Mommy Cafe

Vegetarian home cooking, kid tested and approved

Becoming Vegetarian

Almost 8 years ago I had lunch at a small bistro called Le Chat Noir (which, sadly, closed not long after). I can’t recall exactly what I ate, but I do remember exactly how I felt: if this is vegetarian eating, sign me up! A few days later I was in possession of several vegetarian cookbooks and was engrossed in learning how to transform my diet and my kitchen.

Two months later I found out I was pregnant. I kept up my vegetarianism until the end of the second trimester when I became anemic. Having a healthy baby was the most important thing to me. Not having to think too hard about my meals was second most important. Thus, the abrupt end of Becky’s Vegetarianism, Take 1.

Fast forward 6 years. Will came home from school one day excited about saving pandas. In discussing his new passion, he decided that he felt it was wrong to eat any animals (except fish, because “there are at least 2000 of those”). I fully supported his decision to become vegetarian after making sure that he understood what it meant: no jello, no marshmallows, no hot dogs or burgers on the grill. The marshmallows were a sticking point (no pun intended), but his love for animals was stronger than his love for spongy refined sugars. And so he began his vegetarian journey, and asked me to tag along. I agreed, sensing that he needed my support to feel less alone in his world of meat-eaters. Take II.

Will has been a very conscientious vegetarian. He questions everything, including bread and cheese, to make sure there is no hidden animal ingredient. He double-checks when his teacher or fellow students bring snacks for the class. He asks me to read labels of the vegetarian burgers I occasionally buy. There were times when he considered giving up, always after a well-intentioned friend or teacher had made an uneducated comment. It usually took some prying, but he would finally admit that he was afraid that he wouldn’t get enough protein or that without eating meat he couldn’t get the vitamins and minerals he needed to stay healthy. We’ve had many discussions about healthy eating over the past six months, and he has left each conversation more resolved to continue meat-free dining.

I’m glad to have had a trial run, to have learned my lessons early on so that Will’s transition into vegetarianism was seamless. While my original take was based solely on healthier eating, I am proud of Will for his enormous decision and happy to keep him company on his journey.

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March 17, 2010 - Posted by | Food for thought |

1 Comment »

  1. Wow! I can’t believe he’s so committed at only 6! Good luck to you both!

    Comment by unlikelyvegetarian | March 23, 2010 | Reply


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