According to the Vegetarian Resources Group, 3% of children aged 8 to 18 are vegetarian. That’s roughly 1.4 million children! I was certain MY child would never fall in this category. I mean… he’s a meat eater. A bacon idolizer! A chicken chomper! A bacon burger with an extra side of bacon please, kind of kid!
And then… it happened. Without even a warning. There we were, scouring Netflix for a movie one night, came across a cute family title, and… yep. You guessed it. NO. MORE. MEAT. And I’m not talking a cut back, every other day, gradual transition. No. I’m talking NO. MORE. MEAT. Zilch. Nada. Cold turkey! (Get it? Turkey? Hah!)
At first, I was shocked. I thought for sure he was pulling my leg. There’s no way a seven-year old could make such a decision. Such a major lifestyle approach. And if so, it surely had to be a temporary thing. He couldn’t possibly have the will to stick with it…right? I mean, I barely have the will to make such a decision, even knowing that something is better for me. And I’m grown. How could he do it?
But it happened. He was serious about it. And boy was he passionate too! And it wasn’t so much about the health benefits for him, no. It was a conscious decision solely regarding moral and ethical concerns for the animals. He was never aware of where a burger started from, or how his chicken nuggets were created. And the moment he saw a glimpse of it… well, it didn’t sit well with him.
Eight months later, here we are. No slips. No “Just this one time…” No meat cravings. Nothing! And while we’ve had to make some adjustments here and there with our everyday meals, it’s been just that. Adjustments. With adjustments comes growth, and I’ll tell you first hand…this has definitely been a growing experience for us all. I am so proud of this little boy, and support his decision fully. My poms poms are fully extended!
Some parents may think it’s silly, or a phase, or a rebellious stretch. It’s not. It’s your child growing up. Making decisions for himself. Taking a stand for what he believes in. He’s paving the path to the man that he’ll someday be. So, stand by your children, parents. Be their biggest fan! Go vegetarianism! Another cow saved!