why i think veggie polony is gross

I think veggie polony is gross. (I do feel compelled to note that I think conventional polony, made from crushed up dead animals, is even grosser). The idea that I have virtually NO IDEA what I’m eating, and that I cannot recognize any aspect of “food” in the product creeps me out a little.

 

As I was making a sandwich this afternoon, I wondered what exactly went into something so, well, squishy-looking. So I read the ingredients: oils, starches, flavourings, colourings. Admirable stuff.

 

“What are you doing to your body??” cried a voice in my head. “What kind of nutritional example are you setting for your children??” This was followed rather swiftly by another, chirpier voice, saying, “Oh do me a favour. I’m hungry. Pass the pickles.”

 

I wouldn’t call myself an advocate for something as processed and unnatural as polony, but it sure is a convenient standby to keep in the back of the fridge. Yes, the fact that it never seems to go off is worrying in itself, but when I have two boys howling, three work deadlines looming over me, a load of laundry to hang and we’re late for a playdate, I thank its synthetic socks (so to speak).

 

I don’t have a polony problem – I can stop whenever I want, honest! – and it’s not something I do every day. I think it’s important to eat things that you know are healthy and natural and good for you whenever you can. But I try not to beat myself up too much about the exceptions to the rule. The key, I guess, is moderation.

 

I still think polony is pretty gross. But, then, I think nose-picking is gross, and I do that sometimes when I think nobody’s looking. No harm done.

Mo-o-om, what’s for dinner?

Image courtesy http://www.zazzle.com/animals_are_my_friends_poster-228505690643377345 

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.