As I edit a post, my curious five-year-old daughter sits on my lap and asks what I’m doing. I tell her that I am writing an article about being vegan. She jumps off my lap and returns a few seconds later with a marker and notebook. “I want to write something too!” she says, smiling a little too close to my face, but her excitement is contagious. I say, “Go for it! Let’s write the next article together! Let me interview you!” She’s back on my lap, her posture proud as she gets ready to be interviewed, then write her own article.
Me: What’s the best part about being a vegetarian?
Her: Not eating meat.
Me: Why is that a good thing?
Her: Because a vegetarian does not eat animals because they care about animals.
Me: How much do you care about animals?
Me: Wow, that’s a lot. How come you care so much?
Her: Because I want to be a veterinarian!
Me: A vegetarian veterinarian! (we giggle)
Her: If you want to be a veterinarian that is a vegetarian, you should take care of animals, like me!
Me: What would you tell other kids about being a vegetarian?
Her: You should take care of your pets. You should feed them every day. Make sure your pets don’t run away. Give them love and make sure they always have someone to love.
And there you have it! An interview with a young “expert” vegetarian. She has been justifying to others since she was two-years-old why she doesn’t eat meat. She cries whenever she thinks about animals in pain. She stops to say hello to every dog on the street, and she is kind to all animals. These values are deeply instilled in her, and as her mom, I couldn’t be more pleased.
I’m sending her out into the real world with the right attitude towards her lifestyle. She is delighted to talk about vegetarianism, in a fun and non-judgemental way. She understands that other people eat meat, but that she does not, and that is okay.
Sometimes we get so caught up in explaining and rationalizing things that it becomes complicated. But if we see things through the eyes of a child, it couldn’t be more simple. Don’t hurt animals, do the right thing, and spread love.
Seneca’s first article (translated):
“To vegetarians do never eat meat because that is hurting a animals. You should love the dog with all of your heart!”
*With a bit of fine-tuning, she will be one heck of a writer/vegetarian/veterinarian.
Some links you may enjoy: