It’s not at all uncommon to have fundamental differences with members of your family.
Even if you may likely never find common ground in these differences with your family members, it is still possible to respect their differing set of beliefs, and happily live under the same roof.
As long as no one tries to inflict their beliefs on others in any capacity.
Redditor temptemptemp772 and his son shared very different diets and beliefs when it came to food, but thought they were at least living harmoniously under one roof.
Until the original poster (OP) discovered that their son willfully destroyed some food he had been saving, owing to the fact that it didn’t align with his beliefs
As a result, the OP felt there was only one suitable punishment for his sons’s actions.
Worried he may have been too hard on him the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for making my son deal with rotting meat?”
The OP explained how after his son’s actions resulted in costly and unsanitary damage, he felt the only solution was to “let the punishment fit the crime”.
“I go hunting every year.”
“I’m not a trophy hunter by any means I do it for meat and almost purely for economic reasons at this point.”
“Taking a few of deer off my property once a year keeps my freezer stocked and the grocery bill way down which is important because finances can be tight sometimes.”
“As a little relevant background the bulk of the meat is kept in a large freezer in the garage and about once a week we pull out what we will need for the next week or so.”
“Which means the freezer is normally only opened about once a week.”
“My son (15) has decided that he is vegetarian about 6 months ago which my wife and I have no problems with.”
“We started making meatless meals twice a week and made sure every other dinner was such that the meat was separate from everything else so he could still eat with us.”
“This has been working great for the last 6 months with no complaints.”
“However, last week when I pulled the meat for the week out of our freezer in the garage he decided to come behind me and unplug the freezer.”
“I guess he thought we weren’t doing enough to support his cause?”
“He never spoke to us or complained about our twice a week set up prior to unplugging the freezer.”
“Well as you can imagine with a now unrefrigerated pile of meat in the summer heat it didn’t take long for the meat to start to rot and stink.”
“The freezer kept the smell in for a while so by the time we finally noticed everything was completely putrid.”
“I asked my son if he knew what happened and he proudly said that he had unplugged it on purpose and now we would have to be meat free.”
“I told him that he didn’t have the right to ruin a freezer full of meat and raise the families grocery bill without discussing it with anyone.”
“I told him that as part of his punishment he had to clean up his mess.”
“Meaning dispose of all of the rotting meat and either sufficiently clean and sanitize the freezer or purchase a new one out of his savings.”
“He called me the AH for making him interact with meat in any form.”
“But he made the mess he needs to clean it up.”
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
The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**Hole for making their son clean up the ruined meat he destroyed.
Everyone agreed that the OP inflicted the perfect punishment on their son, as he maliciously destroyed his property, and chose to ignore how the OP and his wife fully supported his decision to be a vegetarian.
“And I have also smelled the very specific and unforgettable smell of a freezer full of game some asshat left unplugged for a year.”
“He will never forget this lesson.”
“He will need a Ttvek painter’s suit from a home improvement store, gloves, goggles, and like 6 jars of Vicks Vapo rub.”
“And it still won’t be enough!”
“And warn the neighbors.”- ghostwriter623
“Wasted meat is worse than consumed meat.”
“Does he know you’ll probably hunt more now?”
“Also forcing your beliefs on others is just stupid.”
‘It never works and makes your viewpoint seem more extreme.”- engineeeeer7
“This kid absolutely deserves to scrub that thing until it shines.”
“What he did was deplorable in so many ways.”- DormantDormaus
“I’m a vegetarian myself and I’d argue what he’s done is worse because the deer have now died for no reason.”
“Plus it’s not okay for him to intentionally ruin the family’s groceries and waste money Buying a new freezer might be overkill but I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to clean it.”- LizWeasley
“I think that was a great way to handle this situation.”
“Your son has no right to dictate how you will eat, just like you have no right to dictate how he eats.”
“I think this is a fair and just punishment, and hopefully it will stick with him for a while.”
“Hopefully it also comes with a conversation about how he doesn’t get to make choices for other people.”- bloodyyuno
“He should not only have to clean it up but he should also have to help pay to replace it.”
“At 15yo he knew what he was doing when he unplugged that freezer.”
“If he doesn’t have an actual paying job he needs to be doing extra work around the house to help pay for the hundreds of dollars worth of meat that was destroyed for his ’cause’.”
“Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”- RealLettuce1782
“This is a good, if smelly, teaching moment.”
“Actions have consequences.”
“This is a lesson he will not forget.”
“You should also show him how the destruction of these resources are going to have an economic impact on your family and he may miss out on some activities because of your increased food budget.”- keen238
“I’m plant base, originally said vegan), have been for 4 years, I wouldn’t even unplug someone’s meat supply because it is against the whole point of being vegetarian or vegan, it forces additional deaths of animals COMPLETELY unnecessarily.”
“BTW, you hunting a couple deer/ year that are on your property, and presumably of decent size and age, is actually more ethical of you than your kid destroying all your stores of dear.”
“Best of luck dealing with him, he needs education in not eating meat.”- iwantosayonething
“What a beautiful example of natural consequences.”
“You sabotage your family’s food, you have to clean it up.”
“I’d also make him sit with you while you work out the family’s budget to see exactly the kind of deficit he caused by doing this.”
“And the extra needed to cover all the meat he ruined?”
“In my house he’d be helping with that expense, either by paying directly or it coming out of his extra curriculars budget or working it off in extra chores.”
“Actions have consequences and it is completely appropriate that he be hit with serious ones for doing this.”- lulubelleknitting
“This is the second post in a week when a teen harms someone or something in order to make their point about being vegan!”
“My response then and now is.”
“He has every right to have his own beliefs and morals.”
“Yet imposing them on others, and in turn harming others, makes it moot and comes with consequences.”
“While you actively worked to support his beliefs, and many parents would have dismissed it as a phase/not their problem, he didn’t appreciate it and instead punished your entire family.”
“If he continues to baulk at his punishment, remind him you are still respecting him by not forcing him to purchase the equal value of the ruined meat.”
“Also, remind him while you were grateful and respectful of the animal, he made the animals death a waste, which is completely counterintuitive to his beliefs!!”- Babsgarcia
“This is why so many people see vegetarians and vegans as annoying and militant.”
“You openly and willingly accommodated him.”
“The fact that it isn’t enough and he wants all of you to be forced into his lifestyle just shows how ungrateful he is.”
“You should have told him ‘if you’re such a friend to the animals, you just made it so those deer died for nothing and are wasted’.”
“‘Now I’ll just need to hunt more so those of us who don’t tell others how to live their lives can eat’.”
“I said something similar to a PETA protestor once standing outside a furrier.”
“I said ‘You know, for being such a friend to the animals, you sure are doing a good job making sure MORE minks will be killed, seeing as everyone who buys a fur coat buys insurance as well’.”
“They weren’t there anymore when I doubled back about 30 mins later.”- Freakin_Merida88
It’s not really surprising that the OP’s son wouldn’t approve of the fact that he hunts deer for meat.
However, seeing as The OP was encouraging of his decision to become a vegetarian, one has to wonder how and why his son felt it was the right decision to destroy the meat he hunted.
Particularly as it was a, above all else, a cost cutting measure.
Hopefully, his experiences of cleaning out the rotten meat he destroyed will teach him never to ruin other people’s property ever again.