I practice and teach karate and recently one of the parents of a student approached me to ask me if I was still a vegetarian. I replied that I am and that the rest of my family are vegetarians as well. She proceeded to tell me that one of her twin boys had recently become a vegetarian and she asked him to tell me about his choice in person. I kneeled down and he told me that he had decided to be a vegetarian. I asked him why he had made the decision and he confidently replied, “If we eat animals they are dead”.
His mom was amazingly supportive, yet obviously concerned. She has some familiarity with a vegetarian diet as her college-aged step daughter is a vegetarian, but she is only faced with cooking vegetarian meals for short time periods when her step daughter comes for a visit. Her kindergartner loves vegetarian hot dogs so that’s a great starting place but as he’ll get bored of that quickly I promised his mom we’d share lots of recipes and vegetarian meal ideas with her.
I was so impressed with the mom’s compassion! She is amazingly supportive of her son’s choices despite the fact that they will impact their family at almost every meal and change the way they shop. I can only imagine the conversations they will have around the dinner table within the mixed environment of a young vegetarian in a family of meat eaters. Interestingly, the young boy’s twin has not followed his brother’s lead … yet. I expect that the mom may follow in short order as she develops a better understanding of vegetarian options for her son. As the family gets exposed to delicious vegetarian options the amount of animal protein in the house will no doubt reduce and the amount of compassion will increase.
I am so proud of this family for embarking on a journey of compassion. We should all be proud of any mom who supports her child’s right to be an individual, especially if it means not eating other individuals.