I have been vegetarian since I was 13, so nearly 15 years, and I am married to a man who could suck a cow through a straw. Seriously, if he only ever ate meat for the rest of his life he would be completely happy.
The question of whether Miss Rose will be vegetarian comes up fairly often, and I do try not to take offence at how it is addressed. Often it’s purely curiosity, “Are you going to raise her veggie?” but more often than not it’s more of a look of horror and “You’re not raising her vegetarian are you?” or “You are going to let her eat meat aren’t you?”
The answer is no I’m not going to force her to be vegetarian. I don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on anyone including my child. When I cook she’ll eat vegetarian, when her daddy cooks she’ll eat meat. Obviously she will mostly eat vegetarian because I’ll be mostly cooking, but if we go out or someone else cooks for her and she wants meat then of course she’ll have meat. But would it be so awful if I were to raise her vegetarian?
As I said, I’ve been vegetarian for a long time and have met with various reactions. Most people don’t know I’m vegetarian unless they’re cooking for me, I’m not preachy and only tend to tell people my reasons and beliefs if they ask. A lot of people on discovery are very mocking, find it hysterical to tell me there is meat in whichever serving of vegetables I’m helping myself to; “There’s meat in those peas you know.. hahaha.” Yes very droll. Others have informed me it’s very selfish because I expect other people to cater to my ridiculous whim… no… I’m happy to just have whatever vegetables you are serving and just leave out the meat, excluding something from my own personal diet is hardly selfish. Another found it incredibly funny that they had cooked potatoes in goose fat and didn’t tell me until after I had eaten them. Oh yes, great, thanks for that. Of course it won’t kill me, I’m not allergic to meat, and mistakes happen which is fine, but deliberate conning me and finding it funny upsets me.
But the idea that not letting my child eat meat is crazy? That strikes me as odd. I suppose if my husband was vegetarian she’d eat vegetarian almost entirely because of that, but at the same time I still wouldn’t force her. I’ll let her make up her own mind. But people force religion onto their children all the time, no child is born with religion it is imposed on them by family, but nobody criticizes that. Cutting something, which is in the most part pretty unhealthy, out of my child’s diet should surely be something to be either approved of or barely noticed? By that same logic aren’t meat eaters who “force” their child to eat meat doing something wrong?
My vegetarianism is something personal to me, my husband is very respectful of it and gets angry when people tease me, but equally so loves his meat. Should Miss Rose want to know both our views we will share them, she will know where her food comes from, both meat and vegetables, and understand what it is. If she decides she wants to cut meat out then she will do so, if she decides she’s happy to eat meat then she will eat it. But either way it should be respected. By not eating meat I’m not hurting anyone, and by feeing her a healthy, well balanced meat free diet I wouldn’t be hurting her. By giving her freedom of choice, and respect for whichever choice she makes without teasing or trying to force her to change her mind, is surely doing more for her than most.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!