We are a pure vegetarian family. However, there is an addition to this. My family, that is my parents (actually only father) and father’s side relatives are a mix. I’ve eaten non vegetarian food since my childhood and continued till a long time, until I met the man of my dreams, my Husby 😉 . The only condition he put forward me before committing was to ask me to convert myself into pure vegetarian, which technically, I should be being a Brahmin.
I considered this a major sacrifice,not. I instantly agreed since his value certainly was much more than eating flesh. And so I became a vegetarian, pure ! I never felt I was missing something in my life.
When we had Chirpy, sometimes in our random conversations it came up whether we want her to be a non-vegetarian or not. I was very clear from the start that I would never tell my daughter to be or not to be a non-vegetarian. My thought process says when you tell someone to not do something all the time, there comes a moment when that someone is tempted to at least try that thing once in his/her life.
Recently, while watching a cookery show with Chirpy, the cook on the screen annouced that he’ll be making a non-vegetarian dish next. On listening to this, Chirpy reacted in this manner, literally
Eww! This is dirty, we don’t eat all this and let’s change the channel
I was shell shocked. I felt bad for the kind of reaction she gave. I wondered why she reacted in this manner and when I dug out for information she told me the source. Apparently, my MIL had sometime back reacted in this manner and she caught that expression and words and repeated it. She being staunch vegetarian and carrying the age old norm of a Brahmin being pure vegetarian etc.
While I would always abide by the commitment that I made to Husby before getting married, I would still not prefer disrespecting someone else’s choice of food. So with the same thought, I made Chirpy understand this:
This is a category of food, called non-vegetarian. There are people who choose to eat it and there are people who don’t eat this category of food. Since this is someone’s food, if not yours, this is a choice that someone has made. And no food deserves to be reacted to as “ew” any given day. It is your choice whether you want to eat it or not, but never ever disregard anyone’s choice or that person for that matter.
Chirpy understood and promised me that she won’t react in the manner that she did earlier. No where in our conversation I told her not to opt for non-veg food. All I told her was our family has made a choice to not eat this category of food. I don’t want to delve in the discussion of being Brahmin etc and casticising her thoughts right now. So I omitted this detail.
I feel she is very young to be directed and not very young to be directed. If you know what I mean! I want her to know all the options that she can have, what we as a family follow and what she as an individual wants to opt for. I want her to know, think and choose accordingly. Though, this is the only place where I and Husby don’t agree with each other. He is obviously not of the view to ‘allow’ her to eat non-veg but that’s okay. That’s his thought and choice to bring his daughter up 🙂