The simple answer? No.
I have been vegetarian for 6 years, since I was 13. Since I got pregnant with Caelum many people asked me would I make him vegetarian too and my answer was always no. My reason being, I want him to be able to make the choice when he’s old enough. I want him to be his own person and make his own decisions in life.
I became vegetarian because at the time I had stopped eating a lot of meat simply because I didn’t like it. I also started hearing a lot about animal cruelty and I didn’t want to be a part of that. So I just stopped one day, without much thought. My parents thought it was just a phase and were really shocked when I actually stuck to it, but they didn’t mind.
Now, I’m still against animal cruelty but I don’t think not eating meat really helps prevent anything so that’s no longer my reason for being vegetarian. My reason now is simply that it’s been way too long since I ate meat that I would feel weird doing so. I eat “fake meat”, like Quorn but I don’t feel like it’s necessary. I can still have meals with just vegetables.
Some people still think it’s odd that I’m actually willing to cook meat for my son since I don’t eat it. I live on my own so no one else would be around to cook it for him. Although, yes, I don’t really like the idea of cooking/touching meat but I’ll do it for my son because I believe it’s the healthiest and best option for him. He’s only 10 months old and needs all the vitamins, iron, protein etc., he can get right now while he’s growing. Humans are supposed to eat meat. It’s just the way it is.
I was also asked by someone, if I want him to make his own decisions, why not make him be vegetarian and then when he’s old enough to understand, he can then decide whether to eat meat or not? My answer to that is, that’s not really giving him a choice. He will grow up without eating meat so why would he suddenly start eating it? He won’t be used to the taste or texture of it. To get kids to eat certain foods, you usually have to introduce them at a young age otherwise he wouldn’t be used it and probably wouldn’t like it. Take eggs for example, if you don’t introduce eggs in to your babies diet and suddenly give your 3 or 4 year old a boiled egg, he probably won’t like it because it’s such a strong flavour and so different to what he usually eats.
Caelum has been eating meat since he started eating solids because I first started him on baby jars of dinner and most of them contain meat. Now that he’s older he’s starting to eat pieces of chicken, bacon, sausages etc. He loves it! I want him to be healthy and to eat a wide variety of foods so for now, I think it’s best he eats meat. When he’s older he can choose to eat whatever he wants.
What’s your opinion?