Hmmm, well my breastfeeding post certainly has garnered some interest, hasn't it?!?
Sazz, I for one, am glad that you came over to express your side of the story.
But I will reiterate a couple of things, that seemed to have been lost here. One, I come from a long line of breast feeders. My mum, grandma, and nearly all my aunts and cousins breast fed. Like I said, I strongly believe that breast is best, and should be attempted with each and every baby. I agree that breastfeeding isn't very well supported in the general community here. As a childcare worker, I have seen the difference between breastfed bubs and bottle fed. As for myself I plan to extend breastfeed/child led weaning, if I am able (and if we get a baby!), and I see no reason why I couldn't achieve either. I have already spent extensive time in preparing (read fighting) my anti-extended breastfeeding in-laws over it. So you are really talking to the converted here! :-) (I also plan on cosleeping, babywearing and I would love to have a homebirth, although, due to my medical problems, and a bowel resection (not keyhole), I don't think I will get that!)
I think we have safely established that breast is best, and should be supported and happening more often. But life doesn't often work out that way: the ideal and the reality don't often happen the way they should. Does that mean I judge the women whom tried and failed to breastfeed? No. Does it mean I feel sorry for them, or that they are some what 'less than'? Depending on their reason for not breastfeeding, I do not. They made that choice for their child, whether it was properly informed or not: it was their personal, parenting decision. Just it was their decision to own (or not) a pram, and co-sleep (or not), etc. But it is their choice. For me, it isn't a matter of sitting on the fence, it is just that I respect a parent's right to choose (just as I would expect my parenting choices to be respected), particularly in light of the current climate. That being said, even I will admit to disagreeing with mothers that don't even try breastfeeding, or don't breastfeed because it somehow interferes with their sexuality. But ultimately, it is their choice, and I respect it.
As for taking the page out of the book: it isn't something I support, mostly because I had personal experiences with having my books interfered with as a child: and it wasn't a positive thing for me. In fact, it made a bigger deal out of something that I hadn't noticed until that point.
In your case, as a child, I don't think I would have even noticed the bottle. Children don't read into things the way we do: their biggest influence is you and your actions, not a picture in a book. Whilst my mother's focus was not on breastfeeding, I still managed to grow up with a very positive perspective on it: because I was surrounded by women whom either had, or were, breastfeeding. Heck, I even remember breastfeeding my doll: and bottle feeding her too, but I can never remember thinking bottle was better, or even worrying about where the stuff in the bottle came from! . From what I can see, your children get to experience those things too. Leaving a page with a different perspective in a book isn't going to change those positive, natural experiences.
However, what are they learning if you teach them to deal with things you disagree with by tearing out pages in a book?
Your post reminded me of how my parents talked: (about different topics, but with the same passion and zeal, definitely): which was why I decided to post about it. I wouldn't even say I was upset...concerned about the way it was presented, absolutely.
And also, I would like to point out that I did not call anyone a breast feeding nazi. And to those that did get worked up about it, I would like to gently say to pop over to the other Jo's blog, and offer her some positive support. Her experiences with breastfeeders up to this point, for all you know, may have been negative. As it is, she is going through a really tough time right now, and I don't think picking on her choice of words is a particularly nice thing to do.