Say Goodbye to Meat

So on Monday of last week, as we drove home from a swim in my sister-in-law’s pool… my son bursts into uncontrollable fits of sobbing.  It scared me so I pulled over and asked him in a panic “what’s wrong?!?!”

In between sobs and sniffs, he tells me that he doesn’t want to kill animals anymore and that he doesn’t want anyone to eat meat because it’s killing animals.

I was a little taken aback, I had no idea where this had come from.  I asked him, but he was just too upset.  I asked him to tell me why he was so sad and he said, with the most conflicted look on his face “Because I like meat, but I can’t eat it anymore because it’s killing animals!”

I tried to offer the alternative of organic meat – that comes from animals that have a good life on a farm and when they die it “doesn’t hurt” (little bending of the truth…) but he wasn’t having a bar of it.  I reminded him that becoming a vegetarian means no more ham, no more bolognaise, no more lamb cutlets, no more chicken… and he was adamant – he wants to be a vegetarian.

So for this last week I have sat back and just watched whether or not it was a passing melt-down, or whether he’s serious.  And it looks like he has his mother’s genes in that once I make a decision about something, I throw myself at that decision wholeheartedly, and so has my son and being a vegetarian.

On one hand I am proud of him for the empathy and awareness he has for those around him, it’s such a beautiful thing to observe in someone so young and I hope he holds on to that trait for the rest of his life.  On the other hand it now poses a massive challenge for me in making sure that he gets enough iron in his diet and variety such that he can stick with his no-meat diet and not just slip back into eating meat just because he’s bored.

I am also quite comfortable becoming vegetarian myself if required, but Adam most certainly will not do that, so I need to ensure that we all have balance and the other unexpected factor in my son’s decision to become vegetarian, was trying to explain to him that while we all have the power to make personal choices for ourselves, we cannot force our opinions onto others.

Would love to hear advice from anyone that became vegetarian at a young age… or any recipes!!

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3 Comments

  1. Hi! Foud this post on my wordpress tagsurfer. I’ve been a vegetarian my entire life, my mother was even vegetarian while I was in the womb! Being vegetarian is not that hard; either nutritionally, or cooking-wise. It just takes a little more creativity. Over the years, I have addapted many meat dishes into veggie dishes. A website to check out might be http://www.veganlunchbox.com. Also, get him envolved in the cooking process, that way, he can see what goes into making his food.

    Feel free to contact me if you want some recipies! Also, if you want my email, I can leave it on this thread.

  2. Wow! I don`t really have much advice except maybe to buy a vegetarian cook book- a kids one if possible and do it all with him. He can help, see how it all happens

    I had a German friend who became a vegetarian at age 4- nobody in her family was a vegetarian it was just a decision that she made and she is still a vegetarian now at 28. I guess once you know something is what you want then ou can`t change that.

    Good luck with it all!

  3. I think it’s fantastic!!

    I became vegetarian at 24, then vegan 2 weeks later – that’s how long it took for it to ACTUALLY sink in that animals is where meat comes from! I think it’s important to remain supportive and educated – if he is eating a variety of veggies you won’t need to worry about his iron, though it might help put your mind at ease if you keep in touch with a nutritionist and/or doctor (I get my blood tested every 6 – 12 months).


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