Sunday, January 30, 2011

Go Meat! versus No Meat!

The current debate among my children is Go Meat! Versus No Meat!

You see Hilde has decided that she wants to be a vegetarian (actually a piscatarian, she will eat fish). In true Hilde fashion she has been thinking about it for months. I had noticed in the summer she would ask what animal she was eating. Then around Christmas she decided that she could no longer eat meat. She couldn't’t bear to eat an animal. Hilde really loves animals, so this is really a natural progression for her. She can’t stand the idea of baby animals dying for her to have food.

At first I was a little hesitant since her favorite foods are meatballs and bratwurst. I was not sure she would stick with it. It’s been a few weeks and Hilde is still going strong.

I was also hesitant because Hilde lives in house full of meat lovers. Maeve and I especially can’t imagine life without meat. Steak and a glass of red wine are my favorite foods ever, why on earth would anyone not want to eat meat?

Since Hilde’s decision to go vegetarian, Maeve has decided to be vociferously pro-meat. Not only does Maeve want to eat meat, she wants Hilde to know on a daily basis that meat should be eaten by everyone. Inevitably at meals there comes a point where Maeve proclaims, “Why would anyone not want to eat meat!”

I think that Maeve’s response is due to two things. First, it’s pure sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry is the bane of my existence. It is the downside to having only two children. There is always competition. They either love of hate each other. Second, Maeve is a foodie. The idea of excluding any food item is unfathomable to her. The world is full of food to be explored and savored. She revels in the taste, smell and touch of any food she can get hands on.

So far Hilde is not fazed by Maeve’s outbursts. She is resolute. She has even refused bacon. Bacon! Bacon is the one meat that people usually cave for; bacon is a food that Maeve and I would walk 500 miles for; but not Hilde.

So while Hilde is eating beans and rice. Maeve is standing in front of the meat counter yelling, “I want meat!”

I have my work cut out for me.

I am proud of Hilde for making such a mature decision and sticking with it. Since Hilde is the “baby” of the family, she often goes along with what everyone else decides. She wants everyone to be happy, so she is the queen of compromise.

I love that Maeve is passionate about food. It’s amazing to watch your child develop a passion for something.

I love that both my girls love food and love to experiment with food.

I respect both of their eating lifestyles.

Now it’s my job to cultivate a little compassion between them.

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