Washington – My husband and 10-year-old son went fishing this summer, and upon their return my son bounded in with enough fish to feed our extended family of 14, and then some.
While beaming, he declared that although he enjoyed catching fish, he absolutely would not eat the ones he’d just caught. He explained that he would happily eat a fish bought from the store, but not one he saw swimming in the ocean hours before it hits the plate. I’ve got to love the boy and his feelings, but there went my mantra of eating close to the source.
When my son made this declaration, his friends asserted he should be a vegetarian since he has such a soft spot for fish. They quickly recategorised him as a pescetarian, until I clarified that a pescetarian actually eats fish, and often plenty of it.
One girl in the group stated she has been slowly becoming a vegetarian, yet she still sometimes craves meat or will eat it when her parents tell her to. She asked whether there was a name for this type of eating and was excited when I told her she would be considered a flexitarian.
The kids then begged for labels describing each of their eating habits. Although I don’t believe we need to brand the way we eat, I shared a list of the different types of vegetarianism with them because they were so engaged.
The conversation got really interesting when the kids debated their favourite meats, their passion for animals and how cows should be treated. They wondered: If they loved animals so much, how could they also love meat? If they wanted to be vegetarian, did they have to eat tofu? And what does a vegetarian do at someone’s house when served meat? Is it rude to ask for something else? Great questions, kids.