I am frequently asked why I am a vegetarian, why my husband is vegetarian, why we choose to raise our children vegetarian, in short, Why my Family are Vegetarians. Everyone is curious, but there are so many different reasons to be vegetarian. No two people are alike, in fact my husband and I have different reasons to be vegetarians.
When I met my husband he was actually a vegan. Vegans eat no meat, cheese, eggs, honey, fish, or anything that has been derived from animals or touched them. But, I am a regular vegetarian (no meat, fish, or anything that has been derived from them or touched them). It was amazing to date someone whose food preferences ran the same way as mine. We went on dates to vegetarian restaurants, of which Montreal has TONS of amazing ones (I miss them so much!). It was amazing to never have issues with food! We could always eat together, share food, and not worry about kissing afterwards because someone had eaten meat. It was a dream come true for me to learn about this whole new world of relationships.
How did I become a vegetarian?
Backing up a bit, I am a vegetarian, but my family growing up were full-fledged meat eaters. My sister is a bacon lover and my dad goes on the Atkins’s diet every Winter. My family is in short, a normal meat-eating family, and they have been my whole life. But not me.
I never really liked the taste or texture of meat since I was little. As toddlers my sister and I used to swap, I would get her buns, she would get my hamburger or hot dogs. Shortly after I had a conversation with my mom over a hamburger. I asked her what I was eating, hamburger she told me, yes but what is hamburger made of I asked. Cow, she replied. After a minor freak out of disgust that I was eating a cow, I pushed my plate away with a YUCK. My mom quickly looked at my little sister to see what her reaction was, “Can I have some more cow mom”, no problems there!
At five I stopped all meat but cows, by 12 I stopped eating that too. So in short, I thought it was disgusting to eat an animal and the texture and flavour repulsed me. Although I am not vegan, I also do not like leather, and I don’t eat gelatin.
Raising a Vegetarian Family
Now my husband is a very different story. He became a vegan because of ethical reasons, he didn’t like the cruelty animals face being raised for slaughter, even the cruelty dairy cows and chickens laying eggs face as well. I try not to dwell on those facts too much as they bother me too. Killing an animal for food is a fact of life for many, but for us, it’s literally eating a dead animal, I can’t differentiate the meat from the source. Road kill, fish washed up on the shore, none of it makes sense to me and I couldn’t eat them either. It’s all the same grossness to me.
Since we obviously do not eat meat, my house is vegetarian. We don’t cook meat, we may serve take-out pizza with meat on it to guests, and my dog was allowed to have her meat kibble, but largely our house is a full meat-free zone. I have no issues when we go out to dinner if people eat meat near me, I am not going to judge you or lecture you, to each their own and that’s just not my thing. Just as being a vegetarian may not be for other people, meat isn’t for us. But my dishes and cookware will remain vegetarian only.
What to say to children?
Teaching children what to say is hard. On the one hand we have to keep it basic for a two and four-year-old to understand, we also have to be firm in why we are vegetarians so they understand and learn to say no. For now we talk about eating dead animals and how animals are our friends so we don’t want to eat them. I have a few books we read with them about being a vegetarian, which are really cute.
My four-year-old is great at asking people if there is meat in her food before she eats. This is big now as she starts to go to birthday parties and not be with me all the time. It’s a little scary for me to think that someone could feed her meat, but I hope with what we teach her we give her the tools she needs to look out for her own diet as she gets older.
If you want to find some vegetarian books for kids I recommend these two below:
- Herb the Vegetarian Dragon
- Linus the T-rex
In short there are four reasons people can be vegetarian:
- They do not like the taste or texture of meat
- Eating animals is gross
- Animal cruelty
- Health reasons
Are you a vegetarian? Please share below why you are a vegetarian. Do you fall in one of the four categories? If you are a meat-eater, did you learn anything new? Did you know there were so many different reasons to be a vegetarian?
Check out some of my other posts on Vegetarian’s below:
Follow Raising Fairies and Knights’s board Vegetarian Yummys on Pinterest.