Every family is different, so it stands to reason that how their children are raised will be different, too.
But that doesn’t give a parent the right to push their ideas onto someone else’s child, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor MlikyThrow2 recently had a playdate for her daughter and a friend at her home, where she presented her daughter’s friend with raw milk and told him it was good for him.
But when his mother lashed out at her, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have asked first.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for feeding a child who is not mine raw milk?”
The OP’s daughter recently had a fun playdate at their home.
“I (36 Female) live on a homestead with my husband and two daughters. Homesteading is super important to me, getting in touch with the land and growing our own food. We have a garden and chickens.”
“It’s all been really beneficial to the mental and physical health of our family. However, we’re not an ‘unschooling’ type of family. Our daughters attend the local public school system.”
“This weekend, our oldest daughter, ‘Lily’ (9 Female), invited over a friend for a play date.”
“We live in an area where not everyone has gardens and animals, and it’s usually a delight when kids come over. Parents, of course, know about our homestead since we are pretty vocal in our smaller community.”
“Lily’s friend, ‘Sam’ (9 Male), enjoyed talking to our chickens, helping Lily collect eggs, and playing in our backyard.”
The OP thought the playdate was successful.
“The playdate was a few hours long, so I prepared lunch for Lily and Sam. Cucumber sandwiches and chocolate milk.”
“The chocolate milk was raw milk from a neighboring homestead and organic cocoa powder.”
“My family strongly believes in raw milk, it’s healthy and not dangerous. It’s also local. It’s a bit of a mini activism thing since it is illegal in our state.”
“Also, we simply just don’t have pasteurized milk, no purpose in buying it, especially if it’s not local.”
“When serving the two of them lunch, Sam asked if the milk was from our cow. I said we don’t have a cow, but it’s from our friends’ cow, and it is called raw milk and is super good for you.”
“He seemed interested, and the two finished lunch and the play date with no issue.”
Sam’s mother wasn’t so sure about the playdate.
“Later, I got a call from Sam’s mom, nearly screaming at me.”
“She said Sam told her about the raw milk and I put her son in danger by giving him something not safe for anyone and something that’s illegal in our state.”
“I calmly explained the benefits, but she said Sam will not be coming over again soon.”
“I’m sure she’s telling other moms.”
The OP clarified in a comment that she did not argue with Sam’s mom.
“I didn’t fight. I explained and apologized.”
“But I won’t do this in the future. I think I just live in such a homesteady bubble (I’m a blogger) that my mind didn’t even process that raw milk isn’t just ‘milk’ for everyone.”
“I won’t do this again, I’ll serve the kids water or juice, or ask their parents first.”
“I think this is just a sort of wake-up call for me… and not a wake-up call to only socialize my kids with other homesteaders.”
“I understand the raw milk fear, even though I will keep feeding it to my family, because it’s what works for us. And not other people. Lesson learned, I hope.”
The OP felt conflicted after the phone call.
“I feel horrible, but raw milk is just the norm in my family and I don’t mentally view it as dangerous, it really isn’t.”
“I’m morally conflicted. I want my daughters to have a good social life and children to feel comfortable at our home, but I also don’t want to demonize a natural product.”
The OP added more information in a comment about local farm life.
“It’s a farm life sort of thing. No one has gotten sick from the milk we know, and we know the family and the cows. I’m not feeding them raw chicken.”
“H**l, if you want to get into this argument, you can say that feeding your kids soda is dangerous, too. Tons of people grew up and survived on raw milk. You also don’t get to tell me how to feed myself and my children.”
“And it’s only illegal because big dairy corporations don’t want to support little farms. It’s also not illegal in every state. The raw milk movement is real and doesn’t mean I’m neglectful.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out that the OP didn’t really know where the milk was coming from.
“OP isn’t the one that has the cow nor did she actually procure it herself.”
“She’s not the one caring for the animal and making sure things are done safely and sanitarily.”
“Even if she was, it’s just not appropriate to go ahead and do it without asking the parent first, but it’s especially f**ked up when you’re not even the one that handled the product.” – ApprehensiveIssue340
“In my head, raw milk is a bit like sashimi.”
“Does it taste amazing? Yes.”
“Is it inherently unsafe? No.”
“Am I going to eat raw fish that I got from a neighbor when I would have to trust their word that the fish was healthy, that there was no contamination, and that it had just been caught and killed?”
“Okay, maybe if I personally trusted them, because I do love raw fish. But I’m not feeding it to someone else’s child.” – owl_duc
“I only drank raw milk for the first few years of my life. First from our cow, then from a local dairy.”
“As an adult, I sometimes get some raw milk from a local dairy after putting significant time and effort into understanding the science, the state laws, and how that particular dairy handles their cows, milk, and safety.”
“I also understand that it is not a risk-free purchase or product, and purchasing it involves signing a waiver that includes understanding the risks. (I am definitely pro-waiver, so people don’t just accidentally stumble into health issues.)”
“I also completely agree with you. It is never okay to give someone else’s child raw milk or any other unconventional and risky food product. There is an inherent risk, and OP is ignorant or outright lying about understanding that.” – Alert-Potato
“I’m going to leave aside my opinion on raw vs pasteurized milk. The fact is this: you gave a child who is not your child a food substance which is illegal in your state without consulting that child’s parent.”
“Yes, YTA.” – PinkNGreenFluoride
“I will add my own thoughts on raw: I grew up on a small faux farm like this, and my mother never cleaned the udders and underbelly properly, so poop-covered sawdust would fall into the bucket from the goats. She would just strain it out with a sieve and then tried to make everyone drink it.”
“I love gardening, making cheese and pickles, and canning, but as someone who had to take food safety courses, I have zero faith as 90% of the homesteaders I know have seriously misunderstood germ safety.” – LizHylton
Others said the OP had no right to push her beliefs onto another person’s child.
“She was proselytizing to someone else’s kid and potentially endangering his health without his parents’ permission.”
“She’s definitely TA. She sounds insufferable, honestly. You can smell the smug superiority from here.” – The-Aforementioned-W
“I’d be more sympathetic if she’d just forgotten to mention it or something, but the whole ‘It’s called raw milk and it’s super good for you!’ thing is so obviously pushing an agenda.” – Cheeseanonioncrisps
“YTA because you knew it could be an issue for other people (based on the legality and calling your use of raw milk an ‘activism thing’) and yet you chose not to ask the child’s parent first.” – Ok-Aardvark-6742
“I’m like, does OP roll the dice with meat, also? Wash their hands?”
“I live on an organic goat dairy farm, and pasteurization isn’t some weird government conspiracy or poison.”
“If it was my kids, I’d be like: ‘Well, enjoy hanging out with your friend at school, cuz you’re never going to that house again.'” – Civil-Pause-386
“We got raw milk for the first 8 years of our kiddo’s life. I always asked parents before giving it to their child. H**l, at that age, I’d text parents to make sure candy was okay.” – awgeezwhatnow
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update:
“I am the a**hole. I called Sam’s mom and apologized.”
“I have a feeling she’ll be hesitant about him returning, but it’s okay.”
“I’ll boil our dinner milk for you tonight, Reddit. Thanks for helping out.”
While the subReddit could understand the OP wanting a homestead lifestyle for her own family, they felt she was in no way in the right to present that lifestyle to someone else’s child without first getting their consent.
A lot of considerations go into deciding what to put into our bodies, and it is up to each family to decide on the diet they will embrace in their homes.