PARENTS

What If Your Vegetarian Child Wants Meat?

13/03/2011 16:26 | Updated 22 May 2015

National Vegetarian Week starts on 24 May. Unless, of course, you come round to our house, in which case every week is vegetarian week.

I have raised my two children as vegetarian, mainly because I think it's healthier for them. But I always knew that a certain day might come, and sure enough it did when my six-year-old son looked me in the eye and said: "Mum, I want to be a meatie".

It turned out that he was curious about the ham sandwiches his schoolfriends were having at lunchtime. Plus he had heard of a mysterious substance called "bacon", which was rumoured to be very nice.

Now, I could have given him the whole "animals are our friends, we don't eat our friends" speech. But I reckoned that he was old enough to start to work these things out for himself.

So off I trotted to the meat aisle of the local supermarket, a place I had not set foot in for about two decades.

It was like being a nun in an adult shop. I had no idea what I was looking for, but was taken aback at the prices. My goodness but meat is expensive. I reckon being veggie must have saved us thousands over the years.

So I bought some sliced ham and the two of us sat pushing it round a plate, unsure how to approach it. I tried very hard to stay neutral, and disguise the fact that I found handling the meat unpleasant and didn't really want it in the fridge.

And in the end, after chomping his way through various meaty bites, my son decided that he was going to stick with being a veggie rather than a meatie after all. I've given him the choice, and he made up his own mind in the end. House of Veg is at peace again.

What do you think a veggie family should do if a child wants meat? Leave a comment below

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