I suppose I should begin with an introduction. My name is Jeremy. I normally blog here and, if you’re interested, you can learn a bit more about me here (though now that I’ve just looked I need to update some of that info ;-)). After commenting on Tim’s post on being a repentant carnivore, he asked me if I’d be interested in co-blogging with him on this topic. I thought this would be a worthwhile project so here I write.
I, like Tim, have become increasingly concerned about my own consumption of meat both from the standpoint of health and ecology, though I think Tim’s concern is primarily in terms of resources. For me at least, it is not a matter of abstinence, as I don’t see any problems inherent in eating meat, but rather one of moderation. If my meat consumption is at the expense of others, or if it is deteriorating my own health, then this failure to practice self-control is wrong, and I should amend my diet.
One issue that I will try to bring to the fore is one that Tim alluded to in his first post, namely that of trying to reduce meat consumption as well as the consumption of animal products with children in my home. Not only children, but children who have been raised on an American diet. They like pizza, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and … well, that’s about it. They will both eat fruit if that is all we have to offer, but balk at vegetables.
The matter that I have been thinking about the most from the outset is what approach I should take with my children. My wife is fully on board with reducing meant consumption; however, attempts at getting our children to make changes to their diet often lead to a great deal of frustration.
My dilemma is whether my wife and I should attempt to model a more meat-less diet for a time first and then attempt to bring the children along; something analogous to removing the beam from our own eyes first before we can try to help them. Or should we attempt to have the children participating from the start? I suppose the first option may seem a bit cowardly, but the initial frustration that may result from option two oftentimes leads to failure that can seem like a serious setback.
For the time being, I have started by trying to reduce my own meat consumption. Today was entirely devoid of animal products for me. And, I suppose that’s a start.
Has anyone ever tried this or something analogous with their children? What has worked for you? I’d be glad to hear your thoughts, and I’m looking forward to dialoguing through this experience with you.