This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Little Vegetarian

My 7 year old, MiMi, has remained a vegetarian for nearly three months. It is so amazing to know how committed she is to her own philosophy.

She hasn't balked at anything: tofu, vegetarian "chicken" nuggets, veggie corn dogs, veggie sausage. We have done well at coordinating dinner: make a chicken pasta dish? One batch wtih chicken, the other without.

We have learned *a lot* about the limitations vegetarians go through, when going to restaurants, and having limited choices. It's amazing how much meat is out there in this world.

And while I am not a vegetarian, I know that it is a healthier way to eat. But because I represent my daughter, I encounter comments and questions that I assume vegetarians encounter.

The one that really throws me for a loop? The comment close to: Well, I guess that's OK, as long as she is getting her protein.

Really? You mean, I am too stupid to realize that a child of 7 needs protein? That I would suddenly do something different than anything else I do for my kids when it comes to their well being? I research the shit out of stuffy noses but because my daughter proclaims becoming vegetarian, I would do nothing but sit back and let her eat, dare I say this? All the broccoli that she wants????

Given the fact, that statistically, our children in the US are eating fast food chicken nuggets and fries, well, I find it ironic that someone would pose that question to me.

My anecdotal comparison: when I worked at a manufacturing plant (accounts receivable, as I worked my way through college), we had one of those: 'let's check your cholesterol' health events. They prick your finger, put it in some test device, then tell you what your cholesterol number is. My number *always* came out high. I don't know why, but while I am much healthier NOW than then, still, I didn't smoke, I did exercise, and I ate decently.

My co-workers would have a really low number *but* they were overweight, did not exercise, drank diet coke for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and smoked like sailors.

And they would laugh at me and feel good about themselves for having a low cholesterol number.

This is the irony of folks questioning ME about my daughter's vegetarianism. Here is my kid, by choice, eating broccoli, green beans, salad, tofu, bananas, pears, grapes, and if I have to say it -- drinking her god damn milk and eating healthier than the rest of us in the household...and these folks (stereotyping here) are feeding their kids pizza, burgers, chicken nuggets and french fries...and have the gall to assume that vegetarianism is somewhat an unhealthier choice?

I don't know how you vegetarians tolerate such ignorance.

This morning I asked MiMi 'so how are you doing with your vegetarianism? Do you ever miss meat, especially hot dogs?'

She said 'Yes, sometimes I think about how I would like to have a hot dog but then I realize I made the right choice.'

I do too. I could only hope to be as fricking smart as she is.

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