Dear Kid Saturday: Selective Vegetarianism

Dear NHL,

Tonight, I made burgers using peanut butter as the special ingredient. (More on that in a later post.) I figured that a burger would go over great and you were excited about it. I don’t cook meat that often due to the high prices of Kosher meat, so a meat meal at home is a rare treat. (Our last one was probably over a month ago.) When the burger was served to you, you suddenly changed your mind. You didn’t want to eat it and screamed and shouted. Amoung your tear-filled rationalizations as to why you couldn’t eat the burger was that you liked milk. This confused us so we asked what that had to do with anything. You told us that cows give milk and you love milk so you couldn’t eat something that came from a cow that was killed. You insisted that you didn’t eat meat.

Now, if this were due to some epiphany regarding cruelty to animals or something, I might have ended the conversation there and respected your decision. However, your mother and I sensed that your anti-beef stance was less about animal rights and more about simply not wanting what was on your plate. We asked you about chicken nuggets. After all, you love eating those and they’re made of meat. Your answer was that you didn’t like chickens and so were fine eating them.

Your mother and I looked at each other and though we didn’t burst out laughing right there, we were laughing on the inside. We’re quite sure that you’ve invented a new form of vegetarianism. I’ve dubbed it Selective Vegetarianism. You eat or don’t eat meat depending on how much you like the kind of animal it comes from. Fond of cows? No beef for you. Can’t stand chickens or turkeys? Poultry is fine on the plate.

In the end, you very reluctantly ate a few more bites of burger before having some yogurt and watermelon. We also think we know why you rejected the burger and it had nothing to do with the beef. The recipe called for onion and the texture of that probably threw you. Next time, I’ll make the burgers without onion… and maybe I’ll use turkey so we don’t trigger any selective vegetarianism again!