We don’t eat meat in our house. I guess that isn’t totally true but almost 100% true. My daughter is pretty good at counting but she can count way higher than she needs to in order to count the number of times she has eaten meat. I have cooked meat in our house exactly twice, and when I did so it had been many years since I had cooked meat at all. Tonight for dinner we had cheese quesadillas and salad. It was light fare but was just what we needed.
My daughter likes breakfast sausages. She has eaten them only a few times. The last time was at a community breakfast at her school. There were many families there. It was a fund raiser for the local pre-school. We had tons of fun and my daughter wanted some sausage, like many of the other children there. I hate to be the parent who says no all the time, especially when I don’t have the best of explanations. I didn’t want to eat it, and this particular sausage wasn’t exactly of the highest quality, but why the heck not let her have it? She’ll try to some time anyway. And it won’t kill her.
I hear people talk about how they could never be a vegetarian. As if they would have to jump right into eating tofu and beans and kale at every meal if they decided to stop eating meat. I think most people eat plenty of meals that don’t contain meat without even thinking about it. Peanut butter and jelly? Macaroni and cheese? Breakfast cereal? Who eats meat at every meal?
Anyway, I am currently of the mind that we won’t have meat much in our house at all. My wife and I are on the same page with that one. But if the kids want it once in a while when it is offered, I will let them try it, as long as it isn’t too nasty. I made them fried chicken a couple of times here at home, at my daughter’s request to have chicken. She thought it was OK and my son just said no thanks. I have cooked up chicken many a time and this was, and I’m not just saying this, really good fried chicken. I ate it right up. The second try provided the same results. Salad is a bigger hit.
We do eat tofu occasionally. It is good stuff if you prepare it right. Kind of like cauliflower. That stuff isn’t exactly great plain, if you ask me, but in a gratin, oh baby oh. I can whip up some tofu into a tasty meal. We even eat meat substitutes. For me, it isn’t that I don’t like meat as a food. It just seems irresponsible to eat it. Eat it if you want but, knowing what I know about where it comes from, I don’t want to support such a destructive and unhealthy system.
We have talked about trying to eat meat that is locally and responsibly grown. That is where the chicken I fried came from, a local farm. At this point that is hard to do, more because we are in the habit of not eating meat than anything else, but meat still has a larger ecological footprint, even if it is raised in the best way possible, and that factors in as well.
For now we don’t buy it, don’t prepare it and don’t really eat it. I won’t be a hindrance to my children experimenting with it if they want to do that. Maybe if they experiment with that they will be more careful experiementing with things like smoking banana peels. And we will likely cook up something fleshy again at some point. But for now I will toss that fake sausage on the pizza and bake the tofu pot pie. That will do me more than just fine.