Pots and pans clanging. Smoothing the linen table cloth under my finger tips. The warm air tingling against my frosted cheeks. Cold to touch from the chilled breeze outside. Gathering together over dinner. The kids eagerly sit at the table. I serve glasses of water while their father serves their meal.
An opportunity for conversation. Family dinners are a chance to elevate each other and open our souls to thoughts and experiences.
Tonight Abigail is giddy and aloof. Her free spirit ready to express herself.
“ I’m not really feeling like eating my lamb. I dont think its right to eat animals. “
I fight the natural urge of my lips beginning to curl. Trying to not to show how such a controversial and awareness in a young age is kind of satisfying.
My thoughts swirl. In a way I am not surprised. Ive notice the signs. The little things over the years. Her upset over eating chicken eggs when she was 3 and how since she was 6, always refuses chicken on her salad wraps.
I myself have never been huge on the consumption of meat. Always trying to choose produce consciously that is ethical and sustainable,
She nods her face burning red and bashful, she saw my micro reaction. ‘ I just don’t see why animals have to die for no reason’ now trying not to laugh at herself.
A nervous coping mechanism.
‘ its not for no reason. Just like other mammals. we eat meat. We are omnivores. It is something we do to nourish our body. The problem in our society now is that farming and killing animals on such a large scale is just not sustainable. It is causing a lot of environmental problems and unnecessary mass killing to produce food. There are many families out there that eat too much meat. Just because its there sitting on a shelf‘
‘well I am choosing to eat none.’
‘ ok Abby, if thats how you feel, I want to support you, but if thats what you choose to do. You will have to make extra effort on balancing nutrition.’
She nodded in agreement.
I melted into thought on this, through my own journey I have been through stages of veganism, have many friends with children who are. Children that follow a vegan diet can be perfectly safe as long as you are aware of nutritional requirements for growth and development. I myself am mainly vegetarian. Ive never really enjoyed heavy meat and have always avoided it. I was always the kid that ate all my veggies. I want to support her in developing ethical lifestyle choices. it only feels fair that she not be forced to eat animals and contribute to what she (and I) see’s as unnecessary suffering, especially since all of our nutritional needs can be met by other means.
I am in no way going to hold her accountable to or question her choice. I’d rather just ride the wave and support her. Help her navigate her feelings and come up with solutions. Perhaps she will commit to this long term. Maybe she will pick and choose what she is feel is ethicalt. I will support her either way.