I am a 3rd generation vegetarian on both my maternal and paternal side of the family. It’s what I know. It’s what I enjoy. I am raising my daughter as a vegetarian; my husband is not one but supports that this is a big deal for me. It’s important for me to raise baby girl this way.
So, the only 2 opinions that matter currently, are my own and my husband’s. This topic irritates me so much, because apparently everyone needs to give me their unsolicited opinions on my eating habits and the eating habits of my child.
I hear these phrases constantly;
“Do you get enough protein?”
Yes, I get enough protein, thanks for your concern. See the following chart. There are so many foods that you can get your protein from.
Oh, I could never do that.”
You couldn’t be a vegetarian; great I’m not asking you to be one.
“I tried to be vegetarian one time.”
Cool, you tried to be vegetarian one time; that is just swell for you.
“So, what do you eat? Like salad?”
Yes I eat more than salad. Are you serious? Ever heard of brownies? Not meat my friends, not meat. Is everything a meat eater consumes meat? No, I eat normal food; just not meat. People seem completely baffled when I don’t like certain foods; “but you’re a vegetarian so you have to like mushrooms.” Oh, I do? I wasn’t aware of that. I actually don’t have to eat anything I don’t want to.
“But what about bacon?”
What about bacon? Never had it. Never tried it. I am perfectly okay with that. You want to eat bacon, go right ahead. I grew up in a religion where a lot of people I knew were vegetarian as well. Even if they weren’t; as a whole the religion was against eating pork. It just isn’t something that is a part of my life.
“Do you eat seafood?”
No, I am a vegetarian. Pescatarians eat fish. Vegetarians do not.
“What if your daughter wants to eat meat? Won’t you let her choose?”
This is the one the bothers me the most. First of all, how does this impact any one elses life? This is the one that is constantly brought up. Yes, I am raising my girl how I would like. She is my child. Mine. I don’t care if people eat meat; however, do meat eaters give their children a choice if they want to eat a dead animal? No one bats an eye. When my husband and I feel that our daughter is old enough to decide it will be her choice one day. I want her to make that decision for herself with more information. Maybe she will be an animal rights activist. Maybe she will take up hunting. I don’t know. I do know that we aren’t there yet. And if we ever get there, it will be a discussion between the 3 of us and the 3 of us alone.
This topic really angers me. I feel like there are so many women that dish out advice that wasn’t asked for and isn’t appreciated. I’m sure it may come from good intentions; however, there is more that 1 way to do things. A lot of my meat-eating friends love my vegetarian dishes. If you go to potlucks or something similar the dishes that are usually the first to be eaten up are the vegetarian dishes. I find that amusing. I love the food I make and the food I was raised eating. I don’t feel that I’m missing out on anything. Again, if you don’t like my food or my opinions regarding the food I eat that’s fine. My life isn’t about pleasing others; it’s about finding what makes me happy. It hurts my heart when I feel that people are judging if I’m a good mom or not because I want my child to be a vegetarian. I don’t think that’s fair.
I’m going to prance myself down to my kitchen to make some delicious vegetarian food. Probably some brownies too!