How to Raise a Vegetarian
Seriously, do not ask me.
Yes, I am a vegetarian. And I was 12 when I decided meat wasn't for me. And I did live in a small town that grew soybeans but had never heard of soymilk - in a state that prides itself on having a population of 14-15 million hogs and only 3 million people.
But I don't believe in forcing my views on anyone ...including my daughter. She was a vego for the first year of her life - if you don't count the fish oil tablets I choked down to give her more/stronger/genius brain cells (and do not tell me otherwise). We weaned her on beans and nuts and dairy.
And then, she reached an age where she was curious about the (obviously very yummy) stuff that Daddy was eating. She began to devour salmon. And I do not use the word devour lightly. Which was great, because I was no longer providing her with fish-induced intelligence ... and I'd done a lot of hard work building up those brain cells.
But it didn't stop there. Then she was curious about the other things that Daddy ate - the things that he gobbled down voraciously. So she tried lamb. And beef. And turkey.
And sausage - which she tasted, spat out and called 'evil'. (That's my girl!!)
My little vegetarian has turned out to be very carnivorous. A lover of lightly-cooked, full-flavoured meats and seafoods.
And we're fine with that. After all, she is who she is. Our only stipulation is that she knows where the meat comes from. Which means, of course, that we get 'baaaaaa' when lamb is served, and 'moooooo' when beef is served ...
I know she doesn't really understand how meat comes into being. She's only 3. Shall we take a field trip to the abattoir? (ooh! please, Mummy!) I think not. But we'll keep learning. And living with compassion. And being grateful and not wasteful of the food that ends up on our plates, and in our bellies, and nourishes us.
So, that's how you raise a non-vegetarian. To raise a vegetarian, you must feed your child ample amounts of overcooked meat and then let her read PETA literature when she's at a formative age. (or, at least, that's how I became one)
PS. Love the apron? Robbie got it for me at a thrift store ... it instructs the wearer on what parts of the steer are to be used for each cut of beef - and what each cut is good for. Appropriate, hey? You can find other thrifty finds here.
Love the apron (that Robbie is such a nice guy). Love the new-look banner, too. You're such a clever. xxReplyDelete
Aww ... thanks Linda! Hope darling little R. is feeling better :)ReplyDelete
I enjoyed reading that. My husband is vegetarian bordering on vegan, and my 8 year old son has recently stopped eating meat. I'm not too phased, although it does make meals a little more challenging to plan and prepare.
Love the apron, love the photos of your daughter and love that you allow her to explore and feed her curiosity regarding food choices.ReplyDelete
This is a great post. I've actually been thinking about this myself (although I don't yet have children of my own). My partner eats meat, but I'm mostly vegetarian (I do eat fish). I guess time will tell what our child will choose, just like yours!ReplyDelete
Cheryl, I look forward to hearing more about your adventures with the vegetarian 8 year old! My parents had no idea what to do when I gave up meat ... but even my 80 year old Iowa-born-and-bred Grandmother adapted. (it was very cute, actually)ReplyDelete
Paula, Thanks :)
Maria, it's one of those things, isn't it? You guide them and try not to impose too much on them ... and sit back and wait for them to make the right decisions in life. No pressure! :)
This is a great post and I enjoyed reading it indeed. I love your writing style and I get the feel from reading this that you are a beautiful mother. Both of my boys aren't into meat but then neither am I so maybe that is why. I don't force the issue and do wander with age whether they will change their ways.
PS. Love the new banner
thanks so much - on both accounts! it was you who inspired me to change the banner, you know ... ;)ReplyDelete