Neither the OP nor their brother came off looking particularly good to the Reddit community, who generally agreed “everyone sucks here”.
While just about everyone agreed that it was wrong for the OP’s brother to trick them into eating beef, they also felt that the OP shouldn’t enforce their own religious beliefs on their son, and should let him eat whatever he likes.
“But the brother and in-laws are the worse.”
“I agree that your son should be allowed to choose for himself.”
“You don’t have to like it.”
“You don’t even have to offer it in your house.”
“You can even say something like ‘I don’t approve’.”
“‘I hope you won’t and if you eat beef I don’t want to know because eating beef to us means XYZ’.”
“Beyond that kids WILL make their own choices like this one did no mater what you try.”
“Your brother should not tell you how to parent unless there is clear cut abuse.”
“If your children are fed and fed well, it is enough.”
“Your brother should not violate YOUR beliefs.”
“They went WAY over the line and I would be equally angry.”
“Good luck.”- containmentleak
“They absolutely should not have tricked you into eating beef.”
“That’s incredibly offensive.”
“Your son is 9 years old.”
“He’s old enough to decide for himself if he wants to eat beef.”- DogsReadingBooks
“Your brother is, of course, the bigger AH.”
“You are both trying to impose your beliefs on to others – it doesn’t matter much that you are doing that to a minor under your care (I could say that in some ways it might be *worse*).”
“But he is also using deceit.”
“Interesting that you put ‘religion’ in quotes but then you would not allow a 9 year old to try beef.”
“My mother is/was religious, so she would follow the fasting rules in her house, and I did not go against those.”
“I mean, it was clear, if I wanted to have food at home, I’d eat what my parents were eating.”
“However, if we were somewhere where there was e.g. meat available on Good Friday, she would not force me to fast.”
“She would tell me what I am supposed to eat if I follow the fasting and she always followed it, but from the point I could make my own mind, she would not force anyone else.”
“I am 44 now and when I visit her while she is fasting, she offers to cook non-fasting food for me (she never offered when I was a kid), but I always decline.”
“Lentil soup is fine with me!”- ThrowRAMomVsGF
“Just curious- your brother eats beef and you don’t, how did that come about?”
“I have to say ESH.”
“Your brother was in the wrong here; it’s completely unacceptable to trick someone into eating something like that.”
“But your kid is 9, trusted your brother (an adult) and I think grounding him for a month is not proportionate.”- happybanana134
“ESH, your brother for tricking you into eating beef, and you for shoving your religious beliefs down your 9 year old son’s throat when he clearly doesn’t feel the same way.”
“Let the boy make his own dietary decisions.”
“He’s old enough now.”- Tired-mama-of-one
“If your child wants beef, you shouldn’t force your own ideological beliefs onto him.”
“Unground him and stop being overly controlling.”
“That being said, your brother’s actions were disgraceful and I wouldn’t allow him anywhere near your family until he realizes how vile his actions were and apologizes profusely.”-DriverAlternative958
“I’m Indian so I know how beef isn’t eaten on religious grounds.”
“However your son is old enough to decide what he wants to eat.”
“You are controlling him, and honestly shouldn’t.”
“However the way your brother went about it is horrible so in my opinion ESH.”- Aeia21
There were a select few, however, who felt the OP’s anger was more than justified, even if they still felt the OP should allow his son to eat beef if he’s curious.
“Assuming the punishment is because your son tricked you, and not just for eating beef himself.”
“Your son wanted beef, that’s normal adolescent boundary pushing.”
“But he and your brother hatched a plan to disrespect your own choices and have you eat beef.”
“It’s never ok to trick someone into consuming a food they prefer not to eat due to cultural/religious reasons.”
“You don’t serve beef to a Hindu and tell them it’s goat.”
“You don’t slip some flavored rum into a Mormon’s caffeine free diet coke.”
“You don’t give a burger with chopped bacon snuck inside to a Muslim and you don’t give eggs with lobster to a Jew.”- BaltimoreBadger23
“Deliberately tricking someone into violating a taboo is wrong.”- Agnostic_optomist
“I’m Indian and I get what they mean.”
“Cows are sacred for Hindus (assuming the OP is Hindu).”
“It’s said that God resides in them.”
“Not sure about OP but where I’m from, we even have a festival dedicated to cows.”
“So I understand how this was a big deal.”
“It wasn’t an overreaction at all.”
“Also, I feel like OP should’ve explained to her son the reason why they don’t eat beef so he could understand.”- jnkent
Everyone’s religious beliefs are theirs and theirs alone.
With that in mind, the OP’s brother should not have served them beef, as they likely knew all too well how angry it was going to make them.
That being said, if the OP’s son is beginning to explore other religions, the OP should be more open to it, and allow him to discover for himself what works and doesn’t for him.
Hopefully, the whole family will come to realize this and can settle this over a much more rational conversation.