I hate it when people ask, “but aren’t you going to feed your children meat?” It’s even worse when the question is accompanied by the wide eyes and open mouth that reflect an inability to comprehend the situation.
I’m so tired of people telling me that a vegetarian diet isn’t a healthy way to raise children. I haven’t eaten flesh for over ten years and am a fit, strong, healthy and happy woman who has borne two healthy, beautiful sons.
My nearly-two-year-old is an eating machine and loves guzzling up his beans, cereals, fruit and veggies. He gets plenty of protein from all the peas, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs and cheese he eats, and his energy levels are boundless. There’s a reason the expression is “full of beans”!
My four-month-old is above the average curve for his weight and length, and I am exclusively breastfeeding him off my hearty vegetarian diet.
Vegetarianism may be an ethical, environmental, economic or religious choice. But it is undoubtedly a wholesome one. People need to realize that it is a growing lifestyle and can be every bit as healthy as an omnivorous diet (in fact, often more so!).
As parents we have a responsibility to ensure that our children receive all the nutrients their growing bodies need, as well as a safe and loving environment in which to learn and grow. That doesn’t predicate the need to eat animals or harm them in any way.
As George Bernhard Shaw so eloquently put it: “Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends”. I don’t know how I could teach my kids to love animals, and then tell them that it’s okay to eat them. It just doesn’t make sense.
When they grow into independent individuals they will have to make their own choices about many things, including this issue. But in the meantime, I have to be their feed-o-meat-er.