I think my three-year-old is onto me.
After months of invasive questioning, she is finally starting to put two and two together. She is beginning to notice that my meals look different to that of hers, her sister’s, and her Daddy’s.
‘You like chicken, Mummy?’ she questions me.
‘No, darling,’ I reply.
‘You like steakey, Mummy?’
‘No, thank you,’ I answer.
‘Why, Mummy?’ she asks.
‘Try some, Mummy,’ she says encouragingly as she gets up from her little yellow table and approaches me with a piece of dead animal dangling off the end of her fork.
‘You’ll like it. You just have to try it,’ she persists spouting my own words.
I manage to make a narrow escape, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to dance around the topic.
I can see that sooner rather than later, I am going to have to explain to Miss Three why I don’t eat meat.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be vegetarian.
One of my earliest memories is of me taking pieces of meat from my plate, pretending to put them in my mouth, and then dropping them under the table where I would collect them later.
My other ploy was to ask to go to the toilet, shove as much meat as I could into my mouth and then spit it out down the toilet. I made a fatal error once of not flushing and that was the end of that.
Back when I was a kid, being vegetarian was considered a hippie fad. My parents thought I’d be malnourished without a regular serving of meat on my plate and so they insisted I continue to eat meat. Let me tell you though, virtually every meal was a battle.
It wasn’t until age 15 that I became vegetarian and then vegan for many years.
I choose not to eat meat for ethical reasons. I dislike the smell, the look, the taste and feel of meat. Even thinking about it makes me want to throw up.
In my earlier years, I was pretty staunch about the whole thing and even carried with me a badge that read ‘no more meat’.
When Dave and I first started living together we would cook our own meals. Eventually, I started cooking meat for him. In the early days I would guzzle wine while chopping up chicken breasts just to get through it.
These days with two young kids, handling and cooking meat is an everyday part of my life.
We want our kids to be able to make up their own minds about eating meat, so for now I cook it for them.
I find it amusing that I, a longtime vegetarian, have two meat obsessed little girls.
Smiley our 18-month-old would eat an all meat diet if she could. She shoves fists full of her favourite spaghetti bolognese into her mouth and gives me a look of great disgust if she finds the tiniest speck of carrot or zucchini in her meal.
As for Miss Three, she requests ‘pink fish’ for every meal and always leaves all of the ‘yucky green bits’ I put on her plate.
Time will tell if the tables will turn. In the meantime, I will continue to serve meat and the occasional vegetarian meal which they always shoot down.
When the time is right, I will explain to Miss Three in very simple terms where meat comes from and why I don’t eat it. I will not sway her either way. I will not tell her that the ham on her sandwich is one of Peppa’s cousins (sorry, bad joke 😉 ).
I will let her make up her own mind.
She will be supported either way.
Have you had to explain to your children where meat comes from? How did they take it? Are you the only vegetarian in a meat obsessed household?
Linking up today with the gorgeous Jess for IBOT!