Last night, I made a three bean salad (kind of a mix between the recipe my mother used to make and one from Freedman and Barnouin's Skinny Bitch in the Kitch). With that, I served watermelon, pickles, tomato slices and "chik'n" gardenburgers on whole wheat buns. And well, my husband did sneak in some non-vegan "Pirate Booty" as a side item. (The boys were thrilled; I, of course, don't eat that.)
Miracle of miracles -- EVERYBODY was happy with the food. If you've read very many of my family-oriented posts, you know getting four people (my daughter is away this weekend) to like the same food is indeed a miracle. (To be fair, it's also a miracle when everybody is happy with a non-vegan meal, too.)
THEN, my 10-year-old announced he's vegetarian. Now, this boy LOVES meat, so I'm not expecting that this vegetarian thing is going to be permanent (at least, I'm not expecting it to stick right away).
Since I am very aware of the tendency for parental enthusiasm to backfire (that is, to cause the child to do a 180), I just kinda...shrugged.
"Oh! Hm! OK! Uh...why?"
He was equally nonchalant. (He's nothing if not perceptive...I'm sure he knew *exactly* why I was acting so uncharacteristically unimpressed by a declaration of vegetarianism.) "Well," he said, taking his time to answer, "I just think I like the food." He shrugged back at me and put yet more ketchup on his burger.
Maybe Reagan was right that ketchup counts as a vegetable in the diets of children...they certainly eat far more that the recommended serving size.
My husband and I shared a conspiratorial wink across the table.
I thought about all the things I could say -- animals that were (theoretically) alive because he wasn't eating meat, environments saved because he wasn't contributing to animal agriculture, improved health.
I kept quiet. For now, it's enough if he decides he just....likes the food.
- My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.