Sunday, March 1, 2009

Why vegetarian?

I have been a vegetarian for 16 years. Everyone thought it was a phase (well, except maybe my parents - I think they may have taken it seriously!). I'm rather ashamed that it actually took me that long to take a stand for something I truly believed and felt so strongly in my heart - compassion. My husband became a vegetarian 11 years ago (luckily before we had children). We had already decided that our children would be raised vegetarian - they were our "hypothetical children" at that point. It was one point I would absolutely not budge on, and we discussed it before we even got married. We talk pretty candidly about vegetarianism to our children. Kids "get" it. Kids have compassion built in. They understand that there really is no difference between our house cat and a cow. Both have emotions. Both can feel pain, fear, and love. Both deserve compassion, and neither deserve to be tortured so we can have a meal. I know someone who is a vegetarian and is raising her child omnivore. She told me that she had other things that were more important to hold fast on - like breastfeeding. Anyone who knows me knows just how passionate and even stubborn I am about the importance of breastfeeding. It might surprise people to learn that vegetarianism is an even bigger issue to me than breastfeeding. People have said that I am somehow depriving my children by not "letting" them have meat, or that I am "controlling" them by not letting them choose if they want to eat meat. First, I don't see how teaching them compassion, respect for the environment and good eating habits is "depriving" them. Second, I wouldn't let my children go around using racist terms, play in the traffic, or beat up on other kids. That's because my values honor diversity, safety, and personal boundaries and respect. Since compassion, health, and environmentalism are things that are valued in our family, why on earth would I "let" my children eat dead animals? I just don't get it. Why am I rambling on about this now? Well, I just heard of a new book that is definitely on my "gotta have it" list. It's called "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals." It's a book geared toward children. I'll give it a proper review once we get it. For now, if anyone is interested in checking it out, here's the YouTube video about it:

And here is a website you can check out: That's Why We Don't Eat Animals.

1 comment:

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Very cool video! I'm going to check out the book now.