6.28.2011

Oink, Oink

I remember the first time I rode in a car with my little brother, after he got his driver's license. It was at least a decade ago. He had this PETA sticker on the glove box. It had a little cartoon image of a lobster and it read, "Being Boiled Hurts! Lobster Liberation." I think I was giving vegetarianism a try at the time. At any rate, the sticker left its imprint on my memory. And while I do eat a variety of animals these days, lobster is not one of them.

It's funny, until you have tried vegetarianism (or married a vegan) you can't possibly know how judgmental and rude meat-eaters can be about not eating meat. And when you tell someone your child is vegetarian... There is no shortage of unsolicited advice and judgmental suggestions, like "Vegetarians are not healthy because they don't get enough protein" or "God created animals for humans to eat." You don't have to be as brilliant as my 5-year-old to contradict such idiotic statements.

So, Janie Kathryn was born to a carnivorous mother and a vegan father. We agreed to raise her vegetarian until she chose otherwise. I have to admit that I thought "otherwise" would be creeping up on us right about now. However, she seems independently steadfast in her decision not to eat meat. 

"Mommy, do you know that chicken on your plate is from a farm- It was alive and now it's dead?"
I get questions like this quite a bit. I nod and agree and she is satisfied. I'm strangely proud of it, I think. I see her struggle with her conviction, but her decision to remain vegetarian always prevails. When she is invited to parties or play dates where meat is served, she sometimes tells me that she "ate chicken nuggets," but later confesses that she didn't even want to try it. 

Just yesterday, she asked me, "If a person cooks fish do they have to eat it? I mean,like if a vegetarian makes meat, they don't have to eat it just because they made it, right?" I knew exactly what evoked these thoughts- Experiments in the Kitchen Camp. I explained that most vegetarians do not cook meat and that she can choose not to cook or eat anything that bothers her at camp! So, by choice, her blankets were pig-less. We made up for it later, when we prepared her camp recipe with Smart dogs instead of hot dogs.

 

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