Duck is tasty. Or so Mr Goog tells me. I wouldn't know, I'm a vegetarian, and always have been.
Riley's not a vegetarian, and she was never going to be. I'm a happy vegetarian (I don't know any better). But I'm not vegetarian for moral reasons. If I was, I'd be a major league hypocrite, because I love my shoes and handbags and they're all leather. I'm proud of the environmentally sustainable aspect. But I hate going to restaurants and desperately searching for the vegetarian items on the menu. And I dread it if there's only one thing I can eat on the menu. Because I have a theory that if there's only one vegetarian thing on the menu then it's going to be rubbish. Having just one vegetarian dish just screams 'I'm incapable of cooking vegetarian food, but I'll throw you a freaking bone'. Not a literal bone of course, I'm vegetarian.
Let me define vegetarian - because their are all sorts of crazies running around calling themselves vegetarian ruining it for the rest of us. I you eat chicken, you are not a vegetarian. If you eat fish, you are also not a vegetarian. But because you're calling yourself vegetarian, I have to put up with waiters assuming that I eat both. A vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat animals. It's pretty simple really. We do eat animal products (dairy, eggs). If you don't eat animal products you are a Vegan. I will never give up cream or cheese or butter. Non negotiable. Especially cream.
So, when it came to Riley, I made a decision early that she would be a meat eater unless and until she was capable of making the decision for herself. Because at least for me, being raised vegetarian, I can't bring myself to eat meat - there's a psychological barrier there that isn't going anywhere.
There was another reason of course. A far less glamorous one. I'm lazy. Or, I'm efficient. No, they are not opposites. I'm efficient because I'm good at putting in the least amount of work humanly possible and getting the result that I want. And I knew that babies and toddlers are fussy eaters. It can be difficult to make sure they are getting all of their nutrients. I mean with all of that food being thrown about with wild abandon, how can you even tell what's going in their mouths? And in some ways it just seemed easier for me to have all the options available, particularly with all the protein, vitamins and minerals in meat.
In no way am I saying that being vegetarian is anything less than a completely healthy option, but it's not necessarily easy either. And in reality, Riley probably only has about one or two meals a week that contain meat.
Sometimes I feel guilty about it, like I'm a traitor vegetarian. Going against my own kind. But then I remember going to school camp where the only vegetarian option available was boiled rice on its own and I feel a whole lot less guilty.
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